Updated For 2022
I've updated this post to reflect the changes that came into effect in late 2021.
The app ran into financial issues during the first wave of the pandemic and spent around 18 months looking for additional financial backers. It looked pretty grim for the service, however in very late 2021, Zip Zero announced that they were launching an updated version of the app and re-launching their services... kind of.
So basically, the old premise was that you scanned a copy of any shopping receipt into the app, and you would be rewarded with 1% cashback on the receipt value, which in return could be redeemed as part payment towards one of your utility bills, once you hit £10 cashback. The 1% was reduced to 0.5% when things got tough, and then Zip Zero said they could not finance any withdrawals, but to keep scanning and once a new financial backer was found, they would then be in a position to make payments again.
As it became clear that no new backer could be found, they re-launched their service with new rules and policies. Firstly you could still scan your receipts, and the 0.5% base, cashback, the reward would still be applicable. HOWEVER, the most significant change was that to be able to claim the cashback reward, you had to match the reward with cashback earned using Zip Zero's Premium Rewards system, which is a service where you earn cashback on purchases made via its online service, in the same way as you might using a service such as TopCashback or Quidco. The idea is that for every £1 you earn via its premium service, you can also claim £1 of your cashback earned via the receipt scanning, base reward system.
So basically, to cash out, you must make purchases using the services online ordering system. Now, this isn't the end of the world, as I, like many other people, make full use of cashback sites, and so you could just use Zip Zero for your online purchases instead of your regular cashback sites, however sadly, in most cases the 0.5 - 10% cashback offered by Zip Zero, for online purchases, often falls short of what you could earn elsewhere.
As an example, I could earn 1% cash back by shopping at Wowcher through Zip Zero (on the day this was written 09/01/2022) but could earn 3% at the same store if I used TopCashback, and if I was a new Wowcher customer, I could actually get that increased to 9%, and so there is quite a bit of a difference in what you could earn elsewhere, making the Zip Zero option, less of a draw for me.
Those Zip Zero users who have been using the system for a long time aren't able to withdraw any of their existing balance unless they use the premium service, which has upset many of their users, as many have a large amount of credit on the app, (I have £65), which they can't use unless they earn the same amount in online purchases, which for many would take a long time to get to unless, of course, they were making a large purchase through the online cashback service. In my case, using the Wowcher example above, I would have to spend £6,500 to be able to claim my £65 existing cashback, which is a bit of a big ask (although I would get £130 cashback as I would have earned £65 as well for the purchase). So it is unlikely that I will see my total balance put towards any of my bills anytime soon!
The only saving grace is that Zip Zero offers 0.5% cashback on any Amazon purchase, which is quite unusual. Typically, Amazon cashback is only available on specific items or categories. So this is where I might get something back from my old receipts, as I do spend a fair bit with Amazon, both for non-food and food items, and so have a chance of getting at least a little cash back at some point.
OK, so assuming you would like to give Zip Zero a whirl, and they aren't all bad, I have put a bit of a negative spin on the service, they have just been struck by the pandemic, and are doing what they can to stay afloat, so do still have my support, and I wish them well, this is how you can sign up.
You can download the app via the Zip Zero website. HERE you then register with them, and off you go!
You won't get rich from Zip Zero and should consider the other cashback apps as well. However, you can use this in conjunction with some of the other services and remember it's still free cash, no matter how much or as little you earn, I am grateful for every penny I have in my pockets, and this service offers you something for nothing, so worth giving it a go!