10 easy ways to earn cashback when you shop
This post contains affiliate links
Here on SuperLucky I encourage my readers to enter competitions – so they can get amazing prizes for free! But sometimes despite our best comping efforts, we do actually have to spend money on stuff. And by combining competitions, coupons and cashback we have three brilliant ways to save money!
If I’ve failed to win a certain item I need, and have to resort to (shock horror!) actually paying for it, I absolutely refuse to pay full price! Instead, I’ll do my best to find coupons and voucher codes to use – and where possible I’ll also be using a cashback website or app to make it cheaper too.
What is cashback?
Cashback rewards are given to customers for making purchases from a retailer – on anything from a packet of crisps to a car insurance policy. For businesses, cashback offers an incentive for customers to buy – but without them having to reduce the cost of their products.
Businesses pay commission to cashback websites in return for driving traffic to their own websites – the cashback site take a percentage of this commission, then passes on the remainder as cashback to their members.
When you shop via a cashback website, you pay full price, and receive cashback later (be warned – this can take months!). It could be paid into your bank account, sent via PayPal, discounted from your phone bill – or even emailed as a digital gift card for a favourite store. Some websites arrange for your cashback to go to your favourite charity or good cause.
Cashback isn’t restricted to online shopping either – register your payment cards and you can earn cashback when you spend in store, or claim by uploading a photo of your supermarket receipt.
Here’s my guide to ten great ways to earn cashback… (all screenshots are from my own phone)
Quidco is the UK’s number 1 cashback site, with 10 million members saving money at 4500+ retailers. Since I joined, I’ve earned over £1,900 cashback with Quidco including several top ups from cash prizes won in their regular instant win promotions.
Log in to your Quidco account and search for the retailer you’re interested in. Check the rates of cashback – this will give you an idea of how much you can earn and when you will receive it. Click Get cashback and you will be redirected to the retailer’s website. Shop as normal – a cookie (piece of data) saved in your web browser tells the retailer that your purchase was referred by a cashback website. Note that your browser must be set to accept cookies, and you must not be using an ad blocker. The retailer pays for the referral – and part of this is passed to you as cashback either to your bank account, PayPal account or via a store gift voucher. I redeem my Quidco cashback as a Tesco voucher, which includes a 4% top-up (I do this because I can’t usually get Tesco cashback via any other method – although do check out number 10 on the list, Cheddar, as they currently offer 1% Tesco cashback!)
Make sure you download the handy Quidco Reminder extension for Chrome – it reminds you to claim cashback, and you can easily activate cashback with one click without having to visit Quidco first.
Quidco have a Premium membership option which costs £1 a month (if you don’t earn cashback in a month, you won’t be charged). Paid membership offers you exclusive comps, bonus prize draw entries, and better payout rates.
Quidco run regular promotions and games and members can play every day for a chance to win instant cashback prizes and earn entries into a prize draw for bigger prizes. Check my Instant Wins and Daily Draws page, as I always add Quidco links when they’re live! Quidco also run occasional comps on their blog at https://discover.quidco.com/.
Register at www.quidco.com (my referral link – we both get £10 credit when you’re earn your first £5 cashback!)
TopCashback is pretty much the same format as Quidco – join both, and use the site with the best cashback rates depending on where you’re shopping! TopCashback Plus membership costs an extra £5 a year and you can see the benefits here.
Register your cards with TCB and you can also activate cashback offers for in-store spending.
Like Quidco, TopCashback run lots of daily instant win games throughout the year which I add to my Instant Wins and Daily Draws list – keep an eye on their deals and competitions page for news of upcoming promotions!
Register at www.topcashback.co.uk (my referral link)
3. Airtime Rewards
Airtime Rewards is an easy way to get discounts on your monthly phone bill. Download the app, register your phone number and card details – and earn cashback when you spend in store or online at any of their partner retailers (including Boots, Argos and Wilko). When you reach £5 cashback, redeem it as £5 off your phone bill (for some networks it needs to be a minimum of £10). I particularly like Airtime Rewards because I earn when shopping in store, without having to remember to activate a cashback offer first. They occasionally run trial cashback offers for supermarkets, including Asda and Tesco.
If you encourage a friend to sign up to Airtime Rewards with your code, you will both earn 50p – plus an extra £1 for you both if your friend spends within a week. There are also occasional £1.50 bonus sign-up days, plus prize draws if you shop at certain retailers on a set day. Set notifications for the @airtimerewards Twitter account as they regularly tweet offer codes, and run giveaways to win credit.
Register at https://airtimerewards.app.link/friend using my referral code 39UBWG7A
Use the JamDoughnut app to buy gift vouchers with Apple Pay or Google Pay, and earn a % of your purchase as cashback. Then simply use the gift voucher code at the checkout (in store or online) when you pay for your shopping. JamDoughnut features over a hundred brands – the most useful are the supermarket discounts, including Sainsbury’s (3% cashback), Waitrose (4%), Iceland (3%) and ASDA (3%). As well as offering great cashback rates, JamDoughnut also run regular prize draws for the chance to win cash prizes and gift cards.
