Rakuten Canada Review: Get Cash Back on Your Online Purchases

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by Enoch Omololu

Updated

Advertiser Disclosure

Ebates recently rebranded as Rakuten and has over 5 million members in Canada.

Rakuten Canada is an online cash back shopping portal or gateway to many of your favourite retailers. The idea behind their business model is simple – you start your online shopping from Rakuten, proceed to your favourite store, and you earn cash back on your eligible purchases.

Ebates Inc. was originally founded in 1998 by two deputy district attorneys in the U.S. In 2012, they expanded the business to Canada, and are also present in China and South Korea. 

Rakuten Canada has its headquarters in Toronto.

How Rakuten Works

rakuten canada

The idea behind the cash back savings on Rakuten is fairly straightforward.

Rakuten directs traffic to some major online stores, they advertise the coupons and deals on offer by these stores and get paid by the stores for the sales they generate.

Does that sound familiar to you? If it does, it’s probably because it sounds very much like the traditional affiliate marketing strategy:

You have a product for sale, I help you advertise that product, and when I facilitate the sale of your product, you pay me a commission (or referral fee) for my service.

So, Rakuten gets paid for sending business to a retailer, and they then turn around and share some of their commissions with you (the buyer).

So far, they have paid nearly $1 billion to members!

Sign up for Rakuten and Get a $5 Cash Bonus.

How To Sign Up For Rakuten

Signing up is easy. You can use your existing Facebook account, or enter your email address and a password to get started. Canadians get a $5 welcome cash bonus on sign-up ($10 if you reside in the U.S.).

As a Canadian, you can become a member of Rakuten U.S. as well if you make online purchases from U.S. based stores. Your two accounts (Canada and U.S.) will track your cash backs separately.

Rakuten Sign up plus 5 dollar bonus

After signing up, you can choose to access their website anytime you want to purchase an item online from your favourite retailers, or you can use their smartphone or tablet app. They also have a Google Chrome extension that makes cashback easier and faster than ever.

Pro Tip: Your $5 welcome bonus is credited to your account after you have made your first purchase of $25 or more within 30 days of signing up.  So following sign-up, ensure you go through your Rakuten account when next you shop online!

How To Get Paid on Rakuten

After signing up, you are now ready to receive cash backs. You have three options for getting paid:

  • Big Fat Cheque – a cheque is mailed to your postal address on file.
  • Paypal – your cash back is deposited in your Paypal account.
  • Charity – your cash back is sent to your charity of choice. They can also send your cash back to a friend or family member of your choice.
ebates

When you want to shop online, visit Rakuten and take a look at the store(s) you want to buy an item from. If the store is a partner with Rakuten, they will display the current cash back offering by that store.

For example, this 5% Cash Back by Amazon (could be more or less depending on the product category and offers at the time of your purchase).

Click on the store and you will be directed to the store’s home page where you will make your purchases as usual.

rakuten offer

There are currently over 750 stores that can be shopped at using Rakuten Canada. On the U.S. website, you have access to over 2,500 stores.

Following your purchase of the product, your account should be credited with your cash back in 48 hours or less. Your cash back accumulates in your account and is paid out every 3 months using the payout method you have chosen for your account. The payout schedule is as follows:

rakuten cheque payment dates

If your total cashback amount is less than $5.01, it’s carried forward to the next payout period.

JOIN RAKUTEN AND EARN REWARDS

Other Ways To Get Paid

Cash back from purchasing items from online stores is not the only way to make money on Rakuten (Ebates). You can also earn money (referred to as Bonus Rewards) by referring friends and family to use Rakuten.

Your referral link can be found on the website after you have signed up. Just forward your link to the person so they can use it to sign-up.

