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Ibotta App Review: How it Works + Deals & Rewards, 2019 Promo Codes

Rachel Carey
Financial Guru
Updated: 6/2019
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IBOTTA REVIEW
Ibotta

Why Ibotta?

  • Partnered with over 300 retailers, grocery stores, restaurants, and more.
  • Free-to-use mobile app that enables consumers to earn cash back on purchases.
  • Save on your purchases without the hassle of traditional couponing methods.
  • Redeem your Ibotta earnings in cash or gift card.
Try Ibotta
You’ve likely seen a free app called Ibotta being advertised across your Facebook page or television, and you might’ve even received a few join offer codes from friends. If it looks interesting, but you’ve been hesitant to download the app because you don’t really understand what it is, then you’re in the right place. In this beginner’s guide to Ibotta we will cover everything you need to know from what Ibotta is, how it works to save you money, and my own testimonial on whether or not it’s really as good as other users claim.Ibotta Review How it Works

Table of Contents

What is Ibotta?

As shows like TLC’s “Extreme Couponing” have documented, paper clip or print and save coupons can result in drastic savings. However, there are three fundamental flaws in the usability of paper coupons for the average shopper:

1) You must collect coupons from various different sources – newspapers, manufacturers, websites, off products themselves, click and print coupon sites, etc.

2) It takes a great deal of time and energy to organize, sort, and use these coupons.

3) Coupon policies at a retailer can limit how you use coupons and make the process a tedious nightmare to save very little when all is said and done.

Ibotta is a money-saving solution for people who don’t necessarily have the time, energy, or desire to use coupons in ways that save them significant money on the goods and services they purchase. In today’s busy world of juggling a jam-packed schedule, time-management, usability, and effort vs reward are the bottom line in people utilizing a money-saving task or just paying full price. Ibotta’s streamline approach to rebates checks all the boxes for people looking for fast and efficient ways to reduce their expenses.

Ibotta is a free mobile app providing cash-back shopping and immediate rebates on a variety of products. It’s comparable with most iOS and android devices. All the offers are stored within the app, eliminating the must of gathering paper coupons and the tediousness of transporting paper coupons around with you.

However, what makes a Ibotta one of the most popular savings portals and a must-have in any couponer’s toolbox is that it can be used in addition to any other savings strategy you choose to utilize, such as:

  • In-store rebates and sales
  • Paper manufacturer coupons and coupon stacking
  • Ad matching
  • In-store digital coupons
  • In-store reward programs
  • Other rebate, receipt submission, and money-saving apps

While some of Ibotta’s offers require users to watch a short video, complete a one-step question about the product, or just look at a recipe or supplementary offer, most of the offers can be completed in just three simple steps:

1) Add the offer to your in-app account.

2) Purchase the product.

3) Redeem the offer by verifying purchase.

Is Ibotta Just Another App Catering To Users In Huge Metro Areas?

Ibotta Review: How it Works

The Ibotta app is surprisingly simple to use. At first glance, it can be overwhelming because of its size. You’ll have over 300 retailers with offers. However, it’s that size that’s actually a huge plus for consumers across the U.S.

Ibotta has hundreds of manufacturer and retailer participants within each of its various categories of shopping, which makes it almost a one-stop couponing shop.

The location facet is actually a big problem for other rebate websites and apps. How often have you download an app or subscribed to a service only to find that there are only a few, if any, participating retailers, manufacturers, and offers in your area? One of my Ibotta team members, Jo, is in rural Mississippi, and her savings for 2017 were $1,256 with Ibotta. You don’t get savings like that from many of the other rebate portals that only have offerings for huge metro areas.

Certain areas of Ibotta, such as the restaurant rebate section, will have more offers for metro areas with more restaurant availability, but Ibotta has such an expansive list of participants in the following categories that users will find themselves with a steady plethora of online and in-store rebate options regardless of physical location:

  • Grocery
  • Mobile shopping
  • Beer, wines, and spirits
  • Restaurants and bars
  • Convenience stores
  • Pharmacy
  • Clothing
  • Beauty and wellness
  • Specialty
  • Crafts and gifts
  • Electronics and home
  • Travel

How Hard is Ibotta to Use?

