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Ibotta Review: Earn Easy Cash Back Rewards When Shopping In-Store and Online

Many or all of the products here are from our partners that pay us a commission. It’s how we make money. But our editorial integrity ensures our experts’ opinions aren’t influenced by compensation. Terms may apply to offers listed on this page.

Bottom line: Ibotta is a free cash back app that makes it easy to earn cash back rewards in-store and online with over 300 retailers.

Ibotta
Best for: Cash back savings appIbotta

Full Ibotta review

Pros

  • Free to use
  • Features over 300 retailers
  • Earn up to $20 in welcome bonuses
  • Get paid to refer friends
  • Earn cash back on gift card purchases
  • Earn more with bonuses
  • You can cash out at $20

Cons

  • You need to add offers before shopping
  • You need to upload receipts
  • Offers are store-specific
  • Many offers are brand-specific
  • There are ads
  • You must make online purchases through the app

At a glance

Rewards Rewards vary; some offers are for $0.10 cash back, while others can be for $1.00 or more
iOS app rating 4.8/5 stars
Android app rating 4.5/5 stars
Cost Free

What is Ibotta and how does it work?

Ibotta is a free cash back app that offers cash back rewards when shopping in-store and online. The app features 300-plus retailers. To get started, you'll need to sign up for an Ibotta account and download the app on your mobile device. Within the app, you'll see store-specific offers. When you see an offer that you like, click on the plus button to add it to your clipped offers list.

Each offer will have more details listed. Details include:

  • Any product exclusions
  • How often you can redeem the offer
  • Whether the offer qualifies for any bonuses
  • The offer expiration date and time

How much cash back you can earn with Ibotta depends on what offers you redeem. The rewards rates vary, with the lowest cash back amount being $0.10. But many offers are in the $0.50 to $1.00 range. And some offer rates are much higher -- $3.00 or more.

How to earn rewards

Once you do your in-store shopping, you'll need to upload a photo of your receipt. You have up to seven days after purchasing items to upload your receipt. Your favorite store may even allow you to connect your loyalty card to Ibotta. When you do this, you won't need to upload a receipt!

You can use Ibotta to earn cash back on your online purchases too. Within the app, there is a separate section for online offers. Find the offer that you like and then click the "Shop" button. The app will then take you to the brand's website within the app screen. You won't need to upload a receipt. Make sure that you don't leave the app screen while shopping to ensure you earn your rewards.

Ibotta also gives users the ability to earn cash back on gift card purchases. Currently, over 120 retailers offer gift cards for sale within the app. Each retailer lists how much cash back they offer on gift card purchases, but you can expect to earn 5% for most gift card purchases. The gift cards are virtual.

How to redeem rewards

There are no costs to use Ibotta, so it's a free way to earn some extra cash. Once you reach $20 in cash back earnings, you can request a payout. If you prefer, you can redeem your earnings for gift cards to popular retailers. You also have the option to cash out your earnings to the following:

If you want to get rewarded for your everyday purchases, whether in person or online, Ibotta is an excellent free app to consider using. Keep reading our detailed Ibotta review to learn more about this cash back app's features and decide if it's the right choice for you.

Top perks

It's free

Ibotta is free to use. There are no fees to use the service, and no fees are ever deducted from your cash back earnings. This app provides a simple way to earn extra money and can be a nice addition to your personal finance apps.

Features 300-plus retailers

You'll have many options to earn cash back when using this cash back app. Ibotta features 300-plus retailers in a variety of categories, including grocery stores, convenience stores, home renovation stores, pet stores, and more. Popular retailers include Walmart, Ace Hardware, GNC, Express, PetSmart, and Target.

Earn up to $20 in welcome bonuses

You'll get rewarded for becoming a new Ibotta user. Currently, Ibotta offers up to $20 in welcome bonuses. You have up to 30 days from opening an Ibotta account to earn the following bonuses:

  • Earn $10 for redeeming an in-store offer
  • Earn $5 for redeeming a mobile shopping offer
  • Earn $5 for redeeming an in-store or mobile shopping offer

If you do all of the above, this is an easy way to achieve a quick first payout, as the minimum amount needed for a payout is $20.

