If you click a link in this article, it might be a referral or an affiliate link, meaning I probably get some money or some form of incentive if you register and eventually use the product. This never impacts my editorial recommendations or decisions – if it’s in, it’s in there because I independently rate it and any review or opinion, whether positive or negative, is not affected by any incentive I may or may not receive.
I have been using TopCashback ever since I started university almost 12 years ago!
What is a cashback website?
Just before I launch into my honest opinion on TopCashback, I understand that some of you reading this may not really know what a cashback website is.
A cashback website is a website that allows you to earn money back on your online purchases. When you shop through a cashback website, the website will track your purchase and then credit your account with a percentage of the amount you spent.
Why do they do give you free money
Cashback websites make money by charging retailers a commission on each purchase that is made through their website. This commission is how the cashback websites are able to afford to give you money back on your purchases.
What is TopCashback?
TopCashback is a cashback website that allows users in the United Kingdom to earn money back on their online purchases. The website was founded in the UK in 2005 and has since become one of the largest cashback sites in the country. The company has over 10 million members in the UK and has paid out over £1 billion in cashback.
What retailers are on TopCashback?
There are over 4,000 retailers on there, so I won’t list them all here for obvious reasons!
Looking at my own purchase history, the most recent retailers I have earned cashback on:- Gousto, Uber Eats, Boots, eBay, Deliveroo, Nespresso, Asda, Tesco, Wowcher, Comparethemarket, Buyagift, Currys, O2, BT, M&S, Etsy, Hotels.com, Booking.com, Groupon, Bloom and Wild, Dominos, Halfords, Skyscanner, Moonpig, ATG Tickets.
This is just my own list and isn’t supposed to be exhaustive – so take a look at TopCashback yourself and see whats on there – I promise you will be able to get cashback on almost any online purchase you make!
How do I use TopCashback?
After that, look for the site you want to shop at in the search bar. I would say most searches will result in you finding a shop with cashback.
You can also search a bit more generally, so rather than a specific website, you can search for what you want to find. For example, see the below screenshot.
You can either click on one of the suggested searches, or just click the magnifiying glass or press enter.
I will now click into Go.Compare, and I will see this.
Now all I need to do is click the “Get Cashback Now” button.
After this stage, you are taken to the retailer’s website and then you just shop as normal.
How long does it take to be paid?
TopCashback pays out cashback once the retailer confirms the purchase. This can take anywhere from a few days to a few months, depending on the retailer. Once the cashback is confirmed, you can request payment through PayPal, BACS, or gift cards.
What do I need to watch out for?
Whilst I explain some of these in more detail as the blog post goes on, here are a few watch-outs. This list is not exhaustive.
Firstly, when using the TopCashback app, it might warn you that in-app purchases at certain retailers are not eligible for cashback. You can see this when you click and it will make it clear.
Secondly, cashback doesn’t always track. Whilst this is extremely unlikely, you can never rely on the cashback or use it to make a decision.
In a similar vein, very rarely, retailers may not pay TopCashback the money they are owed, and then you cannot be paid, but this is very unlikely.
Thirdly, cashback isn’t instant. Whilst I have touched upon this in the previous paragraph, some people don’t like the fact that you have to wait a long time to withdraw the money. As I see it, its a bonus anwyay, so I don’t mind waiting for free money – especially if the alternative is no free money!.
What are the best things to use TopCashback for?
In my opinion, you should be geting in the habit of using TopCashback for everything.
However, the site can really pay off for big purchases – such as broadband, insurance or physical big-ticket purchases such as electronics or furniture.
For example, if you were to take out Car Insurance today, you could get up to £45 cashback – remember this is completely free money!
Even better than that, if you take out a new broadband policy you could get up to £197 back.
So if you aren’t using TopCashback regularly, at least remember to come back and use it for those big, recurring purchases.
This is a good time to just remember to think of cashback as a bonus – it isn’t yours until its in your bank account, and it is never guaranteed. Obviously I trust TopCashback, but there could be the odd occasion where the retailer doesn’t keep up their end of the bargain. Its rare, but always focus on the cheapest deal rather than the biggest cashback.
Also, if you do use Quidco too, its worth checking their site before a big purchase to check who pays more.
What if it my cashback doesn’t track?
You can raise a claim in your account section if this happens.
There is always a chance that cashback won’t track and I have made a total of 2 ‘Missing Cashback’ claims in the last 5 years.
The first one, on 24 February 2019, was for myLotto24, and the claim was paid out.
The second one, on 5 January 2022, was for Go.Compare Car Insurance. Unfortunately this one wasn’t paid out.
In this instance, Go.Compare declined the cashback and I know exactly why. I was purchasing insurance for a brand new car. Because the vehicle was brand new, the registration plate couldn’t be found on the insurer’s system. I therefore had to ring up Privelege to manually process the insurance, but therefore it wasn’t a surprise that the cashback ultimatley didn’t track because I had to take it off-grid as it were!
Don’t let this put you off – the way I see TopCashback is that it is free money. Every now and again, I do take a little risk, due to trust, and let the cashback amount influence my decision. But almost always, the cashback
See the below section on using voucher codes on the website itself to get my opinion on whether you should or not!
Can I only use TopCashback with online shopping?
You can buy gift cards on the website via TopGiftcards – this is a great way to make sure you grab the ad-hoc bonuses (see below) when they come on.
Generally though, whether you buying a gift card from TopCashback or any site, remember that if you need to return an item, you will get the refund onto the gift card.
