The cost of living price hikes have made saving money even more difficult than before. With many necessities like broadband and mobile phone bills going up in price, many of us have been looking to cut back on unnecessary spending, whether that’s cancelling your favourite streaming service or avoiding going out for dinner.
As Deals Writer and Shopping Expert at T3, I’ve been looking for the best ways to save money on a plethora of things, from Netflix to broadband, TVs to headphones. Throughout my research, I’ve found that lots of money-saving tips or advice tends to include cashback.
Cashback is a handy way to earn rewards and money back from select purchases and retailers. A lot of people don’t bother with cashback because they think it’s quite time consuming and doesn’t amount to much. However, cashback offers are a good way to save money on big purchases, as long as you know how to do it and where to look for the best cashback deals.
Phones (opens in new tab), TVs (opens in new tab) and broadband (opens in new tab) packages are the three main categories which we all want to save money on and they also happen to be the most popular when it comes to cashback deals. I’ve put together this guide to help you understand what cashback is and how it can help you save money, especially on your phone, TV and broadband bills.
What is cashback?
Let’s start by explaining what cashback is and how it works. Cashback is a way of getting money back when you make certain purchases from specific retailers and providers. It’s essentially a reward given to you when you spend money and can be an incentive from retailers, your bank or your credit card. Think of it this way: the more money you spend, the more cashback you get.
Cashback was originally a credit card feature, so if you spent money on your credit card, you would earn back a percentage of the money you’d spent. Cashback is now more widely available and you can now get cashback rewards from debit cards, websites, stores and more. It’s important to note that you will have to spend money to get cashback. While this might seem a little counterintuitive if you’re trying to save money, it helps in the long run if you really can’t avoid buying something new.
How does cashback work?
Cashback deals will either be processed automatically or you’ll have to redeem it yourself. This is what puts a lot of people off as they don’t want to go through a long process to claim money back. However, the cashback process is a lot simpler now and most of the time all you have to do is fill out a form and the retailer will take care of the rest for you. Cashback deals can save you up to £300 depending on what you buy so it’s definitely worth putting in a little bit of leg work to ensure you can get a great deal. Some providers have time limits for cashback so you’ll need to properly read the terms and conditions before you sign up.
The cashback offers I’ll be focusing on today are when you buy or sign up to a specific product, plan or package. For example, when you sign up to a new broadband plan or when you buy a new TV, you’ll often find there are cashback offers available from the retailer or provider. While there are specific cashback websites which can calculate cashback amounts for you, you can also find cashback deals on individual websites, especially phone sites.
What products have the best cashback deals?
Some of the best cashback deals I’ve come across have been on phone and broadband contracts and TV purchases.
Starting off with phones, cashback phone deals allow you to claim back a part of your costs on your new contract or handset. You’ll find cashback offers on a range of devices and different types of contracts including pay monthly and SIM only (opens in new tab) plans. While you’ll pay the full costs upfront, you’ll receive cashback automatically or by redemption at a later date and it will typically be paid out in intervals rather than all in one go. It’s a handy thing to look out for when you’re signing up to a new contract, plus you can also find cashback deals when you trade-in your old phone. To find cashback deals on mobile phones, Mobiles.co.uk (opens in new tab) and Mobile Phones Direct (opens in new tab) collate the best offers from a wide range of retailers, including Vodafone, O2, EE and more.
Next up is broadband. Most of the time, broadband providers will offer incentives to new customers to get you to sign up with them or to switch over to them. This can include cheaper prices for a certain amount of months, gift vouchers or cashback. The cashback process differs depending on the provider you choose, but you’ll typically have to fill out a form to claim cashback. Some of the best broadband providers that offer cashback deals include Plusnet (opens in new tab), Sky (opens in new tab) and Virgin Media (opens in new tab).
Finally, you can get cashback on most TV purchases or packages. When you buy a TV from a specific retailer, you can find cashback deals where you can claim back hundreds of pounds. For example, earlier in 2022, LG offered up to £300 cashback (opens in new tab) on its new range of OLED and NanoCell TVs.
Another great way to save with cashback is through packages that give you all three services together: phone, broadband and TV. By buying these services together in a package plan, you not only save a huge amount of money by being under one provider, but there are more cashback deals and general savings on offer. For example, you can currently get £100 cashback on select TVs when you sign up to a broadband package with BT (opens in new tab) and Sky is offering a £100 prepaid Mastercard when you sign up to a Sky Glass plan (opens in new tab).