Here’s my Rakuten Canada review for 2022. I actually didn’t sign up for Rakuten Canada until recently (in 2018) and I’m so glad that I did, not only because I buy a lot of stuff online but because I’ve received my Big Fat Cheque payout a few times already and it’s always nice to ‘double dip’ on your cash back or points. Rakuten Canada (formerly known as Ebates Canada) is something anyone who shops online should sign up for.
Double dipping is a faux pax when you are eating nachos with sour cream and guacamole, but it’s perfectly acceptable in the saving money world!
Last updated November 2022
Table of Contents
Rakuten Canada Review
In this Rakuten Canada review, I will go over:
- How to double dip or triple dip cash back in Canada
- Explain what Rakuten Canada is
- How does Rakuten Canada work?
- How does Rakuten make money?
- Rakuten Canada list of stores
- A step-by-step guide on how to use Rakuten and get your $30 bonus
- How to download the Rakuten extension
- How to get $30 from the Rakuten Refer a Friend program
- A look at the negatives or downsides of Rakuten in this Rakuten Canada review
How To Triple Dip Cash Back in Canada
How do you double or triple dip on cash back in Canada?
By double or triple dip, I mean:
- Getting points for using your credit card (e.g. either travel hacking or cash back like with the Tangerine Cash Back card)
- Getting cash back for using a shopping portal, like Rakuten Canada to earn a percentage cash back on your purchases
- Finally you can even triple dip if there’s a promotion or promo code from the store itself, for example The Hudson Bay Company had a sale where you get $10 off if you buy the product online and pick it up in store instead of buying in store.
The great thing is, you’re going to make the purchase anyways, so why not earn cash back on it?
If you haven’t heard of Rakuten Canada, here’s the scoop on what this cash back site is all about:
What is Rakuten Canada?
Rakuten Canada used to be called Ebates.ca. Rakuten Canada recently changed their name from Ebates Canada.
You may be wondering what is Rakuten Canada and how does it work?
Rakuten Canada launched in 2012 and has 5 million+ members (as of 2019) who have earned over $70 million cash back.
The headquarters for Rakuten Canada is based out of Toronto.
Who Owns rakuten Canada?
What is the difference between Rakuten and Ebates? Well, nothing- they are the same company, and Ebates changed their name to Rakuten.
Why is Ebates Rakuten? Why did Ebates change its name?
Well, the original Ebates was founded in the US in 1999 by two district attorneys, and they expanded to Canada in 2012. Then in 2014, Ebates.ca joined Rakuten, a Japanese e-commerce and Internet company based in Tokyo, Japan.
Rakuten.ca has over 750 stores that you can shop through their online portal. They recently (August 2019) changed their name from Ebates.ca to Rakuten.
This is why Ebates.ca changed their name to Rakuten. Did you know that Rakuten means ‘optimism’ in Japanese?
How does Rakuten Make Money?
How much does using Rakuten Canada cost? Actually, it doesn’t cost you anything to use the Rakuten website, so how do they make money?
Is Rakuten Canada a scam? So far, Rakuten seems legit. Rakuten is not a gimmick nor a scam.
Rakuten Canada earns a commission from the stores that you shop through when you make a purchase.
The website places a cookie so that it tracks who made the referral (Rakuten or Ebates.ca) to the store that you are shopping at, according to Huffington Post.
Therefore, instead of keeping the full amount of the money, they share a portion of it with you, the consumer.
That’s how you get the cash back.
Rakuten Canada List of Stores
Is Amazon on Rakuten? It was, and then it stopped in 2020. As of 2022, Rakuten gives you 1% cash back on Amazon.ca but only on select purchases.
Rakuten Amazon cash back categories are:
- Cloud Cam & Blink
- Echo Devices
- Eero Devices
- Fire Tablets
- Fire TV Devices
- Kindle Devices
- Ring Video Doorbells & Cameras
Here are some of their other top stores and the cash back amounts you would get through Rakuten.
