What is Cashback?

Are you always on the lookout for ways to stretch your budget further? Well, cashback is a nifty little trick that can put some extra pounds back in your pocket. So, let’s break it down.

What is cashback exactly?

Like a sale, cashback is way of receiving a discount on a purchase. Unlike a sale, you pay the full price upfront and then a percentage of the price is paid back to you later – often after you can no longer return the item.

How to get cashback?

Sometimes a store will offer a cashback promotion. This will often require you to manually claim the cashback by a certain date – so be sure to add a reminder in your phone.

Some credit cards offer cashback (often 1%) on either all purchases made with the card or otherwise purchases made with the card at certain shops, e.g. receive cashback from purchases at three major retailers of your choice.

There are also cashback websites, such as TopCashback and Quidco. Visiting a shop’s websites through your logged in account will allow them to record the value of any purchases. They’ll then claim cashback from the retailer and credit it to your account.

Double bonus?

Depending on the terms and conditions, you might be able to receive double cashback if you use a cashback website and pay with a credit card that offers cashback.

Similarly, while discount codes are commonly not valid on items already on sale, cashback often still applies to sale purchases.

When and when not to use cashback

Avoid cashback schemes that require you to sign up and pay high monthly fees. You’ll rarely earn enough cashback to cover the monthly fee. These can pop up after completing purchases – you might have seen a message like the one below:

Offer to claim cashback by joining a partner programme that costs £15 per month

Only seek cashback through reputable sites and only make a purchase if you’d still buy it without cashback, because you’re paying the full price upfront and there’s no guarantee of receiving the cashback. Plenty of issues could occur that stop the cashback reaching you, and while you can make a dispute, you have few rights on your side to resolve it in your favour.

There can be little effort or harm in seeking cashback through a reputable site. So particularly for larger purchases, such as a holiday, furniture or tech, it’s worth taking the time to see if there’s any cashback promotions out there before hitting checkout.

Three top tips

Here are some top tips for making the most of cashback:

Read the small print

Before you dive headfirst into the world of cashback, take a moment to read the terms and conditions. Make sure you understand things like minimum spend requirements and any restrictions on what you can earn cashback on. It’ll save you from any nasty surprises down the line.

Pick the right card

When it comes to cashback credit cards, it pays to do your homework. Look for cards that offer cashback on things you buy regularly, like groceries or fuel. Keep an eye out for any fees or introductory offers too – you want a card that suits your spending habits without costing you more than it’s worth.

Shop around

Not all cashback deals are created equal. Before you hit that 'buy now' button, take a minute to compare cashback rates across different platforms. Some sites offer higher cashback percentages or exclusive deals with certain retailers.

Other sites might not offer cashback but have a sale or other promotion that’s even better. Cashback is an extra tool in your back pocket for shopping savvy (more tips in this article) and researching the best price.

Cashback is like having your cake and eating it – you get to buy the things you need while earning a little something extra on the side. With a bit of savvy shopping and attention to detail, you can turn your everyday purchases into opportunities for savings. So, start making use of cashback opportunities and stretch your pounds!

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