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The Rookie’s Guide To Earning Cashback

Cashback for the uninitiated is a reward for spending. If you're signed up to a cashback program, generally every time you buy something that is eligible, you'll get a percentage of the purchase price back. Most cashback programs are partnered with thousands of retailers (online and IRL), so you'll be able to reap the rewards pretty consistently — if you shop wisely.
If you've heard the term thrown around, here's a beginner's guide to earning cashback, and how to scope out the best deals on offer.

What Are The Easiest Ways To Start Earning Cashback?

Most banks offer some sort of cashback program. Take a look at the 'offers' or 'rewards' on your digital banking platform to get started. For example, ANZ has teamed up with Cashrewards*, an online program that offers cashback from over 2000 retailers, including brands like Amazon, Target, booking.com and Rebel. Cashrewards members earn an average of 7% back per offer. You could also earn frequent flyer and rewards points on top of any cashback earnings.
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Signing up for Cashrewards is entirely free, and there's an option to link an ANZ debit or credit card while doing so. This is so shoppers can earn cashback while shopping in-store at participating store locations. You don't need to link your card to reap the Cashrewards benefits while shopping online. Cashback earnings are then stored in your Cashrewards account, where you can request to withdraw it to a bank or PayPal account once you’ve accumulated at least $10.01. Shoppers will know within 14 days whether their shop has been tracked successfully, in which case it will generally take around 100 days for their cashback to be approved by the merchant. 
Additionally, many credit cards offer cashback rewards for using them, in the way of actual cash, points or vouchers to spend at other retailers.  Some credit cards offer a consistent 0.5% on all purchases up to a certain cap. There are plenty of cashback credit cards to choose from that provide these types of offers, so make sure you do your research first on the best option to suit your spending habits. And please, please, as it's a credit card, remember to pay it off in full each month to avoid paying interest and only use it for things you need to buy.

How Can I Protect My Money While Using Cashback Programs?

It’s important that you do not take advantage of any cashback offers unless you were already planning to spend that money. A 3% cashback offer at a homewares store, for instance, is not an excuse to go hog wild and splash out on a bunch of interiors you don't need — unless you were already going to buy a specific TikTok-trending lamp dupe or have an upcoming event you're hosting at home and need to shop for.
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Cashback should not be treated like a permanent sale is on because, as we know, with credit cards, pressure from social media, Buy Now Pay Later and relentless advertising, it’s easier than ever to get yourself into tricky financial situations. Cashback options may not always be the best deal available. Just because a broadband sign-up deal offers lots of cashback doesn't mean it's the cheapest option — a full-price deal elsewhere could provide the best bang for your buck.
The cashback community is HUGE, so the advice is always out there if you get yourself in the right social media circles — you might even find yourself a good deal or recommend someone a product that genuinely changes their life.
*Cashrewards is offered by Cashrewards and not ANZ. To earn cashback you must be a Cashrewards member. Eligibility criteria and T&Cs apply. Please visit Cashrewards for further details.
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