How to be quids in with cashback 

Written by
Faith Archer
Insurance expert
26 October 2021
6 min read
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Cashback lets you earn money on spending you would do anyway, from food and clothes to utility bills and insurance policies. 

You can even nab double doses. 

Use a cashback website before shopping online, and then pay with a cashback credit card

Snap up cashback deals when switching energy suppliers, then pay the bills using a cashback current account. 

Sadly cashback isn’t guaranteed, so consider it a bonus rather than a reason for buying. 

Be savvy when weighing up the benefits. Always look beyond tasty cashback offers to see if you can actually get a better deal elsewhere – no point nabbing £40 for switching mobile contracts when you could have paid £70 a year less with another provider. 

Find out below where you can earn stacks of cashback, and what to watch out for. 

Earn cashback when switching and shopping 

Thinking of shopping or switching to a better deal on your household bills? 

Nip over to cashback websites such as TopCashback, Quidco and My Money Pocket to see if you can make money at the same time. 

Cashback websites pay you a small percentage of your spending, if you click through from their website before shopping on the internet. 

The big bucks, however, come as set payments when signing up for bills and banks. 

Think gas and electricity suppliers, mobile phones, landlines, broadband, pay TV and assorted flavours of insurance. 

Swing by cashback websites before signing up for current accounts, investments or credit cards too. 

You can also find comparison sites listed on cashback websites, which is a great way to find a good deal and pocket some cashback. 

Complete your transaction, then sit back and wait as your cashback moves from tracked to pending to payable. 

The totals really can add up too: TopCashback reports that their members earn, on average, £345 a year while Quidco reports their members rake in an average of £300. 

These sites are free to join, but you can also pay for premium membership including benefits such as higher rates of cashback. 

What to watch out for: Usually, you can’t use a voucher code from elsewhere on top of cashback, so work out which saves more. 

Don’t bank on cashback to pay your bills today, as it can take weeks or even months to become payable. 

TopCashback members earn, on average, £345 a year while Quidco members rake in an average of £300 

Earn cash back on food 

Use cashback apps such as Shopmium, CheckoutSmart, Green Jinn and Quidco ClickSmart to snap up extra pennies on branded snacks, booze and other supermarket shopping. 

Sometimes you could even get food completely free. 

After buying the product, claim your cashback by submitting a photo of your receipt, then wait a few days for your cashback to be credited. 

With Shopmium, you’ll need to scan the bar codes on the packaging as well. 

Even better, if you have a loyalty card for the specific supermarket, flash the plastic at the till and pick up some loyalty points on top. 

What to watch out for: Make sure you track down the exact brand, variety and pack size, from the right supermarket chain, to qualify for the cashback. 

Earn cashback when paying by credit card 

Top it all off with extra cashback by paying with (you’ve guessed it) a cashback credit card. 

Cashback credit cards typically pay 0.5% to 1% of your spending on the card, but check out the latest offers from credit card companies  here

Compare the Market Limited acts as a credit broker, not a lender. To apply you must be a UK resident and aged 18 or over. Credit is subject to status and eligibility. 

Often the higher cashback rates come with cards that charge an annual fee, so tot up how much you’re likely to spend, and therefore earn in cashback, to see if any fee is worth paying. 

Some cashback cards offer temptingly high reward rates as an introductory offer, which could be well worth snapping up if you have a stonking payment ahead, such as a holiday. 

What to watch out for: The interest rates on cashback credit cards tend to be expensive, so only apply if you can pay off your balance in full and on time every month. Consider setting up direct debit to make sure! Otherwise, you’re likely to pay more in interest than you earn in cashback. 

Some cashback cards offer temptingly high rates as an introductory offer, which could be well worth snapping up if you have a big purchase coming up 

Earn cashback on direct debits 

If you fancy a bit of cashback from your regular household bills, sign up for cashback current account. 

These bank accounts pay either a few pounds each month, if you have a certain number of direct debits going out, or a percentage of the specific bills. 

You may also be able to earn extra cashback on shopping, by using your debit card or by clicking through on offers from online banking or the app. 

What to watch out for: Cashback current accounts normally charge a small monthly fee. 

To profit, make sure you jump any hurdles required to earn cashback, such as paying a minimum amount into the account each month. 

Fancy cashback from your regular household bills? Sign up for cashback current account 

Earn extra when claiming cashback 

When claiming cashback, look for ways to max out your money. 

Often you can earn extra by swapping your cashback for a reward voucher for a specific store, rather than taking the money in cold hard cash via a bank transfer. 

What to watch out for: Opt for vouchers you will actually use and won’t just sit in your email inbox. 

Also, remember cashback is only a promise to pay. Best to cash in when you can, rather than building up a mega balance, so your cashback doesn’t disappear if the website or app does. 

3 things to do right now...

Cashback sites track your visits with cookies on to your computer, tablet or smartphone. So, when making your purchase, make sure you click through from the cashback site directly. If you don’t, your purchase won’t track. 

Some sites don’t pay cashback on delivery charges or the VAT element of the product’s price. While those used with a voucher code may be refused – so do your sums in advance to work out the best option. 

Resist the urge to sign up for several financial products – particularly bank accounts, credit cards, and loans – just to earn cashback. Applications typically show up on your credit file, which could have a negative impact on your credit score. However, Compare the Market’s eligibility checker service does a ‘soft’ credit search which lets you check what credit deals you’re most eligible for without affecting your credit score. This means that this search can’t be seen by lenders, so won’t affect your credit record. 

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Don’t forget that while you may think that this article is brilliant, it is intended for information purposes only and should not be mistaken for financial advice or recommendations.