As rideshare drivers, we all have expenses – and they can add up! What if you could get cash back (legitimately!) from purchases you already were going to make? We had RSG contributor Paula Gibbins try out and write up a Rakuten review [formerly Ebates review] to show you how you can save (and make) money this holiday season.

    We all have to shop for the necessities but also non-necessities. Why not save or earn cash back on things that we already need or want to buy anyway? Today I’m going to outline my experience using Rakuten (formerly known as Ebates), an online shopping hub where you earn cash back and discounts at stores you probably shop at anyway.

    Summary: Rakuten is a free reward program that gives customers cash back, coupons and other deals on online and in-store purchases.

    Try Rakuten for free today!

    $30 sign up bonuses included.

    Take a look at how Rakuten works below or on YouTube: Rakuten Review: Is it the best cash back option out there?

    Rakuten reviews
    Save money shopping with Rakuten

    What is Rakuten? Is Rakuten Safe?

    Rakuten is a free service that you sign up for in order to earn discounts and cash back for your online purchases. Deals change daily, so if you see an awesome discount, take it before it’s gone!

    Rakuten is completely safe – it’s used by thousands of people (including us!) and reliably helps you save money on everyday purchases.

    To earn without even thinking about it, get the Rakuten extension on your browser and it will let you know what your discount or deal is for the website you’re on without having to go through Rakuten’s list of links.

    add the rakuten extension to your browser

    Adding the Rakuten extension to your browser cuts out a little extra digging if you already have something in mind that you want to purchase from your favorite online store.

    Sometimes the deals are limited to certain items or categories; other times it’s an overarching deal for the whole site (though typically a lower percent of cash back is offered on those).

    Double cash back is available for early holiday shopping
    Double cash back is available for early holiday shopping

    If you want to save even more, you can pair Rakuten coupons and deals with Swagbucks, where you earn gift cards and cash for making purchases online.

    Rakuten used to be Ebates, so that’s why you may see Ebates review on other sites. But rest assured: it’s Rakuten now!

    What Rakuten Does: Is Rakuten Legit?

    Rakuten basically helps you save money on most purchases you make every day. Rakuten is legit – we’ve used it to save money and we’ve gotten cash back from Rakuten!

    The sign-up process is super simple, and you can sign up using our Rakuten referral link here.

    It’s basically just like signing up for any other website. You provide your email address and create a password.

    You don’t provide any payment information because you do not pay through Rakuten, but through the website you’re actually making the purchase through.

    Once you’ve gotten settled into it, you will want to provide a way for you to cash out from these options:

    how to get paid with rakuten review

    According to FAQs in the help tab of Rakuten’s website, “Once the store lets us know that you’ve made a purchase, we add your Cash Back to your account and notify you. It usually takes a little time for the store to confirm that your purchase was completed. Depending on the store, this can take from a few hours to several days.

    “Every three months, we send you the Cash Back you’ve earned, either in a Big Fat Check or via PayPal. If Cash Back for an order is still pending approval, it will carry over to your next payment.”

    Managing Editor Melissa recently received payment from Rakuten she did while holiday shopping – just effortlessly deposited into her PayPal account. Rakuten is legit, and it’s easy to earn through Rakuten!

    This is why Rakuten is one of our top-rated best cash back apps.

    Rakuten gives cash back on purchases because the stores give Rakuten money for referring you to buy from them. This doesn’t cost you any extra money – Rakuten splits the cash with you, so it’s a win-win for you, Rakuten and the stores.

    Try Rakuten for free today!

    $30 sign up bonuses included.

    The Rakuten App: Is Rakuten Reliable?

    Making it even easier (and more reliable!) to save where ever you go, Rakuten has an app! You can download the Rakuten app (it’s available on the Google Play and Apple App stores) and save more with in-store coupons and exclusive cash back deals for app-users only.

    rakuten app image

    Rakuten is very reliable – Managing Editor Melissa used Rakuten to save over $100 on an appliance order she made. While the appliance itself was delayed several months (darn you, shipping delays!), Melissa received her Rakuten cash back on schedule.

    What Deals Does Rakuten Have Right Now?

    Right now, Rakuten has several big deals going on, including:

    • Double cash back on clothes and other family products at Macy’s, Overstock, Gap, Banana Republic and more
    • Deals at some of the hottest brands, including Glossier, BarkBox, Casper, Rothy’s and more
    • Buy-One-Get-One deals for Ulta, Walgreens, PetSmart and more
    rakuten review
    Get cash back at these stores and more

    In addition to all of these deals and cash back opportunities, Rakuten is hosting a variety of deals for Cyber Monday and throughout the holiday season:

    The number of stores on Rakuten is a huge reason why Rakuten is one of the top cash back programs out there.

