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Ibotta: Everything You Need to Know About the Cash-Back App

Last updated: January 8, 2020
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Here at Gig Worker, we share information about the many ways you can make and save money in the gig economy. Some gigs you’re interested in might require more effort — driving for Uber or delivering food with DoorDash, for example.

On the other hand, others take only a few minutes of your time and can be completed without expending much energy — like answering surveys with Survey Junkie or Swagbucks.

One of the easiest ways to make money on the side is with the Ibotta app. It’s so simple that you can get set up and earn money back without changing your day-to-day routine.

In this guide, we’ll show you how the rewards app works and how you can use it to earn some cash while you shop.

What Is Ibotta?

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Ibotta is a free app that allows you to earn cash back on your everyday purchases. You can earn rewards for shopping at select stores in person and online.

Instead of searching around the web (or local papers) for different offers and coupon codes, you can simply use the app to browse a wide range of cash-back offers all in one place. And there are some big names to choose from, too. Ibotta has partnerships with hundreds of retailers and grocery stores like Amazon, CVS, Walmart, Target, Best Buy, Costco, Publix, Kroger, and many more.

Each time you purchase through these stores, you’ll receive real cash back (not just points) in the form of a flat fee or percentage-based amount. Once you’re ready to cash out, you can transfer your money to your PayPal account, Venmo, or various gift cards.

Let’s take a closer look at the different ways you can earn using this money-saving app.

Ways to Earn With Ibotta

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The Ibotta app is a repository of offers for hundreds of major retailers. You’ll use the app to search for applicable offers, make your purchase, and receive cash back. There are currently five different ways you can earn cash with this money-saving app.

Shop In-Store

When you open your app, you’ll be able to select a store near you to see all of the available offers. As you scroll, you can add any offers that you’d like to purchase when you’re actually in the store. After you’ve made your purchase, you’ll take a picture of your receipt within the app. Your savings will then be sent directly to your app account.

Link to Loyalty Accounts

Instead of having to take a picture every time you go shopping, there’s another way to earn cash with this cash-back app. If you have loyalty cards at certain stores, you can link them up with the app. You’ll simply find the store within the app and select “Connect Account.”

After you’ve verified your loyalty account information, you can proceed to shop at your favorite stores in person. When you go to check out, you’ll do it the same way you normally would, entering your loyalty number or phone number into the store’s checkout system. Within 48 hours, Ibotta will recognize that you made a purchase at that specific store and will credit your account with any applicable offers.

Shop Online

Another way to earn cash back is by shopping through Ibotta’s portal. To start shopping and earning online, head to the online shopping section of the app. After scrolling through your options, you can decide which store you want to shop at based on the offers that appeal to you.

When you tap the shop button, you’ll be redirected to the retail store’s app or their website. After you complete your purchase, Ibotta will automatically recognize the offers you redeemed and will put cash into your account.

Pay With Ibotta

Pay with Ibotta is the newest cash-back feature that the app offers. Slightly different from the app’s other earning methods, Pay with Ibotta allows you to receive a certain percentage off your purchase when you use the app to check out. (The company calls it “instant cash.”) Just keep in mind that it’s currently only available at about 30 retailers and restaurants.

To use this feature, you’ll first need to add a payment method with either a credit card or debit card. You can then check the app to see if the retailer qualifies for Pay with Ibotta. If so, make your way to the qualifying retailer and buy the same products you were already planning on.

When you go to check out at the counter, take the total amount of your bill and enter it into the app. After you confirm the amount, a QR code will be generated, which is a coupon for the exact amount you’re being charged. Ibotta will then send you your cash back after it confirms your purchase.

Refer Friends

Another easy way to earn money on the app is by simply inviting your friends to join. You can earn $3 every time a friend joins using your referral code. Your referral code is located within the menu section of the app. You can either send your referral code directly to friends or you can share it on social media. Whenever any of your referrals successfully sign up using the code you provided, you’ll receive $3 in your account.

How to Sign Up

Signing up is a simple process that only takes a few minutes. Since the majority of your time will be spent using Ibotta on your smartphone, it would be best to download the mobile app. You can download the iOs app on the App Store or the Android app on Google Play.

If you’re on a desktop, you can head to the Ibotta site and register. When signing up, you must provide your name, email, birth date, password, zip code, gender, and referral code if you have one. You can also decide to sign up using your Facebook or Google account, which makes things a little easier.

Once you’ve downloaded the app, you can add payment information like your credit or debit card. You can also connect your PayPal or Venmo accounts in order to get paid when the time comes.

FAQs

Let’s go over common questions that people have before signing up to use Ibotta.

1. Is Ibotta legit?

Yes, this app is legit. Ibotta is an accredited Better Business Bureau company with a B rating, so you shouldn’t worry about being scammed. While there have been quite a few complaints and negative reviews about the app, the company has paid out its users over a half-billion dollars over the years. Feel free to sift through customer complaints to get a fuller picture of what people have to say. Then you can decide for yourself if using the app is right for you. While the app is not without its critics, it’s also worth noting that the company is very responsive when it comes to addressing customer issues.

2. Does Ibotta offer sign-up bonuses?

Yes, there is a sign-up bonus for first-time members. In order to see your welcome bonus details, you can head to the account section of your app and tap bonuses. Here you will see all bonuses you qualify for, including the amount of any given bonus, and how you can receive these additional payouts.

3. Can you stack offers?

In some cases you’re able to stack (aka combine) offers and maximize your earnings. When you look at an offer details page, it may say “Cannot combine with offer offers, promo codes, coupon codes, discount codes, or any other additional promotions.” If it doesn’t say this, there’s a good chance you can stack more than one offer.

The only discounts you can stack are those that include one general retailer offer and one specific brand offer. To give you an example, if you have $5 off at Walmart and $3 off Coke products, you’re able to combine these two offers for extra cash. If you have two $5 coupons for Walmart, you’re unable to stack these discounts.

Take Advantage of Free Money

If you’re looking to save money without working too hard, then you might want to consider giving Ibotta a try. Whether you’re going grocery shopping, picking up a few household items, or looking for some new clothes at your favorite retailers, Ibotta is a free app that can put money back in your pocket.

Take it for a test drive and see how you like it. Who knows? You might become a die-hard fan before you know it.

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