Everyone likes a little something extra in their pockets and with a high rate of outgoings your wallet can feel pretty light at times. But did you know that some brands will pay you cash if you buy something from them by going through an external website first? These are called cashback sites, and they’re a great place to start if you’re on the hunt for ways to save a bit of money, especially if you’re at uni, without having to completely freeze your spending.
What you ask, is a cashback website?
A cashback website is a type of reward website that pays its members a percentage of money earned when they purchase goods and services from its affiliate links. Many websites such as Quidco and TopCashback offer cashback on a variety of goods and services, from mobile phones to car insurance and bank accounts to broadband. Payment is generally made in the form of bank transfers, gift vouchers, online sites such as PayPal, bank checks, mobile recharges or online orders at the request of the user.
The amount of time that it takes to receive the cashback benefits is dependent on the site and its terms and conditions. Some websites will make their payments every four to six weeks, while others will only issue their rebates after a few months.
When deciding what cashback website to sign-up to and use, you should be thinking about choosing one that pays the highest percentage to you.
Here are a few websites that have been compared to give you the best options to earn cashback:
Swagbucks is a free-to-join and you get a £3 fee for joining! They have services that pay you cash backs, gift cards for shopping online, as well as taking surveys, watching videos, searching online, playing games and more. In other words, all the things you usually do online on a daily basis, you can do via Swagbucks and earn cash back on purchases and offers.You can choose to be paid via gift cards for top shopping brands such as Amazon, or have it paid directly into your PayPal account.
With Boom25, you have a 1 in 25 chance of getting your entire shop for free. It works like a normal cashback website in that you sign up and then visit online shops like you normally would. Then, instead of earning a small percentage back as cashback, you enter the draw to win the entire cost of your shopping for free. Every 25th order that is registered with Boom25 gets the whole shop for free – whether it’s a £5 pair of socks or your entire Christmas shopping!
Similar to Swagbucks, 20Cogs is a UK-based service which offers cash rewards for your online activity, which includes taking part in Competitions, Offers, Games and Surveys (hence the name).
20Cogs is a growing cashback website which now has over 300,000 users, and is completely free to join. All you have to do is complete a really short sign-up form. You’ll need to enter your full name, email address and a password to join for free and start earning!
Oh my Dosh:
Also, Uk based, Oh my Dosh is a cashback site that is again completely free to use – they do not charge a subscription fee, unlike some other reward sites.
After signing up, users can receive cashback by completing surveys or by purchasing various products that are on offer. It’s a fast and easy way to make money online. When you visit advertisers and complete their offers e.g. signing up to 30-day free trials or LAMB (Look After My Bills) through the OhMyDosh website, they receive a payment from the advertiser and they then split that money with you.
When your balance reaches a total of £10 cashback, you can cash the money out and it will be transferred to you via PayPal or a standard bank transfer, which can take up to 5 days to process (as standard). OhMyDosh is safe to use – you are not asked to add any of your bank details until you’re ready to cash the money out. To top it all off, the website has a 5-star rating on Trustpilot!
Quidco was the first ‘big’ cashback site to enter the UK market and pays similar levels of cashback commission as TopCashback. The two sites have now become the two biggest cashback websites in the UK, and compete for exclusive deals and commission rates – so it can be worth signing up with both to maximize your cashback.
Quidco is also free to join and you can sign up online by completing their short sign-up form. The basic membership is free, but if you choose to upgrade, you’ll be charged. ‘The average Quidco member can earn over £300 a year’, as per Quidco’s information, so get ready to pay for that holiday!
Quidco always has great cashback rates and let’s not forget the regular promotions including Flash Sales with exclusive cashback rates, member bonuses and discount vouchers to help you get the most from your money.
You can even increase your Quidco rewards by getting a ‘top-up’ bonus. To get this, all you need to do is withdraw your cashback as a gift card, instead of just simply cash. The gift cards available with Quidco include Amazon, Argos, Marks and Spencer and many others.
TopCashback is considered one of the best sites out there by many users as it is possibly the largest site with over 5,000 plus merchants. It generally offers higher rates than Its competitors and most users give them excellent reviews! Their Classic membership is free but the Plus membership offers a bonus of an extra 5% cashback on most transactions, as well as extra money for referring friends and other perks! However, they will keep £5 of the cash back you earn every year as payment.
When you first sign up you are automatically assigned to be on a Plus membership. Make sure you opt out of that if it’s not what you want. You can also swap your cashback cash for vouchers through Reward Wallet and get an extra up to 15% value-added!
Also, keep an eye out for their Free Cashback feature which enables you to earn cash back just by completing certain tasks online, for example, you can earn £2.25 just for creating an account and checking your credit score with Experian. This site is not just for online shopping or cashback. You can also register your bank card and get cashback while you shop on the high street and can also claim free or cheap food coupons when you take a photo of your receipt and either upload it on-site or do a snap and save app!
Your cashback should appear in your account within seven days of your purchase, and once you’ve chosen a payout method, you have to wait another seven days to get your hands on that cash (although it often arrives much quicker than this).
If you’ve got kids, grandkids or even one on the way, KidStart may be a cashback site you would want to consider. KidStart is smaller than other cashback sites but that’s because it works differently. Instead of giving you the money back, any cashback you earn has to be, as a rule of the website, put towards your child’s savings.
KidStart says you could earn around £250 a year and deposit it into a child’s savings account.That is the one catch – it does need to be a child’s savings account. It could be with any bank, a child trust fund or a Junior ISA. If you don’t have kids or have kids in the family you want to transfer the money to, you can choose to donate your cashback to them or a school or a choice of children’s charities.
How do the websites earn money?
The core concept for this is that all the above-mentioned sites make their money using affiliate marketing and then share the profits with their shoppers. In simpler terms, it’s like them earning a commission every time a customer makes a purchase through their links.
As a customer, there are a few things that need to be considered regardless of what website you choose to go with.
Always compare all the sites with each other and see which one is the most profitable for you.
It’s all good for getting some money back, but is it the best bargain for you? Make sure to read the terms and conditions very carefully for each to make sure you are not at a loss, e.g. You could be losing out on savings if you’ve got a 10% off voucher code, but only getting 4.5% cashback.
Also, cash out as soon as possible, just to be on the safe end. This is because if the company you are with goes bust, you could lose all that money.
So choose the one that suits you best and start earning that cash!