Rakuten Canada Review Rating: 4.5/5
Saving costs without sacrificing the standard of living is one of the traditional rules of attaining financial freedom.
With the advent of FinTech companies, saving costs have become easier as transportation costs are eliminated and rewards are offered upon purchase.
One of the popular FinTech companies that stand by what it offers is Rakuten. Unlike other e-commerce sites, Rakuten serves as a middle ground between you and stores.
Thus, when you make an eligible purchase from your favourite store through Rakuten, you get 3% extra cashback and 1% cash back for other purchases.
However, when looking for the best cashback site, you must look beyond the cash-back rate.
As someone currently using Rakuten and other cashback platforms, here I provide an unbiased Rakuten Canada review to help you make the right decision.
Let’s get started!
What is Rakuten?
Formerly called Ebates, Rakuten is a FinTech platform founded by Hiroshi Mikitani in 1997 with headquarters in Tokyo, Japan.
Since its establishment, Rakuten has disbursed more than $1 billion cashback to its users, making it one of the world’s popular cashback sites.
Furthermore, Rakuten operates three major services: FinTech, Internet Services, and Mobile. As a result, Rakuten is able to offer the following services:
- Online cashback
- Portal and digital content platforms
- Travel booking
- Banking and securities
- Life insurance
- Credit cards
- Electronic money
- Sale of mobile devices
- Messaging and communication services.
However, we shall focus on Rakuten online cashback for this review since it’s the segment that makes it popular.
That said, Rakuten partners with more than 2,500 brands to offer the best cashback experience to a wide range of shoppers. Some of the popular brands include:
- Ace Hardware
Thus, once you make an eligible purchase in any of these stores, you will receive 3% additional cashback and 1% from other purchases. How much cashback you earn depends on the purchase you make.
How Does Rakuten Work?
As mentioned previously, Rakuten has three major services, and each works differently. Since we’re focusing on the Rakuten online cashback, we shall limit our explanation on this.
That said, Rakuten’s online cashback results from the affiliate marketing between Rakuten and its partners.
Through this affiliate marketing, Rakuten earns commission from any eligible purchase made through its partner brands.
As a result, Rakuten pays you cashback as a reward for making an eligible purchase with the Rakuten Cash Back Visa through its partner brands.
Thus, each eligible purchase attracts 3% additional cashback while other purchases attract 1% cashback.
However, you can’t get your cashback until you accrued $5. Also, you will receive your cashback quarterly through PayPal or check.
Finally, there are many ways of earning cashback on Rakuten to which we now turn.
How to Earn More Cash Back at Rakuten
As someone that’s currently using Rakuten, the following are the ways I considered dominant for earning more cashback on the platform:
1. Use Rakuten Cash Back Button
The Rakuten Cash Back Button is an extension that helps you activate cashback on your favourite stores. This extension also enables you to find the best coupons at store sites.
2. Download Rakuten App
Download the Rakuten App on Google Playstore or App Store to shop on the go as you earn cashback.
3. Shop In-Store
Shop in your favourite store, link it to your credit card and earn cashback right away.
4. Use Rakuten Cash Back Credit Card
Using the Rakuten Cash Back Visa® Credit Card to make a purchase attracts you 3% extra cashback on eligible purchases and 1% cashback on other purchases.
5. Refer a Friend
Refer your friends and family to shop on Rakuten and earn a $25 bonus. The more people you refer to Rakuten, the more bonuses you get.
6. Join the Rakuten Influencer Program
Be a Rakuten ambassador through the Rakuten Influencer Program to earn more cashback. This program also offers you a flat fee on all referrals and invitations to Rakuten events etc.
How Does Rakuten Make Money?
As an affiliate marketing company, Rakuten makes money through referral commissions.
Thus, when you make an eligible purchase through Rakuten, the partner brand pays Rakuten a commission for that purchase.
However, Rakuten takes a step further to share the commission with you in the form of cashback. Win-Win right? Sure!
So the question is, what is the Rakuten catch? The catch here is that you’re motivated to continue making purchases to earn cashback.
Who Can Use Rakuten?
Anyone that’s at least 18 years old can use Rakuten. Since Rakuten partners with more than 2,500 stores, it means almost everyone will find their favourite store on the platform.
However, Rakuten is more suitable for shoppers, travellers, students, and families looking to save the cost of purchases.
Since the cashback is a passive income, individuals looking for a means to get-rich-quick may not find Rakuten cashback suitable.
Is Rakuten Free?
Yes. Rakuten is free in the sense that you’re not required to pay a fee for registration and account management.
Unlike other platforms, Rakuten has no hidden fees, saving you from future surprises.
Since Rakuten makes money through affiliate commission, it doesn’t charge you any fee for making purchases or anything else.
Instead, Rakuten rewards you for making purchases through its platform.
Is Rakuten Legit?
As a current user of Rakuten, I can attest that the platform is legit as of the time of writing this Rakuten Canada review.
How legit? Rakuten is certified by TRUSTe and Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council (PCI).
Furthermore, the platform has an A + rating on the Better Business Bureau (BBC). This is in addition to its clear terms and conditions, detailing how your information is used.
In addition to the daily testing by McAfee security, Rakuten doesn’t require you to make a payment before accessing its service. This is a top sign of a legit site.
Is Rakuten a Scam?
No. Rakuten is not one of the scam cashback platforms out there. Once you make a purchase on its partner stores and accrued $5, Rakuten pays you quarterly.
Moreover, your information and credit card details on Rakuten are secured and encrypted, so you have nothing to worry about.
What are the Pros of Rakuten?
Based on my personal experience, here are the pros of Rakuten:
1. Free Signup
Unlike other cashback sites, you’re not required to make payment before signing to Rakuten. This gives a good impression that you’re dealing with a legit site.
