When I first heard the term “Ibotta,” I thought my wife was getting ready to complete the statement with, “I bought a new puppy.”
But that never happened. She just said, Ibotta.
Confused, I asked, “You bought what?”
Comes to find out she didn't buy anything aside from the normal groceries she gets each week at a few local stores. Ibotta, I would learn, was an app she was using to scan her receipts and even purchase things through when she did our normal shopping.
Scanning receipts and using the app allowed her to redeem cash and rewards for our normal shopping. I was blown. And I had to learn more. This is why I wrote this complete review of the Ibotta App for 2021.
Today, we will answer:
- What is Ibotta
- How Ibotta works
- Shopping with Ibotta
- How to get cash back with Ibotta!
Complete Ibotta App Review 2021
First, thing is first, we need to answer this essential question (especially if you were anything like me):
What is Ibotta?
Ibotta is basically a platform that pays you cash back for making everyday purchases, allowing you to save a little each time you spend.
Ibotta has teamed up with more than 1,500 retailers and brands, and has paid out over $797 million to its users to date.
Perhaps the most notable thing about Ibotta is its wide reach. It allows you to earn cashback on a huge range of purchases, including groceries, clothing, entertainment, travel, health & beauty, restaurants & bars, and even home & auto.
If you're familiar with Rakutten (formerly Ebates), Ibotta is a similar app in that it provides cashback. Typically, users of the two prefer Ibotta for groceries
How does Ibotta work?
You can earn cashback with Ibotta two ways: by downloading the browser extension on your computer or the mobile app on your smartphone (preferably both). You then just need to sign up for an account and you can start earning cashback right away with Ibotta.
Once downloaded/installed, it’s just a case of browsing the offers on Ibotta and taking advantage of the ones you want to.
Qualifying purchases can be made either online or offline (in-store), with your cashback paid as soon as your order has been confirmed.
The best part of all is that you get genuine cashback with Ibotta (not points that have to be redeemed), so you can see your savings accumulating in $$$.
Shopping with Ibotta
As we’ve already mentioned, Ibotta can be used to earn cashback on both online and offline purchases.
Online purchases with Ibotta
You can shop online with Ibotta and earn cashback with the Ibotta browser extension for Chrome (on your computer) and the Ibotta app itself (on your smartphone).
To earn cashback with the Ibotta browser extension, you simply need to:
- Download and install the Ibotta Chrome browser extension
- Log in to the extension using your Ibotta account credentials
- Activate the cashback feature whenever you are on a qualifying website (the extension will let you know when you are)
- Pay as you normally would
To earn cashback with the Ibotta app, you simply need to:
- Download and install the Ibotta app for Android or iOS
- Log in to the app using your Ibotta account credentials
- Open the Ibotta app and start shopping, paying as you normally would
Offline purchases with Ibotta
For in-store purchases with Ibotta, you first need to select the applicable offer in the mobile app. Then, head over to the store and make your purchase as normal. Your cashback will be paid once you submit the receipt to Ibotta.
To make things even easier, you can even link your favorite store loyalty accounts to earn cashback automatically without any receipts.
Other ways to earn cashback with Ibotta
As with many of these apps, you don’t always have to make a purchase to earn cashback with Ibotta.
You can also earn cashback by:
- Referring your friends — Get $5 for every friend you successfully refer to Ibotta
- Earning bonuses — By taking advantage of special offers or shopping at certain stores from time-to-time
- Bonus streaks — Additional cashback generated when you buy the same product or brand several times in a row
Getting started with Ibotta
Getting started with Ibotta is easy. Just head over to https://home.ibotta.com/ and sign up. You can even download the Ibotta app on your smartphone and create an account from there.
At the time of writing this Ibotta Review 2021, you can sign up to Ibotta and earn up to $20 in welcome bonuses (terms apply).
Cashing out Ibotta earnings
You can withdraw any cashback you’ve earned through Ibotta once your account total hits $20.
Cashing out can be done via PayPal or Venmo. You can even redeem your cash for store gift cards.
Using Ibotta wisely
Just because Ibotta pays you cashback for making purchases, you need to use it wisely to realize the biggest value. Just because there’s an offer promising what looks like a decent amount of cashback, don’t take advantage of it unless you were looking to buy that particular product/service anyway.
Remember the cashback you earn will never exceed the amount you spend, so only buy stuff that you genuinely want. Never make impulse purchases with Ibotta because a deal catches your eye. What most Ibotta app reviews fail to point out is that this is perhaps the one downside of Ibotta – you might impulse buy!