I find Ibotta to be one of the most user-friendly savings apps I use both in implementing the savings and collecting the money. Here’s an example of how easy it is to use. Let’s say I’m going to Walmart:

  • From the home screen, I click “find offers” and select grocery.
  • I search for Walmart and will find a complete listing of all the available rebates. It takes me about seven minutes to scroll through the offers and select the rebates on products I know with certainty I’ll buy.
  • Once at Walmart, I can see if any of the extra items on sale or that I decide in-store I want to buy are on Ibotta by simply scanning the product’s barcode in the Ibotta app.
  • After my trip, I click redeem on the Ibotta app and scan the QR code at the bottom of my receipt. Ibotta will list the rebates I’ve earned. I’ll click submit, and then I wait for the rebates to be approved.
  • Although it can take up to 48 hours for Ibotta to approve the purchase, I most always receive a message within the hour that my purchases are approved.
  • I now see the money deposited in my Ibotta earnings page.

How Can Ibotta Earnings Be Collected?

You have several options to collect your Ibotta earnings. You can link your Venmo or PayPal account to collect your Ibotta earnings in cash. If you prefer, you can collect your earnings through gift card payouts. Currently, Ibotta has over 50 different gift card options, including Amazon, Applebee’s, Kohl’s, Walmart, Target, and Lowe’s. The minimum amount required for payout with any option is $20.

Ibotta Review: How it Works

How Does Ibotta Work?

You’ll download the Ibotta app on your Android or iOS device and take a few minutes to set up your account. You can then immediately start redeeming cash-back offers.

When you open the Ibotta app, you’ll be on the Home screen. This screen will show you a collection of recommended offers. These are based on the retailers you visit most often, products you buy most often, popular offers in your area, popular offers with other Ibotta users, offers of the week, and sponsored offers. It basically makes it easy to find the “hottest” offers immediately. Explore these, or you can move on to a more targeted search for rebates.

At the bottom of the app, you’ll find five icon tabs you’ll use to navigate Ibotta:

1) Home

2) Find Offers

3) Redeem

4) My Offers

5) Account

It’s very streamlined and user-friendly. You won’t get lost in subpage after subpage opening and struggling to find your way back to a specific offer or Home. Now, it’s time to start collecting offers.

Collect, Purchase, Redeem, Verify

To start collecting offers, you’ll select the “Find Offers” icon. This screen will show you your favorite stores at the top of the screen for easy navigation. Otherwise, you’ll see a browse by category listing:

  • Grocery
  • Mobile shopping
  • Beer, wines, and spirits
  • Restaurants and bars
  • Convenience stores
  • Pharmacy
  • Clothing
  • Beauty and wellness
  • Specialty
  • Crafts and gifts
  • Electronics and home
  • Travel

Select the type of offers you’d like to explore. Let’s say you select “grocery.” You’ll now be shown a listing of all the grocery retailers in your area and featured retailers. Here’s how to go through the process:

Step One: Find A Retailer

Select the retailer(s) you plan to visit to see what offers are available.

Step Two: Find a Product

You’ll now be shown a scrolling list of products, which will include a picture of the product, terms for rebate, amount of rebate, and a (+) icon to add the product to your Ibotta account to make it redeemable.

Step Three: Complete Any Associated Task

In making a product redeemable, some options simply automatically add to your account and some may require a simple one-step task of watching a 15-30 second video, being shown a fact about the product, viewing a recipe, or answering a question about the product.

One of the most common tasks is in being asked if your tried the product or not, to which you’ll simply select yes or no, and being asked what new aspect of the product line you’re most excited about, to which you’ll select one of four options or type a few words about. At most, it will take 30 seconds to make your selected product redeemable, which is far less time than you’d spend clipping a coupon. Ibotta automatically adds these products to your checklist of redeemable products after you’ve completed the task.

