AD: Hands up who claims cashback through their bank when they’re shopping on plastic? Nope? Well shockingly neither did I until I realised what I was missing out on.
New research from Santander UK has found that a whopping 42% of Brits say they NEVER make savings using cashback.
To put that into cold hard cash, the bank estimates that its customers missed out on £2.7 million in cashback in just one week – from 28 November to 4 December 2019.
Why the random week? Well the serious shoppers among us will remember that that was the week which included two of the biggest shopping days of the year, Black Friday and Cyber Monday, and I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to miss out this year.
Yes, I am a super savvy shopper and always make the most of bargains, voucher codes, loyalty schemes, online marketplaces, sample sales and all the other tricks that I’ve been telling you about for years – but somehow getting cashback from my bank slipped through the net.
For years, I’ve only used a third-party cashback website to earn while I shopped, yet all along I’ve been missing out on money off my purchases from my current account.
A quick look at my Santander app shows me Retailer Offers which will come in handy for holiday shopping.
For instance, I’ve treated myself to a bottle of one of favourite perfumes – Jo Malone’s Mimosa & Cardamom – for my birthday tomorrow (as a newly single mum, I’m now not just the shopper for everyone’s birthdays, but my own too – plus, my seven year old doesn’t have a bank card yet!)
If I had purchased the 100ml bottle of scent from the brand’s flagship store, it would set me back £100. But, I bought it at Selfridges, which is currently offering me 10% cashback, so I earned a tenner in cashback.
What’s more, before we went into a second Lockdown, I had plans to
celebrate my birthday with a Rule of Six group of girlfriends here at home and ordered a case of bubbly from a wine merchant for the occasion.
With my Retailer Offers on both these purchases, I earned £33 cashback in total – not bad going for two transactions if you ask me.
What’s more, I also have 11% at an online beauty store and 7% at a high street clothes shop up for grabs.
Plus, the deals are personalised to you, change often and aren’t only from retailers where you have previously bought, but also include shops and services that it predicts you might like.
Hello, Fortnum & Mason – I’m looking at you.
The best part? All I have to do is tap to activate the offer on my mobile or online banking and it will be live for weeks, or even a month or two.
Of course, there are also lots of other ways to make your money go further this shopping season, even if you’re one of the three quarters of consumers that think they aren’t savvy enough to bag the best bargains!
Here are five of my top tips for getting the most bang for your buck in the run-up to Christmas.
1 GET A HEADS-UP ON CHRISTMAS DEALS
Be ahead of the game when it comes to holiday bargain hunting with MoneySavingExpert.com’s Christmas Deals Predictor.
Here you can find out when shops such as Selfridges, Asos, Marks & Spencer and La Redoute are likely to run discounts based on when they cut prices in previous years. The consumer group has analysed nine years’ worth of festive deals to forecast 2020’s offers.
Of course, the tool can’t guarantee that retailers will follow the same pattern as previous years, but MoneySavingExpert says last year’s Deals Predictor got 93% of offers right.
2 BACKDATE YOUR BLACK FRIDAY SAVINGS
Black Friday bargains don’t only apply to new products you bought on the biggest shopping weekend of the year as some retailers will actually price match after you made your purchase.
John Lewis, for instance, will refund you the difference up to 28 days after you made your purchase. But bear in mind that The Never Knowingly Undersold policy does not apply to items sold by stores that are online only.
3 GOOGLE ALERTS CAN HELP YOU GRAB A BARGAIN
Google Alerts lets you set up alerts for the products or brands that you are interested in – all you do is enter keywords and you’ll be emailed any new content that contains these search terms whenever it is published online.
What’s more, you can choose your search words carefully to focus on terms such as retailer specific coupons or discount/promo codes, sales, freebies and giveaways. Beware scams though – fraudsters sometimes use Google ads and fake websites to defraud online shoppers.
4 USE A CHROME EXTENSION
Another effortless way to find the lowest price is to us a browser add-on for Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome that support Amazon.
The Camelizer, for instance, lets you view price history charts without leaving retailer product pages, and makes it easy to create price watches when viewing retailer sites. All you do is click on the Camel icon in your address bar to see historical pricing data or setup watches and get an email when the price drops.
5 CONSIDER REFURBISHED PRODUCTS
As new versions are released, older gadgets rapidly drop in value – which makes buying refurbished items a no brainer.
Refurbished electronics can look as good as new and function perfectly – but because they may have been used, damaged and repaired by the manufacturer, they are often significantly cheaper than their brand-new counterparts.
Worth a look is Amazon Renewed where all items purchased are all backed by the retailer’s return policy and a separate one-year limited warranty, so if the product isn’t up to scratch you shouldn’t lose out.
This post is part of a paid partnership with Santander and contains promotional content. Any reference to brands or products in this post other than Santander, are mentioned in a personal capacity and have no affiliation with, or endorsement from Santander UK.
You can find out more about Santander’s Retailer Offers here.Follow me on social media