Is Rakuten a Scam or Legit? Rakuten (Formerly Ebates) Review

rakuten review scam or legit

Welcome to my Rakuten Review!

Are you among those who love to have the best in everything you buy, no matter how much it cost?

If you are, then you may already know many shops and apps that offer the best of the best. But do you even know that there are many companies that act as a mediator between customers and shops to help you save some money?

Barely few, right? So, there are many such companies across the globe established with the sole purpose of making your shopping experience wonderful along with having good percent cash back.

Rakuten is one such company that helps you save money in almost everything you buy.

The company has over 30 years of experience and since then, It has been working to make both online and in-store shopping experience consumer-friendly.

Everything you need to know about Rakuten is discussed here.

What is Rakuten?

Rakuten is an e-commerce company that works towards making the shopping experience more consumer-friendly by giving cashback. Founded in 1997, Rakuten emerged as a strong market place within a short period. The headquarters of Rakuten is in Tokyo.

Rakuten is an app-based service and a browser extension whose main focus is to help consumers save money in the things they buy. The cashback facility is only available to those who shop using the company’s link. Also, the company allows consumers to choose between online and in-store shopping. It’s up to you to choose between the two.

A review of Rakuten will be incomplete without mentioning about Ebates. Ebates was a reputed cashback portal in the late 1990s and it was merged into Rakuten in the year 2014.

In 2019, the company officially changed its name to Rakuten. Even though Ebates doesn’t exist anymore, you can still use your Ebates account in Rakuten as except for the logo and name nothing else has changed.

Rakuten is, in fact, Ebates with a larger platform with more exciting offers.

Rakuten is often referred to as an ‘easy cashback’ owing to the excellent percent of cashback that it offers. The company offers cash back up to 40% on almost everything you buy using the company’s link.

Just by creating an account in Rakuten you can earn about $10. Also, you can earn an additional $25 if people to whom you referred the app sign up. It is win-win, right?

Is Rakuten a Scam or Legit?

Is Rakuten legit or scam? This is a common question that every new user has. Well, Rakuten is indeed legit; they aren’t doing any scam.

It is quite natural to suspect Rakuten to be a scam. Getting extra money just for doing a simple shopping? Most of the people aren’t ready to believe that a company provides extra cashback just for shopping using its link.

Believe it or not, Rakuten is a legit company whose main focus is to provide you a nice shopping experience along with good cashback.

The company indeed collects your preferences and past orders to frame your interests and to show options matching your preferences.

It is for this purpose, Rakuten adds cookies to your site. Rakuten is very genuine to its customers and its topmost priority is customer satisfaction.

Rakuten ensures the safety of the private data of consumers and is a TRUSTe certified company.

Rakuten works in collaboration with many tech giants like Amazon, Walmart, Nike, etc. and provides about 2500 companies and shops to choose from.

These shreds of evidence are more than enough to prove that Rakuten is legit. The flooding positive reviews on the internet also point towards the legitimacy of the company.

If you still have any doubts regarding the legitimacy of Rakuten, then visit its official website for more information.

How does Rakuten work?

Rakuten is one of the most popular e-commerce apps. Its immense popularity is mainly due to the non-complicated procedures. Rakuten is quite easy to use and that is why it is known as an“easy cashback app”.

You can start using Rakuten once you create an account in it. You will receive $10 just for signing up and this is just a beginning.

Once you have an account, you have free access to the sites of all the available shops and there you will be given all the necessary information about the cashback offered by that particular shop or company.

To use Rakuten, all you have to do is to shop using the link Do remember that you will be given the cashback facility only if you shop via the aforesaid link.

Once you click the link you will be directed to the sites where the various stores are shown from which you can choose a store. After selecting the shop, all you have to do is to enter the cashback coupon while purchasing.

 The cashback offered may vary from 10% to 40% depending on the shop and the nature of the thing you buy. Sometimes there can be sudden changes in the cashback percent depending on the season, and the deals and offers.

