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Earn Cash for Buying Groceries In-Store at Major Retailers Using the iBotta Mobile App!

A new mobile app called ibotta allows users to earn cash for products they buy at a large selection of chain grocery stores, drugstores, and big-box stores such as Walmart and Target.

Download ibotta for free if using an iPhone (or other iOS supported device*) or an Android phone.

I’ve been using ibotta for the last six weeks and have earned over $40! Not particularly tech-savvy? Don’t worry. The app is relatively easy to use, and it shouldn’t take much longer than it does to sort and cut traditional paper coupons.

How It Works:

  1. For iPhone/iOS supported device users, click here to download the free ibotta app from the iOS Apple App Store. Android (versions 2.2 and up) phone users can click here to download the free ibotta app from Google Play.
  2. After the download, open the ibotta app. Pick the store where you plan to shop from the list of eligible stores. As of December 2012, ibotta works at 24 retailers including: Walmart, Target, Kroger, Safeway, Rite Aid, CVS, Walgreens, Publix, Meijer, H-E-B, Stop & Shop, ShopRite, Pavilions, Tom Thumb, Dominick’s, Fry’s, Dillons, Vons, Ralphs, Fred Meyer, Smith’s, Duane Reade, King Soopers, and Pick ‘n Save. 
  3. Review the offers for your selected store and choose as many offers you’d like, but keep in mind that some offers may expire. As such, check the product detail page to view the offer’s expiration date, and make sure to redeem the offer before that date.
  4. Earn money by first performing the tasks associated with each offer (these may include watching quick videos, viewing recipes, taking polls, learning a fact, or posting to your Facebook wall) and then go to the store and actually purchase the item in the offer. For example, earn $0.25 for learning a fact about CapriSun, $0.50 for taking a poll about CapriSun, and $1.00 for posting about the CapriSun offer on your Facebook wall and then going to the store and purchasing the CapriSun product shown in the offer. If you perform all three of these tasks and purchase the CapriSun, you can earn $1.75 ($.25 + $.50 + $1.00).
  5. Purchase the item from the offer at the store and save your receipt.
  6. Upload your receipt to ibotta. Be sure to capture the full receipt (including the total). Product codes should be clearly legible, the image should be focused and well-lit, and the receipt should be legible and not wrinkled. After uploading your receipt, ibotta will verify the transaction and then add the money you earned to your account within 24 hours (by some reports, the money may be added to your account in as little as an hour).
  7. Once you’ve earned at least $5, choose “Withdraw Cash” from the main menu to transfer money to your PayPal account and then select “Get My Cash” to link ibotta to your PayPal account. If you’re feeling charitable, donate earnings to any school in the country or to the United Way.

Tips and Tricks

  • Teach your ibotta what products you like: Every time you redeem an offer, ibotta will send a new one. Be sure to tell ibotta which offers you like and dislike by tapping the image of any product offered and choosing either the thumbs-up or thumbs-down symbol. Over time, ibotta learns what kinds of products you prefer and will provide you with customized offers based on your preferences.
  • Stack the savings! Combine ibotta savings in conjunction with manufacturer coupons, store coupons, and SavingStar.com e-coupons to stack up the savings from a variety of different sources.
  • Give $5/Get $1 special offer: For a limited-time only, ibotta will pay $ for every friend who signs up using your personal referral link. To find your personal referral link, go to the main menu button of the ibotta “Product Gallery” in the upper left hand corner and select “Invite Friends.” You can post your personal referral link on Facebook, email it to your friends, or tweet it to your Twitter followers. There is no limit to how much money you can earn. And to make things even better, if one of your friends signs up for ibotta using your personal referral link, there will be a $5 bonus waiting in their ibotta account as soon as they’ve redeemed their first offer.

*Note: The ibotta app is compatible with iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, iPod touch (3rd generation), iPod touch (4th generation), iPod touch (5th generation) and iPad; it requires iOS 5.0 or later. The ibotta app is optimized for iPhone 5.

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35 thoughts on “Earn Cash for Buying Groceries In-Store at Major Retailers Using the iBotta Mobile App!”

  1. Mike says:

    If I buy a product, will I be able to use the same deal again another time? Like if I bought some milk and went through the process on the app, I know I can’t do the same product twice in one go, but can I repeat that the next time I go shopping or is there some kind of cool down period for the product?

