It may sound too good to be true, but you honestly can get paid to shop. If you’re making purchases anyway, it makes sense to take the opportunity to earn money with cashback. You could easily be rewarded with £100s a year by shopping through cashback websites.
On average cashback site members earn £280 a year – though some earn a lot more!
How do cashback sites work?
Instead of going straight to a shop’s website to buy an item, if you access an online store through a link on a cashback website, you get paid a cash reward whenever you purchase.
You still receive your items directly from the retailer as you would normally, you just get paid for doing so.
You can get cashback on everything from clothes to flights to electronics.
The amount you’ll get paid depends on the cashback site you use and the retailer you’re purchasing from.
Why do cashback sites pay you to shop?
Shops pay cashback sites for sending customers their way. The cashback sites then pass some of that money on to you.
How much do you get paid by cashback sites?
It could be anything from a couple of quid to over £100. See how MyFamilyClub reader Emma made over £500 by using cashback websites.
How do you earn cashback?
- Sign up to a cashback website (see our recommendations below)
- Find an item you want to purchase online
- Head back to the cashback website and see if they have a deal for that retailer
- If they do, buy via the cashback website link (your purchase will be tracked by them)
- Once the transaction has gone through you’ll see your cashback pop up into your account
- After a certain amount of time,usually a few weeks, you can withdraw the cash
To start you’ll need to be signed up to a cashback website. Here are our top picks of the most reputable websites which have millions of members.
Quidco is similar to TopCashback and is their main competitor. They offer free basic membership (although you do have to put up with a few ads) or you can opt for Quidco Premium which costs £5 a year.
The Premium option gives you faster payment from retailers, no sponsored advertising, and extra promotions and loyalty points. They’ve also started to offer cashback on your high street shop as well as online.
Quidco say that, on average, their members earn £280 each per year.
Topcashback tops the charts when it comes to great payouts and customer satisfaction. It’s free to join and you’ll get 101% of the cashback it receives. Basically, they pass on the extra bonus they get from big cashback payouts.
There are no yearly fees, but you can choose to get ‘Plus membership’ which costs £5 a year. This gives you an extra 5% bonus on all their cashback rates. The fee is only taken from your cashback earnings, not your bank account.
Another good thing about this site is that you can trade in your cashback for Tesco Clubcard points. For every £10 of cashback, you’ll get 1,050 Tesco Clubcard points (£10.50 to spend in store or £42 in Tesco Rewards).
Things to remember if you want to get paid to shop
Before you jump straight on the cashback bandwagon, take a minute to remember these important points so you get the most out of your rewards.
Don’t get caught out by those fees
You can join most cashback sites for free on their basic membership. Premium accounts will set you back no more than a fiver, so there really is no need to pay out big bucks for any cashback site. Avoid cashback sites that don’t offer any free membership options.
Cashback case study
Beware the cookie monster
In order for you to be paid your cashback, the site needs to ‘track’ your purchase. To do this it’s best to clear the ‘cookies’ of your internet browser before you buy something through a cashback website. That way you can be sure that the cashback website will have tracked your purchase and you will receive your cashback.
Waiting for payments
If you want money quickly cashback sites may not work for you as it can take a few weeks for your cashback to come through.
It’s best to think of your cashback as a bonus rather than relying on it in case there’s a problem with payment.
If you do have issues getting paid by your cashback provider, it’s best to contact the cashback website directly.
Don’t leave your money in a cashback site
When you earn cashback make sure you withdraw your money from the cashback site as soon as possible. The money’s not yours until it’s in your bank account. If you’ve racked up £500 of cashback but not withdrawn it and the cashback site suddenly goes bust you’d lose all your cashback money.
Make sure you’re getting the best deal
Whenever you see a big cashback reward it’s natural to get a bit excited, but always ask – is it the best deal for me?
For example, there might be a pet insurance deal offering £50 cashback on a £100 but when you checked out pet insurance on a comparison website, you saw a similar policy that only cost £40 a year in total and so was a better deal.
Always check before you buy and don’t be blinded by those flashes of cashback.
Filling in a quick application form, signing up for a free trial, answering a questionnaire or entering a competition could all earn you easy cash.
Filling in a quick application form, signing up for a free trial or answering a questionnaire or competition all could earn you easy cash.
No purchase necessary
It’s even possible to earn cashback without actually buying anything.
You can make around £15 for a free film rental trial, £47 for a dating website or check your credit score for £8 through TopCashback.
Or share your opinion in a survey for up to a fiver a pop on Quidco.
Another easy earner is referring a friend. Quidco will give you £2.50 per referral and TopCashback will reward you £10 for referring a friend who then becomes an active member and earns over £10.
Getting paid to check in
Earn cashback by simply going into the shops. Get the Quidco mobile app and you’ll be paid cash when you check in at over 70 retail stores. You’ll also get discount vouchers at restaurants and stores, and cashback when you buy something in those high street stores. You can even get a bonus for sharing on social networks.
Free cash just for surfing the net
This cashback method is a bit clever. It’s basically a plugin for your internet browser and when you do your searches on Google for products, insurance, holidays or whatever else, you’ll get a special list of results alongside your usual search.
Each result has a cash amount next to it and once you click through you’ll collect your reward. You don’t have to purchase anything. Only relevant results are shown and rewards are usually just a few pence. But think about how many searches you do online and how long you surf for and the pennies will soon add up. You can then log in to your account and check your balance.
When you want to withdraw the cash it’ll be sent via Paypal. Simple!
However, one thing to remember is those cookies! Your cashback browsing and this no purchase surfing can interfere and you’ll probably need to clear your cookies to get the best result.
There are a few sites out there that provide this service but we recommend Qmee.
Cashback on your grocery shopping
Cashback doesn’t just have to apply to clothes, travel, insurance and electronics. You can earn cashback while shopping at the supermarket, too!
Getting cashback on your grocery shop is easy. A bunch of savvy tools means you can get cashback on your cabbages and squeeze the savings out of your weekly supermarket shop. You can sometimes get cashback on your supermarket petrol bill, too.
Other ways to get paid to shop…
Cashback websites are a brilliant way to get paid to shop, but there are alternatives.
Ever thought of becoming a mystery shopper? You won’t get paid a fortune, but if you fancy a free lunch why not give it a try?
Make money online
If you want some extra cash in your pocket, have a look at our 17 Ways To Make Money Online – Fast!