Hello and welcome to my very first post on Cashback Collette. Eek! If you haven’t guessed by the name of my blog, I’m a HUGE fan of cashback.
It’s a really easy way to top up your bank account and it’s one of the many little tricks I use to save money on all of my purchases.
The best part is, if you’re going to buy something anyway, you get rewarded for doing it!
I’ll show you how to claim hundreds back each year in free cash in this guide.
Ok, so what exactly is cashback?
Cashback is a great little incentive that brands like to use to encourage you to buy their product or use their service.
Every time you purchase an item, you can earn a free cash bonus. Free money basically! Sounds fab, right?
Free money? Where do I sign up??
Psst… there are other sites and apps too but I’ll go into that a little more below.
What can I earn cashback on?
From car insurance to your weekly shop, the list of what you can earn money back on is genuinely never-ending.
Maybe you’ve heard of cashback before? Some people have but think they can only earn on little luxuries like clothes or makeup.
Let me tell you, the possibilities really are endless! Some of the most useful things I earn cashback on are:
- Insurance policies
- New furniture
- Supermarket shops
- Just-eat and Hungry House (probably far too often, oops!)
- Gifts and cards for people
- eBay (great for earning Nectar points, too)
- on comparison sites like uSwitch
and loadsss more. Honestly, there are so many on there!
You’ll be absolutely kicking yourself with all the free cash earning potential you’ve missed out on!
How much can I earn?
Good question, it all depends on three things really:
- What you’re buying
- How much it costs
- And what offers are up for grabs at the time
Some companies offer a percentage and some offer a fixed fee.
So you can earn anything from 1% of your purchase to up to £100 and sometimes more.
Most sites offer between 3% – 15% but you do land some absolute gems sometimes where you can earn £100 or more!
What’s in it for them?
It’s a great little set up for cashback sites. Retailers pay them based on how many people they can get spending on their site.
It’s a win for retailers because these cashback offers draw customers in.
It’s a win for cashback sites because they’re getting paid. AND it’s a win for you because you’re getting a free cash bonus!
Are cashback sites scams?
Absolutely not! They are 100% genuine and I would definitely not be recommending them if I didn’t swear by them myself.
Trust me, this is coming from a real cashback geek. These are legitimate sites and free to use.
If you’re still a little unsure, contact them directly to give yourself peace of mind.
You can find their contact details when you scroll right down to the bottom of the page.
How do cashback sites and apps work?
I could sit and talk about how cashback works until the cows come home (can you tell yet?) but I’ll break it down for you like this.
There are five easy ways to earn cashback:
- Cashback sites
- With your bank account
- Cashback apps
- Direct on a company’s website
These all work slightly differently but combined, they can save you a lot of money on every aspect of your spending, from your bank transactions to weekly supermarket shop.
1. Cashback sites
Third party cashback sites are the best place to start claiming cashback. They pay a cash reward every time you click through to your favourite retailers and purchase something via their website. They cleverly track your link so they can tell when you’ve purchased something via their website. So instead of going directly to the store’s website, you log into your account first.
Then, simply search for your retailer on there and click through to shop as normal. Easy money!
What are the best cashback sites?
It’s definitely worth a look if you can’t find a deal that you like on either of the two main ones or even just to see if there’s a better cashback rate out there.
This is a great one for parents! Open a savings account for your kids and earn cash every time you shop via their site, which they keep aside for your little ones. What a good idea! It’s not just baby and parent brands on there either.
There are so many companies on there under sections like home, leisure, gifts and more.
This site was launched by Kate Thornton and her female celeb friends and is heavily aimed towards women. This isn’t a bad thing if you love to shop with the brands featured on there, and can earn cashback as well!
Earn points for shopping on this site and cashout at 1,000 points or more either via bank account, PayPal or gift card for your favourite retailer.
Each point is worth 1p so it takes a while to build up, but it’s free money and there are quite a few brands to choose from.
Plus, you even get a nice gift for signing up!
Shop online via this website and earn points to swap for products you want.
This site also doubles up as a survey site so you can really MAXImise your earning potential (sorry, couldn’t help myself!)
This is a really good one! Again, it’s completely free to join and you even get a £1 sign up bonus.
The way it works is you shop via their site and if you’re the 25th person to purchase that item, you win a refund! They have loads of stores on there and it’s a really fun way of earning money back on your purchases.
2. How can I earn cashback in-store?
Both TopCashback and Quidco have loads of in-store offers and they’re just as good as their online offerings. To get started, sign up to earn TopCashback in-store benefits and to earn Quidco in-store deals. Activate offers on your account in seconds just by heading to the pages above and clicking on them. Then, when you purchase anything in-store, your cashback from the transaction will automatically be added to your account.
With in-store cashback offers, you have to apply them to your account before you purchase them.
