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Are you an online shopper always looking for a way to save money? If the answer is yes, we found a great site for you. Check out our TopCashback review.
We Shop Online A Lot
If you do like to shop online, you’re definitely in the majority. Nearly 96% of Americans shop online. And who can blame us? Shopping online is convenient, you can get almost anything even if you live in the middle of nowhere, and it’s often cheaper than shopping in a brick and mortar store.
And we’ve recently discovered a website that makes shopping online even cheaper. TopCashback is a shopping portal that helps you do just that.
What is TopCashback?
TopCashback was founded in the U.K. in 2005 and expanded into the U.S. in 2011so by internet standards; the site has been around for a long time. Members use the site as a shopping portal and get cash back on their purchases.
How Does it Work?
TopCashback is an affiliate site. They receive a commission for sending traffic and sales to a retailer’s website. Lots of sites make money through affiliate income; it’s one of the best forms of passive income.
But what sets TopCashback apart from other similar sites like eBates or Swagbucks is that TCB gives the entire commission amount to its members in the form of a cash back rebate. Most other sites take a cut for themselves.
It’s free to create an account with TCB. All you have to do is provide your email address, create a password and indicate where you heard about the site.
You can create a profile with your address information, and there is a neat section that asks the dates when your car insurance, home insurance, and cell phone contract are up. Having this information allows TCB to send you cashback offers on these things at the time the information is relevant to you.
I like this feature because these three areas are one of the easiest to save money in because there is so much competition. You can almost always pay less than you’re paying now if you’re willing to do a little price shopping. TCB does the price shopping for you!
You don’t need to give TCB any payment details because you have that information in your account with whatever retailer you are shopping with. You will need to provide your banking details or PayPal information if you want your payment to be made to one of those accounts.
You can also check a box that will send the stores you buy from through TCB to your Favorites List. This is helpful too because you’ll see good deals for the places you favor right on your homepage.
There is a dashboard page where you can see all of your cash back earned, referrals, transactions, and top merchants. Under the top merchants section, you can see how much you’ve spent with each merchant, the total cash back you’ve earned from them, and their current cash back rate.
TCB has an app too for those who prefer to shop online from their phones.
TCB is partnered with more than 4,380 retailers, and some of the big names include Walmart, eBay, Overstock, Kohl’s, and Sephora.
There are a few dozen categories including home and garden, electronics, fashion, and health and beauty.
TCB also has a travel section where you can shop for things like flights, vacation packages, hotels, and luggage. There is a gift card section where you can get cash back when you buy already discounted gift cards on sites like Raise and Cardpool. A discount on top of a discount. Pretty good!
You can use the search bar at the top of the home page to find the retailer you want to shop with or search the categories section.
When you use TCB, you don’t shop on their site; you shop through it. Find the store you want and click on it. If you don’t already have an account with that retailer, you’ll need to create one.
Select the items you want to buy and check out. When you close out the retailer’s tab, you’ll see a pop up back at TCB’s site. It tells you that your visit to the retailer’s site has been recorded and the cash back you’re due will show up in your account with X days and or hours.
I had clicked on Sephora and it showed that my cashback would appear in one day and 20 hours. You will also see a few other, similar sites you might be interested in. The ones listed for me were Coach, e.l.f. Cosmetics, and Macy’s and each showed how much cash back percentage they were offering.
When you see a good offer, don’t wait around to take advantage of it. Some sites have a time limit on their offers. The 8% I saw for Sephora was only available for one more day.
Each retailer can exclude certain products from their cash back offers, and in some cases, whole sections are excluded. I looked through the Amazon offers and there were 15 sections offering cash back including patio, lawn, and garden, power and hand tools, and luxury beauty and grooming.
At the bottom of each offer page, you’ll be able to see the Terms and Conditions between TCB and the retailer. Amazon excludes bulk, commercial, and reseller purchases from its cash back offers among others.
I like this, it’s very straightforward and laid out in a way that is easy to read and understand. If you shop through online portals, you’ll often find that you didn’t get cash back, but you don’t get any explanation why a particular item wasn’t eligible.
How Much Can You Save?
Quite a bit! Some of these cash back sites offer just one or two percent back, and some gift card discount sites sell cards at just half a percent off, hardly worth your effort even if you’re buying something for hundreds of dollars.
The top offers on TCB are much, much better!
You can go to the Top Offers page to see the best, current offers. When I looked, I had offers of 8% back at Bergdorf Goodman, 10% back at Samsung, 12% back at Kiehl’s, and 11% back at Travelocity on hotel bookings among others.
Other Ways to Save
You can also find coupon codes at TCB. One of the offers I saw was for Foot Locker. There were codes to get 20% off when you spend $99 and $20 off when you spend $120 among others.
