Cashback sites: five problems you may encounter

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One particularly frugal thing for  cashback, or effectively spend less on online purchases, is to sign up to one or more cashback websites. Companies such as TopCashback and Quidco work as referrers of sorts, hooking you up with a deal and giving you money back on every purchase you make, usually in the form of a percentage. It’s not fixed, nor is it usually a huge amount of money, but for high-ticket items (consumer electronics, flights, etc), it can still be a significant sum of cash.

Yet these websites have their flaws, as do any deals that seek to keep cash firmly in your pocket. What are the key issues that people face when using these, and how can you work against them? Here are our top four things to watch out for when embracing services.

Don’t be wooed by big cashback – go for the best deal

Just because a company is offering you £60 cashback on a washing machine doesn’t mean you should take it; chances are that the deal is only there because it a much higher-ticket item. Remember that you’re looking for the best offer, and not one that promises to give you more immediate cash. £60 may look tempting, but if the washing machine is £200 more than another great deal, then you’re still losing £140.

Don’t leave your money with the website

We’ve all seen internet companies fold, and many only need to change one rule before restrictions are in place. Some  sites have a limit on how much you can keep in your account, or a specific length of time you’ve got left before your claim goes back to the site owners. Get your cash into your personal account as soon as you can!


Don’t think your cashback is guaranteed

Tracking issues have been known to happen frequently for many individuals using cashback sites – so much so that they’re put off them forever. If you have problems getting paid, ensure you get in touch with the site directly. Sometimes, it’s not a tracking issue – it may be that the retailers or product creators don’t pay the cash either.


Cookies can crumble 

Cashback sites put cookies – files that store information on your computer so that websites can identify you – that need to be used in order to ensure every party knows who you are. You must click through from the cashback site to get the deal. To be extra safe, clear your computer’s cookies (usually done through browsers such as Chrome, IE and Firefox) to ensure the cashback is tracked.