Ibotta Review: Over $600 Million in Cash Back Since 2012

A woman at the grocery store looking at items on the shelf
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Ibotta is a Denver, based platform that offers shoppers cash back on a wide range of products purchased in-store or via mobile phone. According to the company’s website, Ibotta users have received more than $600 million in cash back rewards since the platform launched in 2012.

What Is Ibotta?

Ibotta is one of the most popular money-saving apps. It offers cash back at over 500,000 store locations, across segments including grocery, beauty, apparel, travel, home, restaurants/bars, electronics, and more. The platform has over half a million reviews on the iTunes App Store, averaging 4.7/5.0 stars.  

Using the platform is quite straightforward but does involve a few steps. First, you select what you plan to purchase, and after making the purchase, you must submit verification inside the app. Once these steps are completed, Ibotta will add the rebate amount to your cash back balance.

Ibotta offers its service to users for free and makes money through its affiliate partnerships for directing traffic for retailers and brands. The company also makes money through its video promotions and polls.

Alice Ly | The Smart Wallet

How Does Ibotta Work?

Getting Started

First, you have to download the Ibotta app and create your account with an email and password. The platform then prompts you to select your favorite stores and brings you to a home page where you can scroll through appealing offers at retailers where you shop.

In order to make money on Ibotta, the app may require that you take action before making a purchase. For instance, reading a fact, participating in a poll, or watching a short video. With every task completed, Ibotta will offer you additional cash back.

Make a Purchase

Customers can make mobile purchases using the Ibotta app or by visiting brick-and-mortar stores. Users should be sure to pay attention to the expiration and quantities required for redemption before making purchases.

While Ibotta partners with many big retailers, it also has offers for particular brands, redeemable at any store location. For example, Ibotta may offer $3.00 cash back for an 18-pack of Bud Light. That’s redeemable at any liquor store, as long as you provide your receipt with the date of purchase, the produce, and the total.

Once you browse through offers, make a qualifying purchase and verify the sale, you are eligible for cash back.

Alice Ly | The Smart Wallet

How to Get Your Cash

There are three main ways to receive cash back on Ibotta:

How to Claim Rewards on Ibotta

  1. Scan receipts after shopping
  2. Link store loyalty cards with Ibotta
  3. Shop through one of Ibotta’s mobile retailers’ apps

In addition, Ibotta has a “Bonuses” section where you can receive cash in your account for purchasing specific brands, referring friends and other actions. For example, there was a recently a $5 bonus for redeeming 5 offers before the bonus expiration date.

“Teamwork bonuses” are the company’s way of making the app more fun and social for its users. Friends receive credit for each others’ shopping, earnings bonuses when they hit specific cash back savings goals.

When you redeem a rebate, your money will appear in your Ibotta account within 1-2 days. The cash-out minimum for Ibotta is $20, received through PayPal, Venmo, or in the form of a gift card at various retailers.

What You Need to Know Before Using Ibotta

Ibotta is an involved app for savers that are willing to perform various easy tasks in order to get rewards. If you download the app and do not take any action, it will simply take up space on your phone.

It’s important to link your account with loyalty cards before you shop, given some stores work exclusively with Ibotta. This also relieves you from having to scan your receipts when you shop. If you are going to scan receipts, you must do so within seven days of making a purchase.

Users should also be on the lookout for new bonuses. Many are tied to special events like big sports games or holidays.

You should also know the $5 referral bonus for every friend that redeems an offer. If you have friends that use the app frequently, you should start a “team” to receive credit for reaching collective cash back milestones.

New members can also get up to a $20 welcome bonus when you upload an eligible receipt within 14 days. Since welcome bonuses can change, you can always check the most updated one via the app when you tap Account (on the navigation bar), tap Bonuses, and then tap Welcome Bonus.

See all our favorite cash back apps here: Best Cash Back Shopping Apps for Every Shopper.