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Cashback incentives: What is cashback?

Find out how to get cash rewards when you sign up for new financial products.

Cashback incentives are becoming an increasingly popular way for lenders and financial providers to attract new customers to their products. You can receive a cashback incentive for all sorts of financial products such as credit cards, mortgages, and more. Different lenders from both traditional banks and digital banks can have different incentives on offer, often requiring you to sign up for new products in order to qualify.

Keep reading to find out the different types of cashback offers available in Ireland.

Compare debit cards and digital accounts with cashback

Name Product Maintenance fee Fee period ATM transaction fee
VIALET Current Account
€2 + 2% per withdrawal
An IBAN account you can use to manage your money and spend in over 200 countries worldwide, fee-free.
N26 Bank Account
€2 per withdrawal
Benefit from no monthly fee, no currency conversion fees and a raft of in-app budgeting features to help you save.
Wirex Standard
2% per withdrawal

Get a Welcome Bonus of $15 USD in WXT when you sign up with Wirex through Finder.

Benefit from an array of digital payment features, including a free prepaid Wirex card and unlimited fee-free transfers at interbank rates - with zero monthly subscription fee.
Wise Multicurrency Account
€0.50 + 1.75% per withdrawal
Wise (formerly TransferWise) is an international account with over 50 currencies, instant and very convenient money transfers, a card to spend in any currency, bank details to be paid in 30 different countries and multi-currency direct debits.
Revolut Standard
€1 + 2% per withdrawal
Enjoy no monthly fee, no currency conversion fees up to €1,000 per month and hold an array of currencies in your account.
AIB Student Account for 2nd Level Students
A current account for students aged between 12 and 18 years, who are in part time or full-time second level education. If you apply for a debit card, AIB will cover the annual Government Stamp Duty.

Compare up to 4 providers

What is a cashback incentive?

A cashback incentive is basically what it sounds like: you receive cash after you apply for a financial product and your application is accepted. Sometimes, providers also waive fees or charges with these offers, making them even more lucrative.

A cashback incentive is a great offer from providers because it allows you to spend the money how you like. You can put it towards paying off fees or charges associated with your new financial product, or you could use it to go and make a purchase. The choice is yours. These incentives can come in the form of actual cash or gift cards.

Debit or credit cards with cashback incentives

Credit cards are one of the most popular products that providers offer cashback incentives. They are sometimes offered in conjunction with other deals such as discounted rates or fees. These offers are sometimes only offered for a limited time only and require you to apply for the card by a certain date.

When considering these credit cards, remember to check the fees and rates before you sign up. A good idea is to calculate the fees and interest you will be paying and decide whether the cashback offer is worth it. Remember to compare your options online before you settle on a card.

Mortgages with cashback incentives

Mortgages offering cashback incentives aren’t exactly new, but they certainly have become more popular as of late. The amount of cash on offer is usually much higher than what you receive with credit cards or other financial products because a mortgage is a much bigger financial commitment.

Mortgage lenders can, for example, offer simple cashback rewards worth thousands of euros. Others might specify cashback rewards intended only for switching mortgages or for paying off the associated legal fees. If there aren’t any specific conditions on the cashback, you can choose to put this extra cash towards your mortgage repayments or even go on a spending spree to furnish your new property.

Remember that taking out a mortgage is a big financial decision and one that will be with you for a significant amount of time. You should consider cashback incentives for mortgages as they are intended and that is a bonus. You need to consider interest rates, fees, and the flexibility of the mortgage to decide whether it’s suitable for your financial needs or not.

You usually won’t benefit from mortgages that offer cashback if you plan to let out the property.

Digital banks with cashback incentives

Like traditional banks, there are digital banks with cashback incentives with some of the accounts on offer. The cashback amount will either be a flat rate or a small percentage of the total amount spent in one transaction on a credit card. The percentage of cashback may vary depending on whether purchases are made in Ireland or overseas. Where you spend your money may also result in different rates of cashback. And there may also be limits to how much cashback can be earned in a month or year. Once earned, the cashback will usually be paid directly into your account and then you’ll be free to spend it as you wish.

The benefit of cashback from digital banks is not usually offered with the free or standard accounts on offer. But if you’re happy to pay the monthly maintenance fees associated with the comprehensive accounts in order to benefit from the wider range of features, then earning a little cashback will be a bonus.

What to watch out for

While cashback incentives can be a real win, there are some considerations that you should be aware of:

  • The cashback incentive may only be available for new customers only
  • The cashback may only be available for a limited time only
  • There may be a limit to the amount of cashback that can be earned in a month/year
  • The cashback may be eaten up by the associated costs of the credit card or mortgage such as monthly maintenance fees and interest
  • Cashback might only be earned on certain purchases
  • The cashback might only be paid to you on a monthly or annual basis

Bottom line

Cashback incentives can be a great way to earn a little money back on purchases that you’re already planning to make. But are they really worth it? Cashback incentives can be a popular feature for financial institutions to use to entice customers to select their products. But when choosing a financial product purely for its cashback feature, it’s important that you check all the fees and any interest rates against the maximum amount of cashback that you could potentially earn. It might be worth it if you clear your credit card bill in full each month. But it might not be as good a deal as you first thought if the cashback you earn is eaten up in fees, interest, and other charges.

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