Ibotta Review: How Ibotta Works for Saving Money


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How Does Ibotta Work

If you practice frugal living and want know how Ibotta works for saving money on shopping, but don’t have the time to physically clip coupons, then check out this Ibotta review.

Using the Ibotta app is one of the simplest ways to save money and get cash back every week on all kinds of purchases.

It is one of our favorite shopping apps that we use regularly.

(I totally recommend this cash back app and right now they are actually offering a $20 incentive to SIGN UP for limited time).

Ibotta Review

This Ibotta review will detail step-by-step on how Ibotta works, how to use the Ibotta app, the pros and cons of the app, and also how to maximize your Ibotta earnings through Ibotta secrets and hacks.

Ready to earn some money? Then read on!

How Ibotta Works:  What is Ibotta?

Ibotta is a free app that lets you get cash rebates on products that you buy at stores.

It’s considered to be one of our favorite best cash back apps for groceries available.

Ibotta is best known for its grocery store coupons, but it does offer cash-back on other products.  The products range from groceries to home and household items and even some organic foods as well.

We will cover how Ibotta works down below.

There are more than 300 retailers that participate such as Walmart, Sam’s Club and Target.

Think of using this app as the new way to clip coupons although it is 100 times faster!

Instead of just accumulating points in your account, you actually receive cash back in your account.

How Ibotta Works:  Is there a cost to use Ibotta?

The ibotta app itself is indeed free.

There is NO COST to download the app or use it.

However, if you have a balance in your account and discontinue using the app for over six consecutive months, account maintenance fees will be deducted from your inactive Ibotta account balance.

Can you make money with Ibotta?

The answer is a resounding YES!

How Ibotta works is very similar to Swagbucks, but what is cool about the app is that it provides cash back for name brand products which makes them the same price as generic.

One of the best parts about how Ibotta works is that it also provides cash back for generic products too.

So if you are a generic brand shopper, by using the Ibotta app, you can get the generic products for even less money.  That’s how Ibotta works and is designed.

Before I started using this app, I would always buy generic.

However, after using the app I learned in more detail how Ibotta works.  Now, sometimes I will buy the name brand item because it is just as cheap as the generic and often times better quality.

Is Ibotta legit?

Ibotta is not a scam and it is totally legit.  Often times people don’t think that cash back apps really pay money.

There are some however out there that do, and Ibotta is one of them.

Ibotta does actually pay cash back if you chose the cash option.

How Does Ibotta Work?  How does Ibotta make money?  

Ibotta makes money by referring customers to stores.

Ibotta has over 300 merchant stores that they have a relationship with and do business with.

Whenever something is bought by a customer, Ibotta collects a referral commission from the store.

That’s how Ibotta works and earns money.

Ibotta shares that commission with the customer.  It is no different than how advertising companies used to make money when they printed coupons.

The consumer received a coupon to go buy a product at the store and the advertising agency received a commission.

This same strategy takes place today, only its done through online shopping and cash-back apps just like Ibotta.

The other way how Ibotta works and earns revenue is thorough advertising ads to the consumer.

How Does Ibotta Work With Devices?

Ibotta currently supports the following devices:

iOS users:

  • iOS 11.0 and newer
  • iPhone 5s and newer
  • iPod Touch Generation 6 and newer
  • iPad – Air, Mini 2 and newer, 2017 and newer

Android users:

  • Android devices running on platform 4.1 and newer
    • Devices running on platforms below 5.0 may use the Ibotta app, but cannot update to Ibotta versions 5.37.0 or newer.
  • Rear facing camera with autofocus (Ibotta does not support any device without a camera.)
  • Network access
  • Location services
  • Portrait and landscape screen orientation
  • Wi-Fi compatible
  • Touchscreen

How Does Ibotta Work?  (A step-by-step guide) 

Step 1: Add Offers to your Account

  • Set up an Ibotta account.  It only takes seconds to create an Ibotta account.  SIGN UP HERE to create your account.
  • Once you’ve downloaded Ibotta and completed registration, open the Ibotta app to begin.
  • Log in using your information. Select your favorite stores and apps if you haven’t done so already.
  • Find offers! On Home, you can browse through suggested offers at some of your favorite retailers.
  • Complete one or more fun tasks to add offers to your account.
  • The more offers you add, the more cash you can get back!

