UK Cashback Sites

If you don’t know this already.. why not!!

Registering and shopping via Cashback sites can earn you some bonus pocket money.. simples

How do Cashback Sites Work?

There are 2 or 3 (more probably) ways to use them, but mostly if you’ve already done your homework and have decided to go for a particular deal , be it Sky Broadband, Tesco shopping, changing Home Insurance or Mobile phone deal.. or just buying jnr’s next set of football boots, before going direct to the to the site to get it, log into your favourite Cashback site and check if the seller is there, if so there may be a % cashback offer, or a voucher code that can be used when you get to the checkout, if you’re lucky there may be £20-£100 cashback offer, there are often large deals on Insurance and Telecom products!

So if you’re already shopping online you could be missing out on some bonus pocket money… but it’s not just online that CashBack can be had.. when I shop in Sports Direct (as 1 example) and use my switch card, I get cash back too. admittedly it’s not a lot but as I’m frequently in there and then there’s Cineworld which even if you’ve booked the tickets online and then pay them with your registered card, viola cashback there too.. so used both ways it can fair mount up -  and with the “instore” cashback  it’s money for nothing as generally you won’t change your High Street spending habits.

Another way to earn bonuses is to refer your friends, which is what I’m doing now ;)

There are more but for now, as I’ve already checked out most of the UK CashBack sites and have being using the 2 biggest ones for a couple of years I’ll tell you about them and why I use 2.. both of these claim to be the UK’s #1 CashBack site, and it’s not hard to see why each has their good points and they both offer a very large selection of places to shop. Logo

Quidco, the secret to smart shopping is the one I use most as it is the one that offers the in-store cashback feature too, the site is really simple to use very uncluttered and you can see exactly how much you’re due (is tracking)  at a glance. Now if you decide to register with them could you do so via clicking on the link in the picture to to the left, or the one in the sidebar here.. it would be appreciated, but it’s not obligatory!

Quidco also have a mobile app, which may well offer another benefit to those of you with smart phones, unfortunately the app isn’t available for my Blackberry so I haven’t been able to test it out yet.  They recently (still running at time of writing) had a “check in” promotion whereby if you were in the high street shopping and checked in to their various merchants you were getting a few pounds ;)

Quidco, because of these extra features, takes a little longer to set up properly first, ie. don’t forget to register a card with them to get the benefit of the “in-store” feature. Quidco also “charge” for your membership, but.. they don’t debit your account however, they just take the first £5 per year off your earnings so this is where you need to weigh up the benefits of having the extra ways to earn, and if you’ll use them. It is though my favourite, as yes the £5 is outweighed by what IO can get from “in-store” shopping, so any other offers/or vouchers are a bonus. Logo

TopCashBack – UK’s most generous cashback site are the next biggest and also a popular site. Again the site is very bright and clear, but I find it slightly less easier to use than Quidco, though not much! On the surface when looking at their deals, they are indeed “more generous” than Quidco with their Cashback deals.. usually by about 1%.. i.e. 10p-50p  on your average deal. This is quite a recent change and they do say you can increase that “generosity” up to 5% the more you use the site, that I will have to wait to test. Up until now I had never really used TopCashBack because the “in-store shopping” was the deal-breaker for me . However that along with the fact that they’re free to use surely makes it an either or situation now :)


Some Words of Caution

A broken cookie trail will mean CashBack sites can’t track your order with the merchant.

While there’s no risk, and it really is an easy way to rack up some pounds/pennies, there are some bad points or things to aware of, and they apply equally to both. It is advised that you only ever look on anything you get from CashBack sites as a bonus, do not rely on any deal being offered to sway your decision if you’re getting a slightly better deal elsewhere.. e.g.  say you’re offered a £300 insurance policy somewhere not available on a cashback site, but you’re getting offered a £390 deal via a cashback site that’s offering you £100 cash back, great you think I’ll do the cashback one as it’s working out £10 cheaper…. hmm maybe, maybe not.. sometimes cashback offers don’t track, this is usually down to a cookie trail breakdown on your computer  – a clear cookie trail between the cashback site and the merchant is required to ensure proper tracking of bonuses.

You can of course, on both sites, put in a claim for such instances.. but good luck with that! Even if you are successful it may well have taken more time than it was worth. i.e. months. The other thing that may put you off using it for a dealbreaker is the time some things take to get tracked & processed in general. In a lot of the larger deals it can take up around 4 months as a standard.. and for example if you go via a cashback site when booking you next years holiday, even if everything does track properly, it’s unlikely you will get paid until after you come home from that holiday. Basically the merchants will build in time to make sure the original order is not cancelled/returned before they pay out.. well that’s the way I think about it anyway. Obviously with shorter term purchases like Tesco food, the turnaround is a lot quicker maybe 4-6 weeks… so as long as you only ever think about this as money you wouldn’t otherwise have, you’re good to go :)


And finally…

I have 1 thing tracking in each account right now as I wanted to test TopCashBack before writing this, I’ve no idea how long it will be before, or even if, they will get paid  – but if they do it’ll be £45 for something I was doing anyway!! :) – more will be revealed on this in a later post

added: should’ve said that reference the “broken cookie trail” – the best way to ensure things track properly is to clear the cookies on your browser before you start, this is also to be recommended if you are wanting to go through to a deal at a shop (say Tesco) that you’ve already shopped at quite recently to ensure they pick up the “new” information the CashBack sites are trying to send through to them.. if you need to know how just Google [Your browser] clear cookies.. obviously replace [your browser] with Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome, (no brackets required) whatever it happens to be

IMHO, the hardest bit about these sites is actually remembering to use them, or update card details when your old one expires .. ooops – but I’m writing this not only so everytime I see my blog I’ll get a big reminder, but in the hope it helps you lot too.

I’ll  try to post some deals now and again to remind us all hehe…

Give them a whirl, you’ve nothing to lose