Did You Know You Could Buy E-Gift Cards on Rakuten?

As much as I love using Rakuten in the instances when I do go shopping online, the truth is that their in-store line-up isn’t quite as strong. Moreover, there are times when I don’t necessarily have a specific purchase in mind but could see myself visiting a given retailer in the future. That’s why I was intrigued to recently discover that Rakuten offers an e-gift card shop that rewards you with cashback on your purchases.

In Rakuten’s gift card shop, you can find offerings from a long list of brands, including retailers and restaurants. They also seem to come in a range of denominations, from $5 up to $500 from what I saw. That said, the denominations offered will depend on the brand. For example, while Applebee’s cards can be purchased for $5, $25, $50, $100, or $200, Fandango only has $25, $50, and $100 gift cards available.

Just like regular Rakuten, the amount of cashback you’ll earn for your gift card order can vary not only by brand but also by whatever whim the site might have (seemingly — I’m sure there’s actually a science or reason to it). While some cards will currently yield you a paltry 1.0% back, others go as high as 10%. On the whole, though, I’d say the average is around 4% to 5% as of this writing. However, these rates are listed as increased offers, with the “was” rate showing mostly 1%s and 2%s across the board.

When ordering your gift card, you can first select whether it’s for you or for someone else. Rakuten will also display a censored version of the email address associated with your account so that you can change it if need be. Meanwhile, if you’re actually gifting the gift card, you’ll be able to enter the recipient’s email, your email (so it will say who it’s from), and type a message. I also appreciate how Rakuten clearly shows how much cash back you’ll be earning before you proceed. In terms of payment, you can select from cards you’ve already linked to the platform or add a new one.

To be honest, I’m really not sure how long this feature has existed since I don’t tend to spend much time on Rakuten’s homepage. Funny enough, I also recently mentioned in my review of the app Fold that I appreciated the ability to purchase gift cards and earn cashback (or Bitcoin back, in the case of Fold). In any case, while there may be other ways of purchasing gift cards at better discounts, I definitely still see use in Rakuten’s e-gift card shop. For one, since the platform requires you to obtain at least $5 in rewards before they’ll send you your Big Fat Check, it may make sense to purchase a gift card you know you’ll use to help push you over that threshold. Also, if this gift card shop functions like the site itself, there’s a good chance we could see some significantly increased deals from time to time. With all of that in mind, if you haven’t already, I’d recommend giving Rakuten’s e-gift card shop a gander.


Kyle Burbank

Kyle is a freelance writer and author whose first book, "The E-Ticket Life" is now available on Amazon. In addition to his weekly "Money at 30" column on Dyer News, he is also the editorial director and a writer for the Disney fan site LaughingPlace.com and the founder of Money@30.com.

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