If you aren’t already signed up to some of the best cashback apps or sites, quite frankly you have been missing out! They have become more and more popular in the UK over the last decade, with one app boasting over 2 million members – for who they claim an average of over £200 in cashback for them every year.
What would you do with an extra £200 a year?
I can tell you now that there are plenty of ways to earn more than that if you use these apps wisely – but in order to do that you need to know what you are doing, and you need to know the best cashback apps to use.
Finding the best cashback apps is easier said than done, though. There are dozens out there, each offering different welcome bonuses and varying amounts of cash back for varying numbers of retailers – it can be an absolute minefield.
So I thought it would be helpful to focus an article on exactly what a Cashback App is, how they work and then run through some of the best ones out there for you to try.
You could be saving money on all of your purchases online, without having to do much more than clicking on a few links – so let’s get you on your way.
We’ll kick off with our top apps and then get in to the details of how to use them.
The Best Cashback Apps in the UK
Let’s dive into the best cashback apps in the UK for you to look over. I’ll take a look at each one and see if you can pick a few that you think will work best for you and help you earn some great cashback!
Best All-Round Cashback App
We’ll kick things off with the app that is seen by many as the King of all Cashback apps. Over £1 billion gets spent through TopCashback every year, and my guess is that if you know someone that is already signed up to a cashback app, they are signed up to TopCashback. It’s massive.
There’s a good reason for its success – it’s a really good app. You don’t need to link any of your bank cards to your TopCashback app, you just select the retailer you want, click on the link and away you go! It’s free to sign up, and you get a decent bonus of £25 for every friend you refer (and they get £10 just for signing up).
The best thing about TopCashback is the sheer number of retailers that you can pick from – huge names like eBay, JustEat, ASDA, Expedia, Currys, Travelodge, Iceland, Tui. This is a great all-round cashback app, with surveys to fill in to earn extra money as well as regular special offers.
Signing up for TopCashback is a no brainer. Do it today.
Great For Home Owners (with a mortgage)
Sprive is a cashback app with a difference. The objective here is to help you pay off your mortgage, and it uses cashback as one of the tools to do that.
It’s important to highlight that cashback is just a small part of what Sprive offers – the main goal here is that you get the best possible deal on your mortgage, and you make payments that you are able to afford. It links up to your bank account to automatically put money aside for your mortgage, based on your spending – even overpaying when you can afford it with the goal of you becoming free of your mortgage more quickly.
Anyway, the cashback side helps with that – when you are making a payment, you can do it through the Sprive app and you will be rewarded with cashback – and this money can go towards paying off your mortgage.
It’s a neat little twist on the cashback idea, and is great for people that want to take control of their finances. The list of retailers is pretty good, and the added mortgage features means that this could be a really valuable app for you.
Best For Finding Retailers Not On Other Cashback Apps
JamDoughnut works in a slightly different way to most of the other cashback apps that we are going to look at on this list. Rather than clicking on a link that will take you to the retailer’s website, once you have decided on what you want to purchase, you go to JamDoughnut to purchase a gift voucher for that retailer, and then use that to pay for your goods. Then you will be rewarded with cashback.
I know what you’re thinking – this all seems quite fiddly compared to the other way. And you’re right, it is – you have to find out exactly how much you are paying before you buy the gift voucher, which is non-refundable so you can’t make a mistake. However, the big selling point of JamDoughnut is that it can get you cashback for lots of retailers that aren’t on other sites.
My advice is this – sign up to JamDoughnut (it’s free) and if you can’t find any cashback for a purchase you are going to make, use jamDoughnut as your last resort. You’ll be surprised how often it comes up trumps.
Best For Building Up Child Savings
This is another little twist on the cashback model, similar to the Sprive app. KidStart, as you may have already guessed, is focused on saving money for your children.
The principle is exactly the same as with Topcashback – you select the retailer that you want to shop with, click on the link and you will be credited with cashback when you complete your purchase. There are over 2,300 retailers to choose from on KidStart, which is a decent selection. Many are similar to TopCashback like eBay and Argos.
I use this app to earn cashback on anything I buy for my boys. It seems a fair way to do it – all of the cashback goes into their bank accounts (that they can’t touch for now), so it’s just a way to keep topping up their savings for when they are old enough for me to trust them with it!
