Ibotta Review – Legit App or a Scam?

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Tired of using coupons? Good news: Ibotta is an app that makes saving money on purchases a breeze.

Founded in 2011 by Bryan Leach, Ibotta has saved its users over $525,000,000, and counting. Ibotta is available for both Apple and Android devices.

To date, Ibotta has millions of users and 4.8 stars on the App Store, and 4.5 stars on the Google Play Store.

In this Ibotta review, I will do my best to cover everything you need to know about Ibotta – what it is and how it works, why it’s not a scam, some issues with the app, and so much more. By the end you should have a clear understanding of Ibotta and whether or not it’s right for you.

What IS Ibotta?

Ibotta is an app that gives you cashback on certain purchases. It’s essentially like using coupons, but it’s all done through your phone.

It’s a great way to “make money” on your purchases – without Ibotta, you’re likely leaving money on the table every time you shop.

Many Ibotta users save $100s per year, effectively earning enough for a free shopping trip or two.

Ibotta has been accredited by the BBB since 2016.

How Does Ibotta Work?

With traditional couponing, you clip out coupons found in newspapers, magazines, etc. and then apply them at checkout for a discount on your purchase. Ibotta allows you to “clip” coupons right from the app.

You can sort the coupons by retailer, or search for specific coupons. This makes it easy to find coupons for items already on your shopping list.

Most of the coupons are for in-store purchases, but there are mobile shopping offers for online retailers as well, such as Amazon, eBay, and Walmart.com.

There are several different types of coupons available in Ibotta:

Some offer a percentage cashback on any purchase – for example, right now I can get 10% cashback for any in-store purchase at JOANN’s.

Others offer an actual dollar amount off certain products, like $1.00 off a specific brand of pizza rolls.

And then there are the “Any Brand” offers. Like $0.25 off ANY brand of jerky, ointment, waffles, bagels, etc. These have to be some of my favorite coupons. 🙂

Ibotta adds new offers and coupons every Thursday, and many offers can be used more than once. Oftentimes the same offer will be added again every week.

How to Use Ibotta Coupons (In-Store)

  1. First, you’ll have to download Ibotta and set up your account. This process easy and only takes a couple minutes. Join through this link for a free $10 bonus. 🙂
  2. Open the app and once you find a coupon you’d like to use, tap the circled “+” sign. You will be prompted to watch a short ad or answer a question, after which the coupon will be added to your offers. Since a coupon only works if it’s been added to your offers, make sure to add every coupon you intend to use.
  3. After you are done with your shopping, tap the “Redeem” button in the app, or go to the My Offers page. Follow the prompts (i.e., scan the QR code or entire receipt as directed).
  4. After that, you’re good to go. The rebates will be added to your account within 48 hours, oftentimes sooner.

Shop at Ibotta Preferred Partners

Another way to get cashback with Ibotta is by shopping at Preferred Partner stores. You have to link your store loyalty card or phone number, and use either at checkout to automatically earn cashback (without having to scan anything).

Ibotta recommends you link your loyalty card or phone number at least 24 hours before you shop.

Below is a list of Ibotta Preferred Partners:

List of Ibotta Preferred Partners

Get Cash Back for Online Purchases

As mentioned earlier, besides in-store offers, you can also shop at a number of online retailers through Ibotta to get cash back.

To do so, go to the Find Offers tab in the Ibotta app and click “Mobile Shopping” under Browse by Category.

Tap on the merchant of your choice, then click the large Shop button. Be sure to complete your purchase in a single session (don’t pause and come back to it later) in order to ensure you get the cashback!

How to Redeem Your Ibotta Earnings

Once you reach $20 in your Ibotta account, you can withdraw your earnings to PayPal, Venmo, or to a gift card of your choice. There is a wide selection of gift cards available, but be aware that some of them can only be redeemed if you have a minimum of $25 in your Ibotta account.

As an extra bonus, if you redeem your earnings for certain gift cards, you can get $2.00 added to your Ibotta account for free. So far for me, this has only been offered with a Jersey Mike’s gift card.

More Ways to Earn with Ibotta

Shopping isn’t the only way to earn money with Ibotta. In fact, there are many additional ways to make money with the app which you definitely shouldn’t ignore.

Boost Your Earnings with Bonus Cash

On the app’s Home page, there are certain bonuses available to complete for some additional free cash. Tap on a bonus to reveal how it’s earned. Most require you to reach a certain milestone in order to receive the bonus.

