Cashback rewards cards

Have you considered signing up with a rewards credit card that will give you cold hard cash? Welcome to the world of cashback offers where becoming a new customer is often enough to earn you extra bucks! It’s worth flirting with the idea if your preferred credit card reward is financial in nature.

But with so many rewards card providers vying for your attention, it’s easy to get lost in the noise and choose an offer that won’t suit you. This guide will run you through the essentials so you’ll know how to spot a good deal and fill out your application in confidence.

Types of cashback offers

1. Percentage of what you spend. A common cashback type you’ll see when shopping around for a new rewards credit card, is one where the card issuer will return a portion of what you spend on your card.

Example: One card listed on the Mozo database at the time of writing, will give you 5% cash back on your retail purchases (up to $250) for the first three months.

2. Cashback when you sign up. Another way to receive money from a credit card provider is to become a new customer recruit.

Warning: Some people get too excited and go bananas by signing up for multiple cards with cash incentives. Try to avoid going down this route (dubbed credit card “tarting”), as you could wind up damaging that precious credit score.

3. Cashback after a minimum spend. Some providers offer cashback incentives for new customers who spend a certain amount before a cut off date.

Example: A major Aussie bank has an offer running for a limited time that pays cardholders $250 after they spend $500. What a bargain!

4. Converting rewards points into cash. Do you like a bit of flexibility? Maybe redeeming your rewards points for Aussie dollars would suit you more than having to pick set travel dates or browse online catalogues.

Example: With one piece of plastic in the market, customers can convert 12,500 points into $50 cashback, which is then deposited into the customer’s linked bank account.

Cashback FAQs

Are cashback offers worth the card annual fees?

They sure are, as long as you do your research to ensure you sign up with the best deal for your unique spending style. Rather than going from bank website to bank website, Mozo has created a rewards revealer tool, which allows you to select "cashback" as your rewards choice and will show you the best value cards based on your annual card spend.

How do I redeem the offer?

Good question. Some providers deposit the funds in a customer’s account the moment the cashback offer is earned, while others rely on the cardholder to opt in. The money is always given virtually, so it may be credited back into your card or regular bank account.

Could I just use an ATM to retrieve the cash?

Potentially yes, if the cashback offer is in the form of card credit. But using your credit card to extract money from an ATM isn’t cheap, given cash advances sting with interest rates ranging from 13.20% to 29.49% (and have zero interest-free days). If you really want to get your hands on physical notes, use an everyday debit card that has no withdrawal fees instead.

Can I earn frequent flyer points with cashback offer cards?

Of course, as long as the card you choose is affiliated with a frequent flyer program. Cash back is simply a bonus feature that the rewards card may come with. For instance, one card at the time of writing will give you $50 cash back when you meet the spend criteria and also allow you to earn one rewards point per $1 spent that you can redeem at a range of partner airlines.

Tips to squeeze the most out of your cashback offer

Know what the offer is. Only commit to cashback rewards cards where qualifying for extra cash makes sense to you personally. Say for instance the offer requires you to purchase at least $2k with your card in the first three months as a new customer. If the offer doesn’t suit your spending habits, you’ll miss out on the free money.

2. Check expiry dates. Some cashback offers have imminent cut off dates and you need to be quick to cash in on them. On the other hand, a number of card providers keep cashback offers running on an ongoing basis. Always check expiry dates so the offer isn’t wasted on you.

3. Compare, compare, compare. Spare time in your busy schedule for a little online card comparison using our dedicated rewards hub.

How to compare cashback offers

Step 1: Work out what you’re looking for. Hopefully by now you’ll have a better idea of the type of cashback offer that would suit you. If not, scroll back to the top of this page and read about the four versions you’ll likely come across in your search. Which one appeals to you most?

Step 2: Shortlist then choose. Hone in on the rewards cards you’re happy with, then compare even more closely. Look outside the cashback offers too, such as the earn rate (number of rewards points you earn per dollar spent using the card), interest rate, frequent flyer programs to choose from and free features like complimentary travel insurance.

Step 3: Apply. Once you’ve made your decision, the actual application won’t take long. Depending on the card you choose, there may be a “go to site” icon beside the product that takes you straight there from the Mozo site, or you may need to visit the provider’s website directly.

Once you’ve landed on the page, you’ll need to...

  • Provide your passport or driver’s licence number to confirm your ID
  • Disclose your income with a recent payslip
  • Prove your address in the form of a utility bill or bank statement

Once you’ve hit submit, congrats! Soon you’ll get to enjoy all the benefits that come with your brand new piece of plastic...including that free stash of cash!