photo by william cho
- Before making any online purchase, check if the site you’re buying from has a clickthrough link via a cashback site. This will let you save anywhere from 1-20% on your purchase
- My preferred cashback sites are TopCashBack, Ebates and Shopback
- Remember that different cashback sites have different partnerships and different cashback %, so shop around
If you’re not using cashback sites, you’re leaving money on the table. Every time you buy something online, be it a hotel stay, a flight ticket, something from an e-commerce site, the first thing you should be doing is to check whether any cashback portal offers an affiliate link to the site you want to buy on.
How it works
Airlines/hotels/online travel agents/e-commerce sites pay commissions for clickthroughs. When I see a banner for Agoda on website X, click on it and subsequently complete a booking on Agoda, Agoda pays website X a certain % of the transaction by way of commission.
Cashback websites take the place of Website X and pass the commission on to you. You can then cash out that money through Paypal or to your bank account. This does not affect your ability to earn elite credit/points for your stay with the hotel, insofar as you clickthrough to the hotel’s official website to do the booking (of course, if you click through to an OTA like Expedia you won’t earn any credit/points with the hotel)
My preferred cashback sites are
If you sign up using the links above, you get some bonus credit and so do I. Shopback, for example, gives both of us S$5 upon your first purchase.
In terms of merchants offered on each of these sites, Topcashback and Ebates are fairly similar (though Topcashback tends to have more generous cashback percentages). Shopback has more Singapore-relevant sites like Rakuten, Luxola, Foodpanda and Lazada so they’re worth a look too if you’re shopping locally.
Remember- different websites offer different rebate %, so you would do well to shop around.
Here’s a quick example of how to use a cashback site. Look for the vendor you want- in this case I’m going for Hotels.com. Clicking on Hotels.com shows me the cashback I can earn, in this case 7% for a completed stay.
Click on Get Cashback- a new window will open and….
There you go. Shop normally now and earn your cashback.
Remember not to use incognito mode or any ad-blocking software when you do this, because cashback sites depend on tracking cookies to verify your transaction. Also, complete the transaction asap after clicking through. Don’t have any other windows to the same site open.
Remember to use your DBS Woman’s Card to earn 4 miles per S$1 on all online shopping
Want to earn some bonus miles on your hotel stays? Check out milesback sites instead