Fluz vs. Rakuten [2021]: Is One Better for Earning Money?

Fluz and Rakuten offer different features and benefits. But one cashback app might work better for you than the other.
Last updated Nov 9, 2021 | By Ben Walker | Edited By Melinda Sineriz
Woman shopping with phone in hand

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Cashback apps can be helpful for earning extra cash from purchases you’re already making, such as buying groceries or shopping for gifts. But it’s not always easy to figure out which app might be the most useful for you. With loads of apps to choose from, it can be confusing to try and navigate through different features, benefits, and overall earning potential.

Fortunately, we’ve done the research to provide you with a Fluz vs. Rakuten app review and comparison. This will help you learn more about both of these popular apps, so you can ultimately decide which app is the better option for you — or if it might make sense to use both. Let’s see how they compare.

In this article

Fluz vs. Rakuten

If you’re learning how to save money, apps like Fluz and Rakuten can help. They aren’t necessarily designed to make you rich, but for the average user, they can typically boost your earnings in small increments over time.

In many ways, using these apps can be thought of as getting a discount on your everyday purchases. And in some cases, you could have the opportunity to earn more money through the apps’ networking and referral programs.

Use the table below to get a quick overview of how the Fluz app and Rakuten app stack up against each other.

Fluz
Rakuten
Online vs. offline shopping Online and offline Online and offline
Type of app Mobile app (iOS and Android) and browser extension (Chrome) Mobile app (iOS and Android) and browser extension (Chrome, Edge, Firefox, and Safari)
Redemption options
  • PayPal deposit
  • Venmo account deposit
  • Transfer to bank account
  • Gift card
  • Transfer to a virtual debit card
  • PayPal deposit
  • Mailed check
  • American Express Membership Rewards points
Minimum cash out $26 $5.01
Rewards expiration Rewards don’t expire Rewards don’t expire, but they’re subject to account maintenance fees after 12 months of inactivity
Best for... Earning cash back from networking and popular retailers Online shopping
Visit Fluz Visit Rakuten

How does Fluz work?

Fluz is a mobile app and browser extension that offers cash back for online shopping, in-store shopping, and networking (inviting friends to use the app). The app is available on iOS and Android devices, and the browser extension can be added to Chrome browsers.

Earning rewards with Fluz is different from other types of cashback apps. It involves buying a gift card through Fluz, earning cash back on the gift card purchase, and then using that gift card at your desired retailer. This strategy can be used for both online and in-store shopping trips, but it may be easier to do online. This is because you can add items to your online cart and see how much you owe for taxes, fees, and shipping costs before checkout. Then it’s a matter of purchasing a gift card on Fluz for that exact amount and using the gift card to complete your online purchase.

Because you can buy Fluz gift cards using credit cards, you can double dip on earning credit card rewards and cash back through the app. Fluz partners with hundreds of retailers, including popular merchants such as Amazon, Uber, Netflix, DoorDash, Hulu, GameStop, and Spotify.

The Fluz app also offers opportunities to earn cash back from inviting friends to download and use the app. Your referred friends automatically join your network and you’ll passively earn cash back whenever they use Fluz. This can help you complete in-app bonuses for more cash back and continue earning cash back with little to no effort. Some users have earned thousands of dollars from growing their Fluz networks.

Read our Fluz review.

How does Rakuten work?

Rakuten (formerly known as Ebates) is a mobile app, cashback site, and browser extension that offers cashback opportunities through online and in-store purchases. The mobile app is available on Apple iOS and Android devices, and the browser extension can be added to Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge browsers.

Rakuten’s primary method for earning cash back is by using it when you shop online. As with similar companies, you simply have to click on a retailer from the Rakuten website and then complete your online purchase to earn cash back. If you use the browser extension, it’s even easier — all you have to do is click an “activate cash back” button.

If you want to use Rakuten for in-store purchases at places like grocery stores, you have to add a credit card as a payment method to your Rakuten account, link available offers in the Rakuten app, and then use your linked credit card to make purchases at the applicable store. Rakuten partners include companies like Roblox, Groupon, Adidas, Best Buy, Target, and more.

To boost your Rakuten earning potential, take part in its referral program. Rakuten regularly offers big bonuses for referring friends. Even better, both you and your friends can receive a bonus when you refer them.

Read our Rakuten review.

What both cashback apps excel at

You’ll find similar, overlapping benefits and perks for both Fluz and Rakuten. Here are some areas where both apps excel:

  • Free to use: There’s no charge for signing up for either service. Both the Fluz and Rakuten make money from their partnerships with top retailers, which means their users don’t have to pay a dime to use either app.
  • Gift cards: Both apps offer opportunities to buy digital gift cards. This is the primary cashback strategy with Fluz, but it’s an additional option with Rakuten. It could make sense to use both apps for buying gift cards because cashback rates for certain merchants are always changing. Using this approach, you can buy the gift card on the app offering the most cash back. Additionally, you might find each app has different options for which gift cards are available.
  • Everyday earning: Using Fluz and/or Rakuten isn’t meant as a replacement for your primary income. However, these types of cashback apps can be helpful for providing some savings on your everyday purchases. If you live in a state with sales tax, it could be seen as a way to get some or all of that tax back.
  • Popular retailers: Neither app would be too useful if they didn’t partner with stores you actually want to shop at. Fortunately, both Fluz and Rakuten have big names in their retailer lists, so it shouldn’t be an issue to find opportunities to earn cash back at some of your favorite stores. A few retailers you can find in both apps include GameStop, Hulu, Walmart, and Microsoft.

5 important differences between Fluz and Rakuten

If you want to know which app you might prefer, look at the differences between Fluz and Rakuten. Here are five to consider.

