I’ve been meaning to write an Ibotta app review for quite some time now. Like Peapod and Trunk Club, when I find a service that I believe is worth your time and money–and therefore has value beyond a price tag–I want to share it with my readers. For years I’d heard about the grocery rebates through Ibotta but never got around to trying it before this summer. What was I waiting for? Now was a time to write one of those Ibotta reviews.
For starters Ibotta is a free app. You download it on your Smartphone and go. You can also access it through the Ibotta website.
Ibotta is one of those apps that pays you for the grocery shopping you were going to do anyway. Ibotta is a lot like Ebates. It is a cash back shopping solution in that it gives you cash back for the online shopping you were going to do anyway.
With Ibotta you’re getting cash back or grocery rebates for your food shopping. Yes, that means that you can get paid to grocery shop. It’s one of the easiest ways to make money with your Smartphone. As part of this Ibotta app review, I’ve put together an Ibotta reviews FAQ, if you will.
How to Redeem Rebates on Ibotta?
How you redeem rebates on Ibotta is simple. After you’ve shopped and you get home, you scan the barcodes of products you’ve bought and then snap a picture of your receipt, and submit. That’s it. That’s how you unlock rebates on Ibotta.
Within a day or so, Ibotta deposits the money you’ve earned for your grocery rebates. Your Ibotta cash out options are easy. You can get your money in PayPal or Venmo. You can also trade in your earnings for gift cards.
What I like about Ibotta is that you can compare your grocery list to the items listed that week. I find that if what I need to buy is on my list and I see it on the app, too, great. If not, I often don’t change my grocery list to reflect the offers–unlike when I used to buy things I didn’t really need when I was strictly using coupons.
Why don’t I alter my list? Because I know that Ibotta grocery rebates come back frequently, like week after week. Unlike coupons from the newspaper, which cycle every few months, I can always count on the Ibotta rebates showing up often. I mean, at least twice a month I can get cash back for buying milk and bananas. When can you ever get coupons for those?
Is Ibotta a Coupon App?
Ibotta is not a coupon app, per se. Yes, you are saving money on items you have on your grocery list, but, no, you don’t have to cash in any coupons to save the money. In other words there is no transaction at the checkout counter. With Ibotta the cashing in, if you will, happens after you get home. I like that convenience.
That said, Ibotta offers deals beyond the grocery store. You can use Ibotta as a cash back shopping solution when booking travel on Hotels.com, shopping online for Groupon deals, or even buying items on eBay. However, with this latter deal, you have to launch the eBay app from the Ibotta app for the purchase to count. I recently bought shoes on eBay and tried to go back in and submit it for my 2% back on Ibotta. Unfortunately, it wasn’t accepted. So like Ebates you have to start your shopping on Ibotta for that cash back shopping to count.
Ibotta is absolutely legit. You can get cash back for your grocery shopping, simple as that. As I explained in the section above “How to Redeem Rebates on Ibotta?” you buy products, you click on them in the Ibotta app, you scan the barcode, you snap a picture of your receipt, and you submit through the Ibotta app. You get cash back. It’s really that simple.
What Are Ibotta Pros?
One of the reasons I wanted to write this Ibotta app review is because I believe it has many pros over coupons. In fact, when you visit the Ibotta website, you’ll see its tagline is “Better Than Coupons.” I believe it. Here are six Ibotta pros.
1. Referrals and Ibotta Bonus When You Sign Up
Ibotta is so confident you’ll like the app that it rewards you with extra money. That is, when you download the app, you’ll get a $20 sign up Ibotta bonus that will be deposited right into your account. This is as long as you redeem rebates within the first 7 days of signing up.
Speaking of signing up, Ibotta wants you to encourage friends to sign up, too. You’ll get a $5 referral Ibotta bonus for every friend you refer. (If you click on my Ibotta links in this blog post, I’ll get that referral bonus, too.) Also, once you refer friends, they become members of your “team.” The more grocery rebates they do, the more money you can potentially earn in a month. That’s an Ibotta bonus that keeps on giving!
2. Multiple Submit Rebates
You know how supermarkets limit how many coupons you can redeem when you shop? Well, Ibotta actually encourages you to purchase an item multiple times and submit for a rebate each time. I’m not talking about in a way that cheats the system but in a legit way.
For example, recently one of my grocery rebates was Land O Lakes eggs. I got $.50 back for it. When that rebate became active again, Ibotta let me know right in the app. Like hey, if you’re out of eggs, you can get another $.50 for buying those eggs. In other words you can’t “rebate-out” of an offer. If you were always buying eggs for your family, why wouldn’t you get $.50 back for them each time?
3. Grocery Rebates on Meat and Produce
A few years ago I wrote a popular blog post on how to get coupons for organic food. We all know that organic food is often more expensive than “regular” food, so finding a way to save on it is welcomed. With the Ibotta app you can get grocery rebates for not only organic food but other healthy foods, like milk and produce. Just this week I’ve gotten cash back for bananas and carrots. Since you rarely find coupons for fresh produce, Ibotta fills this niche nicely.
