Get cashback at shops like Primark and Argos to bring down your phone bill.
What is Airtime Rewards?
Airtime Rewards is an app you download to your phone then connect to your bank cards. Each time you use your connected card at participating retailers you’ll earn some money back that’ll go towards your phone bill.
So let’s say you use your connected card at Oasis to buy a £30 shirt. This is processed completely by your card as normal.
However, Airtime Rewards will automatically track the transaction and calculate how much cashback you’re owed – in Oasis’s case it’s currently 4%. That’d mean you’ll earn £1.20, which will then be knocked off your mobile phone bill.
Is Airtime Rewards any good?
I connected my cards, got my bonus for joining up (more on that further down the page) and then promptly forgot about it for a few months!
And I wish I’d paid more attention. Whenever I can, I normally use my American Express credit card as I earn up to 1.25% back on every purchase. Since you can’t connect Amex to Airtime Rewards, it means that I’m less likely to use my connected cards.
If I had, I could have earned more money. For example early on I bought a coat and some socks at Uniqlo, and used the Amex. But if I’d realised that retailer was on the app at the time (it’s since gone) I’d have been able to earn 8% back via Airtime Rewards
On the same day, I didn’t use my Amex at the burger chain Byron – which meant I’ll get 10% back in unexpected cashback from my connected card.
So there’s definitely the potential to earn some extra money with Airtime Rewards, especially if you don’t use an Amex. There are also ways to stack your cashback with other offers – I’ve explained more further down the article.
However, if you do use an American Express then you’ll need to keep an eye on the retailers on the app. In fact it’s worth doing this anyway as some of the shops do come and go.
How much can you earn?
The rates vary by retailer. Some offer just 1%, others can go as high as 10%. A handful also offer different rates depending on how much you spend. For example, Kiehl’s will give you 5% back as standard, but 10% if you spend over £100.
What cards can you add?
The cards can be a debit or credit card, but only Mastercard or Visa. Sadly, American Express won’t work.
I’d also suggest you don’t use Curve as this can break the link between retailer and Airtime Rewards needed to make it track.
You add a card in the app, either by using the camera icon in the top right corner of the app to scan your card, or by typing in your card number and expiry date.
It can take 24 hours for cards to be approved, so it’s worth getting as many of your cards on the app as soon as you get it. You need to have the card active before making a transaction for it to track.
What mobiles networks can you use with Airtime Rewards?
Sadly you can’t use Airtime Rewards with every network, and some are Pay As You Go Only (PAYG). At the time of writing it works with the following:
- Asda Mobile (PAYG only)
- Lebara Mobile (PAYG only)
- Lycamobile (PAYG only)
- Now Mobile (PAYG)
If you aren’t with one of these networks you won’t be able to sigh up.
If you switch network though and are can still collect the rewards and then either use them if you switch network or gift them to someone else to put towards their mobile bill.
How do you redeem Airtime Rewards?
It’s very easy. You simply hit the rewards tab on the app, select the amount and hit redeem. The money will be sent to your phone network and knocked off your bill. This should take just 24 hours though in my experience it can sometimes take longer.
You do need to earn at least £10 to activate your reward, and this then increases in multiples of £10 and is limited to £20 per redemption – though you can repeat these.
How much you need to spend to get £10?
A typical rate is 5%, though some are less. Let’s say the average is 3.5%, you’d need to spend just under £300 to get your first £10.
Though check out the sign-up bonus at the bottom of this article to get you started with £1.50 credit, and there are frequent bonus offers (eg £2 back when you spend £10) which I’ll list on my Airtime Rewards promo codes page.
Gifting your rewards
It’s also possible to send reward credit to another user registered with the app. So if you happen to have more than you need or aren’t on a participating network you can gift a minimum of £10 and then increase in multiples of £5 to a limit of £50.
What retailers are on Airtime Rewards?
The big names are Argos, Boots and Primark, but there are dozens more you’ll know. Some, such as Waitrose and Morrisons, have been paused since the pandemic began but the app promises they’ll return.
There are new retailers added all the time and if you sign up for emails you’ll be told when this happens – though not if one leaves the app.
Some shops let you earn the money back both online and in-store. Others restrict you to just one.
You might also in some cases need to use the card itself and not Apple Pay or Google Pay. This information is all on the app, along with the current cashback rate.
Right now (20 July 2021) retailers you can earn money back at include the following:
- Ann Summers
- Boda Skins
- Charles Tyrwhitt
- Crew Clothing
- Foot Locker
- Get The Label
- JoJo Maman Bebe
- Lands’ End
- M&M Direct
- New Look
- Secret Sales
- The Outnet
- Urban Outfitters
Food, Drink & Entertainment
- Laithwaite’s Wine
- Mindful Chef
- Morrisons (paused)
- Papa John’s
- Waitrose (paused)
Home & Technology
- Mamas & Papas
- NOW Broadband
- The White Company
- WH Smiths
Health & Beauty
- Charlotte Tilbury
- Estee Lauder
- Feel Unique
- Holland & Barrett
- The Body Shop
- The Protein Works
- The Perfume Shop
- Urban Decay
Travel & Motoring
- Apex Hotel
- First Choice
- Gett Taxi
- Intrepid Travel
- National Express
- Rail Europe
- Thomas Cook
How to stack Airtime Rewards with other offers
If your bank or credit card has its own reward programme which offers extra cashback at participating retailers, then you should be able to get both those rewards.
You can take it a step further too. If the Airtime Rewards retailer allows online purchases then you could shop via a cashback site like Quidco or TopCashback and earn another set of cashback!
Airtime Rewards promo code
If you want to sign up then you can get a bonus £1.50 once you make your first connected purchase if you use the code H9HJCPAY. You’ll get 50p for signing up and another £1 if you spend within the first seven days.
I’ve also got a separate deals page with extra promo codes that tend to run a few times each month.