We’ve tested the JamDoughnut cashback app
by Zoe Stabler, Senior Writer
JamDoughnut is a popular cashback app among Be Clever With Your Cash readers. It’s slightly different to other cashback apps, as you earn cashback in the form of points when you buy gift cards rather than having to track individual transactions.
We decided to put JamDoughnut to the test to find out if this app will really make you money on your normal spending.
What is JamDoughnut?
JamDoughnut is a cashback app where you earn points on gift vouchers that you buy through the app, which are then converted into cashback.
You might think of gift vouchers as something to give as gifts — it’s literally in the name. However, in this case, they’re for making your usual, everyday purchases.
This gist is that you head out to your chosen shop, then when you’re headed to the checkout you buy a gift voucher for the amount that you’re about to spend.
At the checkout, you scan the barcode within the app to spend the gift voucher. You get points on the value of the gift card, which can then be converted into cashback. 1 point = 1p, so once you get 1,000 points, you can cash out £10.
What is cashback
There are two types of cashback. The one you get from specialist debit or credit cards, and the one we’re talking about here – the form of cashback is where you get a reward for purchasing from specific retailers through a cashback site.
There’s a lot going on in the background – with the cashback sites and retailers agreeing on deals that allow them both to make money from the transaction.
Other cashback sites include TopCashback, Quidco and Cheddar. In some cases, you can get cashback from transactions made on your debit or credit card if you link them up.
How does JamDoughnut work?
With traditional cashback sites, you click through to a retailer from the cashback site and make a purchase. How JamDoughnut differs is that you buy gift cards for specific retailers or restaurants and earn cashback on the amount you buy.
This means that ahead of shopping in-store or online, you can search for a retailer in the app, buy a gift card for the value of your purchase, and then make your purchase with the vouchers, which can be found in the app.
In a lot of cases, the gift card purchase is instant, so you could do it while standing in the queue. In some cases, it can take a little longer, which is where the app could get a little annoying.
You’ll instantly earn points on your purchase, which is one of the biggest benefits of JamDoughnut over other cashback sites. These can be converted into cashback when you withdraw your points.
How much cashback can you earn with JamDoughnut?
Don’t expect to be raking in the cash – this stands for all cashback sites! You can get some nice extra cash on your everyday spending with JamDoughnut – so far I’ve earned about 80p (plus a £2 welcome bonus) from about £40 of spending I’d have done anyway.
Sometimes cashback amounts are “pumped up”, which means they’re temporarily higher than usual. As an example, when I tested JamDoughnut, Tesco was pumped up to 4% (cashback is usually 2%). At the time of writing, Nando’s is pumped up to 9%, while it’s usually 7%. This lasts for up to a day.
How to earn even more with JamDoughnut
There are a few ways to earn even more cashback with JamDoughnut.
Connect your bank account
JamDoughnut pays out more when you connect your bank account with Open Banking. If your bank is on the list, it’s worth doing this to get the higher cashback available.
If you have one, you can double down on your cashback by paying with a cashback card, such as Chase. This means that you can earn cashback through JamDoughnut and your bank. You’ll want to ensure your chosen bank can be accessed through Open Banking to make the most of this.
Just be aware you might get a lower cashback rate compared to using Open Banking connections. In addition, some banks may not pay out cashback in this instance – it’s worth a try though, so let us know how you get on.
In addition, you can try stacking cashback using JamDoughnut with other cashback sites. You would do this by buying a gift card through JamDoughnut, then clicking through to the retailer using another cashback site, such as TopCashback or Quidco, then making your purchase with the gift card you bought with JamDoughnut.
However, cashback sites might not pay out if you use a gift card. It’s often listed on the specific merchant pages but not always -, so it’s another one to try out.
Make the most of “pumped up” cashback
JamDoughnut temporarily increases the cashback it pays out all the time — this varies by retailer and changes daily. It’s worth having a look in the app to see if you can make the most of this. For example, if you’re regularly visiting Tesco, you can get yourself gift cards when it’s pumped up to use when you do your grocery shop.
Of course, don’t just hold a bunch of money on gift cards – we detail the risks of this more below.
JamDoughnut app brands: where can you save?
JamDoughnut has 157 brands on its app at the time of writing, including a range of supermarkets, restaurants and fashion brands. Here are some of our favourites, with the cashback amounts at the time of writing if you use Open Banking to make the purchase:
|Nando’s – 7%|
Costa – 8%
Turtle Bay – 7%
Pizza Hut – 7%
Miller & Carter – 8%
Just Eat – 5%
Uber Eats – 4%
Deliveroo – 4%
|Morrisons – 3.5%|
M&S – 5.5%
Sainsbury’s – 2%
Tesco – 2.5%
Asda – 2.5%
Apple – 3%
Currys – 4.5%
Argos – 4%
Primark – 8%
|National Express – 10%|
Lastminute – 4%
Eurostar – 3%
Morrisons Fuel – 4%
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 can you pay with JamDoughnut?
You can pay for gift cards using Apple Pay, Google Pay and by linking your bank account to the JamDoughnut app using Open Banking. You’ll get more cashback when you make the purchase with Open Banking – this is outlined when you make a purchase.