2. Cash Back Earnings on Purchases
As mentioned previously, you will earn 3% additional cashback purchase through Rakuten and 1% cashback on all purchases.
Even though it may not be much, you can accumulate much cashback in the long run, helping you supplement your savings and debt payment.
3. Multiple Stores
With more than 2,500 partner stores, you can find your favourite stores on Rakuten. This means that you have a one-stop-shop for making your purchase at hand.
4. Referral Program
Earn a $25 bonus by referring your friends and family to Rakuten. This is a generous offer compared to the low referral rate of most platforms.
5. Ease of Use
From your desktop, laptop to a mobile phone, you can access Rakuten anywhere, anytime. Whether on its website or app, Rakuten has an intuitive interface that makes it easy to use by anyone that can operate a Smartphone.
Is there a Downside to Using Rakuten?
Yes. Like other cash-back platforms, Rakuten has its downsides. Here are the major downsides of the platform as of the time of writing this Rakuten review.
1. Only Quarterly Payment
Unlike other platforms that make weekly and monthly payments, Rakuten makes quarterly payments. This means you can’t rely on the cashback as an emergency fund.
Furthermore, you can’t receive your cash back if you’ve not accrued at least $5. So if you’ve not met this threshold by the end of three months, you’ll have to wait another three months to receive your cashback.
2. Impulses Shopping
Rakuten lures people to make more purchases for cashback.
So if you’re not financially disciplined, you will end up buying unnecessary things through Rakuten just to earn cashback.
The truth is, the cashback is just a fraction of what you spent. So if you buy things that you don’t need at the moment, you’re on the loose.
3. Limited Cashback Offers
Most Rakuten partner stores exclude some products for cashback.
Most often, the excluded products are what many people are interested in. As a result, you have limited earnings opportunities on Rakuten.
4. Permanently Disable Your Account Without Notice
In response to the requests by some users on why their accounts were disabled, Rakuten explained that they could do that without explanation.
Thus, you can’t be sure of your continued usage of the platform as far as your account can be disabled without notice.
Rakuten Canada Review: 5-Star Rating
Here’s how I arrived at the 4.5/5-star rating of this Rakuten review:
|Ease of Use||*****|
How to Open a Rakuten Account?
Signing up for a Rakuten account takes just 3 minutes. First, visit the Rakuten signup page and enter your email and create a password. You can also sign up with your Facebook, Google or Apple account.
Upon signing up, you can start shopping right away by searching your favourite store or navigating to the discounts and promotions section of Rakuten.
By deciding to make a purchase through Rakuten, you will be directed to the brand’s site. Subsequently, you can complete your purchase and earn your cashback.
That said, Rakuten offers a $10 Welcome Bonus to new users that make a qualified purchase of at least $25 within 90 days of signing up.
Finally, you will be required to provide your mailing address if you want to receive your cashback through check or your PayPal account for PayPal payment.
Rakuten vs. PC Money Account
I round up this Rakuten Canada review by comparing the two popular cashback platforms: Rakuten vs. PC Money Account.
PC Money Account is President’s Choice Financial’s online money management account that also offers cash back upon purchase.
Unlike Rakuten, PC Money Account rewards you through points (PC Optimum points) that have a monetary value.
So every $1 purchase you make through PC Money Account online or offline, you earn 10 PC Optimum points.
Here are the various ways you can accumulate more PC Optimum points on a PC account:
- 20,000 PC Optimum for $50+ first purchase.
- 25,000 PC Optimum points for payroll direct deposit.
- 1,000 PC Optimum points per $50+ bill payment.
Overall, you can accumulate up to 50,000 PC Optimum points ($50) on a PC Money Account through the above means.
However, the PC Money Account has inactivity fees and withdrawal fees from non-PC ATMs.
Unlike Rakuten, you can make unlimited free PC ATM withdrawals at any time.
Which to choose? The choice is yours. However, I recommend you read this PC Money Account review before making a final decision.
Verdict on Rakuten Review
That brings us to the end of this Rakuten review. Now you understand the pros and cons of using Rakuten.
While Rakuten helps you save money on your everyday purchases, you should be careful not to be lured into making unnecessary purchases for the sake of cashback.
As a result, you should always work with your plan and budget while making purchases through Rakuten.
Furthermore, read the fine print beforehand to understand eligible cashback purchases.
However, if you’re not satisfied with Rakuten offers, check out PC Money Account which is more flexible per earnings and withdrawals.
Overall, my Rakuten Canada review is positive, and I recommend it to anyone looking to save on purchases.
FAQs on Rakuten Review
Is Rakuten Worth it?
It depends. If you’re looking for a means to save costs on your everyday purchases, Rakuten is worth it. But if you’re looking for a get-rich-quick platform, look elsewhere.
Does Rakuten Work in Canada?
Yes. Rakuten works in Canada through Rakuten.ca. On this site, all the stores are ship to Canada.
However, you can also use Rakuten.com to shop, but you need to verify that the store will ship your purchase to Canada.
Is Rakuten Canada Legit?
Yes. Rakuten is legit in Canada as in other countries the site supports.
Furthermore, Rakuten’s A + rating on Better Business Bureau (BBC) and certification by TRUSTe and Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council (PCI) point to its legitimacy in Canada.
Is Rakuten a Ripoff?
A company that partners with over 2,500 stores and pays over $1 billion cashback to its users is not a scam.
Does Rakuten Give You Money?
Yes. Rakuten gives you money in the form of cashback for making purchases through its over 2,500 partner stores.
If you have more questions about this Rakuten Canada review, let me know in the comment section.