Secret Tip: Offers do expire sometimes so don’t forget to redeem them before they’re gone!

Step 2: Go Shopping

After adding offers to your account, they will be added to your My Offers list.

Buy these items at over 300 retailers where Ibotta works.

Ibotta is one of the best apps to help you save money on groceries when you go shopping.

Some offers are retailer or store exclusive so be sure to check your favorite retailers prior to shopping.

Secret Tip: Be sure to check the offer details and exclusions to make sure you purchase the correct item.

Secret Tip: To find if an offer is a store exclusive, tap the offer to view the details, scroll down to view Available At.

If no other stores are listed at the bottom of the offer details, the offer is only available at the retailer listed.

BONUS SECRET TIP:  Some offers may be available at a limited selection of retailers.  Please be sure to tap See All under Also Available At, in the offer details, to view the complete list of retailers.

Step 3: Redeem

Ibotta users receive credit for eligible and successful redemption within 48 hours is how Ibotta works.

Depending on the retailer, there are three ways to redeem offers:

1.  Manual Receipt Submission:

  • Tap “Redeem” on the Navigation Bar.
  • Select the appropriate Retailer.
  • Take clear photos of your receipt and select any eligible offers.
  • Some of their supported retailers will require you to scan a QR code (i.e. Best Buy) or receipt barcode (i.e. Marc’s) in order to redeem your offers.
  • If prompted, scan the barcodes of your selected products.

Secret Tip:  For sending in long receipts:

  • Starting at the top, line up the edges of the viewfinder to the edges of the receipt.
  • Tap Take Photo.
  • Tap the pink “+” that says Add Section.
  • At the top of the view you will see a couple line items from the bottom of the previous picture. Line up the edges of the viewfinder to the edges of the receipt.
  • Slowly move down the receipt until you see the lines items at the top of the viewfinder.  Remember, you want to overlap pictures by just a couple of lines.
  • Tap Take Photo.
  • Repeat above steps until you complete the receipt.  Be sure to capture all the way to the end.
  • When you’re done, tap Finished.
  • Scan barcodes and adjust quantities, if necessary, and complete your submission.

2.  Preferred Partner/Loyalty Card Submission:

  • With specific retailers, users must connect their loyalty card and add offers to their Ibotta account prior to shopping.
  • Users will automatically receive credit for successful redemptions within 48 hours.

3.  Mobile Shopping Submission:

Ibotta’s Mobile Shopping retailers do allow for in-app or app-to-app purchases.  You will not need to send in a receipt but you should hold on to the confirmation email until the offer has completed.  It usually takes about 48 hours.

Step 4: Earn Cash!

The best part about how Ibotta works is that you earn real money, not points or other made-up currencies.  It is real cash back money.

How do you get your money back from Ibotta?  

I am so glad you asked that question.  Getting your money back from Ibotta is as easy as 1-2-3, literally!

Once you reach the withdrawal threshold of $20, how Ibotta works for withdrawals is there are three ways that you can withdraw your earnings:

  1. You can withdraw your earnings by purchasing a gift card through the app. Some gift cards have a minimum purchase of $25.
  2. You can withdraw your earnings by sending your money to your already linked PayPal account.
  3. You can withdraw your earnings by sending your money to your already linked Venmo account.

Once you purchase a gift card or send your earnings to your PayPal or Venmo account, you can do whatever you please with them.  It’s money back in your pocket!

And for a limited time, Ibotta is giving you a welcome bonus of $20 for signing up to use their app!!!

Shop with Ibotta in-store and online get up to $20 in Welcome Bonuses!