Step Four: Add More Offers

With grocery and other big box stores where you’ll likely be making more than one redemption, it’s best to continue going through the available offers and selecting any you feel you might buy. Remember, adding it to your checklist doesn’t mean that you must buy the product.

Step Five: Buy The Product(s)

Visit the retailer and purchase the products.

Ibotta Review: How it Works

Are All Ibotta Rebates The Same Process?

You’ll follow the same basic procedure for most of Ibotta’s rebates, but here are a few caveats to keep in mind as you go about selecting your rebates:

  • You can search for a specific product or service if you’d rather do that than search for a specific retailer.
  • Some products may require a barcode scan during the redeem process as part of the verification system that you bought it.
  • Some purchases, such as travel purchases involving a hotel or airline booking, will not be redeemable 48 hours after purchase; instead, they’ll be redeemable 48 hours after the reservation date has been fulfilled.
  • Mobile retailer purchases, such as through iTunes or Amazon, require you to visit the retailer’s site directly through an inbound link from the Ibotta app and/or submit an e-receipt. In most cases, simply choosing the mobile retailer through your Ibotta app automatically tracks the purchase and nothing more is required for you to fulfill the rebate.
  • Pay careful attention to each rebate’s terms and conditions. Some rebates require you to buy a certain number of products for eligibility. Some rebates allow you to buy multiples and collect the rebate multiple times and others are a one-time rebate on a single purchase. If a rebate is eligible for multiple submissions, you’ll see a prompt during the verification process to select how many of an item you purchased.
  • “Any brand” rebates, such as carrots, milk, eggs, and so forth, mean that you just have to buy a generalized product, not a specific brand. However, these may only be redeemable at certain stores. So always check to see where “any brand” rebates are available/excluded.
  • In most cases, “any” brand redemptions do not count toward Ibotta bonus offerings, which we will cover in a moment.

Timely Receipt Submission And Expiring Rebates

One thing I love about Ibotta is that there are no restrictions on how many offers you can redeem per receipt. However, all Ibotta offers have an expiration date. Ibotta does a great job at alerting you as to offers that are expiring in seven days, two days, and that day, but offers can expire before the set deadline. So, it’s best to add offers as soon as you see them.

Don’t forget that you’ll have seven days to submit your receipt from the time of purchase, but that doesn’t mean that the rebate will still be in the app in seven days. So, it’s best to submit your receipt as soon as possible to avoid having purchases that aren’t redeemable because an offer expiring.

You can check expiration dates from the offer tab and from your checklist tab. Look for the red flags, which are helpful reminders that a product is expiring in a week or less.

That’s Not All Folks: There Are Even More Ibotta Opportunities To Earn Money

Another feature that sets Ibotta apart from the coupon app crowd is that Ibotta has several paths to earn beyond each individual rebate’s value. Here are three ways Ibotta can stack up your savings:

1) Teamwork Bonuses

Ibotta offers you the opportunity to create and join teams based on the people you know, meet on Ibotta’s social media postings, and are already friends with online. You use this team to both collectively and individually work toward extra money-making goals.

Ibotta establishes teamwork goals within four levels. Each level requires you to redeem a certain number of redemptions and your team to have a certain monetary value in qualifying redeemable offers. Ibotta establishes the bonus amount month-by-month, but it usually starts at .$50 for level one with 5 offers and a $10 team earning and goes up to $3.00 for level four’s criteria of 25 offers and $25 in team earnings.

The bottom line here is that the more active you are and the bigger your Ibotta team, the more you can earn. You can find the team bonus by selecting the “Account” tab and then the “Team” option.

2) Invite Friend Bonuses

Ibotta pays you a $5 bonus every time someone you invite registers using your referral code and redeems their first offer. You can find your referral code by selecting “Account” and then “Invite Friends.” You can copy and paste your referral code or send the link directly to your Facebook and Twitter accounts.

In addition to the standard $5 bonus Ibotta runs at all times, Ibotta often offers special bonuses for referring friends. I’ve seen $25, $50, and even $100 bonuses for referring a certain amount of people at certain times.

