I am trying to cut down on spending this year. Most days I’m being successful with this, but ZipZero allows me to reclaim a little bit of cash back from purchases that I do make which I can use to put towards bills.
ZipZero is a free app. When you buy something from a shop (it doesn’t work with online receipts) you scan the receipt. ZipZero recognises the information in the receipt and adds about 1% of the total into your account. When you have enough money (above £1) you can withdraw the money to a utility provider or similar and it takes just a little bit off your bill.
When I read about it I thought it all sounded a bit too good to be true. But having tried it for a week, it has been every bit as good as it sounded. I have scanned in every receipt and the app recognised the info and added some money to my account. Once I had accessed the correct pay info for my utility bill provider, and I had enough money in the ZipZero account, I withdrew it and it has indeed paid off a little money from my bill. (I use Igloo so can instantly see any payment made.)
So far, I’ve used receipts from supermarkets, the post office, pubs, newsagents and coffee shops and they’ve all worked. I have had two that didn’t – one was a car park receipt and one was a receipt which was badly printed (and I didn’t realise until I got home).
How the scanning works, I don’t know, but it does.
How on earth can ZipZero afford to give you money back? Apparently: ZIPZERO and their retail partners have created a circle of user consumption. ZIPZERO provides retailers with an opportunity to offer products and services directly to app users in exchange for a system that rewards users with cash to directly pay such bills. I don’t really get it, but that’s not going to stop me using it.
Recently we switched gas and electricity suppliers to Igloo. We switched because the monthly direct debit was going to be the cheapest with them. Also they were the highest rated supplier on Compare The Market at the time.
Just a few months in and we are impressed. The app and website are both really easy to use – far better than the e.on versions used previously.
We have a small credit balance and we earn 3% interest on it – in a month we’ve earned 19p. That’s better than in a bank account!
We are billed monthly and it is clear what our direct debit needs to be in order to stay on top of the bills. We can adjust the direct debit really easily.
We contacted customer services twice so far. They responded within 24 hours. They were able to adjust our direct debit (as there was a winter top-up which they had set up but we didn’t want) and then to move our direct debit to a more convenient time of the month. Both took just one email and all sorted!
If all goes wrong, we have no exit fees to pay to move on from them!
If you sign up using this link then we each earn £50 which would be credited to our account.
A few months ago I started using Chip to save a little bit of money. It’s called skimming – once it has read-only access to your bank account it can work out if you can afford to save a little bit. It deposits it into a bank account (actually a Barclays e-Wallet account) and quietly builds it up.
I have found that it works very nicely. I managed to save over £100 in a couple of months which I then withdrew to use for Christmas spending.
As Chip only has read only access to my bank account I haven’t had any experience of being hacked or anything like that. The first time of savings it tried to take way more money than I was expecting. So I asked them to cancel the first saving and then reduce the amount I wanted to save going forward which they did with no problem.
The app is passcode enabled and I’ve added fingerprint recognition for further security.