Earn money while you spend….

To me, being frugal isn’t all about saving money (although that’s a definite plus ;-)), it’s about maximising what we already have and increasing our income by making a bit of extra money wherever we can.  There are lots of ways to do this but one of my favourite ways, and quite possibly the easiest is by earning cashback on a website called Quidco.

Quidco is an online company who work with over 3000 retailers to give you the opportunity to earn cashback on your spending.  It works because when you click through to a retailers website from Quidco, they earn a commission, based on the amount you spend and what you purchase.  They then pass this commission on to you in exchange for a £5 annual membership fee which you don’t even need to pay up front because it’s simply deducted from your first payout when you earn more than £5 in cashback.

I’ve just had a quick look on there today and I won’t name all the individual providers as offers change quite often, I can tell you that if you take out a new iPhone 4s contract you can earn up to £140.  Taking out a new life insurance policy can earn you up to £120, a new home insurance policy will earn up to £85 and car insurance up to £85.  There are offers on there for taking out a new broadband contract which can earn you up to £120, along with cashback for swapping your utility providers of up to £80 and many more.

For the big things like insurance and utility providers, I use a comparison website  like Moneysupermarket.com and work out who the cheapest three providers will be for me and then clear the cookies on my computer before I log in to Quidco.  I only clear the cookies as a precaution because I know that Quidco are paid if it is clear that you have accessed the merchant’s site directly from and if the merchant’s website has cookies stored showing you visited before you came through Quidco it may affect the cashback from tracking correctly – best to be on the safe side!  Anyway, when I know the best three providers for me will be, I search for them on Quidco and see which one works out best for me.  For example, last year when I renewed my car insurance I found three quotes on Moneysupermarket.com that were cheaper than I was already paying, I looked up the providers on Quidco and the cheapest quote was only offering £70 cashback whereas the second cheapest quote was offering £120 cashback, making this a better deal for me.

In the first few months after I found out about Quidco, I changed my home and car insurance, my telephone and internet provider and switched utility companies which might seem like a lot to do all at once but not only did I earn cashback from each change, I also swapped to better deals.  Prior to that I had been with the same companies for years and unfortunately, loyalty doesn’t really pay when you’re trying to be frugal as you need to make sure you’re on the best deals possible for everything.

It’s not just about the big transactions though, companies like eBay are currently showing and Tesco and Asda are both there as well offering a variety of different offers.  In fact, most of the merchants you use for your online shopping are on there which gives you a massive opportunity to earn while you spend.

Even if you’re not doing any online shopping (although who wants to battle the shops coming up to Christmas). there are plenty of offers on there where you don’t even need to make a purchase to get cashback.  There are things like payment for completing surveys, free trials to view your credit file and receiving a graze box that’ll earn you cashback – just remember to write down the last date to cancel your free trials to make sure you aren’t charged the full amount.

This is how easy it is:

  • Register for a free account at http://www.quidco.co.uk/
  • When you find something that you want to buy online, go to Quidco and search through the merchant directory to find the merchant you want to use, then click the link through to your selected site.
  • You will then be taken to the merchant’s website, everything will look exactly the same but the merchant will know that you have been sent to them by Quidco and will arrange to pay them the relevant amount of cashback following your purchase.
  • You can then go back to Quidco and track your cashback, you can do this on the ‘Earnings’ page. It can take up to 7 days for any cashback to show in your Quidco account as tracked and it can take up to 3 months for the money to be paid to your bank account.

If anyone else has used Quidco, I’d be really grateful if you could let us know in the comments as it’s easy for people to think that it’s too good to be true and I’d really like to show that there really isn’t any catch to it – it’s just a way to earn money while you buy things that you would normally buy anyway.  I’ve been using it for a ages now and am really pleased with the extra money that I’ve earned and to show how easy it is, I’ll spend the next month using Quidco for everything I can and at the end of that time I’ll do a screenshot of my earnings to show you just how easy it is 😉

Why don’t you do the same?

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  1. says

    Really thanks for sharing your ideas and for amazing, interesting and useful information. Keep it up. This was an excellent article. It has some valuable content on this topic. Thank you for compiling it into an easy to read and well written post.

