Heading to a restaurant, buying a gift or getting a new phone contract? You can earn £100s for free by just doing a little bit of research. Whether it’s through your credit card, on an online site or via an app on your mobile phone, it’s possible to earn whilst you spend. (Go on, you might as well). Below are 3 tips fo help you make free money now:
Join a cashback site
There are a handful of websites which act as the middle person between you and online retailers, and in return, they give you a cut of the commission they get. This could be range from a couple of percent of the total amount of a clothing item to up to £100 for a new mobile phone contract.
Join a cashback website like TopCashback or Quidco – these are the two biggest players in paying you to do your shopping online. They direct customers to retailers which pay them a portion of £ from the item you buy and act as a broker to get the cash back to you from the Retailer. If you are buying something anyway, it is an effortless way to top up your money.
Personally, I earnt £25 from claiming cashback on a group hostel booking for a hiking trip with Booking.com for a trip I would have done anyway.
Cashback Credit Cards
Cashback credit cards give cold hard cash every time you spend on the card. You need to apply for a cashback credit card, but if accepted you’ll normally be able to get between 0.5% and 5% in cashback on each full pound you spend. The cashback is normally paid annually, or as points you can exchange for a reward (From BA flights to John Lewis food vouchers, hmm free food).
How? Each credit card works in separate ways. Some give the same rate on everything you buy (Amex; after the 3-month period), while others only give you money back on specific purchases, such as flights. (BA Amex: You’ll earn 1 Avios point per £1 spent on the card.)
Tip: Many do come with a fee, so it’s worth working out if you’ll be able to earn enough cashback to cover this. E.g. Amex Platinum Cashback Everyday (is the top fee-free card, with a good 5% introductory rate (though this is only on your first £2,000 spending, so max £100), If you spend over 9k a year on your credit card, the Amex Platinum is worthwhile (with the £25 annual fee), as you get more cashback. I personally use the non-fee one. Great for business purchases you can claim back, essentially free money.
Remember – Always make sure you pay it off in full so you’re not charged interest. – any interest charged will negate the cashback. If you are bad with credit cards and naturally spend more, I’d stay away.
Bank accounts – Free cash back each month
There are a handful of current accounts which will give you cash back again between 1% and 2% on your household bills. They do come with a fee, so check how much you’re likely to earn in cashback to see if it’s worthwhile.
How? The account usually needs to be your primary account and £500/month+ must go into your account to activate the cashback on these purchases.
Some other current accounts also offer bonus cashback specific to chosen shops and restaurants. You normally need to manually activate these offers online on your bank’s app.
Recommendations: Santander is the best in the market for interest for savings above 4k and under 20k, but Nationwide is 5% for savings under £2,500 (fixed for 12 months, 1% thereafter).
Any tips on getting free cash by simply buying items, please share below.