Your money-making expert. Financial journalist, TV and radio personality.
The best cashback sites that pay YOU to shop
Did you know you can make money shopping? Well, technically you get money back on your purchases. But in a time when we are all pinching the pennies, any cash we can get back when we shop feels great.
There are plenty of cashback apps and websites around now to help you get back a bit of your money back every time you buy something. Using these platforms, you get cash rewards when you buy goods and services.
Cashback sites make their money through the retailers tracking where traffic is coming from, then paying them for the lead. You, the consumer, then get a small chunk of this. This payment initiative increases traffic, and cashback sites can make even more money from the retailers.
Two of the biggest cashback sites are Quidco.com and TopCashback.co.uk. They have deals with thousands of retailers. Typical cashback payments include £35 to £140 on RAC breakdown cover, between £44 and £88 on a BT Broadband package, 1.5% to 9.9% of purchases with Lastminute.com and 1pc to 8% of the cost of M&S purchases. Not too shabby.
We recently discovered a new cashback app called Cheddar. It is really easy to use, and connects to your bank account safely and securely, to give you cashback whenever you spend with your card. You spend on your bank card as normal and if Cheddar has the retailer as a client, you automatically get cashback. Cheddar claims you can earn up to £1,250 per year just by spending through them – a great way to earn some passive income whenever you shop.
Kidstart.co.uk helps you save for your children by shopping via the website. The cashback you earn when you shop is sent to your child’s bank account or Junior ISA – a great way to save for them with little effort. You can withdraw money to your child’s account when you’ve earned at least £10 cashback.
JamDoughnut is an app that allows for instant cashback. Yes, you read that correctly – instant! You buy a gift card through the JamDoughnut app and get the cashback directly into your ‘Jar’. The points you can earn is different for each brand or shop. It can range from 3% to 20%. On average it’s around 7-8% of your total purchase. You can see exactly what percentage you can earn underneath the icon for each brand. Once you get to £10 or over, you can withdraw the money from your wallet and into your bank account.
Other cashback picks include Checkout Smart. This is a supermarket cashback app where you can get cashback on your food shop – and sometimes even free groceries! Keep your receipt when you shop and upload a picture of it on the app. You’ll then receive cash into your bank or PayPal account. The app is available free to download on iPhone and Android and is partnered with Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Morrisons, Asda, Aldi, Lidl and more.
Another popular choice is Airtime Rewards. When you buy groceries at Morrisons and Waitrose or spend money at an array of other high street retailers and restaurants, you can get money off your phone bill, or free credits for pay-as-you-go customers. Simply link the app to your Mastercard or Visa credit or debit card and shop as normal. The cashback works on most major networks, and lets you earn between 1% and 10% cashback. Plus, there is no limit to how much you can earn!
You can also make money while shopping by saving money into virtual ‘jars’ on the Hyperjar app. With Hyperjar, you can put money into individual jars for specific retailers, including Boden, Shell and Notonthehighstreet, and your money makes 4.8% per year while it’s waiting to be spent. You must spend the interest you earn with that retailer specifically. But, if you were going to spend it there anyway, then you’re quids-in.
Another good way to make money from your shopping habit is to collect up referral codes as you buy goods and services. Send these out to friends and family for them to use when they shop at, or sign up to, those retailers – and gain passive income! Referral codes are a win-win for consumers, because they often give money or freebies to the person who sends them out, and they make money for the new person who uses them.
Over 5,000 companies and apps offer referral codes and you can make money over and over if more friends and family use your code when they sign up. A clever way to get more people to use your code, outside of friends and family, is to set up a page for free on Referralcodes.com. Once you’ve created your page and added any referral codes you have, others will be able to find them, use them for their own shopping, and you’ll reap the rewards.