More stores were added to the in-store cash back option for Rakuten. If you’re already using Rakuten for online shopping, it takes a few extra steps to take advantage of in store offers. As I mentioned at the end of last year in my Get Paid To Shop Online article, this program is still in the pilot stage. It’s been running for less than a year. In that time, I’ve used linked cards on offers twice. Within a few days of each purchase, I received an email from ebates stating I was getting cash back for my in-store purchases. The credit came in within 2-3 days after receiving the email on both. This is a relatively painless process, but it does take a little time.
I wish Sephora still took part in the in-store cash back, but it already disappeared and reappeared once. There is always a chance that it will return. Other than linking the offers before shopping, I did not have to do anything to get these credits. If your credit does not automatically apply, you can always file a customer service request for a missing payment. The missing payment inquiry is only designed for online payments, but it could include in-store purchases in the future.
The program started with 5 stores and quickly grew to 20 stores. It reached 25 recently and is now at 30. I think we’ll see even more by the first anniversary. Participating stores rotate, so it is a good idea to check in once a month. Click the link near the center of your screen when you’re logged in, and it will take you to the in-store cash back offers. You only have add your credit card numbers to your account once. Only Visa and American Express cards are accepted. Unfortunately, you have to link each individual card to each offer you want to partake in. This is somewhat time-consuming if you have multiple cards and want many offers. I add every Visa and American Express card I own to any offer I may use.
The 30 stores participating now are Dicks, The Body Shop, GNC, Neiman Marcus Last Call, Macy’s, john varvatos, Club Monaco, Tilleys, Saks Fifth Avenue, Old Navy, New York & Company, Moosejaw, Kiehl’s, Gap, Footwear etc, Eddie Bauer, buybuy Baby, Bed Bath & Beyond, Claim Jumper, Cost Plus World Market, Banana Republic, Ann Taylor, American Eagle Outfitters, Office Depot/Office Max, charmingcharlie, J. Crew Factory, FTF Fashion To Figure, Rebecca Taylor, Express, and Splendid.
Like online cash back offers, you get the specified cash back percentage when you activate an offer and use it. Online, you click-through the retailer link on the Rakuten page. In store, you make sure you’ve linked the offer before shopping. The difference between online and in store offers (so far as this could change later) is the online offers calculate cash back on the subtotal before tax. In-store offers calculate cash back on the grand total plus tax. That’s right, you are getting cash back on the tax, but you will not get cash back on the discounted amount. You typically get cash back on the discounted amount online (this sometimes gets manually adjusted if Rakuten notices the discount), so each method has its pros and cons. If your total is $100 in store and you have a discount for 20% off, you will get cash back on $80 plus tax. That same order online would give you cash back on $100 (the subtotal).
I’ve shopped at more than half of these stores in the past, so I think the store selection is decent. There is always a chance I can shop at any of them again. If I shop at any stores I have not already selected, I can always add the offers from the store on my phone. That is what I did on my first Sephora in store purchase where I received cash back. While shopping, I decided to see if Sephora was a participating store again. It was. This means, you can add an offer minutes before checking out, and you will still get credited for the purchase. Just make sure you add it before, because the time stamps may not process an offer added after checking out.
If you have not joined Rakuten yet or need more information, read my Rakuten page for more details. There is a $10 gift card bonus for making a purchase of $25 or more within 90 days of joining. See all Rakuten articles. View my main page for the guide map to the site and deeper deal exploration.
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