Also, keep in mind that many of the Ibotta items are usually name brand items. So if you're someone who normally buys “Dr. Smith Soda” and Ibotta is saying you can get cash back for buying Dr. Pepper, well keep in mind the cost differential.
How much can you make with Ibotta?
How long is a piece of string!? The bottom line is the more you spend, the more you will earn. However, don’t think you’re going to get rich overnight using Ibotta. The cashback paid is usually cents, but that can all add up, right?
As an example, let’s say you earn $5 a week using Ibotta. That adds up to $260 a year! And unlike platforms that pay you for completing tasks (Survey Junkie Review, Other Top Survey Sites), Ibotta pays you for simply buying stuff that you were going to anyway.
There are legit ways to make money online, and just to be clear – Ibotta is not a source of income. However, it is a simple way to earn cashback on normal, day to day shopping.
Which leads to this all too common, final question:
Is Ibotta legit? What is the catch?
You bet it is! I hope by now you recognize in our Ibotta app review that Ibotta is legit and there is no catch, but just in case, let me explain…
Once you’ve created an account and started browsing the app, you’ll see just how many large retailers Ibotta has partnered with. Ibotta definitely isn’t a scam (think about it logically).
The way Ibotta makes its money is through tiny affiliate commissions with retailers. You’ll also sometimes see surveys and polls on Ibotta. Retailers pay Ibotta for the information you provide in such surveys.
Retailers love consumer data and they’re willing to pay a pretty price for them and the insights they provide. This allows them to dictate how the create and market products.
In order for Ibotta to make money, they need users, so they incentivize shoppers to use their app with cash rewards. Like most apps, you agree to Ibotta's data collection terms. If your data being collected isn't something you're ok with, then Ibotta probably isn't for you.
Which leads to our very last question… who is Ibotta for?
Who is Ibotta for?
Well, anyone really.
If you like shopping and do a lot of it, there’s a good chance you can earn cashback on a lot of your purchases by using Ibotta. In fact, even if you don’t do a whole lot of shopping, you can still generate money here and there when you do by taking advantage of Ibotta.
Lastly, Ibotta is suitable for those who don't want to spend three hours clipping coupons to save a buck. Simply scan your receipt, use the app to shop and pay in the store, collect your rewards and go!
While there are certainly more lucrative ways to make extra money, Ibotta is an app anyone can take advantage of.
The Verdict on the Ibotta App –
I will be the first to let you know that you won't get rich from shopping. So introducing an app that incentivizes you to shop isn't going to change that fact.
However, if you have to do normal shopping, it makes 100% sense to leverage the Ibotta app to get cashback and rewards. The extra step of using your Ibotta app or simply scanning your receipts with your phone takes all of 5-10 seconds.
In less than the Mel Robbins #5SecondRule you can capitalize on cashback rewards for shopping you were already going to do! And when it really comes down to it, if you don't like Ibotta, you can always delete the app from your phone.
To collect your $20 bonus with Ibotta, download the app here!
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Ibotta free to use?
Yes, Ibotta is free to use. Ibotta makes their money off of affiliate income and deals with retailers to promote specific products. It is free to use for consumers.
Is Ibotta legit, or is Ibotta a scam?
Ibotta is legit. It is revered as one of the best and easiest ways to earn cashback. Ibotta is not a scam, they're not a source of income, they are simply a marketing/research platform that earns affiliate income for promoting retail goods. This data is used by retailers to determine products, etc. Ibotta incentivizes users with their cash reward system.
Where can I find the Ibotta app?
Finding the Ibotta app is simple. You can visit the Ibotta website, or simply go to your iPhone Apple App Store or the Google Play Store and search for “Ibotta.”
Does Ibotta really give you money?
Yes and No. Ibotta doesn't give you money unless you first spend it. The $20 bonus they give you for downloading the app and using Ibotta is money you wouldn't otherwise get. However, you have to spend to make the cashback, but if the spending is your normal spending, then you are getting cashback you wouldn't get without the app!
What is better Rakutten or Ibotta?
Really the answer to the question of whether Rakutten or Ibotta is better comes down to it depends. Rakutten is better and more known for consumer good shopping, where as Ibotta is the clear winner for every day grocery shopping!
Josh writes about ways to make money, pay off debt, and improve yourself. After paying off $200,000 in student loans with his wife in less than four years, Josh started Money Life Wax and has been featured on Forbes, Business Insider, Huffington Post and more! In addition to being a life-long entrepreneur, Josh and his wife enjoy spending time with their chocolate lab named Morgan, working out, helping others with their debt and recommend using Personal Capital to track your finances.