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Ibotta is my second-favorite app for saving on groceries (after the KCL app, obviously.) Heard of it before, but still find yourself wondering, “How does Ibotta work?”
Don’t worry. I’ve got you covered. The Ibotta app is a way to coupon without using coupons. Instead, inside the app you’ll find a bunch of “rebate” offers to help you save money on things like cereal, razors, paper towels — pretty much everything under the sun. On top of the savings, you’re eligible for a $21 bonus in your first two weeks as a new user.
Don’t forget to download the KCL app for more articles on how to save.
How does Ibotta work?
When you download and sign up for the Ibotta app, you’ll be asked for your email, real first and last name, birth date, and phone number. From there, you’ll be able to search Ibotta’s rebate offers.
These rebate offers are like coupons, except they’re redeemed after you make your purchase. That means no more holding up the line!
You must add offers to your profile before you go shopping. Then, after you’re done shopping and have racked up at least $20 in rebates, you’ll be able to claim your money by transferring it via PayPal or Venmo.
1. New Ibotta app offers go live every Wednesday.
While Ibotta’s digital rebates change from day to day, the best time to plan your shopping trips is on Wednesday afternoon, when the bulk of new rebates appear. Also check the Ibotta app on Thursdays, as new offers keep trickling down for the first 24 hours.
2. Redeem rebates after shopping in person.
The heart of Ibotta’s business is rebate offers for in-store shopping. First, you load these offers onto your account. Then, you have two different ways to redeem your rebates:
- Certain stores allow you to link your loyalty account to the Ibotta app. Then you’ll automatically earn cash back for your rebates.
- Upload a picture of your receipt within seven days of purchase.
PRO TIP: Not every offer is available in every region. You’ll also want to note that as you start using the app more frequently, the rebates you’re offered might be for smaller dollar amounts than the offers you receive when you first open an account on the Ibotta app.
3. Use Ibotta with your curbside grocery pickup.
Yes, you can use Ibotta with curbside pickup! Walmart is one of the biggest names to participate with Ibotta for curbside orders, but you can do the same for stores like Target, Albertsons, Safeway, Vons and many others.
4. Earn rebates from your grocery delivery service.
- Link your grocery delivery account.
- Add the offers you want to your list.
- Shop through the grocery delivery app or website.
- Get your rebates within a day of your order.
5. You can redeem a rebate up to five times.
The number of times you can redeem an Ibotta rebate depends on the specific offer. If you read the fine print, you’ll usually see that you can redeem the rebate either one, two, or five times.
6. Expect to earn around $20 a month in Ibotta app rebates.
Average earnings for Ibotta app users are about $20 a month. But there are a few ways you can earn more than the average. (More on that below.)
7. Gift cards earn rebates between 1% and 9% cash back.
Let’s say you’re headed to BJ’s Restaurant. When the check comes, you could pull out your debit card. Or, you could use the Ibotta app to purchase a gift card for your check amount (plus tip.) Then, use the gift card code to pay your bill.
At the time of writing, BJ’s Restaurant gift cards come with a whopping 9% rebate on Ibotta. That means by using the app, you’d essentially get 9% of your bill refunded back into your pocket.
Not all offers are as generous. Rebates will vary, but generally you can expect to see rewards between 1% and 9%.
8. Use the Ibotta app and Ibotta extension to redeem online cash-back offers.
While many people think of in-person grocery trips when they think of Ibotta, the app has tons of online cash-back offers, too. Eligible online retailers range anywhere from eBay and Uber Eats to Drizly and Blue Apron with cash-back offers ranging from 0.05% to 25% at the time of writing. Here’s the best way to take advantage:
- With the app, scroll to the “Online shopping” category, choose your store, and click “Shop,” which will take you to the store’s website or app. Get shopping, and the Ibotta app does the rest.
- Add the Ibotta extension to your Google Chrome browser and shop online.
9. Score some of the biggest Ibotta app rebates on travel.
Travel rebates can be a huge payout, both because these partners tend to offer reasonably attractive rebate percentages on Ibotta, and because travel is expensive.