You can even have Rakuten cashback facilities in in-store shopping by using the special coupons for in-store shopping or by connecting your credit card (or debit card) to the app.

Rakuten works not only with stores and companies but also with various travel sites such as Expedia, British Airways, Qatar Airlines, Air France, TripAdvisor Hotels and many others.

In this case, too you can book your travel package by entering the travel site using the Rakuten link and can have cashback.

How do you get started with Rakuten?

Who wouldn’t like to shop from stores all over the world that too even without visiting the store?

About 60% of people prefer online purchases over in-store shopping. It is this growing popularity of online shopping that made Rakuten create a consumer-friendly website.

As mentioned earlier, you must have an account in Rakuten to use it. Once you sign up all you have to do is to enter the store’s website using Rakuten’s official link, where, you’ll be given excellent cashback.

Rakuten provides 3 options for its users to choose from, namely:

  • Cashback button
  • Rakuten app
  • In-store cashback

You can use either of the 3 facilities provided while purchasing using Rakuten.

Cashback Button

The cashback button, also known as the Rakuten button is the first option. This is a very useful option as it acts as an easy way to use Rakuten.

The cashback button is a browser extension through Google Chrome. If you click this button, you’ll be notified whenever it finds a discount or cashback.

This option also helps you in identifying the shops with the best cashback by inserting the Rakuten cashback percentages to your search results.

Even if the store you chose doesn’t give any cashback, Rakuten will help you find a similar one.

Cashback button, in short, is an extension that helps you find the best cashback offers and also, it will notify you if the product which you are searching for is available in some other shop at a lower price.

The cashback button is a very useful tool and it makes Rakuten more user-friendly.

Rakuten App

The very next option is the Rakuten app. Using Rakuten is much easier if you install the app.

Rakuten apps are very user-friendly and are much easier than using coupons. You can see the available offers and discounts just by clicking on the retailer’s link.

Rakuten app can be used in both Android and iPhone. If you do a lot of shopping, then installing this app on your phone can make the shopping easier and can also fetch you some good cashback.

Along with making the cashback process coupon-free, the app also helps you in finding the best offers. Just like the website, you can see the stores and the available offers in the app.

In-Store Cashback

As mentioned earlier, Rakuten not only provides cashback in online purchases but also in in-store purchases. The “In-Store Cashback” option of Rakuten is mainly for those who love to do shopping in-store.

To use this option, all you have to do is log-in and click the “In-Store Cashback” button. Once you click the button you can see all the shops that offer in-store cashback offers.

Once you choose the offer, you have to link your credit card to the chosen offer. Do note that the linked credit card should be the one you generally use for in-store shopping.

This way you can automatically earn cashback even without using any coupon.

The confirmation process may take a while (a few hours or days) so, don’t be surprised if your cashback account doesn’t get charged immediately.

Pros and Cons

Rakuten is indeed one of the best cashback portals, but it isn’t devoid of disadvantages. Like any other platform, Rakuten also comes with a definite set of pros and cons.

All the pros and cons of Rakuten are discussed here.


Rakuten is one of the most trusted e-commerce platforms. Along with excellent cashback, it also provides numerous other benefits to its users.

1. Cashback

Rakuten offers excellent cashback on anything and everything you buy. The cashback percent may range from 10% to 40% depending on the store you choose.

Rakuten also provides $10 to all the new users. If you are going to use Rakuten, it can be guaranteed that you won’t be disappointed.

2. Easy to use

Unlike other platforms, Rakuten is very easy to use. The procedures are simple and you can use it from where ever you want. All you have to do is to create an account and shop as much as you want using the official link.

However, of all the 3 available options, the browser extension is the easiest and simplest way to use Rakuten as it doesn’t require you to search manually for stores and cashback.

3. Referral programs

Rakuten is very generous when it comes to money. Along with cash back, they also provide a welcome bonus of $10. The welcome bonus is just the beginning of the numerous benefits that Rakuten offers.

