Cashback or Points?
Second to earning points on credit card spend, my favourite way to earn a return as I spend is by using ‘click through’ cashback or reward sites when I shop online. The basic concept is that you earn back a percentage of cashback or points if you shop by clicking through to an online retailer via a specific site or app. Three of the most notable sites are Quidco, which gives a cashback return, TopCashback, which gives cashback which can also be traded for Avios points and British Airways eStore, where you earn Avios points as you shop. But which offers the best return?
For the purposes of comparing returns I’m giving an Avios point a fairly common accepted valuation of 1p/point. TopCashback offers a choice of 1p or 1.05 Avios (with 5% trade up bonus). Quidco pays in cash – you can ‘trade up’ for e-vouchers, but not Avios.
Where different rates apply, I’ve used the rate for existing customers on all purchases (i.e. not new customer only offers or specific items).
I looked at a shortlist of major retailers which currently appear on all three of the Apps, to see how the rates compare. Here are the findings:
Quidco vs TopCashback vs BA
|Booking.com||3%||4% / 4.05 Avios||4 Avios||TopCashback|
|JustEat||1%||2.1% / 2.2 Avios||2 Avios||TopCashback|
|ASOS||3%||2.1% / 2.2 Avios||6 Avios||BA|
|B&Q||4%||3.15% / 3.3 Avios||5 Avios||BA|
|Groupon||12%||6.3% / 6.6 Avios||14 Avios||BA|
|Halfords||3%||5.6% / 5.9 Avios||7 Avios||BA|
|AO.com||1%||1% / 1.05 Avios||2 Avios||BA|
Often when I’ve checked in the past many retailers have offered a very similar reward regardless of the site you use. There are some fairly big differences on this list though, particularly where one site is running an offer – and in the above cases, often it was British Airways running these (click the offers tab in the BA Executive Club App). Clearly the TopCashback model is focussed on offering a marginally better rate than Quidco, which of course you can also further improve with the Avios trade up. Assuming you were spending equally with each retailer above, and you value Avios points at 1p, you’d get by far the best return shopping via BA Executive Club though.
Of course some of this comes down to how you value Avios, and whether you use them. Clearly the cash offers less risk and much more flexibility. You may also find other TopCashback or Quidco ‘trade up’ offers more attractive, depending on where you normally spend money. For me, it’s another good excuse to squirrel away points for travel though, rather than putting cashback back into day to day spending.
Finally, it might be worth holding a TopCashback and Quidco account in addition to using BA Executive Club, because here are the number of retailers available via each:
BA eStore: 1,000
If you’re joining one of the cashback sites and would like to support the blog – here are our referral links for Quidco & TopCashback:
To join Quidco: click here
To join TopCashback: click here
Purchases via BA Executive Club should take up to 40 days to validate before the Avios appear. I have known Quidco purchases take significantly longer than this – in fact I still have three pending transactions from 2018 on Quidco.
If you’re anything like me, you’ll probably sign up for all three and use the best offers from each!