  2. kelly g says:

    Please use my referral code when you download and we will both make $$ My Code is xkpdslg

  3. Kim says:

    How long does it take the money to show up into your paypal account after being transferred from ibotta?

    • I was wondering that too. I transferred money last night and it still hasn’t shown up.

    • Has anyone cashed out on ibotta and it actually worked? I tried last night and haven’t recieved the money to my pay pal account yet. But my balance on ibotta is now at 0. Where’s my money? Lol

      • Kathy says:

        Yea its also happening to me it dosent show pending or anything i did it the first time with venmo and it showed immediatly …

  4. tommie says:

    Where do I go in the app to upload the picture of the receipt? I figured out where to scan the bar code on the item just not the receipt. ..

  5. Amanda says:

    I was wondering that to???

  6. Anonymous says:

    Hi KCL,

    just found these great receipt money making apps..wondering how you take photos of receipts that are very loooonnnggg (because you’ve been couponing and buying multiples, the receipts are long!)?
  7. Anonymous says:

    Someone said they get lots of spam after downloading. Is this true?

  8. Kiko says:

    Can you complete the offers by themselves without purchasing the product after? Say….posting to facebook for $.25, trivia for $.50? And still receive that $.75 cents? Without purchasing after?

  9. I am usually leary of these apps but I have become dissatisfied with Savingstar. I’ve been a member for over 6 months and still don’t have $20 earned because there’s only one store, Dillon’s (sub of Kroger) where I can use it. I downloaded Ibotta, scanned the offers, headed out to Target today, and have already earned my first $.50. I’m excited that I have more than one option now. I don’t really like that I have to set up a Paypal, but I will just to transfer it out to my savings account. What a good app! Thanks, KCL for giving me a brand new way to save even more in my 2nd year of couponing! :D

  10. Myra says:

    If you buy several of the same products lets say 4…. can you earn the $ 4 times for the same product?

  11. Szg says:

    I just downloaded this. For those who have already started earning- do you at any point have to give over your personally Paypal account information?

  12. We ought to use each other as referrals to help us get more money????? I have not signed up, but would give someone a referral AND then someone can use me as a referral and keep going to help each other out, just an idea . . .

  13. lopki says:

    Is this strictly cash back?

    • Sara says:

      Yes, if you don’t donate it to a school. When I say yes, I mean that they don’t offer gift cards or any other options besides Paypal and donations. Paypal is really easy and extremely safe. I’ve had a Paypal account for longer than I can remember and it’s wonderful!

  14. CouponinMama says:

    GASP I thought this was for iPhone only.. downloading it NOW! yaysies!

  15. Dara R says:

    Cool app! I use it on my android phone and tablet and haven’t had any problems yet. (I was even able to use it on a few items that I bought before I signed up for ibotta since I still had the receipts and the items.)

    • Jennifer says:

      I have a Droid, and after I scan my receipt it makes me confirm purchase by scanning barcodes… and they wont scan. Have u had any experience with this?

  16. JDWalker says:

    I wish they would ad BJ’s to places where u bought the item.

  17. Desiree Eddy says:

    i don’t like that it doesn’t have albertsons since that where i shop the most :) but i have faith they will. but on an important note it works great with the Iphone but the Andiod side has alot of gluitches

  18. new2couponing says:

    Love this app! Just started using it. Super simple and quick transactions to receive your reward!

  19. Usplus4 says:

    I really like this app but they do not have the Winco which is the store the I grocery shop at the most. I have been getting a few of the items but only if I go to Ralphs and purchase them. Ralphs is very close to my house but is very overpriced.

    • Lisa12 says:

      I don’t have a Winco near me, but one of the most recent reviews on the Android version says it now has Winco.

      • Usplus4 says:

        I have iPhone and have not seen Winco. I will keep my eyes open for Winco to be on the list. Thanks!!

  20. Bonnie says:

    Thank you so much. I’ve been very interested in learning more. What happens if you’re not interested and don’t purchase anything they recommend??

    • Colleen says:

      If you let the app sit dormant, nothing happens. I didn’t happen to purchase anything that was on the app until about a month after I downloaded it. Really, it’s just one of those things where (if you remember) you can earn money for a product you bought or plan on buying – no pressure!

    • Honey says:

      I downloaded this app a few days before Christmas. I have bought a couple of items, but only a couple. I do scan the items in the store, then watch the video, trivia, or whatever the activity is. I see that I have over $30.00 pending from mostly scanning and answering the questions. Does anyone know how long pending is? It’s been pending since I started.