April 19, 2021 4:00 PM PT

Ibotta Review

Read more about Ibotta
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Ibotta is a cashback app with tons of offers on everyday products. But what are common complaints? Review this before downloading.

Ibotta

Overall Score

4.2

Earning Potential

4.0

Ease of Use

4.5

Trustworthy

4.0
5-point scale (the higher, the better)

Pros and Cons

  • Flexible offers
  • Quick rewards processing
  • Must use app
  • Some convenience fees

Bottom Line

Easy cash back;best for groceries

No one has time to clip coupons, but everyone likes saving money.

Luckily, Ibotta brings the savings directly to you.

Find out how to save money with Ibotta in this review. Plus, see how it compares to Dosh, Honey and other popular cash back apps.

What Is Ibotta?

Ibotta is a cashback app that pays you to shop for groceries and other everyday purchases.

Ibotta works with more than 1,500 brands to offer you cash back on most common items - from home products to cosmetics to groceries.

To date, Ibotta has paid back $860 million to users. They offer cash back when you shop in-person (using the Ibotta app) or online using the Ibotta extension.

Best of all, it's completely free to use. Find out how to save with their mobile app and browser extension below.

Right now, Ibotta is offering a welcome bonus of $20 just for creating an account. Download the Ibotta app or browser extension to cash in.

Is Ibotta Legit?

Yep, Ibotta is legit. It's an affiliate marketing company. This means Ibotta earns a small commission from brands and retailers every time you make a purchase using your Ibotta account.

Ibotta then shares a percentage of their commission with you in the form of cash back. This is how they get more people to use their service and make money.

It doesn't cost you anything to use the app, and in fact, you earn cash back (save money on your purchases) using it.

Ibotta currently has a B rating from the BBB and a 3.2 rating (out of 5) from Trustpilot. We review some of Ibotta's most common complaints a little further down.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • "Flexible" offers make it easier to rack up savings: Ibotta also has offers for general shopping categories at certain stores or "any item"-type purchases so you can buy exactly what you want.

  • Payment when you need it: Ibotta lets you cash out as soon as you hit $20, whereas similar apps (like Rakuten) pay on a quarterly schedule.

  • More grocery offers: Ibotta offers a massive selection of grocery shopping offers - likely more than any other cash back app.

  • "Teamwork" feature good for earning bonuses: Ibotta Teamwork lets you earn bonuses for achieving different savings goals with your friend group.

  • Offer processing time is quick: In most cases, the cash back you earned will show up in your Ibotta account within 24 hours of purchase.

Cons

  • Convenience fee for carrying a balance: If you don't cash out your balance for 6 months, Ibotta will charge you a $3.99 convenience fee.

  • Must be used with their app: Ibotta doesn't work if you're only shopping on a computer browser; you must download their app to reap the rewards and shop through their online portal.

  • Have to watch ads: For certain offers, Ibotta makes you watch an ad before you can "activate" the offer.

Learn about Ibotta's most common complaints (and how to solve them) in our section here.

Is Ibotta Safe?

Yes, Ibotta is safe! They follow strict safety regulations, including using 256-bit encryption, which is bank-level encryption.

If you use their Pay with Ibotta feature, which allows you to link a debit or credit card, know that Ibotta doesn't store your payment information.

Plus, they work with payment processing companies that require a high level of security. Ibotta prides themselves on their level of safety and tools to protect their customers' privacy.

Interested in earning even more cash back? Review this guide to the most popular cash back apps to find out which ones pay the most and work for your everyday purchases.

How Does Ibotta Work?

Ibotta works by offering cash back for common purchases, including groceries, household goods, clothing, pharmaceuticals, pet supplies, books, beauty services, and more.

Once you create your account, you'll be asked about your favorite stores. Ibotta then presents you with cash back offers for those stores (and for other stores that are close to you.)

If you want to use one of their cash back offers, you can redeem it in a few different ways, which we detail below.

Earning with Ibotta's Browser Extension

Shop your favorite retailers online using the Ibotta extension and automatically earn cash back. Here's how it works:

  1. Download the Ibotta browser extension (Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox).
  2. Log in to the browser extension with your Ibotta account.
  3. Click "Activate" when you see the extension pop up on eligible sites.
  4. Shop online and redeem the offers in the extension window.
  5. Get cash back when you make a purchase.

Ibotta offers hundreds of offers at the best retailers as well as over 500 offers on grocery pickup and delivery services.

If you shop for groceries online through services like Instacart, Shipt, or Walmart Grocery Pickup, order through the Ibotta app and earn cash back on your purchases.

If you shop online at retailers like Macy's, Ulta, Walgreens, and Staples, Ibotta automatically tells you when there's a cashback opportunity. It's like having someone look for cashback for you while you shop like normal.

Earning with Ibotta's Mobile App

The Ibotta mobile app contains hundreds of cashback offers on groceries, clothing, household goods, and more. You'll even find offers on dining and travel.

There are a few ways to earn with the Ibotta app:

  • In-person: Check out the mobile app before heading to your favorite store. Any items you see that you might buy, claim the offer. Once you shop, simply upload your receipt or link your loyalty account to Ibotta and earn cash back on your purchases.
  • Pay with Ibotta: If you upload your payment information to the Ibotta app, you can pay with Ibotta at the register. Pay with Ibotta may pay you up to 10% back on your entire purchase automatically.
  • Online: Shop more than 140 retailers online and earn up to 10% back on your purchase. This includes groceries, household goods, clothing, pet items, dining, and travel. If you book travel through Expedia, Orbitz, or Hotels.com, you'll earn the most cash back on your travels.

