If you shop regularly online then using a cashback site is a great way to save some money. The idea behind them is simple. They provide links to retailers and highlight deals that are on offer. Then if you buy something, the cashback operator receives a commission or finder’s fee, a portion of which they pass back to you.

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Usually the cashback payments have to be confirmed by the retailers before they can be paid out, meaning in some cases you might not receive the money for a month or two, but after you’ve been using the services for a while you start to see payments appearing automatically in your bank account.

This might all sound a bit too good to be true but as long as you use an established site such as Topcashback.com or Quidco.com you’ll be surprised at the savings you can make.

How to use Quidco

1. For the purposes of this feature we will use Quidco as our cashback provider. The same principles apply to Topcashback (TCB). Head to the site to begin the process of creating an account at www.quidco.com

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2. On the main screen there’s a video which explains how Quidco works. You’ll also see the option to either join via your Facebook account or directly through Quidco. You can choose either, but we'll create a new account directly with Quidco.

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3. There are two types of account: Basic and Premium. Basic will give you all the benefits we’ve already described, while Premium costs £5 per year (this is taken from your cashback balance) and offers faster payments, increased customer support and more offers.

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4. Once you’ve completed the account details and responded to the confirmation email, you’ll arrive at a page asking you which type of account you wish to open. Bear in mind that the £5 fee for a Premium account is charged only if you earn that much cashback.

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5. Now you’ll see your account home page, which will look pretty empty. Eventually this will show you all the deals that are relevant to your likes, but as you haven’t actually used the site yet it doesn’t know what to offer you. Click on the ‘Discover more about Quidco’ option.

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6. The Quidco assistant will now take you through a step by step demonstration of how the site works and what options are available to you. It’s worth spending the five minutes or so that this tutorial takes to complete as it will familiarise you with the layout of the site itself.

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7. Now you can actually start shopping. Click on the ‘Shop All Categories’ option and you’ll be able to navigate to the various types of products available. If you prefer you can search directly for an item or retailer by using the Search box on the right side of the page.  

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8. The list of results shows the cashback rates each retailer offers. Clicking on one will bring you to their specific page and provides a more detailed description of the benefits you can expect and how quickly they pay. If you’re happy click ‘visit site and get cashback’.

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9. A dialog box will appear if the retailer has products that are exempt from any deals or any extra terms and conditions, otherwise you’ll be taken directly to the retailer's site. Now you just browse as you normally would, select your item and make a purchase.

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10. Transactions are recorded in the Activity section of your homepage on Quidco. They usually appear a few hours after a purchase is made. Quidco pays out automatically to its members once it receives the fee from the retailer, which can range from a week to over six months.

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11. If you’re an Android or iOS user then you can also download the mobile app. This allows you to receive cashback deals when physically visiting participating shops by checking in on the app. You can also get the same rewards by simply registering your credit/debit card on the Quidco site.  

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