Appearing gradually in France, Cashback is gradually becoming a common use in France, allowing you to earn commissions that can be accumulated with each purchase by card in stores or on the Internet. We explain how it all works and which are the best banks and applications to take advantage of it.
By opening an account in an online bank or a neobank or simply via certain advertising campaigns, you have probably already come across the term ” cash back“. Literally translated from English, it means “cashback”. Originally, this principle was first a means of obtaining money via a card purchase from a merchant. It has now become a major commercial argument allowing holders of a compatible bank card to recover a percentage of the amount of expenditure they make with it.
If this functionality was initially reserved for credit cards, cashback programs are now also present via certain debit cards, which are the most widespread bank cards in France. But it is especially on the application side that the phenomenon has developed in recent years and the business around it continues to grow.
Cashback, how does it work and what are these benefits?
On the bank side, cashback is based on a partnership between institutions and card-issuing companies (Visa, Mastercard, etc.). When a customer makes a card payment, the merchant pays a certain percentage back to the company. The latter can then decide to share part of it with its customers. Cashback is very advantageous for customers opening an account with certain banks, as they can save money on their purchases. For those most assiduous and receptive to this system, it is possible to pocket a small jackpot at the end of the month, but this requires organization and making choices in one’s consumption habits.
Admittedly, since cashback is often obtained on purchases that customers would have made anyway, it generally saves money. On the banking side, the disadvantage of some institutions or credit card companies is that cashback comes with high interest rates and hidden fees. It is therefore necessary to monitor neo-bank online banks directly practicing this type of product without intermediaries.
But the other area in which cashback also has its place is in the application area. There are dozens of applications for obtaining discounts on purchases via partnerships with physical or online stores.
All these applications are free and offer the same principle: you choose the store of your choice, you make your purchase, and the money from the percentage is automatically paid into a kitty, in the app. At any time, you can recover the amount of the kitty directly from your bank account. On average, the offers are around 5% of the amount of your purchase, but it can go up to 40% occasionally during special operations or private sales. We therefore quickly understand the business model of these applications which, via these partnerships and these purchases, can accumulate data to resell and money via affiliation.
Which banks directly offer a cashback program?
We have tested many online banks and neobanks in our dedicated comparator. While not all of them offer a Cashback program directly, others have largely taken the plunge. Here is our top 3 among the 3 types of banks in our comparator.
At the end of 2020, in order to respond to new banking practices, Boursorama bank launched a Cashback platform called The Corner, allowing its customers to obtain discounts, vouchers and cashback from many brands such as Amazon, La Redoute, SHEIN, Cdiscount or even Zalando and Ikea.
This service is directly accessible from the Boursorama Banque application. Very practical to have a follow-up of its orders of the savings made. This is also a particularity of Boursorama, where other banks use external platforms, making this use less convenient.
Even though Boursorama Banque is a subsidiary of Société Générale, the latter offers its own system of cash back and not via partnership with certain specialized sites. Concretely, by registering for the program, it is possible to benefit from deferred refunds on purchases made via partner brands, and there are more than 800 of them. Unfortunately, not everything is yet accessible via the application and it will be often asked to go directly to the bank’s website to find compatible brands.
This is an aspect on which Vivid relies heavily. From the outset, once your account has been created in the first seconds of accessing the application, Vivid strongly encourages you to go through the “reward” tab, which therefore corresponds to the famous system allowing you to accumulate money as you go. and as you shop, in store or online. Inevitably, the gains will be greater (often double) if you opt for a Prime account. There are even “Super Deals” to be unlocked by inviting friends with refunds in cash back up to 30%. From the outset, we notice that Vivid highlights the brands and services with which it is in partnership, whether in fast food, fashion, cosmetics or transport.
It is even possible to directly search for a Hotel or rent a car from the application and obtain the cash back corresponding. Even Instagram is put to work as Prime accounts can unlock up to 20% of cash back on a selection of services and brands simply by promoting them on the social network. Clearly, we have rarely seen a neobank relying so much on this aspect.
What are the best cashback sites and apps?
The Cashback business has also grown enormously through dozens of websites, so much so that it is difficult to make a choice. The good trick is to settle for sure values that offer a wide range of merchants and eligible products.
With more than 6 million users in France and tens of euros in cashback paid, iGraal is undoubtedly one of the reference cashback sites. The platform lists more than 3,200 partner merchant sites including Fnac, Darty, Cdiscount and Booking. The advantage of the application is that it offers regular alerts on the products on which we are positioned to be sure not to miss a deal and why not make great savings. You can also activate and print discount coupons to provide in store. The purchase is made directly via iGraal with disconcerting ease. This is one of our main recommendations.
eBuyClub is the direct competitor of iGraal. It is also one of the pioneers of the genre, since it was created more than 20 years ago. The site now includes more than 4,000 partner brands, the largest panel of online stores. The principle remains the same, once your brand has been chosen, you are automatically redirected to the site in question and once the purchase has been made, the kitty is automatically filled in its eBuyClub account. It covers big brands like La Redoute, Amazon, Fnac, Cdiscount, Darty, Carrefour, Asos, Shein, Booking, Etsy or Yves Rocher. The application also includes a Map with GPS tracking to find compatible brands nearby.
The last alternative is Poulpeo. Created in 2009, it reimburses up to 200,000 euros in all to its followers every month. it must be said that the reimbursement rates are often very attractive on the approximately 1,800 partner brands. The platform is available both via its website and through the application. Notable brands include Burger King, Franprix, Bolt, Nike and Groupon.
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