Best No-Fuss Cashback App
Airtime Rewards is a cashback app that boasts a massive 2.8 million users, and it is another different take on the cashback theory in a couple of ways.
First of all, to earn the cashback, you don’t click on a link to go directly to the retailer’s website, but instead you link your bank card to your Airtime Rewards account. The great thing about this is that you will earn cashback even if you go in-store as well as buying online – this is not the case for many cashback schemes, and it is really useful.
The other difference is that the money you earn is saved up until you have enough (£20), and then that money is sent to pay off your mobile phone bill. The only issue is that not every phone company is part of the scheme, so be sure to double-check that yours is before you sign up. The main ones (EE, O2, 3 and Vodafone) all are there.
I really like Airtime Rewards because you don’t need to think about it – you just spend as usual and it slowly tops up in the background. Also, you can ‘stack’ your cashback – just because you get cashback through Airtime Rewards doesn’t mean that you can’t also earn through one of the other apps as well.
Best Set & Forget Flexible Cashback App
Another app on a similar theme now, Loyal Be. This is another app on which you link your bank card and then you can basically forget about it – you will earn cashback whenever you pay for something at qualifying stores with that card, which will go into your LoyalBe account.
The main difference here is how you get your money. Rather than it going towards your mobile phone bill, like with Airtime Rewards, you will earn LoyalCoins with which you can purchase egift cards for your favourite retailers.
This gives you a little bit more flexibility than with Airtime Rewards, as you can pick from a list of retailers – it’s a good way of saving up for a specific purchase.
The list of retailers that you can earn with is pretty small, to be honest, but it’s another great app to sign up for and forget about. It will be a nice surprise when you look in a few months time to see how much you have accrued.
Best Overall Alternative To TopCashback
Quidco is probably the biggest rival to TopCashback, as it is one of the biggest cashback apps out there, paying out over £2 million in cashback every year.
It’s free to sign up for (although there is a premium option for £1 a month that offers better rates – not sure that would be worth it unless you are a serial shopper), and there are loads of retailers to choose from.
The great thing about the rivalry between Quidco and Topcashback is that they are often competing for your business, so always strive to get exclusive deals that are better than the other one is offering. As consumers, we are the winners in his little battle!
Personally, if I am making a big purchase, TopCashback and Quidco are the two cashback apps that I first check to see where the best deal is. They are both great apps.
Best For Charity Donations Including Schools
Yet another version of the classic cashback set up is Easyfundraising – a scheme where you don’t actually get the money yourself, but the money instead goes to a cause of your choosing.
This won’t be for everyone, obviously – the entire point of this website is to help people gain more control over their own finances, rather than diverting money to other causes. However, many people want to do more for charity, and if this helps people feel better about themselves, without having to directly transfer their own money, then I think it is worthy of inclusion.
The premise is the same – there are over 7,000 different brands for you to choose from, which is a huge selection. You can also download a browser extension which automatically detects when you are shopping on one of the available retailers, so the process is incredibly easy. When you are shopping, you will get a pop up telling you what steps to take to claim the cashback.
I use Easyfundraiser to contribute money to my children’s school. I don’t use it for every purchase, but I try to make sure that a couple of times a month I contribute to the school’s fund to buy books and supplies for the kids – which makes me feel a bit better.
Best For Supermarket Cashback & Deals
Shopmium is a bit of a different cashback app in that rather than targeting brands and shops, there are offers on specific products.
They are focused on products that you can buy in supermarkets, which changes all the time. The offers vary from a percentage discount to some products being completely free – all you have to do is take a photo of your receipt after you have purchased the products at one of the participating shops and you will be refunded the cashback.
It basically works like digital vouchers or coupons. The supermarkets that you can shop in for cashback on Shopmium are: Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Asda, Morrisons and Waitrose, while the products can be anything. On the app you can also keep all of your loyalty cards (Clubcard, Nectar etc) so that they are all in one place.
Shopimum is a great app for getting the odd deal and finding something new to try. There isn’t a great deal of choice there, but they often have great discounts and you can even pick up products for free.
Cashback Apps – The Verdict
When used well, cashback apps are a great way to save a bit of money without really having to change anything about your shopping habits. Whether you are getting a little bit from using a specific card, or clicking on a link when you make a purchase, it really doesn’t take up much time or effort, and you’ll find that your total savings will steadily creep up.
