Saturday, 30 November 2013

Get some cashback this christmas

Back in the old days, when anyone heard the word cashback, they instantly thought of mobile phones and redeeming your bills for cashback by either sending it off to a retailer who you brought the phone from or visiting them in store. Alas that died a sudden death due to the greed of these mobile phone companies who left so many people with large bills to pay and the networks not doing anything about it since the agreement was with the retailer and usually they knew nothing about it. This left a bitter taste in peoples mouth when thinking of cashback.

Nowadays thankfully its a lot more civil. Cashback for mobile phones no longer exists. Cashback now refers to a whole industry who offer you money back on things you buy. Pretty straightforward. No redeeming or showing your receipt is required. Now there are credit cards which offer you cashback but that depends on banks accepting you in the first place and usually the rate is very low anyway at 1% or less cashback. Even the promotional 3% has strings attached. Its usually not worth it and you're better signing up to travel reward cards which work out better in my opinion.

The other route for cashback is via online shopping. Now this is a huge industry. Normally the likes of Google or Moneysupermarket earn money via referrals. So when you click on a link through their website and go on to purchase an item, they get paid a percentage of the transaction. Thats why so many comparison websites have popped up. There is a lot of money through referrals. This is where the likes of Quidco and Topcashback come in. These websites are designed using the same referral system. The only difference is that YOU get paid instead of the companies.

Now there is some serious money to be made. Since I opened my Quidco account almost 5 years ago, I've earnt about £1500. My more recent Topcashback account has earnt me over £300. The areas that you can make the most money are things like insurance, broadband, sky, virgin media, gas and electric. Some cashbacks hit over £200 at times. Thats for a single purchase. As you can see these large amounts of money will change who you choose to go with. For example with sky I usually calculate the yearly overall cost then minus the cashback figure and work out my monthly payment. I do the same with virgin media and compare both to see which one works out better for me. You can apply the same logic to all the other categories.

Now I mentioned that you can save some money for Christmas. Well you can as signing up to these websites are free. Unlike cashback credit cards which you have to make an application for, wait for the bank to credit check you and then finally accept you. And then wait for your card and PIN to arrive. By that time Christmas might have come already. Signing up to these websites is immediate and instant. You could also combine your cashback/travel reward credit cards with cashback websites to maximise returns. I would recomend you sign up to both cashback websites as not all retailers are on both websites. If a retailer is missing from one website, try the other as they can often have different agreements. Also if they are on both, check to make sure who pays the highest and go with that!

You can sign up for Topcashback here.

You can sign up for Quidco here.

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