Thrifty Tony

How to Score Cash Back with Rakuten (I made over $350 so far)

Rakuten cash back

Since my first Rakuten purchase back in November 2019, I’ve earned a total of over $350 in cash back.

If you’re new to Rakuten, my goal is to show you how easy it is to earn cash back on your purchases, and before we get into that, let me give you a quick overview of my cashback history.

My Rakuten Cash Back History

I earned my first $10 in cash back simply by signing up for Rakuten, and you can now earn $30 simply by signing up for Rakuten with my referral link.

DateDescriptionAmountCash BackPercentage
11/29/2019Laptop from Dell$2,754.39$330.5312%
2/18/2020Chromecast from Dell$69.00$6.9010%
9/15/2020USB hub from HYPER$90.00$3.604%
9/22/2020Hampton Inn hotel room$294.68$2.951%
11/20/2020Course from Udemy$17.38$1.300.75%
4/7/2021Perfume from Groupon$37.99$0.760.2%
Including my sign up bonus of $10, I earned over $350 from Rakuten cash back.

My first purchase was a laptop from Dell which cost me $2,700 and the cash back on this was over $330. This equates to a very generous 12% cash back. 

In May I earned another $6.90 in cashback from a $69 Dell purchase which this time equates to 10% in earnings.

Stores will have different cashback percentages and these percentages might change over time.

Every 3 months, Rakuten will add up all of the cashback from your eligible purchases, and send you a check in the mail.

My first Rakuten check for over $340!

Rakuten Return Policy

In my situation, I actually ended up returning the laptop a couple of weeks after buying it for a full refund from Dell, but for whatever reason, I was able to keep my cashback reward.

I’m not sure if this is always the case, but that was just my experience in this situation.

How Does Rakuten Work?

At this time, there are over 2,500 stores that are on Rakuten, and to earn cashback at any of the participating stores, all you have to do is go to, search for the store that you want to shop at, click on the shop now button, and that will redirect you to the retailer’s website.

Notice here that the web address is made up of this really long gibberish.

This really long web address allows the online store to know that you are a Rakuten shopper so it can reward you with cash back on your purchases.

The long URL actually allows Macy’s in this case to understand that you’re a Rakuten shopper and knowing this, Macy’s will reward Rakuten with a percentage of your shopping total. 

You can think of this as a commission that Rakuten earns for referring you to, and in turn Rakuten will share this commission with you in the form of 2% cashback in this case.

To make it even easier to earn cashback, Rakuten also has web browser extensions that you can install which will show a pop up when you navigate to a website that offers Rakuten cashback. In these cases, you don’t even have to go to but rather simply just click on the “Activate cashback” button and continue shopping as normal.

As a reminder, get $30 free in cash back when you use my referral link.

Thrifty Tony

Thrifty Tony

Tony approaches most things in life with a budget-conscious mindset while at the same time maximizing investments which results in an ideal balance between spending and saving. And of course he enjoys free things and bonuses every now and then.