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Quidco launches ‘Premium’ (ie Quidco goes free as TopCashBack threatens to decimate it)

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For clarity, Head for Points is a site about airline and hotel loyalty points!  However, anyone with any sense uses a cashback site such as Quidco or TopCashBack when booking travel products, so it is worth keeping up with developments.

I appear to have been a Quidco member since 2006, looking at the site, and have earned over £4,000 since then.  The £5 a year membership was therefore not a massive burden on me, and I appreciated the way that Quidco dealt with issues over missing payments.

When TopCashback launched a few years ago, it had no choice but to compete on price.  It therefore launched without a membership fee, and with marginally higher cashback levels.  For anyone joining fresh, or someone who was only earning £20 or so a year from Quidco, using TopCashBack was an easy decision.

Quidco has been on the back foot ever since.  TopCashback’s recent tie-up with Tesco, which lets you convert your cashback to Clubcard points (and thus to cheap Avios) was probably the last straw.

As of yesterday, Quidco operates with two membership levelsThe standard level of membership is now free.  There is also now ‘Quidco Premium’, which will continue to cost £5 per year.

What does this get you?  Well …

  • Access to ‘Faster Paying’ merchants.  Basically, use one of these 1,000 companies and premium members will get paid faster.
  • Access to ‘Live Chat’ and ‘Request Call’ if you need to speak to someone about missing or incorrect cashback.

In truth, none of this is particular logical.  ‘Faster paying’ merchants DO pay faster, but a member who doesn’t pay the £5 will still get their money in the end.

It is also not clear why using ‘Live Chat’ or ‘Request Call’ would necessarily get my query answered more effectively than an email.

More worryingly, will the loss of the £5 from membership fees drive down service levels for everyone?  After all, they will be losing a lot of money from this decision and will presumably be looking to cut costs.

It is worth remembering that, overall, Quidco has a substantially higher customer satisfaction rating than TopCashback, based on all of the anecdotal experiences I have read.  That said, the decision to scrap the £5 fee for everyone was probably necessary to stop the business withering away.

Comments (6)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • nogoingback says:

    I tried using the ‘live chat’ feature at about 745 last night. It failed to connect me to a chat operator despite me waiting for 10 minutes. Seems to be a bit of a waste of time. If I am not successful with chat today I think I will downgrade…

  • Rob says:

    It has crossed my mind! I will give it a week or so to see if they withdraw from that channel as well. Annoyingly, the group they use (Commission Junction) is the only one of the big three affiliate groups where I didn’t other to get myself approved, so it will take some time to set up even if I go for it.

  • Rob says:

    Yes, the categories are very restricted. So please keep using the Head for Points Amazon link in the right margin, which pays us a small sum on EVERY Amazon purchase!

  • David says:

    Yes you will get a chance to set, change, customise your username later.

  • Rob says:

    As you say, this may not be a permanent move. However, I will apply for a Commission Junction account and then for IHG … it will take a few weeks, but obviously worthwhile if it comes off.

  • Rob says:

    You can change the user name later, don’t worry. Mine originally was set as my real name, so I changed it to Head For Points Blog and that is what now shows when you click the referral link.

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

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