3) Individual Activity Bonuses

There are usually two or three dozen individual activity bonuses each month offered by Ibotta. Common bonuses include:

  • Buying two products within a specified timeframe, such as Downy and Tide for a $1.00 bonus in addition to the rebate you received for each individual purchase.
  • Spending a certain amount at a certain retailer within a rebate; an example would be a 3% rebate for HSN and a bonus rebate of $10 if you spend $50 or more at HSN when redeeming the original rebate.
  • Individually redeeming a certain number of rebates at a particular retailer.
  • Individually redeeming a certain number of Ibotta rebates at any retailer.

How Do I Keep Up With My Ibotta Earnings?

Under the “Account” tab, you’ll see your lifetime earnings listed at the top of the page, a progress bar toward your current payout threshold of $20, and any pending rebate submissions.

You can track your receipt submissions, bonus progress, friend invites, teamwork progress, earnings by the month, how individual team members are performing, and favorite rebates from the Account page.

You’ll also use the Account page to request earnings once you’ve reached the threshold for payout.

Testimonial: Ibotta Usability Bottom Line

My experience using Ibotta over the last four years has been nothing but positive. I’ve never bought a product and promptly submitted my receipt without receiving the credit from Ibotta. I’ve used Ibotta for hotel percentage rebates; through a variety of mobile retailers; and across multiple in-store grocery, restaurant, and service retailers without any hiccups. Over the past four years, my rebates have totaled over $3,000 and my cash outs to PayPal have gone through within five minutes of requesting it from Ibotta.

That last caveat is one of my favorite aspects of Ibotta. While you will have to wait until you collect $20 in rebates, once that threshold is met, there’s no waiting around for someone to mail you a check or send you a gift card. Your Ibotta gift card is immediately available for use through an email. Your cash money payout is immediately deposited into your PayPal or Venmo account.

As far as usability goes with Ibotta, it’s also easy to search for and add the rebates I want to use. Sometimes, I’ll take five to ten minutes sitting in the car before going into a retailer to add rebates to my checklist. Other times, I’ll simply open my Ibotta app, select the store I’m at, and scan each product I put in my cart. I can even multitask ahead of time while I’m watching television, sitting at a doctor’s office, or on my lunch break at work – just open Ibotta and explore the stores and offers available.

Stores are becoming much more strict on their couponing and discounting policies. As someone who previously spent hours upon hours collecting, clipping, and fumbling with paper coupons in-store, I can attest Ibotta’s rebates are a much less tedious, time consuming, and difficult process. Plus, if I have time, I can still use my paper and digital coupons and in-store saving offerings in conjunction to Ibotta. I take that same receipt and submit it to receipt apps, such as Fetch Rewards, for even more savings.

I’ve found Ibotta to be the most tangible and efficient way to see purchase savings across the scope of my wholistic spending habits – from restaurants and mobile shopping for clothes and electronics to my grocery bills. I haven’t found that combination of wholistic, efficiency, and ease in any other app.

I love that there’s little grey area in the Ibotta app. Aside from what the product is, where you can buy the product, and sometimes a caveat for a certain number of the product, Ibotta’s rebates aren’t full of all the grey area many other apps and couponing services often have to trip you up and make things difficult. No gimmicks. No confusing and frustrating terms.

Want More Ibotta News?

Visit Ibotta’s website, blog, or FAQ within the app for current news and to learn more about Ibotta’s ever-expanding efforts to help users save more cash, more often, and more places.

Rewards apps are big these days and you should also look at other apps like MyPoints, Dosh, and Ebate.

To learn more ways on how to make money online, read our Swagbucks review. They offer multiple methods of generating cash online. 

FAQ

Ibotta Basics:

Get to know what Ibotta is, how it works, and how it can benefit you

Your Title Goes Here

Your content goes here. Edit or remove this text inline or in the module Content settings. You can also style every aspect of this content in the module Design settings and even apply custom CSS to this text in the module Advanced settings.

What is Ibotta?