You can also find more bonuses by going to your Account page and clicking “Bonuses”.

One I have available right now is $10.00 FREE when I redeem 10 offers before the bonus period expires.

Bonuses are an excellent way to make money with Ibotta. If you use Ibotta every time you shop, they should be pretty easy to complete! Bonuses come and go frequently, so keep your eye out for new ones.

Refer Your Friends to Ibotta

Have any friends who you think would benefit from using Ibotta? Let them know about the app (and be sure to send them your referral link, found in your Account page).

For each friend who signs up and uses Ibotta, you’ll receive $5. This can really add up and provide some nice additional earnings.

Make Money through Teamwork

Any friends you invite will be added to your “Team” (tip: connect your account to Facebook).

As a team, you can all work towards certain goals together to unlock higher levels – and higher bonuses!

If you have a lot of people on your team and are fairly active yourself, you can make a decent chunk of change.

By the way, this blog gets hundreds of thousands of visitors, so my team will likely grow pretty large (and hence reach high levels and earnings). You can join here. 🙂

Redeem Promo Codes

Ibotta may send promo codes through various forms of messaging (emails, notifications, or handouts) which can be redeemed for extra cash.

To redeem a promo code, first make sure it’s marked as a promo code, then go to your Account page and click “Promo Codes”. Enter your code for some free cash!

Pro Tip: Stack Rebates for Even More Cash Back!

You can use “Any Brand” coupons in conjunction with specific item coupons to maximize cashback.

For example, let’s say there’s an “Any Brand” coupon for bread. And there’s also a coupon for $0.50 off a specific brand of bread. You can use both coupons for the same product and get maximum cash back!

Ibotta FAQ: Answering Common Questions

Even if you’ve read this far, it’s likely you still have a few questions. Hopefully this section will help clarify some of them, and even answer questions you didn’t know you had!

Can Ibotta be used along with regular coupons?

Yes, Ibotta coupons can be stacked with regular coupons and discounts from the store or other providers. So if you’ve already found a great coupon for a specific product, you could save even more if there’s a coupon on Ibotta for it as well.

Which stores does Ibotta work with?

Ibotta works with practically every category of store, offline or online. This includes huge brands such as Walmart, Target, Aldi, Kohl’s, etc., as well as lesser known or regional retailors. Here’s Ibotta’s current list.

How to guarantee an item qualifies?

Some Ibotta users will purchase a product thinking it will qualify for cashback, but find out after uploading the receipt that it doesn’t. Understandably, this is quite frustrating.

In order to guarantee a product qualifies, visit the rebate in the Ibotta app. Scroll down and tap the “Check Product Barcode” button. Scan the item, and Ibotta will tell you whether or not the product qualifies.

If it does and you purchase the item, you won’t have to scan it again after you buy it, since you scanned it in the store.

How long can you wait before scanning a receipt?

You have a week to scan your receipts and receive cashback. If you try scanning a receipt that’s over a week old, Ibotta will reject it.

How soon will I receive credit for a purchase?

Ibotta states that cashback will be applied to your account within 48 hours of the purchase, but this time can vary quite a bit. Some transactions are verified within hours, while others can take up to a few days to process.

How does Ibotta make money?

Ibotta makes money when any product is purchased through the app. This includes in-store offers. Ibotta is credited for bringing the sale, and therefore receives an affiliate commission from the retailer.

Another way Ibotta makes money is by showing ads and questions to users before an offer is unlocked. Companies pay a lot for these since they know Ibotta users are their target audience.

Why would a business want to partner with Ibotta? Wouldn’t they lose money?

Despite what you might think, it’s in a business’s best interest to partner with Ibotta, because doing so will expose them to millions of shoppers, and potentially an equally large number of new customers.

Scrolling through the app myself, I came across many retailers I’ve never heard of before. Multiply this by the number of Ibotta users, and the opportunity for businesses has suddenly become incredible.

Yes, the business will make less per sale – but the sheer volume of sales and the added exposure will more than make up for it.

Can you join a specific team if you already have an Ibotta account?

No, once you have an Ibotta account you can’t join a team of your choice.

The only feasible way to do this would be to create a new Ibotta account on a new device, and then sign up through the link of the person who has the team you’d like to join.

Shameless plug: this blog reaches hundreds of thousands of readers, so my team will likely grow into a powerhouse (and members should earn many bonuses along the way). Join here. 🙂

How old do you have to be to use Ibotta?

