The best cashback sites to earn money when shopping

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If you are looking to reduce the cost of your expenses in the coming months, cashback websites can be a powerful tool.

With household finances already stretched to the breaking point, it makes sense to use the best sales tricks available. And cashback websites are an easy way to earn money when shopping.

Here we explain how cashback sites work and how you can use the best cashback site to get the most cashback for your purchases.

What is a cashback site?

Cashback websites have been around for a while and allow you to get cashback when shopping online.

If you buy from a retailer through the cashback website, rather than going directly to the retailer’s website, you can get money back. This basically allows you to reduce the cost of this online store.

The best paying cashback sites

Here is an overview of the big cashback websites to compare what you can get out of them.

TopCashback

Topcashback logo

(Image credit: Topcashback)

TopCashback (opens in a new tab) is one of the largest cashback sites, working with thousands of different retailers. He believes he pays on all of the referral fees he receives from retailers to his members – instead, he earns his money through advertising and promotions on the site.

There are two levels of membership – Classic and Plus.

Classic Membership is free and includes a range of benefits such as the option to get payments directly to your bank or PayPal account, the ability to earn cashback through the mobile app and the ability to increase your cashback 10% when converted into a gift voucher.

Membership Plus costs £5 per year and is deducted from your first cashback payment of the year. It boosts this cashback boost to 20% when converting cashback to gift vouchers, while there are additional features such as a top-up to earned cashback, no site advertising, and exclusive promotions and contests.

A smart way to improve your TopCashback returns is to install the TopCashback browser plug-in. It notifies you each time you go to a retailer’s website what cashback is on offer if you spend with it – just click on the plugin’s drop-down menu and it will take you back to the retailer via TopCashback, ensuring you don’t miss the cashback available.

You can also earn in-store cashback from select retailers, which currently include SCS and YoSushi. You simply need to register your debit or credit card with TopCashback first, then the money spent at these retailers is tracked, allowing you to earn cashback as usual.

Quidco

Quidco Logo

(Image credit: Quidco)

With TopCashback, Quidco (opens in a new tab) is among the “big two” when it comes to cashback websites in the UK.

It says it has over 10 million members and has paid over £500 million in cashback to those users over the years.

Quidco has also implemented a “Highest Money Back Guarantee”. This means that if you buy something online through Quidco, and then find that you could have gotten more cashback elsewhere, not only will that make up the difference, but you’ll keep some extra to boot.

Quidco has two levels of membership: Basic and Premium. Basic membership is exactly what it sounds like – you get the chance to earn money when you shop at the over 4,500 retailers on the Quidco website, and it’s free, but it’s free. is about all.

Premium Membership includes a surcharge on cashback offers up to 10%, bonuses of up to 20% when you receive your cashback and no advertising on the site.

There isn’t exactly a fee – instead, £1 is taken from the cashback earned each month.

You can have the cashback paid into your bank account, a PayPal account or converted into gift certificates at certain retailers.

A nifty extra feature with Quidco is ClickSnap, which allows you to earn money when shopping in person, rather than online. There are a host of deals highlighted on the website that you can get from big supermarkets like Tesco, Asda and Waitrose ‒ the idea is that you buy the item in person, upload a photo of your receipt, and the cashback is then added to your Account.

Additionally, there is a Quidco browser extension that you can add to your device’s browser, which will remind you of the potential cashback offered whenever you visit a retailer’s website, ensuring you never miss out.

Finally, you can earn cashback by referring a friend. Quidco. Once they earn £5 cashback, you will receive £10.

Accelerate my mortgage

logo Accelerate my mortgage

(Image credit: Accelerate My Mortgage)

Accelerate my mortgage (opens in a new tab) is a bit different, in that the cashback you accumulate while shopping online is then spent on your mortgage.

The idea is that the money is paid to your mortgage lender in addition to your regular mortgage payments. Overpayments are a great way to save money on your mortgage, if you can afford it, because it means you pay off your mortgage sooner.

Not only does this mean you get out of a mortgage sooner than expected, but it also saves you money because you’ll pay less interest on your debt.

You are contacted by Accelerate My Mortgage once you have reached £50 cash back, so that you can then approve the overpayment to your mortgage lender.

The site is run by a team of mortgage brokers, offering free mortgage advice when it comes time to switch contracts. You can also earn up to £100 each time you switch mortgages through the company.

Accelerate My Mortgage has partnered with dozens of retailers including B&Q (2% on all purchases), BT (up to £45), Ocado (up to 3%) and Waterstones (up to 4%) .

How do cashback sites work?

Cashback websites charge a referral commission if you shop at a retailer through a tracked link. The retailer can see where the buyer is coming from and can then remit those charges to the cashback website.

The cashback website then passes some, if not all, of that referral fee on to you. This is where the cashback comes from.

Let’s say you have decided to buy shoes online from Schuh. Rather than going directly to that retailer, you instead go to the cashback website of your choice and search for Schuh, to see if he has partnered with the cashback site.

If so, you will be presented with a link to the Schuh website. You can then shop as normal, with tracking of the money you spend. You will then be paid part of the money as cashback ‒ right now TopCashback users can get 8% with Schuh, for example.

Cashback is not immediate – you may have to wait a while for it to be added to your account, although it all depends on how quickly the individual retailer pays the fees to the cashback website.

Once the cashback is paid, you can transfer it to your bank account, although some will allow you to convert it into vouchers for certain retailers with an added bonus rate on top.

Are cashback sites free?

Most cashback websites will be free, at least at the most basic membership level.

However, they will often have some form of premium membership that offers additional benefits like higher refund rates, faster payouts, or extra levels of customer service.

Of course, these memberships will include fees of some kind, so you’ll need to consider whether the added benefits are worth the fees involved.

How much can you earn on cashback sites?

Ultimately, if you want to maximize your returns from cashback websites, it means doing as much of your spending through them as possible.

It’s not the right way to overspend and go into debt, of course. No need to fall into the red to increase your cashback by a few cents. However, making a habit of using cashback websites every time you spend online can pay big dividends.

For example, if you do all of your Christmas shopping on cashback websites, you can steer clear of what is always an expensive time of year.

According to Quidco, the average member of its site earned £280 in cashback last year, while rival TopCashback estimates its members earn an average of £345 a year.

Other ways to earn cashback

While cashback websites are a great way to get some cash back while shopping online, they’re certainly not the only option if you want a return on the money you’re planning to spend anyway. way.

For example, you can use a cashback credit card. Cashback credit cards allow you to earn a percentage of the money you spend in cashback. The big selling point here is that unlike a cashback website, you’re not limited to shopping only with partner retailers. Instead, each time you use your card, you add cashback to your balance.

Take the American Express Platinum Cashback Everyday card. You get 5% cash back on money spent in the first three months (with cash back capped at £100), followed by a maximum of 1% thereafter, based on your annual spend .

There are, however, a few significant downsides to keep in mind with these cards. It is common for them to pay an annual fee, while it is also essential that you pay off the full balance each month. Otherwise, the interest charged on your balance will cancel out any cashback you earn.

Another cashback option is your checking account. Some bank accounts allow you to earn cashback when you pay certain direct debits.

For example, the Santander 123 current account pays 3% cashback on water bills, 2% on energy bills, Santander home and life insurance policies, and 1% on council tax bills , mobile, broadband and telephone bills, as well as mortgage payments from Santander. .

An important consideration with these accounts is the fact that you will have to pay fees, so you will have to calculate yourself if the cashback you earn will cover these fees and leave you with some money left over.

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