I say this to make you aware that you should be cautious before buying hundreds of pounds of gift cards for a big-ticket item if there is a chance you will return that item and have no other use for the gift cards.
TopCashback do also have some in-store offers and you can register your card to ensure these track automatically after you have activated the offer.
Does it stack with other cashback?
You can’t use this at the same time as other ‘proper’ cashback websites, for example Quidco or VoucherCodes – anything that relies on tracking with cookies in your browser is not going to track in two places.
However, it will track with apps that use your card (rather than your browisng activity) to give you cashback.
For example, Airtime Rewards (blog review coming soon) gives you money off your phone bill, and the best thing is that once you have set it up it is automatic. Keep an eye out on my socials though for extra codes that pop up, and when you first download and register, use the code KTMM46YD for an bonus.
Cheddar requires you to link a bank account but again, once its set up, you can forget about it and let the cashback roll in. Use the code MRDEALS to access bonus offers when you register.
Also, the Chase debit mastercard gives you 1% cashback on most spending so this is a great one to have anyway. Given you also get fee-free spending abroad, this is a fantastic one to have!
There are of course more ways to earn cashback than just the above, so if I have missed a key one, let me know!
Quite often, TopCashback will offer a bonus when you spend over £5 or £10. This will last for one day only, and you have to activate the offer before you spend. I think the best way to bag this bonus, unless you already have another spend planned that day, is to get a gift card from TopGiftcards.
I know some people go for treat gift cards, and that is your right, but the pscyhology of a gift card is that it doesn’t feel like real money, so you may be consciously, or subsconsciously (and by definition you wouldn’t be aware of the latter) drawn into spending more.
They also do specific offers for in-store cashback, usually when there are seasonal events. For example, a free pumpkin at Halloween or a free Easter Egg at Easter.
Should I use voucher codes not approved by TopCashback?
The T&Cs of every single retailer, as far as I know, will always say that using any promotional/voucher codes will stop you getting cashback.
Lets use Hotels.com as an example.
As you can see, the final bullet point says that using any promotional/voucher code will stop somebody getting cashback. It also says that redeeming (i.e using) a gift card will stop you getting cashback.
I have used both a gift card and voucher code to book via Hotels.com twice before. Once it tracked and I was able to claim cashback, and the other time it didn’t.
Given the voucher code was 10% off and I got the gift cards using spare Amazon vouchers I had, obviously it was much important for me to get an immediate benefit.
At the time of writing, I can get 12% cashback from TopCashback on Hotels.com or I can use a voucher code from Unidays to get 10% off. Even though TopCashback is 2% higher and ostensibly better, it is definitely better to grab the immeidate benefit of the voucher code, and see TopCashback as a bonus if it does track.
Even if you expect the cashback to not track and be able to be claimed, I would always still go via TopCashback just in case – its all a bonus anyway!
In addition to the baove, I am fortunate to sometimes earn Gousto credit from my blog. When I go via TopCashback to order my boxes using that credit (or just to make a chance or just re-confirm the delivery) and I am getting cashback for each box.
Is TopCashback plus worth it?
TopCashback will probably auto-enrol you in its subscription service TopCashback Plus. This service offers additional benefits, including higher cashback rates, early access to sales, and exclusive promotions. The cost of the service is £5 per year.
You will never pay £5 per year seperately for this service – it is just deducted from cashback earned.
Whether or not TopCashback Plus is worth it depends on you if you are likely to earn more than £100 cashback from the website
Should I payout as a gift card?
Once you have cashback, you can choose to payout via bank transfer or PayPal as cash, or you can choose a gift card and there will be an extra bonus if you do it this way.
For example, if you have £100 payable cahshback, you could get £100 in cash, or you could get £102 as an Amazon gift card, £104 in an Asda/Morrions/Sainsburys/Ikea gift card, £105 as a Hotels.com or Uber gift card, £111 as a Pizza hut gift card, £115 as a Miller and Carter gift card or a whopping £125 as a Virgin Experience gift card. This is not an exhaustive list and further retailers are available.
Whilst this may seem fantastic, the problem is with a gift card is that you can only use it at one specific retailer, obviously!
In addition to that, you can usually purhcase most gift cards cheaper elsewhere via other apps, or even via TopGiftcards itself. So my opinion would be it is best to take the cash and run, but it also depends how you see your cashbacl.
When should I withdraw my cashback?
You should withdraw your cashback as soon as you are able to, i.e when it is payable, from any website or app like this.
I know many people like to store it up and save it for Christmas for example. However, whilst TopCashback shows no signs of disappearing, who knows if they might not email us one morning telling us they are stopping trading!
So for this reason, and given there is no monetary benefit to keeping the cashback in there, I would always say to withdraw it as soon as you can.
What if I keep forgetting to go to TopCashback?
You can install a browser extension for when you use the website. Then when you go to a website upon which you can earn cashback, a handy little pop up will appear in the top-right hand corner which you can then click.
The more you use the website/app, and the more amazing you see that it is, the more likely you are to remember to use it.
Except that, make sure you follow me on Instagram as I often post about it, including when they have special bonuses.
Should I use Quidco, VoucherCodes, TopCashback or another site?
The answer to this depends on how much time you have.
I find that TopCashback is consistently the best cashback website for me. However, if you have time and/or remember, it is always worth checking across other websites to ensure you are getting the best cashback rate as they can
So why should I use TopCashback?
Essentially, its free money isn’t it? The only reason not to use the website is if you are using another similar website, such as VoucherCodes or Quidco.
TopCashback is an absolute must-have, not only for those who consider themselves savvy, but for anybody who ever spends a single penny online!