Ibotta Review 2021: Can it Really Save You Money?

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Have you been looking for a simple way to save on everyday spending? Today, I’ve got you covered with an app that seeks to do exactly that:  Ibotta. In this Ibotta review, I will share with you what Ibotta is, how it works, and how much money you can save! So, let’s get started so you can decide if Ibotta is right for you!

What is Ibotta?

Ibotta Logo

Kicking off this Ibotta review, let’s start with a little bit about Ibotta. Ibotta is a cashback app that rewards you for everyday purchases. With more than 1,500 brand partners, Ibotta makes it easy to earn cash through its app and browser extension when you buy groceries, electronics, clothing, and much more.

Since its founding in 2012, Ibotta has paid more than $860 million to more than 35 million users. 

How Does Ibotta Work?

Ibotta started with a focus on redeeming cash back on grocery purchases, but it has since evolved to provide cash back on countless other types of purchases.

Here’s how it works. Start by signing up for Ibotta and downloading the Ibotta app or installing the browser extension. 

Once you install the app or browser extension, you’ll see retailers where you can earn cashback (more on that in a minute). 

From there, simply select offers at the retailers where you intend to make purchases, and then when you make a purchase, either in-person or online, you’ll earn cashback from Ibotta. 

How to Use Ibotta

Next, now that you know how Ibotta works let’s dive into how to use Ibotta!

Shopping In-Store with Ibotta

The most common way to use Ibotta is in-store. While Ibotta got its start saving people money on groceries, Ibotta now has over 400 in-store retailers that list offers in the Ibotta app. Before you head to your favorite store, go to the Ibotta app and select offers on the items you plan to buy from a given merchant. 

Once you do that, there are three ways to earn cashback on these in-store purchases.

First, once you do your shopping, take a picture of your receipt in the Ibotta app. Within 24 hours, you’ll earn cashback on all of your qualifying purchases! It really is that easy! The key here is to make sure you take a picture of the receipt within a week of your purchase. 

Now, perhaps you want to avoid having to upload a receipt. Seems somewhat onerous, right? Well, Ibotta has created a way to make this even simpler! If you have loyalty accounts with your favorite stores, simply link them in the Ibotta app. Once you do, use your loyalty card at checkout, and you will automatically earn cashback! No receipt scanning needed!

The third way to earn cashback in-store is through gift cards. When you purchase a gift card at your favorite retailer, you can earn up to 10% cashback from Ibotta. Simply check out the Ibotta app to see what offers are available!

Ibotta has made it extremely easy to earn cashback on everyday in-person purchases. Think of it a bit like couponing on steroids – except there’s no paper to clip! Just choose your offers and earn cashback!

Ibotta Pinterest Pin 2

Shopping Online with Ibotta

While Ibotta got its start with its receipt scanning magic to save you money on groceries, they have now made it easier to earn cashback on online purchases as well!

There are two ways you can earn Ibotta rewards when shopping online:  on your phone with the Ibotta app or on your computer with the Ibotta browser extension. 

If you want to use the Ibotta app, shopping is super easy! Open the app, choose the site you want to shop, and then make your purchases! When you do this, the app will calculate your cashback and add it to your earnings!

Alternatively, if you want to use the Ibotta browser extension, simply add the extension to Chrome or Firefox and sign in. When visiting a supported site, the browser extension will activate, so you earn cashback! 

Above, I mentioned how you could earn using Ibotta when in-store, such as on grocery store purchases. However, if you prefer to do your grocery shopping online, you can still earn with Ibotta! With the new Grocery Pickup & Delivery category on Ibotta, you can simply link your loyalty account, choose offers, and then shop to earn rewards. You can earn through Walmart, Instacart, Target, Safeway, and many others!

Other Ways to Earn Cashback with the Ibotta App

In addition to earning cash back on everyday purchases, as I’ve shared in this Ibotta review, Ibotta also offers the occasional Bonus! Bonuses allow Ibotta users to earn even more cashback! Simply choose the Bonus you wish to qualify for and then meet the requirements to earn extra cashback. Once you navigate to the Ibotta app’s Bonuses, it is easy to see what must be done to earn each respective Bonus. 

Wondering what else you can use Ibotta for? Here are a few ideas:

  • Online shopping (everything from Amazon to Best Buy to Macy’s)
  • Beer, Wine & Spirits (from gas stations to grocery stores to Total Wine)
  • Clothing (such as Ann Taylor, Banana Republic, and Under Armour)
  • Health & Beauty (Sephora, Warby Parker, and more)
  • Specialty (1-800 Flowers, Home Depot, Ticketmaster, and many others!)
  • Restaurants & Bars (Grubhub, Uber Eats, and Seamless)
  • Convenience Stores (7-Eleven, Shell, Speedway, etc.)
  • Travel (Hotels.com, Expedia, etc.)
  • Home & Auto (Ace Hardware, Advance Auto Parts, etc.)
  • Kids & Baby (Gap, OshKosh B’gosh, and more)
  • Pet Supply (PetSmart, Petco, etc.)
  • Sports & Outdoors (Finish Line, New Balance, etc.)
  • Entertainment & Subscriptions (eBay, ESPN+, Udemy, and much more!)

Are you noticing a theme? Ibotta works at countless places where you spend money. No matter how you spend your money, you can find ways to save with Ibotta!

Getting Paid by Ibotta

Redeeming Ibotta earnings for cash is simple. As you redeem offers, Ibotta will track and store them in your Ibotta account until you reach the minimum threshold for withdrawal ($20). Once you hit the $20 threshold, you can easily withdraw funds. 

