Rakuten: Earn Money for Travel in 2024!

Last updated on December 31st, 2023 at 09:08 pm

Rakuten is a fairly well-known cashback site that is a great option for the in-store or online shopper who desires to earn cashback on everyday spending. But what if you could use Rakuten to earn money for travel too?  Well, you can!

In this Rakuten review, we share the easiest ways to earn and fully utilize Rakuten cashback rewards for travel. 

This post may contain affiliate links.  We may earn a small commission at no cost to you when you purchase through the links.  Read our complete disclaimer here and Amazon Affiliate Disclosure here.

What Exactly is Rakuten?

Rakuten is a FREE mobile and web-based platform that offers cashback on each qualifying purchase at over 3,000  online retailers and brick-and-mortar stores.

Essentially, it is one of the best ways to earn money back from your online shopping and in-store purchases at your favorite stores.

Tip: Rakuten is available in the United States, Canada, Japan, and France!

How Does Rakuten Work?

Set up Your Rakuten Account

There are three main ways to get access to Rakuten for the first time:

  1. Sign up for Rakuten with your email address for a free account on the Rakuten website. 
  1. Download and activate the Rakuten browser extension (we use the Chrome extension) on your computer/laptop. 
  1. Download the Rakuten mobile app from the App Store or Google Play Store, and sign up for a free account on your mobile device.
rakuten earn money cashback app

Tip: Sign up for Rakuten with our referral link and earn a $30 cash bonus

Rakuten: Earn Cash Back from Online Shopping

Who knew that shopping at your favorite online stores could get money back into your pocket?

Well, with Rakuten, you can access cashback offers while shopping online at select stores. This is either within your Rakuten app or web account or by activating the Rakuten browser extension at eligible online stores.


rakuten earn money when shopping online

Rakuten: Earn Cash Back from In-store Purchases

You can still earn in-store cash back when shopping in person at participating retailers. The following are steps to take to earn cash back: 

  1. Link your Visa, Mastercard, or American Express debit or credit card(s) to your Rakuten account.

2. In your Rakuten account (web or app), activate the cashback offer of the store you plan to visit. 

3. Visit the store and pay for your purchase with the same card you linked to your Rakuten account. Note that if you linked a debit card, do not enter your PIN; instead, ensure that the purchase is processed as ‘credit.’

rakuten earn money linked cards

How to Redeem Your Rakuten Cash

Your Rakuten cash balance will grow with each eligible purchase and its associated cash back offer. Once you accumulate a minimum of $5, you will be eligible for payment. 

Rakuten payments are rendered on a quarterly basis as follows: 

  • May 15th (for purchases made between January 1st- March 31st)
  • August 15th (for purchases made between April 1st- June 30th). 
  • November 15th (for purchases made between July 1st – September 30th)
  • February 15th (for purchases made between October 1st – December 31st). 

Payment will be sent to either your Paypal account or a physical check referred to as the Big Fat Check.

Note that you will have to add your mailing address to your Rakuten account for both paper check and Paypal account options.

How to Use Rakuten for Travel 

With Rakuten, you can earn cashback on hotels and vacation rentals, car rentals, vacation packages, cruises, luggage, and travel gift cards. You can also earn extra with 2X cashback on rentals, flights, and more!

Here are a few tips to help you score the best travel deals with Rakuten. 

  • Shop online (or Rakuten app) and in-store for eligible products at participating stores, and earn cashback on your purchases. Use the cashback you earn to pay for travel. 

  • Search within the Rakuten travel portal in your account for travel deals. When you find a deal you like, cashback will be activated, and you will be directed to the travel brand’s website to complete your purchase. 
rakuten cashback for travel

Tip: Within your Rakuten account, you will see a ‘Travel Deals We Love’ section where you can find the latest travel offers. 

rakuten earn money
  • When you receive your Rakuten cashback payment, use the money earned to find and pay for travel deals within Rakuten. Specifically,  activate Rakuten to earn cashback again! 

  • Use travel discounts available within your Rakuten account for additional savings.

rakuten travel trends

  • Combine Rakuten cashback and Rakuten discounts for ultimate savings! 

Rakuten Tips

  • An easy way to eliminate the fear of missing out is by checking the Rakuten website or app frequently. This will ensure that you are in the know about opportunities to earn extra cash. This includes limited-time offers like double cash and even triple cash bonus offers!

  • Double-check the shopping trip section of your Rakuten account to ensure that all cashback offers you activated are showing up. If you are missing cash, you can contact Rakuten support staff to get it updated. 

  • Using discount coupons/ online coupons/ promo codes may be a great way to find the best deal. However, if Rakuten did not provide said coupon codes, you risk the deactivation of your cashback. 

  • How much cashback you can earn with Rakuten depends on how much you spend, what you spend your money on, and where you spend your money. For context, some stores may offer a higher cashback percentage than others, and some may run frequent promotions.

rakuten earn money with cashback on travel

Final Thoughts: Is Using Rakuten to Earn Money for Travel Worth It? 

To conclude, if you haven’t already gathered from the title of this post, one of our favorite ways to use Rakuten is on travel. The concept of being rewarded with cashback on everyday purchases is an undeniably great deal! We use Rakuten to find coupons and save money on shopping, as well as earn Rakuten cash back. The only thing we wish is to have started utilizing it for travel sooner. 

So, is Rakuten worth it for travelers? That would be a definite YES! With thousands of stores to shop from and earn cashback, you can easily grow your travel fund!

Now, it’s your turn! Are you ready to find good deals, add your favorite things to your shopping cart, make your first purchase and still have extra money, thanks to Rakuten rewards?

Sign up for Rakuten and earn a $30 welcome bonus with your first purchase. 

Other Cashback Apps Like Rakuten

Looking for more cashback apps? Check out our Best Cashback Apps Guide, Chirpyest Cashback Guide, and Dosh Cashback Guide.

P.S. If you found this post helpful or want to save it for later, please pin it on Pinterest! Thank you. 

Earn even more money for travel payments when you shop with Rakuten app or browser extension

Earn extra money via cashback when you shop with the Rakuten browser

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