Rakuten (formerly eBates) is one of the biggest cashback shopping portals, where you earn a rebates on your online (and possibly in-store, see below) purchases. Right now, they have an limited-time $40 new user bonus via referral when you make your first purchase of $40+ through any participating Rakuten retailer within 90 days of joining. The standard non-referral bonus is only $10.

All of the cashback portals also have double or more cashback during this Black Friday/Cyber Week time period, so be sure to use some sort of cashback portal if you can.

Finally, note that many travel sites participate, including Booking.com, Expedia.com, VRBO, Hawaiian Airlines (direct), Marriott.com (direct), IHG Hotels (direct), Priceline, Orbitz, Hotels.com.

Rakuten is also somewhat unique in that they offer in-store cashback as well at a variety of physical stores like Macy’s, Mattress Warehouse, Staples, Neiman Marcus, Petsmart, Nordstrom Rack, Food Lion, Sephora, and more.

Here’s an overview of the process:

  • You must first link your debit or credit card and provide eBates with your credit card information. Works with Visa, Mastercard, and American Express.
  • Then, you must manually add a specific store. You can use their smartphone app (iOS/Android) for convenience. Be aware of some exclusions like gift card purchases.
  • Shop at the store register with that specific credit card. Debit cards must be run as “credit” purchases where you sign (no PIN). It’s very discreet. You don’t need to say anything, show a membership card, provide a coupon, etc. You don’t need to keep the receipt.
  • After you shop, the store will be unlinked automatically. If you want to shop at that store again, you must remember to manually re-link the offer again to your card.
  • You may not get instant confirmation. Look for a confirmation within a week or so.

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Rakuten Black Friday: $40 New Member Bonus via Referral, Cashback Boosts from My Money Blog.

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