Shopping on Cyber Monday is my jam. I avoid the crowds, long lines and in-person shopping drama. And, even better, I save big. I look forward to Cyber Monday even more ever since I learned how to save more with Ebates – a no gimmicks cash back website.
Whether you decide to shop on Cyber Monday, or surf the web on Black Friday, using Rakuten (formerly known as Ebates) is essential in saving the most money possible while online shopping. The company’s name changed from Ebates to Rakuten in 2019 but everything about saving money has stayed the same! I’ve been using the Rakuten website for all of my online purchases since 2010 and during that time I have earned more than $600. Today I am sharing my tried and true hacks for using Rakuten and earn the most money possible.
Save More With Ebates
What is Rakuten?
Rakuten is a website that is free to join and offers users cash back on purchases they would normally make online anyway. Rakuten partners with online retailers to offer specials, coupon codes and promotional discounts. Rakuten receives money from those online retailers every time someone uses the Rakuten website to make a purchase through a particular store. No gimmicks!
How I Earned $700+ with Rakuten
I joined Rakuten way back in 2010 and over the last 8 years I have earned more than $600 in cash back on online purchases. In order to save more with Rakuten, I am mindful to use Rakuten every time I make a purchase online. Like many shoppers, over the years I have started to do more and more online shopping, so my Ebates earnings continue to increase month after month.
I do a lot of Cyber Monday shopping through Rakuten, but I also use Rakuten year-round. Sometimes the cash back amounts are small, such as 20 cents or $1.50, but these small amounts add up over time to big savings. I’m honestly in shock at how much I have saved over the years.
How Do You Use Rakuten?
You must sign up to use Rakuten (you will receive a $10 cash bonus when you make your first purchase totaling $25 or more). Registration is simple and only takes a minute. All you need to do is enter your email and create a password.
Then every time you shop online you begin your shopping trip from Rakuten. For example, if you were making a purchase from Target, instead of going directly to the Target website, you would log into the Rakuten website, search for Target and click on the store listing in the Rakuten directory.
When you click on the listing Rakuten will automatically open a new web browsing window and take you directly to Target, and provide a ticket number for your shopping trip. Rakuten uses this number to track your purchase. Once your online purchase is verified by Rakuten you will receive an email notification that cash back has been applied to your Rakuten account.
This verification and notification process usually only takes a day, or a week, at most. Rakuten has become very quick at verifying purchases so you save more with Rakuten immediately. If for any reason you don’t receive verification you can simply file a help ticket with Rakuten to ask for an update on the status of your cash back.
Rakuten Sends You Cash
One thing I really like about using the Rakuten website is that the cash back be received as a check! The minimum threshold to receive a check is also reasonable at only $5.01. This way I can cash or deposit the check and use the cash back however and wherever I want. If you prefer, you can receive your cash back through PayPal.
A lot of websites will try to give you shopping incentives with “tokens” or “credits” or they might only pay via PayPal. I prefer to receive cash and able to then use that money however I want. The cash component is what really sold me on Rakuten when I first tried the website.
The cash back amount from Rakuten varies depending on the store and deal. I’ve seen anywhere from 1 percent to 40 percent cash back. When shopping this holiday season, here are my tips to save more with Rakuten. During Black Friday and Cyber Monday, I typically see the largest cash back bonuses of the year.
Save More With Ebates
- Download the Rakuten Cash Back Button: The Rakuten Cash Back Button, is simply a widget for Google Chrome. Once installed, whenever you visit an online retailer that is an Rakuten participant, this widget will pop up reminding you to use your Ebates account for cash back.
- Use Rakuten for Large Purchases: Are you looking to upgrade your clothes washer and dryer? When it was time to upgrade our appliances, I was able to save more with Rakuten. When making these large purchases I do like to purchase from a “big box store” in my neighborhood such as Lowe’s or Home Depot, just in case a return is needed. I earned about $60 in cash back when I made my appliance purchases through Rakuten.
- Use Rakuten for Lodging: I was using Rakuten for a few years before I realized many hotel chains were on Rakuten too! Now whenever we travel and make a hotel reservation in advance I will try to book my hotel through Rakuten. This has resulted in some large cash back. Sometimes the cash back has been as much as 8 percent. If the hotel is for one night at $149, that’s about $12 in cash back.
- Use the Ship to Store Feature: I don’t mind going into a store to pick an item up if it means I don’t pay a shipping fee. An example of a retailer you can do this at is Kohl’s. Make your purchase though Rakuten and then select the ship to store option and pick up your order at the customer service desk. This way you are able to save more with Rakuten than had you simply shopped in person at the store.
- Seek Out Free Shipping Deals: Alternately, if the retailers you shop from don’t offer in store pickup, make your purchases when there is a shipping special. Cyber Monday is great for this as most retailers will offer free shipping on all purchases with no minimum purchase required. During the rest of the year, some stores will offer periodic specials. For example, Babies”R”Us often offers free shipping with a minimum purchase of only $19.
- Shop on Black Friday & Cyber Monday: In addition to free shipping, many stores offer increased or double cash back on Black Friday and Cyber Monday through Rakuten. If your purchase isn’t urgent, wait until one of these days to make your purchase to save more with Rakuten. I usually have a list going of gifts I want to purchase for people and for household items we need but that are not urgent. I will go on a mini online shopping spree to save more with Rakuten when these big sales happen.
Start Using Rakuten Today
If you sign up through my link for a free Rakuten account, you will receive a $10 cash bonus from Rakuten. This bonus will be on top of the cash back you receive for your purchases! All you have to do is sign up and then make a purchase of at least $25 over the next 90 days.
Really when it comes to online shopping, you can’t lose with Rakuten. If you try out these hacks to save more with rakuten you will find even more cash in your pocketbook. I only wish I had discovered Rakuten sooner. Once you try Rakuten and see how easy the website is to use, I’m sure you will feel the same way too.
*This post was originally published in 2016 and has been updated and republished for accuracy and comprehensiveness.