Is Airtime Rewards worth it? Our Review


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Hello everyone! Here at The Financial Wilderness we’ve been giving the Airtime Rewards App a go and thought we’d write our thought up in a review of the app. We always particularly like apps that can make us a bit of money, so it’s a good one for us to cover!

(Note: We may receive a small commission for referring you using our links, but it won’t affect the service you receive and per our editorial policy, we always write honestly about what we review, no matter if we get paid or not).

How does Airtime Rewards work?

Airtime Rewards is a cashback app, but one that doesn’t work in the same way that traditional cashback sites like TopCashback or Quidco.

All to have to do is install the app on your phone, and then link at least one credit or debit card to the app along with registering your mobile phone number.

When you shop at a participating retailer, your purchase can be tracked and you’ll then get cashback via Airtime Rewards. When you hit £10 worth of rewards, you can apply this as a credit against your monthly phone tariff.

What’s particularly good about Airtime Rewards is how little you need to do – once the card is linked, the app will just detect and update any valid spends automatically.

An example of the home screen in the Airtime Rewards app.

How does Airtime Rewards make money?

Retailers will pay Airtime Rewards a small fee to be featured on the app on the basis you’re more likely to spend with someone where you can earn some cashback. (Airtime Rewards then split the cashback earned from the retailer between you and themselves).

Who is behind Airtime Rewards?

Most except the very young will remember mobile network Orange’s extraordinarily successful “Orange Wednesdays” promotion which nabbed you a buy one get one free cinema ticket on a Wednesday night and definitely served me well when I was a student!

Airtime Rewards is from the same team as behind that, hence the high the scheme linking in with the major mobile networks.

What Networks can you use Airtime Rewards with?

At time of writing, Airtime Rewards works with the following networks:

  • Three
  • EE
  • O2
  • Vodafone
  • giffgaff
  • Lebara Mobile
  • Lycamobile
  • Now PAYG

For avoidance of doubt, you cannot use Airtime Rewards with networks not listed here that piggyback off the main mobile networks.

What are the advantages of using Airtime Rewards?

Airtime Rewards is really easy to use

It’s a “fire and forget” type approach where once it’s set up, you don’t have to remember to shop via a link or go to the retailers website is a specific way – you’ll just get the cashback directly.

Airtime Rewards gives you money for spending anyhow

You’re simply earning cashback for standard spending you’d be making anyhow, so it’s a bit of non-brainer from our side!

Retailers on Airtime Rewards are ones you’re likely to make use of

Names included in the Airtime Rewards scheme are actually places you’re actually likely to potentially shop at like Argos, Boots, Currys and Wilko rather than unknown brands.

I’ve included a screenshot below showing how retailers and their cashback rates are shown within the Airtime Rewards app:

An example of retailers in the Airtime Rewards app.

What are the disadvantages of using Airtime Rewards?

There’s a couple of potential downsides with Airtime Rewards which we think don’t hurt the value of the scheme significantly but you should be aware of.

You cannot use American Express with Airtime Rewards

Only Mastercard or Visa cards will work with Airtime rewards so if you generally shop with an American Express, you’d need to think about if the amount of cashback may be worth using a different card instead.

(This will depend on your specific card, as a very general rule, but if the cashback is greater than 1% better to take advantage of the Airtime Rewards rate).

Update: You can add an American Express on to Airtime Rewards now, and it has a “coming soon” message – but doesn’t work in practice yet. It does suggest expanding to Amex is coming soon though.

The range of retailers on Airtime Rewards is still fairly limited.

It’s growing all the time and getting some increasingly big names on there, but the number of retailers is still fairly small in the grand scheme. We think there’s enough for this to be worth using though.

Update: It’s clear Airtime Rewards are committed to growth – this is becoming increasingly less true with a number of big name brands increasingly appearing on the app. Even Tesco appeared for a limited time!

Is Airtime Rewards free to sign up for?

Yes, Airtime Rewards is completely free to sign up for and use with no ongoing charges.

Is Airtime Rewards safe?

Obviously given you have to register your card details with Airtime Rewards, it’s natural to have concerns about safety.

You are giving Airtime Rewards only read-access to the spending on the cards – meaning you do not provide any ability to use them to spend, and do not provide your 3 or 4 digit security code.

Airtime Rewards works with Visa and Mastercard to ensure they approach your data with an internationally recognised encryption standards – you can read about the protections Airtime Rewards put in place to protect your data at their website here.

How do I cash in my Airtime Rewards?

It’s easy – in the app just click “Rewards” in the bar at the bottom and then “Redeem.”

On the Rewards page, hit the large blue-green Redeem button and you’ll have the option to redeem your credit towards your phone bill, or gift your balance to a friend.

Depending on your timing of redemption, you may find your credit applies against next month’s bill. If your Airtime Rewards credit is a greater amount than your monthly bill, your mobile provider will just credit it against the subsequent months so it makes sense to cash it all in unless you’re thinking of changing network.

Can I combine Airtime Rewards with other Cashback sites like TopCashback or QuidCo?

Absolutely you can, and getting “double dip” cashback on any purchase via TopCashback or QuidCo is always very satisfying!

To clarify what I mean by this one – this is where you buy from a retailer via going through a link on the TopCashback or QuidCo homepage, but also get credited for your spending on the linked card if the retailer is registered with Airtime Rewards.

We’re also very keen on TopCashback and QuidCo – if you’re not sure how these schemes work, you can see our guide here on Topcashback and here on QuidCo

Overall Review of Airtime Rewards

Rating: 5 out of 5.

As you’ll be able to tell from some of the pieces on The Financial Wilderness, we really like cashback apps because we see them as getting some extra for free. We particularly like passive cashback apps which require very little thought from us to get the benefits – and Airtime Rewards hits a big tick with that.

Bonus marks are awarded for a very easy user interface and well designed app, and good bonuses frequently offers.

We also like good range of shops and retailers involved. There’s still some room for improvement here, but there’s enough involved even now that it’s a no-brainer – most people will get something out of using this app.

We really look forward to seeing where Airtime Rewards goes next as I can see the company has greater ambitions to grow.

How can I sign up for Airtime Rewards?

You can sign up for Airtime Rewards by downloading the app here. (If you enter our referral code B74AXB3N when registering you’ll also earn an extra £1 in cashback if you make a purchase within seven days.)

A demonstration of received cashback in the Airtime Rewards app.

A tip to maximise cashback with Airtime Rewards

It’s well worth following the Airtime Rewards Twitter account to really maximize your cashback payouts – they quite often put up promotions where people entering their code into the app will receive a bonus payout where spending in a particular period.

Any Questions?

We’d love to know how you’ve got on in using the Airtime Rewards app and if you’ve made some good savings and found it a good experience!

Equally if you have any questions, please just let us know by entering them in to the comments field below.

And that’s it!

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