So this is one of my sillier posts(!), a bit like the time I used Google Translate to earn £2 from German hotel reviews, but…
Often my first thought when I see an offer is, is there a way to ‘hack’ this? Can I find a way to make a profit, get something for nothing or get a deal which is much better than they intended! Sometimes even major brands like Amazon, Quidco leave some decent opportunities in their T&C’s if you can find them, and sometimes it’s just about doing the bare minimum to access an offer (i.e. spending less than the value of the bonus).
I think part of it is just the fun of finding the loopholes and beating the system – even if the outcome is only a few pounds! For example I recently got £10 Quidco cashback for placing a £10 bet. There were no T&C’s on the odds for the bet, so I placed £10 bet at 1/100, won £10.10, got my £10 cashback and withdrew the balance. Obviously they expect 99% of people to place a ‘real’ bet with the £10 and to keep using the account, not to release the bonus and run.
Booking a Train 350 Miles Away
In early February I received an offer on my Nectar card. The offer stated that 1,000 bonus points would be awarded for any bookings with London North East Railways, as long as your Nectar account was linked. Now 1,000 Nectar points is worth £5, so my first thought was – what’s the cheapest ticket I can find under £5!
And here it is:
A child single from Edinburgh (350 miles from where I was sitting) to Haymarket was priced at £1.25. So in theory, including the Nectar points on the spend, I could buy 1002 Nectar points (£5.01) for £1.25.
I booked the ticket, received my confirmation and the 2 nectar points (for spending £1) posted a couple of days later. A month later, after the promotion had closed, the remaining 1,000 posted to my account, backdated to the booking date. There were no T&C’s related to child tickets or tickets under £5, and I figured even if it didn’t work, I’d only risked £1.25 and could just blog about my failure instead!
Obviously I never boarded the train (not that they’d have let me even if I tried!!), but unlike with hotels and flight bookings, where the need to ‘check in’ makes it impossible to release bonuses without actually staying or flying, this didn’t matter.
A tiny win, but still £3.76 profit and an ‘I won’ feeling (!) for a quick search – and those little amounts do all mount up. Applying this approach consistently, alongside finding the best deals and points options on everyday spending (and getting the best redemptions), can stack up into the £100’s over time.
Tips for Rewards, Points & Cashback:
– Follow us on Twitter. This is where I highlighted this offer when it was published.
– Read our 6 Steps to Serious Cashback post.
– If you don’t already use a cashback site, sign up to Quidco or TopCashback using our links, this is often where you’ll find the best opportunities:
Top Cashback click here
– Check the T&C’s on offers, and think creatively!