Honey Vs Rakuten: Which Is Better To Save The Most Money?

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honey vs rakuten

If you like saving money when you shop, you’ll be interested in knowing the details of Honey vs. Rakuten. 

Both of these shopping apps help you save money when you make purchases. But each works differently and can benefit your bank account in different ways. 

Read on to learn how they work and which app is best for you.  

What is Honey?

Honey is a browser extension and an app that works quietly in the background of your PC, laptop or mobile device. 

The app was founded in 2012 and automatically searches for current and working coupon codes for you as you shop. 

It will show you current codes for whatever you’re shopping for, and let you choose which code you want to use. 

The app also partners with over 3,700 stores to give you cash back when you shop by accessing the store through the Honey app. 

Honey makes money by sharing the cash back they get from merchants with you, the shopper. Honey was acquired by PayPal in 2020, and now officially goes by the name PayPal Honey.

What is Rakuten?

Rakuten is a cash-back shopping site that gives you cash back when you shop at your favorite stores by accessing them through your Rakuten account. 

The site was launched in 1997 as Buy.com and existed to sell computers, electronics and other online items. Rakuten acquired the site in 2010. 

In 2014, Rakuten acquired Ebates, a cash back shopping site. From there, the Rakuten brand focused solely on giving members cash back for online purchases. 

When you add to your cart and complete the purchase through your Rakuten account, you’ll earn the cash back specified by that specific merchant partner. 

As with Honey, Rakuten gets cash back when you complete a purchase as well, and that’s how the site earns money. 

Rakuten Vs Honey – Features

Here’s a look at key features that help distinguish each product.

1. Availability 

Honey is available, according to its website, for users in the United States, Canada, the UK, Australia and more. There’s no cost to join Honey. 

Regarding searching for coupon codes, Honey partners with over 30,000 stores. However, when it comes to cash-back shopping partnerships, Honey partners with over 4,500 stores.

According to Honey’s terms, you must be at least 18 years of age to join Honey, or the age of majority in your state, country or province. You can live in one of several countries and be a Honey member.

Rakuten is also free to join. You can join Rakuten if you are at least 18 years of age and reside in the United States.

Rakuten offers discounts from stores in the U.S., Canada and the UK. According to its website, Rakuten partners with over 3,500 stores for cash back discounts.

2. Automatic Coupon Codes

Both Honey and Rakuten offer automatic coupon codes. Rakuten shows the coupon codes to you when you’re signed in to your Rakuten account. 

Honey’s coupon code browser works quietly in the background, browsing for coupons as you shop. The Honey box will show up and offer to check the codes it’s found for you. 

It’s important to note that while both apps offer coupon codes, Honey’s system for finding codes is much easier to use and much more “automatic.” 

3. Browser Extensions

Both Honey and Rakuten browser extensions are similar and work well to find you the available savings on products. 

Rakuten is unique in that it has a comparison shopping feature that will occasionally let you know if a lower price is found. 

Honey has what’s called a Droplist. You can add items to your Droplist and Honey will let you know if the price fluctuates. 

4. Cashback Rewards

Cashback rewards are the crux of both of these apps and if you shop right, the money savings can be quite attractive. 

Rakuten and Honey’s cashback rewards work differently, however. With Honey, the rewards are called PayPal Rewards.

You’ll get a certain percentage back on your shopping trip as long as you are logged in to your Honey account. 

PayPal Rewards aren’t offered with every store that Honey supports, so you’ll have to keep your eyes open as you shop through the browser to see if there is a cashback offer. 

Rakuten offers cashback rewards when you shop at any partner store. You’ll get up to 50% cash back depending on the store. 

When you shop through Rakuten and browse the stores, you’ll see what percentage of cash back you’ll get for your purchase. 

Both browsers frequently change the amount of cash back you’ll get for a store.   

5. Mobile Apps

Both Honey and Rakuten have mobile browser extensions that are free to download. Honey’s mobile extension gives you access to Droplist and to PayPal rewards. 

Rakuten gives you the same shopping cashback amounts you’d get if you were shopping from your PC.

However, both Honey and Rakuten mobile extensions offer exclusive deals for mobile users. For that reason alone, you’ll want to download these money savings apps

6. Reward Options

It goes without saying that Honey offers PayPal cash as a way to cash out your cashback rewards. You need a minimum of 1,000 points to redeem your points to your PayPal account.

