I am obsessed with Quidco (use this link and you’ll get a free £10 when you sign up). I have been for years, and for good reason too – I’ve made over £1,000 from it, shopping as I usually do.
Honestly, you’re nuts if you shop online and don’t use a cashback site in general, but for me, Quidco is the best because it’s free, easy to use and their customer service is great.
I truly mean this – if you’re going to listen to me about anything – listen to me about this. Get Quidco, you won’t regret it.
What are Cashback sites (spoiler – Quidco is one!)?
Let me give you a lesson on how shopping online works from a website’s point of view (this will make sense later, trust me!).
Whether you’re a little blog like me talking to you about deals, a major website like MoneySavingExpert.com or a national online newspaper such as The Mirror – if they link off to a site where you potentially buy stuff, they are making money from you doing that. Some will tell you they are, some won’t.
Now don’t get me wrong, the deals I recommend typically get me 3-5% of the price you pay for your shopping. You don’t pay any more for what you’re buying, but it’s the brand’s way of encouraging websites to push their deals.
Now, me – I find items I think are bargains, and then see if there are any affiliate links to make 20p or 30p (I’m not making big bucks!).
However, some big sites will choose items (often what they don’t believe in) which will pay out big amounts of money – especially gambling ones which can pay out hundreds! Anyway…
Quidco and other cashback sites share that money they’d make directly with you. So instead of me, or MSE, or the Mirror getting the 20p, you’d get it (well maybe you’d get 10p and Quidco would get the other 10p).
You sign into Quidco, you go to the retailer shop you want to shop at, spend as normal and then like magic, the cashback will be in your account within a few weeks.
You can then take the money out and put it in your bank account or PayPal.
If you wanted to, you could take the money out in the form of a gift card and make more money. For example, I currently have £75 I can take out.
- If I take it out and put it in my bank account, I’ll have £75 in my bank account. Simple.
- If I decide to get it out as an Entertainer voucher for example, I’ll get an extra 10%, so my voucher will be worth £82 – but I’m stuck with the voucher if I decide not to use it.
- If I get a Virgin’s Experience Days voucher, I’ll get a 25% payout bonus, so my £75 will turn into a £93 voucher.
Signing into Quidco
It’s easy to get cashback once you’re used to it, but you need to make sure you do a few things properly, including signing in and visiting the site you’re going to shop at without mistakes. Mistakes mean you miss out on money.
Right, let me explain. Let’s say you want to buy a pair of shoes at Clarks. Instead of just visiting Clarks directly, you would go to the Quidco website to sign in.
At the top right of the page, you’ll see the button to sign in. You can sign in with your email address and password (which I do), via Facebook or PayPal. It’s up for you.
You need to make sure that you have nothing on your computer that would stop you being able to track your click, meaning you wouldn’t get your money.
I have an ad block on my computer to stop annoying pop-ups and also to make sure I don’t have to see ads on YouTube.
However, you’ll need to turn it off when shopping via Quidco, or the link won’t track if you keep it on. But don’t worry, you can turn it back on once you’ve finished shopping and it’s all tracked.
Cashback offers and deals
So what kind of cashback offers and cashback deals can you expect when shopping at Quidco? So before you even look for exclusive offers and deals, you want to see if Quidco has a general offer.
For example, when I go onto the Quidco homepage right now (and these change all the time of course!), there’s a bonus offer where if I spend £5 by Tuesday, I’ll get a free £2.50 – which isn’t too shabby!
So as well your standard 5%/10% etc cashback, the individual brands will have extra offers too. If you’re new to Quidco, that’s where you’ll find the biggest offers. For example, I’ve personally promoted the following in the past:
- Free Mac lipstick when you sign up to Quidco
- Free LEGO advent calendar when you sign up to Quidco
- Free Benefit Mascara when you sign up to Quidco
Make sure you’re a member of my Luxury on a Budget Facebook group where I share these new joiner deals (as well as other bargains and freebies!).
But when you sign up, there are still exclusive discounts you can get which you can usually see on the homepage, the offers tab or emailed to you directly. Right now, I can see 24 flash sales with extra cashback and exclusive discount codes.
