I dedicated a lot of space on Head for Points in March to discussing TopCashback and its great new feature – the ability to convert your cashback into Tesco Clubcard points, and so effectively buy Avios points for 0.4p each.
I haven’t mentioned it much since, and the readership of the site has more than doubled. As we gear up for the start of the main Christmas shopping season, I wanted to run over the basics of how it works again. (Long-term readers can skip to the next article!)
For a long time – I have been a member since 2006 – Quidco was the UK’s leading cashback site for online shopping. It was reliable and it had good customer service.
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)
You could withdraw money as soon as it was received (although Quidco pays fortnightly, and the £1 minimum is not a major barrier)
You got a further 5% bonus on all of your payments if you took them as Amazon, Marks & Spencer or Love2Shop vouchers
In March, though, TopCashback took everyone by surprise by announcing a tie-up with Tesco – a pretty amazing achievement given the scale of the Tesco machine:
TopCashback will now pay your cashback directly into your Tesco Clubcard account – and give you a 5% bonus on top.
This dramatically increases the value of TopCashback cashback versus Quidco:
£10 of cashback earned at Quidco earns you £10
£10 of cashback earned at TopCashback earns you £10.50 (with the 5% bonus) paid into your Tesco Clubcard account. That gives you 1,050 Clubcard points. These convert into 2,520 Avios points or 2,625 Virgiin Flying Club miles. You are effectively ‘buying’ Avios points for just 0.4p each.
There are very few conditions, except:
You are capped at transferring £50 per year to Clubcard (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 just one transaction that earns you more than £50 cashback, as you cannot split it to send £50 to Clubcard and the rest to your bank account. (You can get around this by donating the excess above £50 on that transaction to charity.)
TopCashback accounts are strictly limited to one per person. Extra TCB accounts for different people at the same address would require separate Clubcard accounts as well.
How do I join TopCashback?
TopCashBack runs a refer-a-friend scheme, and the link above includes my referral code.
I am grateful to anyone who chooses to help support the site by using this link. You will not get a better deal if you sign-up directly on the TopCashBack website. Thank you!
You should open a TopCashback account now and using it for your day-to-day online shopping instead of Quidco.
Here is a quick tip – make your first Tesco transfer as soon as you can, even if it is just for £1. The ‘£50 per year limit’ runs from the date of your first Tesco transfer. The sooner you make your first transfer, the sooner your anniversary will come around!
You may want to take a look at some of ‘easy money’ offers on TopCashback. If you know what you are doing, some of the gambling and bingo sites offer effectively free money for signing up and betting a small minimum. (You can minimise losses by having your partner sign up and then taking opposite win/lose bets on the same sporting event.)
There are also interesting ‘no purchase’ deals, such as £12.60 for a free trial of LoveFilm and £8.92 for a free trial of the Equifax credit score service. These two deals alone would generate over £20 of cashback and over 5,000 Avios points.
How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (October 2022)
As a reminder, there are various ways of earning Avios points from UK credit cards. Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses!
In February 2022, Barclaycard launched two exciting new Barclaycard Avios Mastercard cards with a bonus of up to 25,000 Avios. You can apply here.
You qualify for the bonus on these cards even if you have a British Airways American Express card:
There are two official British Airways American Express cards with attractive sign-up bonuses:
You can also get generous sign-up bonuses by applying for American Express cards which earn Membership Rewards points.
EDIT: Until 25th October 2022, there is an exceptionally generous sign-up bonus on The Platinum Card. You will receive 60,000 Membership Rewards points – double the usual amount – and £200 to spend at Amex Travel. You need to spend £6,000 within six months to earn the bonus.
Run your own business?
We recommend Capital On Tap for limited companies. You earn 1 Avios per £1 which is impressive for a Visa card, along with a sign-up bonus worth 10,000 Avios.
You should also consider the British Airways Accelerating Business credit card. This is open to sole traders as well as limited companies and has a 30,000 Avios sign-up bonus.
There are also generous bonuses on the two American Express Business cards, with the points converting at 1:1 into Avios. These cards are open to sole traders as well as limited companies.
Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn Avios. This includes both personal and small business cards.