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Ibotta Review: Earn Cash Back Taking Pictures Of Your Receipts (Updated For 2018)

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Let’s face it.

Sometimes shopping can be expensive. Fortunately, Ibotta helps alleviate this problem by giving you cash back on over 2,000 different products.

Originally designed to only pay you for scanning grocery receipts, the Ibotta app now pays you to shop online, scan receipts from any store and link your loyalty card.

In this Ibotta review, we’re going to cover the following:

  • How Ibotta works
  • All the ways to earn cash back
  • Estimated hourly rate of earning with Ibotta
  • Apps like Ibotta
  • If it’s scam or legit
  • Whether it’s worth your time or not

The best part? You get a $10 bonus when you scan your first receipt. Let’s get started.

What Is Ibotta?

We can no longer honestly state that Ibotta is simply a receipt scanning app. Their features have expanded greatly, and now there are many different ways in which you can earn cash back:

  • Taking a picture of your receipt
  • Linking a loyalty card
  • Mobile in-app purchases
  • Referring friends
  • Teamwork
  • Extra cash back bonuses

We’re going to cover each of these topics more in depth below. Each time you complete one of these tasks above, you earn a certain amount of cash in your Ibotta account.

ibotta reviews how ibotta works

Once your balance reaches a minimum of $20 you can cash out for a gift card of your choosing or a direct deposit to your PayPal or Venmo account.

The reason Ibotta is willing to pay you is because they collect the information on your receipts and purchases as market research. They sell this data to companies so that they can improve their products, services and prices.

Instead of keeping all of this money for themselves, they give a portion back to you in the form of cash back.

Keep in mind that all of the data from the receipts is kept completely anonymous. In other words, if your name appears on the receipt, there’s no way for anyone to track the purchases back to you.

This app is available for both iOS and Android devices. Registration is 100% free.

Related: 25+ Survey Sites That Will Make You $600+/Month

Pros And Cons Of Ibotta

Here’s a quick list of the pros and cons of Ibotta.

Pros:
  • 100% free to register – never join a rewards app that asks for payment information
  • No need to clip coupons
  • Earn cash back scanning receipts
  • $10 bonus when you register with promo code qFTVA and scan first receipt
  • Earn cash for referring a friend
  • Excellent customer support
  • Plenty of payout options
  • *NEW*  – earn cash back shopping online
Cons:
  • Only have 1 week to scan receipt from date of purchase
  • $20 minimum cash out bonus
  • Not available through all retailers
  • May spend more money just to get rebates

We honestly couldn’t find many cons with the Ibotta app. If you have some you’d like to share, please let us know in the comments below.

Let’s cover how each feature works with the Ibotta App and how much you can earn.

ibotta reviews earn with ibotta

Scanning Receipts

How Does Scanning Receipts Work With Ibotta?

The main way you can make money using Ibotta is by taking pictures of your receipt from your smartphone. While originally you were only able to earn cash back on groceries, they’ve expanded to other categories.

Now you can earn cash back on products such as electronics, alcohol, prescriptions, meals at restaurants, clothing, etc.

In fact, the wide variety of items to earn cash with Ibotta means you should almost always check the app after a purchase just to see if there’s a cash back opportunity.

In order to earn cash back when scanning a receipt, Ibotta needs to have a matching offer on their app of a specific product. Not only that, but you have to buy it at a specific retailer as well.

For example, you can get $1 in cash back on a pack of Energizer batteries at Fred Meyer. In order to earn the cash back, the receipt must be from Fred Meyer, and the batteries must show up on the receipt.

Although your purchase needs to be bought at a specific store, they often have the same offer for multiple stores. You shouldn’t have to worry about not being able to find your offer. At the time of this writing, they have 274 supported stores.

The best part about Ibotta is that often times the offers are generic. This means it doesn’t matter what brand you buy. Often I can find that I can get cash back on any brand of milk or yogurt, for example.

Update: Sometimes Ibotta will give you cash back for any receipt. You claim this as an offer, and usually can only do it once per retailer.

How Much Can I Earn Scanning Receipts?

Scanning receipts is probably the best way to earn cash back with Ibotta. It’s quick, easy and convenient. I often take a picture right after my purchase.

Once you take a picture, you need to wait up to 24 – 48 hours before cash back is placed in your account. If you wait longer than this, contact the Ibotta support team.

We’ve found that you can earn anywhere from $.25 cents to $5 in cash back per offer. If you want to go above the $5 threshold, you can have multiple offers per receipts.

You can get cash back on 3, 4 or 5 different items per receipt. There’s no limit to the amount of offers that you can claim at one time. Keep in mind that each receipt can only be used once.

Related: 20 Best Earn Money Apps For Android

How To Take A Picture Of A Receipt

There’s a few things that we want to point out when taking a picture of a receipt through Ibotta. If you do things incorrectly, you may not receive the cash back you deserve.

