Key link: Click here to sign-up for TopCashBack
First, a (sort of) apology for being a week or so late in writing about this. Blame the holiday plus the launch of the new blog. This has, however, allowed me to draw on quite a lot of experimental data from other people to present some good suggestions.
So, what is all the fuss about?!
For a long time – I have been a member since 2006 – Quidco has been the UK’s leading cashback site for online shopping. It was reliable and it had good customer service. Only the £5 annual fee counted against it, but that did pay for a responsive customer services team.
TopCashBack launched a few years ago and has been making aggressive strides in the market. Most in the industry expect it to overtake Quidco at some point.
Historically, TopCashBack had three benefits over Quidco:
- It paid 1% more on all sales (ie £1.01 instead of £1 – not a great improvement)
- There was no £5 annual fee (although, when you earn £500 a year as I do, saving £5 is not a major reason to move)
- You could withdraw money as soon as it was received (although Quidco pays fortnightly, and the £1 minimum is not a major barrier)
For a lot of people, including myself, it wasn’t worth the trouble of moving from Quidco. Now, though, TopCashBack has rolled out a new feature which, frankly, makes a massive difference:
TopCashBack will now pay your cashback into your Tesco Clubcard account.
This dramatically increases the value of TopCashBack cashback versus Quidco. Let’s assume that you value an Avios at 1p. This means that £10 of cashback, when transferred to Tesco Clubcard, is worth £24 of Avios.
If you assume that Tesco will have another 40% bonus on transfers to Avios at some point, your £10 of cashback would get you £34 of Avios.
(Put another way, TopCashBack allows you to ‘buy’ up to £50-worth of Avios for 0.42p each, each year. If you assume there will be a 40% conversion bonus, it is letting you buy £50-worth for 0.3p each!).
In reality, you will receive even more Avios than I indicated above, because TopCashBack gives you a 5% bonus on top of your cashback if you agree to transfer it to Clubcard. (In reality, they could have offered 5% less and it would still be a great deal!)
There are very few conditions, except:
You are capped at £50 per year (a year runs from the date of your first Tesco transfer, not the calendar year or from the date you joined)
You can choose for each individual transaction whether it is paid to you as cash or paid into Clubcard.
As you cannot split up each individual transaction, do NOT do a transaction that earns you more than £50 cashback, as it is impossible to split it to send £50 to Clubcard and the rest to your bank account.
TopCashBack accounts are strictly limited to one per person. Extra TCB accounts at the same address would require separate Clubcards. It is not yet clear if the Clubcard name must match the TopCashBack account name.
How do I join TopCashBack?
TopCashBack offers a £5 referral bonus if you refer a friend, payable when your friend earns over £10. The link above includes my referral code.
I am grateful to anyone who chooses to help support the blog by using this link. You will not get a better deal if you sign-up directly on the TopCashBack website. Thank you!
Nothing stops you opening a TopCashBack account now and using it for your day-to-day online shopping instead of Quidco.
In Part 2 of this article, I look at some of the sites that can help you earn the £50 as quickly as possible, with the minimum cost and effort.