Get paid to refer friends

Ibotta wants you to share their app with friends and family and will reward you for doing so. Every time someone uses your Ibotta referral code to join Ibotta and then redeems an offer, you'll earn $12. This is a simple way to share the app with others and earn extra cash back.

Earn cash back on gift card purchases

You can also earn cash back rewards by purchasing virtual gift cards through Ibotta. You'll need to link a Mastercard or Visa to the Ibotta app to buy gift cards from over 120 retailers. Each store has its own cash back offer for gift cards, but you can expect to earn around 5% for most retailers.

Earn more with bonuses

Ibotta also has special bonuses that allow you to earn even more cash back. You can find current bonus opportunities under the "Earn More" section of the app.

Here are some examples of the ways you can earn bonuses:

  • For redeeming a specific offer more than one time
  • For redeeming two or more offers from a specific brand
  • When redeeming a certain amount of offers by a specific date

Take a look at these bonus offers to maximize your earning potential. And be sure to read the details of each bonus opportunity and follow the instructions to earn more.

You can cash out at $20

As soon as you reach $20 in cash back rewards, you can request a payout. Some other cash back apps don't offer flexibility with payouts. For example, if you use Rakuten, you'll be paid out quarterly. That means you only get four payments per year. If you use Ibotta regularly and reach the $20 minimum multiple times, this is a more convenient perk.

What could be improved

You need to add offers before shopping

When you use Ibotta for in-store purchases, you'll need to first add offers to your saved offer list. This can take some time to do as you plan for your shopping trip and figure out what stores you want to shop at and what items you want to buy. If you forget to add offers, you won't qualify for cash back earnings -- which can be frustrating.

You need to upload receipts

When you do in-store shopping, you also need to upload a photo of your receipt. This is how Ibotta tracks that you made a qualifying purchase. Once you get used to doing this, it becomes a habit -- but it does take some extra time to do. Other apps don't require you to upload a receipt, which is more convenient.

Offers are store-specific

Cash back offers found within Ibotta are store-specific. That means you can't use a cash back offer found under Target for a trip to Walmart. This does require some more thinking and planning when you do your shopping.

Many offers are brand-specific

Many of the in-store offers found throughout the app are brand-specific. This is something to be aware of if you typically buy store-brand items. Name brand items usually cost more money than store-brand items, so you want to make sure that you're not overspending to earn a cash back reward. Some stores have "any item" offers that can be store-brand, but these offers usually pay less.

There are ads

Sometimes an app will pop up while you're using Ibotta. The ad may advertise another offer, or it may show a short video about a product. This isn't out of the ordinary for a free app, but other cash back apps don't have ads.

You must make online purchases through the app

If you plan to earn cash back when shopping online, you'll need to do so within the Ibotta app. This is how Ibotta tracks your purchase. This can be an inconvenience for people used to doing their shopping through their phone's web browser. Additionally, if you forget about this and start to shop through your browser, failing to click through the app will result in no cash back earnings. The good news is online purchases don't require you to upload a receipt.

Alternatives to consider

If you want an app that allows you to earn automatic rewards: Dosh is an alternative cash back that earns automatic rewards. You don't have to worry about keeping track of receipts or uploading receipt photos to the app. Instead, you link your debit or credit card to the app and earn rewards when you go shopping. Dosh also rewards users for booking hotel stays. But you may want to stick with Ibotta if you like to go shopping with cash, because there's no way to track cash purchases when using Dosh.

If you want an app that rewards you for gas purchases: Checkout 51 is an alternative cash back app that rewards users for online shopping, grocery shopping, and gas purchases. If you want an app that rewards you for buying gas, this is it. Another stand out feature is that many of the grocery store offers aren't store-specific. But you may want to stick with Ibotta if you need more flexibility with payout methods. Checkout 51 only pays via PayPal or paper check.

What are the costs?

Ibotta is free to use.

This app is right for:

This app is a good option for anyone who likes to earn cash back rewards on their in-store and online purchases. Ibotta is easy to use, features over 300 retailers, and has flexible payout options.

Want more cash back? Check out The Ascent's U.S. Bank Triple Cash Business Card review.

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