These are our top tips for making the most of cashback sites and avoiding potential pitfalls:-
Understand How ‘Cookie Trails’ Work: Cookies are used to track who referred you to the retailer’s site, and to make sure your referral from the cashback site is correctly logged so you can get paid your cashback. So every time you are ready to make a new cashback purchase you may want to clear your cookies – especially if you have visited the retailer’s website already or use other deal sites, as this could jeopardise your cashback. That way the cashback sites and retailers should be able to correctly track that you came from the cashback site – otherwise your visit to their website might be attributed to another source which pays a lower cashback rate, or no cashback at all! Some people also recommend closing all your tabs before clearing your cookies, and then only having one tab open with the cashback site.
Always Read The Cashback Site’s Terms & Conditions: There are many cashback sites to choose from and as they vary their cashback percentages, features offered & payment terms etc, you should always read their terms & conditions. It is often recommended that you stick with the main and well-established cashback sites like Quidco.com.
Still Compare Prices: Don’t assume that buying with cashback ensures you the cheapest price, it does not – make sure you still compare prices online to find the best price, as even with your cashback incentive, you might still find it cheaper elsewhere without cashback. You should see cashback as a bonus, not the only reason for buying something, as the cashback is not always guaranteed – things may go wrong with the cookie trail, or a certain condition may not be adhered to correctly, and the cashback may not be paid out.
Check The Cashback Site’s Fees: The main cashback sites usually don’t charge a fee to join, although they might to gain access to various premium options and better rates. Some sites could charge a substantial fee and make you ‘bank’ a minimum amount of cashback before they pay out.
Keep Track of Your Purchases: Most cashback sites may take weeks or even months to pay out your cashback, and due to any issues with the tracking links and cookie trail, you may find you miss payments – if this happens contact the site as soon as you realise to try to resolve the issue. Maybe create a spreadsheet or document to record and check your cashback purchases.
Check If You Can Earn Money By Referring Friends/Family: Most cashback sites will give you a unique referral link that you can use to recommend friends & family and earn extra money!
Look Out for ‘Free’ Cashback Offers: Most retailers and companies work with cashback sites to sell more products & services and hence pay a ‘referral’ fee when something is purchased, but many companies also work with cashback sites for ‘leads’ and hence will pay out for things other than you purchasing a product. For example: registering for a free credit card, comparing insurance quotes, taking up a free trial, completing a survey – so you can make money without actually spending any! Make sure you check the terms and conditions fully before taking up these free cashback offers and that you cancel/diarise to cancel any trial memberships!
You Can Give Your Cashback Directly To Charity: Many cashback sites enable you to donate your cashback to a charitable cause and there are also cashback sites that are purely for those that want to use cashback to help raise money for their favourite charity using cashback.
Withdraw or Spend Your Fees: Leaving your cashback savings in your cashback site account may put you at risk of losing it if they have a time limit on when you need to spend/withdraw, or if a cashback site was ever to close down or go bust which some of the smaller ones have done. It is often recommended that you stick with the main and well-established cashback sites like Quidsco.com.
Combine Cashback With Other Offers Where You Can: You may be able use discount/promo/voucher codes when shopping via a cashback site, but make sure you check the terms & conditions of the cashback site/retailer as it could jeopardise your cashback! Also if you use your cashback credit or debit card to pay – you could save even more!