Cashback apps and coupon sites can provide a quick boost when times are tough, but how do you sort the savers from the scammers?
Due to the disruption of Covid-19, purse strings are a little tighter right now for many, meaning people are using cashback apps to claw back some much-needed cash.
However, not every app is worth investing your time in, with some not being exactly what they appear.
To help consumers get the best from their apps, the personal finance experts at money.co.uk have provided expert tips on some of the best cashback apps to download now. The definitive guide will help save money on your online shopping, sorting the must-have apps from the technical time wasters.
The cashback apps to download now
One of the most popular new reward apps, Shoppix works by building up tokens that can be exchanged for gift vouchers or cash prizes. To earn tokens, users have to take pictures of their receipts on their phone and upload them. Additionally, you can complete surveys each day to collect tokens. Tokens can be exchanged for £5, £10, or £20 prizes on the app, which are paid into your account via PayPal or in gift card format.
Top Tip: Bonus tokens are awarded for scanning receipts on the same day you make your purchase, so snap them quickly to save more!
Unlike other apps which require you to snap receipts, TopCashBack is remarkably low effort. To earn cashback, you simply have to make purchases from select retailers (brands include everything from Carphone Warehouse, to Plusnet, Sky, PrettyLittleThing, RAC and more), and you’ll receive your reward via gift cards or PayPal. The percentage of cashback you receive varies depending on the brand you’re shopping with and can also be affected by seasonal offers – so make sure to check the site regularly for the latest deals.
Top Tip: Cash isn’t always better – the amount you earn using vouchers can be 20% more than the cash equivalent, so check both options before you pick your reward.
Quidco is TopCashBack’s main rival and works in much the same way – giving you cash back on purchases through major retailers. The only real difference between the two apps is the brands that are available: Quidco has a number of household names as partners including Amazon, Argos, Boots, Just Eat and more. If you can, it’s more than worth downloading both Quidco and TopCashBack, to ensure you don’t miss out on any savings.
Top Tip: Check the estimated times on your cashback – some brands take longer than others when going through Quidco to process rewards, so make sure to factor this in when budgeting to avoid being caught short.
SwagBucks is another app that gives you rewards (or ‘SB points’) through online purchases that can then be redeemed for cash or vouchers. The big difference with SwagBucks is that as well as cashback through purchases, SB points can be awarded from completing a huge variety of surveys, games and reviews.
Top Tip: Many of the surveys and video reviews are incredibly short, so you don’t have to dedicate hours in order to save, just check in a few times a day and spend a few minutes on the app each time.
Honey is completely different to other cashback apps, in fact, it’s not even an app at all – it’s a free Chrome extension – that automatically searches for discount codes and coupons when you checkout at major retailers. In essence, you don’t have to do any work at all, just download and start saving.
Top Tip: Aside from the discount code function, Honey also sends you rewards such as gift cards based on your purchases – make sure to check your inbox (and your junk) to avoid missing out.
Ask the Expert
While it is possible to earn hundreds or even thousands in some cases via cashback apps, the total saving usually boils down to how much time you’re willing to commit to using them.
If you are time-poor, try one of the apps that give rewards on direct purchases such as TopCashBack or Quidco. However, if you do have the time to organise and scan your receipts, Shoppix or a similar receipt scanning brand will be the most profitable for you in the long run.
Finally, if you take your rewards in gift card form, always make a note of the expiry dates, as the date might not be the same as a physical card bought in store. If you take your rewards in cash via PayPal, make sure to transfer it into another account immediately, to avoid being caught out by a refund or cancelled transaction.”
For more information on how you can use mobile apps to keep track of your cash, make money or even boost your credit rating, visit this handy guide put together by the personal finance experts at money.co.uk.