  • Activate the offer. You need to add a rebate to your list in order to receive credit for it. This is especially important if you want to claim more than one offer per receipt, as you’ll have to activate both.
  • Answer a few questions. Usually before you unlock an offer, you’ll be asked to answer 1 or 2 questions about your shopping experience. This usually takes a short amount of time (10 – 20 seconds). Sometimes this may include a short video, and sometimes you don’t have to do anything at all.
  • Take a picture of the entire receipt. There are certain data points that Ibotta needs to collect from your receipt. In order to avoid missing any information, we suggest just taking a picture of the entire thing. Have an extra long receipt? Not a problem. Ibotta allows you take multiple pictures of the receipt until you’re able to fit it all onto the app.

We’ll cover all of this more in detail in the walkthrough process down below.

Is Scanning Receipts With Ibotta Worth It?

Here are the 3 basic things you have to do when earning cash with receipts with Ibotta:

  1. Find and activate your offer.
  2. Answer one or two basic questions. This takes maybe 10 – 20 seconds.
  3. Scan your receipt.

In total, this takes anywhere between one to two minutes and you’re earning anywhere between $.25 to $5 per scan. At this rate, we estimate that you can roughly earn at a rate of $15/hour.

Keep in mind that while you’re earning at this rate, it doesn’t mean you can use Ibotta to replace your full-time job. There aren’t enough offers to go around for you to do so.

This is a pretty good amount for such a simple task, and for that reason we definitely say that scanning receipts with the Ibotta app is worth it.

It might not feel like you’re earning this amount because you’re doing so very gradually. You earn cash back with one receipt, wait a while before your next purchase, and then earn again.

You might be able to increase this amount if you’re constantly purchasing higher-priced items. However, to be on the safe side, we can honestly say that at a rate of $15 per hour is a safe bet.

What Are Some Quick Examples Of Cash Back Offers Through Ibotta?

Here are a few pictures to get your started to see what kind of cash back deals Ibotta offers.

Linking A Loyalty Card

How Do Loyalty Cards Work With Ibotta?

Linking a loyalty is just another method of receipt scanning through Ibotta. Instead of having to take a picture of the receipt, you’ll be asked to link your loyalty card if you have one.

When you go to the checkout counter, scan your loyalty card and Ibotta will do the rest. There’s no need to scan a receipt since all of the information that they need will be collected electronically.

All other things that we mentioned in the receipt scanning section apply here. In short, the only difference is that you don’t have to take a picture.

Mobile In-App Purchases

How Do Mobile In-App Purchases Work With Ibotta?

This is another popular feature with Ibotta that allows you to earn cash back online. When you shop through one of Ibotta’s partner retailers through the app, you’re given a certain percentage back from your total purchase price.

The reason Ibotta is able to do this is because they earn a small commission when you make a purchase. Instead of keeping this for themselves, they give a majority back to you in cash back.

The great thing about this feature is that it doesn’t matter what you buy, as Ibotta only looks at the total purchase price. Keep in mind that there may be some exceptions.

For example, purchasing gift cards from retailers are not eligible for cash back. If this is found in your purchase, you will not be rewarded with cash back, even if you have other eligible offers.

How To Earn With Mobile In-App Purchases

You can find these offers on the app by clicking on the Find Rebates tab at the bottom and then clicking on “Mobile Shopping.”

Click on any of the retailers to be redirected to the retailer’s homepage or app (if you don’t have the app you’ll be asked to download it.

Make your purchase online, and Ibotta will automatically track what you buy. Within about 10 days you should receive cash back in your account.

Again, if you find that you haven’t been credited your cash back or it’s the wrong amount, contact Ibotta support.

Important Things To Keep In Mind With In-App Purchases

Here are a few things to be aware of with in-app purchases through Ibotta.

  • Make the purchase immediately. When you click on a retailer in the app and are redirected, make the purchase in that same session. If you close it and go back, it’s possible you may not receive credit.
  • Gift cards may not count. It will say in the fine print what you’re eligible for, but most likely the only item ineligible for cash back is gift cards. If you purchase a gift card along with another item, you should receive cash back for the other item. However, sometimes this doesn’t always work. This is something to be aware of.
  • Cash back rates may change or expire. Some of the offers on the in-app purchases may expire or change. We’ve seen Ibotta give cash back at Groupon from anywhere between 8% and 10%. Rates are more likely to spike during the holidays.
  • You don’t have to do anything. That’s right – Ibotta does it all. They track your purchases with cookie technology. All you have to do is make the transaction and wait up to 10 days to receive your cash back.
Is Shopping With Mobile In-App Purchases Through Ibotta Worth It?

