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Mobile Phone Cashback Deals Explained | A Simple Guide

Auto Cashback, Redemption Cashback, Trade In Cashback – the differences between them all explained

A popular type of deal for many years in the consumer electronics market has been ‘the cashback deal’.  New fridges, TV’s, washing machines and many other goods will at times include cashback offers. Mobile Phones are no different, and often networks, manufacturers and retailers will offer additional cashback to incentivise you to purchase – after all, it can be a big investment and there’s nothing much better when shopping than you being paid some money to buy a product.

That extra £300 cashback you spot in a deal can be tempting, however, not all cashback deals work in the same way and often you’ll need to claim your cashback after purchase. And if you don’t receive your cashback, then sometimes you can end up paying more for your new phone than you would have with a non-cashback deal.  In this guide we’ve set out to explain the differences between the various cashback offers available.

It’s not always 100% clear what type of cashback is included with a deal, so ensure you check the full deal info on the retailer’s website to see what you need to do to get your money.

Automatic, Instant or Guaranteed Cashback

This is the simplest form of cashback as you don’t need to do anything. As long as you’ve paid your phone bill on time and don’t cancel the contract, your cashback is paid to you automatically into your account. It means you don’t need to remind yourself to claim or fill in any redemption forms. Plus you know you’re going to get 100% of your cashback paid.

Cashback via redemption | Installments

This is probably the most popular form of cashback deal in the mobile market today. Often you’ll see deals with hundreds of pounds worth of cashback included that almost seem too good to be true. It’s not a scam, but it’s a bit more complicated to get your money. You’ll need to claim the cashback in instalments through the life of your mobile contract.  This will usually require you to send you phone bills and claim form into the retailer for approval after the first few months of your contract, then again a few months later and so on. Some retailers accept cashback claims online and for others you’ll need to post your bills in by mail. Check the process carefully and ensure you put reminders in your calendar so you don’t forget to claim otherwise you’ll be out of pocket.

Cashback via redemption | All in one go

This is where you need to claim your cashback yourself after you have made your purchase. You’ll often need to submit proof of purchase to the retailer, but once your purchase is confirmed then your cashback gets paid to you, normally direct into your bank account but sometimes by cheque. Depending on the retailer, the payment time will vary.

Trade In Cashback

This is when a retailer or manufacturer will offer you additional cashback when you trade in your old phone. Say your old Samsung Galaxy is worth £200, Samsung may decide to offer you an extra £50 cashback when you trade your phone in with them or a particular retailer. With these types of offers, you may get the cashback immediately to contribute towards your new phone or you may need to claim it after you have traded in your old phone. Whichever is it, make sure you’re clear on the process you need to follow.

Manufacturer Cashback

Samsung recently ran one of these promotions. Here’s how these work. You buy your new phone from one of the approved retailers on the manufacturer’s list and then send them your proof of purchase. Once validated, they pay your cashback into your account or send you a cheque.

Cashback Websites

Some websites will reward you with cashback when you shop with selected retailers via them, it can be great way to build up savings. You’ll normally need to sign up for an account and it’s important to check which cashback rates are available with which phones or price plans. There may be a headline rate of £100 available, but check the small print to ensure it’s available on the phone you want. Cashback via these sites will normally be paid after a period of time into your account on the cashback site – normally once the retailer has validated the sale but be prepared to wait up to a few months. You’ll then need to login to transfer it to your bank account.

Should I get a cashback deal?

That depends on two things – 1) which type of cashback deal you’re going for (Auto Cashback is of course a lot easier to get paid than Redemption) and 2) if you’re getting a cashback redemption deal will you remember to claim it and claim it correctly? They can be a great way to save money but only if you actually receive all of the cash…back.

  • Read all the terms and conditions before signing up. Note what you will need to do, how to claim, who to contact, etc.
  • Stick any claim dates in your calendar so you don’t forget to claim.
  • Ensure you trust the website you’re buying through. Here at Direct Mobiles, we often feature cashback deals from retailers and so do other third-party sites. Check the reviews.
  • Don’t be tempted to buy a bigger contract deal than you actually need. Some deals are very tempting with their huge amounts of cashback, but consider how much data you actually need and what your currently monthly phone bill is.
  • Always remember that if you don’t get your cashback, you’ll still need to pay your monthly phone bill so ensure you can afford to. Think of the cashback as an extra bonus.

Hopefully that helps explain the differences between the different types of cashback deals available. If you have a question about any deal you see, just Tweet us or send us a message on Facebook.

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