Full Ibotta Review
Ibotta was founded in 2011 as a cash back app. Of course, that hasn’t changed today. Ibotta is still empowering millions of people to save money on their everyday purchases.
In fact, to this day, Ibotta has saved its users over $682,000,000. Yes, that’s getting close to $1 trillion in savings in just nine years.
What makes Ibotta so special? Well, I personally use Ibotta almost every day. However, it’s so easy to use that it feels like I’m not using it.
In fact, because I have my loyalty cards connected to my Ibotta account, I don’t even have to scan my receipts and upload them manually to Ibotta. Everything is automated for me.
Other than that, Ibotta just works. They’re a cash back app that promises to save you money on your in-store and online purchases, and that’s exactly what they do.
Since its inception in 2011, Ibotta has expanded its services to over 2,500 national retailers.
Originally you could only get cash back on your groceries, but now Ibotta offers several other categories including clothing, restaurants & bars, travel, home & auto, subscriptions, and more.
Truthfully, you really have nothing to lose by using Ibotta. The app is 100% free to use and will only put your hard-earned money back into your pockets.
How does Ibotta make money?
In case you’re skeptical and are wondering how the app can be 100% free, I’ll explain that to you.
Ibotta is essentially an affiliate company that refers customers (you and I) to stores for a small affiliate fee.
Whenever you make a purchase at an Ibotta store and confirm that you made the purchase through the Ibotta app, both you and Ibotta get paid. Ibotta pays you a small portion of the small affiliate fee that the retailers are paying them.
It’s almost like you and Ibotta are partners. You make them some money, they make you some money.
Get started with Ibotta today for free and get a $20 sign up bonus after you complete your first cash back offer through the app.
Sign up takes less than one minute.
Ibotta is best for you if
- You like to save money on your groceries — Although Ibotta has several other categories, including clothing, restaurants & bars, travel, and entertainment, groceries are still their primary feature. If you spend a lot of money grocery shopping, you could find yourself saving hundreds, if not thousands of dollars each year.
- You shop online often — You can get cash back from over 100 online retailers using Ibotta. Looking for cat food on Amazon? Get cash back with Ibotta. Want to buy a new pair of shoes on Nike.com? Get cash back with Ibotta. How about some beauty products from Sephora.com? I could go on forever.
- You spend a lot of money during Christmas (or any holiday for that matter) — Ibotta can especially save you a ton of money during Christmas and other holidays. If you’re a big spender during these special times of the year, why not earn some money while enjoying the season?
Ways to earn with Ibotta
Here are the primary ways you can earn cash back with Ibotta.
- Restaurants & groceries — Although Ibotta offers cash back in dozens of categories, you probably know them for their cash back offers on grocery stores and restaurants. Use Pay with Ibotta to earn cash back at your favorite restaurants, coffee shops, grocery stores, and more. Save even more when you use Pay with Ibotta at qualified retailers.
- Pet care — Pets can get expensive. But with Ibotta, you can save money when you shop at Petco.com, PetSmart, Amazon, Walmart, and anywhere else you can find pet supplies.
- Entertainment — Ibotta isn’t just for groceries and restaurants. You can save money when you go out on a night on the town. Get cash back at Dave & Buster’s, Topgolf, AMC Theaters, GameStop, and hundreds of other places.
- Travel — Planning a trip soon? Use Ibotta and get instant cash back at hundreds of hotels, airlines, vacation rentals, and car rentals. With Ibotta, you can save and earn cash back on your Airbnb room, Expedia.com flight tickets, and hundreds of other services.
- Hobbies & home improvement — Ibotta offers cash back at retailers like Lowe’s, The Home Depot, Cabela’s, Bed Bath & Beyond, and more. You can save even more money when you use Pay with Ibotta to get additional cash back on top of what you would already be saving on individual cash back offers.
- Fashion & apparel — Get cash back at major clothing retailers like American Eagle, Banana Republic, Forever 21, Old Navy and hundreds more. Also, Ibotta can save you money at shoe stores like Foot Locker, makeup retailers such as Sephora and Ulta, and sunglass stores like Sunglass Hut.
- Auto — Need to replace a part on your car or buy some new windshield wipers? Before you do that, download Ibotta and save money on your purchases. Ibotta works with auto retailers like Advanced Auto Parts so you can take advantage of cash back on vehicle improvements.
- Subscriptions & delivery — Finally, if Ibotta didn’t already offer enough, you can also get cash back on subscriptions and delivery services. For example, you save on services like Apple Music, Amazon Prime, and Udemy. Additionally, you can get cash back when using popular food delivery services like DoorDash and Uber Eats.
There are several alternatives to Ibotta. Many of these services can be used in addition to Ibotta, instead of replacing it completely.
