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First TopCashback forces Quidco to go free, now TopCashback starts charging a fee

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The battle between Quidco and TopCashback for the prize of being Britain’s biggest cashback site is intensifying.

For seven years, Quidco had stuck to its policy of charging a £5 per year membership fee.  TopCashback, launched a few years later, had never charged a fee, but arguably had a lower level of customer service.

Finally, a couple of months ago, Quidco threw in the towel and introduced a free membership option.  You can still pay your £5 per year for ‘improved’ customer service and faster payout times, but this is no longer compulsory.

Yesterday, TopCashback surprised me by bringing in a £5 fee of its own!

There are now two levels of service – TopCashback Classic and TopCashback Plus.

The key difference is the additional 4% cashback per transaction.  Fundamentally, if you earn more than £125 a year in cashback, you will be better off opting for Plus membership.  (The 5% bonus on £125 is worth £6.25, the 1% bonus for a Classic member would be £1.25, and the upgrade fee is £5.)

It remains to be seen if any of the other features are worthwhile.  The ‘Enhanced Tell-a-Friend Bonuses’ are not clear – as a Plus members it says I still earn £10, whilst Classic members are told they will also retain the £10 rate.

Next time you log in, you will be asked to choose between Classic, Plus or a 3-month trial of Plus.  The logical choice is the Plus trial, since you would earn the extra 4% on your cashback for three months and you can downgrade at any point.

PS. ….

It is worth reminding new readers that TopCashback now allows you to take your cashback as Tesco Clubcard points rather than ‘real’ cash, up to a maximum of £50 per year.  This is a great deal for Avios or Virgin Flying Club collectors as it effectively allows you to buy miles for just 0.4p each! 

For example, if you earned £10 of cashback, you would have the choice of taking £10 as cash or £10.50 (you get a 5% bonus too!) in Tesco Clubcard vouchers.  These would be convertible to 2,520 Avios or 2,625 Flying Club miles, which is a great deal.

If you are not already a TopCashback member, joining via this link pays Head for Points a small referral commission and helps keep this little project ticking along ….!  Thank you.

Comments (20)

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

  • Sinizter says:

    The Sony model of business. Undercut everyone else until they just can’t keep it up. Then up your prices.

  • Flashware says:

    According to comments on the blog, it’s supposed to be £12.50 for referrals with the Plus account. Some of the banners on the site indicate that also, however when you go to send out a referral (when updating to the Plus account) it is still only showing £10.

  • Rob says:

    Thanks. I wrote this yesterday afternoon and I couldn’t find it anywhere at that point.

  • James67 says:

    Takke, apologies for going OT but could you update us on your 3V NS&I experience please. The original blog entry is too old to reply.

    • takke says:

      No problem. The account has opened successfully and within about 3 working days. No ID was required. Two transactions have been approved and I have £50 in my account, but looking at their T&C’s, money can only be withdrawn 7 working days after the payment has gone in. So if it wasn’t for the fact that I’ve forgotten my password and had to request a new one, I should have been able to withdraw the money out by now. But I’ll let you know (hopefully on Friday evening) if I can in fact withdraw.

      • James67 says:

        Ol thx, good luck with it.

        • takke says:

          I’ve just received my first bank payment from NS&I, so this works fine as a method of taking money out from the 3V cards. It’s certainly a lot easier than the Royal Mint method!

        • Ed E says:

          Well done Takke!

      • tangey says:

        you might find when it comes to it, they insist on refunding back to the card, even though their T&C talk about paying into a bank account.

        I had the above happend with charles stanley. They took 6 cards for payment, but when I put in a request to withdraw, they insisted on putting the money back on the cards, for “money
        laundering” reasons.

    • Ed E says:

      Hi James,
      I did the same and after I sent back a signature the account opened fine and I put just over a grand in as I found more 3V cards.
      After the 7 days, I have transferred most of that into Premium Bonds as I like the safe gambling option and randomly I won £50 in this month’s draw (from old bonds, not the new ones!).
      I just now went through the process to withdraw some of the amount in my Direct Saver and it ONLY gives you the option of withdrawing it to your nominated bank account, I went all the way but for the last click and it was fine.
      This is what I will keep doing for any more 3V cards I can find and also the normal fee paying Visa ones when I have vouchers.

      • James67 says:

        Thx Ed, presumably sometime later the pb can be cashed in also in such a wsy as to avoid refund to 3V?

        • Ed E says:

          Any of the products you have with NS&I can be cashed out to your nominated bank account in the same way, I only kept it in as I was planning to save some money anyway and 3V cards were just good timing. There is no way on their website to refund to a debit card and you do not have to link one to your account either, only a bank account.
          I am sure I will win one of the £1,000,000 prizes soon… it was so nice to get an email from ERNIE, even if it was only £50 this time.

  • James67 says:

    Thx for the tip 🙂

  • takke says:

    You can donate some to charity or tips to bring it down, but you can’t split between Tesco and another payment method such as Amazon afaik…

    • David says:

      To be clear – we are talking about splitting sums earned from a single merchant.

      • Trevor says:

        For anyone confused by the option to donate, note that in order to see “Make a charity donation or leave a tip”, you need to enable the option under:

        My Profile -> Account details -> Account Settings -> Donations

  • John Trops says:

    Ok, I get all that. But currently, the bonus is up to 10% depending on the previous month’s earnings. Does that mean then we could be looking at potential bonuses of up to 14%?

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