I love to shop online, but doing so isn’t always the cheapest option. Between high shipping costs and sometimes higher prices for what I’m looking for, a girl can often find herself paying more if she isn’t careful to do what she can to save money. One of my favorite ways to save when I need to shop is by finding new ways to get paid to shop online. To do that, I can look for ways to earn free gift cards online or I can shop thru Rakuten. I know, right? What is Rakuten? Well, simply put it is one of the best cash back websites around. Still confused and wondering how Rakuten works? It may seem complicated, but I promise! It really isn’t!
I get a lot of emails each day from readers asking me questions that they would like answered. They range from how to find new ways to save money to how to make homemade shave cream. By far though, the two most common questions that I receive is “what is Rakuten” and “how does Rakuten work?.” It isn’t hard to find a mention of my favorite cash back website here on Six Dollar Family and I believe I even mention it in my book (found HERE) as well. In other words, it it quite easy to see that I adore Rakuten so naturally, people are curious. After all, when someone tells you that you can get paid to shop online, it can have a tendency to perk your ears up.
Get Paid to Shop Online – What is Rakuten & How Does Rakuten Work?
Before I get to the nitty gritty of answering the question, “how does Rakuten work,” let’s take a look at the “what is Rakuten” question. To put it simply; Rakuten is a cash back shopping site that will pay you to shop online. When you sign up for an Rakuten account HERE, you will be able to shop through them whenever you want to shop online and in some cases, when you shop in store. Rakuten has a special relationship with hundreds of different stores that allows them to pay you the cash back you earn. When you shop through Rakuten, they earn a small commission on your purchase. In return, they turn around and pay you a small portion of the commission they earned as cash back. Once every 3 months, Rakuten then sends you a check with all the money you’ve earned.
Sounds complicated, right? Trust me; it isn’t. Yes, Rakuten will earn a small commission when you shop through them, but you get a piece of that commission back as cash back! It is a win/win situation for both you and Rakuten! How much of a win? This much:
I know. I can hear you now. “That’s all fine and dandy Stacy, but how does Rakuten work?” Simmer down now; I’m going to walk you through every step so you know how to get paid to shop online.
First, you’ll need to actually have an Rakuten account. If you don’t, head over HERE to sign up for an Rakuten account. As you can see in the photo above, when you use THIS link, you’ll automatically be given $10.00 free. The $10.00 cash back is added to your account after you make your first qualifying purchase.
What is a qualifying purchase at Rakuten? It is your first purchase of $25.00 or more.
When you’re ready to shop online, search for the store you’re looking for in the search bar at the top of the page. For the sake of this post, I simply searched Walmart.
After you search, you’ll be taken directly to the stores page on Rakuten. Here you will find a couple of different things that can help you out. First, you’ll see in the upper left, how much cash back you can receive. In this case, shopping at Walmart can get you up to 10% cash back on the right day. Most of the time, Walmart is 1%. If you would rather skip this part, simply click the orange “shop now” button to be taken directly to Walmart.com to shop with you cash back.
For some stores, there will be an area on the right of your screen that has online coupon codes. Since I chose Walmart, there aren’t any coupon codes. If, however, your store has them, simply click the orange “Shop Now” button to automatically apply the code when you’re ready to check out.
If you choose to investigate a little more, you can scroll down the page to find the specific cash back amount you will receive for each category you could shop. When you shop cash back websites, each department of the store you’re shopping will give you a different amount of cash back. It is always good to check these amounts.
Finally, at the bottom of your screen, you’ll see any terms and conditions pertaining to your cash back Here is where you will find items that don’t qualify for cash back or anything that may delay the cash back from posting in your account.
One more thing, when you sign up for an Rakuten account, you have the option of adding the Rakuten Cash Back Button to your browser. I highly recommend that you do this! Whenever you shop online, whether you’ve gone through the Rakuten website or not, it will let you know when you can earn cash back! It also lists any applicable coupon codes and allows you to check your balance from anywhere on the web!