Shopping cashback site helps homeowners chip away at mortgage
Accelerate My Mortgage (AMM) was launched last week to help borrowers pay off their mortgages quicker.
Using the same principle as reward websites Quidco and TopCashback, homeowners who visit online retailers through the AMM website earn cashback on purchases which is automatically paid off their mortgage once they have built up a balance of £50.
Founded by Lee Flavin and Chris Evans, the pair have signed up more than 40 retailers to the website. Flavin said the most popular brands among customers so far have been AO, Boots, Hotels.com, John Lewis and Trainline.
Each retailer offers a different percentage of cashback you can earn on your purchase, for example 2.5%. The offers are similar to those seen on other popular cashback sites.
Homeowners can make big purchases such as holidays, furniture and electronics through the site, as well as every day smaller purchases such as takeaway pizza, their weekly supermarket shop, or toiletries and cosmetics.
Flavin said: “Mortgage rewards aren’t a gimmick – we’re already partnered with some of the UK’s leading retailers and the list is growing by the week. Some users have earned up to £40 of cashback in a single purchase.”
What you need to know
To sign up for the cashback rewards, borrowers need to create an account and upload information about their mortgage including when their mortgage deal expires. However, to earn rewards shoppers do not need to use AMM to arrange their mortgage. Borrowers with existing mortgages can simply sign up to the site.
Seven months before the end of the deal term, borrowers will receive emails on a monthly basis from AMM letting them know when their fixed rate will expire and offering to help them look for a new deal. They also receive alerts on screen when they log in. Users can select the switch function on the site and arrange a call back for a fully advised review of their mortgage.
The site also has an overpayment calculator which is linked to their mortgage details so they can play around with their monthly payment to see what impact it has on their balance.
Cardiff-based mortgage broker Flavin, said: “Our mission is to help homeowners pay their mortgage off faster, whatever their circumstances and wherever they are in their mortgage journey.”
However, homeowners should check the terms of their mortgage deal first to ensure they won’t be penalised for making overpayments. Typically lenders allow borrowers to overpay 10% a year of the outstanding balance.
AMM said 100% of the cashback is passed on to shoppers and it does not receive a cut of the rewards. Its service is free to users and it makes money through commission from mortgage lenders once a mortgage deal has been completed.
Launch follows pilot scheme
Flavin is also the founder of mortgage switching site RateSwitch. Since its launch three years ago, RateSwitch has built up a book of more than 3,000 customers who were contacted about the overpayment cashback facility at the start of the year to pilot the proposition.
RateSwitch was supported by Wales’ first tech accelerator the Ideas Fund, which helped launch the service after fund administrators at TechHub Swansea spotted its potential. The firm secured investment from Finance Wales prior to launching.