Make sure to enable Ibotta notifications on your mobile app and via email so you always know about the latest Ibotta offers.

You can choose to get notified about the Deal of the Day, bonuses, and even get Nearby Offer Alerts when a store nearby has offers for in-store shopping.

Download: Apple, Google Play

Don't toss out your receipts. Instead, compare the most popular receipt apps (like Fetch Receipt Hog and more) to earn even more from your everyday purchases.

What Devices Does Ibotta Work With?

Ibotta currently works on both Android and iOS devices, including the following:

  • iPhone 6 or later
  • iPod Touch 6 or later with iOS 13+
  • iPad or iPad Mini 2017 or newer
  • Any Apple device running iOS 13+
  • Android devices using platform 5 or later

At this time, Ibotta doesn't work with Microsoft Windows phones or Blackberry phones.

How Does Ibotta Pay?

Ibotta doesn't pay in points or anything else you have to convert. They pay in cash.

When you redeem an offer, you'll see your cashback (if approved) usually within 24 hours. Ibotta sends you an email notifying you of the update and you can track your balance in the Ibotta app or on your online dashboard at any time.

Once your balance reaches $20, you can transfer the funds using PayPal or Venmo to your bank account.

If you'd prefer gift cards, you can redeem your cash for a gift card to one of the more than 20 stores, including Amazon, Sephora, Starbucks, Target, and Walmart among others.

What you can expect to earn
With consistent use of the app, many user report earning about $5 a week. If you earn that amount every week, you'd end up netting $260 in a year. That's a good chunk of change for shopping trips and groceries.

Common Complaints About Ibotta

Like any app, Ibotta has its fair share of complaints. Here are the most common issues reported:

  • Tough to meet the $20 minimum payout when many of the products give cash back of $0.20 - $0.30.

  • Receipts don't always upload correctly, requiring consumers to contact support and re-upload receipts or enter transactions manually. (Be sure to hang onto your receipts!)

  • Claiming the item at a store other than where a consumer shopped doesn't count for the cashback.

  • Some people have trouble withdrawing your earnings (Ibotta explains why here).

  • Offers don't always credit correctly, requiring users to follow up and wait more time for the credit to go through.

How to contact customer service
Ibotta lets you submit a help request online in the customer support portal. In terms of reputation, SiteJabber gave the company a 1.7 rating. Check out customer reviews before making a purchase.

How to maximize earnings with Ibotta

There are a few tips and tricks for the making the most out of the app. Here's what you ought to do:

  1. Check for deals in the app before grocery shopping.

  2. Comparison shop to make sure you're getting the better deal. Sometimes another brand will be cheaper even after factoring Ibotta's savings.

  3. Combine cash offers with sales and coupons.

  4. Don't miss out on bonuses. You can shop specific offers at at certain stores to get a $2 bonus. You get an additional bonus when you buy the same product or from a particular brands several times in a row.

  5. Use "any brand rebates" (valued $0.25 to $0.50). You can apply this discount to any item or brand - even fresh produce.

  6. Confirm if an item's eligible with the in-app scanner.

  7. Refer friends - You earn $5 for every successful referral. (This means your friend must sign up and start redeeming offers through the Ibotta app.)

How It Compares

Dosh vs Ibotta
Dosh is another cashback app, but it works differently than Ibotta. First, you must link at least one debit or credit card to the app.

Then, like Ibotta, you can search offers in the mobile app at the stores you plan to shop. When you check out, use a Dosh-linked debit or credit card and you'll get credit for the purchase.

You can use Dosh for both online and in-person purchases, but unlike Ibotta, Dosh doesn't have a browser extension. You must earn a balance of $25 before cashing out and you can receive your money via PayPal, Venmo, or as a charitable donation.

Honey vs Ibotta
Unlike Ibotta, Honey is only a browser extension.

When you download Honey, it does all the work for you, finding you the largest discounts on your purchases. They work with over 30,000 merchants and provide an average savings of 17.92%.

Honey's main benefit is the online browser extension. However, they have a program called Honey Gold that's not as widely touted, but beneficial, nonetheless. Honey Gold is similar to Ibotta because it pays you cash back for certain purchases.

You don't have to search for the offers, though; if there is a Honey Gold opportunity, Honey points it out to you when you shop, giving you the option to activate the deal (if you want).

Rakuten vs Ibotta
Rakuten is another (very) popular cash back platform, but it might be a better choice than Ibotta for online shopping fanatics.

Ibotta requires you to download their app, but Rakuten lets you save just by using their browser extension (they have an app, too, though).

Raukten has been around longer than Ibotta, so they have offers from more retailers than Ibotta does. They also offer a similar percentage of cash back.

But Rakuten wins big in the friend-referral rewards. Ibotta offers $5 for friend referrals, while Rakuten offers $25.

Unlike Ibotta (which lets you cash out as soon as you hit the minimum $20), Rakuten pays on a quarterly schedule. Bottom line: if you're big on online shopping and plan to rack up friend referrals, choose Rakuten over Ibotta.

Bottom Line: Is It Worth the Effort?

Ibotta doesn't take much effort. If you have time to browse Facebook or Instagram, you have time to browse Ibotta. Take a few minutes before you head to the grocery store or before you shop online to see what offers they have available.

To make it easier on yourself, turn notifications on so you get alerted whenever a new deal comes along so you don't miss out. Ibotta pays you cash back for buying what you would normally buy, so why not take the extra few minutes to earn some extra money?

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Write to Sam Hawrylack at feedback@creditdonkey.com. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook for our latest posts.

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