The UK has a little bit of a fascination with the idea of ‘cashback’. That is, money you can effectively grab back from big purchases that you’d normally make from week to week. Whether it’s grocery shopping, new tech for the living room or a few kitchen appliances, there are apps out there that can help you save money in return. But what are some of the best cashback apps UK smartphone users can make use of?
From TopCashback to Shoppix and SwagBucks, there are more than a few different programs and apps you can download to help you get money back for your regular investments. You never know what you might save money on – so why not take a look at some of my top picks below?
The apps I’ve reviewed here will allow you to process your regular shopping while taking back money to use at a later date. Before we dive into the reviews, however, let’s take another quick look at what cashback apps actually do, and why they’re worth your time.
Why Download Cashback Apps?
Cashback apps give you a percentage of however much you spend on a purchase back. This can take a few weeks to process – and to some, the return may not seem like much – but as they say, ‘it all adds up’.
For example, if you regularly shop at Sainsbury’s or Tesco, you may be able to claim around 50p back per shop. That seems like a paltry amount at first, but multiply it by 52 – and you have £26 to use at the end of the year on, say, Christmas presents and groceries. It’s a neat little way to put some money aside that you won’t have access to until a later date.
The counter-argument to this is that you could just save money each week yourself – but, as you may already know, saving off your own back isn’t always straightforward. With cashback apps, you can at least lock away money you’d otherwise spend, and you can come back to get it at a later date.
The best part is you don’t really have to change your habits. Just shop via the app or program of your choice, and you’ll start saving money. It really couldn’t be simpler!
Of course, different cashback apps have their perks and cons, so let’s take a look at what makes each one so different.
What are the Best Cashback Apps in the UK?
I’ve picked the following cashback apps and programs through my own research, as well as having looked closely at what other users have to say. These apps all give you fantastic value in terms of the money you can make back on regular shopping.
However, as always, it’s wise to read the fine print and to make sure you understand what you’re getting into. Without further ado, here are my top choices.
TopCashback (Best Overall Cashback App)
TopCashback is likely to be the most famous of the programs I’m listing here, and for good reason. It’s been around for many years now, and in that time, it’s picked up more than 5,000 different retailers for you to shop with.
What I really like about TopCashback is that it’s so simple to get into and use. You don’t have to worry about linking up any bank cards, and it’s free to get started. All you need to do is search for a shop or store you’d like to claim money back from and shop at your chosen retailer using the TopCashback link.
The only downside to TopCashback is that it can take a while for money to come back to you. That’s a given for most apps, but you may be waiting months for cash to clear in some cases.
However, you can choose to receive your cashback in the form of vouchers to use at your favourite shops and brands, or you can claim back money via bank transfer if you prefer.
In my opinion, for sheer scale and ease of use, TopCashback remains the best choice for complete cashback novices, and it’s a great introduction to the wonderful world of getting money back.
Where can I get cashback?: Boots, Sainsbury’s, Argos, Amazon, Sky, Just Eat, Etsy and more
Swagbucks (Best Cashback and Surveys App)
Swagbucks is another name in cashback platforms that’s been around for a fair while – and it’s a little bit of a diversion, as it’s not actually a cashback app in its main form. Instead, you’d normally use Swagbucks to earn points on surveys, which you can then transfer into cash or gift credit as you wish.
I like that Swagbucks strives to be several things at once without getting too confusing. Providing you’re willing to enter a bit of information about yourself and your shopping habits, you can stand to make some serious money through this app. You can even earn money just by completing online searches and watching videos.
As with TopCashback, it can take some time to accrue money and cash out. What’s more, you will have to impart personal information if you want to make the most of it. That said, it’s a nice little app to keep ticking over alongside TopCashback if you really want to maximise that money back.
Where can I get cashback?: eBay, Currys, Very, MyProtein, Aliexpress, Iceland, Asda and more
KidStart (Best Cashback App for Family Savings)
Unlike other apps in this list, KidStart lets you claim cashback to save towards your children’s future. You can link their savings account directly to your KidStart app. In fact, you don’t have to be saving for a child – regardless, the idea is that anything you make through this app gets put away in savings for safekeeping.
KidStart has more than 2,200 retailers in its roster at present, and like the other apps listed so far, it’s completely free to join and download. I like the fact that transfers from your KidStart account occur regularly – at the start of each month – meaning you always know when to expect a cash injection.
Like TopCashback, you can simply shop through the app’s links directly, and money will transfer back through once verified. I think it’s a great little idea, and while there may not be too many retailers taking part compared to bigger apps, there’s enough to help you get started – for a great cause!
