Frugal Living

Honey vs Rakuten vs BeFrugal: Which Pays More Cashback?

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Figuring out the best cashback website on the web can be a bit of a puzzle to figure out because nowadays, there are a dozen options. Rakuten, BeFrugal, and Honey are all great choices, but chances are you may be overwhelmed with which site to invest your time in.

Questions arise and pop in your head: which cashback website is the most reputable, pays the most, and worth your time? Hopefully by the end of this read today, you will be able to draw your own conclusions on which cashback site is the best.

How does the cashback business model work?

One of the most common questions I hear from readers is how cashback websites are able to pay users for online purchases they would have already have made otherwise. The answer is because there are advertising fees from retail partners that get passed on as an incentive, commonly known as affiliate marketing. The only difference is that cashback websites like Honey, Rakuten, and BeFrugal pass on some of the affiliate earnings they make from their retail partners onto the consumer in hopes the cashback keeps you, the consumer, happy and loyal on their platform to spend more money over the lifetime of your consumer journey.

For example: If you purchase a microfiber blanket from Macy’s for $29.99 and remember to check out with Honey’s cashback button, you will be eligible for a fixed percentage in cashback if Macy’s is an eligible retailer with cashback incentive at the time of purchase.

In other words, every party gets a cut: you, the consumer, the cashback website, and the retailer from the sale you generated. It is a win-win-win situation.

How to get the most earnings from cashback websites?

The best way to approach cashback websites is to dedicate your time to one platform. I have found that although different platforms may be offering a higher cashback incentive from another platform sometimes, by using multiple platforms, you may be spreading yourself thin on ever cashing out your payday because there are minimum thresholds to cashback.

I strongly recommend evaluating your spending habits on which store retailers you commonly shop at and then assessing the cashback incentives on the major cashback portals like Honey, Rakuten, or BeFrugal to find the best fit. From there, you will be able to make a case on which cashback site makes the most sense for your spending habits.

Is there a minimum threshold to cash out?

Yes. In most cases, there is a very small minimum threshold before you can officially cash out your accumulated cashback payout. Below are the minimum thresholds for each of the popular cashback websites.

The case for Honey

In many ways, Honey revolutionized cashback and coupon redemption via the famous Chrome add-on. Prior to Honey, many coupon sites didn’t even offer cashback, let alone offer much cashback incentive to the end-user in such a seamless and easy to use manner. The beauty of using honey’s all-in-one Chrome addon is that it is really a simple add and forget solution. Once installed, Honey will automatically apply existing coupon codes and offer you free cashback if the purchase qualifies by parsing through all the existing coupon codes in their extensive coupon database.

Pros of the Honey cashback Chrome plugin

  • Easy-to-use all-in-one solution
  • Applying existing coupons through a click of a button
  • Instantaneous cashback reminders
  • Easy to use user interface
  • Mobile-friendly
  • Very reasonable cashback rates across their entire merchant catalog

What does this mean for you, the consumer?

In other words, Honey makes forgetting to apply cashback offers and coupons almost close to impossible because it streamlines the entire process and the Chrome add-on frequently reminds you of cashback opportunities so it is simply hard to forget. You earn extra cashback on top of your regular purchase, let alone save time looking for coupon codes that can greatly reduce your overall cart purchase. It’s a win-win solution that is extremely convenient for the frugal shopper. Every penny adds up over time. Don’t underestimate the beauty of accumulated savings over time. The amount may shock you after a year or two of consistent online shopping with cashback from Honey.

The case for Rakuten

Rakuten is the most popular cashback and coupon website on the web currently. The sheer number of users using the platform alone should speak volumes about the sheer number of retail partnerships they were able to obtain in their marketplace. In other words, just about any store should have some form of eligible cashback incentive at Rakuten. The benefit of the widespread use of Rakuten means that about every purchase you make online at a qualifying store merchant will net you a significant amount of cashback. Moreover, Rakuten has a reputation for offering lucrative double cashback events in which the regular cashback percentage offered for participating merchants double, which is always a plus.

For example, Walmart may be offering a 5% cashback normally on Rakuten. With the double cashback event, you may easily find yourself getting an absurd 10% on your overall cart purchase instead, which I’d argue is extremely generous considering normal credit card cashback usually nets up to only 3-5% of credit card cashback normally. Oh, and by the way, credit card cashback can stack and be combined with regular cashback incentives with Rakuten too.

Pros of the Rakuten cashback Chrome plugin

  • Easy-to-use all-in-one solution
  • Applying existing coupons through a click of a button
  • Frequent cashback reminders
  • Good customer service
  • Lots of cashback promotions and an overall high percentage of payouts per merchant
  • Mobile-friendly

The case for BeFrugal

BeFrugal is the smallest competitor out of the three of Honey, Rakuten, and BeFrugal. But that doesn’t mean you should discount the platform entirely. Smallest sites tend to have a unique advantage over bigger competitors and in the case with BeFrugal, time and time again, I would see BeFrugal offer much more generous rates for some qualifying merchants in relation to Honey or Rakuten. So, if you are opting for the strategy of using multiple cashback platforms and going for the highest cashback percentage, I’d strongly recommend crosschecking BeFrugal’s cashback rate because they offer some very generous promotions and rates that even top Rakuten of Honey combined.

In summary, BeFrugal is a dark horse for obtaining top dollar for some eligible store retailers so definitely be on the lookout when contemplating where you want to get the highest cashback payout for large bulk orders.

Pros of the BeFrugal cashback Chrome plugin

  • Easy-to-use all-in-one solution
  • Instantaneous cashback reminders
  • Mobile-friendly
  • Very generous cashback rates across select qualifying merchants topping even Rakuten or Honey cashback rates
  • Frequent promotions
  • Underdog cashback website commonly used within the frugal community

Which cashback website do I use?

Due to the sheer popularity of Honey and Rakuten, I actually use a combination of them both and alternate depending on the higher cashback amount per merchant on a case by case basis. I have found the experience to be very straight forward and really have to say the earnings really do accumulate fast overtime. I redeem my cashback out consistently and have had no qualms against any of the platforms. The experience has been easy to use and a breeze so far.

I’d strongly recommend sticking with one cashback platform though, unless you do a ton of online shopping and can spread out your cashback earnings across multiple platforms. Otherwise, optimizing for your spending habits and figuring out which stores you commonly shop at is the best approach in determining which cashback platform is best fit for your spending activity.



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Just another aspiring small business owner and amateur photographer blogging in an attempt to break down personal finance lingo.

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