Something you do need to think about is that often you can’t use voucher codes you’ve found somewhere else and use it with Quidco, so you need to see which is the bigger discount – a voucher where you get the instant discount, or via Quidco where you’ll get the cash back in the future?
Oh, they also have free games you can play a few times a year, which drive me absolutely mad – but people seem to win money all the time with them! I just don’t think I have the hand/eye coordination, to be honest!
Making free money from Quidco
Even if you’re not a big shopper, you can still get cashback without spending a single penny at Quidco with its ‘hottest free cashback’ section.
This section is where you will be paid cashback for signing up to free trials, using comparison sites, filling in surveys or taking advantage of offers where the cashback you earn is higher than what you pay.
They can take 30 seconds to do, or five minutes if you’re filling out a big form, but you can make a fair bit if you keep going back and making sure you’ve done everything you can.
For example, right now (though it will be different depending on when you’re looking at this!), you do the following:
- Compare TravelSupermarket insurance – 30p
- Compare flights with Skyscanner – 40p
- Pick my postcode game (could win £800) – 50p
- Free trial of Audiobooks – £5.75
- Generate an insurance quote with Quotezone – £5
- Sign up to Preloved – 30p
Etc etc – there are loads to choose from!
Quidco in store
I’m hoping you’re convinced enough to sign up to Quidco! Brill! Sitting on your sofa shopping away is a lovely way to make money, but you can still get cashback if you brave the high street to go shopping with Quidco High Street.
How Quidco High Street works is you register one or more of your debit or credit cards to your Quidco account and when you go shopping, you’ll get cashback on whatever you buy (provided they’re signed up to Quidco if course).
You have to activate the offers you like online first and then shop in-store. But after that, you can forget about it and shop as normal as the cashback will be paid into your account once your purchase has been confirmed.
So brands that are signed up include:
- Ann Summers
- JoJo Maman Bebe
- Hotel Chocolat
- Richer Sounds
Also, there’s cashback at pubs too! So you get (at time of writing) 5% at Nicholson’s pubs, Ember Inns, Sizzling Pubs, O’Neill’s, and Stonehouse.
Once the cashback has been put in our Quidco account, you can then withdraw it to your chosen bank or PayPal account or receive it as a gift card from their various cashout partners such as Amazon.
I tend to get my cashback in cash, but you often get more money if you get a gift card. I would recommend you only get one if you’re just about to shop from there, rather than have a gift card hang around waiting to go out of date.
Once you’ve done your supermarket shop, you can use Quidco’s ClickSnap to earn cashback once you’re home.
You can either go shopping and then come home and see if anything you’ve bought applies to cashback, or you could check the app before you leave and aim to buy those products. It really depends on if you don’t want to be tempted by items that are free or heavily discounted.
The items are typically branded and usually new items that a brand has just brought to the market and want to spread the word – so it’s a nice opportunity to try something most other people haven’t yet.
You’ll also be able to see for each item which store you can get the cashback from, whether it’s online or in store and how many times you can redeem the offer. You can check both on the ClickSnap website or you can download the app and check on the go.
Although you have to pay the whole amount up front, you will be able to get the money back.
Right now there are 54 grocery offers (though it will be different depending on when you’re writing this!). Examples of what you can expect to see on the app include:
- Kellogg’s Coco Pops cereal bars – buy one get £1 cashback
- Bahlsen Hit biscuits – buy one get 50p cashback
- Frank’s Red Hot Buffalo Wings Sauce – buy one get 75p cashback
- Itsu frozen ramen noodles kit – buy one get £2.25 back
Once you’ve bought the item in store at the participating supermarket, share your receipt (you need to take a picture of it), they’ll review your order and then confirm your purchase and put the cashback into your Quidco account.
You can then withdraw it to your designated bank or PayPal account.
Quidco, well the Basic Quidco is totally free to use. However, you can, if you wanted to, you could sign up to Quidco Premium which costs £5 a year.
In 2017, Quidco Premium members earned 40% more cashback than Basic members so it was clearly worth it for lots of people. I do have Premium, but thinking I may downgrade (easy to do) as I’m not personally using the benefits at the moment.
