Save hundreds of pounds a year on shopping with one click! Use cashback websites to cut your costs
‘Coupon kid’: Money blogger Jordon Cox
Millions of households now regularly use the internet to do their shopping – and although lockdown restrictions have eased, many are expected to continue to shop from their homes rather than venture on to their local high street.
Apart from convenience, one big advantage of buying goods online is that you can use cashback websites to cut your shopping costs.
These popular websites provide ‘money back’ offers on all types of products from big-brand retailers, including Marks & Spencer, Sky, Argos and Tesco.
In effect, a percentage of your spending is paid back into your online cashback account, which you can then either empty into your bank account or convert into shopping vouchers.
To get the cashback, shoppers need to remember to first click on the cashback website and then look for deals from the retailer they want to buy from.
Money blogger Jordon Cox, who is known as Britain’s Coupon Kid, is a big fan of cashback. He says: ‘One extra click through to the retailer of your choice can save you money. Using a cashback website each time you buy online could add up to savings equivalent to hundreds of pounds a year.’
Cashback websites TopCashback and Quidco say their customers save £300 and £325 on average a year, respectively.
TopCashback and Quidco are the two biggest providers, but others include My Money Pocket – a sister company of TopCashback – and Widilo.
TopCashback and Quidco offer deals from more than 5,000 retailers and have over 10 million subscribers each. They tend to offer the best deals, but not in all cases. For example, TopCashback pays 8 per cent cashback on Adidas items, rather than between 6 per cent and 6.6 per cent from other providers.
Quidco pays £210 when you take out a phone contract with Tesco Mobile, but other websites do not offer this deal.
Widilo and Quidco, meanwhile, offer 3 per cent on all Halfords transactions, whereas TopCashback does not offer cashback with the bike retailer.
And TopCashback and Quidco both offer 16 per cent cashback to new customers of online clothes retailer Asos, as well as 4 per cent to existing customers. Widilo pays new customers 3 per cent and existing customers 1 per cent.
There are three ways to shop via cashback websites.
Shoppers can sign up to several websites and then compare deals each time. Alternatively, they can pick one website and accept it will not always get them the best deal available. Or they can take advantage of the price guarantees offered by TopCashback and Quidco. These mean that if you spot a better deal on a different website, they’ll make up the difference if you let them know.
Signing up to a cashback website is free, so it may feel like there is little downside to using one. After all, you are effectively receiving free money just for shopping.
But Sara Williams, of money blog Debt Camel, urges caution. She says: ‘It’s easy to think you are getting a bargain, but it can result in people spending more than they intended – simply to get the biggest cashback.’