In addition to milk and produce, you can get cash back for buying meat. It doesn’t have to be meat in a brand name package. It could be meat from the butcher counter. According to a spokesperson for the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, through Ibotta at some point you can get grocery rebates on fresh ground beef (any grind) and then another rebate for any steak or roast. There are no specifics on the package size or price point.
4. Extra Ways to Earn Cash Back
I mentioned that you can refer your friends for bonuses. And once your friends start using the app, you get bonuses based on their spending and rebates. Well, Ibotta offers additional bonus opportunities from time to time. During the December there was a $20 holiday bonus, as long as you redeemed 20 rebates during a defined amount of time. You don’t have to do any special submitting to qualify for this bonus. Ibotta keeps track of it. And you can see how well you’re doing towards that extra bonus right in the app.
5. Grocery Rebates on Beer, Wine and Spirits
Perhaps this “pro” isn’t for everyone, but if you purchase beer, wine and spirits, then you’ll want to know that you can cash in grocery rebates for those as well, via the Ibotta app. The only challenge is if you live in a state that does not sell alcohol through traditional grocery stores.
I live in Pennsylvania. Here, pretty much your only option for buying alcohol is a state store. However, some Sheetz locations now sell liquor. I’ve yet to see Sheetz in Ibotta, though. So any liquor rebates in Ibotta would go to waste. But in states like New Jersey or Ohio, you can buy beer and wine in stores that you’ll find on Ibotta. Recently, I shopped in a Target near Cleveland, Ohio, and I could have killed it with liquor rebates.
6. Hundreds of Ibotta Retailers and Stores
Like many apps Ibotta uses location to determine the stores nearest you where you can shop and qualify for grocery rebates. Normally these stores fall into one of these categories:
- Beer, Wine & Spirits
- Beauty & Wellness
Just in the grocery category alone, the stores near me where I can get grocery rebates include Target, Stop and Shop, Costco, Dollar General and Whole Foods
There are also restaurant and bars offers from time to time. And if you’re a military family, you’ll want to note that you can get grocery rebates from the military commissary, too.
Finally, you can use Ibotta with online stores, too. Amazon is one store that gives you cash back through the Ibotta app. It works with Macy’s rebates, too. There is an Ibotta Best Buy rebates, too, in the form of cash back when shopping online. Since Ibotta has moved online, Ebates would now be considered a shopping app like Ibotta–without the need to scan receipts.
What Are Ibotta Cons?
Sometimes Ibotta doesn’t work the way I’d hoped. For example, when I first started using this app, I would scan the Ibotta receipt and submit, but rebates were rejected. I couldn’t figure out why so I created my own Ibotta hack or Ibotta app cheats–though I’m not really cheating.
My Ibotta hack
What is my Ibotta hack or Ibotta app cheats? It’s this. Now I mark up my receipt by putting an arrow next to the products I’ve purchased and which are eligible for rebates. I figure by highlighting matches on the receipt, it makes it easier for Ibotta to process everything. So far, so good. This Ibotta hack has worked every time since. So it might be seen as one of those Ibotta app cheats but, like I said, it’s not really cheating at all.
Details sometimes hard to understand
Recently, my daughter at college asked me to send her a care package of K-cups so she could caffeinate while studying for finals. On the app it said that Dunkin Donuts K-Cup pods were eligible for a $1.00 grocery rebate. So I bought some. Only problem? When I went to redeem them and scanned the barcode, it was rejected. It was only when I looked closely at the picture with the rebate did I notice it was for pumpkin spice Dunkin Donuts K-Cups only. Since you cannot enlarge the picture on the Ibotta app, if you don’t notice these subtleties, you are SOL. (Note to Ibotta: please make the description in the rebate offers clear, if there is a flavor or size necessary to qualify.)
Can’t use with online grocery shopping solutions
I’ve written reviews about online grocery shopping solutions. This includes Peapod grocery delivery service, and the Walmart Grocery pickup service. I’ve also used (but not yet written about) Instacart. Unfortunately, with these three grocery shopping solutions, there is no way to get cash back from Ibotta. Part of that reason is because you do not get a normal cash register receipt when you shop this way. I do with Ibotta would get together with these others services and find a way to work together. I think so many shoppers like me would love this added cash back shopping solution.
Ibotta App Review Conclusion
So is Ibotta worth it? I think so. To me Ibotta is a timesaver over traditional coupons. I will still use coupons from time to time but not nearly as regularly as the Ibotta app. For me Ibotta is so easy to use, convenient and almost like playing a game. It is the grocery shopping app I’ll open first on my Smartphone. I don’t have to have it open or activate it when I walk through a store door. And I don’t have to bring anything up at the checkout counter.
At my leisure, after I get home, I can scan barcodes and receipts with the Ibotta app. That’s how I get paid for the grocery shopping I was going to do anyway. It’s why I’ve include the Ibotta app in the “My Faves” page with my favorite products.
Other Apps Like Ibotta
I’m sure there are other apps out there that let you make money with your Smartphone. Some may even be apps like Ibotta–apps that require you to capture your receipt to get the cash back. To be honest I haven’t tried any of the others so I have nothing to compare to. However, if I discover others, I’ll be sure to update this post to include this new information.
I hope you like reading Ibotta reviews and, again, if there are other money-saving apps I should write reviews about, please let me know.