Rakuten Review 2021: Is It Safe and Legit?

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Have you heard of Ebates? Following the acquisition by Rakuten, Ebates is now formally known as Rakuten. Our Rakuten review will highlight everything you need to know about this favorable cashback rewards program.

Today’s Rakuten review brings you a real insight into saving money while earning easy cashback.

Rakuten Logo

Who wouldn’t like to receive some cash and save money on almost anything they buy? Even if you go shopping only for holidays, why not get cashback?

Well, Rakuten is a company that provides you exactly that, with some extra features.

If you are familiar with affiliate marketing, you will recognize the name eBates. For those who are new in the online shopping market, our Rakuten review will explain all the benefits of such purchases.

Keep reading and find answers to all the important questions.

How does Rakuten work and is it even a legit way of earning money are just some of the topics we’ll be mentioning.

In other words, if you think you couldn’t save money with online shopping, think twice.

What is Rakuten?

ebates is now rakuten

Rakuten is a large e-commerce and internet company based in Tokyo. Since its founding in 1997, it has shaped the way people shop online. It offers not only cashback but also various deals and rewards on a large selection of products and services.

Moreover, Rakuten is a browser extension and an app-based service. Their main goal is to help customers save money on the things they are already buying.

That’s why they have several ways to operate.

Furthermore, in order to get cashback, they give you an option of online shopping or in-store shopping. It’s up to you to choose the option you like more.

However, when talking about Rakuten, it is necessary to mention the name eBates. One of the most popular cashback portals has been around since 1998.

  • Finally, in 2014, Rakuten acquired eBates.
  • In early 2019, eBates officially changed the name to Rakuten, which means ‘optimism’ in Japanese.

Except for the new name and logo, nothing else has changed. Therefore, those who already created an account with eBates, don’t have to worry because Rakuten is the same thing as eBates.

The account will remain the same, you don’t need to update anything or create a new account.

The only (and the biggest) difference is a wider program with more offers. It still remains one of the best apps to make money out there.

For those who are new to affiliate marketing, check out the numbers. To date, 12 million members in the US have earned more than $1 billion in cashback.

In other words, the company gives its customers a cashback of between 1% and 40% on almost anything they buy.

Cashback Payment Method Min To
Cash Out
Next Steps
Up to 40% PayPal or Gift Cards $5 Read Full Review

How is that possible? Keep reading our Rakuten review and find out why Rakuten cashback is called an easy cashback.

Rakuten Review: How does Rakuten work

Not only does Rakuten have great deals but also it’s really easy to use.

All you have to do is shop via a link through Rakuten.com and choose the store before making any purchase. However, keep in mind that if you go back to the shopping site directly, without clicking the link, you won’t earn Rakuten cashback.

Each store link will show you the percentage of cashback you’ll earn after the purchase.

Furthermore, the Rakuten cashback percentage varies depending on the store and the things you buy.

For example, one store can offer you 3% back on regular purchases and 20% back on home products.

The cashback percentage can also change from time to time, depending on store deals and offers. Sometimes, the store can even offer double cash back!

To find these amazing deals, just click the ‘Double Cashback Stores’ button in the main menu bar.

Finally, if you are wondering how giving you cashback is payable to Rakuten, here it is. Each store they collaborate with gives them money for referring you to buy with them.

This way, it is a win-win situation for the company, the store and for you.

Some of the names that find Rakuten excellent to collaborate with are Walmart, Nike, Macy’s, Kohl’s, Lowe’s, etc.

How rakuten works


They also work with several travel sites such as Qatar Airlines, Expedia, Air France, British Airways, Booking.com, Marriot Hotels & Resorts, TripAdvisor Hotels, and many others.

In this case, too, you need to click through the Rakuten website to any of the travel sites and then complete your booking on the actual travel site.

How to create an account with Rakuten

First things first. To create an account, visit the Rakuten website and click the ‘Join Now’ button. The sign-up process is a piece of cake.