Then they’ll automatically be rewarded when you shop with the same direct debit card. It’s best to log in every now and again and apply all existing offers to your account, just to make sure you don’t miss out.
3. How to earn free cash with your bank account
Banks like Halifax, Natwest and Lloyds have also started offering cashback deals on their online banking, which works in the same way as in-store deals. If you’re a customer of any of these banks, simply log in to your online banking and click on the offers to activate them so they’re automatically applied when you spend.
Again, I always log in to check and activate any new deals as often as I can.
You never know if or when you’re going to take advantage of the offers so activate them all to avoid missing out!
4. Save on your supermarket shop with cashback apps
These apps work slightly differently, but they’re still really easy to use and can save you lots of money on your supermarket shop. You can score yourself lots of freebies and discounted products on the following apps:
- Quidco’s ClickSnap
- Topcashback’s Snap N Save
- Green Jinn
How do these cashback apps work?
Download the apps and check out what freebies and offers are up for grabs.
Then you simply pick up the product in-store, upload a pic of your receipt on the app and they’ll reward the money back into your account, often within 24 hours. Score! All of these are free to download and you can start earning cashback on these straight away. I’ve received all sorts, including:
- A free loaf of bread
- Shower gel
- Pack of eggs
- Laundry gel
and loads more bits and bobs, which all help cut down the weekly shop bill.
It’s great because you get to try new and existing products for free or for a significant discount. Some of which you’ve never even heard of or considered picking up before! Just remember to upload your receipt and claim your money back within the deadline time. Psst. sign up to Shopmium using my code KHKCYCEN and you’ll get a free chocolatey freebie, like a jar of Nutella or a Lint chocolate bar.
If you fancy saving money on your supermarket trips, check out my guide to supermarket cashback apps now.
5. Earn cashback directly on a company website
Some companies offer cashback directly on their site, so you don’t even have to go through third-party sites.
If you’re applying for cashback directly from a brand, sometimes you’ll be asked to fill in a form to claim cashback after you’ve purchased your item. This is often the case with bigger (or as I like to call them real adult) purchases like a household appliance or insurance.
AO offer cashback on a selected range of appliances and sometimes insurance comparison sites like Money Supermarket do too. You might also be offered cash perks, which is sort of like cashback. BT offered us a £150 cash card when we signed up for broadband with them, which was an amazing perk!
Do cashback sites work with discount and promo codes?
This one depends on the retailer and the individual T&Cs. If there’s a welcome cashback offer, you usually can’t combine it with other promotional codes.
Unfortunately, most claims where I’ve tried to combine a discount code and get cashback on top, have ended up being declined.
If you check the T&Cs of each offer and you can’t combine two offers, it’s worth weighing up whether you’ll get a better discount with your code or get more in cashback, and go with the best option.
Can I keep the cash even if I return the items?
This one is a bit of a grey area. Sometimes the tracking fails to acknowledge you’ve returned the item and you’ll get to keep the money.
It all depends on the company and if they validate your purchase and return really.
Your cashback could be pending for a long time. This probably means they are processing the return.
The amount you receive back might change depending on if and when they’ve clocked you’ve returned your item.
How long does it take for the cashback to reach my account?
It honestly depends on the company you’ve bought the item or service from, some are instant and some take a while.
Some brands that pay me instantly are eBay, Just-Eat and New Look. Others that take a little longer are ASOS and any big purchases or insurance policies.
Bigger claims can take up to 6 months, but hey it’s free money and worth the wait.
You’ll also get an email when to confirm when you’ve received cashback into your account so keep an eye out for these.
Top tips to help you get started
If you’re all set to start earning free cash, great stuff! Just a few last things to remember with cashback…
Focus on the best deal NOT the biggest cashback payout
I always get tempted when I see a big cashback payout but I have to stop myself getting giddy, take a step back and think ‘can I get a better offer?’ and I highly recommend you do the same.
If you can get £50 cashback instantly or save £150 in the long run with a cheaper deal or service, which one would you rather have?
All things to think about before you commit to a purchase.
Clear your cookies first to make sure your transaction is being tracked
With cashback the last cookie counts, and it’s what most cashback sites use to track if you’ve purchased the product via their link.
Clear your cookies right before you click over to make your purchase to ensure everything runs smoothly.
Not sure how to do it? Check out this helpful guide on how to clear your cookies.
Think… were you going to buy it anyway?
It’s great that ASOS is offering a one-off 10% cashback deal, but were you going to buy that dress anyway? It’s only a bonus if you were.
As with all sales and cashback deals, don’t fall into the trap.
It’s nice to watch your stash build nicely, but what happens if the company goes under tomorrow?