When withdrawing funds, you have three choices. You can use funds to purchase a gift card, withdraw funds to a PayPal account or even send money directly to your bank account.

Avoiding Overspending

When you start using Ibotta, you may notice that it is effortless to earn rewards on your everyday purchases.

However, it’s so easy that you may find yourself tempted to make purchases that you wouldn’t have otherwise because you feel like you’re getting a deal. While Ibotta is a tremendously easy way to save money, the key to realizing savings is avoiding making purchases that you otherwise wouldn’t.

If you find that you’re overspending, check out these ways to stop spending money unnecessarily. 

Is Ibotta Really Free?

Does Ibotta charge a fee? No! Ibotta is free to use! 

However, if your account remains inactive, Ibotta does draw a small inactivity fee (what it calls an account maintenance fee). Ibotta applies account maintenance fees to accounts with an earnings balance but no activity within the last six months.

The account maintenance fee for inactive accounts is $3.99 per month until the account balance reaches $0. Notably, this fee only reduces the balance of your Ibotta account; Ibotta will never charge your bank account or credit card.

Additionally, Ibotta will attempt to notify you before assessing an account maintenance fee, so you have the opportunity to avoid the fee. 

Ibotta Customer Support

Wondering if it’s easy to reach Ibotta for support? In your Ibotta account, there is a button to submit a request if you run into any issues. If you cannot access your account, you can also reach out to Ibotta via email. 

Typically, Ibotta responds to requests within two business days. While this isn’t a terrific response time if you’re having problems, they do get credit for trying to stick to a response timeline. 

Ibotta Alternatives: Are there Other Apps like Ibotta?

Yes! While Ibotta is the most well-known cash back app, countless other apps offer similar functionality. Some of the most popular include Fetch Rewards, Dosh, and Checkout 51. 

Besides apps that focus on in-store shopping, other Ibotta alternatives help save money when shopping online. The most popular of these alternatives is Rakuten (formerly eBates).

Wondering which is better, Ibotta or Rakuten? Without getting into too much detail, for online shopping, I prefer Rakuten. However, for in-store shopping, Ibotta is the clear winner. That said, I suggest using both apps simultaneously to maximize potential rewards. 

Ibotta Pros & Cons

Next, in this Ibotta review, let’s cover some key pros and cons of Ibotta.

Ibotta Pros

  • Easy way to save money on everyday purchases
  • Cashback is available at countless nationwide retailers
  • The app is free to use

Ibotta Cons

  • If you don’t use the app for a while, the inactivity fee reduces your earnings
  • Your favorite store may not be an Ibotta partner
  • The browser extension is not available for Safari

Frequently Asked Questions about Ibotta

Before we go, let’s cover some of the most frequently asked questions about Ibotta. 

Who is Ibotta For?

Ibotta is for anyone who spends money! Really! As you can see from the list of retailers above, there are many ways to save with Ibotta easily.

Notably, however, Ibotta is only available to users within the United States. 

How Much Can You Make with Ibotta?

Wondering how much cashback you can earn with Ibotta? Like most things in life, it depends. According to Ibotta, though, the average user earns $150 per year on groceries, online purchases, and more. 

Candidly, that’s a lot just for making your everyday purchases and how little effort it takes to use Ibotta.

Does Ibotta Cash Expire?

Ibotta earnings never expire! So, you can continue to save up until you are ready to redeem.

However, you must keep the account active. If you do not use the app for more than six consecutive months, Ibotta will assess an inactivity fee against your rewards balance.

How Does Ibotta Make Money?

So, if Ibotta is free to use, how do they make money? Ibotta partners with retailers and advertisers who pay Ibotta to provide personalized deals to users.

When you redeem cashback from Ibotta, this is Ibotta sharing a slice of the earnings that they receive from retailers and advertisers with you!

As the consumer, this means you benefit from some of the revenue Ibotta receives in the form of cashback! 

Is Ibotta Legitimate?

Yes, Ibotta is legitimate! They really will pay you for doing your shopping!

Now, if you’re wondering, “what’s the catch with Ibotta,” it’s that they collect data on shopping habits to share with their advertising partners, just like most other apps you probably already use. 

However, Ibotta takes safety and privacy very seriously. Ibotta does not sell personally-identifiable information. All information they share is on an anonymous basis; in fact, you can even opt-out of this anonymous data-sharing. 

You can learn more about Ibotta’s privacy policies here.

How to Sign Up for Ibotta

Signing up for Ibotta is easy! Start by downloading the app and creating an account. Once you do that, you’ll see offers you can select, and then you can start earning!

Does Ibotta Offer a Signup Bonus?

Yes! Ibotta offers a Welcome Bonus for new Ibotta users! In fact, as of the time of this writing, Ibotta is offering a $20 welcome bonus!

To receive your $20 welcome bonus, you must be a new Ibotta user. Once you sign up, simply redeem offers on your device, and you’ll earn the $20 bonus!

How Much Time Does It Take to Use Ibotta?

Using Ibotta doesn’t take much time at all! As shared above, all you have to do for in-store shopping is snap a picture of your receipt or link your loyalty account.

When shopping online, all you have to do is click on the browser extension. It really is that easy!

Ibotta Review Summary:  Is Ibotta Worth it?

Finishing up this Ibotta review, let’s get down to brass tacks. Is Ibotta worth it? In my opinion, yes! Ibotta is a straightforward way to save money on purchases you are already making.

With just a few clicks, you can save money on groceries, online shopping, and much more! So, sign up with Ibotta to get started!

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