Tina's Bill Busting - Cashback Sites
Friday 2 March 2012
Although Tina's mentioned cash back sites before, many consumers are still not availing of these sites that will give you money back on your online purchases. Tina is here to outline how these sites work and why we should all be using them!
Tina Leonard- consumer champion
Saving money online
The most recent Eurostat results have shown that 21% or one in five Irish people between the ages of 16 and 74 have never used the internet. That means that over 950,000 Irish consumers could be losing out financially because they are not internet users.
Why? It's because the internet is now a source of money saving. Think of the many daily deal sites where you can save around 60% on products and services; the many coupon sites that have sprung up allowing you to print money-off vouchers or enter a voucher code at the checkout.
- Buy heavily discounted products and services at 'daily deal' sites: There are about thirty in total so go to www.mydealpage.ie or www.d3als.ie to find them all in one place.
- Get coupons and discount codes at a host of sites including www.irishdeal.ie, www.5hop5.ie, www.promotionalcodes.ie, www.value.ie and www.myvouchercodes.ie
In addition if you shop online you should use cash-back sites. With cash-back sites you are not getting a discount on your purchase but instead are getting actual cash paid back to you. However, this method is less known and less used than deal sites, even though there is no sting!
If you do a search online you will find three in Ireland:
www.cashbackireland.com; www.bethrifty.ie and www.fatcheese.ie. However, by a long way www.fatcheese.ie is the most active with 950 retailers so there you will get the most choice as to where you can shop and get cash back.
How they work
If you shop online, instead of going to the retailer's website directly to shop you enter by clicking through to it via a cash back site.
Your experience shopping on your web site of choice is exactly the same as usual, you get the offers if any etc. But the difference is that 'cookies' on your computer tell the web trader that you have come to them from a cash-back site. They have an agreement in place with the cash back site where they will pay you either a fixed amount of a percentage of the purchase, directly to either your bank account or PayPal account. Essentially the retailers are paying the cash back site a commission to send customers their way, and then this is passed on to you.
How do I sign up?
It's very simple and doesn't cost you anything. You register for free on and then look for the retailer you want or browse how much cash is given back by different retailers and then shop as normal.
Once you have completed your purchase, it should show up on your account statement within a few hours. Once the retailer/store pays the cash back site for your purchase then you will be paid the amount owed to you. You can then withdraw this securely to your bank or PayPal account or on Fatcheese there is a facility to donate it to a charity instead. The whole payment process can be as little as two weeks but can take up to three months before you receive your money with some retailers. The reason why this process can take this long is to give enough time for the order to be paid and for any return times to lapse.
Why would you not want free cash?
It is safe and there is no catch. However, it seems some people need convincing! Last year fatcheese carried out an experiment: a man stood at the top of Grafton Street giving our free €5 notes; only one in seven would take it; the rest were suspicious.
In the experiment there was €1,000 in €5 notes given out to those who wanted them but only 200 of the 1,400 took the free money. The aim of the experiment was to see whether Irish people would take the free €5 when it was there in front of them but the overriding majority refused to take the money. Some stated they thought it had to be a set up, some just weren't bothered, while others were simply too embarrassed to ask for the €5 note.
What sort of cash-back can I get?
Well the first thing to know is that there are many hundreds of web traders that you can shop with this way. For example, fatcheese has 950 retailers. All types of retailers and service providers are there; everyone from Sky, Meteor and Vodafone to Tesco, Superquinn, Expedia and Hotels.com (10% each) and a host of high street shops such as Coast, Wallis (both 5%)
From bethrifty.ie you can get €30 cashback on a car insurance policy with the AA or from cashbackireland.com you can get 8% back on Littlewoods purchases and 6% back on purchases from Halford or €1 cash back from Tesco for existing customers.
Fatcheese.ie is the largest so here are more examples from them:
- Sky - Free Sky+/Sky+ HD box and free standard set-up PLUS up to €135 cashback
- UPC - All new customers will get their UPC services ½ price for the first 2 months PLUS up to €115 cashback
- Hotels.com - Save up to 40% on an Easter break PLUS 10% cashback (eg. book a weekend getaway somewhere for two nights at €198 and get back €19.80)
- GROUPON - Make an additional saving on your daily deals with 5% back from FatCheese
- ASOS - 20% off in their "Leap Yeah" deals PLUS 6% cashback
- AA - A massive €50 cashback saving on AA Membership
- Flowers.ie - Order your Mother's Day flowers and get 9% cashback
- O2 - O2 currently have a new 6 month contract on offer and you can get €30 cashback on anyone taking it up. That would pay for your first month so you'll only need to pay five months' worth yourself
- The most popular retailers on fatcheese.ie are: ASOS, Apple Store, Play.com, Debenhams, Groupon, Meteor, CD Wow and the Book Depository.
Saving money on your groceries
- You can even save with your shopping online through Tesco and SuperQuinn. I.e. €10 cash-back for new Tesco customer and €1 for existing plus €10 discount code when you spend €60 or over. €6 for new Superquinn online customers and 75c cash-back for repeat customers.