The Idea

Cashback websites have been around for a number of years now, but are only recently becoming mainstream. You may well have seen the recent deluge of adverts on TV or plastered around public transport. They essentially offer a percentage of your purchase back if you click on their link to access retailers. There are two main players in the market: Topcashback and Quidco. I have experience using Topcashback in personal life and have amassed well over £200 through relatively little effort, so I know there is money to be made (see my guide: How to make over £100 in 2 hours). I haven’t used Quidco before but am giving it a try for this, at first glances it looks like it pays out slightly less on average, but does have some offers that Topcashback doesn’t and also allows you to register cards for earning cashback offline, which is an interesting feature. The idea is to use these sites wherever possible when I am purchasing something, but also to use their no purchase offers, such as a LoveFilm trial. Alongside this, certain sites often do promotions along the lines of: deposit and spend £20, and receive £25 cashback. This means if you are sensible, you should be able to make a bit of profit out of these offers the majority of the time, and even if you lose, you still receive the stake back as cashback.

Investment Required

In the main, just a little time. There may be occasions where an upfront payment is needed, which will be a cashflow issue more than anything else.

Investment: £0-20

Time(hrs): 1-2/week

Return On Investment

Considering that there is no real cash investment, the ROI is in theory infinite. However, as great as this sounds, it is limited and realistically will probably only yield around £200-£300 at most in one year. Considering this is from £o of capital though, it is attractive.

Projected ROI: 

Expected Return: £200-300

Skills/Resources Required

A little common sense to sift out the good deals, play the system the right way and not get stung.


There is always the risk that cashback will not track or be paid out. With reputable sites such as Topcashback and Quidco, this is not common, but can certainly happen. This isn’t a big issue when using no purchase offers, but if you are relying on cashback to cover a purchase or deposit, it is important to factor in that it may not materialise, and a loss may be made.


Pretty limited. There are only so many offers out there, they will dry up at some stage. There is also no way of automating the system, so it is very labour intensive. At some point the question “is there a better use of my time?” has to be posed.


While it is pretty small-scale, the analysis of this indicates that the ROI and risk/reward are agreeable. It will never turn big bucks, but it is a starting point. The great advantage of it is that it can be done with no upfront investment, so it is a great way to grow ‘the stash’ early on, allowing me to get to the point where I have enough capital to move on to more rewarding and exciting ventures.

The Verdict


See the practical application of this in my guide: How to make over £100 in 2 hours

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  1. Chris says:

    I had a friend who got on to this betting idea at university and he soon signed up everyone in our block. The betting company wasn’t happy, but hey, don’t put the offer out there if you don’t want people using it.

  2. is there a particular bettimg site that is doing cashback at the moment? Maybe you could cover exactly which one you use and what bet you place, as an example.

  3. It’s strange and unfortunate that this type of site is only available for UK residents, apparently. Couldn’t find anything similar to Topcashback outside of the UK.

    • I’d always just assumed that these would be rife elsewhere too, so you prompted me to do a bit of digging out of curiosity. I’ve made the assumption that you’re based in N. America (as most visitors to this site are either UK or N.America) – apologies if I’m incorrect. You’re right, it’s not easy to find a comparable service. However, I did come across a couple eventually that look worth a shot. They are: Big Crumbs and Ebates. They don’t look quite as polished as the UK versions in my opinion (which is odd really) but should still net you some decent money. I saw others but frankly they looked rubbish.

      Thanks for pointing this out to me, I may now do a little post, or addition to this one, to cater to the non-UK readers of this blog (giving you an honourary mention of course!). Obviously I can’t check them out myself, so if you do end up using either of those sites, it would be great if you let me know what they’re like!

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