Your Complete Guide to All Things Ibotta
Looking for a way to save money on groceries?
Here’s the thing:
I love saving money – especially when it’s easy. Using coupons is a good way to save money, but I don’t have time to cut, sort and match coupons with sales.
Another way to save on my grocery bill is to buy generic products or wait until items I like to go on sale. But, I can’t always count on that AND generic products sometimes just don’t taste right.
That brings us to our last option, which also happens to be the easiest:
Using coupon apps.
Just what are coupon apps?
They are apps that offer cash back when you buy select items.
Nearly everyone has a smartphone, which makes saving money with an app quick and convenient.
Save money on store purchases you were already going to make, and you don’t even have to bother the cashier with coupons. Score!
To be honest, I wasn’t sure that I would like apps that had anything to do with shopping.
I didn’t think it would be worth my time, but it I’ve come to find out that it is worth it.
My favorite couponing app is iBotta. I’ve been using it for several years and it has become second nature to me.
It’s user-friendly, has A LOT of different offers and only takes a few minutes to submit cash back rebates.
And, guess what:
I can submit an iBotta rebate, have it approved and have the money credited to my iBotta account all in just a few hours. You even get a $10 bonus the first time you submit an offer. That’s free money!
iBotta has a wide range of cash back offers, even on gluten-free and organic items.
The app also has cash back rebates for beer & other alcohol. New items each week, I always find something that’s on my grocery list.
iBotta groups offers by store, and it has all the big name stores + (usually) local mom and pop stores.
It Gets Better:
- The app will accept the receipt for a purchase up to 7 days after it was made. As long as the money-saving offer is still on iBotta, you’re golden. If you still have your receipt, it’s never too late to save money!
- Marked down, sale or clearance items are NOT excluded with iBotta. And yes, you still get the full cash back value!
- You CAN use coupons with iBotta offers. Even if you don’t have time to clip coupons, some products have coupons right on the products at the store. Use with coupons with iBotta to maximize your savings!
Now, let’s get into how to use iBotta to save the most money.
First things first:
Download the ibotta app – available on iOS and Android.
Note that you can use your computer to unlock rebates, but you will need a smartphone to redeem the offer on the app.
Next before heading to the store to shop, look up the store you will be shopping at. Then check to see if there are any rebates offered for items you plan on buying.
Once your find one that interests you, click on the “unlock” button. From there all you need to do is complete a quick task.
Tasks may include answering a question, watching a short video or learning a fact. No matter which kind of task it is, it’s always super easy to complete.
TIP: Watch for offers that are NOT brand-specific.
For example, the last few weeks my iBotta has had an offer for 25¢ back on any store receipt and an offer for 25¢ back on for any box of cereal. Those are quick to redeem and help add more cash to your app balance.
When looking at offers, check to see how many times it can be redeemed.
Usually, the limit is one rebate for one item, but sometimes the cash back limit will be 2 or more.
For example, it could say “limit 2 per receipt” which means:
You can buy 2 of the same item at the same time and get the full value rebate amount back on each item.
Want to get around having to upload receipts?
There’s even a way to do that – depending on where you shop! Some stores have a loyalty card you can link to your iBotta account.
If your store participates, then all you have to do is activate the offer before you shop.
Everything else is done automatically – no receipts to upload or items to scan. iBotta will then notify you when your rebate is deposited into your account. This usually takes a few days for me.
Watch for Bonus offers!
iBotta will often times have a bonus attached to select offers.
Be sure to read the fine print. Buy a featured product, redeem items at specific retailers or complete certain tasks to unlock bonuses.
To see all the available bonuses, follow the instructions below!
Once you’re done browsing the app, simply head to the store and shop as usual.
Once you’ve completed your purchases, log in to the iBotta app and click on “Redeem” (at the bottom of the main page).
iBotta will then prompt you to scan your product barcodes, then submit a photo of your receipt.
You will need to have unlocked the offer before hand or it will not show up when you go to redeem it.
- iBotta will scan QR codes on the receipts from stores (like Walmart) making it even more convenient and easy to use.
