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How students can benefit from cashback sites

Kelly 26th Oct 2016 No Comments

Reading Time: 4 minutes

If you’re looking for easy ways to earn some extra money from the comfort of your home, cashback sites can be a great resource. Students in particular can really benefit from cashback sites – they’re easy to use, you can log on whenever you like, and earn money in between assignments!

Did you know you can earn cashback for almost anything? That includes shopping for clothes, groceries, train tickets – you name it. How? Well, whenever you want to buy something, you access the retailer’s online store through a cashback website, instead of going direct. This means you still get your items from the retailer but you’ll also get a tidy kickback from the cashback site – usually a percentage of whatever you’ve spent. This means you can earn for buying almost anything!

In essence, cashback sites are making money from big retailer websites – and you get a tiny slice of it. This is because companies will pay cashback sites for customer referrals. So, although you’re getting paid via the cash back site, you’re actually being paid directly by the retailer – the cashback site takes a cut, and gives you the rest.


Pick a reputable site

Student Money Savercashback is a big fan of Quidco, undoubtedly one of the biggest and best known cashback sites. Other well-regarded sites include Topcashback, and Swagbucks. These are big sites that have been running strong for some time. Here are some tips for getting the most out of sites like Quidco, and earning yourself a neat extra sum.

Be careful: some sites are not so reputable as these ones, and if you’ve built up some cash on a site, it’s important to make sure you are able to get that money without the site folding.


Pay attention to cash out thresholds

Many of these sites will have a threshold you have to hit before you can withdraw. Check these carefully, and note too that some sites will ask for annual fees. The important thing is to be informed about how much potential earning you could have, versus the hoops you might have to jump through to get this money.


Stick to your favourites

Pick a few sites at most and stick with them. This is because you are likely to earn more from a few key sites – you might get bonuses along the way for extra purchases, or referrals (if you get your friends onto the site as well!). Given that some of these sites also have fees, reduce your upfront costs and stick to a few that you like best.


Clear your cookies

moneymagpie_cookies-biscuits-choc-chipAll your cashback earnings are dependent on there being a really clear trail of cookies from your browser. This means it should be obvious how you’ve gone from the cashback website to the retailer’s website. If you already took a look at the retailer and then went onto the cashback site, this might not appear as a clear referral. Clear your cookies first, then take a look via the cashback site. This way you can ensure you’ll receive your cashback!


Do the maths ahead of time

MoneyMagpie_CalculatorMake sure you are actually getting a good deal. In other words, if you see a product for £200 online with £50 cashback, but you could also buy the product outright in stores for £100, then you aren’t getting a good deal.

The same applies if you have a great coupon code or promo code – these usually cant be applied to cashback deals.  Your discount might be worth a lot more than the cashback, so investigate this first!


Be patient

driving instructorA lot of sites will take time to process your cashback. If you need money straight away, this might not be the best way to get it! Processing can take up to 12 weeks on some sites (or longer, if you book a holiday well in advance, for instance – you wont get paid until you get home again!), so keep this in mind before you buy.

For even more help understanding cash back sites, check out Student Money Saver’s guide. Also, read more reviews of great cashback sites at No 1 Reviews. Using these tools, you too can start earning some extra cash back from the things you buy!

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Jasmine Birtles

Your money-making expert. Financial journalist, TV and radio personality.

Jasmine Birtles

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