For 18 months, I’ve been using the Ibotta App to save money on groceries.
Ibotta is a free app that allows you to earn cash back both in-store and on mobile purchases.
Has it been worth it?
(To get straight to the point, it’s worth it. The app has a 4.5 rating and over 370,000+ combined reviews for a reason. And right now, there’s a limited $10 bonus when you use the Ibotta referral code frltllp (to make it easier to read, the $10 promo code is f-r-l-t-l-l-p or you can use this Ibotta referral bonus link to join!)
- How does Ibotta work
- How to use Ibotta (including step-by-step instructions)
- How to use Ibotta mobile (including step-by-step instructions)
- How does Ibotta make money
- How much you can expect to earn
- How to maximize your Ibotta earnings (the tips, hacks, and secrets you need to know)
- Apps like Ibotta and how to combine them for deep discounts
Without further ado, here’s my honest review of Ibotta and everything you need to know to maximize your cash back.
How Does Ibotta Work
You know how digital coupons work. Just think of Ibotta like digital coupons. But instead of getting your discount at the register, you get cash back inside your account.
The cash stores up in your account. Whenever you feel it’s reached a big enough sum that you want to take it out, you can withdraw it. If you want cash, you can use PayPal/Venmo, or you can exchange your money for gifts cards. That can be a good strategy because sometimes the gift cards have bonuses.
You might have to pay $20 to get a $25 gift card, for instance.
There are two ways to earn with Ibotta:
- Mobile Shopping
How to Use Ibotta In-Store (step-by-step instructions)
Step # 1 – Go to the app and create an account.
Step # 2 – Find offers or stores you’re interested in.
You’ll access this feature by clicking on the small magnifying glass that says “Find Rebates” under it. If you’re looking for a particular store, just type the name in the search engine. It also might be listed as one of the featured stores near the top of the page.
Step # 3 – Add the offers you’re interested in.
For some offers, you’ll have to do a small task to add the offer such as watching a video.
Step # 4 – Go shopping after you have selected your offers.
Don’t forget to get your receipt at the register, and don’t crumple it up because you’ll have to take a photo of it.
Step # 5 – When you’re home, go to your Ibotta app and hit the redeem link.
Follow the instructions they give you for verifying your purchases – the steps you’ll need to complete will involve scanning barcodes and sending the receipt picture.
Step # 6 – Cash out when you’re ready.
Once you’ve accumulated $20 in your account, you can withdraw to a PayPal or Venmo account or exchange for gift cards.
The process takes a minute or two once you get it down.
How To Use Ibotta Mobile (step-by-step instructions)
Step # 1 – Download the Ibotta app and register.
Step # 2 – Log in and pick your favorite stores.
Step # 3 – Look for offers.
You can look at the offers from the stores you normally shop at.
Step # 4 – Do a short task to be able to unlock the offers so you can add them to your account.
You might have to watch a commercial or answer a question. Keep adding offers you’re interested in because you’ll maximize the cash you’ll earn.
Step # 5 – Shop before those offers expire.
Step # 6 – Make the purchase.
Ibotta’s mobile shopping retailers let you make in-app purchases and also app-to-app purchases, which means you won’t have to send a receipt. Sometimes those deals are quite substantial, such as 20 percent cash back on Groupon and 7 percent back on hotels.com.
Step # 7 – Cash you when you’re ready.
How Does Ibotta Make Money
When you’re getting “free money” like this, it’s important to know why. It helps you understand why cash back apps aren’t a scam if you know how they earn their money. This knowledge will make you feel more comfortable if you’ve wondered, “Is Ibotta legit?”
Ibotta works by referring customers to a store. Ibotta gets paid a referral commission whenever something is bought. That’s how it makes its money.
Ibotta is happy to share that referral commission with you because you’re a key part of their success. Without you and other shoppers like you, they wouldn’t earn a referral commission. And it benefits companies that are pushing certain products because having a cashback offer can make customers more likely to buy that item. This kind of platform is a win-win situation for everyone involved – the company, Ibotta, and the customer.
Ibotta also earns money in advertisements on its platform.
How Much You Can Expect to Earn
How much a person can earn with Ibotta depends upon how much they shop, how much they use the app, and if they use it just for products or for services as well.
Sometimes there are offers that will bulk up your earnings if you use them. Take that hotels.com 7 percent off offer we discussed earlier, for instance. People who used that opportunity to book a vacation or a bunch of work trips obviously will make a lot more off of Ibotta.
Or, if you have several kids in your household, you’re going to earn a lot more cash back for groceries than someone who is just buying for one person.
Overall, everyone can probably earn back a few dollars a week just shopping for pretty basic groceries. Others may be able to earn closer to $100 a month.
How to Maximize Your Ibotta Earnings (Tips, Hacks, and Secrets You Need To Know)
Hack # 1 – Ibotta Preferred Partners
Ibotta has a Preferred Partners plan that involves some retailers who are affiliated directly with Ibotta.