Download the free JamDoughnut app for iOS, or for Android and use my referral code 5XTC – when you make your first gift card purchase, you’ll get bonus points (the amount varies, but is currently £4).
5. Checkout Smart
Install the CheckoutSmart app on your mobile device, and use it to get discounted and free products at the supermarket. On the home screen you can swipe through the current offers and filter by store – buy the featured product(s), then upload a photo of your receipt using the app. When it’s been verified, you’ll get cash in your CheckoutSmart account and can transfer that to your PayPal or bank account. You can also upload receipts to the website.
CheckoutSmart run competitions where you have to buy – and claim cashback – on a certain product, and then will be automatically entered into a prize draw. Don’t forget to tap the ‘WIN £10 Every Day’ offer when you submit a claim, to enter the daily draw.
Note that Quidco has exactly the same offers as CheckoutSmart on their ClickSnap app – but you can only upload your receipt to one of the apps. I prefer to use CheckoutSmart as it has all the competitions!
Register at www.checkoutsmart.com
Shopmium is similar to CheckoutSmart, offering discounts and free products at a variety of supermarkets when you upload your receipts, with payments via PayPal or bank transfer. They also like you to review the products after buying them.
Shopmium also offer a reward for referring friends to the app – when they join and make their first cashback request, you will earn £3 credit – and your mate will get a free product (currently Pringles).
Make enough cashback requests and you can earn Silver or Gold VIP status, unlocking extra rewards and prize draw entries.
Shopmium prize challenges run regularly, and you will usually have to get a certain number of requests for cashback accepted, and then tap to enter the prize draw.
Register at www.shopmium.com/uk – or download the app and use my referral code KYHMFYMF for free Pringles!
GreenJinn also gives you cashback when you upload a receipt for certain products. You can only claim cashback using the GreenJinn app (not online).
Download the app at www.greenjinn.com
8. Bank accounts
Several bank accounts offer cashback to customers when they pay by card. For most accounts, you can activate the rewards by logging on to online banking or your mobile app – the rewards change frequently and only last for a certain amount of time.
I bank with Lloyds, and on my app Home screen, I scroll to view Everyday Offers, then tap to activate all the offers I’m interested in – my favourites are for cashback at Morrisons and Waitrose (which you can combine with Airtime Rewards cashback).
Halifax runs a similar scheme to Lloyds, called Cashback Extras, and Santander has Retailer Offers you can opt in for. Plus the Co-op Bank Everyday Rewards scheme gives you 2p cashback every time you spend on your debit card (up to a maximum of £2.20 per month).
Of course, you can also apply for a cashback credit card – but there may be annual fees to pay, so research them carefully and pay your bill off in full every month to make sure you’re taking advantage of the cashback! Be Clever with your Cash has tips on the best current deals.
Cheddar’s cashback style is similar to Airtime Rewards – cashback is automatically tracked once you’ve registered your payment cards on their app. You don’t need to buy a voucher code (like JamDoughnut), or click through a referral link (like Quidco), just spend and then redeem your cashback straight to your bank account.
Cheddar partners include Tesco (as far as I know this is the only way to get cashback there at the moment), TFL (cashback on your tube & bus journeys!) and lots more. Plus! Cheddar are giving away cash prizes every week to their users in a prize draw that runs until 31 December 2022.
Download the Cheddar app via my affiliate link at https://get.cheddar.me/app/LUCKY12 (or use my code LUCKY12 in the app)
Kidstart works in the same way as Quidco and Topcashback, but the cashback you earn must be paid directly into a child’s account! An advantage is that Kidstart offer cashback on John Lewis purchases – you won’t find John Lewis on Quidco or TopCashback.
Register at www.kidstart.com (my referral link)
Instead of earning cashback for yourself, you can also earn it for a favourite cause. When you register for EasyFundraising, you need to choose a good cause (not necessarily a charity) to donate your cashback to. It’s a great way to raise funds for your child’s school or football club, for example. EasyFundraising do regular prize draws for members, with the prize usually being a donation to your charitable cause. Check the EasyFundraising Facebook page for the latest comps.
Register for EasyFundraising at www.easyfundraising.com (my referral link)
You can also shop via Give as you live (my referral link), which is similar to EasyFundraising.
Personally, I like to use a variety of cashback tools. I’ll look for the highest cashback rates and also check if there are any competitions running first, before I decide which website or app to use!
Do you use cashback websites? How much have you earned from them so far, and have you won any prizes in their competitions? Let me know in the comments!
I have been using Topcash back and Easy Fundraising for 5 or 6 years now. I haven’t earned much cash back, but I did win £250 of Debenhams vouchers 3 or 4 years ago along with a £250 for my cause with Easy Fundraising, in one of their Xmas promotions