Some notable stores with Rakuten cash back are
- The Hudsons Bay
- Expedia.ca (3% cash back right now)
- Shoppers Drug Mart
- Chapters Indigo.
Is Rakuten for online shopping only? Yes it is and here are some the top stores below in Canada.
This post may contain affiliate links. Please see genymoney.ca’s disclaimer for more information.
Again, some popular Rakuten Canada stores are:
- Sephora (you can get your free birthday freebie from Sephora)
- Simons.ca (they often have 10-12% cash back from this store)
- Old Navy
- Clearly.ca (I got $15 cash back from ordering my contacts which were 100% covered from work benefits)
- Shoppers Drug Mart Beauty
- Sport Chek
- Best Buy
- Home Depot
- and even No Frills or Superstore gift cards (where you can earn PC Optimum Points)
For the Rakuten Canada list of stores, click here.
Sometimes, Rakuten has some additional and promotional cash back bonuses. For example, Well.ca is usually 1% cash back, but recently they are offering 15% cash back for a temporary duration. Sometimes they have double cash back as well.
How Does Rakuten Canada Work?
How exactly do you use Rakuten or Ebates.ca?
It’s actually very easy (even I can do it haha) to shop online through the Ebates shopping portal, the main thing is to remember to do it or else you won’t be saving money. It is best operated on using the Chrome browser.
You just sign up and log in to Rakuten.ca through here:
Once you sign up or log in, then you’re in the shopping portal which looks like this:
Then you just search for the store that you’re planning to shop through and click on it.
You’ll see a page that says:
“Congratulations! You’re on your way to 2.5% Cash back through shopping on Sephora”
And then you’re bumped and transferred through to Sephora (or whichever online store you are shopping at) which looks like a regular Sephora website and you do your shopping.
How do you know if Rakuten worked? You can check back on your Shopping Trips tab.
You’ll see the amount of cash back that you earned with that shopping trip. They also email you and say “Cha-Ching You’re in the Money” and tell you how much cash back you just earned. It gets posted to your account after 2-3 days.
The cash back can vary at each store from time to time. They have promotions or double cash back periods. For example, I got 6% cash back just today when buying something off Chapters Indigo.
Once you get at least $5.01 Cash Back in your Rakuten account (you can do so just by signing up and making a purchase of $30 or more within 30 days and you will get $30) you will get your “Big Fat Cheque” in the mail or, if you prefer, using PayPal. The third option is an Amazon.ca e-gift certificate.
Does Rakuten Canada really work to make money and get cash back on your purchases? It really does.
To summarize, here’s how you get cash back from Rakuten.ca:
- Cheque (mailed to your address on file)
- Amazon.ca e-gift certificate
The Rakuten Cash Back is sent out on a quarterly basis and they will tell you clearly when they will send it out- here’s the schedule.
Is There a Rakuten Button?
With Google Chrome, you can add a Rakuten Canada extension, so that you don’t forget to use Rakuten ever again when you are online shopping (which I have done on a number of occasions unfortunately). This is often called the Rakuten button.
How do you get the Rakuten button?
You download the extension as Rakuten Express so that you don’t have to forget to use your Rakuten login when buying stuff online. It is called Rakuten Express.
You don’t need to log in through Rakuten.ca to get cash back when you have the extension. For some stores, the extension doesn’t work (like Amazon.ca, but there doesn’t seem to be any Amazon.ca cash back on Rakuten right now anyways).
I downloaded it and it is great, it reminds me whether I am shopping at a Rakuten partner online store. This is what it looks like when you browse at a Rakuten partner store.
It can be uninstalled at any time, and if you are switching users (for example, if your sister uses your computer to buy something, you can just switch the user and log out so that she gets her cash back instead of you).
Here are some other cash back coupon apps and websites in Canada if you want to go down the rabbit hole of saving money. It’s a good rabbit hole to meander down.
