Ibotta Review


Ibotta

Summary

Ibotta is a lesser-known web and mobile based app that brings coupon cutting into the new age. It pays you for finding deals on the items you’d normally be buying every day. With hundreds of participating stores, it’s surprising how easy it is to find a store that’s willing to pay you for shopping through Ibotta. If you’re a fan of making money using your phone and you’re always plugged in, don’t miss this app!

Quick Facts

Number of Merchants
350
Bonus Signup Offer
$10
Payout Methods

PayPal
Venmo
Gift Cards

Average Payout Period
PayPal: 24 hours

Expert Walkthrough

by Casey Fiedler

Ibotta is a proud member of a group of apps that try to pay users for their normal daily activities. There are apps that pay you to take pictures, complete survey, and even go shopping. Ibotta partners with stores across the country to offer products and brand names at discounts which they pay you back in cash. This is achieved, seemingly, by brands that are willing to pay you back to buy their products.

You can easily use their website to search for current rebates without even having to sign up. If you’re curious to see whether or not there are items you normally shop for, just click here. I was pleasantly surprised to find rebates on one of my favorite drinks - Woodchuck hard cider. My experience with similar rebate apps in the past has been that I never seem to find rebates for things I want to buy. Not the case with Ibotta!

How Can Ibotta Save You Money?

If you find that Ibotta supports your favorite local stores and has rebates on things you normally buy, I think it’s worth trying. Ibotta can save you money by rebating the purchases you’d make anyways.

There’s a catch, however. Imagine you’re scrolling through the list of rebates and think, “Oh! I like that, I’ll buy that!”. If you allow yourself to be lured into buying frivolous items you wouldn’t otherwise have purchased, you’ll quickly end up losing money by exceeding your budget. Despite the rebates.

You can also make money with their $10 Welcome Bonus which you’ll receive after making your first rebated purchase. Not bad! Plus, you can refer friends for stacking bonuses that add up quickly!

How is The Money Paid Back?

I’ve had it happen before where I’ve signed up for a new cash back app just to find out it’s a hassle to get paid. Some only pay in “rewards” others force you to take payment that only works with restrictions. It’s irritating and deceptive in my opinion.

Ibotta doesn’t do any of that underhanded crap. I love it!

You can link a Venmo, PayPal, or get Amazon, Best Buy, or Starbucks gift cards as your payment. I think there’s a solution here for everyone and no matter what your preference, you’ll find a way to get paid that makes sense!

Ibotta also doesn’t charge any fees or memberships. There are no fees or hidden tricks with Ibotta. The single exception is an inactivity penalty. After 12 months of not using the app, you’ll be charged a service fee of $4 per month. Just cancel your account if you stop using it.

Where Does Ibotta Work?

Ibotta works in physical stores, restaurants, movie theaters, convenience stores and many other places. I was surprised to find supported stores from the local corner gas station, to my chain grocery store back in Michigan.

You can also use it with boxed delivery services such as Thrive Market, Jet, or Boxed.

Ibotta works with mobile shopping apps and can even double-up on rebates from Groupon. You can use Ibotta to get more rewards on top of the shopping discounts from Groupon! Use it with the Apple Music Store, or Uber. It works with Amazon, eBay, and even Hotels.com for travel rebates.

I continue to be surprised by all the common and popular places that Ibotta will work with. If you’re willing to take the time to check for rebates and use them consistently you’ll have a nearly endless supply of cash back.

How Can I Double Check I Have The Right Item?

Rebate apps can be fickle and sometimes tricky. You’re only allowed to buy so many of each item. They have to be the right size or quantity or weight. It seriously starts to feel more like a headache and less like earning money very quickly.

As usual, however, Ibotta has made the process relatively simple. Using the app and your camera on your phone you can confirm the barcode of any item by simply scanning it. It’s handy, quick, and streamlined.

This is the kind of thorough and complete app design we’ve been needing in the rebates and “found money” world of savings apps!

The Process

Just so there are no surprises, I’ll outline the whole process in detail.

You should start by making a shopping list of only what you need. Nothing extra.

Then, check Ibotta for any rebates that match the items you need. Don’t allow yourself to add in extra “cool” stuff you find in Ibotta. Remember, that’s how you end up losing money.

Once you’ve bought what you need you’ll have to take the receipt home with you. Don’t forget this part!

Scan the receipt using your phone and then take a picture of each barcode of every item that matches your rebates.

After that, Ibotta will confirm your purchase(s) and rebate you the money once it’s confirmed within days.

Conclusion

As long as you’re willing to do a little extra work and maintain the self control necessary to avoid extra spending, Ibotta is awesome! It’s more streamlined and well executed than other similar apps. I like the ease of use and the sheer number of stores and apps that it will work with. It’s hard to argue with free money!

If you’re like me and have found other similar apps to often be more hassle than reward, Ibotta may be on the fence for you. This is a match made for those who are always connected to their phones and ready to save every last penny. Of course, if you have a large social network and tons of friends who use the app, the additional savings and rewards can become substantial!

By far the biggest pitfall of rebate apps is the allure of spending money you wouldn’t have otherwise. If this happens it’s actually costing you money to use the app. Retailers love to use our psychology against us!



Ibotta Reviews

Extra Cash Apps 2016-02-17

I do have a few complaints with the app, but overall it’s a very lucrative app that everyone should try.

The Work At Home Wife 2016-12-20

I highly recommend Ibotta. I’ve never had any issues with payment and it has earned me more money by far when compared to other grocery shopping apps like SavingStar or Walmart Savings Catcher. It only takes a few minutes of time to see big rewards.

Busy Budgeter

If you coupon, this is a no-brainer. You can use the Ibotta app in addition to store sales, and coupons, so it’s one more way to get free or almost free products.

Don't Waste the Crumbs 2017-02-13

In the end, Ibotta is one of the few apps that I’ve tried and that I’ve still kept on my phone. I don’t have a ton of storage space either, so that says a lot to how much I really like Ibotta!