Earning Cash Back
Boost Bonus FAQ
What’s a Cash Back boost?
A Cash Back boost is a special bonus that offers more Cash Back on top of the normal Cash Back rate.
How does the boost work?
If the normal Cash Back rate is 5% and we offer you a 5% boost, you’ll get 10% Cash Back on your purchase until you hit the boost cap.
How does the boost cap work?
There’s a limit on how much you can earn with a boost. Be sure to check the reward details and terms to find out the boost cap.
Do the Cash Back rates I see include the boost?
Yes, when a boost is unlocked, any rate you see on Rakuten will include the normal Cash Back + the boost rate.
Can any purchase use a boost?
Like all our deals, certain stores, items and categories may be excluded from earning Cash Back. Be sure to check the reward details and terms of your boost to understand the boost exclusions and cap.
Do boosts expire?
Yes, each boost has a certain timeframe in which you can use it. Be sure to check the reward details and terms to know how long you have to use your boost.
Why Didn’t I Earn Cash Back?
With Rakuten, you can earn on almost everything. If you didn’t earn Cash Back and think you should have, or didn’t get the amount you expected, keep reading to find out why it can happen and how to fix it.
Make sure the item was not excluded from Cash Back
Some stores exclude certain items, categories or brands from earning Cash Back. These are called exclusions. To check exclusions, search for the store on rakuten.com and click the name on the left side of the results. This will take you to the store page where you can see Cash Back Terms & Exclusions. Tip: Be sure to check exclusions before you purchase to make sure you earn Cash Back!
Check if the item category was eligible at the store you purchased from
Stores can also set different Cash Back rates depending on the item category. If you didn’t receive the Cash Back amount you expected, check to see if the store set a different rate for the item you purchased. This info can be found on the store page. Search for the store on rakuten.com and click the name on the left side of the results to visit the store page where you can see Cash Back Categories.
Did you use a coupon code from another site?
Using coupon codes that are not listed on Rakuten may void Cash Back. To be safe, stick to codes provided by Rakuten.
Did you cancel your order?
If you canceled your order, it’s no longer eligible for Cash Back.
Did you make any returns?
If you returned all or part of your order, the store will let us know and we will adjust your Cash Back accordingly.
Avoid using other browser extensions and coupon sites
Going to other sites, especially ones that offer shopping rewards and coupons, can void Cash Back.
Stick to one browser tab if you start your shopping from rakuten.com
To be safe, complete your order on the tab that opened from rakuten.com at the beginning of your shopping session. If you complete your purchase in a different tab or window, we may be unable to link your purchase to your Rakuten account.
Re-activate Cash Back if you’ve been away from your computer
If your shopping session is idle for too long, Cash Back can become deactivated. Also, be sure to activate Cash Back before you add anything to your cart--some stores don’t allow us to link a purchase to your Rakuten account if items were added to your cart before you activated Cash Back.
Use the extension? Make sure you activated Cash Back
If you use our browser extension, activate Cash Back before you start shopping. If you don’t see the Activate Cash Back button, then that store may not be available for the extension. You can try activating Cash Back from Rakuten.com. Learn more about stores and the Button extension.
Some stores take longer to confirm your Cash Back
The time it takes for Cash Back to be confirmed depends on several factors, including the store, store policy, reporting schedule, exclusions and returns. For travel, Cash Back will be added after travel is completed.
Try these tips to make sure you’re set up for shopping success:
- Use a compatible browser. Rakuten is compatible with Edge, Chrome, Firefox and Safari.
- Adjust the security settings in your browser. Clear your browser’s cache and cookies, and make sure you allow cookies on http://rakuten.com
- Use the Rakuten App on your mobile device. You can install it for free on your iOS or Android device. Get the App.
- Add the Rakuten filter list if you use an ad blocker like uBlock or AdBlock Plus. Ad blockers can cause Cash Back tracking issues, and the filter list helps us to determine your Cash Back eligibility. Get more info about the filter list and install it.
Remember to always start your shopping at Rakuten.com, or make it even easier by using our free browser extension and shopping in our App. You can earn Cash Back only by starting your shopping with Rakuten. Learn more about how to earn Cash Back.
If you double checked all of the information above and believe you should have earned Cash Back on your purchase, you can visit the Missing Cash Back form or Contact Us. We’ll be happy to help you sort this out.
Travel Purchases With Rakuten
When you use Rakuten to book airline, hotel, car or other travel reservations, please be aware that Cash Back will be earned after your trip is completed.
Cash Back with Rakuten is always earned after a purchase is completed. When you first book a trip or rental, the travel company considers that to be a reservation, even if your credit card has been billed. Once you’ve finished your trip and the company confirms payment, your reservation becomes a completed order and the company will let us know. Timing can vary a little, but you’ll usually see your (often pretty significant) Cash Back in My Account within 3 months of your trip.
Shopping at eBay & Amazon With Rakuten
Why yes, you can earn Cash Back on your eBay orders! Just keep a few things in mind when shopping at eBay:
- Cash Back at eBay depends on the category and sometimes the rates can change. You can always check the latest Cash Back rates on the eBay store page.
- Cash Back is only eligible on completed Winning Bid or Buy It Now transactions. An item must be paid for to earn Cash Back.
- Limit of $50 Cash Back per order.
As of March 2020, Cash Back is no longer available at Amazon. (We know, it’s a bummer.) The good news is, we have over 4,000 stores that do offer Cash Back, so you can definitely find a great deal and free, speedy shipping on anything imaginable!
