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.

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