Updated: Aug 20, 2021
CashBack Apps: The Basics
“If you buy through our website, we’ll give you free money in return.”
Sounds like a crazy scam, right?
I thought so too, until I did my research and realized exactly how and why Cash Back apps are some of the most genius tools for shoppers looking to lead a financial minimalist lifestyle. If you didn’t already know, financial minimalism is the ability to perceive between necessity, practicality, and luxury to prevent ourselves from becoming prisoners of our own possessions. Simplification to save money and only invest in what will truly serve us is the foundation of financial minimalism. Basically, financial minimalist ties the minimalist lifestyle with financial literacy and frugality, making Cash Back apps the perfect accompaniment if you’re looking to start investing in items that bring you joy and make you some extra money. If you want to know more about financial minimalism and how it can serve you please see one of our other articles, to learn more about Cash Back apps, keep reading.
While there are lots of ways to make money online, most of them require a significant amount of time, effort, and dedication. Building a side hustle online is certainly not for everyone, especially those working demanding jobs. Getting paid to spend money? That’s something anyone can do.
Using cashback apps through your purchases allows you to earn free money through something you are already doing: shop. While financial minimalists aren’t going on shopping sprees constantly, they do need to buy groceries, basic household items, etc. Even if you’re a frugal finance guru, you still spend a considerable amount of money each week simply keeping yourself alive and your household rolling. When you add up all these costs - for reference, the average Canadian family household spends around $60,000 a year on consumption costs - earning as low as 1% of that through cash back would really add up over
the course of a year – and many apps offer far more than 1%.
Even better, you could combine cash back apps with a credit card offering cashback and effectively earn double the cash back on all your purchases. You could also combine the apps with conventional coupons; in fact, many cashback websites have a ‘special offers’ tab that helps you to do exactly this. Lots of cash back apps also offer extra ways to make some money through other activities, so when times are tough, you have the means to top up your bank account in the palm of your hand. Some of the most popular cashback apps include KOHO, Swagbucks, and our personal favourite, Rakuten.
About Rakuten Canada
According to their website, Rakuten.ca has helped its members - 6 million and counting - earn over $70 million in Cash Back at their favourite stores since launching in 2021. They’re succeeding in their mission to connect shoppers with top brands they already know and love in order to provide Cash Back on items they buy every day. It’s a win-win, Rakuten and its customers split the commission the company provides for finding the store a shopper, and the retail partners also find a new loyal customer and drive record sales by using Rakuten. With over 750 stores, everyone is bound to find one of their favourite stores or discover something new on Rakuten.ca. They provide a timeline of their history to demonstrate their growth and success in Canada:
How Does Rakuten Work?
If you have an online purchase you’d like to make, visit Rakuten.ca prior to going directly to the online store you’d like to purchase from. Once in your Rakuten profile, you’ll be able to search for the retailer you want. You can then see what items are available for Cash Back and for what percent on what item. Once you purchase your item, you’re Cash Back will be sent to you either through PayPal or cheque every quarter.
As stated above, the Cash Back is a bonus on top of any other coupons, promotions, or credit card points you can take advantage of. You could even use your everyday purchases from Rakuten to travel by earning major travel points on your credit card.
Signing Up for Rakuten
Signing up for Rakuten is completely free and only takes a few seconds.
Use a Referral Link to get to Rakuten.ca you’ll see a ‘join now’ button in the top right corner. Click that and you’ll get a pop up asking if you want to join using Facebook, your Apple account, or your email. You can choose whichever option you prefer and that’s it - you have signed up for Rakuten.
Rakuten Partners: Your Favourite Household Names
Rakuten partners with a whopping 750+ retailers. Retainers include your favourite international and Canadian stores, such as: Sephora, Amazon.ca, Aldo, Home Depot, Best Buy, Indigo, Expedia, GAP, Hotels.com, Hudson’s Bay, Joe Fresh, Staples, Ticketmaster, and so many more! You can check out the complete list of retailers here. The amount of Cash Back you can earn varies store to store. Rakuten also offers daily promotions on different stores - so be sure to check back frequently to capitalize on the extra Cash Back potential!
How To Get The Best Deals
When you sign in to your Rakuten account, your home page will show you current cash back rates for popular partners. Rakuten states that you can save up to 30% with partner retailers, though research shows that most rates are 5% or less. Still 5% of your yearly grocery bill is nothing to scoff at! If you see anything at 5% or higher, we’d recommend jumping on that free money quickly - the Cash Back rates are constantly changing, so purchase before your high Cash Back offer disappears. Also, keep in mind that not every item for sale by your retailer is eligible for the advertised Cash Back rate, so always double check before you make your purchase. Amazing Bonuses: Rakuten’s Gift Card Store Rakuten.ca stands out from other online shopping portals with its gift card shop. You can buy gift cards from Rakuten with cash-back you’ve earned! These gift cards will then be added to your shopping portal. The list of gift cards offered includes Cineplex, Esso, Loblaw, No Frills, Shoppers, Uber, etc. See all the gift card partners here. These gift cards make amazing gifts (that you got for FREE) or can be used to continue to buy through Rakuten and get even more free money.
What are you waiting for? Sign-up now and get $5!
You’ll instantly get a $5.00 bonus if you make an online eligible purchase of $25 or more using someone’s referral link.
Once you have an account you can then refer your friends and family and for each referral you make, you and the person you refer will both get a $5.00 bonus.
P.S.: A Pro Tip
As you know by now, you can earn cash back with Rakuten when you get to online stores through their website, but you can earn even more cash if you use one of the best cash back credit cards Canada has to offer. For example, the Tangerine World Mastercard allows you to earn 2% on up to three categories of your choice. You can check out the entire article we have on Tangerine on our website, along with other financial literacy and financial minimalism tips you can use to have money today. Comment down below - have you used Rakuten? If so, how much money have you made?