You may be thinking, “What a great deal!” With the mobile in-app purchases, it doesn’t cost you anything and you’re essentially getting free cash back in exchange by shopping through Ibotta first.

While this is a great deal, it may not look great in comparison to other cash back options available.

This feature to Ibotta is nowhere unique and has been around for a while through shopping portal websites and apps. As to not go into too much detail, one great example is the TopCashback mobile app.

Just like Ibotta, on TopCashback you can search for a retailer of your choosing and earn cash back. They earn a commission, and give a majority of it or all of it back to you. They have both a desktop and mobile app version.

However, the rates with these shopping portals tend to be higher than with Ibotta. Let’s take a look at a few examples. First there’s booking.com.

topcashback vs ibotta cash back comaprison

TopCashback gives you 6% in cash back when shopping online at Booking.com while Ibotta only gives you 4%.

We can see from the image above that TopCashback gives you 6% in cash back. Ibotta only gives you 4%. Let’s look at one more example, Gap.com.

topcashback vs ibotta cash back

TopCashback gives you 10% in cash back when shopping online at Gap.com while Ibotta only gives you 5%.

Again, TopCashback wins at 10% in cash back through Gap with Ibotta only at 5%.

Keep in mind that these rates may change, but in general I usually find that TopCashback wins. However, this isn’t to say that Ibotta fails in this area.

In comparison to other shopping portals out there, Ibotta does a much better job. It’s just that TopCashback has some of the highest cash back rates out there.

You can check out our top 10 portal list to make a comparison yourself.

Referring A Friend With Ibotta

How Does Referring A Friend Work With Ibotta?

Referring a friend with Ibotta has to be one of the most powerful ways to earn cash. You get extra cash, your friend gets extra cash, and you both join a “team” (more information below).

Not only that, but their generous referral bonus encourages you to continue to use the app, and is another great side hustle. A great way to spread the word is through a quick post on Facebook or Twitter.

In order to receive a referral, your friend must sign-up using your promotion code. The best part about their referral program? There’s no limit to the amount of people you can refer.

When your friend using a promotion or bonus code, you both get a registration bonus. If don’t use a promotion or bonus code on sign-up, unfortunately you don’t get anything extra.

If you’re looking for a promotion code to use, use ours: qFTVA. We’d greatly appreciate it!

How Much Can I Earn Referring A Friend?

When a friend signs-up using your referral link or promo code, you earn a bonus of $5 and your friend earns a bonus of $10 when they scan their first receipt.

Keep in mind that if no referral link or promo code is used, no one gets a bonus.

You can find this promo code in the app by clicking on “Account” and then hitting “Invite Friends.” You’ll have the option to create links and also the option to have your friend type in the referral code.

Ibotta often has referral bonuses. For the month of September, they’re giving you a $20 bonus for two referral, $50 for the next 5, and $100 for every 10. There’s no limit to the amount of referrals.

Is The Referral Program Worth It?

Definitely. All you have to do is share your link. Not only that, but Ibotta is so simple to use, and it’s useful to a wide range of people.

For this reason, you can recommend the app to basically anyone, giving you more chances to earn bonuses.

TeamWork

What Is TeamWork With Ibotta?

When you refer a friend or use a referral link to sign-up through Ibotta, you become part of that person’s “team.” When you complete tasks in a team, you have the potential to earn bonuses.

For example, you may earn a bonus when you and 5 other team members scan at least one receipt in the month of September.

ibotta reviews teamwork

How Much Can I Earn Through Ibotta Teamwork?

With the example above (5 team members plus you scan a receipt in a month), you can earn a bonus of $2 in your account.

For bonuses like this, you basically don’t have to do any extra work if you’re already scanning receipts with Ibotta.

In order to find out how much you can earn, you can view Teamwork bonuses by going into “Account” and then clicking on “Teamwork.” The more people you have in your team, the more likely you are to earn.

This is why referring a friend doesn’t stop at just the sign-up bonus.

Extra Bonuses

What Extra Bonuses Can I Earn Through Ibotta?

Ibotta will reward you just for reaching certain goals on your own, with or without a team. These bonuses are used to encourage you to keep going and keep using the app.

You can find these bonuses by logging-in, going to the home screen and clicking on “View All Bonuses.” You may be surprised to find that you’ve already completing some without you knowing.

ibotta reviews bonuses

How Much Can I Earn Through Ibotta Bonuses?

The amount you can earn depends on the bonus. For example, when you redeem any 2 offers by scanning a receipt you get a $2 bonus.

The best part? You don’t have to activate anything to do so. All you have to do is to continue using the app like you normally would.

Another great example is the spend $200 get $15 back bonus. When you spend $200 or more in their Fall Fashion category, you get the cash back you normally would plus an additional $15.

Things To Keep In Mind With Ibotta Bonuses

Here are a few things to be aware of with Ibotta bonuses.

