This is the second money-saving tip in FAIRshare Credit Union’s ten-part mini-series.

Sign up with cashback websites

Have you heard of a cashback website but you’re not sure what it is or how it can help you save? A cashback website or app offers you a cash reward if you use their site as a go-between when you shop for things online that you’d normally buy. 

Savvy shoppers who use a cashback site can often save hundreds of pounds every year.

How to use a cashback site

Signing up for a cashback site will help you earn cashback on the things that you’ll probably shop for anyway — anything from car insurance to mobile phone contracts, clothing to TV packages, hotel rooms to health and beauty. If you can buy it online, you can probably save money on it by using a cashback site as a go-between.

Here are the three most used and best-rated cashback sites in the UK

However, there are some pitfalls to watch out for.

Always look for the cheapest price, not the highest cashback

Don’t fall into the trap of paying more for goods or services through a cashback site just because the percentage of cashback you’ll receive looks good. You still might be able to buy the same product cheaper elsewhere, even taking the cashback deal into consideration. Always shop around for the best bargains.

Always withdraw your cashback as soon as you can

Don’t leave your cashback to build up in your online cashback account. Withdraw it into your own bank account as soon as you’ve reached the minimum withdrawal allowance.

Regularly clear your cookies

Cashback sites rely on cookies to track your purchases. Sometimes, if you don’t regularly clear your browsing history or cookies before making a purchase, the website gets confused and you won’t earn your cashback rewards. 

How do cashback sites make their money 

One of the most common questions about using a cashback site, is why do these sites exist and how do they make money? 

The short answer is that cashback sites use affiliate links that are provided by companies that supply goods and services to the consumer. The cashback site drives leads and customers to the company, and the company pays them a commission. The cashback site then passes on some of this commission to the customer, whilst keeping a percentage for itself.

What to do with your cashback savings

Every time you’ve hit enough money in your cashback account to make a withdrawal, you can add your cashback savings to your FAIRshare savings account.

Saving regularly with FAIRshare will help to build your credit rating and help you to be in a better financial position when applying for a loan or mortgage.