Networking and referrals

Most cashback apps have referral programs that allow you to invite friends and family to use their services. You typically earn some cash back if someone you refer signs up and uses the app. This is how Rakuten’s referral program works, with the added bonus that whomever you referred also receives some cash back.

Fluz works differently. You can let friends know how to save money with Fluz and they become part of your network. You also receive a Fluz voucher (your friend receives three vouchers) when you invite someone and they make their first purchase. Each voucher unlocks up to 35% cash back on the first $10 you spend at certain stores.

On the networking side, you’ll earn cash back whenever anyone in your network spends money in Fluz. This could lead to potentially large amounts of passive income if you’re good at networking, which isn’t possible with Rakuten. This doesn’t mean you can’t earn cash back through referrals with Rakuten, but that's a continued effort you have to put in.

Minimum cash out

The minimum cash out amount for Fluz is $26, whereas it’s anything over $5 with Rakuten. Because the average user doesn’t typically earn tons of cash back with these apps, it’s better to have a lower cash-out threshold compared to a higher one. This makes it easier to receive and use your funds.

Rakuten is seen as the winner in this category, but it should be noted that the $26 threshold for Fluz is a one-time requirement. Once you hit $26 in lifetime earnings with Fluz, you can typically withdraw any amount you’d like. But it could still take a while to get that first $26.

Cash-out options

The best redemption option on any cashback app is to typically get the closest thing to having cash in your hand. This is often seen as getting a bank deposit or something similar. Both Fluz and Rakuten offer deposits into PayPal accounts, which can then be transferred to a bank account. Fluz also offers Venmo deposits and direct transfers to a bank account.

Rakuten’s mailed check option can’t compete with a direct bank transfer, but Rakuten also offers converting your cashback rewards into Amex Membership Rewards points. This is a unique redemption option you likely won’t find anywhere else.

Both apps offer ways to turn your rewards into actual cash, which is helpful. But the winner in this category depends on your preferences.

Number of partnerships

Both apps partner with loads of retailers to provide a useful customer experience. Overall, Rakuten is by far the larger company, with more than 2,500 merchant partnerships and over 1.5 billion members worldwide. Now that’s a company with some support behind it.

Ease of use

How easy something is to use likely depends on each person. But if you look at the main services of both apps on paper, Rakuten seems to be the winner for ease of use. Fluz requires you to buy a gift card to earn cash back, whereas Rakuten can typically be used with just the push of a button.

Which cashback app should you choose?

There is no single best cashback app for everyone. It’s more likely that the best cashback app for each person will vary depending on personal preferences and lifestyle habits. Both Fluz and Rakuten offer ways to earn cash back, but they have different earning methods and features.

For in-store purchases and online shopping, Rakuten is likely the better option. It’s been around for a while and has a ton of global support. This translates to a simple and understandable user interface that’s easy to use, and you get to choose between helpful redemption options.

Fluz can be used for online and in-store shopping as well, but where this app shines is with its networking potential. With Fluz, your network can earn you passive income even if you haven’t used the app in a while. And the bonuses Fluz offers for building your network can be substantial.

Overall, Rakuten is likely the easier app to use for everyday shopping trips, but Fluz has a lot of potential with its networking program. To decide on the better option, see which app’s benefits and features align with your typical spending habits and preferences. If you can’t decide, there’s nothing wrong with using both apps. In fact, this could be a smart way to maximize your cashback earnings.

FAQs

Is Fluz a pyramid scheme?

No, Fluz is not a pyramid scheme. Pyramid schemes are illegal because you can earn money only if other people buy into the program. With Fluz, you can earn cash back from networking, but only if the people you invite actually use the app. If you invite someone and they don’t use Fluz at all, you won’t earn anything from them. And there’s no risk to your friend because Fluz is free to use — meaning they don’t have to invest any money in Fluz to become a member and start using it. You also don’t have to refer anyone to use Fluz.

What is the difference between Fluz and Rakuten?

Fluz and Rakuten have loads of differences, though their end goal is the same — to offer opportunities for their users to earn cash back. But they go about earning rewards in different ways. Fluz provides options to earn cash back on gift cards and then use those gift cards to make a purchase with a specific retailer. Rakuten is primarily used for online shopping trips and offers cash back when you use Rakuten to visit online retailers and complete an eligible purchase.

Can you use Fluz and Rakuten together?

Yes, it’s possible to use Fluz and Rakuten together, but you won’t necessarily earn cash back from both at the same time. You have to buy a gift card with Fluz and then use it to make your purchase. You can then click through to an online retailer with Rakuten for cash back, but Rakuten doesn’t offer cash back for the portion of your purchase bought with a gift card.

However, Rakuten can also help you find deals and coupon codes on specific sites. So you can use Rakuten to find a good deal and then use Fluz to make your purchase if you want to use them together.

Bottom line

With Fluz and Rakuten, it’s the little things that count. It may seem like a hassle to add another step to your shopping trips with a rewards app, but this small move could help you save money over time. And once you get used to using these new apps, earning cash back with them becomes like second nature.

But the right cashback app for you depends on your lifestyle and preferences. If you want to discover more important financial nuggets of information, learn how to manage your money.

Rakuten Benefits

  • Get a $10 bonus gift card when you spend at least $25 at a participating store
  • Earn cash back for shopping at your favorite stores
  • A quick and painless way to save money on your usual shopping trips

Author Details

Ben Walker Ben Walker is a credit cards and travel writer at FinanceBuzz who loves helping others achieve their travel goals through financially-sound decisions. For nearly a decade, he has been using credit card points and miles for the sole purpose of traveling the world. Ben has been featured in The Washington Post, MSN, Debt.com, and Finder.com.