Using giffgaff

Guide to payback points


How does payback work?


This guide will tell you everything you always wanted to know about payback and how to earn it.






What is payback?

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Payback is giffgaff's way of saying thanks to its members for helping out either by recruiting new members or by helping other members in the giffgaff forums. Payback is distributed twice a year in June and December.


Up to December 2012 our highest payback earning member received an amazing £16,000 for just 6 months' help. Best of luck if you want to try to beat that figure.


In this article we give approximate dates for the various processes. The payback page here will be updated with specific dates and deadlines.


The Monthly Payback Points' Updates for 2014 is here.





How do points work?

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Payback Points are our way of rewarding you for anything you do that helps giffgaff and the giffgaff community, 1 payback point = £0.01 so 200 points = £2.00 and 500 points = £5.00. You get the idea.


Points are added during two 6 month payback periods which run from 1 December to 31 May and 1 June to 30 November. Payments are then made to members in the second and third weeks of June and December.





How to keep track of points

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Everyone can see their up to date payback points on their My giffgaff page. The payback widget is down the bottom on the right. This widget gives you your total number of points accumulated since the beginning of the payback period.


Payback points are calculated monthly in the first 5 working days of the month and include all points you have earned in the whole of the previous month up until midnight on the last day of the month. giffgaff then update your My giffgaff page and send the total payback amount via Newsfeed which is displayed in the middle of your My giffgaff page.


If you wish you can opt-in to receive a Points statement by email and text. These are also sent out around the 5th working day each month and give you details of points awarded for the previous month and your total points.



To opt-in go to: My giffgaff > My Details > Contact permissions > Change. Tick in the box 'Give me info and offers about giffgaff' and then click 'Change'.


If you change your mind you can of course change this setting at any time. If you are worried about receiving hundreds of giffgaff marketing emails please don't as we feel the same way about spam so we will not do it.





Helping giffgaff grow

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As we're all about rewarding our members and keeping our advertising costs down, we rely on our current members recommending giffgaff to their friends and family.




Sending a SIM to a friend (500 points)


Once you've activated your own SIM, the best way to earn extra points is by ordering Free SIM cards via your "Spread the Word" to help your friends join giffgaff.


We made it easy for you, you can either receive the SIM you ordered to give them out by hand or get them delivered straight to your friends. As SIMs ordered via "Spread the Word" are automatically linked to your account - when one of these is activated you'll earn 500 points and your friend will also get £5 free credit.


You will receive an email confirming your friends have joined giffgaff when they activate their SIM cards - those points will be available on your next monthly statement.


Note: Please order wisely, there is a limit of 30 SIMs per member per month - this is to keep our costs down. If you've reached your limit, it may be possible to increase it. You will have to contact an agent to do this.


To earn more points, we advise you to create your personal order page to start recruiting people online, with the following method:


  1. Start by reading the Little black book, it will give you a few solid tips
  2. Click on "Create", to create your own SIM order page, and receive the link to your personal order page. (
  3. Post this link with a personal message on your Facebook, twitter, etc ... to advertise it to your friends. You can do it regularly, but be considerate, you would not want to spam your friends.
  4. Create your banner and include it in your forum signature, website or blog.
  5. Participate in the "Welcome & Join" board. A lot of prospective members are browsing it for information before they join, they are likely to click on your banner if you help them.

When someone cliks on your personal URL, they'll be able to order a SIM for themselves, and you will receive 500 payback points when the SIM card is activated. These points are also available on your next monthly statement.




Recommended by (200 points)


This is a great way for being rewarded for helping people you don't know. Often people hear about giffgaff through blogs, other forums etc. This might also be someone that asked a question in 'Join' and they want to thank the member that helped them - during the activation process new members have the ability to add a 'recommended by' member name.


If someone enters your username as the "referrer" in the recommeder box during activation, this earns you 200 points. The new member will not receive any bonus credit, as this is a SIM they will have ordered themselves.


Note: If the SIM has been ordered via "Spread the Word" the recommender box will be hidden, as we already know which member it is linked to.


For more information on how to order SIM cards just click here.





Helping giffgaffers

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There are many different ways to contribute to giffgaff's community. For more information or ideas on how you can help, please look here.


For any of these activities it's harder to attribute a specific amount of points and we were also worried about encouraging behaviour that might ruin the forum for others, like posting thousands of irrelevant or meaningless posts. We also recognise that there are dozens of ways forum users can help each other and contribute to the future of the company with ideas and suggestions.


So for those reasons we decided not to base points on a formula like: 'x contribution = y points'. Instead we look at the overall quality of community contribution, taking many things into consideration. So it is not the quantity but the quality that counts.


Based on our assessment of how much quality assistance you have given we then place each member into a band, and every member in that band gets the same number of points. The bands from September 2012 onwards are:


    • Band 1 - 3000 points - £30.00
    • Band 2 - 2000 points - £20.00
    • Band 3 - 1000 points - £10.00
    • Band 4 - 100 points - £1.00
    • Band 5 - 10 points - £0.10


So instead of varying by pennies each month the bands are now the same each month. This reduces the number of questions each month in the forums just about the amounts and should make the whole process clearer. For the near future, we have no plans to change these bands.


It's important to realise that this system is relative, the number of points you get in any given period depends on how your level of contribution compares to the rest of the member base. Whatever band you end up in this time is no guarantee of what happens in the next period - even if you do the same amount of activity you may go up or down a band depending on what others are doing.