For example, Rakuten doesn’t have to replace Ibotta. It can be used to find even more cash back and savings opportunities on top of what Ibotta can find you. Here are all of the Ibotta alternatives:
- Rakuten (See full review here) — The best alternative to Ibotta
- Honey (See full review here) — Best for coupons while shopping online
- Dosh — Best if you want automatic savings without receipts
- Earny — Best for cash back when shopping online
- Swagbucks (See full review here) — Best if you want to earn by shopping and other activities
Ibotta top features
Here are some of Ibotta’s top features that help it to stand out from the crowd.
Nearby offer alerts
The nearby offer alerts help you never miss a cash back deal. When you’re near an Ibotta retailer with cash back offers, Ibotta will notify you on your phone.
Admittedly, this could either be really annoying or extremely helpful. This feature could help you see the nearby offer notification and are reminded that you need something from the store.
Otherwise, there may not be much of a reason you would need to use it.
To turn this feature on, open the Ibotta app and tap on Account > Settings > Preferences and turn on Nearby offer alerts. If you need to turn this feature off, simply toggle the feature off.
Ibotta browser extension
The Ibotta browser extension gets you cash back when you shop online. For now, it only works with Google Chrome.
When you add the extension, you don’t have to do anything special—just continue shopping online like you normally do. When you visit a website that Ibotta has cash back offers for, the Ibotta browser extension will automatically notify you of the offers.
The Ibotta browser extension currently works with over 250 popular online retailers.
Pay with Ibotta
Pay with Ibotta allows you to connect your debit card to Ibotta and pay straight from the Ibotta app at checkout. When you use Pay with Ibotta, you’ll earn instant cash back on your entire in-store purchase.
You can use Pay with Ibotta anywhere it’s accepted, which is currently at over 50 nationwide stores and restaurants including:
- Old Navy
- The Home Depot
Pay with Ibotta can also help you earn double the cash back. When you use Pay with Ibotta, not only are you earning up to 10% cash back on your entire purchase, but you can also stack the cash back offers on your individual items.
For example, say you are buying bananas that have a $0.25 cash back offer. When you buy the bananas, you are getting the $0.25 cash back on the bananas, but you are also getting cash back for using Pay with Ibotta.
Ibotta has partnered with many popular retailers to allow you to link your store loyalty account or card to the Ibotta app.
This is an extraordinary feature because it takes away the hassle of manually snapping a picture of your receipt and uploading it to the Ibotta app.
If you link your store loyalty card or account to Ibotta, you will automatically receive cash back on qualifying offers, even without a receipt.
This feature currently works with over 100 retailers, including popular grocery stores like Target, Meijer, Wegmans, and more.
Invite friends and earn
You can earn extra cash by referring your friends and family to join Ibotta.
When you create your Ibotta account, it automatically comes with a unique referral code and link. You can share your code or link on Facebook, Twitter, or send it to a send directly via text.
When someone clicks on your link, joins Ibotta, and starts redeeming cash back offers, you get paid a referral bonus.
This bonus is added to your account and redeemed with your cash back balance at the time of payout.
How you get paid
Ibotta has a $20 payout threshold. This means you need to earn at least $20 in cash back before you can redeem your money.
Once redeemed, you can transfer the money directly to your bank account using Plaid. You can also transfer your money to PayPal or Venmo, or use your cash back toward a gift card.
Here are the exact steps you need to redeem your cash once you’ve reached $20 in Ibotta.
Step 1: Open the Ibotta app and tap Account from the bottom menu.
Step 2: Tap the Withdraw Cash option. You should be taken to a screen that shows you all the withdrawal options.
Step 3: Choose your withdrawal option. You’re all set!
There are four ways you can get your cash back payout with Ibotta. Let’s go over each one in detail.
Direct to bank via Plaid
The first way (and likely the preferred way) to get your cash back is to directly deposit the money into your bank account using Plaid.
Plaid is a service that securely connects your bank to the app you are using. It’s 100% safe to use.
Your cash back should typically be in your bank account instantly. But sometimes it may take a few hours or days.
If you have a PayPal account, you can deposit your Ibotta cash straight into your PayPal.
What’s great about PayPal is that if you have your bank account connected, you can instantly transfer money from your PayPal to your bank account. The instant transfer usually takes a few minutes.
Keep in mind that PayPal does charge a 1% fee on instant transfers. If you want a free transfer, you’ll have to wait 1–3 business days for the money to get into your bank account.
Ibotta also allows you to transfer your cash into a Venmo account.
Like PayPal, you can connect your bank account to Venmo and transfer the money from your Venmo account to your bank account.
Venmo has an instant transfer option, which costs 1% of your total transfer. For example, if you transfer $20 from your Venmo to your bank account, Venmo will charge you a $0.20 transfer fee.
Alternatively, you can do a free transfer, which takes 1–3 business days.
If you don’t want to use Plaid, PayPal, or Venmo to transfer your Ibotta cash to your bank account, you could redeem your cash back for a gift card.
Ibotta has over 100 gift card options, including popular online retailers, restaurants, grocery stores, and retail stores.