  2. says

    Hi, brilliant blog post. I also use Quidco and have for years. I have looked at sites which are totally free cash back (Quidco charge £5 per year if you use it) but Quidco always came out on top for the same deals with better cash back and more cash back offers than the others. So thanks for spreading the word and helping people make money when they must spend money.

  3. says

    I always check Quidco before making an online purchase, I've just had a look and since I signed up in 2008 I've had payouts of £778! (Lots of big payouts for phone contracts and insurance). The only drawback is that payments are not guaranteed, I had cashback due from shopping at CD-Wow but they stopped doing business with Quidco so I never got my money, but on the whole it's definitely worth doing.

    • says

      That's where the majority of my payouts have come from – insurance policies taken out for a cheaper price anyway with the cashback on top. I knew they weren't always guaranteed but I thought they would be if you made your purchase when the merchant was part of the program – that doesn't seem too fair at all x

  4. Fizzgig says

    I used to use Quidco up until about 6 months ago when I kept getting problems with purchases not tracking properly. Their customer service department was very poor and didn't seem to know what the problem was. A friend then told me about http://www.topcashback.com which is basically exactly the same as Quidco but doesn't charge £5 a year to use. They have mostly the same retailers as Quidco too with equivalent, if not better, cash back rates. I've had no problems with them so far…

    • says

      I've never had any problems with them personally but it's good to know that there is another company offering the same sort of service – I wonder if it's worth checking the rates available through both merchants before making a purchase?

    • auratodd says

      I also use top cashback, i found many retailers were refusing to acknowledge cash back through Quidco and were refusing it a lot.

  5. Matt says


    Big user of Quidco – I never buy anything online without checking it – so far in the last year I have RECEIVED £601 in cash back – October payment was £176 :-)

    This has been made up of big cash backs like Virgin (£150), utility swap (£75 so far), furniture purchases for new flat, insurance (£35 from admiral). All things I would have bought anyway

    Considering there is no downside to using Quidco, why would you not use it :-)


    • says

      I think people tend to see it as a bit dubious as it really does feel like money for nothing but once you start using it, you're right, there are no drawbacks so I hope that people will at least try it 😉

  6. Caz says

    We love Quidco in our house too. Have set it as one of the tabs which automatically starts when you open up Internet explorer. We take out life insurance policies through them. Most offer vouchers which covers the cost of the 6 months minimum payment, then we get the cashback, cancel and start again. Another good one if you have sky is to only take it out in one person’s name. When a great offer comes up, as long as you’ve done your 12 months, you can cancel and take up a new subscription. Also helps if they do new box as = new warranty. Kinda seems wrong but we’re following their rules…. And getting paid to do it.

    • says

      Now I didn't know that – we've had our ancient sky box forever and could do with an upgrade as well as the cashback – may need to do that I think. Thanks very much

      x x

  7. says

    I've been using Quidco for about two years and have saved about £130 so far, not a huge amount of money but it all helps. We've also had a few freebies and offers. The main reason I use Quidco is because ebay is on its panel so every time I manage to get a bargain off ebay I am safe in the knowledge I have cashback coming my way too! It's also worth noting you can add your credit & debit cards to its database (just the card numbers, no other info) so if you use your card in a store with a retailer on their panel (has to be a special affiliation for this to work, the only one I use is Debenhams!) you can also get cashback from using your card instore. I have added my husbands cards to my account too so I can also get cashback if he makes a purchase instore. I think it's great and would recommend it to anyone.

    • says

      Now that's something I didn't know about but could help save even more – thank you. THe small amounts all add up and it's better in our pocket than anyone elses isn't it?


  8. Julie says

    Hi . Love your blog. I've used Quidco for about a year now . At first i was very dubious but have regularly received payouts from them so would highly recommend anyone to join. All it takes is a bit of braintraining to remember to go to the Quidco site first and click to the site i wish to shop at, which i always forgot to begin with. But a post it note stuck on my laptop soon remedied that : )

    • says

      That's a good idea about the post it note – I often forget and then kick myself – especially with eBay.

      I was dubious too at first but same as you, the more payouts you get, the more you realise it's a genuine way to earn a little extra x