I do a lot of my shopping online, because I loathe shopping in stores. One tiny thing has saved me several hundred dollars over the years: I start all my online purchases at the Rakuten (formerly Ebates) website. It is so simple, and it works!
How Rakuten Works
Rakuten provides cash-back bonuses on shopping done through participating retailers, for both online and in-person shopping. Rakuten also helps you locate coupon codes to save the most on your shopping.
Rakuten issues payments quarterly. You can be paid by Paypal or check – I choose Paypal so I don’t lose a check. If you have less than $5.00 in your rebate account, it will roll over to the next quarter.
How To Use Rakuten
First, you have to sign up! Sign up through this link to get a $10 bonus after your first $25 purchase through Rakuten.
Once you’re signed up, using Rakuten is really easy!
They have a mobile app for your phone, which makes it easy to remember to use Rakuten when you’re doing online shopping.
I also have the Rakuten extension for my computer’s internet browser. When I am shopping at a store that has an affiliate relationship with Rakuten, I get a little pop-up that reminds me to log-in through Rakuten to earn my promotion. This has been super-helpful because I am very, very forgetful.
If you don’t like to use extensions for your browers, it is still easy. Log into the Rakuten website, select the retailer, check out the coupons, and click through. Then shop as usual.
If you get to the end of the transaction, and realize that you haven’t gone through Rakuten, just open it in a new window and then click through to the merchant’s site. You’ll have two merchant site windows open, both with the same shopping cart. Close the old window and complete the purchase on the page that is being tracked.
When you use the browser extension or go through the Rakuten website, you can see all the current coupon codes being offered by the retailer. That’s another way to save money.
You can connect Rakuten to your credit or debit card to get rebates when you shop at selected stores. It takes a minute to go through an “link” your card to each store, but after that there is nothing to do. Just use that debit or credit card to make your in-store purchases, and the rebate will be calculated automatically.
Bonus 1: When you sign up with Rakuten and make $25 in eligible purchases during your first 90 days of membership, you can also earn an additional $10 in rewards. This promo varies from day to day, so keep your eyes open.
Bonus 2: You can also make extra money by referring friends. You can do this via email, Facebook, Twitter, or links like the ones in this post. You’re helping your friends save money – everyone loves that!
If you do any shopping at all, I highly recommend Rakuten. It has saved me a lot of money, and it is so easy. There’s no reason NOT to use it.
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