Cashback sites are gaining more and more popularity, such as Quidco and TopCashBack. These cash back websites offer a cash reward when you click through from their website to go onto buy goods and products for things like electronics, fashion items, gifts and even loans. Online stores such as Topshop or John Lewis, mobile phone companies and car insurance companies to name a few, affiliate themselves with certain cashback websites.

This guide aims to explain how to use a cashback website, and sheds light on how they work. Furthermore, you can discover how you can maximise your earnings using cashback sites and make money for free in some cases!

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How To Use a Cashback Website

It is true that the majority of cashback websites work in the same way, the differences are found in the things like the fees, joining bonuses and how much money is paid by them. To get set up you need to register with one or more cashback sites and search for the product or service you are looking for.  When you find the deal you want to cash in on, click through to the retailer’s site directly from the cashback site and complete your purchase.  The retailer will then send commission to the cashback site who in turn will pass on proportion of this to your bank account or Paypal account.

All you need to do is login to the main cashback company and you can see each time how much you have saved. Although it might be cashback of only 2%, 5% or 10%, this can really add up over time if you are proactive and use cashback effectively.

You should also get into the habit of checking if a company offers cashback on Quidco or TopCashBack when you are shopping online or making a large purchase.

Make The Most of Using a Cashback Website By:

Getting Your Friends to Sign Up

A lot of cashback websites offer a bonus to those who refer a friend to them. The bonus can be received simply for the referral, but in most cases, is only awarded if the friend officially signs up with them. Sometimes you will not receive your bonus until the friend that you recommended has earned a certain amount of cashback themselves, so do encourage them to shop through the cashback site if you want to get your bonus.

Usually, to gain the bonus, you would send an email using the website’s dedicated referrals page which contains a link to the cash back site with a personalised referral code. This is to confirm that it was you who gave the recommendation so that you can then reap the benefits.

Claim Your Freebies

Both the sites mentioned in this guide, Quidco and TopCashBack, offer you the opportunity to make money for free. To earn free cashback, you will need to complete surveys, get quotes from price comparison websites or enter prize draws.

The rewards are rarely anything exceptional, but can be decent enough to spare a few minutes for.

Earning Cashback on the High Street

Via cashback apps, you are able to earn cashback on your high street purchases. Cashback apps, such as the Quidco’s ClickSnap app, lists a wide range of offline cashback deals. The way this works is that you can claim the cash back by uploading a photo of the receipt onto the app.

You are also able to earn offline cashback on TopCashback’s OnCard scheme. Once you register your debit or credit card with this scheme, a variety of available deals will appear on the TopCashback website.  Activate the deal you want to, use the registered card to buy the product offered and the cashback will automatically appear in your account. This is extremely easy and simple.

Withdraw Funds as a Gift Card

All cashback sites allow you to withdraw the cashback you have earned into your bank account or Paypal account. However, some cashback websites allow you to withdraw your earned funds as a gift card with a specific retailer of your choice (within means). If you chose to withdraw this way, you can earn a top-up on your cashback.

When you go to withdraw your funds, there will be a large list of retailers displayed who offer gift cards. You can earn a top-up of up to 15% by utilising your cashback this way, on websites like Quidco and TopCashBack.

Watch Out For Cashback Site Fees

While it is free to register a basic account with well-known cashback sites, a premium account may result in a fee.  This means a certain amount of the first cashback earned may be retained in return for further benefits.

Premium membership usually unlocks better cashback rates, promotions, comprehensive customer service and removal of sponsored adverts that may appear on their websites, as well as other features specific to the website.

Some smaller, lesser known cashback websites may ask for a fee to join anyway, or may require you to earn a certain amount of money in cashback before you are able to withdraw it into your bank account.

Be Aware of Cookie Trails

Probably the most important thing to understand about cashback sites is the online process it takes to the claim any money. This process is tracked by little files called ‘cookies’ that contain useful information about your browsing history.

To be paid in your cashback, there must be a clear ‘cookie trail’ in order to show it was the cashback website that led you to the retailer’s website where you made your purchase.

If you have already visited a retailer’s website to browse, then go back to check if it is on a cashback website to then take advantage of the benefits, you will need to first delete your cookies. Deleting your cookies will wipe the record of you being on that retailer’s website, and then the cookie trail will start again between the cashback site and online retailer.

In failing to do this, it could leave you without any cashback from that particular retailer. However, once you have made a purchase on a retail website through a cashback website this way, you should not have a problem in receiving your cashback on future purchases even if you been browsing before heading over to the cashback website.

Be aware that clearing your cookies could result in the loss of some useful information such as pre-filled passwords on websites, though most browsers now give you the option to keep these stored.

Remember That Cashback Sites Do Not Always Have The Best Bargains

The attractive appeal of cashback can throw you off discovering cheaper deals elsewhere. A £300 home insurance policy with £80 cashback is far from a bargain if you can get the same cover elsewhere for £150.

Also, if you have a discount code for a website, you cannot usually claim cashback on top of that discount code. If this is the case, make sure to check whether the code offers a bigger discount.

You should always familiarise yourself with the terms and conditions of each provider’s website and be aware that cashback can sometimes take many weeks to reach your account.  If you fail to receive money owed to you, write to the site as quickly as you can and stick to the bigger, well known sites to reduce the risk of failed pay outs.

For more information, read about cashback here.

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