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Get Cash Back On Groceries With The Ibotta App

Get Cash Back On Groceries With The Ibotta App
Jason Wuerch Nov 1, 2014
Want to Earn Some Extra Money?

Apps for cash back are becoming more and more prevalent during the smartphone age. One app that currently ranks at the top is Ibotta, which is used to get cash back on groceries.

In this guide, we’re going to explain the ins-and-outs of everything that you need to know to max out your cash with the Ibotta app. New users get a $10 bonus after scanning their first receipt.

What Is Ibotta and How Does It Work?

Ibotta is a smartphone app that gives you cash back each time you buy specific products at a specific supermarket. Most of the offers are meant for purchases at the grocery store, but also offer rebates through restaurants and other stores as well.

The products that you can receive cash back can be anywhere from milk and bananas to cat mix and toothpaste. Ibotta has a wide selection and is currently expanding which items you get cash back on, so don’t hesitate to always check which items are available for redemption.

The reason that Ibotta offers to give you cash for the receipts that you submit is because they can use this information to influence retailers about the products and brand that they promote. Information can be worth quite a bit of money.

What Do I Get Out of Using Ibotta?

The payout that Ibotta offers really depends on the specific item and time frame in which you buy it. For example, I’ve seen a cash back offer for a gallon of milk for $1.50 one week but only 50 cents the next. Bananas, on the other hand, might only range from 25 to 50 cents. Either way, you’re still saving some cash, and it’s especially great for saving on milk!

Take note that these savings only last from week to week per store. If you buy 2 gallons of milk at the same store, you can only get a rebate for one. You have to wait until next week to get the cash back offer, or simply go to another store to get cash back for milk. The rebates usually reset every Wednesday night.

Once you have a minimum of $5 in your Ibotta account balance, you can do one of two things:

1.) Request a cash withdrawal to your Paypal or Venmo account

2.) Request a gift card to Regal Cinemas, Starbucks or Itunes

I personally recommend getting the cash back via Paypal or Venmo, as you can usually buy gift cards at a discount through sites such as Cardpool.

Is it Worth It?

At this point, you may be thinking that in order just to save a couple of cents for all of this work, it’s not worth it. You have to pull out your phone, open your app and then upload the receipt.

If the minimum I can save on a product is 25 cents, and it only takes me 30 seconds to upload a receipt, then I’m essentially making $30 dollars an hour. And it’s essentially tax free (assuming you get under $600 in cash back per calendar year).

However, I personally get lazy at times and only decide to do cash back for big-ticket items such as milk, where I can usually save anywhere from 50 cents to $1.50 on a gallon of milk purchase.

How Do I Use The App and Get Money?

We’re going to break down how to install and use the app into 5 simple steps.

1. You can register for a new account by clicking this link here using your Facebook or email. Once you have registered for the app, download the smartphone app and log-in.

ibotta step 1

2. Click on the “Rebates” tab at the bottom of the app to browse their offers available for cash back. Take note that most things are categorized by store. Some products will let you claim at more than one store.

ibotta - step 2

3. As you can see here, there’s currently an offer for 50 cents off of milk of any brand. Take a short, 10-second survey to unlock the rebate available.

ibotta - step3-1

4. Once you have the cash back unlocked, simply scan the bar code of the item so that Ibotta can verify the purchase. Once that’s done, Ibotta will prompt you to hold up the entire receipt for scanning. If you have an extra long receipt, don’t worry. Ibotta will ask you to take multiple different pictures until you’ve captured the entire receipt.

ibotta - step6 - 1

5. Once you have a minimum of $5 built up into your account, you can request a direct withdrawal to Paypal.

ibotta - cash out

It usually takes Ibotta around 24 hours for them to verify your receipt. I have not yet had once had a receipt rejected after submission.

A lot of the stores offer cash back on products of any brand, so never discount anything you’ve bought before looking.

I can’t stress enough that you should make sure and scan the bar codes and receipts of all of your items right when you get home or before leaving the store. It will only be more difficult if you have to go find every item in your refrigerator first and then scan the receipt.

What I usually do is scan the bar code of an item right when I grab it in the store. The app will remember this. When I get the receipt, I will already have all of my items scanned and ready to go, so now that’s left is to simply upload the receipt.

Are There Other Ways to Get Cash Into My Ibotta Account?

There are 2 other ways to earn cash with Ibotta:

1. The first method is by referring friends. This is probably the best way to get people to participate in Ibotta. (If you’d like to support Frugal For Less, use are referral link here).

Once someone signs-up under your link, you receive $5 in cash after your referral claims $5 in rebates within the first two weeks. So it’s important to urge your friends and family to start redeeming as soon as possible.

Referrals also become part of your “team,” which we’ll see why is important in the next step.

2. The other method for other cash back offers is through the “Bonuses” tab located at the bottom of the app. The one below states that you earn $1 when you redeem 4 rebates and your team redeems $10 in total rebates. While it’s not much, it can help, especially provided that you have a big team and lots of referrals.


Referrals is not only a great way to add some extra cash, but to also get friends involved and make shopping more rewarding.

What Stores Is Ibotta Partnered With?

Here is a current list of stores that you can use Ibotta with.


  • Walmart
  • Safeway
  • Target
  • Fred Meyer
  • Military Commissary
  • WinCo Foods
  • Albertsons
  • Walgreens
  • Rite Aid
  • Costco
  • 7-Eleven

Beer, Wine & Spirits

  • Any Liquor Store
  • Total Wine & More
  • Any convenience store
  • Any gas station
  • Most of the grocery stores mentioned above

Health & Beauty

  • GNC
  • Sephora
  • The Body Shop Store


  • Aeropostale
  • LOFT

Sports and Fitness

  • Sports Authority


  • Quiznos

Special Occasions




Photos & Prints


Pet Stores

  • Petco
  • PetSmart

Home Improvement

  • Home Depot
  • Lowe’s

Babies & Kids

  • Target
  • Babies R Us
  • Toys R Us

Movie Theaters

  • AMC Box Office
  • Regal Box Office

Final Thoughts

These are currently all of the stores in which you can submit a receipt with Ibotta. As you can see, at this time of writing a lot of stores are already being offered through Ibotta. Don’t hesitate to look, as they are trying to expand their market as much as possible.

If you’d like to see a list of all rebates available, you can find them on their website. Otherwise, if there’s not an item not on the app that you’d like to see, feel free to contact their customer support.

Have any questions about using the Ibotta app? Leave them in the comments below. Thanks again for reading.

Jason Wuerch

My name is Jason Wuerch and I'm currently located in Madrid, Spain running a personal finance blog called Frugal For Less. My goal is to help everyone and anyone willing to make and save money through easy and simple ways that don't require much effort. Just because you're frugal doesn't mean you have to give up life's luxuries.

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