In a previous post, I answered the question “What is cashback?” and discussed the reasons why everybody should be taking advantage of it. I mentioned at the end of that post that there would be a follow-up, where I would explain how to make the absolute most out of cashback websites.
This is that post.
I’d recommend you read my previous post “What is Cashback & How Can You Benefit from It?” before reading this one. It will help give everything more context. If you’ve already read it (or if you really don’t want to) then carry on below.
How to Make the Most out of Cashback Websites
Ensuring Your Purchases Track As Expected
Cookies are the magic word here, and no, not the tasty ones that you can eat. I’m referring to the internet ones – the small pieces of data which are stored on your device when browsing the web. I’m not getting into the details of how cookies work because that’s irrelevant. To keep it simple: no tracking cookies = no cashback!
So yeah, these cookies are extremely important! You’ll want to ensure they always exist as expected, or you run the risk of losing out.
The “recommended” way to ensure that these cookies always exist is by first clearing them out completely on the device/web browser you’re using. You can google “deleting my cookies” if you’re unsure how to do this. However, I’ve personally never bothered with doing this. I simply make sure not to navigate away from the current tab/window when going from cashback site to retailer site when making purchases, and I’ve never had a problem. The cashback site will usually show a reminder mentioning this.
Never Forget About Cashback Again
There’s nothing worse than forgetting to take advantage of cashback, especially if you tend to think of yourself as someone who always ensures you’re getting the best deal possible. I stupidly used to always forget, only remembering when the purchase was complete – but thankfully, this doesn’t happen to me anymore. This is partly because I’ve made it such a habit to check for cashback offers before making any online purchase, but the real bulk of thanks here has to go to my Cashback Reminder Browser Extension in Google Chrome. (What a mouthful!)
A browser extension is an add-on that allows extra functionality from your web browser. It basically extends your browsing experience, making certain things easier or more intuitive and that’s most definitely the case when using cashback reminders. These handy extensions notify you with a small pop-up window when you’re on a website that offers cashback. It pretty much pops up as a “Hello, don’t forget that you could earn cashback from this website if you make a purchase!” and believe it or not, but this little notification has saved me many times from completing my shopping and missing out on cashback.
Personally, I use Google Chrome as my default web browser and the Quidco cashback reminder which I’m referring to is available on there. It’s also available on Firefox and Safari, so if you happen to use them you’ll be fine. I’m just talking about the cashback reminder for Quidco here, but there are similar add-ons available for the likes of TopCashBack.
If you’re serious about earning as much cashback as possible, then it’s important not to forget about it when it’s available to you – if you use a browser reminder like me then it’s unlikely you will ever forget again!
Using Promo Codes With Cashback Offers
Something which you need to be careful about is using promotional codes along with cashback sites. Many offers are automatically void if you input any promotional code at the checkout. I learned this the hard way when I raised a dispute for cashback that was not paid to me. After the case was investigated, it was revealed that I happened to use a promo code when the cashback offer’s terms stated that this was not allowed.
Not all cashback offers prohibit the use of coupon codes, but many higher priced ones do. It’s definitely something to be mindful of.
If you happen to find a cashback offer and discount code on something you’re planning to buy, but the cashback offer prohibits use of discount codes, then you really need to weigh up what works out to be the better deal overall – the potential cashback which could be earned from the offer, or the perk to be had if using the discount code.
The Big Wins
People are often shocked when I tell them that I’ve now earned over £500 in cashback. Especially when I tell them it was on things that I was going to be buying anyway. The reality is that there are people out there who have earned much more – I’m talking thousands of pounds! So when comparing to them, my £500 isn’t that much, but I’m still proud of it!
Although I’m a big believer in the whole ‘every little helps’ when it comes to earning cashback, there is definitely something to be said for focussing on what I like to call “the big wins”. These are usually made up of the more expensive purchases in life, things such as car/home/pet insurance, home energy packages, home TV & Broadband, holidays, mobile phone contracts, tv’s, jewellery and so on. You can earn cashback on many of these purchases too, and the payouts are considerably larger!
From my own personal experience, I’ve earned the most cashback on the likes of holiday trips and car insurance renewals. I recently introduced a friend to Quidco and he bagged himself £150 for taking out home broadband.
You should definitely be looking to earn cashback whenever possible. This is especially true when making some of the bigger purchases in your life. Your bank balance will (eventually) thank you for it.
And you thought cashback was only available when shopping online?
These days, many cashback sites allow you to link up your credit/debit card with them. The benefit from doing this is so you can opt into something called instore cashback. You can then start earning cashback from certain shops by simply shopping instore with them like you normally would. Just make sure to pay with the card(s) that you’ve linked up.
The great thing about instore cashback is the fact that it’s always a nice surprise. I’ll see these odd payments stacking up in my Quidco balance. It’s only when checking them in detail that I realise they’re from things I’ve bought when shopping instore.
Instore cashback isn’t available with all retailers. I would still recommend purchasing online over doing so instore because the purchase tracks at a faster rate. The end result of this is quicker payments. However, it’s still worth taking advantage of instore cashback, so check if your chosen cashback site offers this.
That’s (Not) All Folks
So there we have it, how to make the most out of cashback websites. There are other things on offer, but it’s nothing that the average cashback earner would really take into consideration. This includes the likes of:
- Referral Programs
- Free Cashback Offers
I haven’t mentioned the above in this post. If there happens to be enough interest, I may have to do another follow-up.
I hope this has helped you to make the most out of cashback websites.