Posts Tagged ‘Quidco’
Everyone knows the insurance industry is the worst kind of old boys club. Well, perhaps not the worst kind. Still, the fact that financial advisers can be sunning themselves on a cruise paid for on the back of advice given 20 years ago is why the whole financial services regime is currently undergoing a ‘reform’ to make it more transparent for everyone involved, with such ‘trail commission’ payments expected to be banned from 2014.
Now, HMRC have decided to get in on the act, with a new ruling that any such commissions that are thrown back to consumers will, from April onwards, be taxable. Earlier years’ bonuses will not be taxed. The insurance industry are perturbed by this new announcement, but are trying to spread the bad news by insinuating they are merely the first step on an HMRC cashback rampage.
The payments in question are basically repeat commission paid annually on longer term insurance-type investments. If you purchased the product with the help of a financial adviser, you can rest assured that he has been enjoying the benefit of the annual charge-back ever since you took it out. However, if you did not have an adviser, or in certain other circumstances, the investment product provider or broker will get the bung instead. Such firms are under no obligation to show you a penny of this free commission, but some do, notably Hargreaves Lansdowne who repay 16% of any commission received to its investors as a ‘bonus’. It is this cash payment returned to customers, either by way of an account credit or set off against management fees that HMRC have now ruled as chargeable. As far as they are concerned, it is an income generated by your investment, so unless it’s in a tax-free wrapper like a Stocks ISA or a SIPP, it’s fair game.
Hargreaves Lansdown, who is the largest bonus re-bunger, is understandably unimpressed. “It seems the Government is now seeking to tax small savers and investors. This is effectively a second tax on their income,” grumbled chief executive Ian Gorham.
However, he didn’t stop there, complaining to the Telegraph that it wasn’t just sour grapes, he was merely concerned that “the government may have set a precedent in taxing such loyalty schemes and savvy shoppers could well be next with Multi-buys, cashback credit cards and cashback websites all possible targets in the future.”
So should we all be worried about our clubcard balances? Is the taxman going to be making honey out of your Nectar card? Should you start declaring your Quidco and TopCashback earnings on your tax return? Apparently not. HMRC are reported to have dismissed these claims as “complete rubbish”, and the taxing of additional income on an investment product (i.e. designed to make the holder money) does seem to be entirely different from earning 20p from buying a kettle at Argos.
Still, you can never say never with HMRC, and perhaps the good folks at Hargreaves Lansdown have just given them a great idea for next year’s Budget…
Cashback is a wonderful thing, isnt it? We buy something that we want and we then get a chunk of that cash back to
waste spend on something else.
Those who are familiar with cashback will know that cashback can be claimed for making online purchases at participating retailers but do you know that two of the biggest cashback sites in the UK now offer cashback for grocery purchases made online and also instore? Let me explain…
ClickSnap is the new feature from Quidco which allows you to get money back on your grocery purchases made online or even instore. If you buy an item that is featured in their eligible product list you can claim cashback after making the purchase. To do this you need to snap and upload a photo of your receipt and ClickSnap will automatically review your online order or uploaded receipt and pay you the sum of cashback available for those eligible products.
You can shop at Tesco, Asda, Sainsburys, Ocado, Waitrose and Morrisons but make sure you review the terms for each product as some exclude certain supermarkets and some only include instore purchases.
At the moment ClickSnap is offering a whopping £5 cashback on a 300g box of Ferrero Rocher which might be worth checking out. It is also worth noting that offers can be redeemed up to 3 times instore or online.
The TopCashback equivalent is called Snap & Save and includes the same supermarkets with the addition of The Co-Operative, M&S Food and Iceland.There is a list of eligible offers and details of how much cashback is available for each product.
It seems from the Topcashback website that each item needs to be redeemed individually but you can submit a cashback request on the move via their official app which could make this much easier than having to wait to go home to then scan and upload your receipt. The best offer currently available from Topcashback seems to be (according to its popularity over at HotUKDeals) £2 cashback from a £10 petrol spend.
