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How Does Rakuten Work and are You Really Getting Paid to Shop?

It's not really as complicated as you think - but is there a downside?

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How Does Rakuten Work 2024

Sure, we’re always looking to save as much as we can around here, stretch our budget and maximize savings. Enter Rakuten: a popular cash-back and rewards platform that promises to turn your everyday purchases into opportunities for financial gain.

We’ll walk you through Rakuten, in regards to our experience, and demystify how Rakuten works, helping you navigate this digital landscape to unlock substantial savings.

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A High-Level Overview of Rakuten

Rakuten, often referred to as the “Cash Back King,” is an online platform that allows users to earn cashback on their purchases from a multitude of retailers. The concept is simple yet powerful – Rakuten forms partnerships with various online stores, and when users make purchases through the Rakuten portal, they receive a percentage of their spending back in the form of cashback.

The Ins and Outs of How Rakuten Works

It’s not overly complicated, but let’s walk through what you need to do in order to get Rakuten working best for you.

1.  Sign Up and Activate Cashback:  To begin your cashback journey with Rakuten, you first need to create an account on the Rakuten website or mobile app. Once your account is set up, you can explore the extensive list of partnered retailers. Before making a purchase, activate the cashback offer for the specific retailer by clicking on the store’s listing on the Rakuten platform.

2.  Shop Through Rakuten:  After activating the cashback offer, proceed to shop on the retailer’s website as you normally would. Add items to your cart, take advantage of discounts, and complete your purchase. Rakuten’s tracking system will register your spending activity during this process.

3.  Cashback Calculation:  The cashback percentage you earn is calculated based on your total eligible purchase amount. This percentage varies depending on the retailer and any ongoing promotions. For example, if the cashback rate is 5% and you spend $100, you would earn $5 in cashback.

4.  Cashback Updates:  Rakuten periodically updates your account with the earned cashback. It’s important to note that the cashback amount is not immediately available after your purchase. The updates occur on a schedule set by Rakuten.

5.  Quarterly Payouts:  Rakuten operates on a quarterly payment schedule. The quarters correspond to the calendar year, and the payout months are February, May, August, and November. For example, if you make purchases in January, February, and March, you can expect to receive your cashback for those transactions in May.

6.  Payout Options:  Once the payout date arrives, you can access your Rakuten account to see the total cashback earned. Rakuten provides various payout options, allowing you to choose how you’d like to receive your money. Common options include receiving a check in the mail, a direct deposit to your PayPal account, or converting your earnings into a gift card for one of Rakuten’s partner retailers.

3 Extra Ways to Maximize Your Rakuten Savings

Stay Informed: Keep an eye on the Rakuten platform, mobile app, or browser extension for special promotions, exclusive deals, and limited-time cashback offers.

Refer Friends and Family: Take advantage of Rakuten’s referral program to earn additional bonuses by introducing friends and family to the platform.

Activate the Browser Extension: Install the Rakuten browser extension to receive reminders about activating cashback offers when visiting partner websites.

What Happens When You Return Something?

Don’t sweat it if you have to eventually return something you purchased while using Rakuten.  They got you covered, but there are a few things to keep in mind. 

Here’s how Rakuten typically handles returns and adjustments to your cashback:

Return Process:  When you return an item to the retailer from which you made the purchase, the retailer processes the return according to its own return policy. This may involve returning the item for a refund, exchange, or store credit.

Adjustment to Cashback:  Upon receiving notification of the return from the retailer, Rakuten adjusts your cashback accordingly. If you received cashback for the returned item, that amount is deducted from your total cashback balance.

Negative Cashback Balance:  In some cases, if the cashback earned from the returned item exceeds the total cashback you’ve earned on other purchases, you may end up with a negative cashback balance. This means you owe Rakuten the excess cashback amount, and it may be deducted from future cashback earnings.

Timeline for Adjustments:  The timeline for adjustments to your cashback balance depends on various factors, including the retailer’s return processing time and when Rakuten receives notification of the return. Typically, cashback adjustments are reflected in your account within a few weeks to a month after the return is processed by the retailer.

Communication from Rakuten:  Rakuten may send you notifications or updates regarding the status of your cashback balance, including any adjustments due to returns. It’s important to keep an eye on your Rakuten account and email inbox for any correspondence related to your cashback earnings.

 

In Conclusuion

By following these steps and staying informed about promotions and special offers, you can make the most of Rakuten’s cashback program and turn your online shopping into a rewarding experience. Remember, the key to maximizing earnings is to be patient and await the quarterly payouts for the cashback you’ve accumulated. Happy shopping and saving!

If you found our in-depth overview of how to save and get paid to shop with Rakuten, check out some other topics we’ve covered like helpful ways to find coupon codes online, if the Honey Coupon Extension is actually worth it, and the latest sales and deals happening online today.