I started couponing over 10 years ago. At that time there were no smart phones or money-saving apps, but there were helpful coupon websites that I taught me how to combine my newspaper coupons with store sales and get awesome savings! Then a few years ago, I started seeing my couponing sites refer to this thing called an “ibotta rebate” and I had no idea what it was and I just ignored it. Then when I finally got around to getting a decent cell phone I decided to download the app and give it a try. Now I use it almost every week and it (along with other grocery apps) has become part of my shopping routine.
This review is specifically about ibotta, but there are other great coupon apps that I highly recommend. To see my full list, click here. If you are brand new to couponing and not sure how to get started, click here for my detailed article, “How to Coupon Without the Extreme“.
Please note this post may contain affiliate links, read my full disclosure here.
What is Ibotta?
Ibotta is an app for your phone that gives you money back when you purchase certain items. It was launched on Google Play and the App Store in 2012 and in 2016 Ibotta announced it had paid its customers over $100 million in rebates1. How it works is ibotta teams up with stores and brands to give you money back on certain purchases. It’s similar to coupons, but you get the money after you’re finished shopping. It’s an easy to use app that can save anyone hundreds of dollars!
How it Works
- Sign up and download the app. If you use my link here, you’ll get $10 after you redeem your first rebate so click here to sign up!
- Find rebates. Below is a screenshot of what the app will look like on your phone.
As you can see, you can save money on more than just groceries. There are clothing stores (Sears, Clarks, Kohls, Gymboree, etc.), Groupon, Restaurants (Chili’s, Red Robin, Outback Steakhouse, etc.), and more. But since I mostly use ibotta for grocery savings, I’m going to click on “grocery” and then click the grocery store I’m going to “King Soopers”. Your list of stores will vary depending on what stores are nearby.
- Unlock rebates. Let’s say I want to use the $.15 cash back yogurt. This is for any brand of yogurt and I know I’ll be buying yogurt so I click the + button and it takes me to a screen where I’m asked one quick poll question to unlock the rebate. The tasks to unlock the rebates are always simple. Typically you’re asked to watch a short video or answer a simple question. It doesn’t take more than a few seconds to unlock the rebates. Remember, the rebates available are always changing, so your screen probably won’t have the same rebates available that I’m showing you here.
- Go shopping. You’ve already unlocked the products you plan to buy so now go buy them!
- Verify you bought the products. First, click the “verify purchases” green button at the bottom of your screen. Then click “scan products barcodes” on the next screen. All the unlocked products will appear in a list and you’ll pick the product that you’re going to verify.
- Upload your receipt. After’s you’ve scanned the barcodes, the last thing you have to do is upload your receipt. If your receipt is longer than can fit in one photo, you click “add section” and keep adding sections until you’ve taken a photo of the entire receipt.
- Get Money. Ibotta will deposit your money into your ibotta account within 48 hours of uploading your receipt. Once you have at least $20 in your account, you can transfer that money to a PayPal or Venmo account.
- Easy to Use – the app takes you step by step through the whole process I described above and the app is very easy to navigate.
- It’s Free – there’s no risk in trying it out and seeing what you think of it.
- Earn Money – I’ve made over $250 with this app! That includes my rebates and referrals. When you refer others you get $5 and they get $10. It’s a win-win!! Use my referral link here to sign up
- Variety of Rebates – I’ve used ibotta to get rebates from Gap, Walmart, King Soopers, Jet, Groupon, and more. There are over 350 stores they support.
- Any Brand Rebates – I love the rebates that can be from any brand (like the yogurt example above). They regularly redeem rebates like this on milk, bread, apples, peppers, chips, etc. I can almost always get money back on a shopping trip thanks to these non-brand specific rebates.
- Doesn’t Take Long – Writing out the step by step process above can make it look daunting, but it really doesn’t take long to scan a few barcodes and upload your receipt. It’s maybe a 5 minute process that I do after I’ve put my groceries away.
- $20 Minimum Withdrawl – It isn’t hard to reach the $20, especially when you start out with $10 for using my referral link, but it’s always a downside to have to wait to get your money.
- Unlocking the Rebates – This isn’t too big of a deal and only takes a couple minutes, but ibotta is the only rebate app I use that requires me to unlock the rebates before redeeming them.
- USA and Puerto Rico – Currently ibotta is only available in the US and Puerto Rico so if you live anywhere else this isn’t for you.
I highly recommend giving ibotta a try! There’s no reason not too. Groceries are one of the biggest expenses at my house and I promise every little bit you can save does add up. My $255 has taken me less than a year to accumulate!