Is this new cashback initiative something that will make you tailor your shopping list in order to benefit from some money back or do you think it is too much hassle for saving just a few pounds?
We’ve bigged it up to you before, but we feel strongly obliged to big up the Quidco app to you once again, seeing as how its just had a tidy little overhaul, and you should all be using it because you’ve got nothing to lose and everything to gain while you’re prowling around the high street with it.
How does it work? It works thus – using GPS technology, the app locates where you are and displays nearby offers around you. This could be money-saving vouchers, cashback on purchases or even cash amounts from retailers, ‘paying’ for you to enter their store and ‘check in’ using the app. If you snag a cash incentive, it is paid into your Quidco account and can then transferred into a bank or PayPal account. Good times!
It says here that over the past weekend, new users of the app bagged themselves over £7,000 worth of free check-in cash. Some of the names that are participating in the Quidco app experience include Debenhams, Argos, The Body Shop and Vodafone.
You can get the app for iOS and Android devices from the usual cyberplaces. Oh, and yes, we ARE affiliated with Quidco. Other apps are available.
Quidco have launched a free iPhone app (soon to be available on Android) that applies the practice of cashback to your local high street spending.
We’ll get the disclaimer out the way immediately – Bitterwallet is part of the HUKD family of blogs; Paul Nikkel is a founder at HUKD and also a founder at Quidco.com. Regardless, if you’re the frugal sort then it’s worth having a play with this app, because it’s packing a lot of features not seen elsewhere.
If you’re already registered with Quidco, you can sign in immediately – if not, you’ll need to create an account. Once signed in, there are three ways to earn or save money with the app;
• find nearby deals and offers at local retailers and restaurants
• register a credit or debit card and earn cashback on in-store purchases
• earn cashback for simply checking in at selected stores
There are dozens of apps that use geo-location to find offers and deals in your neighbourhood, but it’s the other two features that set the app apart. Being able to earn cashback for physical transactions is an enormous boon, and cashback for check-ins isn’t something we’ve seen before – attaching a monetary value to an activity sometimes considered pointless will get plenty of consumers interested.
There are limitations; the app won’t replace use of the Quidco website, even though it tries. You can browse online cashback deals using the app, but then you’re diverted to the website of the retailer in question. Unfortunately, most retailer sites aren’t optimised for mobile phones, and trying to order anything through a fully-blown website on a mobile device is beyond tedious. A good idea would be a dedicated button to place a bookmark on your Quidco account, so you can easily find an offer once you’re on a PC.
It’ll also be interesting to see how much abuse the paid check-ins receive – while plenty of users may incorporate the check-ins into their shopping routine, there are bound to be others who spend their days checking into shops to rack up a free money without spending a penny in them. That said, the check-in radii are very tight – you can’t check into a store from your bed like you often can with Foursquare or Facebook. Perhaps the lure of cash will generate enough additional foot traffic to make it worthwhile for retailers.
As an app, it’s well designed and simple to use; maps and listings are clear although there are a few bugs to work out, with information being clipped or not displayed properly in places. Above all, it’s offering something genuinely different to the local deal features offered by Facebook, Foursquare and Groupon; if it can convert its web users to mobile and avoid losing money to check-in abuse, this app could quickly establish itself as a worthy accessory for consumers.
Hold on to your hats, another exciting marriage has recently been announced, but this time it’s between the mobile network Orange and discount voucher peddler VoucherCloud.
Vouchercloud already have a website and app, but they are now teaming up with Orange to offer exclusive deals only for Orange customers. If you have an iPhone you can download the app (free, obviously) or if you are not so lucky, you can use the good old world wide web at www.vouchercloud.com
However. Call us cynical, but we are not naive sorts to fall hook line and sinker for a PR’s spiel. So we thought we would investigate the ‘exclusive’deals currently on offer.