Ibotta is a mobile app wherein you can get cash back for purchases you make with their partner establishments both offline and online.

How does Ibotta work?

Ibotta offers various product promos through the app. When you purchase products from its partner merchants, you get rebates that get stored as cash in your Ibotta account, which you can withdraw once it reaches $20.

How to use the Ibotta?

To use the Ibotta app, simply download the free app and create an account. Then you’ll need to enter some basic information. After that, you can choose which promos you prefer either for in-store purchases or online shopping.

How does Ibotta make money?

Ibotta makes money through small commissions with every purchased product. They also gain income from sponsored videos and ads in the app.

Is the Ibotta app free?

Yes. The Ibotta app is 100% free for everyone to download. We review other coupons app options in another article.

Is Ibotta legit?

Yes, it is. There are numerous blogs and reviews online which prove that they have used Ibotta and that it actually works.

Is using Ibotta worth it?

Depends on your needs. While it does offer cash benefits, you will also need to allot time as you will need to do extra steps in order to redeem the cash rebates.

How to sign up for Ibotta?

Signing up for Ibotta is just like creating an account for social media apps or email. You just need to download the app and enter some basic information.

Does Ibotta know if I return something?

Ibotta’s website says that it has sole discretion to determine whether an item has been returned or not, but there really is no way of knowing unless you email them directly or if you work for Ibotta.

Can I use Ibotta with ebt?

Yes. Ibotta is concerned with the redemption of the product, not how it was purchased, so you can use whichever payment method you like.

Can you use Ibotta on a computer?

You can check offers in Ibotta on your computer but to actually get cash back, you will need to use the app.

How to join a team on Ibotta?

To join a team on Ibotta, you just need to use a team member’s referral code or link your Ibotta account to your Facebook account and make sure that you and the team member are friends in Facebook.

Can I use Ebates and Ibotta together?

No. Ebates and Ibotta are competing apps, and cannot be used in conjunction with one another. You can use either at separate times, though.

Can you use Ibotta with Walmart grocery pickup?

Unfortunately, you cannot use Ibotta with Walmart grocery pickup as it is excluded as eligible item offers according to Ibotta’s website.

What loyalty cards work with Ibotta?

Ibotta has what it calls Preferred Partners, or merchants whose loyalty programs you can use with Ibotta. For a list of its preferred partners, you can check Ibotta’s website.

Can I use Ibotta with coupons?

Yes. You can buy items using your coupons and upload the receipt in the Ibotta app to reap the cash rewards.

Where is Ibotta located?

Ibotta was founded in 2011 and is based in Denver, Colorado. It launched both for iOS and Android in 2012.

Who owns Ibotta?

Ibotta was founded by CEO Bryan Leach and was considered one of the best ideas at the time. For his efforts, Leach was named regional Entrepreneur of the Year in 2015 by Ernst and Young.

Saving money through Ibotta:

Ibotta is all about letting you save cash. But how does it do that? Read on to find out.

Your Title Goes Here

Your content goes here. Edit or remove this text inline or in the module Content settings. You can also style every aspect of this content in the module Design settings and even apply custom CSS to this text in the module Advanced settings.

What are Ibotta reward codes?

Ibotta reward or promo codes are the codes that allow you to enjoy various special offers and bonuses.

How to get reward codes for Ibotta?

Ibotta promo codes can be obtained in various ways. Ibotta itself gives away promo codes through email, mobile app notifications, or Facebook. You can also get it through affiliate links.

Does Ibotta cash expire?

No. You can keep the cash in your Ibotta account indefinitely. However, it may be subject to fees if your accounts as been inactive for at least 12 months.

How many times can I redeem an Ibotta offer?

Depends on the offer. The number of times an offer can be redeemed is stated on the details of each offer, and varies from product to product.

How to unlock rebates on Ibotta?

Getting rebates on Ibotta is easy. You just need to select the offers you want beforehand. For in-store purchases, just scan the receipt of the eligible item and your rebate is automatically credited to your account. For online purchases, you will be directed to the merchant website and once you make your purchase, you will immediately get the rebate.

