Getting cash back for shopping online seems like an offer that’s definitely too good to be true. But after getting into the retail world and seeing exactly how much stores markup prices, it seems only fair that we’d get some kind of kickback… right? Okay, so maybe retailers don’t owe us the money they make, but getting some of that money back while shopping is always welcome. TopCashback is one of the services that will give you a percentage of your purchase back in actual, real cash. (You can even make money with their program!)
If you’ve never used a cash-back program before, it can seem intimidating. Messing up seems easy to do, and it kind of is. TopCashback has a really nice dashboard that helps alleviate a lot of confusion. It shows where your earnings are coming from and when you should expect to be able to withdraw.
All you have to do to kickstart the process is to… go shopping! Once you figure out where you’re spending money, head over to the TopCashback website. Search for the store you’re planning to shop at and click the big “Get Cashback” button to see more details, rates, and to make your final click. Once you’ve clicked “Get Cash Back” on the store page, you’ll be redirected to the store through TopCashback’s referral link.
After that, proceed with shopping as usual. After you click a link, you have several hours to finish up your shopping before you need to renew the link.
How Does TopCashback Work?
It works like a typical affiliate program – when you click their link to a retailer, a cookie is stored in your browser. This will allow TopCashback to earn an affiliate commission on however much you spent. It doesn’t affect you at all… except TopCashback shares their earnings with the shoppers.
Instead of pocketing the commission they received from referring customers, TopCashback gives the entire commission to the shoppers! They’ll let you see the cash back percentage for each store in their network. After that, simply click over to the retail website through TopCashback’s link, and once you make a purchase, you’ll start the process of getting cash back!
There are tons of stores you can get cash back from, and they’re super common! You probably already shop at a handful of the most popular stores.
Rates aren’t permanent, either. TopCashback may negotiate a bonus rate for shoppers every now and then that offers a boost in rebates. This can result in exclusive rates that will give you major rebates from big deal designers.
You can even get cash back at Etsy! Only 2%, but still – Etsy! Think of the cash back rates as a discount off of your order! It just happens… later.
I Tried Out TopCashback & Learned… A Lot
As a blogger, the cash back programs are incredibly helpful because I can’t seem to stop shopping. TopCashback handed me $75 to try out their program, and I maximized it as best I could… After totally messing it up first, of course.
The idea was that I’d withdraw the $75 to my Paypal account, then use it to purchase things through TopCashBack’s retailers and getting realtime rebates for a solid, informative TopCashback review.
However, Typical Lindsay was lovestruck upon seeing the money-saving opportunity and became very bad at following instructions. I had been playing around the TopCashback website all day discovering awesome features and benefits, including withdraw bonuses.
For example, if you withdraw your earnings straight to an Amazon gift card, you get extra money. Yes, extra, free money. There are also cashback bonuses for withdrawing your earnings to other store gift cards, too, like Nike, GAP, etc. Can you see where this is going?
For my $75, Amazon offered an extra $2.25 (wow very bonus, much prosperity) for putting my loot on an Amazon card, so obviously that’s what I did. Was that what I was instructed to do? Definitely not. But that’s what happened, and as a Prime member, I was all about it.
So with my $77.25, I bought a really amazing crossbody bag and an awesome pair of sneakers… and also totally screwed the pooch on the whole “test out the cashback features” thing because, no, of course you don’t get cash back on gift cards that you got for free. That would be ridiculous. Why would I think that was going to be a thing? So, so, so dumb. Ugh. This is such a great feature if you’re not in my exact position.
I couldn’t leave TopCashback high & dry, though! There was only one thing to do in order to fix it: more shopping.
Considering that shopping is already my job, my drive to redeem myself had me shopping like my life depended on it. I immediately started scouring TopCashback’s best offers to figure out how to really showcase what TopCashback could do.
Then I ran into some more epic speed bumps – but that wasn’t my fault. Spoiler alert: it was Lord & Taylor’s.
TopCashback had a 9% cash back rate for Lord & Taylor at the time, and I tried like hell to spend $75 on their website during a good sale. After my order had shipped, it turned out that half of my order just… wasn’t… available. The stock wasn’t there, they’d sold out before they took the listing, size, and color off the site. I wasn’t charged, but the inventory mess-ups reduced my order size from $75 to about $28.
As you can see in my earnings further down the page, only $13.62 of that $28 order earned cash back.
Retailers can add caveats and qualifications that may limit the amount of cash back you’re able to receive. Amazon, for example, only gives cash back rebates for shopping in certain categories.
Clicking the cash back button on your way to a retailer will work regardless of your intended department, but it’s nice to see the breakdown. Be sure you purchase your goods through the browser window that was opened when you clicked the cash back button.
After you’ve shopped, it’ll take about a day or so for TopCashback to acknowledge your shopping trip. They’ll send you an email displaying the store and total of your order, and you’ll be able to view your progress in your account via the TopCashback Dashboard.
Once all that blew over, I still felt like TopCashback hadn’t shown me its true power. The only thing that could save this borderline disaster I’ve cooked up for myself was makeup.
A quick two days, $40, and an e-trip to Sephora and BH Cosmetics later, I had started to amass some actual earnings! Sweet! But upon seeing the payout breakdown, I realized it could be a while before I saw them.
14 weeks?! Dang, that’s some serious processing time… but I can’t complain. It’s not like I’m going to immediately need an emergency $1.34 in the next three months, anyway. I’ll happily let it sit there and collect until I withdraw millions of dollars to an Amazon gift card for a 1% bonus or something else equally ill-advised.
But it figures that Lord & Taylor – the first place I shopped, mind you – would take a dramatically longer time to process. They might be my nemesis.
Also please notice that eBags cash back rate. 16% cash back is guaranteed to be a healthy chunk of change!
How is TopCashback Different?
As we know, there are a healthy handful of cash-back and rebate websites. What sets TopCashback apart is their cash back rates. When comparing with other popular cash back programs, I was pleased to see that TopCashback frequently offers higher cash back rates with popular retailers. Some are nearly double the rate of leading competitors!
Best of all, there’s no minimum payout for your earnings. That means that the day they’re finally in your account, you can assign that money to your account, or a gift card. That’s huge! Other places make you wait until you have at least $10 or more, but TopCashback doesn’t care. It’s your money and they want you to have it! It just might take 14 weeks… but then it’s yours!
TopCashback may be the only rebate program that gives shoppers 100% of their commission. They make their money in other ways, so the commission goes directly through their hands into yours.
TopCashback also seems to be lacking a mobile or in-person cash back opportunity. Those are few and far between with shopping rebate programs, but their competitors do have that edge. Although, TopCashBack bounces back by offering bonus cash for withdrawing directly to a gift card. Sweet, right?! I mean, if you have a problem with free bonus money, I don’t know why you’re here.
Another bonus of TopCashback are the random, in-site games and contests. While I was plunking around the TopCashback site, a cute hummingbird, TopCashback’s mascot, flew across my screen. Seriously! It fluttered around until I clicked on it. When I finally caught it, it gave me a game piece and showed me a full selection of game pieces in shapes of luggage, t-shirts, and other objects. Collecting game pieces results in prizes, like money! Or gift cards! Or… other stuff!
In addition to those three ways tries to give you free money, you can also refer friends for a cool $10. There’s nothing shady about TopCashback at all, so referring your friends shouldn’t weird you out. You’re literally offering them an opportunity to get rebates on their shopping trips – who wouldn’t want that?
TopCashback is a totally useful tool for budget shoppers. I mean, any opportunity to shave some cash off of a hefty shopping trip is welcome! Moreover, TopCashback turns saving money into even more of a challenging game – literally!