When you redeem your rewards to your PayPal account, you can choose to get actual cash or shopping credit on your PayPal account.

You can also redeem your PayPal Rewards to get a gift card from a number of retailer choices. The minimum amount varies based on the gift cards Honey is offering at the time. 

Honey also allows you to donate your earned rewards to a charity of your choice through CharityChoice. 

Rakuten’s redemption plan is much simpler: User your points to get a transfer to your PayPal account for cash, or have Rakuten mail you a check. 

7. Referral Programs

Both Honey and Rakuten have referral programs. With Honey, your referral has to sign up using your personalized referral link.

Once your referral signs up and earns their first PayPal Rewards with their first purchase, you’ll get your bonus. The referral bonus is 500 points as of this writing. 

Note that it may take up to 90 days for you to see your referral reward.

With Rakuten, your referral also needs to sign up using your unique referral link. Once your referral makes their first cash back reward purchase within 90 days of account opening, the reward is activated. 

Note that it may take several weeks to see your reward, so be patient. The reward amount will vary based on your referrals purchase and other factors. 

Is Honey or Rakuten Better? 

The answer to this question depends on a few things. The first question you need to ask yourself is, “Where do I most often shop?” 

If you shop often at stores where Rakuten offers the highest cash back, you may be better off using Rakuten.

Rakuten’s high and consistent cashback rates are attractive, and it pays you back in real cash. 

Honey, however, may be better for Amazon shoppers. Honey is great in that it checks for coupon codes automatically and works with sites all over the world. 

And if you like knowing about ways to get free gift cards, you may prefer Honey for its gift card cash back program.  

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use Honey and Rakuten on the same purchase?

Unfortunately, you can’t use Honey and Rakuten on the same purchase. Since both sites require you to shop and checkout through the coupon app, you can only choose one. 

And it’s important to note that in Rakuten’s FAQ section, it states that if you use coupon codes outside of what Rakuten offers, or even attempt to use outside coupon codes, your cash back earnings will likely be voided. 

Does Honey work on all websites?

Honey’s coupon code search works on almost all websites. However, the cash back shopping feature on Honey only works if you’re shopping at one of the 3,700+ partner stores. 

Does Rakuten work on all websites?

In order to earn cash back with Rakuten, you need to shop at one of the site’s 3,500 partner stores. And you need to access the store through your Rakuten account. 


Honey and Rakuten Alternatives

Honey and Rakuten are some of the best cash back shopping sites around. Interested in learning about others? Here are a couple of Honey and Rakuten alternatives you might also want to check out. 

TopCashback works like Honey and Rakuten. You need to access the store through the TopCashback portal and complete your purchase there as well. 

One unique thing about TopCashback is that where other stores split the cash back they get from retailers with users, TopCashback commits to giving all of the cash back they receive from your purchase directly to you.

You can get your earnings via PayPal, ACH deposit, gift card and more. 

Another alternative is Swagbucks which is one of the top GPT sites. However, Swagbucks also has a cash back shopping feature.  

Along with earning cash for playing games, watching videos and taking surveys, Swagbucks will give you a cash back bonus when you shop online. 

Similar to how Rakuten works, Swagbucks has a specified cash back percentage or dollar amount for each store. 

When you shop at a store by accessing it through Swagbucks, you’ll earn your cash back percentage. Remember that you have to both shop through Swagbucks and finish the purchase in the same transaction to earn your cash back. 

Rakuten VS Honey Comparison

Pair with credit card rewardsXX
Droplist feature to track pricesX
Best price featuresX
Available internationallyX
Wide range of retailersXX
Cash out rewardsQuarterlyMin of $10
Promo couponsXX
Earn cash back rewardsXX
Mobile appXX
Browser extensionXX
Sign up bonus$30500 points ($5)
Join for freeXX

Final Thoughts

Both Honey and Rakuten offer great ways to earn cash back on purchases you make. Depending on where you shop, you may prefer one over the other. 

Rakuten offers specified cash back amounts at over 3,500 stores. Honey works with more retailers, but cash back amounts are random and may be more or less than Rakuten offers. 

When shopping online, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to compare both sites as you contemplate making your purchase.