You will be given $25 for bringing in new users. To get that $25, you have to get at least 3 to 5 new users, provided they should sign up using your referral ID.

4. Consumer-friendly

The topmost priority of Rakuten is to ensure consumer satisfaction. They have provided 3 options for the users to choose from so that the shopping experience becomes simple and comfortable.

Rakuten also provides excellent customer care services. If you have any queries related to cashback or stores, you can always drop an email or communicate via service tickets.

5. Wide choices

Rakuten provides its customers with a wide range of stores and companies to choose from. About 2500 stores are available in Rakuten and you can get cashback from every one of them.

The major stores and e-retailers available at Rakuten include Amazon, Target, etc. Rakuten offers cashback for both online and in-store purchases.

6. Free and safe

Rakuten is a TRUSTe certified company and it ensures complete safety of the personal information and data of its users.

Rakuten is free of cost and to start using it, all you have to do is to create an account.


Even though Rakuten is one of the most approved cashback portals, it also suffers from several disadvantages that they need to improve.

1. Quarterly payments

Rakuten neither pays you the cashback right after you finish shopping nor you can get the cashback whenever you want. Generally, the cheques are paid quarterly i.e., 4 times a year. Every 3 months, they will send you the cheque via email.

So, if you are looking for immediate cash back, then Rakuten may not be the best option for you.

2. Geographical limitations

Rakuten is exclusively for the people of the U.S. and Japan. So, if you are from some other country, then you might not be able to use Rakuten. The delivery period of the products will also extent if you are not from Japan.

Also, legal entities and partnerships are not allowed to purchase.

3. Impulsive spending

If you are among those who have the problem of impulsive shopping or overspending, then be careful while using Rakuten. Because the offers and other deals offered by Rakuten may tempt you more to spend your money.

Keeping your notification button off might help you control your temptation to buy things.

4. Excluded products

Every store in Rakuten has many excluded products for which there won’t be any cashback facility. The number and nature of excluded products may vary depending on the shop, their popularity, and other factors.

5. Order and delivery issues

Another disadvantage of Rakuten is that, once you place an order, you can neither change it nor cancel it. Also, the delivery period may vary depending on where you live.

If you are from Japan, then you may get your order much earlier than people from other places.

Things to keep in mind

Now that you have read and understood about Rakuten and the cashback facility that it offers, here’s what you have to keep in mind before using it.

Rakuten offers cashback for every purchase you make through its link. However, you should be careful about the items that you buy.

Do read the fine print regarding the items for which the store offers cashback as the items shown may also include excluded products.

Again, Rakuten should be used with care if you have the problem of overspending. Because the deals and cashback offered by Rakuten can encourage you to spend more.

Rakuten is an excellent way to save money. If used properly, Rakuten will not only save your money but also will help you earn some extra bucks.

Frequently asked questions

It is quite natural to have doubts about the working of Rakuten. It is indeed difficult to believe that the company provides free cashback for anything and everything you buy. So, to clear your doubts, I have tried to give answers to some frequently asked questions.

Is Rakuten free?

Yes. Rakuten is completely free and you don’t have to pay to use it. The company pays you $10 just for signing up.

Is Rakuten safe?

Rakuten is indeed safe and secure. They take at most care of your personal information as well as your private data.

The company has adopted strict measures to ensure the safety of your encrypted information (like a credit card). The site is checked regularly by McAfee security and it has a TRUSTe certification.

Rakuten has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and a 4.5/5 rating on Trustpilot.

The company indeed has cookies and it is placed in your sites to know your shopping habits and your preferences. These cookies won’t affect your privacy and it is solely meant to make the shopping experience easier and comfortable.

How does Rakuten make money?

Well, Rakuten isn’t doing anything for free. They get paid whenever you purchase something using their link. The store or the company from where you purchase will pay a certain amount of money to Rakuten for steering you to their store.

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