Fancy getting more bang for your buck on your weekly food shop? Or how about hassle-free rebates on the money you spend on fashion, entertainment and eating out?
Uniicard is a student-exclusive prepaid debit card from UK-based tech startup Unii in partnership with Grass Roots, the world’s leading provider of employee and customer engagement solutions. The card gives you up to 15% back on your shopping at selected retailers, including Topshop, Snow & Rock, Waterstones, Asda and many more. Plus you can get money back when you eat out at chains like TGI Fridays, PizzaExpress and Zizzi, as well as on bigger ticket items such as holidays, hotel rooms and experience days when booked with one of uniicard’s partners.
The Student Blogger has been test-driving a uniicard over the past few days on the streets of London. Here’s how I got on…
Firstly, getting hold of a card was pretty painless – you apply at uniicard.com, and just need your passport or driving licence as ID, your UCAS course code to prove you’re a UK student and a debit card to put funds onto the card (you might be able to persuade your parents to help out with this last bit of you’re running a bit short!).
You have to make a one-off payment of £7.50 to have the card for three years, which is deducted from your first load of money onto the card when you apply. There is also a fixed fee of 60p payable for each top-up, but you do receive one free top-up every calendar month, which is credited back to your account at the end of the month.
My card arrived within a couple of days, so I tucked it into my wallet and went off to hit the shops. First stop was Boots for a few toiletries (where you get a 5% rebate), followed by a paper from WHSmith (6%), a meal deal from M&S for lunch (4.5%) and some drain unblocker from Wilkinsons (oh, the glamour!), which also bagged me a 5% rebate. Later on, I headed out of town to B&Q (which only offers 3% cashback, but I did spend a fair bit on things for our house), followed by a slap-up meal at Wagamama with my housemates (chicken katsu curries all round), which netted us a healthy 9% cashback on the £30 bill.
Other eye-catching rates include 7% at Topman and Topshop, and, if you’re feeling flash, you can get a hefty 15% cashback at jewellers like Goldsmiths and Mappin & Webb. (For the full list of companies offering money back on purchases, go to uniicard.com.)
The retailer rebates appear automatically on your account (which you can view by logging on at uniicard.com) within seven business days of the end of the month after the spend. So, for example, if you make a purchase on 1 February, the rebate will appear on your uniicard within the first week of March. And as it’s a pre-paid Visa-accredited card, there’s no risk of going overdrawn – if there are insufficient funds on your account, your card will simply be declined.
You can use a uniicard anywhere that accepts Visa, except at pay@pump terminals or self-service terminals like those found at train stations and in supermarkets. (Check out the FAQs on the uniicard website for more information about using the card.)
So, all in all, we’d say the uniicard is well worth considering if you’re after some hassle-free money back from high street retailers and don’t mind having to top up the card from time to time. If you’re interested, you can find out more at uniicard.com.