Some days as a money blogger I learn something new. I thought I was being pretty savvy buying things online (only when needed) and taking advantage of specials. Then I found out about the cash back war that is going on in Australia – courtesy of All About Balance, who had heard it from Get Money Wise.
I declared April to be the month of ‘never pay too much‘, but then I discovered the whole world of couponing. It is HUGE. I became a little bit fascinated, and while I digressed recently to focus on a $2/day challenge, I am back to talking about saving money before going forth to talk about relationships. Confused? Well, too many fabulous things to write about and not enough time but I will get there in the end:)
One of the key things that I have discovered is that there is a growth in sites that promote other online businesses by offering cash back. It works like this: you visit the site, join as a member, log on and then click through to other online sites. You will receive a cash back for the privilege of having shopped through this link. The cash back site receives a bonus for promoting the online businesses, and this reward is based back in part to you.
Of course, nothing is ever free. There is a risk of overspending on things you don’t really need because once you see how many things there are that are cheap, and calculate cash back offers, it is soooo tempting. eCommerce is reshaping Australian consumer habits, explaining in part while retail precincts such as Chaptel St are becoming ghost towns. I still love going out and shopping, but admit that it is so exciting to receive a parcel – even if I have to wait for it. But I promised to write about cash rewards, so here are three that operate in Australia:
- Cashrewards is an Australian-based online platform, which as of April 2018 had 365,000 local members and annual revenue of over $12 million. Retailers pay to be on the platform. When you click through to retailers through the Cashrewards platform, you get a ‘cashback’ reward. This can vary – mostly they are 2% or 3%, but sometimes they can be up to 12% for specials. It has a ‘refer a friend’ program, so you can receive $10 when a friend who you have referred makes a purchase.
It is an additional step to order through here, and it is easy to forget. My Neil just booked an airline ticket to Europe through STA for a special price of only $1,300. After he booked, I realised they are with Cashrewards so he could have gotten $6 cash back. Not worth it? $6 can still buy a lot of food at ALDI when you take an ‘every dollar counts’ approach.
- ShopBack, which began to operate in Australia earlier this month, is similar to Cashrewards. The Singapore-based company is already active in Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand and Taiwan and claims to process 1,000 orders every hour. ShopBack claims to be able to offer consumers up to 30 per cent cashback on purchases with over 500 online brands including Booking.com, asos, The Iconic, Menulog, AliExpress and Catch of the Day. Co-founder Josephine Chow has vowed to take on major brand partners in the lifestyle space “that impact the average Aussie’s daily habits”. Its refer a friend program provides $5 on signup, and $5 on the first purchase. It has a special refer a friend special in May, where you can receive $50 if you sign up three friends.
I recently purchased a online discount for a one day ski trip to Charlottes Pass through Groupon. I purchased it via ShopBack, which meant that I got $3.30 cash back on each of the two vouchers I purchased. I like the fact that ShopBack also operates in places in Asia that I am likely to visit (including Taiwan and Singapore), and that it includes emerging platforms such as AliExpress. I am expecting it to be aggressive in its bargains as it takes on Cashrewards.
- Raiz (formerly Acorns), has a found money program. I used the found money function through here when I purchased Christmas presents through this last year, and got around $20 back. Once again, you might not think this is a lot but every bit adds up. I don’t find the bargains on here are quite as good as Cashrewards or ShopBack (and they take a while to go through), but if you are really focused on building up your Raiz savings account you will love the savings here. Raiz has a $2.50 refer a friend program, which sometimes is more if it has a special offer on. If you are thinking about opening an account with Raiz anyway, you may a well get $2.50 to kickstart your account.
Have you used any cash rewards apps or websites? If so, how did you find the experience? Did you get any bargains?