    When you can get cash back from almost every single store your family uses, it’s a no brainer to sign up for Rakuten, install the browser extension to take advantage of cash back, and download the app to use in-store coupons and get cash back deals.

    how to best use rakuten
    All the best ways to use Rakuten to maximize your earnings

    Rakuten for Rideshare Drivers

    If you clean your own car or supply your vehicle with bottled water, candy, etc., you can shop for those supplies through Rakuten and earn cash back. You earn points with every purchase through Rakuten.

    For every 100 points you earn, you’ve got $1 of cash back and you earn one point for every dollar you spend. For instance, if you spend $345.35, you earn 345 points which equals $3.45 in cash back.

    You can even go all out and buy your tires, wiper blades, oil and more for your vehicle. If the deal doesn’t suit you, then continue with whatever you normally do, but it’s always worthwhile, especially if you’re able to get cash back from these necessary purchases.

    Then, of course, there’s always that possibility of earning money from referrals.

    Use referral link to get started
    Use referral link to get started

    In your account, you’ll have a referral link that you can send to family and friends to earn even more. The person you’re referring would need to use your code to sign up and complete a qualified purchase for both of you to receive your referral bonus. If they don’t do it in time, neither of you earn anything extra.

    Help Others Save Right Now with Rakuten – And Earn Money Doing It!

    As rideshare drivers, we encounter a lot of people! Even if we’re driving for delivery right now, you can still help others save money with Rakuten.

    For every person you refer to Rakuten, you’ll get $30! All you have to do is share your referral code with them and encourage them to sign up. To make it easier on you, we’ve created referral cards you can print out and put your referral code on. Keep these cards in your car or in the backseat pockets for riders to take with them. Or drop them off when you drop off your delivery items!

    You can download these Rakuten referral cards here.

    What’s the Catch with Rakuten?

    Is there a catch with Rakuten or using Rakuten? Perhaps the only catch is that your cash back amounts aren’t huge – but then again, it’s cash back you wouldn’t have otherwise gotten!

    Other than that, Rakuten is safe to buy from – mainly because you’re not buying anything from Rakuten at all! You simply use Rakuten as a browser extension or deal app to get cash back on items you were already going to buy from a retailer, like Walmart or Disney+!

    My experience is pretty limited because I don’t typically do much shopping online, but will likely order more once I’m ready for holiday shopping. However, just to test the waters, I did sign up for Disney+.

    It was a service I was planning on purchasing anyway, so I figured a little cash back just helped sweeten the pot. Signing up for the bundle of Disney+, ESPN+ and Hulu earned me $7.50 in cash back.

    I signed up over the weekend, so the earnings did not show up right away, and according to the website portion that I quoted earlier, it could take several days. Luckily for me, it showed up the next morning (Monday). With that cash back, I get a great discount for my first month of having this service, which is fine by me.

    Our Chief Operating Officer, Scott, has been using Rakuten for a while now and within only a few months amassed $400 – just on cash back from purchases he was going to make anyway!

    And of course, most recently Managing Editor Melissa cashed out $150 just from some regular holiday shopping she did:

    rakuten review paypal cash out

    Is it Safe to Buy From Rakuten?

    Rakuten is not a scam – it really gives you cash back when you shop. And with thousands of stores to choose from, including many stores that rideshare drivers typically use, it’s a no-brainer to sign up for Rakuten, use it yourself, and recommend it to your passengers. There’s a store for everyone on Rakuten, and during the holidays is the perfect time to pitch Rakuten to riders looking to save money!

    Using the Rakuten site and app is completely safe and secure. As mentioned above, Managing Editor Melissa bought a pricey appliance using Rakuten and was able to cash out over $100, all because she used the Rakuten browser extension! We tried it out on a big purchase, so you can be assured Rakuten is completely legit.

    Before I do any online shopping, I’ll definitely check my Rakuten extension to see if there’s a chance for cash back before buying. If I can make money while spending what I’d already be spending anyway, there’s no downside in my opinion.

    Have you used Rakuten or will you use it this holiday season? Let us know your experience with Rakuten!

    Try Rakuten for free today!

    $30 sign up bonuses included.

    -Paula @ RSG

    Paula Lemar

    Paula Lemar

    Paula has been writing for the Rideshare Guy since the fall of 2018. The main focus of her articles has been breaking news, reviewing new apps, driver experiences and more. Prior to her time with the Rideshare Guy, Paula worked as a writer and editor for various publications including local newspapers, sporting goods catalogs, online merchandise and more. She currently has a full-time job editing for a top beauty company and enjoys reading, playing board games and participating in weekly trivia.