8 Ways To Earn The Most Cash Back With Rakuten

Online shopping. We all do it sometimes, some of us more than others (me!). It’s easy and helps us avoid traffic, crowds, and having to get out of bed and get dressed. Plus we can get some good deals by using rewards apps.

There is one app I found that helps me to save money on the online purchases I make. That app is called Rakuten.
Computer on white desk showing the Rakuten homepage on the screen.  

(I am not a financial expert. All information is based on my own personal experience and research. This information is not meant to be financial advice and is just for educational purposes. This post includes some affiliate links. Should you click an affiliate link and make a purchase I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. )
When I first heard about Rakuten I thought it was a huge scam. So it took me a while and a lot of research to finally give in and sign up to give it a try. I was a bit hesitant at first so I didn’t use it as much as I should have so I missed out on earning as much cashback as I could have. Once I realized what I was missing out on I now don’t buy anything online without it.

What is Rakuten?

Rakuten is a cash back app or rewards program that pays you for shopping with certain retailers. Rakuten gets a commission on the purchases made through their portal and they share a portion of the commission with the purchaser.

I know, I know, it sounds too good to be true but it’s not. As of the writing of this post, I’ve earned a little over $100 in cash back. That’s $100 back in my pocket.

The cash back amounts vary by store and if Rakuten is having a double or triple cash back event for select stores. Most of the stores I shop at typically earn me 1-3% cash back on my purchases. While it doesn’t seem like a lot, it does add up for larger purchases (of which mine typically aren’t).

How to sign up for Rakuten

Getting started is really easy and only takes a few minutes. You can either sign up online at rakuten.com or you can download the Rakuten app.

If you use my referral link you may receive a cash bonus.

How to earn cash back with Rakuten

Once you’re all signed up that is when the fun really begins and you can start earning your cash back. As I mentioned I’ve been using Rakuten for several years and have learned how to better maximize the cash back that I earn.


1. Use the shopping assistant

Rakuten has a great browser extension that you can add to your browser so when you shop via your computer it alerts you if cash back is available for that site and how much. If you want to earn the cash back all you have to do is activate it without leaving the shopping site and you’re all set!

2. Download the app

If you prefer shopping via your phone you’ll want to download the app and use it to activate the cash back offers for the online stores you want to shop at.

3. Get in-store cash back

Yes, Rakuten also offers the opportunity to earn cash back on in-store purchases. The brands offering in-store cash back tend to vary so you’ll want to check this list before you head out to the store.

To earn in-store cash back you’ll need to do a few things
  • Link a credit card to your Rakuten account
  • Select the offers you want and activate them (one thing to note is these linked offers are valid for one purchase only so to make multiple purchases at the store you’ll have to relink the offer)
  • Use the linked card when doing your shopping

How to save money with Rakuten | A Relaxed Gal

4. Shop when there’s double cash back

Throughout the year Rakuten offers double cash back in some stores. I’ve seen cash back amounts up to 12% for some stores. It looks like the stores are rotated consistently so if there’s a store on the double cash back list that you were thinking of shopping at you may want to hop on it sooner rather than later or you may miss out.


5. Buy online and do store pickup

I’ve done this a few times. There’s something I want to receive immediately but also want to earn the cash back so I make my purchase online and select the pickup option for the store. 

6. Purchase gift cards

Yes, even I didn’t realize this. You can buy gift cards for some stores and get cash back! Rakuten even has a whole page showing which stores you can do this with. 

7. Get referrals

Everyone who has an account with Rakuten has the opportunity to earn some money when you get family, friends, and others to sign up for Rakuten using your referral link or code and make a purchase.

I’ve seen some people have been able to rack up a lot of extra cash by sharing their Rakuten referral link on their social profiles. I have not been one of them.

8. Use Rakuten to book travel

You can get cashback with Rakuten when you book your vacation or even work travel. I've had to travel for work including booking a hotel and renting a car. When I did both of those things I used sites where I could turn on the Rakuten shopping assistant and earn some cash back.

There are cash back options for some airlines, cruise lines, hotels, car rental, and travel booking sites. If you have the Rakuten browser extension it will automatically tell you which sites offer cash back.