Rakuten Canada Refer a Friend
Finally, the other thing that makes Rakuten.ca great is that they have a refer a friend program.
Can you really make money on Rakuten?
If you refer a friend or family member who doesn’t yet have Rakuten Canada and loves to online shop, and they make a purchase within 30 days of more than $30, you will get $30 deposited into your Rakuten.ca account and they will get $30 deposited into their Rakuten.ca account.
They recently increased their promotion in August 2021 as it is usually a $5 cash back when you sign up but it is now $30.
The Ebates or Rakuten Canada referral sign up bonus is very lucrative and you can really make money online with this.
Previously Canadian Rakuten members got $10 for each referral. Rakuten has given out $250,000 to 25,000 Rakuten members in referral bonuses, that’s in 2019 ALONE.
It’s a nice discount for online shopping and referring friends… especially if you have a great friends network who likes to shop online and get cash back.
This Rakuten referral bonus is even on top of the cash back that you would normally get from shopping through the Rakuten portal, like for example, up to 5% off Sephora purchases.
The main thing is to make sure your friends and family complete a purchase of $30 or more within 30 days of signing up for the Rakuten referral bonus.
Rakuten Canada Cons
My Rakuten Canada review is positive. I definitely think Rakuten Canada is worth using.
Although Rakuten Canada seems amazing, everything is not all roses with Rakuten but to be honest, the cons are not bad at all.
The Rakuten cash back is legit.
Here are some negatives that I have noticed with Rakuten.ca while shopping online and getting cash back.
- You don’t get cash back if you used a gift card to make the purchase (I guess this is obvious but it would still be nice). I tried getting cash back from Rakuten using a The Hudson Bay Company gift card to make the purchase but you just can’t if you used a gift card (even if a gift card was used for a portion of it and not the whole purchase)
- If you don’t download the extension you can easily forget to shop through the Rakuten Canada portal. I have done this on a number of occasions (like this morning when I bought laundry hampers from Amazon Canada!! Darn!). I should download the extension to remind myself. And apparently even if you do download the extension, you might still have to go through the Rakuten portal for certain stores, like Amazon.ca. This is from the Rakuten Express chrome extension review.
- The biggest complaint is that sometimes you don’t get cash back on your purchase or it doesn’t register your purchase. This has happened only a few times so far but it wasn’t a large value or amount so I just brushed it off.
- Finally, their emails can be a bit annoying in your inbox. I personally don’t intentionally make purchases from their emails notifying me that there is double cash back because I don’t want that to be an incentive to buy something when I don’t need anything.
Other than those minor annoyances, I find Rakuten Canada great, and am heading into year 4 of being an Rakuten.ca member (I should have been one earlier!).
Hope you enjoyed this Rakuten Canada Review, if you haven’t signed up already, please do so now here 🙂
Just a reminder: The $30 bonus is deposited into your Rakuten Canada (Ebates) account when you make your first purchase of $30 or more within 30 days of signing up.
You will be given your own referral where you can refer your friends/family/acquaintances for $30 each referral when they make a purchase of $30 or more from one of the Rakuten stores within 30 days of signing up.
Rakuten Canada is worth the sign up, even Rakuten reviews on reddit agree. It is not a scam and Rakuten Canada is legit.
If you’re interested in checking out Rakuten Canada’s competitor, here’s a review of Great Canadian Rebates.
You may be interested in these posts:
- Caddle review
- Rexall Be Well Review
- Easy Ways to Get Free Gift Cards in Canada
- Passive income ideas in Canada
- How to save on groceries in Canada
Do you use Rakuten Canada?
What’s your Rakuten Canada review?
Do you use the Rakuten Express Extension?
GYM is a 30 something millennial interested in achieving financial freedom through disciplined saving, dividend and ETF investing, and living a minimalist lifestyle. Before you go, check out my recommendations page of financial tools I use to save and invest money. Don’t forget to subscribe for blog updates, a free dividend yield spreadsheet, and the free Young Money Bootcamp eCourse.