Millions in the UK Are Using This Ingenious Payment Trick
Two years ago, in December, I was curled up on my couch feeling calm, happy, and grateful. It was the first holiday season of my adult life where I actually felt like I could afford Christmas.
After years of overspending, debt, and low-paying entry-level jobs, I finally felt like Christmas anxiety was beginning to retreat, and the holidays were transforming back into a magical time filled with good food and family.
Earlier in the year, I decided to speak to a financial advisor. I finally started budgeting. I opened a retirement savings account and began using a Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) service provider called Zilch to help me manage my personal spending.
The thing that really caught my attention was that Zilch offers 5% cash back rewards. No other BNPL service that I researched has that feature, and I figured it would be a great way to motivate me to stay on track with my goals.
Obviously, I benefited a lot from getting my finances in order, but what surprised me most was that after 11 months of using the service, I’d collected up to £229 in Zilch rewards!
Treating myself with Zilch
That December, my apartment still looked like it did when I’d first moved in, broke and exhausted, four years previously. I’d done very little to improve it.
This practice of treating myself with Zilch rewards at Christmas is now my most treasured holiday tradition. I look forward to it every year. It helps me to feel less stressed and more grateful for the holidays.
Now that the holiday season is approaching again, I often find myself excitedly daydreaming about how I’ll treat myself this year now that I’ve racked up £381 in Zilch rewards.
I’ve decided I’m going to use the money I earned using Zilch to buy myself an entirely new gym outfit–including a brand new pair of Nike trainers–without spending a single pound out of pocket!
My experience has been so positive, I decided to share it so that you can start earning rewards, too.
What is Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL)?
BNPL is a lending service that allows users to make purchases online and pay in smaller, more manageable instalments.
- Interest rates range from 0% to 19.9%.
- Fees are typically £0 but vary depending on the retailer.
- Credit checks can be soft (with no impact on credit score) or hard (impacting credit score).
- Penalties for missed payments vary depending on the provider. They may either charge interest and fees or suspend your account.
- Retailers vary depending on your provider. BNPL providers are rapidly expanding their partnerships as BNPL services become increasingly in-demand.
Choosing a BNPL Service
BNPL services seem to be popping up everywhere you look. When I was first deciding which one to go with, I was overwhelmed.
- A fantastic cashback rewards system. When you pay in full using Zilch, you could earn up to 5% cashback on your purchase. That’s the highest rate of cashback rewards offered in the UK!
- No interest or fees. Whereas Klarna and PayPal Credit offer interest-free periods, Zilch avoids interest altogether by temporarily freezing your account if you fail to pay. This was important to me because, rather than interest which charges you more when you’re already struggling, Zilch prevents you from accruing more debt instead.
- Tap and Pay anywhere. Zilch is the only BNPL service that can be used in-store as well as online. This allowed me to maximize my cash back rewards by using the feature on all my purchases, even on my groceries, transportation, and travel expenses.
Signing up for Zilch is easy
The signup process is so easy, quick, and noninvasive, that there really is no reason not to give it a try. It took less than 3 minutes and after a soft credit check, I was approved for a spending limit of £400.
Note: I’ve read that, as Zilch continues to gain more popularity around the holiday season, it could take longer to get approved. To ensure you are able to make the most of the cashback feature this holiday season, I’d recommend signing up early.
Shopping with the Zilch App
The primary way, actually, that I earn rewards with Zilch, is at Tesco. I can collect up to 5% cashback on every single grocery shop.
I also use Zilch to pay for my AirBnBs, Ubers (yes, including UberEats), new electronics, toiletries, furniture, flights, clothes, and even my petrol.
Even though I almost always pay in full for my purchases, starting in early autumn, I begin using the instalment options to manage my holiday shopping payments. It really cuts back on my stress to know I can only spend within my limit, and that I’ll have 6 weeks to pay off each purchase.
Also, if I ever want to make a purchase over my spend limit, I use a feature called Zilch Boost. This allows me to make a purchase of any amount, provided I can cover the cost of the difference at checkout.
Zilch is easy to trust and has a simple payment plan
Making payments is completely hassle- and stress-free. Zilch always notifies me before my payments are due so I never miss my payments. Since I never have to worry about interest, it just feels like paying a regular bill.
Another thing I love about Zilch is their Snooze feature, which allows users to temporarily pause their repayment plans for up to 4 days. Though I don’t make a habit of using it, I have used Snooze in the past when my paycheck was scheduled to come a few days after my next instalment was due. It truly is a lifesaver and just one more way Zilch looks after its users.
Using the instalment option is great around the holidays because I can shop with confidence knowing I won’t be paying my holiday bills for any longer than six weeks!
How I utilize Zilch's 5% cash back feature
There are so many things I could do with my Zilch rewards. I’m already dreaming of the things I’ll do next year:
- A weekend getaway to Barcelona
- Five meals at London’s fanciest restaurants
- A day trip to a luxury spa
- My yearly Disney+, Prime Video, and Netflix subscriptions
- A Nintendo Switch with games
Of course, I could use them to help cover the cost of my holiday shopping, but I’ve come a long way since my holiday anxiety days.
So, now that I’ve told you about my experience, the only question remaining is: what will you do with your Zilch rewards?
4 reasons why Zilch is the best
Here are just a few reasons why Zilch is the best provider of BNPL services in the UK:
- No interest or fees
- The largest rate of cashback rewards in the UK
- Student discounts
- The only BNPL that can be used to Tap and Pay in-store