Think about it: 6% off your weekly grocery bill is not the same amount as 6% off your oceanfront hotel room for your extended family vacation. Because you’re spending more money, you’re going to get more money back in your pocket.
In summer of 2021, Ibotta was paying 1% to 6% on purchases with travel partners, with the majority of partners offering a rebate between 3% to 4%.
10. Take advantage of the introductory Ibotta bonuses.
You can earn Ibotta bonus cash during your first couple weeks on the app. The first welcome bonus is a $5 reward when you redeem your first rebate offer within seven days of registering for Ibotta. And often there are offers for even more cash, like a $15 bonus, which you can earn by redeeming at least nine offers in the first fourteen days after you register for the app. Check for active bonus offers when you get into the app.
PRO TIP: Want an even bigger welcome bonus? When you sign up for Ibotta through KCL, you’ll get an additional $1 in bonus cash.
11. Keep an eye on regularly-appearing Ibotta app bonuses.
There are at least four types of Ibotta bonus reward offers on top of the welcome offers:
- Refer a friend. You can currently earn $10 in bonus rewards when you refer a new user to Ibotta and they redeem a rebate, though the amount of the bonus does fluctuate.
- Product-specific bonus cash. Check out the “Earn More” section of the Ibotta app. There, you’ll find all types of deals from parent companies. For example, Wonderbread might give you an additional $1 bonus if you redeem Wonderbread Ibotta rebates twice in one week.
- Themed bonus rewards. Ibotta will add seasonal bonus opportunities. For example, in the summer of 2021 they had a cheese-themed bonus reward. You could earn this reward by purchasing cheese from three different competing brands three to seven separate times over the summer.
- See below for the fourth…
PRO TIP: Sometimes you might need to do two separate transactions to earn the bonus. Check the fine print under the offer to find out — especially if you’re buying men’s care items.
12. Ibotta teamwork bonuses add even more to your account.
The fourth way Ibotta regularly issues bonus rewards is through teamwork bonuses.
The way these work is that you as an individual must redeem a certain number of regular rebate offers — bonuses of any kind don’t count. Then, your team must redeem a set dollar amount through their collective rebate redemption.
To participate in teamwork bonuses, you add your Facebook account to Ibotta and link to friends. From there, you’ll be able to work together and track the team’s collective savings.
PRO TIP: Want to hit your team goals each and every time? Join the Krazy Coupon Lady Ibotta Team on Facebook! When you’re part of a 2,700,000+ member team, you never have to worry about meeting your team minimum.
13. Scan products with the Ibotta app to find applicable rebates.
You can further maximize your Ibotta rewards by scanning items for rebates while you’re shopping.
You can do the same by searching for the product in the Ibotta app before placing your curbside order.
If there isn’t a rebate for your item, Ibotta will show you rebates on similar items. If you’re not picky about brand names, shopping this way can help you find even better deals on products you were planning on buying anyways.
14. Ibotta rebates can be “stacked” with manufacturer coupons.
You can use Ibotta on top of manufacturer coupons! Use coupons at checkout, then upload your receipt afterward and get the full rebate value — even if it’s greater than the price you actually paid for the item.
That’s right: You can technically get paid to shop using this method. Make sure to check the Ibotta offer details to see if it says “May not be used with other coupons or promotions.”
This only works in stores. You cannot stack Ibotta rebates with other offers while shopping online.
PRO TIP: Once you’ve scanned your receipt into Ibotta, you can scan the same receipt into other rebate apps like Fetch Rewards to save even more.
15. The Krazy Coupon Lady app enhances Ibotta app savings.
Getting cash back on your everyday shopping is enough of a reason to download Ibotta, but you can really maximize the earnings-to-effort ratio by downloading The Krazy Coupon Lady app, as well.
Each week, KCL’s team of super savers scours popular stores like Walmart, Target, and Kroger for the best sales. Then, we find coupons and Ibotta rebates to stack with already-low sale prices.
For example, right now, one of our featured deals is Quorn meatless nuggets for only $0.99 at Publix. When you download Ibotta app and combine that with its current $2.00 Publix rebate on this same item, the KCL app actually helps you get paid $1.01 for “buying” food!
Check out our Ibotta deals page to find all the best offers.