Missing points

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If you think you're missing points, please make sure none of the following solutions are applicable before contacting an agent:




Your points are not showing yet


If the SIM card has been activated this month, remember your statement is produced on or around the 5th of the following month - i.e. the activations made over a month are only tallied up and made available in the payback statement after the 5th of the following month.


These points are then paid out with the following payback payment, according to the method you select then.




The SIM has been used for SIM Swap


If you find the number of SIM cards which has been ordered from your "Spread the Word" page does not add up, it's worth checking with your friends if your SIM cards have been used for SIM Swap.


SIM cards used for SIM Swap do not qualify for payback points, as the member was already registered.




Your recruit used another SIM card


SIMs ordered via "Spread the Word" are automatically linked to your account and you'll receive an email / newsfeed notification on SIM activation.


If your friend has activated a SIM and you haven't seen points on the following month's statement, firstly check with your friend that they activated the SIM you gave them. You may find that your friend has activated another SIM - either one they ordered directly from the website, or one from another friend.




Your personal URL is incorrect


Make sure that the personal URL you give is correct or your friends won't be able to use it to order SIM cards or you won't be able to earn points. Just try out your URL in a browser and verify it links to your personal order page correctly.




My friend wasn't presented with the 'Recommender box'


SIMs ordered through "Spread the Word" are automatically linked to your account for points. When one of these SIMs goes through the activation process the 'recommender box' is hidden, as we already know it's one of your SIMs.


If your friend is using a SIM card from another member, they won't be able to use this feature to give you the points for the same reason.




If you think that none of these solutions explain your situation, then send a message to an agent including your friends member name, etc... and we will investigate the SIM history and award points where required.





Payback choices

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For each payback period that you get payback points, you should think about how you would like to receive them. You can make your selection at any time via the payback widget on your My giffgaff page.


You have three choices; Cash, Credit or Charity.


Cash: this is paid via PayPal Instant Payment, you will need to add your PayPal email address (for your active PayPal account) via the payback widget. You can only select cash if you've earned at least 1,000 payback points. You will not be charged a fee by Paypal to receive it.


Credit: your payback points will be added to your account balance as airtime credit.


Charity***: we make sure it goes to the charities chosen by our members. The total amount donated by all giffgaff members will be matched by giffgaff - pound for pound.


***Donating to Charity if you have not selected Charity

giffgaff implemented fiendishlyclever's idea and created the giffgaff community's JustGiving page, so that those who take their payback as Credit or Cash can still donate to Charity via JustTextGiving or online, if they wish.


JustTextGiving is a free service. There is no cost to you for sending the text message and your free goodybag allowance will not be affected - the only charge will be the donation itself.



NOTE: If you do not make a selection before the payback selection window, your points will roll over to the next payback period. Your payback points can be rolled over only ONCE, before you lose them.





Payback dates

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The important dates every month are simple.


Midnight on the last day of the month is the cut off for that month, anything made after that time will be in NEXT month's statement. Around the 5th of the month your My giffgaff page widget is updated with the previous month's points and the figures are displayed in your Newsfeed in the middle of your My giffgaff page. Those who have opted in to giffgaff marketing will also receive their monthly points statement by email and text.


Here are the approximate key dates for payback. For more accurate dates check the News and Announcements board closer to the date.


Early April & October Community discussion starts for members (with active SIMs) to nominate a charity of choice to receive payback donation. This is open to all members not just those that wish to donate their payback to charity.
Mid May & November Nominations for charities close and voting begins.
End May & November Voting for charities closes and charities announced in the community.
31 May & 30 November Current payback period ends. Points earned up until midnight are included in the period.
1 June & December giffgaff tallies points earned in the payback period. Any points earning activity by members/recruits that happens from today onwards is in the next payback period. Your final points statement will be sent in a few days time and the points tally will be updated in your My giffgaff page.
About 4–5 June & December Early selection window closes. If you want to take your payback as airtime credit you will receive it before PayPal payments and selections made after this date.
About 7–9 June & December First credit payments are processed. If you selected credit before the early selection window closed we will include you in this early payback payment.
About 10–12 June & December Selection window closes. You must select how you want to receive your payback (as credit, cash or donate to charity) before midnight. No late selections will be accepted.
About 13 June & December The remaining payback starts to get processed. We will process all remaining credit and PayPal payments. This payment process takes a different amount of time depending on the payback option selected.
About 19 June & December Second PayPal payment run will be processed.
About 13–20 June & December ‘Ask an agent’ about payback queries open. As payments will be chugging through at different speeds, it is not possible to investigate any payments until all payments have been processed.





Qualification for payback

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To qualify for payback you must:


  • Have an active giffgaff SIM (includes SIMs which have been reported lost or stolen)
  • Have a positive payback points balance
  • Have used your giffgaff SIM within the last 3 months of each payback period i.e you must have made a call, sent a text or used data between 1 March and 31 May for June's payout, and between 1 September and 30 November for December's payout.
  • Not be in breach of any of our standard Terms and Conditions.





When Payback is not payable

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You will not receive payback if:


  • You haven't used your phone within the last 3 months of the payback period (see above) (i.e. haven't made a call/sent a text/used mobile internet).
  • Your service has been ceased.
  • You have a pending PAC (port out).
  • Your service has been barred for non use.
  • You have been banned from the community / all giffgaff services.
  • There is a chargeback pending on a payment to giffgaff.


For full terms please refer to our Terms and Conditions.





Handy links

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Guide to payback points

started by chriskm on ‎23-03-2012 10:37 - last edited on ‎27-12-2014 16:05 by talisker35
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