Don’t think about these as money-making schemes – think of them like digital loose change jars. You chuck a few pence in it regularly and you will be amazed at the amount you can save over the course of a year.
The dream, of course, is that you can stack your cashback – earn little bits from a number of cashback apps from one purchase. Then things start to grow a bit quicker, and you can end up being able to treat yourself with the savings.
If you haven’t already, download a few of these cashback apps today – even if you are not sure you will use them that often. You’ll be surprised at what you can save without putting in much effort at all.
Want more information on cashback apps and how to use them – see below…
What is a Cashback App?
A cashback app is a phone application from which you can earn money for purchases from specific retailers. They will have an agreement in place with certain retailers, and so will provide you with a specific link to each one.
The theory behind them is this: retailers will see these cashback apps as ways to attract more customers, so they will pay a small commission to the cashback app every time they send a customer their way and they end up making a purchase. The cashback app then passes on part of that payment to you – the customer.
They usually have other ways to earn money, such as filling in surveys and referring friends and family to their site, but the cashback aspect is the main way for you to earn money.
How to use a Cashback Apps
Using a cashback app is pretty straightforward – largely because it’s in their interest to be simple to use. Nobody would go back to them if it was a long, drawn out process every time – it just wouldn’t be worth it.
There are a few easy steps to get earn cashback – let’s take a look at them:
- Sign up to a cashback app. In order to help you we have listed the best cashback apps below, so you can choose the one you like best from our list. Aim for one that gives you cashback for the retailers you tend to use the most.
- Browse through the list of the retailers and select the one that you would like to purchase from. Take note of what percentage cashback they are offering, and be sure to note if there are different rates for different types of products. For example, if you are buying from Currys, they might have offers like “5% Cashback on laptops, 3% on TVs, 7% on Mobile Phones” – that sort of thing.
- When you have selected the offer that you would like, click the on link and you will be taken to the retailer’s website. The link will include a tag so that the retailer knows which site you have been sent from, and therefore be able to work out how much cashback you are owed. (Some apps will require you to link specific bank cards to your account, and only purchases made with that card will qualify for cashback)
- When you get to the retailer’s website, just shop as you would normally. Once you have completed your purchase, the retailer will send the cashback to whichever app you have used, and it will be cleared into your account after a few days. The time it takes can vary from app to app and from retailer to retailer. Also, where the money goes will depend on what you have set up – some apps will hold the money in an account for you to withdraw in one go, some will pay it directly into your bank or PayPal account.
How to make the most out of Cashback Apps
Getting cashback from cashback apps is a pretty simple procedure, as you have seen, but in order to make this worth your while, there are a few things you can do. It’s no good just using a cashback app for one purchase every month or so – you won’t be able to amass enough cashback to feel any benefit. So here are my top tips:
Shop around the cashback apps: As we’ve mentioned the different apps will have different rates of cashback for different retailers, so have a look at a few of them to see where you could be getting the best deal.
Refer your friends: Once you have seen the benefit of a specific cashback app, refer it to your friends – it’s a great way to get bonus money (usually for you and them), and if it is a service that you genuinely recommend then you don’t have to worry about bothering people – you can show them that it works.
Complete surveys: I wouldn’t recommend devoting too much of your time on these, but if you ever find yourself with nothing to do – maybe on a commute, or in a waiting room, then completing a paid survey through one of these sites is a great way to top up your balance a bit. It all helps!
Consider withdrawing cash in the form of a gift card: A couple of these apps offer you a bonus if you withdraw your balance in the form of a giftcard for one of their retailers, rather than just have the cash into your bank account. If you are planning on making a purchase, then this could help you save some extra money.
Cashback isn’t better than paying less: This seems obvious, but you can end up being a bit blinkered when you go on these sites – only looking at the retailers they list. But you shouldn’t ignore other retailers – for example if one site is offering a product for £10 with 3% cashback, but another one has no cashback but the exact same product is £6 – take the better deal!
Big purchases are the best: Holidays, energy providers, home improvements – all of these are great sources of cashback, and you’ll really notice the impact that cashback can have if you have a couple of these larger purchases a year.
And finally, the golden rule of cashback apps – only use it to buy things that you were going to buy anyway! It’s easy to get carried away when you see high rates of cashback, but it’s so important that you don’t make extra purchases, just because you get sucked in by these big rates. Use these sites as a way to save a little extra money on purchases that you were going to make anyway, on things you really want or need.