Do you get cashback on your purchases?
I try my best to earn some form of cashback or loyalty points on every purchase I make. Sometimes I manage to get both cashback and loyalty points!
When I excitedly tell people about this, I’m often met with a blank stare; most people understand the concept of loyalty points like a Tesco Clubcard or Boots Advantage Card, but the idea of getting cashback on shopping seems a bit mad.
How do cashback sites work?
If I want to buy something online, instead of going to XYZ website I go to a cashback site and see if they are affiliated with that particular brand.
Assuming the site does offer cashback for that brand, I click through to the site of my choice using the link on the cashback website. This means cookies in the site track that I have been directed to the retailer by the cashback site.
After this I carry on as normal with my purchase. The difference is that once I’m done with my purchase, the retailer pays a percentage of my total purchase amount into my cashback account.
The majority of sites will offer perhaps 1 or 2% of transactions, so it might only be a few pence here and there – but many sites will run events where they offer a higher rate of cashback. As well as this, I find that smaller companies will offer a higher rate of cashback so as to increase sales.
You can use cashback sites for things like insurance and financial products too, and this is often where the largest rewards are to be found.
The biggest cashback site, and the one I use the most, is Top Cashback. If I can’t find what I want through them I will use Kid Start, which works in the same way but allows you to save cash for your child – which is then paid into their savings account.
The important thing is to ensure you go through the cashback site before making your purchase. And if you use any coupon codes or discount vouchers that aren’t supplied by the cashback site, you might not get your cashback.
You might think that this doesn’t apply to you because you don’t buy much online, or because you don’t buy expensive things from big name brands. You might be surprised though. Cashback can build up quickly, especially if you make a habit of using a cashback site as often as possible.
Here is how I have maximised my cashback:
- Whenever my daughter is invited to a birthday party or friends or relatives have a birthday, we order a gift online, going through Top Cashback. Many high street retailers will allow you to order online and collect from the store, and in some cases you can collect on the same day as you order.
- When shopping for Christmas presents, I aim to use a cashback site as often as possible.
- Instead of picking up bits and bobs when I go out, I try to make a list throughout the month and then order online through a cashback site. This includes vitamins and supplements, toiletries and hair care products, cleaning products and so on. Unless I really need to try it before buying (for example with makeup) I try to order online. Again, you can usually collect from the shop fairly soon after ordering, or have it delivered to your house. Of course, this often means you can make use of a loyalty card scheme at the same time. The Boots Advantage Card has the best deal for this I think, offering 4 points per pound spent (so 4%). Boots often have points events where you can get double points by spending over a certain amount and it’s worth holding out for one of these if you can.
- Last time we moved house, I hired a removal company through Top Cashback. I also used cashback sites to purchase curtains and other furnishings for the house. I bought a shed, new garden furniture and even seeds and potting compost all through cashback sites.
- Every time I travel somewhere by train, I book online through Top Cashback and collect my tickets at the station.
- Whenever I new clothes (or school uniform) I order it online, through Top Cashback.
- The largest single payments I’ve received in cashback have been for things like home contents insurance and changing our utilities provider – both things that needed to be done anyway.
- I downloaded the Top Cashback notifier to my browser, so that if I go to a site that is affiliated with Top Cashback, a notification pops up telling me to go to Top Cashback first. This reminds me to claim my cashback each time. You can also get this from KidStart. Both of these will also notify you of available cashback when you do a Google search for something.
Top Cashback does have a couple of ways you can earn cashback through in-store shopping, but from what I’ve seen so far, you need to be using a Mastercard to do it. There are certain offers if you buy a certain item in a certain shop and then scan your receipt, but these are rarely items I would normally buy. You can also earn cashback by filling in surveys but I don’t have the patience!
Basically, anything you might spend money on, large or small, there is probably a way to get cashback on it. If you take the time to just go a couple of extra clicks through a cashback site, you can save up cash for treats for yourself.
Do you have another way to make the most of cashback sites? Leave a comment and let me know!
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