How do I get my money from Ibotta?

There are several ways to withdraw your earnings in Ibotta. Once you reach the threshold of $20, you can withdraw it buy buying gift cards, or through your linked Paypal or Venmo account.

When do Ibotta rebates reset?

Depends on each merchant. The offers on Ibotta varies for each merchant, and this is also true for how frequently they reset the offers so that they can be used again.

How to get Ibotta referral code?

A referral code is a unique number assigned to you at the time of registration. You can use this to invite friends and gain even more rewards and bonuses. You can find this in your Account under the Invite Friends tab.

How to redeem multiple items on Ibotta?

You can redeem multiple items by selecting multiple offers on the app and scanning the corresponding receipt for each item. You can also buy the same item twice or more, depending on the details of a particular offer.

How do you get cash back on Ibotta?

Ibotta offers various cash back rewards for purchasing items from its partner merchants. The amount of cash you can get varies per product, so you will need to carefully select and choose the offers.

How do you cash out of Ibotta?

The great thing about Ibotta is that you can withdraw your rebates as cash. This is done by transferring your incurred Ibotta cash to either your linked Paypal or Venmo account.

How long does Ibotta take to transfer money to Paypal?

In most cases, transferring money from Ibotta to your Paypal account is instantaneous. However, during high-traffic days or seasons, it can take up to 24 hours.

How to use Ibotta gift cards?

If you do not want to withdraw your Ibotta credits as cash, you can use it to buy gift cards instead. Once you reach $20, you can buy gift cards in the Ibotta app and use it to shop in your merchant of choice or give it to loved ones.

When does Ibotta add rebates?

After selecting your offer in the Ibotta app and purchasing the corresponding item, you will need to scan the receipt of the item. Once verified and accepted by the app scanner, the rebates are automatically added to your Ibotta account.

Does Ibotta money expire?

The great thing about Ibotta is you can just keep your cash in your Ibotta account for future use as it will not expire. However, dormant accounts can be subject to inactivity fees after 12 months.

How does Ibotta pay you?

Ibotta offers customers cash through a rebate system, wherein you buy a product from one of its partner merchants through Ibotta’s app, and you earn rebates that are eligible for cash withdrawal once you reach $20.

How to submit receipt to Ibotta?

With Ibotta, almost everything is done digitally. You just need to scan the receipt of your item using the app’s scanner, so there’s no need to physically mail your receipt for verification.

Other FAQs about Ibotta:

Curious to know other details and information about Ibotta? Read about them below:

Your Title Goes Here

Your content goes here. Edit or remove this text inline or in the module Content settings. You can also style every aspect of this content in the module Design settings and even apply custom CSS to this text in the module Advanced settings.

Can you return an item after getting rebate from Ibotta?

Yes, you can. Getting a rebate from Ibotta does not waive your right to return defective or incorrect items.

Does Ibotta work with online purchases?

Yes, it does. Through Ibotta’s app, you will be taken to a partner merchant’s website where your rebates are applicable. However, you will need to do it with Ibotta’s app and not go directly to the merchant’s website yourself.

How long does Ibotta take to verify purchases?

It depends. Some purchases take longer to be verified than others, but the pending period (the verification period of Ibotta) usually coincides with the return of exchange period of the merchant where you bought the item.

How to take picture of receipt for Ibotta?

You do not need any third-party app to take a picture of your receipt, as the Ibotta app has an built-in receipt scanner used to verify your purchases.

How does Ibotta verify receipts?

Ibotta’s scanner does the job of picking out the details of the receipt for verification, so your receipt needs to be legible and clean, as a dirty receipt can be rejected due to unclear details. 

Rachel Carey

Rachel Carey

Financial Guru

Rachel is dedicated to helping individuals and families boost their budgets so they can enjoy the lifestyle they deserve. Rachel graduated with a degree in Family and Consumer Sciences. She’s a prolific finance writer, producing tons of articles on different aspects of personal and family budget management.

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