Money back when shopping online: This is how you save money with cashback

Shop online and get your money back? Sounds good.

Money back when shopping online: This is how you save money with cashback

Shop online and get your money back? Sounds good. Cashback portals make this possible. Registered users can secure a refund in this way. Read here how it works and whether it's worth it.

Most Germans intuitively pull out the Payback card when they are asked at the checkout if they want to collect points. So it came as a complete surprise to many consumers when the grocers Rewe and Penny recently announced that they would end their cooperation with Payback in the near future. But consumers still have a large number of partner shops where they can collect points. But what many people don't know is that you can save money when shopping online in addition to stationary retail and that the actual savings are even higher - with cashback.

How cashback works

Behind cashback, translated "money back", is a system that allows customers to save with every online purchase. Cashback portals work together with online retailers and receive a commission for successfully referring customers to the retailers. They pass part of the commission on to the customer as cashback. In order to benefit from this, users have to take the detour and be forwarded to one of the listed partner shops via the respective cashback platform. Registration on the platforms is usually free and uncomplicated.

After successful registration, you can start looking for suitable cashback promotions. In order to activate cashback, it is important that you navigate to the desired dealer via the link on the platform. Cookies are set, which receive information for the dealer and identify the portal to the dealer as a partner. After a successful purchase, the cashback amount is paid out in the last step. Usually this only happens after you have paid for the product or service and the return period has expired. Consequently, the portals pay out the amount to the virtual account, from which it can then be paid out via Paypal or bank account. In most cases, cashback will be confirmed and credited within 60 to 90 days.

These are the 5 most popular cashback portals

According to the results of a customer survey by the German Institute for Service Quality on satisfaction with cashback portals, these are the most popular German portals in descending order:

Which dealers are participating

Cashback platforms list a large number of partner shops from different categories. Money can be refunded for almost all products bought online. The range of cashback campaigns extends from physical products such as clothing or electronics to software, downloads, insurance or telephone and internet contracts.

Veit Mürz, Managing Director of the German cashback portal Shoop and market expert, notes: "From a retailer's point of view, Cashback is a customer loyalty program that can be used flexibly. With point collection systems, there is often a minimum turnover that participating retailers have to achieve - this is not the case with Cashback . In addition, cashback can be implemented more quickly in the retailer's processes."

That's how big the savings are

How much cashback you save depends on what the portals have agreed with the retailers. The savings not only differ from retailer to retailer, but also differ greatly in the various product categories. Mürz says: "Most shops offer customers 5-15 percent cashback. The average cashback rate at Shoop, for example, is 5.4 percent. There are comparatively high cashback rates, especially when contracts are concluded: in combination with the right offer you can quickly earn a considerable sum with life insurance, mobile phone contracts, internet connections, etc. According to the results of the customer survey on satisfaction with cashback portals, every third person was able to secure between 10 and 30 euros within a year. Around 11 percent stated that they had saved EUR 100 or more in the same period.

Important to know: Cashback rates always only refer to the net value of the goods - i.e. without VAT. Therefore, the ultimate savings for consumers is slightly less than what the portals claim. To calculate the actual amount of the discount, you have to divide the given cashback rate by 1.19.

Conclusion: Cashback portals make it easy to save money with every online purchase. How much depends, of course, on the individual expenses, the amount of the payment and the processing period. Depending on the portal, however, you are restricted to certain shops when shopping and share your personal data.