Last Updated on June 28, 2022 by Melissa S.
Saving money by using cashback sites is definitely an easy way of saving money on the purchases you are making anyway. But how do cashback sites actually work and what are the drawbacks, if any?
Here’s all the information you need to save money using Top Cashback, as well as other cashback websites.
How does cashback work?
Every time you make a purchase, if you go through the referral channels of the cashback site and follow their Terms & Conditions, you will be awarded a percentage of your spend back – the cashback. This will be credited to your account with the cashback site and usually takes several weeks to be verified before you can withdraw it.
At first this might seem too good to be true – after all why would a company reward you for buying products from other brands? The way it works is that by going through their referral channel to that particular brand, the cashback company will be rewarded. They then pass a percentage of the savings on to you, which is great!
Advantages of using Topcashback
The biggest advantage of using Topcashback is obviously to be rewarded for purchases you were going to make in the first place. If this is a significant amount, such as new furniture or a holiday, then the savings could really add up. Grocery shopping, mobile phone contracts and energy suppliers are all everyday essentials that you can get cashback on.
Of course, once you get into the habit of using Topcashback, it pays to check the site every time you make a purchase.
Disadvantages of using Topcashback
While there aren’t any disadvantages as such, I have to admit at times I simply forget to check the site before making a purchase, especially if it is small!
However, Topcashback have now introduced in-store cashback where you simply register your bank cards and spend in store to earn cashback. I much prefer this approach, and Airtime Rewards does something similar.
The other possible disadvantage is buying things for the cashback alone. I have actually witnessed this happen, and while the person was getting a great rate of cashback, they were buying things that they would not have necessarily needed in the first place, or gone with a deal that wasn’t quite as good as the one they wanted simply because cashback was being offered.
Of course, both these scenarios are avoidable, so with a bit of forward planning and self control the advantages of cashback certainly outweigh the drawbacks.
Is TopCashback free?
Currently, there are two types of Topcashback membership. The first, Classic, is completely free to sign up to. The second, Topcashback Plus, costs £5 annually which is taken from your cashback total.
Topcashback Plus offers a “range of additional features” for its members, although the site does not state what these are specifically.
As I am not a member of Topcashback Plus, I can’t comment fairly on if it is worth it, but if you are unsure, the free Classic account is a great starting point.
How do I claim my money from TopCashback?
Once the cashback is tracked and verified, it with appear as a withdrawable balance in your app. This can then be withdrawn in a number of ways
What will prevent me earning cashback?
It is important to check the terms and conditions of each offer, as there can be restrictions on products eligible for cashback. For example, Apple products are often excluded or available at a lower rate than other items.
However, this is just another reason why I would not buy something I wasn’t planning to purely to get the cashback. This way I can scan the T&Cs but know that as I would be buying the item anyway, any cashback is simply a bonus.
Ways to maximise your Topcashback offers
Of course, there are always ways to maximise the cashback on what you were planning to buy anyway. Here’s some ideas.
Holidays and other large purchases
If you are going to be spending several hundreds or thousands of pounds on a holiday or item of furniture, it is definitely worth checking if you can get cashback. Just a small percentage could be a significant amount of money.
Smaller, independent companies tend to offer higher rates of cashback than larger brands, so it is always worth checking. I was able to get 10% cashback on a wooden outdoor playhouse which got me £40 back.
I also bought some memory foam pillows from REM fit and was able to get £8 in cashback.
If you are organising a group purchase such as a hotel stay, or even just a takeaway, you could offer to be the one to pay initially and then collect everyone else’s share of the money. This way the cashback could be claimed for the cost of the whole group.
Be upfront about it – in my experience most people aren’t bothered either because they never do cashback themselves, or they are happy for you to receive it for sorting out the payment. If it’s a significant amount, it could always go towards something for the trip such as a round of drinks for everyone!
Presents, e.g. Black Friday
If you are buying presents for Christmas, birthdays and other occasions you might as well check if you can get cashback on the items. Just as retailers have plenty of Black Friday deals, so do the cashback sites, so you can earn bonus cashback on your purchases. This is a no-brainer way of saving money on your Christmas shopping!
Topcashback now offer TopCashback compare, where you can compare quotes for insurance, energy providers and earn cashback on top. If you find the best quote via their service, then why not earn the cashback at the same time?
Again, I would still check other comparison sites such as Money Supermarket before making a decision, but it’s well worth making the effort.
New member offer sign up
If you’re not currently a TopCashback member then you can take advantage of a generous new member sign up. These change regularly but often give you 100% cashback on a £10 spend at certain retailers, so basically getting your goods for free.