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iMutual is an online cashback site that offers users the opportunity to pick up cashback payments whilst also carving out themselves a small shareholding in the Plc that owns the website. As unusual as that sounds (and it is), iMutual sell this as an opportunity to be part of a social experiment as much as anything else, as well as being part of an organisation whose shareholders are also its members (and as such, their interests are wholly in-sync). While we’re not quite sure that this is quite as exciting and valuable as they suggest it is, there are a few positive elements to the site that can’t be ignored.
First, the positive stuff. Members can join for free in a matter of minutes and start earning cashback from their online activities straight away. The key way of earning cashback here is through online shopping, as it is with most online cashback sites, with users being able to pick up generate commissions through shopping at one of many major online retailers. Particularly impressive brands that form part of the line-up include Argos, Play.com, Groupon, Amazon and others, so we’re sure you’re bound to find some of your favourite shopping sites listed on the site. The cashback to be had at this site is also generous, ranging from a few percent right up to 20% and more at some outlets.
Easily the most unusual element of iMutual, and it’s major selling point (of course) is that the site not only offers users cashback payments, but also provides them with free bonus shares in iMutual Plc. This makes iMutual the only cashback site online that gives its users a chance to own a stake in the company that runs it, which is an interesting, if slightly unusual prospect. New users pick up 100 free shares when they first join the site and a further 1 share every time they earn 5p cashback with the service. Don’t get too excited though – presently, iMutual shares are not tradeable on any recognised stock exchange, so they have no real, discernable value and as such, are unlikely to be of a great deal of practical use to members as it would be difficult (if not impossible) to sell them on to realise a value.
While we applaud taking a bit of a risk and offering something new and different, we’re not sure the share ownership slant of iMutual is a particularly useful addition or one that really adds to the user experience. Similarly, although the service does provide a fairly wide range of cashback opportunities, it really doesn’t compare with the offerings of some of this categories more popular sites – such as QuidCo and TopCashback, for example – so it’s difficult to see the share ownership feature as little more than a smokescreen to cover up the shortcomings of this service. By all means give this service a try if you like what you see, but also consider other services in our listings in this category to ensure you’re getting the most out of your online shopping.
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