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Drop vs. Rakuten 2024: Which Cash Back App is Better?


Fact Checked

Drop and Rakuten are cash back apps that reward you when you shop online or in-store using their app. They work similarly with other popular apps like Ampli, Checkout51, and TopCashback.

These top two apps also offer other opportunities to make money, such as completing surveys, watching ads and playing games. 

In this Drop vs. Rakuten review, I will cover how these apps work, their pros, cons, differences, and similarities, and which one to choose on your next shopping trip.

Drop vs. Rakuten

What it isA cashback rewards platformA shopping rewards app
Cost to joinFreeFree
Signup bonus$30 bonus when you spend at least $30Sign up using this Drop invite referral link and link a card, you receive 5,000 FREE points ($5 value).
How to earn rewards/pointsShop using the Rakuten website or app to earn cash back automatically based on available offers.By shopping at participating retailers
Minimum payout threshold$5.01 (pays cash back four times yearly (February, May, August, and November))Starting at $25 or 25,000 points
Cash back rateUp to 40%Based on the retailer/brand
Rewards you earnPayPal or chequeFree gift cards
Has browser extensionYesYes
App RatingsGoogle Play (4.1/5) and App Store (3.9/5)Google Play (4.3/5) and App Store (4.6/5)
Referral ProgramInvite friends to sign up at Rakuten and earn $30 when they complete their first purchaseSend your referral link to friends. When they use your link to join Drop, they will get a $10 credit that will automatically be applied toward their first purchase of $50. When they complete the purchase, you will earn a $10 credit.
SecuritySecure Socket Layer (SSL) internet connectionTransport Layer Security (TLS)

What is Drop?

Drop is a shopping rewards app founded in Toronto, Canada, in 2016. It is available to residents of Canada and the U.S. and has over 5 million users.

This app is free; you can download it on the App Store and Google Play Store.

Drop Cash Back App

drop app

Earn cashback when you shop

Get paid to take surveys & watch ads

Easily cash out for gift cards

How Does The Drop App Work?

When you join Drop and link a bank card (debit or credit card), you automatically earn Drop points whenever you shop offers at participating retailers.

There is no need to upload your receipt since transactions are tracked automatically.

You can redeem these points for free gift cards such as Amazon gift cards, UberEats, Starbucks, Indigo, Visa Gift Cards, and many others.

What is Rakuten?

Rakuten is one of the largest cash back rewards platforms in the world. It was founded in 1999 in the United States and has since expanded to other countries, including Canada.

Rakuten is free to join and has partnerships with over 3,500 stores. Its 7 million+ Canadian members have earned over $70 million since 2021.



$30 sign-up bonus when you spend at least $30

Earn up to 40% cashback

Features 3,000 stores and retailers

Redeem earnings by PayPal & check

How Does Rakuten Work?

After creating an account, you can shop as usual using the Rakuten website or app and earn cash back automatically based on available offers.

Cash back is paid in dollars, and you can cash out via PayPal or cheque.

To take advantage of discounts, visit Rakuten and click through to your preferred store when shopping online or use the browser extension and get alerts wherever discounts are available.

Drop vs Rakuten: Cash back Rewards

On Drop, you earn points based on offers from various brands.

On Rakuten, you earn cash back based on the discount shown for each retailer or product. Cash back offers on Rakuten can be as high as 50% off.

Verdict: Rakuten pays real cash back and has more discounts available anytime.

Drop vs. Rakuten: Redemption Options

You can redeem Drop points for gift cards starting at $25 or 25,000 points.

Rakuten pays your cash back four times yearly in February, May, August, and November.

The minimum payout threshold is $5.01, and payment methods are PayPal or a physical cheque. You can also request an Amazon gift card.

Verdict: Rakuten is better than Drop in this regard, with multiple redemption options. Also, many Drop users have complained that they are unable to cash out their earnings in recent times.

Drop vs Rakuten: Other Ways To Earn

Drop users can also earn points by answering surveys and playing games. For Rakuten, you only get paid when you shop.

Verdict: Drop offers alternative ways to earn rewards; however, these can be few and far between.

Drop vs. Rakuten: App Ratings

Both Rakuten and Drop have positively rated mobile apps.

  • Drop: Google Play (4.3/5) and App Store (4.6/5).
  • Rakuten: Google Play (4.1/5) and App Store (3.9/5).

You can also access Rakuten via a web interface which makes it easy to earn cash back while on your computer.

Verdict: Drop = Rakuten

Drop vs. Rakuten: Referral Program

When you join Drop, you may get 5,000 bonus points ($5) after linking your first card. You can also invite friends and earn points.

When you Join Rakuten here and make your first purchase of $30 or more, you get a $30 bonus.

You can invite an unlimited number of friends using your referral link, and you both get $30 after they complete their first purchase of $30 or more via Rakuten (within 90 days of joining).

Verdict: Rakuten has a more robust referral program than Drop.

Drop vs. Rakuten: Security

Drop uses Transport Layer Security (TLS) to protect your data, and your bank login credentials are not stored on its servers.

Rakuten uses Secure Socket Layer (SSL) internet connection to protect your information. Also, it does not receive your credit card information.

Are They Legit?

Drop and Rakuten are legitimate companies.

Drop has a 3.7/5 rating on Trustpilot but an F rating on the Better Business Bureau (BBB).

Rakuten has a 4.1/5 rating on Trustpilot from over 200,000 reviews and a B rating on the BBB.

Drop vs Rakuten

Pros and Cons of Drop


  • Earn free points (rewards) when you shop
  • Cash back is tracked automatically- no need to upload receipts
  • Multiple gift card options to choose from
  • More than one way to earn


  • It takes a long time to earn the minimum $25 required for a payout
  • A limited selection of offers
  • No cash option when redeeming points
  • Several complaints alleging it is difficult to cash out

Pros and Cons of Rakuten


  • $30 sign up bonus
  • Has partnerships with hundreds of popular brands
  • You earn ‘real’ cash back
  • Low payout threshold at $5.01
  • Available via a web interface and mobile apps
  • Browser extension alerts you when there are offers available online


  • Payment is every quarter

Drop vs Rakuten: Which is Better?

Rakuten is the better cash back rewards platform, with more offers, brands, products, and real cash paid to your account.

You can always use both Rakuten and Drop. Compare the discounts before making a purchase, and go with the one that pays you more.


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Redeem cash rewards earned by PayPal, cheque, or Amazon gift cards.


Gravatar for Enoch Omololu, MSc (Econ)
Enoch Omololu, MSc (Econ)

Enoch Omololu, personal finance expert, author, and founder of Savvy New Canadians, has written about money matters for over 10 years. Enoch has an MSc (Econ) degree in Finance and Investment Management from the University of Aberdeen Business School and has completed the Canadian Securities Course. His expertise has been highlighted in major publications like Forbes, Globe and Mail, Business Insider, CBC News, Toronto Star, Financial Post, CTV News, TD Direct Investing, Canadian Securities Exchange, and many others. Enoch is passionate about helping others win with their finances and recently created a practical investing course for beginners. You can read his full author bio.

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