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(Last Updated On: January 23, 2019)

What is Cashback?

Cashback is a rebate on a purchase. Boots points, Tesco club card points and similar systems are out there for individual retailers, but the topic of the day are the ones that cover multiple retailers. Many are familiar with Nectar, which rewards users with points for Sainsbury's purchases. So many more of these systems exist, particularly online. Cashback is exactly that – when you buy something, you will receive a percentage of that money back through a gift card or actual factual money.

Isn't the internet great?

In terms of retailers that participate in this stuff, well, it's pretty much everyone. In fact, it's easier to mention the ones that don't. Here it comes…

– Amazon.

That's basically it. All other major retailers are covered. Of course, the smaller websites aren't going to use systems like this, so don't get carried away. But just know that if you're going to shop at Argos, buy coach tickets, or book a hotel, there's a website willing to pay you back for it.

What's in it for You?

Maybe I wasn't clear enough before. It's free money. F-R-E-E. Free readies easy, exactly. All you have to do is find a cashback site that supports the retailer, click the link to go through to that site, and you should receive a notification that money is coming your way.

The money isn't fantastic, but that's because it's absolutely free and you don't need to do anything to earn it. All you need to do is click one of their links. Earning money for clicking links and buying things you were already buying seems pretty cool, to be fair. Realistically, you're looking at earning 0.5% to 10% per transaction. But it adds up.

What's in it for Them?

Cashback sites are the biggest consumer-facing affiliates in the UK. They earn money every time you click a link from their website to a retailer and subsequently spend money. As they earn commission from your sales, all they're doing is sharing that revenue with you. By giving some of that money to consumers, it encourages more people to use their site. The more that use it, the more they earn.

Usually, the more you spend, the more affiliate commission is generated. That's great for you are a buyer, as you may get 80p back on an £80 purchase.

What are the Best UK Cashback Sites?

  • Top Cashback. Very competitive rewards.
  • Quidco. Sent me a cupcake once. Nice to other people too.
  • iMutual. Often have crazy rates compared to the big boys.
  • Nectar. I have made loads of eBay buys, I tell you.
  • TB Seen. Newer on the scene, and have them deals.
  • Maximiles. Used to nice me up with earnings for surveys and do the same for purchases.

Setting up account in each is very easy to do, so get on with it. 90% of people will benefit from having accounts on the first two, even if you're even just an occasional online shopper. Explore each to see which sites they support.

What Else Do I Need to Know?

In order to make sure you don't miss and cashback opportunities, search the retailer's name and “cashback” on Google before you buy anything. [Maplin cashback], [B&Q cashback], [Toys R Us cashback] etc. Get into the routine of doing this, the same way you would look for discount codes. It's an essential skill for all online arbitragers too, as it's going to help you earn hundreds of pounds passively through the year.

There's no need to engage in any funny business. If you're thinking of just buying lots of things and returning them, I appreciate that you're thinking out of the box, but it's not going to work (ahem, not every time anyway).

Over time, this money is going to add up in your account. As long as you remember to use these sites as frequently as possible, you'll end up with a nice windfall every once and a while. It's wise to save up your earnings in your account until you're likely to need it. Cash out when Christmas comes around or before a holiday. Whatever you think is best.


Get with it or lose out. It doesn't matter how frequent your online shopping habits tend to be. The money will build up slowly and you will soon be able to reap the rewards for spending money online.


27 / Nottingham, UK. Trying these things since 2007. Writing about these things since 2014. Doing this full-time since 2018.