If you are shopping online this today — or even the rest of the week week — you’ll want to start at the online shopping portal Rakuten first to reap some great savings. For the entire week, Rakuten is offering 15% cash back at many popular retailers, but for today only, that savings has jumped up to 20% cash back. Not only that, if you are new to Rakuten (formerly known as Ebates), they are offering $40 to all new members through May 16. And all you have to do is use their site within the first 90 days of registering — pretty easy.
What is an online shopping portal?
Now, for those of you who have no idea what an online shopping portal is, here is my quick explanation:
It is an online website that you go to first when you are looking to purchase an item online. From the shopping portal, you’ll search for the desired store you are looking to make the purchase at and you will then be taken directly to the merchants website.
You’ll then continue to shop at that merchant the same exact way as if you went to the site first. Your purchase is tracked in the background and you’ll then earn points, miles or cash back (depending on the site used) for your purchase. There is absolutely no reason not to earn these extra points/miles or free money! It literally takes an extra minute of your time.
Real use practice
Right now you’ll see some highly desirable stores offering somewhere 15% and 20% cash back. There’s actually 100+ stores, which includes Under Armour, The Children’s Place, Lands’ End, Bloomingdales, Saks Fifth Avenue, JCPenney, J.Crew, Dick’s Sporting Good Store, TOM’s and many more.
So instead of going straight to the store directly to make your purchase, go to Rakuten first, search for the desired store and you’ll be taken straight to their website. It will have the exact same look and feel as you are used to, but your purchase will be tracked in the background.
For example, right now my kids are in the thick of spring sports and we need to place a large order for baseball equipment for my son from Dick’s Sporting Good. Instead of going straight to the store, going to Rakuten first we net me 15% off on my entire order. In fact, I just placed an order for $153 (ordered online for in-store pickup) and will end up with $23 back into my account. This is huge, especially since it took just an extra 30 seconds of my time on a purchase I was going to make anyways.
Or, if you prefer to earn points, instead of cash back, you can opt for American Express points. This will allow you to earn the same up to 20x Amex Membership Reward points, which is even a better deal for most — since you can redeem your Amex points for more than 1 cent apiece. With the same purchase I just made, this would have earned me 2,295 Amex Membership Reward points. I have my Amex points at close to 2 cents per point, which puts a $46 value on the points earned.
So if you are new to Rakuten, make sure to sign up now to get the $40 bonus and continue to earn cash back on every purchase you make. If you shop online at all, this is a great way to truly earn free money.