Rakuten Canada Review: Earn 1-10% More Cash Back

This Rakuten Canada review is long overdue, because any time it comes up in conversation in real life, I cannot shut up about how much I love it. 

And honestly, I really slept on it for a long time! Rakuten Canada (formerly ebates.ca) has been around for a while, quietly being the best thing to ever happen to online shoppers, and while I had heard good things, I kind of dismissed it because how great could it really be? I already had a cashback credit card, so I didn’t need Rakuten, right?

Wrong. Oh my god I was so wrong. Let’s dig into exactly how wrong and get right into the Rakuten Canada review.

Note: I personally use and love Rakuten Canada in my everyday life, and it’s earned me hundreds of dollars I wouldn’t have earned otherwise. The links in this review are affiliate links, and if you sign up I will earn a small commission at no cost to you.

What is Rakuten Canada?

Rakuten Canada (formerly ebates.ca) is a worldwide cash-back service that gives you 1% to 10% cashback on your online purchases at over 750 retailers in Canada, including big names like Amazon, lululemon, Lowes, Sephora, and more. All you have to do is start your online shopping from Rakuten.ca, or install their Chrome plugin and make sure it’s activated before you shop at a participating retailer. 

They also have a US website (Rakuten.com) that offers the same service, but for once, the awesome US service is available here in Canada, too.

Who can use Rakuten?

Rakuten is available to all Canadians.

Who should use Rakuten?

Rakuten Canada is something I think anyone who shops online should use. It’s one of those services that I bring up in conversations with friends, because it’s so fantastic, and has earned me several hundred dollars this year in extra cashback that I never would have received otherwise—on purchases I was going to make either way.

Is Rakuten a scam?

No, Rakuten Canada is not a scam! This question isn’t one I would think to include in a typical review, but it came up in conversation recently with a coworker and you should have seen my face. I can understand why it might sound too good to be true—extra cashback, just for clicking a link?—but it really is that good, and that true.

How does Rakuten work?

Here’s a bit more on how Rakuten Canada works, to help you understand why it’s so great. Retailers like Sephora, lululemon, Lowes, Amazon, and every other store listed on Rakuten, all offer affiliate programs. When an affiliate refers a customer to the retailer’s store, and the customer buys something, the affiliate earns a percentage of the sale at no cost to you, the customer.

Rakuten Canada is an affiliate for the retailers they list on their site. When you buy through their links, they earn a part of the money you were going to spend anyways. That’s where they get the cash to reward you with extra cashback: It’s a portion of what they earned as an affiliate for the sale.

How do you open a Rakuten account?

It’s dead-simple to create a Rakuten account. Click on this link and you’ll be able to create an account quickly and easily—it’s not like opening an account at a financial institution, and more like logging into a social network. 

What’s the best part about Rakuten?

The best part about Rakuten Canada is the extra money you earn on purchases you were going to make anyways. This year, I’ve earned almost $400 on purchases that were planned, saved for, and that I was definitely going to make either way. That’s on top of any credit card points or cash-back rewards I earned using my card to buy them, too.

However, I think a very close second-best part is their Chrome extension. It can be hard to remember to start every online shopping trip at rakuten.ca, so they made a Chrome extension that works on all of their partner retailers’ websites.

It starts with search—you’ll see the cashback offers for a retailer when you search for them on Google, right in their search listing. Then, when you get to the website, you’ll be able to activate your cashback with a single click, and Rakuten will remind you to do it. 

Then all you have to do is shop as usual, and you’ll earn extra cashback.

What’s the worst part about Rakuten?

The only real downside I have found is that it can be really tempting to start shopping more when you load up Rakuten.ca and see all the cashback deals. It’s important to remember that 10% back on a purchase you weren’t going to make in the first place is still 90% you weren’t going to spend, and to make sure you stick to buying things you’ve already decided on. 

Plus, remember that the cashback works whether you have a discount code or not, so it’s still worth waiting for sales and stacking your Rakuten Canada cashback offers on top of that. 

Can I use Rakuten with my cashback credit card or points card?

Yes! The great thing about Rakuten Canada is that it applies to the exact same purchases you were going to make anyways, so you can use your regular credit card and still earn the rewards you were going to earn on the card. Same goes for any reward programs. 

Here’s a good example: When we were shopping for appliances for our new kitchen, we did our research and found the exact models we wanted at Lowes. When we bought them online, we used Rakuten Canada for extra cashback, put them on our Tangerine cashback Mastercard to earn 2% cashback, and we snagged Air Miles thanks to a promo Lowes was running. 

How much does Rakuten cost?

Rakuten Canada is totally, 100% free to use. 

Overall Rakuten Canada review

Honestly, I kick myself when I think about the years I wasted knowing this was a thing and not using it. I now get a cheque in the mail for at least $100 every few months, that I use on purely fun things for myself. I don’t shop any more than I used to, but when I do now, it’s much more rewarding.

If you shop online at all, I could not recommend Rakuten Canada more strongly or emphatically. You need this! 

Rakuten Canada Review
  • Ease of Use
  • Value of Rewards
  • Selection of Retailers