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Continuing my series on cash back apps that I use, the app I’ve used the longest is Ibotta. I would compare it to online coupons in a way. So far I would say it is the most lucrative app I use. (Again, I’m not getting rich. Every little bit helps!)
To use Ibotta, you must have an account. Signing up is simple: just your email and a password. It asks for your name, zip code, and date of birth as well.
How to Earn
Ibotta has a large number of stores affiliated with their app. When you are going shopping, you can look through cash back offers beforehand and select the ones you plan to use. Or while you’re shopping if you want, but personally, that would take too much time in the store. My little girl likes looking around grocery stores, but not for unlimited amounts of time. (Tip: make sure you are looking at deals under the store you plan to shop. Many offers are available at multiple stores, but sometimes they are not. Make sure if you are shopping at Target, you aren’t looking at Walmart offers!)
Ibotta also allows you to link curbside pickup apps (like Walmart or Target) and the deals you chose will automatically be added to your cash back total. It usually takes a few days before it totals everything. This is currently my favorite way to use Ibotta!
One thing to note is that once an offer is used, it disappears for a few days (usually 2-3 in my experience). So if I want to buy Beechnut baby food at Walmart, I can’t go to Target immediately afterwards and double dip on the cash back.
Also, be sure to look carefully at the offers! Some say “must buy 2” or something similar. I’ve been guilty of not looking closely more times than I’d like to admit! Many offers can be redeemed up to 5 times in one shopping trip as well, so it may pay to stock up!
I find it slightly strange that users can’t see the expiration dates of the offers unless they add them to their list. There’s got to be a reason, I just can’t figure it out. If there are only a few days or hours left on a deal, a banner appears with the time remaining, even if the item is not added to a list.
For places like Aldi, the “Any Item” offers work best. They are lower amounts of money back, but they are good on any variety of ice cream, or dog food, or whatever the category may be. Many times, a receipt is worth $.10, which is much more than Fetch offers! (But it needs to be from a store associated with Ibotta. It can’t just be from anywhere.)
Some online stores are affiliated with Ibotta as well. It’s the same idea as Rakuten. (More about that in a later post.) To shop online at a store, (say eBay or Old Navy) go through the Ibotta app first, and then a cash back percentage is added to your earnings after you make a purchase. Personally, I’ve found Rakuten to be a more user friendly online shopping experience, but if Ibotta is offering a much higher cash back percentage, it would be worth using!
Gift Card Purchases
One facet I haven’t tried yet is gift card purchases. (This is a relatively new option.) There is a list of stores and restaurants that offer cash back percentages when you buy a gift card through Ibotta. So, for instance, if you wanted to go to Starbucks, instead of using your credit card to reload the money on your app, you can purchase a gift card through Ibotta, receive 2% cash back, and then apply the gift card to your Starbucks app.
Ibotta offers bonuses that change periodically. For example, as I’m typing this, there is a “Weekend Warrior” bonus available. Redeem 6 offers this weekend and earn an extra $3.00. I don’t think I’ve ever earned a bonus like this example. I really don’t shop that much, especially at Ibotta stores. (Granted, we don’t have that many stores close to us in general!) I have my standard stores, and they serve me well.
The most important part: how do I get my money! Ibotta offers withdrawal over $20. They offer PayPal transfers or digital gift cards to a variety of stores. (Some gift cards have a $25 minimum, instead of $20.)
If you’d like to read about other cash back apps I use, you can find their links here:
If you have any other cash back apps you use, feel free to share them so we can all check them out!