There are a number of cashback sites that I use and that I see mentioned in blogs and in forms quite a bit (eBates, Mr Rebates etc..) but one that doesn’t seem to get that much exposure is TopCashback.com. One of the benefits of using cashback sites is that they link directly to the merchant you’re purchasing from so, in the case of hotels, you may be earning cashback but you’re also booking directly with the hotel in question so you still get elite benefits and you still earn points as normal.
This blog earns a referral bonus for anyone who signs up to TopCashback using our referral link and then earns a minimum of $10 cashback in their account. You don’t have to use our referral link but we really appreciate it if/when you do.
TopCashback.com – How It Works
There’s no real mystery to how the site works.
When a user makes a purchase from a retailer featured on TopCashback, after clicking through from the site, the retailer will give TopCashback a commission for sending the user to their website.
TopCashback passes on 100% of this commission back to the user as ‘cash back’ which can then be seen via the “your Earnings page” and, once the retailer actually hands over the commission t0 TopCashback, it makes the cash back available to the user for withdrawal.
TopCashback.com – How Do They Make Money?
TopCashback are supported by sponsored adverts and promotions dotted around the site and they occasionally earn extra bonuses from some sometimes retailers if they send a lot of shoppers their way.
TopCashback.com – How To Shop
First, on TopCashback.com you need to find the retailer that you want to shop with. To do that you can search for a specific retailer using the search bar at the top of every page:
Or you can browse different categories of retailers using the navigation bar below the search bar (Travel, Electronics, Entertainment etc…). TopCashback.com has over 3,500 retailers so you should find what you’re looking for.
The retailers that interest me the most as the ones in the travel section, but more on this later in this post.
Once you’ve found the retailer you’re looking for you select it and you can view the current cashback offers:
To start shopping all you have to do is to click on the “Get Cashback” button next to the offer and the retailer’s own website will open in a new tab. Your path to the retailer has now been tracked and you can buy/book on the retailer’s site as you would normally. It’s that easy.
TopCashback.com – Getting Paid
Currently TopCashback.com offers 4 different ways you can get paid out:
The bonus (no pun intended) of taking your payout in the form of Amex rewards cards or Amazon gift cards is that TopCashback will give you a 3% and 2.5% bonus (respectively) for choosing to be paid by these methods.
I tend to elect to be paid via Amazon gift cards as, to me, they’re as good as cash and they’re super-simple to use.
TopCashback.com – Why I Like It
I use TopCashback.com for as much shopping as I can but, as this is a miles & points website I will concentrate on the travel related side of things.
The biggest thing I like about the site is that I can earn cashback at hotels without sacrificing any elite status benefits or loyalty points/bonuses.
As a Marriott Platinum elite I’m keen on having my status recognised when I stay at their hotels (premium broadband, free breakfast, the occasional upgrade etc…) and I like to earn Marriott Rewards points towards future stays so I tend not to book through the online travel agents (OTAs) like Expedia, Orbitz and Hotels.com. While booking through an OTA disqualifies a guest from receiving elite benefits, booking through a cashback site like TopCashback does not.
On the rare occasions where I’m happy to book through an OTA TopCashback has me covered again.
Booking.com often has the better deals while Hotels.com has the better of the rewards programs offered by the OTAs (more info here) so they tends to be the OTAs I go to first. Both are featured on TopCashback.com:
I’ve already mentioned Marriott:
The IHG Hotels are very well represented:
As do Best Western and Radisson:
Of the major hotel chains Hyatt and Starwood are the two that are most noticeable by their absence….but I guess you can’t have everything 🙂
If you don’t much care about how you book your travel, the other OTAs are well represented on TopCashback too:
There isn’t too much exciting news on the airline front….but there are a few options that may be of interest:
- All the OTAs offer some sort of cashback on airfares but they’re usually in the $2-$3 range – you’re not going to save a fortune that way!
- American Airlines and Virgin America, as well as a few other domestic airlines, offer their own dedicated cashback but this is also pretty low (in the $2-$5 range irrespective of spend).
- Things get interesting with some of the foreign airlines (and Hawaiian):
The cashback percentages may not seem particularly high but, if you’re booking premium tickets, the number soon add up and you could easily save $100+ on a couple of Business Class tickets.
Lastly we come to the Car rental companies which mostly have a strong showing:
On top of getting money back via TopCashback I can pay with my rewards credit card (so I earn points in my preferred currency), I have my status recognised at the hotels I book at and I earn further points in the hotel’s loyalty program too. What’s not to like?
Everyone will have their own preferences when it comes to cashback sites and mine is TopCashback.com. I find that the cashback percentages are equal to or better what I can find elsewhere and I don’t have too much trouble with transactions tracking.
That’s not to say that I never have any issues – I do – but they’re infrequent enough not to bother me too much and they almost always get resolved, eventually, in my favor.
Whichever cashback site you use it’s always important to keep a record of your visit to a retailer (I take screenshots as I progress from the cashback site to the retailer’s own site). This means that, if something should go awry, you have the evidence you need to prove you’re owed cashback and it helps to speed things up a great deal.
It would be useful to know what other people’s experiences have been when using TopCashback.com and how you think they perform compared to other cashback sites out there. Let me know in the comments if you have something to share.