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Make Extra Money using Cashback Sites - UK

Updated on January 5, 2015

What are cashback sites?

Much of the internet and indeed the world of business in general, works on a commission basis. In the offline world, if someone comes to your door or stops you in the street and offers you a great deal, whether it be a cheap broadband package, new double glazed windows or a mobile phone, they will be getting paid for that, probably in the form of commission. On the internet it is the same. If you visit a website and it sends you to another website to purchase something, the chances are they are getting a commission for it. That commission doesn’t actually cost you anything most of the time, if you went directly to the website or business you would invariably pay the same price. Wouldn’t it be good though if you could get the salesman to give their commission to you? Fat chance, you might say, but you’d be wrong, certainly on the internet. There are many websites that have sprung up over the last few years that will do just that, pass on their commission to you, the customer. They are called referred to as cashback sites, because they give you cash back for each purchase you make through their site. Some of these are co-op, non-profit sites, others make their money made through bonuses paid by websites for sending so much business to their site, or other advertising revenues. Some cashback sites keep a small percentage of the commission, but the best don’t take any for themselves.

Before we go into detail, a few words of warning. Don’t rely on any cashback until it is in your bank account. Although cashback sites in this article are reputable and long established, nothing is ever guaranteed. Last year a company which owned 2 cashback sites went into liquidation, and people lost money that hadn’t yet been paid to the. So the best advice is to withdraw money as soon as you can.

How Does it Work?

You sign up to the cashback, giving basic details about yourself and bank account details so you can receive your money. You then make sure you log in before searching or browsing for merchants. The cashback site will tell you what cashback you can expect, whether it is a percentage of money you spend or a flat amount. Sometimes there are different amounts depending on which exact product or service you are buying. For instance on one cashback site (Quidco) you can get between £20 and £60 for taking out breakdown cover, depending on what level of cover you take out. Sometimes retailers offer different percentage of cashback depending on what category of product you are purchasing. Some companies offer cashback without you having to spend a penny. These ‘nil spend’ offers are usually because they want to encourage customers to try their product or service in the hope that they will spend money, but it is quite possible to make quite a bit for almost no time, and no money. Still other sites might offer £20 cashback when you spend £10, netting you an instant profit.

Once you have clicked through and made your purchase, after a short period of time the purchase should show up as ‘tracked’ on the cashback site with a provisional cashback amount. This takes anywhere between a few minutes and a few days depending on the retailer. After that (usually a few days but can be several weeks) the transaction will show up as approved or verified. Once this happens, the money is in your cashback account. You will need to get up to a certain level of money in your account (often £20 or £25) before it will be paid out to you, typically by bank transfer. Payments are usually made once a month. For example, payment might be on the 25th of each month, based on all cashback approved by 15th of that month (assuming you are over the withdrawal limit).


In Store Cashback

Some cashback sites offer in-store cashback, that is cashback when you spend money in real bricks and mortar stores. This works by registering your debit/credit card with the cashback site, then when you use it in a partcipating store you get credited with cashback. You only give the card number, not other details like expiry date, security code or pin, so the information given couldn’t be used fraudulently.

In store cashback is quite limited at the moment as there are only a few retailers signed up. But as you only have to register once and don’t need to remember each time you shop, it has got to be a good thing.

There are many different cashback sites, and they all offer slightly different rates, one will offer better cashback for one merchant but worse for another, so it pays (literally) to shop around. I will look at each of the better ones in turn.


Quidco was founded in 2005. It has over a million members and has offers cashback with over 2,000 retailers. It also offers in-store cashback for a few retailers.  It has both discount vouchers and cashback, and for many retailers you will be able to get money off, and get cashback. Because of its large user base it claims it can get the best deal from retailers. Quidco passes on all of the cashback to members, but charges a £5 admin fee per year. This is deducted from cashback earned however, so if you don’t earn any cashback you don’t pay the fee.

Quidco pays by BACS or Paypal, whichever you prefer, and there is no minimum payout threshold (except whatever threshold you set yourself).

You can refer a friend to Quidco, and get £2.50 for each friend referred.

Cashback Rewards

Cashback Rewards does promise to give you 100% of the cashback it receives. It also ‘gives’ you £2.50 for joining, but if you withdraw money it will deduct £5 from the first payment you receive each year. The minimum payout is £25 however.

Some More Cashback Tips

What Can you get Cashback on?

A certain percentage on purchases like DVDs, books, clothes, electronics etc. These typically average 5-10%. Examples include Argos, Play, John Lewis, Debenhams, Marks & Spencer etc.

  • Flat rate fee on a range of services - insurance, breakdown cover, mobile phone contracts, credit cards, switching electricity/gas etc. These can be anything up to £200
  • ‘Nil Spend’ offers, often on free trials. These can be up to £15 or sometimes even more. Retailers include Love Film (dvd rental), Audible (audiobook site), Credit check sites and more.
  • Get Paid more than you spend - these are especially common with betting sites - bookmakers, bingo, online poker etc.
  • Shopping clicks/searches - Between 1p and 4p per click for searching and clicking on products on ‘shopbots’ and price comarison sites. Usually limited to 1 per merchant per day, but these add up, particularly when done on multiple cashback sites. Also insurance searches - get between 50p and £2 for a car insurance or home insurance quote. Often limited to several per year.
  • Cash for surveys, writing etc. - Get given cashback for filling in surveys or writing reviews (On TopCashback, get £1.00 per hotel review from Holidays Uncovered).

The first two are effectively a discount on your shopping/the cost of services you sign up to. The last three you can make money on without spending much, if any.

Because there are many different cashback sites, finding out which offers the best deal can be tricky, which is where’s cashback maximiser tool comes in:

Just search for the retailer you are wanting to compare, and it will tell you which cashback site is currently offering the most cashback.

Finally, it may be worth considering cashback credit cards, which offer cashback on all spending, in addition to any money you make on cashback sites. Only suitable if you’ve got a good credit rating and always pay off in full by the due date, otherwise it will end up costing you more than you are making.

Thousands of people are making/saving hundreds of pounds every year. Cashback sites are one of the quickest and easiest ways of making a bit of extra money, so why not give it a try?

Cashback Poll

Have you heard of cashback sites before today?

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      7 years ago

      I prefer as they have john lewis etc and customer services are reli good!


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