Here are the banks that allow you to pay through Open Banking:
– Virgin Money
– Tesco Bank
– Danske Bank
– Bank of Scotland
– Bank of Ireland UK
– First Direct
– Royal Bank of Scotland
– Allied Irish Bank
– Ulster Bank
I paid with Google Pay on my initial test — a rookie error, as I earned less cashback on the purchase, but I’ve learned my lesson.
How do you use your gift cards?
Your gift cards are stored in the “Wallet” section of the app, listed under “Your active prepay codes”. They don’t seem to disappear when you’ve used them — you have to tell the app that you’ve used them, so this can be a little confusing if you use JamDoughnut regularly with the same retailers.
To use your gift card, all you’ve got to do is click on the retailer and it’ll show the barcode. From my experience so far, I’ve been able to add the gift cards to Google Pay. There’s no option to add it to any other apps, such as Stocard, but you can take the barcode number and manually add it if you want to.
If you want to print the voucher or send it to a friend, you can share it via email, text and WhatsApp and send it to your printer.
You can use it online by entering the barcode number where there’s a “pay with a gift card” option. You may need a PIN for this, which is also on the voucher in your app.
There are sometimes restrictions with some gift cards – 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, though Morrisons has a separate “Morrisons Fuel” option if you do want to buy fuel.
Are gift cards safe?
It’s worth noting that gift cards aren’t a very secure means of holding cash – if you have £50 in a Tesco gift card and Tesco go under, you’ll likely lose the money. In addition, gift cards tend to have expiry dates.
You can counteract this by making sure you only buy gift cards you’ll use 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.
How do you access your cashback?
Once you’ve got £10 in your jar, you can withdraw it to your bank account. All you’ve got to do is select “cash out” in the “Wallet” section of the app and enter your name, sort code and account number.
JamDoughnut says it’ll take 5 days for the cash to reach your bank account.
JamDoughnut referral code
Get £4 for signing up
We’ve managed to snag a cheeky boosted welcome offer for Be Clever With Your Cash readers. You can get £4 extra cashback – double the standard welcome bonus.
It’ll be paid as two sets of 200 points when you make your first purchase.
The first 200 points you get are standard for first-time users of JamDoughnut, while the extra 200 points are for coming through our link. The first 200 points will be instant, while the second ones will take a few days to be added by the JamDoughnut team.
You might be prompted to enter a code. You don’t need to do this as the link will track. But if you want to, then add BCWYC.
What’s the JamDoughnut app like?
The JamDoughnut app is really easy to use – you can see which brands are “pumped up” and you can get an easy sense of how much cashback each one will pay out.
The app is split into categories, plus you can search for retailers to find what you’re looking for.
Is JamDoughnut safe?
You can pay securely with JamDoughnut, however the cashback you hold in the account isn’t secure — if JamDoughnut were to go bust, you’d lose the cashback. It’s worth regularly checking out rather than letting it rack up – however, you can only do this when you hit £10 of earned cashback.
What happened when I used JamDoughnut
I wanted to put JamDoughnut to the test — and really needed cat food — so I decided to try out JamDoughnut with a quick trip to Tesco.
I bought a £30 gift card within the app, which was uploaded straight into my Google Wallet, and at the till, all I had to do was scan it and pay the remaining few pounds.
It was a pretty simple way to earn myself 60p, and if done with the “pumped up” cashback amounts, it could rack up quite quickly. I’m lucky to have all the supermarkets within a short drive of me, which means that I could pick where to do my shopping based on the cashback available.
Summary: is Jam Doughnut any good?
Cashback sites can often feel like a bit more effort than they’re worth, but I’ve been pleasantly surprised with JamDoughnut. I’ve managed to earn some cashback with very little effort and on purchases I would have made anyway, and it’s likely to be something I carry on using.
You do have to be careful not to overspend just because you’ve already spent the money. Gift cards can fool you into thinking that your purchase is free.
This can be a great way to rack up some cashback on spending you would do already, especially if you can make the most of pumped-up cashback, stack multiple cashback sites or use it with other deals.
And remember, there are fallbacks. Vouchers may not be available to spend quickly enough and they may have some restrictions – so go into this with an open mind.
Listen to Cash Chats, Andy’s award-winning podcast. Episodes every Tuesday.
Pros and cons of JamDoughnut
- Cashback is instant
- Easy to use app
- Cashback can be “pumped up”
- It’s risky to leave a lot of money on gift vouchers
- Not all gift vouchers are instant
- A bit of a faff – especially if you’re trying to use it in-store
- Minimum £10 payout for earned cashback
Frequently asked questions
What are JamDoughnut lives?
Sometimes Jam Doughnut goes live through its app to run promotions where you can earn extra rewards in your jar.
What does Pumped Up mean on JamDoughnut?
Pumped Up is the term JamDoughnut uses to let you know the cashback amount is higher than usual. It’s only “pumped up” for a short period of time.
Does JamDoughnut have IKEA?
Yes, JamDoughnut does have IKEA on its app. You can buy up to £500 in gift cards in each transaction.
Does JamDoughnut have Aldi?
While JamDoughnut has Aldi in the app, there’s not currently any cashback available for it. It has had cashback available for Aldi before, so it’s likely to come and go.
Is Tesco on JamDoughnut?
Yes, Tesco is on JamDoughnut! At the time of writing, we tested the app with Tesco, which was “pumped up” to 4% cashback (if you use Open Banking to make the purchase – it was 2% if you used Apple/Google Pay).