Utility Warehouse: the cashback card you’ve probably never heard of
Cashback is one of my favourite ways of making my money stretch further. Whether you class it as earning extra or saving on your spending, getting cashback is easy.
There are two standard ways of getting cashback; using cashback websites when buying things online, or using a cashback card for any purchase online or in a shop.
When it comes to cashback cards, they are few and far between at the moment.
But one card you’ve probably not heard of is the Utility Warehouse cashback card.
It’s not available to the general public so let me explain how it works and who can get one.
What is Utility Warehouse?
Utility Warehouse is a household utilities provider that essentially packages up a range of household bills into one package.
They offer Gas, Electric, (Fibre) Broadband, Landline and Mobile Phone services and you can pick and choose the options you want.
Why have I never heard of them?
Firstly, Utility Warehouse don’t use price comparison websites. Which is why you’ve never seen them online when searching for prices on your household bills.
Secondly, they rely on a word-of-mouth style marketing model. So you’ve probably never seen any advertising from them.
A friend of mine recommended them which is why I’m now with them.
What’s the Utility Warehouse cashback card?
The Utility Warehouse cashback card is a Visa Prepaid card that you top up and then use for your everyday spending.
General cashback is 1% on all purchases.
But they have hundreds of partner retailers offering between 2-7% cashback.
For example, if you already do your regular food shopping at M&S, you can get 4% cashback just by using this card. And 3% cashback at Sainsbury’s.
Most retailers do accept Visa Prepaid, but not all of them. If you are planning on making a big purchase – like a piece of furniture or a holiday – it’s worth double checking the retailer will accept that card before topping up your card.
When you earn cashback, it’s taken off your Utility Warehouse bill for that month. So you have the potential to really reduce your utility bills with this card!
How do I get a cashback card?
When you sign up to at least two of the following services:
you can get a cashback card too.
It’s worth mentioning that Utility Warehouse prices are most competitive when you sign up for their full package of services. I’ve ended up taking a Mobile Phone SIM that I don’t actually use simply because it made the whole package cheaper.
How much cashback could I earn with this card?
This is where it varies from household to household.
As I mentioned, standard cashback is 1% on purchases at a total maximum cashback of £10 a month. This is the equivalent of £1000 worth of actual spending per month.
Any cashback at a partner retailer is unlimited and on top of the £10 maximum at the 1% rate.
Let’s take an example:
If you go to Homebase and buy something for £100, you’ll get £1 cashback. You’ll then have £900 left of spending for that month.
If you go to B&Q and buy something for £100, you’ll get £4 cashback because it’s a partner retailer and currently offers 4% cashback. There are no maximum limits on how much you can spend.
So if you’re considering signing up with Utility Warehouse, it’s worth taking the time to see if you’re likely to make the most of the partner retailer offers. This is where the cashback can really add up quickly.
And don’t forget, you can use this card online alongside a cashback website and take advantage of cashback stacking. A marvellous thing!
My Utility Warehouse top tips
1) Make sure the actual bills are a good deal
I mentioned earlier that the more household services you take through UW, the cheaper the overall package will be.
The issue is that because they’re not on price comparison websites, it’s hard to actually compare the deal with what you’re currently paying.
But the great thing about Utility Warehouse is that they are very transparent when talking through (and showing you) your options. First port of call is to arrange a chat with them.
As long as you have a couple of existing bills for gas/electric and broadband and mobile phone, they will do the calculations and show you the comparisons.
2) They will pay exit fees to leave a competitor
This is a pretty good incentive. If you’re stuck in a contract, Utility Warehouse will cover £200 of exit charges if you’re mid contract somewhere else.
3) The cashback card comes with a £2 a month fee
So bear in mind that any cashback needs to be over £2 before you start ‘earning’ cashback.
This isn’t that clear on their website and something I’ve asked them to be clearer on.
You also only get 5 free top ups a month. Additional top ups are charged at 35p. I usually stick a lump sum on twice a month.
4) Be realistic about your current spending
Don’t make extra purchases just to justify having the card.
If you’re not a big spender and don’t think you’ll regularly use any of the partner retailers, you probably won’t get much cashback.
At the moment I’m averaging about £12-13 a month (after deducting the £2 card fee).
That’s pretty good during lockdown when I’m not making many big purchases. I anticipate this will go up when I can book a holiday or just spend a bit more out and about.
5) You can’t go overdrawn or rack up interest
This is a great feature if you’re worried about overspending and going overdrawn.
Because you have to top up the card, once you’ve spent the money, the card will simply be declined.
So there’s no interest, no debt accrued. Unlike some of the major cashback cards which are credit cards and carry more risk.
If you’re looking for a cashback card, Utility Warehouse is bobbing along without much attention.
But be sure the card is actually worth it. Switching bill providers is pointless if you’re going to pay extra for the actual bills.