Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Make Sure You Don't Lose out Now Cashback Is King; Formerly an Arcane Pursuit, Landing a Payout When You Buy Something Is Now Mainstream

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Make Sure You Don't Lose out Now Cashback Is King; Formerly an Arcane Pursuit, Landing a Payout When You Buy Something Is Now Mainstream

Article excerpt

Byline: Lucy Tobin

CASHBACK once the preserve of money nerds with enough spare time to source the very best deals and discounts has gone mainstream. It was available only to members of certain websites, but now some of Britain's biggest banks and credit-card providers are trying to lure more customers (and keep the old ones) with such deals.

So what are they, how can you get them, and which are worthwhile? Cashback is when companies pay you to buy things using particular bank accounts, credit cards or websites. It is usually calculated as a percentage of your purchase. Cashback websites, for example, will offer 10% back when you book a hire car from certain companies or buy clothes from various websites. Creditcard providers offer, say, 5% back on your monthly purchases (although there is a cap).

If the concept of "free money" sounds a little suspicious, you'll be interested in how cashback works.

Usually when you search for that carhire deal via a comparison site or search engine, it will be paid a referral fee. But if you click through to that website via a cashback site, the fee is passed on to you. Since retailers last year spent around PS14 billion on this kind of marketing, there's plenty of cash up for grabs. Here are the top options: CASHBACK CREDIT CARDS If you pay off your balance every month, make your credit-card provider pay for the privilege of having your business. Use a cashback credit card every day and the rewards soon rack up. Most providers pay cashback after a year's use, put directly into your bank account.

American Express's Platinum Everyday card pays 5% on all purchases in the first three months, but caps cashback at PS100 for the period. After that, cardholders earn 0.5% on their first PS3500, 1% between PS3501 and PS7500 and 1.25% on more than PS7501. So spending PS500 a month would earn you PS102.50.

Elsewhere, Santander's 123 cashback card pays you back 1% on spending in supermarkets, 2% in department stores and 3% on Travelcards, petrol, and train fares (but the latter is capped at PS9 cashback a month). The PS24 annual fee is waived in the first year for Santander 123 current account-holders but will apply to other applicants. …

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