Ibotta Secret Hacks

There are also ways to earn extra cash back as well with finding bonuses offered.  That’s right.  Learn how Ibotta works with secret hacks.

Hack #1:

Find New Bonuses in the Account Section

Bonuses are a fun and easy way to earn more cash each and every time you shop.

To find new bonuses, tap the “Account” tab on the bottom browser navigation and then tap “Bonuses” from the list to see what new and exciting bonuses are available.

Hack #2:

Look for Bonuses on Offers

There is extra cash hidden just below the surface.  If you want to see if there is a bonus on any offer, simply scroll down from the product spotlight to see related bonuses.

Hack #3:

Random Notifications

After you add offers, Ibotta will send a quick reminder in the app if there is a bonus on that item.  Keep an eye out for that quick message alerting you to bonus cash!

Hack #4:

Reuse Bonuses and Offers

A lot of the bonuses and offers can be used multiple times until the offer expires or is no longer available.  Think of it as extreme couponing but without the coupon!  This is a great hack to do in order to lad up on staples or products that will never go bad.  Things like paper towels will never go bad so if you get a great offer come your way, why not load up on it?

Hack #5:

Use Physical Coupons as well

If you happen to find a physical coupon as well, be sure to use it to pile on more savings.  Talk about a win-win for how Ibotta works to maximize savings!

How Ibotta Works – Ibotta Pros

  • Right now you can get an immediate welcome bonus from Ibotta because they are so confident you will LOVE this app!

Shop with Ibotta in-store and online get up to $20 in Welcome Bonuses!

  • You can get cash back and rebates on more pricier items such as organic foods and other healthier items.
  • You can also use coupons on generic items which makes them even cheaper for you to purchase.
  • There are over 300 retailers and shopping partners on Ibotta.
  • You can re-coupon over and over until the coupons expire or disappear.
  • You can also incorporate physical coupons for products in addition to using the Ibotta app and rebates.
  • It’s a passive way to earn money.

How Ibotta Works – Ibotta Cons

  • Sometimes Ibotta has trouble reading the receipt.  If that happens to you, its a good practice to put an arrow or line next to the item that you purchased.  This may help with proper reading of the receipt.
  • Occasionally, you do have to read the fine print to see if an item you are purchasing does meet the qualifications for cash-back.

Ibotta app Review Summary

When it comes to earning cash back, how Ibotta works and the Ibotta app is probably one of the best apps out there.

It’s one I’ve used personally and learned very quickly how Ibotta works.

There are not a lot of apps that will let you reuse the same offer over and over, yet because of how Ibotta works, you can reuse offers.

Not to mention you can also use those offers on generic products which is HUGE.  You can save major money and potentially get some products for free if you can source it correctly.

It’s quick to sign up with Ibotta and easy to use.

In my opinion, there are so many pros with how Ibotta works that using the Ibotta app is a no-brainer.

Earning a couple extra bucks every time you go shopping is well worth the time it takes with the app.

The real benefit is being able to pile on in-store coupons in addition to using the app!

I like to think of this process as extreme couponing 2.0 – the next level!

Join Ibotta today and start earning cash back.  It’s a fun, passive, and easy way to earn money.

Be sure to check out our review on making money through a high-yield savings account if you really want to grow your savings.

Don’t forget Ibotta is offering a $20 welcome bonus.  Click the link below to receive your invitation for the welcome bonus.

All in all, I don’t think you can go wrong with Ibotta.  It’s a great way to make money for shopping that you have to do anyways.

With how Ibotta works and the ease of use, it really is the best of both worlds!

 

 

BG Vance

For over 20 years, BG Vance has been a leader in public and personal financial management. He's developed and managed public budgets in excess of hundreds of millions of dollars. He is passionate about the FIRE movement and was featured in the Detroit News in 2001 about saving for retirement. Through the years, he's assisted families and individuals with getting their finances on track. He holds an MPA, is a licensed Realtor, and is currently working on a book about personal finance.

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