This month’s deals are as follows:
A free five day pass for two people to Fitness First (this is a deal?)
50% off a cut and style at Headmasters, but not on a Saturday, and presumably only if you live near one of their 37 locations.
An upgrade from a regular to a large shake at Shakeaway (a huge £1 price difference)
A 20% discount at Habitat
15% off at Mamas and Papas
A 30 day free trial at LoveFilm plus a £20 Next voucher (is it possible to join LoveFilm without a 30 day free trial?)
2 for 1 cocktails at Malmaison. But not on Friday or Saturday.
10% off when you spend £20 at Hotel Chocolat plus a free lolly
12% discount at Blue Inc (no idea. Never heard of them)
£4 discount when you spend £40 at Maplins. Who are still in business apparently.
And a 10% discount at Furniture Village
Bet you’re blown away so far. All of the deals expire on 31 May, with the exception of Habitat which expires on 25 May, after which point you will be forced to use the non-exclusive 15% vouchercloud discount instead. OR, you could use the HotUKDeals voucher code for 30% off online expiring tomorrow (S1FFU) and then the 20% code S1BH thereafter.
Similarly ‘normal’ vouchercloud users get 5% off Furniture Village anyway or Quidco gives 5% cashback, and you can actually get up to 8% at some other voucher code site that we don’t like to mention very much round here.
Or why not get an extra 2.5% cashback on your Maplin purchase- Quidco are offering 7% cashback without a voucher code and 2.5% with.
And if you have heard of Blue Inc but aren’t an Orange customer, don’t worry, you can get 11% cashback at Quidco too
All in all, not much of a reason to consider switching to Orange, and not a huge reward for being an Orange customer either.
By all means if you are an Orange customer, add the deals (online or app version) to your deal scouring arsenal, but our verdict? Could Do Better.
It’s the final day of the round of 16 in our Worst Company in Britain 2010 fandango and there’s only two more head-to-heads left before we’ve honed the lump of coal that was the original shortlist down into a fine diamond of quarter final shite.
First up comes a clash between last year’s winner, the Royal Mail and Quidco, the popular cashback service (or is it REALLY all that popular?) Only time will tell – the time being midnight tonight, when the voting comes to a close.
You can find out who triumphed and who failed in yesterday’s pow-wows between eBay and PayPal and Virgin Media and 3 Mobile (along with all of the other results so far) here. Come back on Monday, when the quarter finals will get underway…
No beating around the weekly bush of cashback offers – here’s a small-but-perfectly-formed list of the best cashback offers available right now on Quidco.
In fact, we’ve been so slick in getting straight to the deals this week, we haven’t even bothered with the obligatory second sentence to introduce them:
All Saints – there’s 25% off plus free delivery + 15% cashback at until 5th December
Vodafone – £15 per month 12 month SIM Only (600 minutes / unlimited texts) + £110 cashback (saving you 61%)
Microsoft Store the cashback for the Kinect has doubled to 20%, which means the price is effectively £104 with cashback
It’s just 33 days until we celebrate the birth of Jesus H. Christ by getting wankered on cheap supermarket booze and smashing up the living room playing Xbox Kinect.
If you’re needing a few frugal deals to see you through to that holiest of days, here’s the best of what Quidco have to offer this week:
The Body Shop – there’s up to 35% total saving this week only, plus 15% cashback and and a free £5 Love Your Body loyalty card (with it save 10% on every order, and 20% between 25th and 29th November).
Vodafone – save 50% every month on a £25 per month 12 month SIM Onliy (up to 1200 minutes and unlimited texts and 500 MB data) after £150 cashback.
Orange – up to £10 off your contract phone bill every month plus £80 cashback for a pay monthly contract phone at Orange.
Hotel Chocolat – free ‘Winter Treasures’ chocolates worth £12.50 when you spend over £60, plus spend over £100 and also receive a £10 gift voucher to use on your next purchase. With up to 12% cashback.