All that cash will be gone and a lot of sites aren’t FCA covered so you’ll have no chance of getting your money back, so it’s best to cash out as soon as you get paid.
If you don’t like the idea of putting in it in your current account to burn a hole in your pocket, why not pop it in a savings account?
Make sure you apply by any deadlines
Some sites have deadlines to upload receipts or apply to receive cashback, so always double check these and cash in ASAP.
Remember, it’s no skin off the brand or cashback company’s back if you don’t claim in time or do something wrong.
I almost missed out on £50 from AO when we bought our washing machine because I thought it was automatically processed when I bought the item.
Luckily, I double checked a few days before the offer was due to expire and there was a tiny link in my order email to start my cashback return. PHEW.
How can I maximise my earnings from cashback sites?
As if cashback sites weren’t the greatest invention already, there are even more ways you can squeeze a little more out of your purchases.
Take advantage of welcome offers
Cashback sites often run some pretty decent welcome deals like £10 off a Just-Eat order or a free Benefit Mascara.
Keep an eye out for these and sign up to get your welcome freebie.
Get Topcashback’s notifier so you never miss a cashback opportunity
I would have missed out on so many cashback opportunities if I hadn’t had this downloaded!
Combine company incentives with third-party cashback
You CAN’T usually combine cashback with discount codes. However, depending on the T&Cs of each deal, you CAN combine a cashback incentive on a website and a third party website cashback offer to get even more money back. When we moved into our new flat, we signed up for a BT deal where we got a £150 cash card, which really helped when it came to buying paint and our flooring! Even better, because I went through TopCashback, we also got £50 cashback on top of that. (BT Fibre Broadband only)
That £200 is equivalent to almost half of our internet bill for the year so we were pretty chuffed with ourselves.
Withdraw your earnings as a gift card
If you’re cashing out via a cashback website like TopCashback, more often than not you get a better rate for cashing out your bonus as a gift card than you do with a bacs or PayPal transaction. This is perfect if you’ve been saving up for a particular product or love your Starbucks or Pizza Express. You even get a bonus percentage on top of this.
Stack deals & bonus offers
‘Stacking’ refers to using multiple deals to cheat the system and get an even bigger discount or payout on an already amazing deal.
For example, if you buy a discounted gift card on Zeek’s website, you can save even more if you go via TopCashback, which sometimes offers up to £6.30 cashback on Zeek gift card purchases.
You can also save EVEN more money if you choose to cash out via a Zeek voucher, which currently offers a bonus of 15% more if you go with this option.
Psst… sign up to Zeek now and get a free £5!
Earn free cash when you switch or compare
Quidco have a compare section on their site where you can earn cash when you get a quote. If you continue and purchase the policy or cover through their site, you’ll also earn free cash straight back to your account.
Join premium accounts for exclusive cashback deals
If you join premium TopCashback for £5, you can get access to exclusive deals, earn more when you refer your friends and family and get loads more perks.
It practically pays for itself!
Earn free cashback WITHOUT spending a penny
This way, you’re not spending any money on a purchase or committing to a transaction, but you’re still getting paid.
Amazing! Also, don’t forget to pick up your free offers on your cashback apps and get free cashback deals from your bank account.
Play seasonal games on cashback sites
I recently won £20 on Quidco’s Valentine Game, all I had to do was follow the clues to the retailer and click on Cupid.
TopCashback also run a similar game where you can win big. Both have a prize draw too where you could bag yourself a whopping £3,000, sometimes more!
I won about £30 off this game this year. Every little helps! They often run these during special seasons like Valentine’s Day and Christmas and someone’s got to win, so why not you?
Sign up to cashback site newsletters for flash deals & offers
Sometimes I get emails half way through the day about flash deals and offers that are only valid until midnight that day. Sign up to newsletters and you’ll get the same exclusive offers!
Ok, I’ve done everything, why haven’t I received cashback yet?
Don’t be disheartened if you’ve not received your money back instantly. Sometimes it can take up to 6 months to reach your account, and sometimes the transaction fails to track altogether.
This glitch happens every now and again, so it’s always worth following up with the site in question.
Quidco and TopCashback have both been amazing and very responsive whenever I’ve contacted them and they’ve always got to the bottom of my problem within 24 hours.
Sometimes, there are times where you won’t receive cashback. This can vary but the most common reasons are usually:
- You’ve cancelled or returned your order or part of your order
- You’ve used a promo code which wasn’t approved
- The offer was for new customers only and you’re an existing customer
- You didn’t complete your order in the same browser/window/device
- There were T&Cs that you didn’t meet
This is why it’s always worth double checking everything before you go ahead and purchase something.
Over to you…
So that’s it from me, what are you waiting for? It’s your turn to start earning free money today! If you’ve started claiming cashback already, let me know how much you’ve made so far in the comments 🙂