See how Cheddar stacks up against other cashback apps
by Zoe Stabler, Senior Writer
You might’ve previously used — or at least heard of — the traditional cashback sites like Quidco or TopCashback to earn a little money back when you shop. Cheddar is a relatively new addition to the pack, but it’s a little different, as it allows you to earn cashback in a couple of different ways, including when you shop and from buying gift cards, we’ll get to this in a moment. Here’s whether it’s worth it.
What is Cheddar?
Cheddar is an app that allows you to earn cashback. At first, you could just connect your bank account and make some cash when spending with specific retailers. But it’s also now expanded the cashback offering to money back when you buy gift cards.
In addition, Cheddar has a peer-to-peer payment functionality. You can send and receive money to and from anyone, even if they don’t have a Cheddar account. You can just type in the amount you want to send or ask for and choose one of your contacts. It’ll send a secure link for them to send or receive money.
Over time we expect there to be more features on this side of things. However, we’re going to focus this review on the cashback feature so you can decide if you’ll be able to make a little money on your everyday shopping.
Cheddar automatic cashback
Unlike cashback debit and credit cards such as Chase or American Express, you won’t earn money on every purchase. Instead, you’ll just earn cashback from partner retailers, much like Airtime Rewards.
However, this is the easiest way to earn cashback with the app, as once you’ve connected your card you don’t need to do anything else. As long as you then spend at one of the retailers you’ll earn some money.
The good news is you don’t need to activate the offers (which you do with Monzo, Halifax and Amex). This could get you some accidental, though welcome, cashback.
You’ll also be able to use this cashback method alongside other promotions and offers, such as voucher codes and even going via traditional cashback sites such as Quidco and TopCashback. It might also work alongside Airtime Rewards if you’ve connected the same cards there.
Sometimes there are set amounts you can earn too – at the time of writing I have an offer for £7 in cashback when I spend £25 at Tesco, for example.
Cheddar automatic cashback brands:
There’s not a huge list of these at the time of writing, so don’t expect to earn a huge amount. Here are some of the brands that could be worth a look:
- Decathlon – 7%
- Trainline – 3%
- Just Eat – 1%
- Foot Locker – 10%
- ATG Tickets – 3%
- LOVEtheatre – 6%
- Alton Towers – 4%
How to link your bank
To link your card to Cheddar, you need to go into the “Wallet” section of your app and select “Add account”. You’ll see a list of banks that can be linked up using Open Banking.
Once you click on your bank, you’ll be directed to your mobile banking app where you’ll need to log in and grant access.
You can add more than one card to the account – though not every bank can be connected.
Which banks does Cheddar work with?
Here are the banks that you can connect with Cheddar using Open Banking:
Bank of Scotland
|Royal Bank of Scotland|
If your bank isn’t listed, you can’t link your account, although you can notify Cheddar who will notify you when your bank is available to link.
Cashback on gift cards with Cheddar
Another way to earn cashback with Cheddar is to buy gift cards through the app. These don’t have to be bought as gifts – in fact, there are plenty of everyday shops, such as supermarkets which would allow you to do your day-to-day shopping with the app.
You’ll earn cashback on each one you buy, though the rates will vary by brand.
Cheddar gift card cashback brands: where can you earn cashback?
|Groceries||Eating in and out||Shopping and travel|
|Asda – 2%|
Tesco – 2.5%
Marks and Spencer – 4%
Morrisons – 2.5%
Hello Fresh – 6%
|Caffe Nero – 7%|
Costa Coffee – 7%
Deliveroo – 3%
Pizza Hut – 7%
Prezzo – 7%
|Adidas – 8%|
Currys – 4%
National Book Tokens – 7%
National Express – 10%
Uber – 2%
This list isn’t extensive, and we recommend checking the website and app to see the current cashback rates as they change all the time.
How do you buy gift cards with Cheddar?
To buy gift cards with Cheddar, you need to go to the “cashback” tab.
Here, you’ll see a section called “instant cashback” – these are the retailers where you’ll earn cashback when you buy a gift card. Click “see all” to see a whole list of retailers available with the rates on offer.
When you choose one, you’ll be given some details, such as whether there are restrictions on the gift card’s use – some cards can only be used in store, some only online, some supermarket ones can’t be used for fuel.
Click “buy now” to make the purchase and type the amount you want.
When you confirm the amount it’ll offer for you to pay via your bank account – if you have more than one account in the app, you’ll be able to choose.
Select “Pay” and it’ll direct you to your banking app to confirm the payment. The gift card is usually available right away in the app, and your cashback will instantly hit your account.
If you sign up for notifications on the app then you’ll be notified of flash offers, where gift cards are offered at higher rates – this is worth doing to make the most of what’s available.
How do you use your gift cards?
Your gift cards are stored in the “wallet” section of the app. All you’ve got to do is click on the one you purchased and it’ll show a barcode, a long number and sometimes a PIN.
You can scan it on your phone, but if you want to print it out, you can send it to your printer. You can also share the gift card with friends – such as by email or on WhatsApp.
To use it online, you’ll need the long barcode number. You might also need the PIN.
As with all gift cards, there some retailers add in restrictions – for example, some can’t be used online, some can’t be used in-store and some have to be printed.
In the case of some supermarkets, you can’t use the voucher to buy fuel. These are outlined in the app when you’re purchasing the gift card, so it’s unlikely to come by surprise.
Are gift cards safe?
Despite this being a good way to earn cashback, and potentially even reign in your spending, gift cards aren’t a very secure means of holding cash – if you have £50 in a Footlocker gift card and Footlocker goes under, you’ll likely lose the money. In addition, gift cards tend to have expiry dates — we’ve all found one sitting in the bottom of a drawer that expired years earlier.
You can counteract this by making sure you only buy gift cards you’ll use quickly and in full and don’t keep a lot of cashback racked up in the account. We’ve written more about the risks of gift cards and how to avoid them in our guide.
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How do you access your cashback?
Your cashback is all put into the cashback tab – whether it’s from the gift card or automatic spending. Once you’re up to £5 you can send it to your bank account.
This apparently takes a few days and will be deposited into the account listed in your settings.
Is the Cheddar app safe?
The Cheddar app is safe to use, as it operates using Open Banking. This is done securely, so nobody can access your login information. Your debit or credit card information isn’t stored within the app, either.
Cheddar is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. However, cashback earned (or sent to the app by a friend) is not covered by the FSCS protection.
Summary: is Cheddar cashback any good?
Cheddar is really easy to use for cashback. You could earn cashback day-to-day without even knowing it, and you can buy gift cards for things like supermarket shopping to earn a little extra back.
The rates vary and many of the retailers are ones you may never have heard of. Don’t expect everywhere you shop to be listed in the app.
The automatic cashback feature is particularly limited, though it’s worth connecting your accounts just in case you do shop at the small list of shops. We don’t think the rates on gift cards are quite as good as those on HyperJar or JamDoughnut, though that could change, so keep an eye on what retailers are available.
It’s really simple to use the app – I had no issues making gift card purchases or linking my bank account.
The £5 withdrawal minimum is a little annoying, but half of the withdrawal minimum of JamDoughnut. However, neither TopGiftcards or HyperJar have any minimum.
Overall, don’t expect to be raking in the cash with either option and the rivals are probably going to make you more money. But it’s worth downloading the app and keeping an eye on it.
Pros and cons of the Cheddar app
- Get cashback when you spend on your card
- Instant cashback when you buy gift cards
- Not all gift cards are instant
- Some restrictions on gift cards
- £5 minimum withdrawal
- Very few retailers for automatic cashback