What if you could get money back every time you went shopping? You’d probably start shopping a lot more, right?
Well, guess what? Now you can!
While we’re not advocating that you suddenly drain your bank account on a Target spree, there is a way you can get cash back by online shopping.
It’s called Rakuten, formerly known as ebates — and once you start using it, you’ll never be able to go back to your old ways.
Believe it or not, Rakuten has actually been around since 1998—right in the middle of the 90s tech boom—though it’s certainly changed since its days as a very early dot-com website.
What Is Rakuten?
Rakuten is a program that shares its earning from online retailers with users who use Rakuten while online shopping.
The cash-back site is an affiliate to over 1,700 online stores including Target, Amazon, Best Buy, Walmart, Kohl’s, etc.
This allows Rakuten to make money through its affiliates and share the profits with its own users.
In short, by going through Rakuten to do your online shopping, you can earn cash back on all your purchases if you play your cards right.
How Does Rakuten Work?
Here’s what makes Rakuten so great: It’s free! All you have to do is sign up for Rakuten—there’s also an app—and start shopping.
By entering the store of your choosing through Rakuten, you can get around 2% to 30% cash back on your purchases.
While it’s impossible to know exactly how much you’ll earn in cash back from your purchases, the blogger behind the Busy Budgeter says she has a friend who recently earned $500 a year through Rakuten.
How Do I Get My Money?
A few times a year, Rakuten will email you with what they call a “Big Fat Check” and deposit your cash back into your PayPal account.
If you decide that you don’t really want the money, you also have the option to send the money you made through Rakuten to the charity of your choosing—free of charge.
Is Rakuten Worth It?
YES. Rakuten is a completely free service, so you can’t possibly lose money by shopping with it. It’s especially helpful if you’re somebody who regularly shops online.
Really, the only way you’ll lose money with Rakuten is by not using it. The more you use it, the more you earn in return—it’s literally that simple.
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