Signing up for Ibotta
Signing up for Ibotta is easy and should take you less than 1 minute. You can either register on the official Ibotta website or download the Ibotta mobile app on your Apple or Android device and register that way.
Either way, here are the step-by-step instructions on how to get started saving money with Ibotta.
Create your account
As I mentioned above, you can register for your Ibotta account on the official website, or you can download the app.
For this review, I am registering using the Ibotta app. However, if you are on your computer and want to register through the Ibotta website, that’s perfectly fine.
Signing up using the website versus the app is basically the same.
If you sign up through the website, when you land on the homepage, you should see a button that says “Sign Up” at the top right corner of the page.
Click this button to head to the registration page. On this page, you’ll enter some very basic information about yourself.
After signing up
Once you’ve completed registration, you’ll land on a page that says, “Let’s keep your account safe.” You’ll want to add your full name, confirm your email, and link your phone number.
If you signed up using your mobile device, you don’t have to answer these questions.
If you aren’t already using Ibotta on your mobile device, I’d recommend you go ahead and download the app.
Although you can use Ibotta on your desktop computer or laptop, it’s optimized for your phone and works best that way.
At this point, you must begin familiarizing yourself with the Ibotta app. There’s a lot to look at on the app, so it can get a bit overwhelming. But if you take a few minutes to browse and see where everything is, you can quickly get adjusted.
The app’s homepage is filled with various cash back opportunities, special deals, and recommended retailers. These options may look different for you, depending on your location.
Start earning cash back with Ibotta
There are three primary ways you can start getting cash back using Ibotta. Let’s go over each way step-by-step.
Earn cash back with your receipt
Ibotta offers cash back on thousands of items at over 500,000 in-store retailers. This included popular retailers like Walmart, Target, Publix, Lowes Foods, and more.
The first way you can earn cash back with Ibotta is to scan your receipt after your shopping trip. Here’s how it works.
Step 1: Open the Ibotta app and browse offers by retailer, brand, or category. All of this can be found from the home page of the app.
Step 2: I’d recommend you search for offers from the retailer you plan on shopping at. For example, I am using Target. Since Target is a popular retailer, it’s on the app’s homepage.
Step 3: If the retailer you are looking for is not on the homepage, scroll down to Shop by category, select Grocery, then choose the correct retailer from the list. By default, the Nearby filer will be selected to only show stores closest to you. If you want to turn this off, hit the X next to the filter.
Step 4: Once on the retailer, you can browse a variety of categories to help you find offers faster. To add an offer, tap the blue plus sign.
Step 5: After you add your offers and finish your shopping trip, tap Redeem from the menu at the bottom of the app. Select the store you just finished shopping at. The app will now prompt you to upload your receipt or link your store loyalty account.
Pro Tip: For faster cash back with Ibotta, link your store loyalty account. Learn how to do that here.
Earn cash back shopping online
In addition to in-store cash back, Ibotta also allows you to earn cash back when shopping online. Ibotta has partnered with major online retailers, restaurants, and even clothing retailers to help you save money.
Here are the exact steps you need to start getting cash back when shopping online.
Step 1: Open the Ibotta app and tap Online Shopping at the bottom under Shop by category.
Step 2: You will be taken to a page with more than 100 online retailers. Simply scroll until you find your retailer’s website. For this example, I’m using Amazon.
Step 3: Click on the Shop button to go to the retailer’s website. Once there, shop as you normally would without leaving the Ibotta app. If you have the retailer’s mobile app installed on your phone, you’ll be taken to their app instead.
Earn cash back with Pay with Ibotta
Pay with Ibotta is similar to Apple Pay, Google Pay, and all the other mobile payment apps. You connect your card(s) to the app and can pay for everyday items using only your phone.
The difference with Pay with Ibotta is that you can pay directly from the app and get instant cash back on your in-store and online purchases.
Here’s exactly how to set up Pay with Ibotta.
Step 1: Open the Ibotta app and tap Account from the bottom menu.
Step 2: Tap Payments, and then Payment methods.
Step 3: Tap Add debit card, put in your debit card information, then tap Save & continue. Your debit card should now have been successfully added.
Additionally, you can use Apple Pay, or Google pay instead of connecting a debit card.
Is Ibotta worth it?
Yes, Ibotta is absolutely worth it.
In fact, you have nothing to lose when you use Ibotta, and only a lot of money to gain. The app is free to download, and if you link your store loyalty card or use Pay with Ibotta, you don’t even have to do much work.
Ibotta makes their money from the retailers, not you. So the service Ibotta is providing to you is 100% free.
I use Ibotta for my weekly grocery shopping. I use it alongside my Target RedCard and get an additional 5% off my entire purchase. I’m saving thousands of dollars a year doing this.
Getting started with Ibotta is fast and free. Sign up today using any of the links provided on this page and get a $20 welcome bonus after you redeem your first offer in Ibotta.
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