According to Ibotta’s Terms of Use, users must be at least 18 years old to use the app.

Is Ibotta a scam?

The word “scam” is often used to describe companies that take your money and provide no value in return.

It follows from this definition that Ibotta inherently cannot be a scam, since it is a cashback app and there is no way to “pay” Ibotta anything – it’s rather them paying you.

With that out of the way, there are instances where Ibotta users claim their accounts have been banned or they were unable to withdraw their earnings for a variety of reasons. Most likely these occurrences were due to the users’ unintentional violation of Ibotta’s Terms of Use. So I’d suggest at least skimming through that to make sure you are using the app as intended.

More issues/complaints with Ibotta will be discussed below.

Addressing Common Ibotta Complaints

As with any popular app, there will be issues people have with it – and this is despite Ibotta’s incredible 4.7/5 rating in the App Store.

I will do my best to address each of the common complaints below, but honestly Ibotta themselves would be the best source to direct any complaints or issues. Here’s a link to Ibotta’s Contact page. Last I checked, you are required to login to your Ibotta account before getting in touch with them.

Anyway, on to the common Ibotta complaints.

You will be banned for accidentally submitting the same receipt more than once

Ibotta is pretty strict in this regard, and even after users try to explain it was an honest mistake, their account gets deactivated.

Also, make sure the receipts you submit are whole. Scanning and submitting torn receipts could jeopardize your account.

Basically, the takeaway from this is to make sure you give Ibotta’s Terms of Use a thorough read through.

Some users get banned once they try withdrawing their earnings

Some users have reportedly been banned once they reach the payout threshold and attempt to withdraw their earnings. Ibotta usually claims this is because they detected fraudulent activity with the account.

So once more, make sure you are aware of all Ibotta’s rules before using the app.

You can’t shop at the same store twice in one day

If you submit a receipt for a store and then try submitting a second receipt from the same store in the same day, Ibotta assumes it’s fraudulent. This mistake should be fairly easy to avoid.

The more you use Ibotta, the harder it is to find good rebates

There are complaints that after cashing out for the first time, good rebates become scarcer. This may be true, but at least online offers (like cashback from Amazon!) are still available.

Ibotta Pros and Cons

By now you should have a pretty good understanding of Ibotta and its pros and cons. But this section should act as a good summary of what’s been covered, and help you decide if Ibotta is worth using.

Pros

  • It’s free, and the app is easy to use
  • You can get cash back simply by shopping like normal.
  • There’s no need to link a bank account or credit card
  • Ibotta works with hundreds of retailers and is frequently adding more.
  • Besides rebates for specific items, there are also useful “Any Brand” and “Any Receipt” rebates.
  • There are more ways to earn money than just by getting cashback.
  • You get $5 for referring friends
  • The team feature allows people to work toward specific goals to earn extra cash for every team member.
  • Ibotta can be stacked with other coupons and rebates to maximize your cashback.
  • New users get a $10 welcome bonus

Cons

  • Ibotta’s rules can be easy to accidentally break (i.e., submitting the same receipt twice) and the consequence is account deactivation.
  • Customer service is reportedly slow
  • Good rebates seem to run dry over time

Conclusion – Is Ibotta Worth Using?

Ibotta is legit, and easily one of the best cashback apps on the market. This is understandable, as Ibotta makes the cashback process very simple and much easier than using traditional coupons.

On most shopping trips, at least several dollars can be saved just by using Ibotta. And if you’re already a couponer, Ibotta won’t get in the way as other coupons can be stacked with Ibotta’s rebates!

To earn even more, you can join my team and work toward specific goals for a cash reward. You’ll also get a $10 welcome bonus.

Other Apps Like Ibotta

Cashback apps and websites aren’t new, and I’ve done reviews of several of the best ones out there.

  1. My favorite is Dosh. Getting cashback with Dosh is super easy because all you have to do is link a card, and then you’ll automatically get cash back on qualifying purchases. No need to scan receipts! And, you’ll get $5 free for joining.
  2. Ebates is another great option for getting cash back on purchases. Here’s my review. New users get $10 for free when they make a purchase of at least $25 through Ebates.
  3. If you like getting cash back, also check out Paribus. This site detects price drops on items you’ve ordered, and automatically files a claim to get you the difference – even after you’ve already ordered the item. Best of all, it’s free to join.

Try some of these other options out. You might be surprised by how much you save.


Have you used Ibotta? What do you think? Feel free to share your thoughts or ask any questions in the comment section below.

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