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How to Save Money EVERY TIME You Shop At Your Favorite Stores

This post is all about how to use Rakuten (Ebates) to save money and get cash back every time you shop at your favorite stores! This post contains affiliate links. Please read my disclosure for more info!

how to save money with rakuten

Rakuten (formally known as Ebates) has to be my favorite way to save money and get cash back online! I will honestly never stop recommending it to my family and friends because I’ve saved so much while shopping online and in-store with Rakuten.

In fact, when you sign up using my referral link you get a $10 bonus when you spend your first $25 at any store!

But before you do, I’m sure you have questions. I broke everything down the way I wish someone had to convince me to sign up early to start saving my coins!

In this post, I’m going to show you how to use Rakuten, the best tips for using Rakuten, my personal experience, and give you a sneak peek of the stores you can get cash back from on Rakuten.



What is Rakuten (Ebates)?

“Ebates is where you can get Cash Back for shopping at over 2,500 stores. Becoming a member is free! Stores pay Ebates a commission for sending you their way, and Ebates shares the commission with you as Cash Back. Get paid every three months, plus earn a cash bonus when you join and shop. Founded in 1998, Ebates has paid members over $1 billion Cash Back. Start getting yours!


My Personal Experience

I first heard about Rakuten years ago on Youtube when it was still called Ebates. I heard a lot of Youtubers talk about it but I thought it was too good to be true. Why the heck would a company just give you cash back, right?

When I finally joined it months later my first thought was why didn’t I sign up sooner??

Within my first year, I earned a little over $77 in cash back!

You may think a few dollars and cents here and there isn’t that much but it adds up.

When I made my post about the best ways to save money, I talked about Rakuten and showed my $77 in earnings. Since then I’ve earned an extra $12 on my Black Friday shopping. And believe me, I didn’t even shop that much, but Rakuten offered 10% cash back on many stores I bought from.

ebates screenshot

This is why I love Rakuten so much: it saves me money on purchases I already planned to make. I already shop at many of their stores and now I can get cash back on top of that!

So when I do my dorm room shopping, Black Friday/holiday shopping, and even travel arrangements, I get to save money!


How you can benefit from Rakuten

As I said before, you can save money at stores you already shop at – on top of sales and discounts! But let’s talk about the other benefits of Rakuten.

Ebates review - how to get cash back when you shop


It automatically applies discounts IN ADDITION TO CASH BACK

Hands down, this is one of my favorite features of Rakuten. When you download the Rakuten button (a chrome extension), it automatically finds coupons for you! So if you’re shopping at a store and there are active coupons for discounts, Rakuten automatically finds all of them for you and chooses the one that saves you the most money and applies it to your cart. This is in addition to the cash back you get from Rakuten!


You get special bonus offers!

Rakuten now offers you bonus offers in addition to the cashback deal.

ebates review - special bonus offers

These are my current special bonus offers.


Best ways to use Rakuten to get cash back

Use the Rakuten (Ebates) Button (Chrome Extension)
highly recommend installing the Rakuten Button for Google chrome to maximize your savings. It automates the process of getting cash back.

Ebates review - how to get cash back when you shop 2All you have to do is go to the website and you’ll see a pop up like this on in the top right corner of your browser. It doesn’t get any easier than that!


Get the Rakuten App

Rakuten also offers cash back on in-store purchases! Simply add your debit/credit card to your account and then activate the deals from the app. When you shop using the connected card, you’ll gain cash back on any qualifying purchases after you’ve activated the deals. The only downside to this is that you have to remember to activate the cash back offer for in-store purchases! This is why I’d recommend getting the app so you can do this remotely before you make a purchase.


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Is Rakuten Legit?

Yes. Absolutely. I thought it was when I first heard about it but I’ve been using it for about a year now and it’s a staple in my shopping routine. If you read my post on how I save money when I shop, you’d know that I’m very cheap and I love saving money. Rakuten is one of the first websites I use to save money, and it’s easy. All I do is activate the cash back deal from the Rakuten Button and I shop as normal. Then I let it apply any active coupons and I make a purchase. It’s the best thing ever, seriously.


What stores can I get cash back from?

Rakuten offers cash back from over 2500 stores! Here are some of them with their cash back offers for the holidays:

After you sign up, you can see the full list of stores on their website. Don’t forget the Rakuten button notifies you if the website you’re on offers cashback!


How much does it cost?

A whopping $0. 

There are no fees, no reward points to redeem, and no forms to fill out!

This is a huge relief because I hate the whole reward points system thing. With Rakuten you get what you earn, simple.


When do I get paid?

When I first joined, you got paid at the end of the month. Now you get paid every quarter after you reach the minimum threshold of $5. This is the current payment schedule:
ebates review - payment scheduleI definitely don’t love this update, and this is my only con.


What if I forget to activate cash back? Can I use Rakuten after a purchase?

With the Rakuten button, it records your shopping trips. Your shopping trips are basically every time you visit a website that Rakuten offers cash back for. If you forget to apply the cash back using the button, all you have to do is send them your order confirmation number and they apply the cash back to your account!


How do I get started??

I thought you’d never ask! If you’re interested in saving money every time you shop, create your account with Rakuten ASAP! Plus, don’t forget you get a $10 reward after you spend your first $25 at any qualifying store!

If you want to boost your cash back, simply invite your friends to join to get some extra cash like I did. If they’re like me they’ll love you for it!
Ebates Coupons and Cash Back

Other posts you might like:

8 Ways to Save Money and Get Cash Back When You Shop

11 Insanely Easy Ways to Save Money in College

Written by The Metamorphosis

The Metamorphosis is a lifestyle blog about the journey of college to adulting. Here you can find the tips for college, self-improvement, adulting, and more.


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