How To Use the Ibotta App
Learn how to use the Ibotta App to earn money when you shop.
1. Download the app from Google Play or the iTunes Store and create an account.
Trust me, the fun is just around the corner. (Like when we get to the whole “earning money through rebates” kind of thing.)
2. Unlock rebates.
If you recently bought groceries, pull out your receipt and check for rebates. Type the retailer’s name in the search bar so you can see the rebates from that particular store. (Some rebates are available at multiple retailers, while others are not.) Look through the rebates and compare them to what you purchased. When you find a match, unlock the rebate. And guess what? They often have “Any Brand” rebates on vegetables, fruit, and other food items, so you can get a rebate for any brand of that item!
If you don’t have any receipts less than 7 days old, browse through the rebates and get an idea of what’s available. Some people like to purchase items or certain brands based off of what’s currently on Ibotta. Then, go shopping.
3. Scan your receipt(s).
Now that you have a receipt, the items you purchased, and unlocked rebates, it’s time to get that cash-o-la! Click “Verify purchases” on the app, and go through the process. For some items, you have to scan the UPC. For others, you simply click the checkbox next to that item on the list.
Keep in mind that new rebates are added throughout the day on Wednesdays, so check for new rebates on Wednesday nights or Thursdays to make the most of Ibotta. You can earn rebates from the same receipt multiple times, but you cannot scan the same item from one receipt multiple times.
4. Cash out once you reach $20+.
I still remember my first time cashing out. (Come on, you know firsts are important!) I sent $31 to my PayPal account and I was so excited! You can cash out to PayPal, Venmo, or get a gift card to your favorite store.
It wasn’t long before I found myself checking the app more frequently, and finding ways to pair grocery store sales with what was currently available on Ibotta. The more I used the app the more I wanted to figure out how to maximize its features.
Here are a few tips and tricks that will help you get more money back from Ibotta:
1. Set a calendar reminder to check Ibotta and scan your receipts.
Okay, maybe this sounds a bit silly, but it has helped me a ton. Ibotta only accepts receipts for the past 7 days, and it is a huge bummer to miss that cut-off by a day or two. Putting this on my calendar ensures I check my receipts and get them scanned in time to get those rebates!
2. Now set another calendar reminder to check Ibotta on Thursdays.
Why check Ibotta two times per week? Let’s say you get groceries on Mondays. Set one reminder to check Ibotta Monday evening (or even before you go to the store!) and then again on Thursday evening. Ibotta adds new deals every Wednesday, so you could get even more rebates if one is added for something you purchased on Monday.
3. Check Ibotta before you go shopping.
Sometimes you’ll find that a brand or item similar to what’s on your shopping list has an Ibotta rebate. Depending on the amount of the rebate, you can decide if you want to buy a different brand or stick with what’s on your list.
4. Add your friends.
To maximize your rebate potential on Ibotta, connect with friends. When a friend signs up with your referral link and verifies a rebate, they get a $10 bonus and you get a $5 bonus. Yes, please!
5. The more, the merrier.
Not only do you get a bonus when a friend signs up and makes their first redemption, but being connected allows you to achieve more bonuses. Some bonuses require teamwork, which means you and your friends need to collectively redeem a certain amount within a timeframe to earn the bonus.
6. Throw away your receipts after they are 7 days old.
After I started using Ibotta more and more, I’d find receipts here and there and always have to double check whether or not I’d scanned them. Now, I make sure to throw receipts away as soon as I’ve checked Ibotta a second time, or once they are 7 days old. (No, I don’t keep grocery receipts, unless I purchased a household item that I may need the receipt for. As our family pursues minimalistic tendencies, it means getting rid of paperwork clutter ASAP.)
7. Read the details.
Some Ibotta rebates have specific qualifications. Do you need to buy two of the item to qualify for the rebate? Is there a size specification? If you’re unsure if the product matches the item listed on Ibotta, scan it before adding it to your cart. I learned this after accidentally buying the wrong item on two different occasions.
8. Don’t miss the bonuses.
Not only can you get refunds on the items you purchase, but you can work toward extra cash back through Ibotta’s bonuses. Now, I haven’t taken full advantage of the bonuses offered on Ibotta, simply because a majority of my rebates are “Any Brand” rebates, which are often (but not always!) excluded from the bonuses.
9. Check the brand-specific bonuses.
These bonuses are unlocked when you redeem brand-specific rebates throughout the month. Oftentimes you have to purchase a specific item multiple times, so this is best for products you already plan on buying.
10. Some rebates reset after a week or two.
I regularly see rebates for certain products pop up a few times each month! If you redeem a rebate, then see the item listed again later, you can redeem it again (as long as it’s on a different receipt).
11. Don’t buy something just to get the discount.
If it’s an item I don’t regularly purchase, or something I don’t need, I rarely buy it just to use a coupon or get a rebate. Exceptions to this would be items that qualify for a rebate and a bonus, where the total rebate seriously lowers the cost of the item. Even then, I’d only do this for something that I want to try, or something that is similar to an item I regularly buy.
12. Different stores may have different rebates.
Some rebates are available at multiple stores, while others are specific to one store. You can easily see where a rebate is available by clicking on it, then scrolling to the bottom of the screen. It automatically narrows it down to stores that are nearby, but you can expand the full list by clicking “See All.”
13. If you have time, compare prices/rebates between stores.
Personally, I haven’t done this one yet. But, if you’re looking for a way to maximize your rebate options (and you have the time), check a few nearby stores and look for rebates that are specific to each store, then determine what you should buy where in order to get the most rebates.
The second best part of using Ibotta (after the actual cash back!) is the consistent updates and changes to the app. Ibotta understands its users and is actively making changes that benefit all of us who use the app. There’s a great post from The Krazy Coupon Lady about some of the latest updates. (Okay, fine, so I still read some coupon blogs from time to time, even though I’m not really a “couponer” 😉 )
What are you waiting for?! Sign up for Ibotta right now, pull out your latest grocery receipt, and start earning those rebates.