That allows you to link loyalty cards to the Ibotta coupon app, so you get great returns for little effort. This can earn you money without taking pictures of receipts, although you’ll still want to check out the site to see what the deals are at that store.
Hack # 2 – Test It Out Right Now
Once you’ve signed up, you can start earning money right away, retroactively. You can use a receipt that’s up to 7-days old. So if you went on a shopping spree two days ago, you could still get money from those purchases if they qualify. You don’t have to wait until next time you shop.
Just look at the receipt and scan the barcodes of any qualifying products. Then take a picture of the receipt and watch your savings start to grow.
Hack # 3 – Take Advantage Of Limited Time Bonuses
Ibotta has some great limited time offers. By knowing what’s out there, you can score some big deals and maximize the money you earn back.
Your savings can go way beyond just digital coupons. Some of the best deals are ones you’ll get for trying out new products and services.
It’s now expired, but this deal from Blue Apron through Ibotta was great. For signing up for a Blue Apron food subscription, Ibotta offered $52 back. That’s the kind of savings you can land by going outside of your comfort zone and experimenting with different products or services.
And you never know when deals like that will crop up, so you need to stay on the lookout for them.
Hack # 4 – Get in the Habit of Checking Stores on the App Before You Walk In
It’s known for food, but Ibotta offers way more. If you’re stocking up on party drinks for an upcoming bash, you’ll be pleased to know alcohol savings are plentiful through Ibotta.
And although it’s now expired, it offered a 10 percent rebate at Lowes and a 5 percent one on Priceline. Before you walk into any store, you should check to see if there are Ibotta deals. That might change what you buy on that trip.
If you see something you’ve been considering buying and you see a big savings potential, you stand to save a bundle. If you were doing home repairs or buying flooring for a home renovation product, for example, that Lowe’s offer would have been a huge score.
Ibotta is both a cash back coupon app and cashback site. The only downside is it can’t be used on Desktop — only on a mobile.
But its list of partners is sizable so you have a lot of shopping options.
You can also find generic savings opportunities that aren’t attached to any particular name brand or store. That gives you more options for saving money.
Hack # 5 – Join The Ways to Wealth Team
Another great way to make more money by using Ibotta is to join my team, which includes hundreds of very active Ibotta users. There are certain bonuses only available to groups, which you’ll automatically join when using this link.
Hack # 6 – Scan QR Codes Instead of Receipts
If scanning barcodes sounds like too much work, some stores like Walmart allow you to simply scan the QR Code on the receipt.
Hack # 7 – Bonuses Can Be Used Multiple Times on Different Receipts
Most digital coupons can be scanned multiple times, which opens up a whole other level of savings to you. You can reuse these offers until they disappear.
Load up on an item if it’s a great deal and you know you’ll use it. Things like toilet paper, cleaning supplies and tissues are good stockpile items. And if you watch the expiration dates on other items, you may find it makes sense to take advantage of the offer repeatedly.
Try to avoid overbuying products though – that will do more harm than good to your wallet.
Apps Like Ibotta and How to Combine Them for Deep Discounts
# 1 – Stack Cash Back Apps
You can stack different apps, which means you’ll earn bonuses from each app. Two great options for you to stack with Ibotta include:
# – 2 Stack With Reward Apps
You can get an extra 1 to 2 percent back with other apps you may already be using. They include:
# 3 – Get A Grocery Credit Card
If you use a grocery credit card that gives you cash back for your purchases, you can stack those earnings with the cash back you get back from Ibotta. The only thing better than saving money is combining two ways to save money on groceries!
Two popular options you might be interested in are:
- Blue Cash Everyday Card from American Express: You’ll get 3 percent cash back. There’s no annual fee to cut into your savings.
- Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express: This card gives you a whopping 6 percent back. But it does have an annual fee. That doesn’t necessarily mean the Everyday card is a better choice for you though. It all depends upon how frequently you’ll use that card.
Keep in mind this only makes sense if you shop at real grocery stores because warehouses and superstores don’t qualify.
# 4 – Stack With Physical Coupons
You can stack any physical coupons the store you’re shopping at will accept. That gives you a chance to save even more.
With another website, MyPoints, you can get paid to use coupons. Printing them and using them will earn you points you can use to get gift cards. The gift cards options are for a lot of big stores and restaurants.
Ibotta Review Summary
Ibotta is a legit option when it comes to earning cash back. It’s one I’ve used personally.
Signing up is quick and easy, and the app isn’t difficult to use. There can be a little bit of a learning curve. It’s the type of money saver that gets easier the more you use it.
As you go along, you’ll find tricks and tips that will reduce how much time you spend on it. One thing you can do is scan the items as you put them into the grocery cart and then take a picture of your receipt in your car before you leave the store. That will be much easier than scanning the barcodes when you’re trying to put away all your groceries at home.
Join Ibotta today and sign up for my team to start locking in your savings. You can save up those rewards for a year-end splurge, mini vacation, or to pad your retirement account. Either way, it will be time well spent!