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Personal Finance

Cashback – Save money without cutting your spending

If you’re not using cashback sites to make your everyday online purchases, you’re missing out. Big. Read on and start saving.

What is a cashback site?

Cashback sites like TopCashback and Quidco sit between you and an online retailer, like a middleman, and they get paid for the lead when you make a purchase. The cashback site splits that money with you, so it’s win-win.

So far, I’ve made £581.05 in cashback.

How does it work?

Let’s say you’re looking for the best deal on car insurance, and you head to GoCompare and run a comparison.

GoCompare will give you a list of insurance offers, each with a link. That’s an ‘affiliate’ link.

Let’s say you choose a policy from Admiral. That affiliate link tells Admiral that you came from GoCompare, so when you buy that policy, Admiral pay GoCompare for providing the lead.

But what if you got a cut of that lead money? Cashback!

‘Getting paid to shop’

Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Create a free account on TopCashback and Quidco
  2. When you’re ready spend, search for the retailer on both TopCashback and Quidco to check which has the best rate
  3. There’ll be an affiliate link to the retailer’s website waiting for you. Click it!
  4. Shop and make your purchase as normal
  5. Await your cashback

In-Store Cashback

Both TopCashback and Quidco let you register your debit and credit cards, so you’re not limited to the web. I prefer to register all of my cards, then forget about it, earning a little extra cashback with minimal effort.

Tips for success

Understand special rates

Often, different categories, brands or items will have better promotional rates than other items from the same retailer. Always make sure you know what rate you’ll get.

Check for missing cashback

Cashback sites give an estimate of when the cashback should track. If you’ve waited and it’s still missing, open a missing cashback claim – it only takes a moment and they’ll do their best to help.

Don’t rely on cashback

Remember, cashback isn’t guaranteed

Check the cashback reviews.

Some retailers are more reliable than others

Don’t leave your money hanging

When your cashback is confirmed, withdraw your money ASAP – better you earn interest on it than them!

Help them help you

Affiliate links can be a bit temperamental, and if one doesn’t work, the retailer won’t know to pay. Here are some tips to help them along:

If you have the retailer’s website open in another tab or window, close it and start again via the cashback site

Temporarily turn off any ad-blocking, pop-up blocking and script blocking (if you’re not sure what these are, you’re probably not using them)

If you still have trouble, clear your cache before you start – most websites use ‘cookies’, tiny files that sit on your computer for a limited time, to remember data. If there are cookies from the cashback site and the retailer, things could get crossed.

Stick to the big names

TopCashback and Quidco both match, and sometimes beat, better rates.

Read the fine print

Each retailer has it’s own T&Cs, as does each cashback site. Be sure to check them!

What are you waiting for? Sign up at TopCashback and Quidco and start getting paid to shop!