You can sign up using the email address and password you created. The other way to sign up is by using your Facebook or Google account. The next step is to agree to their Terms & Conditions and you are part of the team!

In addition, the best part about creating an account with Rakuten is that you will get a sign-up cash bonus of $10.

To qualify for a welcome bonus, you will need to make a minimum purchase of at least $25 within 90 days of becoming a member.

Rakuten sign-in


Similarly, Rakuten offers great referral programs where you can also earn some cash. The company will pay you $5 per person that you refer to.

The only condition is they sign up via your referral link and use Rakuten at least once to buy something over $25. Another win-win situation.

Refer as many friends as you want. The more the merrier!


How do I Start with Rakuten?

When it comes to finding the best cashback offers, the first option is to search their website.

Online purchase is becoming more and more popular among customers and that’s why Rakuten developed a user-friendly website.

Besides searching the offers on the web, there are three more options you can use this cashback site. Let’s explain each of them.

Cash Back Button

The first option is to add a ‘Cashback Button’, which is a browser extension for Google Chrome.

When you visit a store with a cashback offer, the extension will notify you by sending you a pop-up in the right-hand corner of your screen.

In the same way, it will alert you when it finds discounts or available coupon codes.

Moreover, the extension will insert Rakuten cashback percentages into your Google search results. This way, you will know which stores have the best cashback.

Finally, if the store doesn’t offer cashback, Rakuten will try to direct you to a similar one.

In other words, the extension will alert you if the product is available for a lower price at some other store. It is definitely a useful tool and the easiest way to use Rakuten.


Rakuten App

The other way to use Rakuten is to install the app. Rakuten app is available for both Android and iPhone. It is a great option if you are always on the go and want to do a quick shopping.

Using the app is much easier than using the coupons, as you can always click a retailer to see available offers.

Just like using the website, you can search by a store’s currently available cashback deals.

rakuten rewards ios and android app

In-Store Cash Back

Earning Rakuten cashback is not only enabled for online shopping but also for in-store shopping. For all those who prefer to shop in-store, Rakuten has created the ‘In-Store Cashback’ option.

To use this option, you’ll need to download the app or log in to your Rakuten account on a website.

After you log in, click the ‘In-Store Cash Back’ button and you will get a variety of offers you can choose from. Find the store you’re interested in and opt for ‘Get Deal’. The next step is to add your credit or debit card.

It should be an eligible Visa, American Express or MasterCard.

In other words, the card you usually use while shopping at stores. After you add the card to your Rakuten account, you will need to link available In-Store Cashback offers to your card.

This way you will automatically earn cashback while purchasing in local stores.

Rakuten shopping partners


However, don’t be surprised if your Rakuten cashback balance is not changed immediately. Sometimes it can take from a few hours up to seven days to confirm the order.

Rakuten Review: Is Rakuten Free?

Using Rakuten is completely free. You don’t have to pay anything to create an account and join the team.

Is Rakuten Safe?

Rakuten promotes its services as safe and secure. As two District Attorneys who used to prosecute online fraud started the company, the whole situation about security gets to seriousness.

Therefore, the Rakuten website has TRUSTe certification, as well as an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau. Moreover, the site is tested daily by McAfee security.

When it comes to adding a credit card to Rakuten, all the information you provide is encrypted and secure.


Rakuten Review: Pros & Cons

Like any other platform, Rakuten also has several benefits and disadvantages. Our Rakuten review brings you a complete overview of all the important pros and cons.

Rakuten Pros

There are various good things about Rakuten, such as:

  1. Easy to Use

Using Rakuten is extremely easy, whether you opt for a website, browser extension, or an app. All you have to do is create an account on their website, click on the store you’re interested in and shop as you would usually do.

Simple as that!

However, using a browser extension is probably the easiest way to use Rakuten as it doesn’t require you to manually search for deals.

