Do you shop online at…
Surely I have hit jackpot at least once on one of the above? No? Okay, maybe you are not so auntie like me. Let me try again.
I know!! Maybe you read my blog for travel. Then surely you will be familiar with…
Ah hah! I must have hit bulls-eye by now. Whether you shop at 1 or 10 of the above, Shopback is the website you should use if you have not been using it yet.
In a nutshell…
Shopback is a cashback website that gives you CASH back for your shopping.
Yup, that’s right. CASH. Not credits that can only be used to redeem useless stuff. Not points that will expire. Not vouchers that has lame “minimum spend of $100 and expires tomorrow” kind of terms & conditions.
We are talking about CASH that can be deposited right into your bank account.
- Purchase a S$100 Groupon voucher, they give you S$5 (5% cashback).
- Book a S$100 hotel room on Agoda, they give you S$10 ($10 cashback for bookings above USD50).
- Book a S$200 hotel room on Hotels.com, they give you S$12 (6% cashback).
NOTE: The exact percentage of cashback varies from time to time. The above are just examples of purchases I typically make.
How it Works
Sign up for a Shopback account and sign in.
(PS: This is my referral link, I will explain more about it at the end of the post. But if you do want to sign up, please sign up through my referral link and I will be eternally grateful.)
Navigate Shopback website for the online store / booking site you want to purchase from.
Click on the store you want to shop at and READ THE TERMS & CONDITIONS. In particular, check carefully for stuff like minimum spending to qualify for Cashback, whether you need to use a desktop to make the purchase, whether the cashback is only applicable to new sign-ups etc.
Click on ‘Show Now’ and you will be redirected to the merchant’s website. YOU MUST COMPLETE YOUR PURCHASE WITHIN THE SAME WINDOW.
And if you are making multiple purchases (e.g. booking more than 1 hotel from Agoda, or buying more than one deal on Groupon), you should go back to Shopback and click on ‘Shop Now’ again for each purchase.
It is very important that you complete your purchase from the same window that was redirected from Shopback to qualify for the cashback. So what I usually do is that I would surf the merchant’s website and know exactly what I want to buy / which hotel I want to book first. Then I go to Shopback website and click through Shopback and make the purchase or booking immediately.
Step 5: Wait for your cashback to become redeemable
Your cashback will first be reflected as pending, and sometimes as ‘$0.00’ initially for hotel and flight bookings. The first time I saw the $0.00, I sent an email to their customer service and asked why it was $0.00 and this was their reply:
For cashback earned from bookings of hotels and flights from Hotels.com, the amount will only appear within 60 days after you have completed your stay But not to worry as the $0 cashback shows that your booking is successfully tracked and it will automatically turn to the correct amount once the cashback has been validated by the merchant.
Step 6: Cash out
Once your cashback status changes to ‘redeemable’, you can cash it out into your bank account. Please note that you need to have a minimum balance of $10 under ‘Redeemable’ before you can request a payout. Click on the ‘Redeemable’ tab and click on ‘Request Payout’.
Then click on ‘Fill in your payment details now!’ (you need to do this for the first time you are cashing out). I chose bank transfer and could choose to add any of my bank account from the major banks in Singapore.
Once I have updated my bank account information, I confirmed my payout to my bank account and Tadah! Wait for the money to come into my bank!
Okay, I’m going to be very honest with you to say that I didn’t keep track of my cashbacks diligently. I have been booking numerous trips and hotels through Shopback from various booking sites and I didn’t bother to verify that all of the cashback was properly credited. And because of the “$0.00” they put in my account initially to indicate the booking was tracked, it made my history very confusing. I am just going to screen capture a page from my history to show you what I mean:
For the booking I made on Hotels.com that I boxed up in red, no problem, they gave me cashback which is now redeemable. But if you look at the booking I boxed up in blue, it says redeemable but $0.00. So I’m super confused what happened with that and frankly because I made SO many bookings, I am not even sure which booking that cashback corresponded to.
But my point is, I am not the most meticulous person around especially when it comes to keeping track of accounts. I just look at the big picture and see that, hey, I got like $60+ in my account already! To me, whatever I get from Shopback is a BONUS. I mean, without Shopback, I would have been making all these purchases anyway but not even getting the $60+ I have now. So I never pursued those $0.00 redeemable amounts in my account and have no idea what is really up with them. And to me, Shopback is really a ‘no harm trying’ thing.
Maximising Shopback Cashback for Travel
Using Shopback for shopping from merchants like Taobao, FoodPanda and Groupon is fairly straightforward. You click through Shopback to make your purchase and accept whatever percentage of discount they give you.
But when it comes to travel, we are pretty spoiled for choice because the various booking sites are offering different cashback percentages / amounts. I have been using Shopback for my hotel bookings for about half a year now, so I am going to share with you some tips I learned to maximise the Cashback.
#1 Using Agoda for bookings that are just over USD50 (before tax)
When I book hotels that are below SGD100 but more than USD50 before tax (this is most typical for budget boutique hotels for our quick getaways to Johor Bahru), I use Agoda which offers $10 cashback – flat. This works out to be more than 10%!
Of course, this is provided Agoda’s rate was about the same or cheaper than other sites to begin with. Let’s say Agoda advertises a room for SGD80 while Hotels.com advertises the same room for SGD60. Obviously I would still book from Hotels.com, regardless of the $10 cashback Agoda was offering. But if both sites are advertising SGD80, I would book through Agoda for the $10 cashback.
#2 Split up your bookings for more than 1 room on Agoda
When I was booking hotels for my upcoming trip with my in-laws, I had to book two rooms each time: One for ourselves, one for my in-laws. To maximise Agoda’s $10 cashback, we split up the bookings into two. E.g. If I am booking two $80 rooms, if I book them together, I will only get $10 cashback. But by splitting them into two separate bookings, I get $10 + $10. Geddit?
Now, the next question my friend asked was, what if I am booking one room for say 3 nights? Can I split the booking into 3, one for each day? Then I can get $10 + $10 + $10? Well…. I have never done this before. You want to take the risk, you try lor. If you are asked by the hotel to check out and check in and change room everyday then too bad.
#3 Don’t forget Hotels.com’s loyalty program
Hotel.com has a loyalty program where you can get 1 free night after you chalk up 10 nights. I noticed that even when I booked through Shopback, Hotels.com still honours the one night to accumulate up to my free night. So I am getting cashback while still collecting the ‘chops’ from Hotels.com.
#4 Check the top menu for ongoing promotions
When you enter Shopback’s website, always ALWAYS remember to check the grey menu at the top for ongoing promotions! I once came across a double cashback promotion that was inconspicuously indicated only in the grey menu.
Sign up Bonus!
After reading so much, if you think there is no harm in giving Shopback a try and you do not have a Shopback account yet, please sign up using my referral link here:
When you sign up through my referral link above and spend minimum $25 in one purchase before 15th July 2016, not only do I get a referral bonus, you will also get a $5 sign-up bonus!
So yeah, if you have been loving our blog and want to contribute to my kopi money (I drink A LOT of coffee to keep this blog running okay?), this is what you need to do:
- Sign up for a Shopback account using my referral link
- Make a purchase of at least $25.
(C’mon, surely you can find some Groupon deal or some grocery from HonestBee or Redmart? Or it’s time to stock up on your Taobao purchases?)
Do the above by 15th July 2016 and we will both have money in our pocket. Woohoo!