- If you have more than one offer purchase on a single receipt, you only need to submit one photo of it.
- All offers will be credited back to you at one time.
- The cash for offers you redeem are deposited into your iBotta account within 48 hours (mine usually is within 2 hours).
All of your iBotta earnings can be transferred to a PayPal or Venmo account.
If you’d rather convert your earnings into a gift card, you can do that, too. To redeem your earnings, there is a $20 minimum pay out.
TIP: Let your iBotta rebates add up and cash out at the end of the year for a Christmas or Vacation fund
First, Teamwork Bonuses
iBotta has teamwork bonuses which help you earn even more money.
Just connect your Facebook account to iBotta to grow your team. Tell your Facebook friends to do the same.
Anyone who uses iBotta that is a friend on your Facebook page is added to your team. It works on IOS and Android Platforms, making it simple for anyone to take advantage of these bonuses.
The bonuses are extra money you can earn ON TOP of the money you get back for shopping. The bigger the team the faster you earn.For example:
You could earn a $1.00 bonus if you redeem 6 offers and your teammates accumulate $5 worth of offers.
This is super easy when lots of your friends use iBotta. Between them, they will accumulate at least $5 and you just have to redeem 6 rebates by the end of the specified time period.
You can do them all at once or separately.
Once you meet the threshold and your team meets their goal, you get $1.00 added to your account!
Each time you meet a goal, you will be given another one. This just keeps members actively using their iBotta offers.
I earn extra bonuses without doing anything except using iBotta as normal.
I don’t feel like I’m wasting my time when it comes to using team bonuses, since I can usually earn them without thinking about it.
Second, Mobile Purchases
It turns out:
iBotta can be used for more than buying just groceries.
The app will reward you with a percentage back of your online purchases when start your purchase in iBotta. Just find the store you want and make the purchase via the app.
For example, Jet.com is an online store similar to Amazon.com.
Currently, iBotta is offering 1.5% cash back on purchases made at Jet.com. To redeem something like this, find a mobile offer you’re interested in (under “find offers” at the bottom and then “mobile shopping”) and click on “shop”.
From there you, it’s as simple as just making your purchase using your mobile phone via the iBotta app.
It’s that easy.
Third, Use More Than One App
iBotta is just one coupon app, there are actually quite a few out there.
The nice thing about that, is that sometimes there is a cash back on offer for one item on 2 different apps and you can redeem both.
That means more money back in your pocket for buying only one item!
Stack an offer like that on sale item AND use a coupon, and it becomes pretty easy to score free stuff.
Head here to learn more about my 5 must have coupon apps (they’ll save you a ton of money! ?).
Here are a few more tips you’ll want to know about this coupon app:
• ALWAYS be sure to read the details and exclusions on any offer before you use it. Some may be limited by sizes or stores.
• Read the FINE PRINT!
• Hang on to your receipts for 7 days. iBotta accepts a receipt for up to 7 days after you buy the item. If you buy a candy bar and the next day an offer shows up in iBotta you can get the rebate for it.
• Not sure if an item is the right one for the rebate? iBotta gives you the option to scan the barcode to make sure it’s eligible – before you buy it.
• Does your friend have an offer you don’t have on your app? iBotta offers are unique to each user and will vary by user.
Who doesn’t love saving money, especially when it takes only minutes?
iBotta is an easy, quick and free money saving app that doesn’t waste my time.
Whenever you are headed to the store take a quick look at iBotta to see if anything is on your list!
Be sure to unlock the offers before you head out the door as they can be available in limited quantities.
With new items being added all the time, you could find new rebates to redeem every time you shop.
What’s your take on this app? Love it, hate it? Let me know by leaving a comment.
Also Read: How to Get Free Food When You’re Broke (Or Just Plain Hungry!)
Charlie is the co-founder of College Life Made Easy and author of the book 175+ Things to Do Before You Graduate College. She’s a 2015 graduate who teaches overwhelmed students and parents of students how to confidently navigate the whole college thing. As a former broke college kid, she’s passionate about helping students develop the skills they need in order to thrive (instead of just survive), stress less, and actually enjoy the full college experience.