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. This chart explains the difference:
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.
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.