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If you are reading this Ibotta review, then chances are you are wondering if Ibotta is a legit way to earn cash back. After all there are tons of cash back apps now. Is Ibotta still one of the best?
After using the Ibotta app for several years, I thought it was time to update my review and answer several common questions.
Let's start by answering the question you came looking for:
Is Ibotta Legit? Is it better than other cash back apps?
I have earned over $500 in cash back on my purchases since joining! So yes, Ibotta is legit.
Ibotta has notifications within the app to alert you on status of your cash back, and actually correctly processes your earnings. This sets it apart from other cash back apps that leave you guessing as to whether you will actually earn cash back for a purchase.
What is Ibotta?
Ibotta is a free app that lets you earn cash back on your household purchases. This includes groceries, online stores, department stores, hardware stores, and more. Since its start in 2012, Ibotta has given its members over $500 million dollars for using the app. Ibotta has become a user favorite because their mobile app is easy to use and they have a good selection of offers.
Is Ibotta Worth the Time?
Now you may be thinking; I like saving money but hate the hassle of coupons. Who wants to spend Sunday afternoon clipping coupons? That is where Ibotta differs from your traditional coupon clipping routine. Everything is done in the app, so it's quick and no paper coupons to keep up with or scan at the register.
I have tested several money-saving apps, but one of my favorites is Ibotta. Simple reason, it's easy to use, and it's a great way to earn free money on items you already buy. With over 10 million app downloads and excellent user ratings, it is evident it this app is worth the time.
How much can you make with Ibotta?
With $20 worth of bonus offers for new users, I was able to make over $40 in the first month I used the app.
But the bonus offers do not stop after you join. Ibotta has regular bonus offers you can earn on your purchases. By taking advantage of these offers, I have been able to consistently make $30 to $40 a month with my regular purchases.
Sound good, but still unsure? No worries. In this Ibotta review, I will cover all the details on how Ibotta works, how you can get started, and tips to maximize your cash back earnings.
After reading this review, you will have all the details you need to start earning cash back on your groceries and online purchases.
How Does Ibotta Make Money?
Ibotta can provide these excellent money-saving offers to you by working with leading brands and retailers to extend these offers to you. They currently have over 400 retailers they partner with, and the list continues to grow. They get paid by these retailers to promote their items in the app.
How Does Ibotta Work?
1. Install the Ibotta and Register
First, download the Ibotta app and register. It is free, and you will get a $10 bonus after you claim your first receipt. If you are not using a smartphone now, you can sign up with a computer and then install the app later. To get started, you need an email address to create an Ibotta account.
2. Add Offers that You Want to Purchase
Once you have signed up for Ibotta, select Find Offers in the Ibotta app. Then browse the category you are targeting, and select the stores you frequent. In the case of grocery shopping, you would start with the “grocery category” and choose the specific store. In my area, Harris Teeter and Food Lion are my go-to grocery stores, and so I would select those. Then once you are in your store of choice, you can see the offers available.
Just click the + sign next to the item that you want to purchase to add it to your list. Continue to do this until you have selected all the things you plan to purchase. Now, something I do to increase the earnings is to be flexible on brands. For instance, I may buy Brookstone's sour cream over Daisy brand if there is an offer for the Brookstone's that week. Once you have completed your selections, you can review your list by selecting My Offers.
3. Go Shopping
This step is easy. You go on your shopping trip, as usual, making sure to get the items you have on your offers list. Sometimes you can get lucky, and the items are already on sale, or you can combine with a digital coupon in the store. In this case, I usually will stock up, since often, the Ibotta cash back offer will be good for more than one use. The number of times you can use the same of offer is marked with the word Limit, followed by a number. That is an easy way to double or triple your rewards by stocking up on an item.
If you are unsure if the item you are purchasing qualifies for the offer you can scan the product code in the store to verify. To do so, select the item from your offers and then select “Check Product Code.” See example below of checking the product code for Taco Bell Dinner Kit.
I often will double-check the item if I am going to be stocking up on an item to take advantage of the cash back offer.
4. Upload Receipts and Verify Your Purchases
So this last step varies. Some of the preferred Stores work with Loyalty Cards. For those all you need to do is link your Loyalty Card to the store. There is no need to upload your receipts. It will prompt you to Use Card, instead of upload receipt, and once you have your card loaded, you are good from now on for that store. For example, Food Lion is a preferred store, so when I shop there, it's really easy. I just do steps two to four, and a day later, I see the money added to my Ibotta account.
