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Why You Should Ibotta

Ibotta
Written by Dustin

I have been using the Ibotta App for a few months now and it is become a favorite of mine. It is a very easy way to earn cash back on daily purchases.

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For some reason, I am always looking at new apps. I download them, try them out for a few days, then either keep or delete them. Most of them get deleted, but every once in awhile I find an app that I keep. One I came across not to long ago was the Ibotta app, and why I think you should Ibotta.

Why you should Ibotta

What is Ibotta?

Ibotta is another rewards earning app that you earn cash back rewards. I feel like I have had a few of these on my phone, but this one sticks around, because it actually has stores that I use. Examples of stores are Best Buy, Ebay, Groupon, and many more that I’ll explain about. I’m pretty confident that it has stores you use as well. 🙂

Signing Up:

You can sign up right from your phone, or online at their website.

If you sign up with my personal referral link, you will receive a $10 bonus after your first rebate. And for transparency, I will also earn $5, if you use my link. If you use my link I appreciate it!

What do you earn rewards on?

There are a wide variety of products and offers from Ibotta. At grocery stores, there is a lot of overlap of products, but these can range  from from beer and wine, cereal, house hold products, and many more.

Some of the best offers are on non-grocery items, such as earning 2% cash back at ebay, a few weeks ago there was 40% cash back up to $30 at Groupon, and 5% cash back at Best Buy.

These deals seem to update weekly, so you’ll want to make sure the offer is still loaded in your app before making a purchase.

How do you receive credit?

This is actually pretty simple. There are actually 2 ways that I’ve seen for you to earn your rewards.

Option 1: You need to “unlock” the deals in the app, which is a click of a button. Once you unlock these deals, you’ll make your purchase , then take a picture of your receipt. From that point, your rewards are in your account within 48 hours.

In my experience, this occurs within 24 hours. Occasionally, it has taken up to 48 hours, but that has only happened on larger purchases.

Option 2: You need to “unlock the deals in the app. The difference here, is at the register you will have the cashier either scan the QR barcode, or your store barcode.

Both options have been extremely reliable and I haven’t had any issue receiving credit for my purchases

Types of Earnings:

There are a few different ways to earn your cash back with Ibotta. You can receive a flat amount back, like $0.25 for milk, or $4 for buying Bud Light. Also, there are offers for a percentage back on your purchase. For example, earning 5% cash back at Jet.com.

What I have found is these stack with other rewards as well, such as Target Cartwheel, where you can double dip rewards for house hold products. Or you can stack rewards, such as My Best Buy rewards, in addition to Ibotta to earn rewards you purchase in-store.

Example 1:

Shopping at Banana Republic, with your Ibotta app you’ll earn $5 back when you spend $35 or more. This offer you’d need to take a picture of your receipt. You can receive credit if you purchased with a gift card. :-). So, if you bought a gift card for 20% off, then added an additional $5 savings. You’re looking at 35% savings on a $35 purchase.

Stores Ibotta works at:

Ibotta says it has over 300 different stores and I use just a handful of them myself. They break them down between “In-store” and “In-app” purchases.

When you purchase in-store then you’ll need to use one of the 2 options listed above to earn your rewards (the app tells you). If you have to use the “in-app” option, Ibotta actually has a button that will launch the app. Once the purchase is made, you will receive your money within 48 hours.

After browsing through their website and mobile app,  I have noticed the mobile app seems to have a higher payout when compared to their website. Definitely check them, but in my experience, the mobile app is better.

Notable stores/apps for Ibotta:

  • Ebay- in app- currently 2%
  • Jet.com- in app- currently 2%
  • Groupon- In app- up to 10%
  • Hoteltonight – in-app
  • Adidas- In app- Currently 10%
  • Best Buy- In store- currently 2%. Stacks with Amex Offers
  • Banana Republic – In store
  • Ugg- In app- currently 10%
  • Levi’s- In app- currently 10%
  • JoAnn- $5 back when spending $15 or more. Stacks with Amex offers
  • And so many more stores!

