For us, saving money on travel starts well before we begin searching on booking sites. We first try to look at what incentives are being offered by various third-party websites to buy through them. It’s not just the flight and hotel we’re looking for discounts on. There are many great deals to get discounted airport parking, car hire, duty free, and lounge access. In this post, we’re going to see how much we can save on the standard price, simply by going via another site to earn cashback on travel.
How does cashback work?
If you’re new to cashback game, it can seem a little confusing that a company pays for you buying something from an entirely separate company. It happens because the company you’re buying the product from is offering a bounty (or commission) to anyone who can supply new paying customers to them. This is where the third-party cashback sites come in. They send you to the company to buy the product and get paid the bounty. Rather than keep all of the bounty for themselves, they share it with you, meaning you both profit. After you’ve made the purchase, a payment is made into your cashback pot that you can then choose to have paid-out as cash (to a bank account), or as vouchers for popular brands.
Earning Cashback as Points
Another way to earn cashback on travel is to subscribe to a loyalty programme like British Airways Executive Club or Virgin Atlantic Flying Club. Both operate “cashback” websites that pay frequent flyer miles instead of cash. You can see an up-to-date list of where you can earn points by visiting their shopping sites:
We tend to value our Avios at 1p or more each. This means a promotion that earns 5 points per £1 is effectively paying 5% cashback.
Our Top Finds to Earn Cashback on Travel
We’ve looked at the various offers to earn cashback on travel at Topcashback, BA, and Virgin Atlantic, and creamed off what we think are the best. Some of them look so good, we’ve already booked with them!
Airport Travel & Parking
It’s awful to have to pay so much money to park your car while you leave it for a week or two. So, it only only seems right that this is place we can earn decent cashback on travel. There’s a wide range of choice and there are big cashback bonuses to be had on airport parking. Never again will we book without first checking these deals!
Some of these savings are impressive. If you see the 38% cashback at Holiday Extras as a discount off the price, you’re saving more than a third on the cost of your airport parking. All just by clicking a link.
Airport Lounges & Hotels
Lounges can be a nice way to kick-off your holiday and also allow you to escape the chaos of a busy airport terminal. They can also be quite pricey, particularly if you’re traveling as a family. Booking in advance with cashback referral links can get you a sizeable rebate on the entry costs for your group.
You have to stay somewhere when you go on holiday, so why not get rewarded for it? Well, we’ve left this one to the end as it’s not as straightforward as clicking a link to get a bonus for your hotel spend. We’re not sure hotel booking sites always play fair. In our article The Hidden Cost of Earning Airline Points with Hotel Booking Referral Links we found that prices for the same hotel rooms were higher when we clicked through on the referral link. Because of that, this section comes with a health warning:
If you clicked the referral link on your laptop, check the price on your phone, or on a different computer, before you complete the booking. If the price is significantly different, you should consider whether that cashback is worth it. Often you’ll still be getting a good deal, but it’s important to double-check those prices on hotel booking sites.
It’s really as simple as clicking a link. Remembering to click the link is the hard bit. We found it easiest to remind ourselves whenever we reached a payment screen. We even put a little sticker on our payment card, so it would jog our memory while we were keying in the card number. Stop and check if there’s a cashback link at one of the sites we’ve mentioned above. If you find a link clear your browser cookies – here’s how – then click the referral link to get your cashback. Eventually, you’ll start remembering to go to straight to the cashback sites first.
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