Now for the case where the store you shop at is not a preferred store, it's essential to hang on to the receipt when you leave the store. For example, Harris Teeter is not a preferred store. I go through the steps below to earn my cash back.
After I unload my groceries, I open the app, select the store, and then select Redeem. The app will then prompt you to take a picture of your receipt. On first use, you will have to give the Ibotta permission to use your camera to do this. After you have uploaded the receipt, it will prompt you to “verify” certain items by scanning the bar-codes. Once you do that, it compares the items to the receipt. You get a helpful notification of the number of items detected and your future rebate.
For some stores like Walmart, the app will have you scan the QR Code at the bottom of the receipt. From there, the process is generally the same, and the app will guide you the whole way.
Maximize Your Earnings with Bonuses
One of the great things about Ibotta is the bonus offers they have that can boost your earnings. You can check their current bonus offers in the app by going to account and then selecting bonuses. Bonuses can vary from earning extra money for completing a certain number of offers in a period of time, enhanced rewards for certain items, or additional incentives for mobile shopping. It varies from month to month.
Here is an example of a $5 mobile Ibotta online holiday offer I was able to capitalize on for making an online purchase at Sam's Club. I earned 2% back ($.30) for making a $15 purchase with the Ibotta app and then made an additional $5 for completing the bonus offer for making an online purchase during the promotion.
That's a quick $5 for making a purchase I was going to do anyway.
Use Ibotta for Online Purchases Too
At first, I was mainly using Ibotta for my grocery shopping, but I soon discovered that there were even more ways to earn. You can use Ibotta for online retailers like Amazon, Best Buy, and Home Depot to name a few. You can find all the different online stores that Ibotta works with by viewing the Online Shopping Category in the app. While most of the time for online purchases, you can get better cash back percentages with Ebates and Swagbucks, there are times when Ibotta has the highest cash back option. This is especially true if you can earn a bonus as in the Sam's Club example above.
Earn Cash Back on Gift Cards (Formally Pay With Ibotta)
Getting cash back on exact price gift cards is an easy way to earn cash back with Ibotta. You do it by generating instant electronic gift cards within the app for in-store and online purchases. It is easy to use, and you can earn up to 10% back in your pocket just for using it.
Here is how Gift Card Cash Back with Ibotta works:
- First, you link a credit card by going to Account –> Gift Cards –> Payment Methods within the app.
- You can view the list of participating retailers by selecting Gift Cards from home menu within the app.
- When you are ready to make a purchase, select the retailer, and enter the total amount of purchase.
- Then Select Review –> Pay. Once you select Pay, the credit card you linked within the app will be charged, and you will earn cash back instantly for the percentage offered by that retailer.
- Now you will have a gift card that you can present to the cashier as payment for the purchase.
In short, it is a smart way to earn a percentage back for purchasing a gift card. The big benefit of Pay with Ibotta is that instead of having to buy a gift card for a set amount, you can purchase one for the exact amount of the purchase instantly and earn cash back. You can earn anywhere from 1% to 10% depending on the retailer.
Ibotta Sign Up Bonus
You will receive a $10 sign up bonus once you redeem your first offer with the Ibotta app. It can take several days to show up in your Ibotta account. After that, you can earn an additional $10 in various bonus categories for new users. That is $20 in total Welcome Bonus earnings just for trying the app!
How Do You Get Paid from Ibotta?
You can see your balance at any time by selecting Account in the app. Once you reach $20, you can withdraw your earnings. You will have the option to either get cash back via PayPal or deposit into your bank account.
If you prefer a cash reward, you can link your PayPal account or bank account, and then Ibotta will send you your money once you verify your account. Ibotta officially says you will receive payments within 24 hours.
However, I received a $20.58 cash payout in my PayPal account within a few minutes after I put in the claim.
Prefer a gift card from retailers like Walmart? Ibotta has you covered there too. You can choose from a wide selection of gift cards like Apple iTunes, Starbucks, and American Eagle to name a few.
Earn more with your Ibotta referral code
Have friends that also like to save money? Be a good friend and invite them to join using your referral code, and get a $1 bonus. You can find your unique referral code in the app by going to Account > Invite Friends.
Ibotta Rating and Final Verdict
My Ibotta Rating
OUR VERDICT: It's SAVVY
Do you use Ibotta? Tell us your experiences and how much you have earned so far!