National Trust – 3 months free membership and a free pair of National Trust binoculars + 30% cashback.
Deals are blummin’ wonderful, no doubt about it – but cashback is very decent, too. So without further ado, Here are the top cashback offers piping hot off the digital presses of Quidco:
• Orange – Cashback increased to £110 for all Orange SIM Only contracts, which effectively means paying just £10 for an entire 12 month contract. Hurrah. Cashback offer ends 10th November.
• BT Total Broadband – sign up to Broadband with a BT package and claim a £25 John Lewis gift voucher plus up to £120 cashback
• Best Buy launched their new UK site last week; it wasn’t the most spectacular of launches, but there’s good news for Quidco customers – Best Buy are now offering 5% cashback exclusively with Quidco
• Virgin Atlantic – 10% cashback for return flights to Orlando from London Gatwick (see details) at Virgin Atlantic. Eligible on departures between 4th of November and 13th December inclusive and departures between 1 March 2011 and 22 March 2011 inclusive
Something is amiss in the world of online entertainment stalwart CDWow! Reports are emerging that their parent companies Stomp AU and Stomp HK have gone into voluntary administration, just a few weeks after being acquired by a company called Surrealus. A quick look at the CDWow! site shows that they aren’t currently stocking this week’s big new CD releases by the likes of Brandon Flowers and Hurts. Curious.
A couple of months ago, CDWow! were removed from the line-up at Quidco, due to their non-payment of cashback. So in a nutshell, if you’re thinking of ordering anything from CDWow!, think very carefully indeed. More news as and when we get it…
EDIT: Scroll down to see the comment from Alex at CDWow! It seems that The company will continue to trade under new owners and outstanding orders will be fulfilled or refunds will be issued. Keep us posted if any of you have any problems with CDWow!
Plenty of us hit the likes of Expedia and Hotels.com when booking hotel rooms, but if you’re planning to visit New York, you’ll want to keep your eye on a new budget that’s been proposed by the state’s capital.
The state budget proposes a 20 per cent increase in hotel taxes across New York for “travel intermediaries” – meaning travel agencies, tour operators and online travel sites. For hotel bookings in New York City, the new budget would mean taxes increasing to over 7 per cent on every booking.
The proposals are to close a loophole that the state believes has allowed companies to pay taxes on the rate at which they purchase rooms, but not on the higher price they eventually resell them for. The net result for customers is that booking directly with hotel websites may become a cheaper option than it already often is, meaning more consumers might use hotel portals for searching out rooms in their price range and then book direct.
Then again, cashback sites like Quidco effectively negate the cost of tax already – Hotels.com currently offers 8 per cent cashback on bookings – and neither could hotels directly compete with package deals that other sites offer. All that said, it’s worth checking a hotel website before booking regardless, because many include short-term special offers that don’t necessarily feature of the pages of third party aggregators.
Obviously we’re big fans of Quidco in the Bitterwallet bunker, but today we’ve a new found respect for the cashback website. We sent their team a long list of ideas to improve the company and make it indispensable to us in particular. Now they’ve responded to at least one of our specific requests, as spotted by avid Bitterwallet reader Ross:
It’s the end of the month, and that usually means a welcome boost into the Bitterwallet coffers as we bank all the cashback we’ve accrued by buying stuff we don’t really need via Quidco.
The tension always mounts as we wait for the email informing us how much we’ve got, but this morning’s missive from Quidco HQ has baffled us.
Can’t wait for those [x] days to fly by so we can get our mitts on our £[payment amount]. Other cashback websites are available but we don’t know if they’re capable of sending out coherent emails or not….
Easter is when the Smith family begins booking the summer holiday. It takes the best part of the day, as different combinations and permutations of dates and deals are checked against one another, and decisions are made about how far we can be arsed to travel for a deal.
You’ve probably have loads of other cheats and tips the cheaper summer holiday, so if you don’t mind sharing them, stick them in the comments.
