If you are a big fan of online shopping, you would be familiar with two of the brands above. Ebates became Rakuten Ebates after it was acquired by the multi-billion dollar company in 2018, giving it a total makeover. So I decided to write a fresh review to show what’s new inside. If you want to know how to earn more as you shop, make sure to stick around till the end.
Rakuten Ebates at a Glance
Never pay at the retail price – that’s the mantra savvy shoppers will tell you and that is exactly what this site is offering. Rakuten Ebates partners with more than 2,500 stores nationwide to reward customers when they shop through the platform.
This is made possible with the affiliate business model whereby merchants pay commissions for referrals. In this case, the site refers customers (that’s you) to the merchant store and the commission is split between Rakuten Ebates and you.
The main rewards we are looking at are cashback (AND double cashback), discounts and coupon codes but there’s more. You also get deals that offer free shipping for a minimum purchase, free gifts with selected orders, buy one get one free and buy online and pick-up from a nearby store later.
Basically, all the fun stuff is pretty much the same as the older version of Ebates. If you’ve created an account or accumulated cashback in the past, none of those have changed. The exciting thing that’s different is actually the referral program which I will talk about shortly.
For new users, you just need to go to the official site, create a user account (it’s free) that is either link to Google or Facebook. Don’t forget to also download the mobile app for browsing convenience. Next, if you are using Chrome, I would recommend installing the Rakuten Button for better cashback notification.
Making Money from Shopping Rewards
Whether it’s the desktop or mobile version, navigating Rakuten Ebates is fairly easy. You can start by searching for your favorite stores to see if they are listed or you can select anything from the expansive product categories. If the Chrome button has been installed, you’ll be notified of any rewards whenever you’re browsing through any online stores.
Keep in mind that besides physical goods, online services are also available for purchase such as web hosting (i.e. GoDaddy and HostGator), subscriptions (i.e. Hello Fresh and Weight Watchers) and education (i.e. Udemy and Simplilearn). If you are into gift cards, they have that too.
Bigger stores generally have more rewards than smaller ones. When you find something desirable on the merchant page, simply click on the ‘Shop Now’ button and wait for a few seconds. The webpage will transition to the merchant store to allow you to shop as usual. Whatever cashback will be applied upon check out and the amount will be added to your account the following day.
$5 is the minimum requirement for withdrawal and the payment is made every 3 months via PayPal or checks (it’s also called the Big Fat Check). Here’s the breakdown of the payment schedule.
Pretty neat, right? Now let’s talk about the next exciting reward.
Making Money from the Referral Program
A referral program is basically a cash reward you make when referring a new member to use a platform. It’s very similar to affiliate marketing and this time, Rakuten Ebates is the one that pays you instead of the merchant.
So who should be using this program?
Well, if you are already earning cashback, you should definitely share the benefits with your friends and family. They can start shopping the same way you do by using your referral link to create an account. The other method is to blog about it and this is a great method if you are interested to create additional income streams online.
You see, eCommerce is booming in many industries and consumers are becoming more aware of better deals online. Rakuten Ebates is certainly an outlet they will enjoy if they aren’t already a member. Through blogging, you can share in-depth information on how to use the program for budget-saving and earning money – just like what I am doing with you here.
To get started, identify a niche that interest you. Then, focus on several products to write reviews (remember, you could also write about online services), publish the articles regularly and generate traffic to your blog. This way, you can earn referral rewards from a wider audience.
If you are wondering how to set up a blog, here’s a great tool to start for free.
Not a fan of writing blog posts? No problem. You could do YouTube videos instead and walk viewers through the process and your personal earning experience. Watching is believing and true enough, there is already a handful of video reviews about the program already. All of them have their referral links at the description text and that’s generally how people make money from YouTubing.
Is Rakuten Ebates Worth Your Time?
Millions of shoppers have earned billions of cashback from this site so it speaks volumes about the advantages you’ll be getting. With Rakuten Ebates, there are additional perks worth highlighting here though.
- It’s a legit program that pays. I’ve been using it for almost 2 years now and have earned a couple of hundreds over the last few shopping seasons. Likewise, most people whom I know have also earn their fair share of rewards. I could withdraw the money if I want to but for now, I am just going to treat it like a savings account and let it grow a bit more.
- As a cashback site, Rakuten Ebates has a lot – like really a lot – to offer. With more than 2K brands, one can surely find something to buy and make great savings on online purchases. In fact, I found it to be much better than the Honey Shopping App reviewed not too long ago.
- The rewards you see if what you get and they are all up-to-date. There are no disappointing expired coupon codes like what you’d encounter with less streamlined sites.
- The opportunity to earn from a referral at $25 per lead is darn lucrative and I hope it stays that way for as long as it is possible. There are still many people who don’t know or don’t use reward sites so the market opportunity is huge.
- If you are into gift card flipping, it’s worth checking the gift card deals in case you spot a high-value card for a low price. This means you can potentially resell and still make a lucrative profit.
With all the new rebranding and clean user interface, there isn’t really much negativity to say about Rakuten Ebates except maybe for these ones;
- Most offers are only available for customers living in the US or Canada. If you are outside of this region, buying physical goods may not be relevant due to the expensive delivery fee. Digital goods or services, however, may be more accessible because no shipping costs are involved.
Overall, Rakuten Ebates probably has one of the best cashback systems with ample varieties for shoppers. In terms of making money on the side, the referral program is certainly worth checking out.
Have you had any experience with Rakuten Ebates or the likes? Let us know in the comments below. Meanwhile, if you’re interested to start an online business through affiliate marketing, I welcome you to join this awesome training program – absolutely free for 7 days. Hope to see you there.