Returns, Cancellations & Exchanges
All returns and cancellations are subject to each store’s specific policy. Returned or cancelled orders may void Cash Back and be deducted from your Cash Back Balance, depending on the store’s policy. If a store processes your exchanged order as a cancellation and a new transaction is created, the exchange may be treated as a cancelled order.
To ensure you receive Cash Back on exchanged orders, you can instead return the item and place an entirely new order at that store. Just make sure to start your shopping with Rakuten.
How Can I Tell If I’m Earning Cash Back?
To earn Cash Back, you must start shopping at Rakuten and click the link to your favorite store.
Activating Cash Back
You know you’re earning Cash Back if you click on a Rakuten link (on Rakuten.com, in an email, in the Rakuten App or with our Cash Back Button) and get a confirmation pop-up that Cash Back at that store is now active. Look for the pop-up confirmation before you shop.
Where to Find Your Cash Back
You can visit Cash Back Balance to verify that you earned Cash Back on a purchase. We usually can’t report Cash Back immediately at the time of purchase because it takes time for the store to notify us that you placed an order. Depending on the store, this can take from a few hours to several days.
Once the store confirms that you’ve made a purchase, we’ll add Cash Back to your account and notify you. At that point, the amount will be viewable in Cash Back Balance.
How Does Rakuten Work?
Earning Cash Back with Rakuten is simple.
- Start at Rakuten and choose a store. You can use our website, mobile app, or browser extension.
- Activate Cash Back to start shopping. Once you make an eligible purchase, we’ll add Cash Back to your account.
- Get paid! Add your address and get paid via check or PayPal.
That’s all you have to do.
Once a store confirms your purchase with us, we add Cash Back to your account and notify you via email or push notification. The time it takes for Cash Back to be confirmed depends on several factors, including the store, store policy, reporting schedule, exclusions and returns.
We’ll send your first payment as soon as 15 days after your first purchase. After that, we’ll send your Cash Back payment every three months. If there’s any Cash Back pending, we’ll carry it over to your next payment.
Remember, you can only earn Cash Back if you start shopping at Rakuten. If you make a purchase without going through Rakuten, we won't be able to reward you with Cash Back. You can always try our browser extension which will notify you about Cash Back deals when you’re on a website. It’ll even find coupons for you!
How does Rakuten make money?
We know, it seems too good to be true. Here’s the deal: Stores pay us for sending them shoppers. Then we split that money with you as Cash Back. Everyone wins!
What Is a Rakuten Shopping Trip?
When you’ve clicked on a Rakuten link to earn Cash Back at a store — on Rakuten.com, in the Rakuten App or with the Rakuten Cash Back Button — you’ve created a Rakuten Shopping Trip. Your Shopping Trip is assigned a unique number, which we use to verify your purchase with the store.
Your purchases will earn Cash Back only if you start a Shopping Trip with Rakuten. If you don’t click on a Rakuten link to start a Shopping Trip, we have no way of showing the store that you are a Rakuten member.
Tracking your Shopping Trips
Sometimes you’ll start a Shopping Trip and not make a purchase; however, we’ll still have it recorded in your account for up to three months, should you need to refer to it. This number can come in handy if you ever think you have not earned Cash Back for a purchase and you want to ask Member Services to look into it.
You can always visit My Account to view your Shopping Trip history.
About repeat Shopping Trips
To earn Cash Back, you must click through a Rakuten link every time you shop. If you click through Rakuten and make a purchase, then return to that store later to make a second purchase, you must start another Rakuten shopping trip in order to earn Cash Back.
If you use multiple windows on your browser, the window in which you shop at the store must have come from a Rakuten link.
The Many Ways to Earn Cash Back With Rakuten
We offer several features and tools, so you can earn Cash Back in the ways that work best for you.
The Rakuten Mobile App
Our 4-star Rakuten App ensures you’re always connected to savings.
To get started, visit your app store to find the Rakuten App and download it onto your mobile device. Once you’ve downloaded the app, you can activate a Rakuten Shopping Trip by clicking a Rakuten link.
When you’ve started a Shopping Trip, a window will open within the Rakuten App that lets you know that Cash Back has been activated. That window will then direct you to the store’s site to start shopping. If for any reason that store does not offer Cash Back through the mobile app, you will be notified in the activation window.
The Rakuten Cash Back Button
Our Cash Back Button is an automated tool that proactively finds discounts and lets you earn Cash Back — without visiting Rakuten first.
To get started, first visit your browser store, search for the Rakuten Cash Back Button and download it. Once you’ve downloaded the Cash Back Button, you’ll see it in your browser bar.
Then, when you visit a store’s website, you’ll get a drop-down notification of the Cash Back and coupons offered at that store. Simply click on that drop down to start earning Cash Back, without interrupting your shopping.
You can also activate Cash Back through the Cash Back Button icon that appears on your browser bar by clicking on store cards, coupons and more. In both cases, you will be notified that Cash Back has been activated.
If for any reason, the store does not offer Cash Back through the Cash Back Button, the notification will not appear.
In-Store Cash Back
Now you can enjoy Cash Back, even when you shop in a brick and mortar store.
To get started, link your credit or debit card to your Rakuten account. Then, when you find an In-Store Cash Back offer that interests you, simply activate it and shop in the store with that card.
Note: There are Exclusions & Limitations to earning Cash Back with In-Store Cash Back.
You can always activate a Rakuten Shopping Trip by following links from our emails. If the link sends you shopping, a window will open that lets you know that Cash Back has been activated.
Shopping through our website is easy.
Members activate a Rakuten Shopping Trip by clicking a Rakuten link, found in buttons, coupons, store links, banners and more. When you click, a new window will open. This window will let you know that a Shopping Trip has been activated and will send you along to the store’s site to start shopping.