You earn $5 for referring 1 person and $10 for referring 2 people plus a $40 bonus. Essentially, if you refer 2 people who go on to use Rakuten for their online purchases, you earn a $50 reward bonus!

ebates

It doesn’t stop there. You can earn much more by referring lots of people (friends, family, and pretty much anyone) to Rakuten as shown below:

rakuten referral

Referral bonus promotions on Rakuten (Ebates) may change depending on what they are currently offering or the season, but the bottom line is that you get cash whenever you refer someone to use their website.

Is Rakuten (Ebates) Worth It?

There are many online opportunities and offerings that are not worth the effort. Is Rakuten any different?

If you do a lot of your shopping online and your favourite stores partner with Rakuten (over 750 stores currently), you can actually get some worthwhile cash back.

For example, using the current 7.5% cash back offer on Hudson’s Bay:

rakuten discount offers

$200 purchase could return $15 to your pocket in cash back. This rewards can add up over time into some serious savings!

Rakuten also advertises coupon codes and other discounts provided by retailers, so you can easily compare what’s available directly on their website for the best savings possible.

So, to answer the question posed above, Rakuten is worth it if you are actually buying an item that you would otherwise purchase anyway, and you are buying it at the current best price available. I don’t do a lot of shopping online, but so far have gotten about $24 in cash back with zero problems.

To start earning cashback every day and also receive your $5 welcome bonus (or $10 for U.S. residents), sign up for Rakuten using the appropriate links below, and make sure your next online shopping is done through your Rakuten account!

What other cash back apps are you using? Let us know in the comments.

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Rakuten Review
  • Product Variety and Offers
  • Participating Stores
  • Ease of Use
  • App
  • Overall Value
4.7

Summary

Rakuten is a popular online cash back shopping gateway to many of your favourite stores and retailers. Start earning real cash back for your online shopping and for referring friends.

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Author

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Enoch Omololu

Enoch Omololu is a personal finance expert and a veterinarian. He has a master’s degree in Finance and Investment Management from the University of Aberdeen Business School (Scotland) and has completed several courses and certificates in finance, including the Canadian Securities Course. He also has an MSc. in Agricultural Economics from the University of Manitoba and a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from the University of Ibadan. Enoch has a passion for helping others win with their personal finances and has been writing about money matters for over a decade. His writing has been featured or quoted in the Toronto Star, The Globe and Mail, MSN Money, Financial Post, Winnipeg Free Press, CPA Canada, Credit Canada, Wealthsimple, and many other personal finance publications.

His top investment tools include Wealthsimple and Questrade. He earns cash back on purchases using KOHO, monitors his credit score for free using Borrowell, and earns interest on savings through EQ Bank.

5 thoughts on “Rakuten Canada Review: Get Cash Back on Your Online Purchases”

  1. I love EBATES! I swear they are like one of the best programs out there that give you cash back with NO problems.

    My fiance ordered an engagement ring from Blue Nile and we got cash back for it… Even with 1%, the cash back was pretty darn good because of the purchase amount.

    Even with other stores like The Bay, Nike, Foot Locker, etc. when it’s the 3X event, it’s even better! Not that I shop a lot but like you said, you may as well if you’re already buying it anyway.

    Great post and review on ebates!!

    Reply
    • @finsavvypanda: I try not to do a lot of online shopping as well, but whenever we have something to purchase on Amazon(usually kids stuff), I always ensure that we go via Ebates so we can earn the cash back.

      Reply
  2. Hi Enoch!

    We sure do love Ebates! We’ve gotten at least $380 in cash back over a period of 10-11 months! I think most of it came from a laptop we got. So I say Ebates is hassle free and worth the extra step of one click considering what you get in return. 🙂

    I really like their Google Chrome Extension because sometimes I forget about Ebates and it immediately pops up to alert me of a chance to use it; very convenient!

    Great post!

    Reply
    • Hi Lily: That’s some great savings for you guys right there! The Chrome extension works great for us as well…I often forget to check if a store/product is available for cash back on Ebates, but then I get the pop-up. What’s not to like!

      Thanks for stopping by!

      Reply
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