Save a Princely sum through Cashback
Never buy from a high street brand without getting a Discount. Traditionally high street stores relied on footfall to get people into their shops so retail parks and shopping centres were king. Moving their business on-line, essential as it might be, does have one significant issue, how to get people through the virtual Front door.
The King is dead, long live the Cashback King
A growing trend in recent years, is the rise of Cashback sites. These sites essentially replace the urban shopping centre by promising retailers your visit. In return retailers give you a percentage back on anything you buy.
There are 2 main sites in the UK,QuidcoandTopCashBack, both work in similar ways and are roughly comparable. It’s simple to sign and then all you have to do is go to the cashback site first so that the purchase is tracked, then just shop as normal. So if you want to get something from Argos, don’t go direct to the Argos site go to Quidco, and a simple click through gets you 8% back on whatever you purchase.
Sometimes you don’t even need to buy anything, I recently got £2.50 back from an Insurance comparison site just for getting a quote. I’ve also got £5 back from a national carpet retailer just to book a room measurement.
Both sites also let you log your credit and debit cards on the site. This then allows you to automatically claim cashback just by using a registered card, This little trick also works in the high street stores. Café Nero for example give you 10% discount each time you swipe a registered card.
Queen of Cashback Cards
Another way to get Cashback is to use cashback cards, I’m not talking about credit cards that give you Money back on everything. I’m talking about retail cashback cards linked to a range of high street brands.
Some pre-payment cards, where you load up money in advance, give you cashback, across a range of shops. The advantage here is that you don’t even need to think about it just use the card and it automatically claims some money back.
You have to be careful on some fronts as they sometimes have fees to load or even spend money (Almost certainly if you withdraw cash from an ATM) and sometimes they come with a monthly fee. But live within their rules and you can get up to 10% back.
TakePockitfor example, you pay £0.99 to start with but if you only load money via bank transfer you can easily avoid their fees.
The Duke of Disappointment
It's not all plain sailing though, as there are some things that don’t always work.
You don’t always get the promised cashback, sometimes things go wrong, or there are specific terms which mean that the cashback is declined. In these cases it can be hard to do anything about it as your contract is with the retailer but the cashback is from the cashback broker.It can make it harder to barter or get a personalised deal. If you talk to someone or compare several sites, you sometimes lose the cashback benefit.You can lose access to other discounts, Some stores don’t let you use promotional codes if you claim cashback. I’ve also seen some sites hide publicly available discounts if you come via a cashback site, typically telecoms, and insurance companies but it can always be worthwhile to check the basic version of the site first if you have time.You have to ask yourself, can you get a better deal elsewhere, there are lots of reputable retailers on-line and where competition is rife you may find the product you're after cheaper on an alternative site, even after the cashback has been calculated.
Put it all together Princess…
The last note is to put it all together, for instance, get a cashback card, register it on Quidco, and then buy a coffee, first you’ll get 10% back on the cashback card, then another 10% from Quidco, factor in the Coffee loyalty card (1 free coffee for every 9 bought) and effectively you save 30% on your morning brew.
Ok, so none of these tips are going to fill the treasure chest on their own, but the point is they are discounts on everyday purchases so it is money that you would otherwise be throwing away, and when you put all the savings together, It can start to add up, and all for very little effort.