Get a 7% bonus when you top up on Zeek Extra, which you can put towards new gift cards including John Lewis, M&S and Argos.
* 7/2/19 – it looks like Zeek is in financial trouble. I’d avoid using it until we know more *
- What are Zeek Shop and Zeek Extra?
- How to get the Zeek Extra bonus
- Using your Zeek bonus
- My verdict
- Gift card rules
- Brands currently on Zeek Shop
- What does this mean for the old Zeek?
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What are Zeek Shop and Zeek Extra?
Longtime readers will be familiar with Zeek – or Zeek Marketplace as it’s now known. It’s a website and app where you can buy and sell unwanted gift cards. I like it, though since availability is down to what people are selling, the discounts can be more miss than hit. Here’s my full review, and a code to get you £5 off your first order.
However, Zeek is now selling brand new gift cards – so there should always be stock- and there’s a way to get a 7% bonus added to any money you load on to spend. Brands are being added bit by bit, but already it includes John Lewis, Asos, Currys PC World, Marks & Spencer, Topshop and others. There’s a longer list further down this guide.
Confusingly there are actually two new Zeek websites to do this, alongside the existing Zeek Marketplace. The main one is Zeek Shop, and this is where anyone can buy new gift cards at face value.
But to get the bonus you first need to sign up at Zeek Extra. And to access Zeek Extra you need an invite code (at least you do for now).
Frustratingly, even if you have a Zeek Marketplace account (the one for second-hand gift cards), you still need to set up a new account.
I think this is an exciting new option to save money, but as you’ll see below there are a few things to be aware of.
How to get the Zeek Extra bonus
Every time you top up your account, you’ll get 7% added. So it’s a bonus, not money off your purchase. If you want to think of it as a discount, it’s actually closer to 6.5% off your gift card purchase.
You can currently add £25, £50 or £100 to your Zeek Shop account, meaning your bonuses will be £1.80, £3.50 and £7 respectively. You can’t top up by smaller amounts.
You can also add funds using Zeek Choice credit, which is the payout option I choose when getting my cashback from Quidco. You won’t get the 7% here, but it already comes with a 15% bonus.
Using your Zeek bonus
The bonus gets added to your account as more credit, which you can then put towards future purchases on Zeek Shop.
I really like the idea, but I’ve spotted a problem with the system which means you currently have to spend a fair whack before you can put your full bonus top up towards a purchase.
I’ve found that all gift cards are sold in set values, eg John Lewis can be purchased in the following denominations:
(Update 22/11/18 you can now get £15 John Lewis vouchers)
In fact the cheapest gift card I found was £20 – and that was only for Tastecard. The rest start on £25 or above. A handful are available to buy with smaller gaps between each level, eg you can get a £30 card at Primark and £40 at Clarks.
Why is this important? Well, using the John Lewis example, you’d need to spend £375 to get £26.40 in credit, which you can then use for a £25 gift card.
UPDATE 22/11/18 – since there’s now a £15 M&S voucher you can get enough of a bonus to buy one with a £225 top up, giving you £15.75 free credit.
But there are ways to get around this
I asked Zeek about this and they said there will be lower value gift cards added soon, so you’ll be able to buy a £10 gift card – though I imagine that will vary from brand to brand. Still this will mean you could have a useable bonus after topping up £125.
You can also cover any shortfall via a payment card, though you don’t get the bonus for these payments. So say you’ve got £7 in credit, you can just pay the remaining £18 to get a £25 card. That effectively reduces the value of the bonus in real terms, but you’re saving 28% on that £25 gift card. And at least you’re not left with money sitting there you can’t spend.
And don’t forget, another way around this would be to add your Quidco payouts, which already come with a 15% bonus. Since they are likely to be random amounts of different pennies and pounds you might be able to use the credit sooner.
Verdict: Should you use Zeek Extra?
I think, on the whole, it will save you money, even if it’s not always the full 7%.
When you spend with a gift card, the retailer is treating it like cash. Which means you can use them alongside other promotions and codes, and when you click through from cashback sites. This is known as deal stacking.
So whether you’re spending enough to convert the full 7% bonus to another gift card, or whether you’re diluting the discount by covering any shortfall with your debit or credit card, you’re still saving money.
What about cashback credit cards? Well, you can use a cashback credit card like Tandem or Amazon Platinum to top up your account, earning you another 0.5%.
Remember, you need to use the invite code VIPCLEVER at ZeekExtra.com in order to get the bonuses.
What else you need to know
I’ve written before about my gift card rules, which you need to consider whether you’re buying from Zeek or any other gift card retailer.
First, the gift cards here are all digital, which might mean you can only spend them online. Check the terms for whichever you want to buy.
You need to be careful how long you wait before you spend your gift cards. As much as discounted gift cards have saved me a fair whack, especially since Zeek first started, I don’t like to hold onto gift cards for too long before spending them.
As we saw this summer when House of Fraser went into administration, when a shop goes bust, the gift cards lose their value. So buying up cards in bulk now, even for your favourite shop, is risky. They’ll also all have expiration dates, so even if the shop doesn’t go bust, you could still lose the money on the cards if you don’t spend them before that date.
Finally, if you need to take back your purchase you’ll get the refund back on that (or a new) gift card. So your money is locked to that shop.
What brands are on Zeek Shop?
Right now (14/11/18) you can buy gift cards for the following on Zeek Shop
- Arsenal FC
- Currys PC World
- Ernest Jones
- Fat Face
- Foot Locker
- Great British Pub
- H Samuel
- Jack Wills
- John Lewis (inc Waitrose)
- Mitchells & Butlers
- National Express
- New Look
- Pizza Hut
- Pizza Express
- Red Letter Days
- River Island
- Ted Baker
- The Entertainer
- The Restaurant Card
- Thomas Cook
- Uber Eats
- Virgin Experience Days
What does this mean for the original Zeek?
Zeek, as we’ve known it for the last three or four years, is now Zeek Marketplace. But other than the name change, it’s pretty much the same.
You can still buy and sell unwanted gift cards on there, and that means there’s the potential for bigger savings. As I write there’s 12% off at Space NK gift cards and 14% off Cineworld gift cards. However you can’t use your Quidco payouts here anymore. They’re only now valid on Zeek Shop.
And while we’re on the topic, you can no longer get a payout to Zeek from TopCashback – which might just be a reason to switch your cashback shopping over to Quidco (not a member of either? Check out these offers to get sign-up bonuses).
Read my full view of the original Zeek Marketplace, where you can get bigger discounts on unwanted gift cards
Though I’d prefer it if you could top-up any amount you want and get the bonus, this is still a decent way to increase your spending power.