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Is it possible to ask a shop, e.g. Tesco, for a cashback in coins, say 5 x £1? Or is it better to withdraw a £10 bill from a cash machine and ask for the change to be in £1 coins when paying with it?

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  • Most cashiers simply cannot open the register when nothing is bought. – Bernhard Döbler May 1 at 19:51
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    As someone who works weekends for Europe's most popular fashion chain we are expressly forbid from doing cashback even with a purchase, to minimise cashback scams. That said, most cashiers and even managers tend to be fine with giving you cashback when you purchase something, but without a purchase, there's almost no chance - as Bernhard says the tills aren't designed to be opened without a purchase. What I would do is find an independent store like a newsagents or off-license, which are more likely to be able to accommodate you. – Hashim Aziz May 1 at 22:07
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    @BernhardDöbler The questioner doesn't mention not buying something. UK Supermarkets at least used to pretty much all offer a cashback scheme where you could request, say, £50 cashback with a purchase and they would bill it to your debit card. I don't know how Covid has affected that though – Martin Smith May 2 at 0:32
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    @BernhardDöbler, the debit card companies charge for each transaction. Which means that the store loses money whenever it gives cashback without a purchase. So even if the register could be opened, it wouldn't make sense to do so. – Ray Butterworth May 2 at 1:02
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    If there is already a transaction going on, and the store has the cash and no policy (covid-19-induced or general) against it, you can often make the store withdraw e.g. £50 extra from your card and hand you that money in cash (I don't think I've tried it in the UK, but I have done so in Denmark) - as it reduces the amount of cash they have to handle, the store might even like doing that. – Henrik supports the community May 3 at 9:58
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No problem to ask, and you will get reasonable amounts with no problem. Five one-pound coins is quite reasonable.

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    Not sure if it's national, but my local Tesco Extra has stopped doing cashback at the tills. I asked a few days ago but was directed to the cashpoints (ATM) outside. – canonacer May 1 at 15:12
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    Forcing getting change by buying something cheap is likely to work in most places, some may claim not to have change. – Willeke May 1 at 15:44
  • @canonacer Most supermarkets in the UK are strongly encouraging card payments rather than cash because of COVID, but cash is still accepted. Obviously, a supermarket can't give cashbacks easily if the tills are not taking many cash payments. – alephzero May 1 at 22:56
  • @canonacer, The shop will get a commission for use of the ATM, so they have good incentive to suggest using that instead of providing the service themselves. – Ray Butterworth May 2 at 0:59
  • I can confirm that it was no problem getting a few pounds as cashback at Tesco and it didn't seem like it was the first time that the cashier had been asked that. – Mikael Dúi Bolinder May 10 at 21:57

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