You can use these codes with the cash back offer, and any offers the retailer might be offering like free shipping.
If you have a cash back rewards credit card you can save even more when you put purchases made through TCB on it.
Ways to Earn
TCB has a pretty nice referral program that lets you earn even more cash. When you make your account, you’ll get a referral code that you can copy and paste on your social media accounts or email to your contacts.
For each person who creates an account through your link and earns $10 in cash back, you will get $10!
Check Out the Blog
Be sure to check out the Blog section of TCB; you’ll find the tab at the top of the homepage. It’s updated several times a week, and some of the posts contain special offers.
Recently there was a contest that gave one member $1,000 to spend at Walmart and five other members $100 each to spend. All you had to do to be entered was to leave a comment on the blog!
Another was an offer to answer a short survey for a chance to win a $25 Amazon gift card.
Ways to Donate
TCB also occasionally holds a charity drive. Back in October the company donated $1 to the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center for every new Facebook fan they made for the month, and another $1 for every Facebook share describing the campaign.
The charities TCB donates to are well vetted. They chose this charity because it has an A rating from CharityWatch.org. Not all charities are created equal, and if you support one, you want to make sure donations are going to things like research or helping those in need rather than paying inflated salaries to executives.
If you want to do even more, TCB listed retailers who were donating part of their proceeds to charity as well. It’s an easy way to help a good cause that doesn’t cost you anything.
If you use survey sites to make extra money or online portals to shop, you know how frustrating some of them are when it comes to actually getting paid. You have to know how many points are equivalent to one dollar; you have to wait for ages until points are added to your account, you have to meet a ridiculously high threshold before you can cash out.
You’ve earned the money, and there are endless hoops to jump through to actually get it! And on a personal note, I hate sites that make you use points. Just tell me how much cash I’m earning. I’m not good at math, especially math that requires me to do tiny fractions!
That’s what’s so great about TCB, no silly points, just cold, hard cash! The cash back you’ve earned shows up in your account within seven days of making a purchase. You do have to wait to access it though until the retailer’s return period has expired and they confirm your cash back.
This is a little frustrating, but you can see the reasoning behind it. People could buy thousands of dollars worth of goods, get the cash back and return all of the things they bought.
Once the purchase has been confirmed, and the retailer has paid the commission to TCB, the money will be accessible to you.
Depending on the retailer’s policy, it can take as long as 90 days for the cash to be released, but it’s often available in less time than that.
There is no minimum to cash out with TCB which is a big plus, and you can cash out as often as you like, there isn’t a yearly limit. The money can be directly deposited into your bank account, sent to your PayPal account or paid in Amazon gift cards or an American Express Rewards Card.
If you choose the Amazon or American Express option, you’ll get a bonus. The payment is made as soon as you request it, there isn’t a certain day of the month that TCB releases payment.
How Does TCB Make Money?
If TCB is paying all of their affiliate income to you, how does the site make money? It’s not a charity after all. The site makes money through banner ads and through the deals they have with some of their participating retailers.
Retailers may pay TCB a bonus if they reach a sales goal or if they are given a prominent place on the site or in the newsletter that members receive.
Pros of TCB
There are a lot! The site is cleaning laid out and easy to navigate. You can quickly see how much cash is in your account and how much you’ve earned to date. The cash back percentages are easy to find, and you can see offers that are expiring soon on the home page, so you don’t miss out on something good.
The cash back percentages are higher than many other sites, and that’s the whole point of using these sites. It is an extra step to create an account and to find the site you want to shop on using a cashback site, so you want it to be worth your while. No one is turning cartwheels over 1% cash back, 12% on the other hand. Now we’re talking!
TCB has thousands of retailers. If you shop online, you can almost certainly find what you’re looking for at one of them.
I really dislike the points systems some sites use. I think it’s a not so subtle way of hiding how little you’re actually saving and I don’t appreciate the lack of transparency. You don’t have that problem with TCB; you see exactly how much you can save when you use their site.
It’s great that there’s no minimum threshold to cash out. It’s your money, and if you want it, it shouldn’t matter if your account has $5 in it or $500. That two of your four options are straight up cash is also welcome. Gift cards are nice, but sometimes you need cash. You can’t pay your electric bill with Amazon gift cards after all.
Cons of TCB
It’s part of my job to be critical of things we review so anyone reading this knows what to expect and any problems they might run into. But I can’t find much fault with TCB. The only downside is that it can sometimes take a pretty long time for a retailer to release the commission to TCB that TCB uses to pay out its members.
But there’s nothing the site can do about that.
What’s Our Verdict?
We love TopCashback. An easy to navigate site, thousands of choices, some really good savings, and it gives you a straightforward way to cash out your earnings. I have been using other cashback sites for years, but from now on, TopCashback is my go to. Try it out for yourself; you’ll love it!