Changing broadband providers is one of those little tasks that many of us just ignore. However, taking a few moments once a year to compare the broadband deals that are available and choose a new provider could save you hundreds of pounds. What’s more, many broadband providers now offer free gifts when signing up. These gifts can include prepaid gift cards, cheques and substantial discounts on other services from your broadband provider. Read on to discover just a few of the free gifts you could receive the next time you change broadband providers.
Free gift cards with your broadband
Broadband Choices aggregates all of the broadband sign up bonuses that are currently available. Its free gifts page currently features a number of deals from BT Broadband that offer a free gift in the form of a BT Reward Card.
The BT Reward card is a prepaid MasterCard. It will be loaded with a prearranged amount of cash and can be claimed online shortly after you become a BT Broadband customer. The process isn’t automatic, you have to remember to put the claim in manually. Because it’s a prepaid MasterCard, you can use it almost anywhere that MasterCard is accepted (there are a few exceptions such as petrol stations which offer automatic payment).
The other main exclusion on using the BT Reward Card is cash machines. You can only spend money on the card in shops and online. You can’t turn it into cold hard cash. This can be a slight problem if you end up with an odd balance left on the card. Once you’re down to your last £15 or so you might want to consider turning the rest of the balance into credit for an online service such as iTunes or Amazon.
Bill credit on your broadband
Virgin Media takes a different approach to the free gifts it offers with its broadband contracts. In many ways, it’s a simpler approach – they’ll simply deduct a pre-agreed amount from your first bill. This is simpler since the money never leaves your account but you might find it a bit harder to justify getting yourself a little extra treat! At the time of writing, Virgin Media generally offers lower rewards that BT Broadband but you might find it easier to remember to spend the Virgin Media reward.
Other options – cash back for your broadband
This isn’t a free gift in the same sense as the other offers but is certainly worth mentioning. Many of the major broadband providers offer cash back through websites like Quidco and Topcashback. This is generally a much friendlier and more drawn out process than the reward card or bill credit. It can take several months or even a year before the cash back is paid – meaning you’ll be paying in full for some time before you can enjoy your reward. Additionally, the retailer can choose to decline your cash back and you have very little recourse if they do.
If you’re willing to take the risk though cash back payments are generally higher than standard rewards and in some cases you can combine the two. Be wary of doing so though as using voucher codes and other promotions will sometimes invalidate your cash back claim completely – leaving you with no reward at all. Read all the small print carefully before you commit and if something seems too good to be true then it very possibly is.
As you can see, you have a wide range of choices when it comes to choosing free gifts with your new broadband contract. Some of the options are straightforward while others require a little more effort, patience and luck on your part. The important thing to remember is that any option you choose will be better than simply sticking with the same old broadband provider year after year. Service providers like this rely on inertia and if you’ve been a customer for many years without trying to renegotiate it’s unlikely to be a good deal. Switch broadband for a cheaper price and see the free gift as a little bonus to treat yourself. It’ll be two deals in one go!
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