Ibotta: Get Cash Back When You Shop

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So… I’ve been getting into coupons lately. And ways to get cashback or maximize my spend as much as possible. I recently wrote about Paribus, which has already saved me some money on Amazon purchases.

And today, in my internet wanderings, I kept seeing this app mentioned over and over: Ibotta.

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Loving Ibotta

I’ve already added it to the Services I Like page, but wanted to do a quick article about it, too.

What the hee haw is Ibotta?

Ibotta is pronounced like I-bought-a… get it? It’s an app that uses your location to alert you to deals when you shop.

You “unlock” savings on the app. Then you use your phone’s camera to upload a picture of the receipt. After it’s approved, Ibotta gives you cash which you can transfer to PayPal or Venmo… and then to your bank account.

Some of the cashback is 10 or 20 cents… Yawn. But some of it is a buck or 2. Not yawn: that can add up.

I was a little skeptical about installing

Yet. Another. Freaking. App

on my phone… but I’m glad I did it. As soon as I got to the store for the first time after setting it up, I already had a few bucks in my account.

You can transfer cash out once you hit the $10 mark, or you can redeem for gift cards. I just want the cash, baby.

Although their gift card selection isn’t too shabby. And $1 equals $1, so no points conversions to keep track of.

Gift cards on Ibotta

Gift cards on Ibotta

Where can you use the app?

Oh man. So many places. That was another of my concerns.

The list of stores is so long that surely you can find a few that will interest you. They have lots of local grocery chains, as well as big box stores, drugstores, and everything in between.

Among our faves:

What can you buy?

The categories cover quite a lot of ground.

  • Groceries
  • Apparel
  • Beauty and wellness supplies
  • Electronics
  • Beer, wine, and spirits
  • Home/office items
  • Baby and kids items
  • Arts and crafts supplies
  • Pet items
  • Sports and fitness items

The biggest category is groceries, followed by beauty and wellness supplies.

Which is good because the only thing I buy in the stores any more is groceries, simply because they’re perishable. Most other things I order online to take advantage of shopping portals, manufactured spend, and maximizing points and miles. Although Ibotta also acts as a shopping portal (more on that in a sec).

Dishwashing liquid and beer... and some nice cashback amounts!

Dishwashing liquid and beer at Whole Foods… and some nice cashback amounts!

But with groceries, I can pay with a points-earning credit card, and then earn cashback on top of that.

Again, some of it will only get you 20 cents or so, but it’s concentrated on basics: think bread, milk, orange juice, tomatoes… stuff like that. Best of all, the “basics” can be any brand. So you can score an easy $1 or $2 for selecting your items on the app and then snapping a pic.

Once you “unlock” all the offers, you can select them all and upload one receipt. So it really can add up fast.

A few other cool things

The more you use the app, the more opportunities you get to earn even more cash back. You can hook it up to your Facebook and add people to your “team.” Once your team hits a certain threshold, you get even more cashback.

And for their “preferred partners” all you have to do is scan your loyalty card on the app and then shop… no receipt uploading necessary. You still have to unlock the offers via the app, though. And you can stack the cashback with any other sales, coupons, etc. that the store has going on. This can make some items nearly free.

I particularly like that Rite Aid is a preferred partner.

Drawbacks

I like that you can get some of the offers online. Some of the offers are 10% cashback… better than other portals. Like when you shop on Nike.com and spent $100, you can get $20 back… 20%!

An awesome payout at Nike.com

An awesome payout at Nike.com

When you buy online at The Body Shop, you get $5 cashback when you spend $30. But you have to click through Ibotta.

The Body Shop is an Ibotta partner

The Body Shop is an Ibotta partner

By clicking through Ibotta, you’ll lose the ability to use the Chase Ultimate Rewards shopping portal, where you’d get 5 Ultimate Rewards points per dollar. For the same $30, you’d get 150 Ultimate Rewards points. I actually value $5 more than 150 Ultimate Rewards points, but maybe I’d rather have the points. So just know that they want to replace your portal.

That’s really about the worst of it, though. Some of their offers are awesome – highest payouts I’ve seen for some.

Also, you can’t get cashback on gift cards, but that’s kind of a given.

Bottom line

I’m loving taking Ibotta out when I shop and getting cashback for things I’m going to buy anyway, on top of the points I’m earning, the coupons I’m using, and the sales I’m shopping.

Once you hit the $10 mark, you can withdraw cash to PayPal or Venmo and then put it in your bank account.

The app works when you unlock offers by watching short videos, answering a question, or completing a simple activity.

I’ve already gotten a few bucks back from things I was going to purchase anyway, so there’s really very little down side to installing this app on your phone.

When you click my link to sign up, you’ll become a part of my team – and vice versa – and we can help each other earn a few extra bucks here and there, which is pretty cool.

The company has been around since 2012, but this is the first I’ve heard of them. They’re based in Denver, which is cool, and their website and app are both easy to navigate and understand.

Is anyone else using this app already? How’s your experience so far? Would love to hear about it!

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About Harlan

Just a dude living in Dallas.

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