One interesting thing I saw with Ebay, is that it does not exclude 3rd party gift cards. Currently the top paying portal is 1.6%, so Ibotta will actually be the best earning for Ebay when buying 3rd party gift cards.

Earning Bonuses:

Not only will Ibotta give you rewards on the items purchased. They will also give you a bonus amount of cash back, when you reach the requirements. These can range from$0.50 to $5+ in bonuses.

During Black Friday, I made an in-store purchase at Best Buy for about $90. I earned 2% cash back from the app, 3% from my Discover It Miles and a bonus of $3 from Ibotta for making a purchase on Black Friday. Overall, I earned over 8% cash back on that transaction, that was far better than any portal pay out!

Teamwork Levels and Bonuses

Ibotta does a fantastic job in letting you earn bonuses. The teamwork function will unlock bonuses for the people on your “team” after you redeem for the required number of rebates. This is pretty simple as well, the more members on your team, the greater the chances you will reach the bonuses and earn more money!

There are some exclusions to the teamwork bonuses, but they are very clear.

Redeeming your Earnings:

In order to get paid out for you cash back, you need a minimum of $20. Once you hit the minimum amount of cash back needed, you have 3 options to redeem your rewards.

  1. Paypal
  2. Venmo
  3. Gift Cards:
    • Best Buy
    • Amazon
    • Starbucks
    • Whole Foods
    • Olive garden
    • Target
    • K-Mart
    • Gap
    • Applebees
    • Sam’s Club
    • Papa John’s
    • Old Navy
    • Walmart
    • Sephora
    • iTunes
    • Cabela’s
    • Express
    • Regal

I typically redeem into my Paypal account as it is easy and is paid out instantly.

Stacking For Max Rewards:

I am a huge fan of Amex offers and making sure to get my rewards from those. If you find a store on the list, for example Boxed. Currently There is an Amex Offer for $15 off $50, plus with Ibotta you will earn 10% cash back (current top portal is 8%)! This overall will save you 40% on your Boxed purchase!

Now there are some stores that overlap with Ebates in-store offers, so you stack this in addition to Ibotta and your credit card rewards.

There are some ways to really stack the savings and you just need take a look at your credit card rewards, Amex Offers and if you can stack between portals/apps.

Utilizing with Credit Card Rewards

When you start looking at the stores offered, you’ll quickly see there are many opportunities to use cards with bonus categories. At grocery stores you can stack this with your 6% Blue Cash Preferred or 4.5x Everyday Preferred. Or use these at stores where your Discover or Chase Freedom’s 5% bonus category will yield the best results.

When you start stacking these, you can start to add percentage points to you rewards. I tell everyone, that this game is the sums of smalls. When you start earning a few extra dollars at a store, those dollars do add up to reducing the cost of your next trip.

Things I’d wish they’d change

There are times I forget to use my app. It’s not very often, but I am human and it does slip my mind. At stores where you have to have the cashier scan the barcode/QR code, I would like to see the ability to scan the receipt added. This would give us (the user) an extra way to enter our receipt.

Have an occasional redemption bonus on cash back earnings, such as, only redeem $20 Ibotta cash for $25 Target gift card. I think this would be another great bonus opportunity.

Conclusion:

Overall, I think Ibotta is an app you ‘otta have :-). (corny?). When you start looking at all the possible ways to earn extra cash back, it seems to be a real easy choice for me. When you start adding teammates and working towards the bonuses, things can add up fast.

When you look at stores like Best Buy, or Ebay. Those stores alone can help increase your reward earnings.

There are a few things I would like to see address, mostly an alternative way to enter receipts for QR coded merchants.

Do you have Ibotta? What do you think about the app?

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About the author

Dustin

After completing 6 years of pharmacy school, I finally had the time to travel. I started investigating ways to travel for less and when I redeemed my first award flight for my honeymoon, I knew I was hooked! Fast forward a couple of years and places I had never dreamed of visiting like Budapest, Honolulu, Bermuda and many other places where all within my reach, and for little to no money out of my pocket. Now, I have collected well over a million points and miles, and try to help people travel for less on their wallet.

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