Where can I get cashback?: Apple, Aldi, Disney+, Nintendo, ScrewFix, Photobox, TUI and more
Quidco (Best Alternative to TopCashback)
Quidco normally goes toe-to-toe with TopCashback in terms of the most popular app stakes – and it’s clear to see why. Like TC, there’s a free membership tier and a premium club that grants extra benefits – and in terms of usability, it’s about on par.
However, TopCashback tends to work better for me personally – based on available retailers and rates. That said, I do still come back to Quidco occasionally for alternative deals and offers, particularly as it’s often trying to compete with TC.
Like TopCashback, you’ll need to wait a little while for money to come through from the purchases that you make via app, but that tends to be a given thus far. It’s certainly worth downloading and comparing both services to get the most money back over time – with over 4,500 different retailers on board Quidco right now, it’s also a service that seems to be growing all the time.
Where can I get cashback?: Superdrug, Booking.com, Dunelm, Samsung, Virgin Media, Marks & Spencer, ASOS and more
Shoppix (Best Receipt Cashback App)
Over the past few years, there’s been a surge in apps popping up that let you claim money back from physical shopping. You can do this by using your smartphone to scan receipts you get from your physical shops. While there are plenty of different apps out there that offer this style of cashback, Shoppix is a relatively newer kid on the block that’s caught my eye.
This user-friendly app will give you points back for each receipt you upload and help you to store the data. That means you don’t have to keep your clunky paper receipts cluttering up your drawers at home!
Shoppix is notable in that you can pretty much scan up any receipt you like from UK shopping – though it will take time for you to build up credit that you can convert into cash or gift credit, you’re still getting money back on shopping that you’d normally not expect anything from at all.
I also like that Shoppix made the effort to pivot to online receipts at the height of lockdown – when few people were able to get out and about. It’s gone from strength to strength ever since.
Where can I get cashback?: From just about anywhere!
Swapi (Best Card Reward Cashback App)
Alongside cashback apps that let you claim money back through shopping links, there’s a handful that let you link your debit and credit cards directly to the app. Swapi is amongst the best of these, allowing you to go ahead and make everyday purchases with points showing up on your account.
Swapi lets you keep track of loyalty cards and can even help you to claim back expired loyalty points if you’re feeling lucky! The app currently offers competitions and other resources, too, making it more than just your average cashback service.
Swapi only has around 500 retailers under its umbrella right now – though that’s still plenty to pore through even if you’re a savvy shopper.
I’d certainly give Swapi a look alongside the other apps I’ve listed above as a further source for a bit of cheeky money off. You never know where you might make a few savings!
Where can I get cashback?: Boots, Vodafone, Hello Fresh, Nike, The Fragrance Shop, Ann Summers, Philips and more
JamDoughnut (Best Gift Card Cashback App)
I’ve looked at what JamDoughnut has to offer previously, and I’m still pretty impressed. This app goes a slightly different route to the other apps I’ve looked at so far, in that you can actually start claiming cashback off the bat.
To do this, you’d select a retailer through the JamDoughnut app, and then purchase a gift card through their service. You can then use the gift card code you’ve purchased directly at the retailer. This means, for example, you can claim £4 back on £100 – and that saving goes straight into your JamDoughnut jar.
JD is a little less well-known than some of the apps I’ve listed in this guide, but it’s picking up tons of interest – and its roster of retailers and brands is always growing. It’s also got some pretty good reviews – I’d give it a try if you’re still waiting to get money back from TopCashback and Quidco.
Where can I get cashback?: Costa, Just Eat, Currys / PC World, B&Q, Airbnb, Halfords, IKEA and more
Is it Worth Using Cashback Apps?
Using cashback apps can seem a little bit of a faff at times – especially when you consider that it will take a while for cash to return to your account in a lot of cases. However, stick with it! Also, do what I do – try and use multiple at once.
There’s no rules against looking for cashback across Quidco, TopCashback and JamDoughnut at once, for example.
While I still think TopCashback really leads the way for the best of the best here, other services such as Shoppix and KidStart are just as viable for making a little bit back. I’ve purposely picked apps for this list that I think appeal to certain shopping niches, meaning it’s well worth comparing and exploring between them on your own.
The whole point to cashback apps is to slowly get back money that you’d otherwise be spending anyway – meaning you’re already getting a big boost, just in the weeks and months to come.
Take a look for yourself – and see where you could be making some cash back over time!