Cashback sites have become very popular in the UK over the past few years. They are affiliate websites that pay you a cash reward when you click through from them and buy consumer products or financial services on their partners websites. If you use them regularly, the extra money you can earn can add up to hundreds of pounds per year. The most popular sites are Quidco and TopCashBack but new ones are appearing all the time. Below is our quick guide to cashback sites and how to earn money on them
How Do Cashback Sites Work?
If you want to buy something online or sign up to a financial product, you should consider doing so via a cashback site rather than going direct. These sites offer cashback on a wide range of goods and services including mobile phones, insurance, broadband and online shopping. The amounts you earn vary by product but can be up to £100 for a mobile contract or insurance product.
The process is as follows
- Sign up to the cashback site - avoid any site that asks you to pay a membership fee - the best ones make their money by taking a cut of the cashback offer.
- Log into the cashback site and search through the thousands of offers listed. You can search by the retailer you want to buy from and click the cashback sites link to visit that company.
- Cookies are used to track your journey from the cashback site to the retailer so make sure you have enabled cookies on your browser. If these are disabled it will be difficult for the cashback site to claim the money on your behalf.
- If you buy something on the retailers website, the cashback amount is put back into your account on the cashback site. This process can take anywhere from a few weeks to a few months so be patient.
- When the money is added to your account you can withdraw it (if you have reached a set threshold)
There are many stories of successful "cashbackers" who have made thousands of pounds over the past few years. A builder called Kevin Watson became famous when he made an incredible £7,272 in cashback on his £10,865 online spend over a number of years. This works out at an amazing 67p cashback for every £1 spent. How did he do it? He focussed on more expensive utility contracts such as gas and electricity, mobile phone deals and insurance contracts and switched every year to a new deal with an attractive cashback offer. He earned on average £100 cashback on each of these transactions.
Things To Be Wary Of....
Cashback sites are a great idea but they do come with some problems. Here are 4 things to be aware of before you start using one.
Your cashback payment is not 100% guaranteed.
We mentioned the importance of tracking via cookies. Like all technology, cookies sometimes fail and when this happens you might not receive the cashback you were expecting. If you raise a complaint with the cashback site they will try to resolve it on your behalf but this is not guaranteed.
Withdraw your cashback as soon as you get it.
Never leave your moneys sit in your cashback account. Cashback sites are easy to set up and many are small business who could go out of business. If you don't want to end up as a creditor of a failed business, withdraw your cash as soon as it appears in your account.
Beware of long delays.
It can take months to receive your cashback so don't expect to be spending it the following weekend. The cashback site has an agreement with each individual retailer and financial services company. It's common for them to receive their payments after 30, 45 or even 60 days. Obviously, they won't credit the cashback to you until they've received it themselves.
Make sure you're getting the cheapest deal, not the biggest cashback
An offer of £100 cashback or an extra 5% discount can be very tempting when you are shopping online. Resist the temptation to jump straight in and shop around before settling for the cashback offer. The simple reason for this is that cashback sites do not offer any price guarantee's on their cashback deals and you may be able to find a cheaper deal than the one on offer. Paying £500 for a car insurance policy with a £100 cashback offer doesn't make much sense if you can find the same insurance product for £200 less on a different website or direct with the insurer.