Flights are far trickier to book than hotels, because depending where you live you’ll either enjoy a glut of budget airline options, or sod all, or a few choice budget airline options. Here’s some general hints and tips when booking flights;
- parking, fuel, overnight stays and food can screw with your plan to travel for the budget flights. Luton might only be four hours drive away, but it might stick £200 on those budget flights you’re after. Work it all out before you disregard flying locally.
- if money is an issue don’t try and book flights to fixed dates; start broad and see what prices you can get; flights to the US are nearly always cheaper midweek to midweek – you’ll save several hundred pounds by starting and ending your holiday on a Tuesday or Wednesday
- if you live outside the major airport hubs, then flying indirect from your regional airport can be far more cost-effective and faster, too. Sounds like common sense, but some people don’t realise that flying with the likes of KLM to Holland and then onto the US may be a better option than slogging it to Gatwick, or other UK airports.
- use the likes of SkyScanner to search all flight options, all at once – start with the ‘whole month’ option when setting the calendar dates to see all possible options, then narrow down your search; we’ve just found return flights from the UK to New York in August for £303. Once you have a few options, see if any of them offer Quidco cashback – the cashback is minimal on flights, so it won’t be a deal-breaker, but every quid counts.
- if you don’t give a toss where or when you go, then you should already be hitting up the new deals in the travel section of HotUKDeals or checking the travel agents, where you can still pick up a cheap package deal
Depending on whether you want to slum it or stay classy obviously makes a world of difference to the price to your accommodation. The good news is there are plenty of bargains, meaning slumming it isn’t so necessary; right now, a cosmic encounter of sale offers and 12% cashback from Quidco means there are some very low prices available from Expedia. There are a few examples below – all of them based on seven nights from 2nd August to the 9th August:, just to prove it needn’t cost the earth travelling during the school holidays:
- 4 star hotel rooms (two adults) in Manhattan from £1,037, plus 12% Quidco cashback means you pay £913
- 5 star hotel rooms (two adults) in Las Vegas (at the Trump International) from £445, plus 12% Quidco cashback means you’ll pay £392
Never pay full price for tickets into attractions and theme parks. Ever. Everywhere runs voucher codes and seasonal discounts that mean massive discounts. A quick internet search will find dozens of discount options – keep an eye out on HotUKDeals for vouchers deals and there’s Quidco discounts available too;
- a PortAventura Plus pass for two adults and two children costs £209 with AttractionTix and6 % Quidco, or £238 at the gate
- admission to Legoland Windsor for two adults and two children costs £109 with AttractionTix and6 % Quidco, or £133 at the gate
Any more hints and tips for cheap summer holidays? Let’s have them in the comments please.
A year ago I wrote a guide to sorting finances out. I ignored it completely, because I’m a grade A dick with money. It’s time that changed – most of us have this period of deadtime after Christmas which we spend stuffing our face with lard and booze, so instead I’ve tried putting mine to good use. This is a quick breeze through what I’ve been up to – feel free to throw in any extra advice in the comments, especially for the final part concerning reselling.
First off, I’ve gone through the last three month’s worth of bank statements to see how much the family was spending. I really wish I hadn’t because it was out by a long way. Balls. But if I don’t measure it, I can’t manage it – I’ve now got a spreadsheet which I swear on my children’s lives I will complete every week. We now have a new monthly budget that’s reasonable but not excessive, although I may have to chop the wife’s hands off in order to stick to it.
Now I can see that there’s spare money sloshing about, I’ve got a plan to pay off the two credit cards and overdraft hanging round my neck. I reckon I can pay them off in order of highest APR in about 18 months, instead of making the minimum payments and not daring to opening the statements (today I’ve opened my first credit card statement in a year – again, I am a dick). I’ll still have an outrageously large bank loan for another year after that, but I’m managing those payments for the moment. Read the rest of this entry »