You can upgrade to a Premium membership via your Settings page or the Premium page at any time which will get you:
- Cashback at more retailers
- Bonus promos worth £50 a year
- Higher payout bonuses when you withdraw earnings
- Exclusive prize draws worth £10,000 a year
- Monthly £250 giveaway
- No adverts
Oh, and you don’t pay £5 as such, but by upgrading, you agree to Quidco taking the first £5 of your annual cashback. Any cashback after this £5 is yours. If you don’t earn any cashback in that year, then nothing will be kept towards our Premium fee.
Making Quidco claims
It’s important you keep an eye on your account to make sure you get the cashback you’re entitled to because every now and then, something may happen and you don’t end up with what you thought you will.
I’ve been using Quidco weekly for about five years, and I think I’ve had to make a claim about four times, and every time I have used it I’ve got my money back.
All Quidco transactions made online are tracked by a third party organisation called affiliate networks, who do so using cookies (not the food kind, unfortunately – they’re small pieces of data dropped by a website into a users browsers – which ALMOST sound delicious!).
Generally, tracking happens pretty smoothly, but problems do pop up now and then. So here’s what you do if your cashback hasn’t tracked.
You use the drop-down list to select the retailer/transaction which has failed to track and then select the type of claim. You really need to wait at least three days to see if it has tracked, and then make sure you raise your claim within seven weeks of making the purchase before submitting your claim.
Then, to the best of recollection, select the day and time that you made the purchase. Your best bet is checking your inbox to see your email receipt from the brand which will have time on there. It helps Quidco find the claim.
Select the cashback rate you were offered for your purchase, ad then add any information that the retailer requests such as your order reference number etc.
Once your claim has been submitted, it will be processed by the Quidco support team. If they need more information, they’ll contact you. If they don’t they’ll pass your claim onto the retailer.
The Quidco Cashback Guarantee claim
What’s newish and brilliant about Quidco is its new Cashback Guarantee claim feature. If you’ve managed to find a higher rate of cashback elsewhere for the same product (check TopCashBack!), they will match it.
To raise a claim, go to Quidco’s Highest Cashback Guarantee page WITHIN 72 HOURS of making your purchase, check that your purchase meets all the terms and conditions, and click the ‘Submit’ button to raise your claim.
If what you’ve bought is eligible, the claim for the difference in cashback will appear as a separate entry in your ‘Claims tab’ within about three days of being raised and will update to be in line with your tracked transaction.
Lot’s of people don’t even realise this exists! But it’s the perfect way to keep all your cashback in one place, rather than having bits of money spread out over two or three accounts. It just makes keeping track of everything easier.
Quidco now has its very own comparison site for insurance, energy and broadband – Quidco Compare.
It’s really important that you never just rely on one comparison site to find you a deal, but try two or three to make sure you get the very best deal possible.
Quidco says that unlike other comparison sites, it passes on the commission it earns back to you as cashback, rather than pocketing it.
You will need to go to the Quidco Compare page, enter your details depending on what you’re after and get yourself a quote.
If you decided you want to buy the policy, you click to purchase the policy, make sure the details and cover are correct (make sure you read these well, or you may get burned as I did!).
Once you’ve bought your policy, it can take six to eight weeks to track into our activity (so don’t panic!).
IMPORTANT: If you need to finish your order via telephone, you need to make sure you quote the word ‘QUOTEZONE’ when calling, as this will identify you as a Quidco user.
Quidco hotels – how you REALLY make money
I don’t have kids, so don’t find myself spending hundreds or even thousands pounds a year on toys etc, so don’t make all my cashback on that. For me, it’s all about the Quidco hotels!
You know me, I love a fancy holiday (I even have a whole section on my site about my bargainous travel adventures)! I’ve made hundreds of pounds back on my hotels by booking them via Quidco.
I typically book my hotels via Hotels.com (when there’s 10% on offer at Quidco), because you get extra discounts on top and a loyalty programme where you get a free nights stay after so many booked ones.
What kind of cashback (FREE MONEY) can you get back when you book via Quidco? At the time of writing, I’ve spotted:
- Hotels.com – 10% cashback
- Booking.com – 4% cashback (I do like Booking.com recently because you can cancel 24 hours before for free)
- Expedia – 12% cashback
- Travelodge – 12% cashback
- Lastminute.com – 11% cashback
I’ve also got a lot of cashback on car hire and flights too. Right now there is £7.50 cashback when you fly with Virgin Atlantic, 12% cashback with Rentalcars.com, £9 with Thomas Cook.