  1. Cashback

Who doesn’t like to save some money, especially if the process is not demanding? With Rakuten, you can save money at the stores you usually buy. The site has various cashback offers at many different stores.

rakuten cashback


By using Rakuten, you can get from 1% to 40% cash rebates.

  1. Variety of Deals

Rakuten provides cashback offers in more than 2,500 stores and companies. In other words, the chance you’ll find a store where you already shop is enormous.

Furthermore, cashback offers are available for online shopping, as well as in-store shopping.

Some of the most popular names the site collaborates with are Booking.com, Walmart, Target, Kohl’s, etc.

  1. Referral Programs

For all those who want to earn extra money, Rakuten has you covered. Besides paying you a welcome bonus of $10, they will also reward you for bringing in new members.

In other words, they will pay you $5 per person who joins the team and makes a purchase of at least $25.

In addition, sometimes they have additional promotions. For example, they can give you $25 for each person you refer to up to three people.

  1. Free and Safe

Creating an account is completely free. Furthermore, using the site is safe and secure. Rakuten is TRUSTe certified and tested daily by McAfee security.

Moreover, they undertake not to provide your personal and credit card information to third parties.

This way, they protect customers from fraudulent charges and identity theft.

See Related: 14 Best Apps Like Shopkick

  1. Customer Service

Rakuten has great customer service. Communicate with them via a service ticket. After filling out the form and submitting your electronic receipt, they will get in touch as soon as possible.

Rakuten Cons

The site has several things they need to improve, such as:

  1. Frequency of Payments

Rakuten payments are sent out four times a year (every three months). Check out the table below for additional information.

Rakuten schedule of payment

In other words, you can’t choose on your own to get your Rakuten cashback when you wish. Instead, they will email you a check each quarter.

  1. Excluded Products

Almost every store featured on Rakuten has excluded products. These can include cellular phone purchases, gift cards, financial center transactions, etc.

In other words, things where you cannot receive a rebate.

  1. Impulsive Shopping

Lots of sales and cashback offers can result in impulsive shopping. If you have a problem with overspending, self-control is needed when using Rakuten.

  1. Limited Purchases

Using Rakuten is limited to the United States and Japan. Moreover, companies, legal entities, and partnerships are not allowed to make a purchase.

  1. Order issues

Once you make an order, you cannot change it or cancel it. Also, orders may take longer to get delivered if you are not from Japan.

  1. Account issues

You cannot purchase or sell products without creating an account. However, a created account can be disabled permanently without any prior notice.

See Related: Realistic Ways to Get Free Money Now

Rakuten Review: Is Rakuten Scam or Legit?

One of the most common questions is whether Rakuten is a scam or legit. As you will read in many other previous Rakuten reviews, using the site is safe and secure. Therefore, Rakuten is completely legit.

It gives you free money while purchasing your usual goods.

With more than 2,500 stores and companies to choose from, almost everyone can earn some cashback.

However, it is important to use Rakuten wisely if you want to save money and not break the bank.

Rakuten Review: Conclusion

Rakuten is a legitimate way to earn cashback on purchasing products you usually buy. Even if you don’t do a lot of retail shopping, you can still save money and earn some cash.

It doesn’t cost any money to sign up (you will even get a welcome bonus!), so it’s totally worth the try. Like any other platform, Rakuten also has several benefits and disadvantages. Probably the best part about it is earning cashback on a regular basis by buying everyday products.

Moreover, if you are not a fan of online shopping, in-store shopping is also included.


The company collaborates with more than 2,500 stores and companies and has thousands of products of all shapes and sizes. Therefore, you will probably find the ones you usually buy.

Keep in mind that Rakuten will send you notifications about special deals unless you subscribe or turn them off.

Finally, to make most of the Rakuten services, include all the features mentioned above and decide if those are right for you.

We can only tell you one thing. Earning easy cashback with a sign-up bonus was never so appealing!

Did you find this Rakuten review helpful? Have you already tried the site? Feel free to share your opinions by contacting me directly! We look forward to reading about your experiences.

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