Who doesn’t love the idea of getting cash back when they buy something? We’ve spotted six sites and apps in Australia that let you do just that.
The idea behind cashback sites is very appealing. Earn money just by shopping at your favorite store. A survey by cashback platform Kickback found that six in 10 Australians would rather be rewarded with cashback payments than loyalty points. It makes sense, after all, that cash on hand today is much more appealing than patiently growing reward points.
The thing is, cash back isn’t just about recouping savings on expenses. They can also help you grow your retirement savings.
To help you decide which platform is right for you and your shopping style, we’ve looked at six cashback sites that can earn you cash.
How do cashback sites work?
Cashback apps and sites generally work the same way. Each time you make a purchase from merchants linked to the site, the platform receives a commission on the sale. Part of this commission is returned to you – the buyer – as a cash payment.
Creating a cashback account is quick and easy – and it costs nothing. Money is usually returned via PayPal or a bank account, so you will need to provide your nominated account details. You don’t need to download an app. Not all cashback sites have apps, although we’ve listed those that do.
You will only receive money when purchases are made through the cashback site or app. Buying direct from the retailer means cash back will not apply. A number of cashback sites offer Google Chrome extensions, making it easy to access the platform directly. It’s also generally recommended to disable ad blockers before you start shopping. Cashback sites claim that this ensures that purchase tracking works properly.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at six top cashback sites in Australia. Cashback examples were correct at the time of writing but may change.
6 of the best cashback apps and sites
1. Cash rewards
Cashrewards claims to have over 1,700 Australian and international retailers linked to its site. The savings can be impressive – up to 14% on purchases in Kathmandu, or 12% via bonds.
On average however, Cashrewards indicates that you will receive 7% cashback. Thus, a purchase of $100 would yield a cash payment of $7.
Refunds are not immediate. It can take up to seven days for cashbacks to appear in your Cashrewards account, and up to 100 days for retailers to approve your cashback. This allows stores to be certain that you haven’t returned the merchandise and requested a refund.
ShopBack covers a wide range of 1,500 retailers, including Chemist Warehouse, Big W, and Myer, as well as popular brands like Apple and even online shopping site eBay.
Daily “upsizes” are available – short-term promotions where the cashback is oversized. As an indication, in mid-April, fashion retailer The Iconic’s cashback increased from 3.5% to 8%.
The Kickback range covers 1,000 brands and stores across Australia. While it claims members can get up to 40% cashback, the Kickback website shows more modest ongoing savings with BCF (3.75% cashback), Myer (up to 5%) and Hotels. com (2.25%).
A sponsorship program is available. For every person you sign up for Kickback, you and the friend get $5. A minimum spend of $20 is required.
Depending on the store you shop at, it can take up to 120 days for cash back to arrive in your bank account.
4. Cash Back Club
Cashback Club offers much the same as other cashback sites – mostly cashback payouts worth up to 16% at retailers like The Iconic.
Refer a family member, friend, or work colleague, and Cashback Club says you can split up to 20% of all earnings received from them with the referral.
However, Cashback Club offers more than rewards for purchases, and you may not need to make a purchase to receive cash payouts.
Financial products such as personal insurance like life insurance and even home loans can generate trailing commissions for the agents or brokers who arranged the product for you. Cashback Club says it can collect these commissions on your behalf and credit them to your account.
Trailing commissions can be just as substantial. The Cashback Club website offers an online calculator that estimates possible cash back. On a loan of $500,000 at a rate of 2.19% from Commonwealth Bank, it is indicated that the cash payment could be $1,000 per year.
Remember that this type of cash back usually only applies if you have arranged financial products through a third party. To start the process, you need to complete additional documents on the Cashback Club website.
5. Boost your Super
Boost Your Super can be a painless way to slightly boost your retirement savings. Cash rewards work much the same as other cashback sites. But instead of receiving money in your bank account, the money goes directly into your super fund. This applies even if you have a super self-directed fund.
Boost Your Super says it has more than 680 partner retailers, including accommodation platforms such as Booking.com.
How high your super goes depends on where you spend. Expect around 2.5% cashback on purchases made at Cotton On, 2% via eBay and 3% with Menulog.
Boost your Super indicates that payments made to the super in this manner are “after-tax” or non-concessional contributions. These types of contributions are capped at $110,000 per year, and relying solely on top-up cash back is unlikely to exceed that limit. This is something to keep in mind though if you plan on making a large after-tax super payment.
Keep in mind that super cashbacks normally cannot be withdrawn until you retire.
6. Super Rewards
Super-Rewards is another platform that pays cashback to super instead of a bank account. There are over 400 retailers to choose from, and the portion of each purchase that goes towards your retirement savings varies from brand to brand.
Make a purchase from Apple and get 1.1% of the price added to your super. Other brands include Bonds (4%), Emirates (0.9%) and The Good Guys (1.8%).
Payments from retailers to Super-Rewards are usually received within 30-45 days, although it may take longer than 120 days.
Super-Rewards says the platform was designed to help women boost their super although it is open to all genders.
It always makes sense to look for ways to save on purchases. Just make sure the prospect of cash back doesn’t lead to increased spending. Research conducted in the US and UK found that cash payments not only increase the likelihood that consumers will return to the cashback website for additional purchases, but also increase the size of their purchases.
When using a cashback site that sends cash payouts to your super, think of it as the icing on the cake, not the core of a retirement savings strategy. A 2.5% cash back contribution on, say, a $100 purchase is only $2.50. Of course, every little extra counts. But you could increase your super a lot more by skipping the purchase and redirecting the money you would have spent directly to your nest egg.
Cover image source: Krakenimages.com/Shutterstock.com
Thank you for visiting Canstar, Australia’s largest financial comparison site*