Basically, I could go on and on – see you need to start getting cashback – especially if your booking hotels and going travelling.
I remember when I worked at MoneySavingExpert, that people would send through their Moral Money Dilemmas through and people in the forum would chip in.
One that has stayed with me for years, is that a receptionist used to have to book hotels for the people in the office, off the company card.
However, every time she would book hotels, which would be numerous times a week, she would go via Quidco and get 10%ish of the value back! She made thousands!
Someone found out about it and didn’t know whether they should tell her boss. I still can’t decide if what she did was wrong you know?!
One one hand, it’s not her money to collect, but if she didn’t think about it and do it – the money would go to waste. What do you think? Let me know in the comments!
It can be easy to get carried away with cashback in general and become a little obsessed with watching that free money rack up.
And yes, I love it. That said, you do need to stay savvy, especially with the broadband, banking and insurance deals.
They will throw BIG offers at you, such as:
- £66 esure Car Insurance
- £50 cashback with Aviva
- £40 cashback with Quidco Compare Car Insurance
And yeah, sounds lovely, doesn’t it? And it might be! But sometimes you can find the deal cheaper elsewhere, in the deal itself.
So what I mean is, it’s better that you get a deal that costs £100 in total, than £170 with £50 cashback. So do your research.
If you can make the price cheaper paying out now, ditch the cashback.
Quidco broadband deals
You should be switching up your broadband every year or so to make sure you are getting the very best deals. Honestly, you’re a mug keeping the same broadband company for a year because you’re going to be overcharged and switching takes less than 20 minutes.
Check out my guide on how you get the very best broadband deal.
Once you’ve picked your awesome broadband deal, you need to come back to Quidco to see what cashback is offered, on top of the deal you’ve found.
There’s some real free cash to be had.
When you’re thinking about the cost of a year’s broadband, take the free money and divide it up over 12 months. Then take away the monthly price to the broadband cost, and then compare that price, to make sure you’re getting the very best deal.
Deals you can expect to see now include:
- £90 cashback with TalkTalk
- £175 cashback with BT Broadband
- £90 cashback with Broadband
- £140 cashback with Broadband
- £95 cashback with Broadband
Remember – the minute your contract is up, SWITCH – get a better deal and new cashback.
Quidco Car Insurance deals
Insurance is another place where you spend a lot of money, but people let contracts run over so most of us aren’t paying the cheapest they could be.
It happened to me this year. I was paying about £175 for home insurance and never got around to cancelling my contract and let it run over. Do you know how much they upped my bill? I was charged £450 a year! Can you believe that?
I cancelled straight away and got a new policy, elsewhere for a fraction of the price. If you’re letting insurance policies run over, you need to switch (ever wondered what information insurance companies have on you – I know!).
Quidco has a dedicated insurance page, which includes car insurance, travel and home insurance where you can compare deals in one place (though I would personally recommend you also go elsewhere to find your deal, and then come back to Quidco to see if you can get cashback on top!)
Current Quidco insurance deals include (though will be different depending on when you’re searching) include:
- £50 cashback with Aviva home insurance
- £70 cashback with MORE TH>N
- £12.50 with Confused.com Car insurance
What Quidco users have made
Over £2k so far x— Nina Sawetz (@nina_future) November 20, 2018
Around £600.— Nikki (@nikkiann) November 20, 2018
About £400! Love it. Biggest cashback is through insurance policies.— LeanneF (@leannibrum) November 20, 2018
I usually forget but i have earnt over £50!— Nik (@mummymonster2) November 20, 2018
about £200 this year.— Stuart P (@StuP44) November 20, 2018
Are you a Quidco fan? How much have you made so far? Let me know in the comments!
Want to read more?
- Check out my Facebook group Luxury on a Budget, where I post freebies and deals the minute I spot them.
- Sign up to a load of birthday freebies (you won’t believe how much you can get!).
- How to save money during lockdown 2020.