  • They usually have an expiration date. Most of the time you’ll have 30 days to complete a bonus.
  • You don’t have to activate bonuses. All you have to do is use the app like you normally would. If you happen to activate a bonus, you get paid more. The bonuses are there o encourage you to shop more or be more active on the app.
  • There’s a wide variety. Sometimes all you have to do is redeem 2 rebates of a certain brand to get a quick $.25 cents. This is a great way to earn extra cash back while shopping.

How Do I Get Started With Ibotta?

Getting started with Ibotta is incredibly simple. However, in order to make sure you don’t miss anything, we’re going to walk you through the process in detail.

1. Register.

You can register for Ibotta for FREE by clicking this link here. Enter in promo code qFTVA to receive a $10 bonus after scanning your first receipt. You can register via email or Facebook.

ibotta reviews register

2. Redeem receipts.

There are many ways to earn cash back with Ibotta, but let’s start with scanning receipts. Click on the “Find Rebates” tab at the bottom of the app.

Browse through their list of rebates or use the search bar to find a particular offer.

Right now I have the option to earn cash back on groceries, mobile shopping, alcohol, pharmacy products, clothing, beauty and wellness, specialty items, restaurants, convenience, crafts and gifts, electronics and travel.

Keep in mind that the product offer has to be matched with a specific retailer and that each offer may have an expiration date.

Once you activate your offer, click on “Redeem” at the bottom of the app and take a picture of the entire receipt. Also make sure it’s on a flat surface so it’s legible.

With certain retailers all you have to do is scan your loyalty card instead of taking a picture and then making the purchase at checkout to be rewarded automatically.

ibotta reviews scan receipts

3. Shop Online.

Earn cash back through shopping online. Go to the “Find Rebates” and then click on “Mobile Shopping.” Expect to earn anywhere between 1% – 10% when shopping at one of their partner retailers.

All of the purchases are tracked automatically, so nothing needs to be done on your end. As of now I have over 50 different online cash back offers:

  • Walmart – 2% cash back
  • Walgreens – 3% cash back
  • Groupon – 10% cash back
  • Target – 3.5% cash back
  • More!

ibotta reviews shop online

4. Refer Your Friends.

Refer friends to earn additional cash back. For each friend you refer, you get a bonus of $5 and your friend a bonus of $10 when your friend scans your first receipt.

There’s no limit to the amount of referrals, and often times they have bonuses for referring more than one person. For example, this month they’re giving an extra $20 for every 2 friends you refer.

You can find your referral link and referral code by clicking on the “Account” tab and then clicking on “Invite Friends.” A great way to spread your link around is through Facebook or Twitter.

ibotta reviews refer friends

5. Cash out.

When you reach a minimum of $20 in your account, you can cash out for either a gift card of your choosing or a direct deposit to PayPal or Venmo.

Keep in mind that you may be asked to verify your phone number before making a withdrawal.

ibotta reviews cash out

What Are Some Other Apps Like Ibotta?

Just because you’re earning money scanning receipts with Ibotta doesn’t mean you have to stop there. Here are a few other of my favorite receipt scanning apps that are similar to Ibotta.

1. Shopkick

Shopkick makes my #1 choice on the apps like Ibotta list due to its versatility. You can earn cash back taking pictures of receipts, shopping online, scanning barcodes in-store and simply just walking in certain retailers.

Shopkick rewards you in points in the form of kicks, and you receive a bonus of 250 kicks when you register as a new user.

My favorite feature with this app is definitely the walk-in feature. Simply turn on your bluetooth and Shopkick will award you when they detect that you’ve walked into a certain retailer – no purchases, no scanning.

You can redeem your kicks when you reach a minimum of $5 in your account for gift cards or cool cash prizes.

Read our full Shopkick Review

2. Fetch Rewards

Fetch Rewards is fairly new in the receipt scanning app scene, but they’re doing a great job so far. They start you off with a $1.50 sign-up bonus when you register using promo code HH3MN.

The best thing I enjoy about Fetch Rewards is that compared to many other receipt scanning apps, the amount of cash back you can earn is actually quite high.

For example, earn $3 in cash back you buy a 24 or 30-pack of Miller Lite. Get $1.50 in cash back with any Breyers Delights Ice Cream.

Each time you scan a receipt you earn a certain amount of points. These points can be exchanged for a gift card of your choosing, and you need a minimum of $3 to cash out.

Read our full Fetch Rewards Review

3. BerryCart

BerryCart is the outlier when it comes to receipt scanning apps. Instead of getting cash back on everyday groceries, earn cash back on uncommon ones.

Earn cash back when you buy gluten-free, organic, dairy-free, non-GMO and other health-specific products. This app is great for health nuts looking to stay fit.

The best part about BerryCart is that since the products they have listed are so difficult to find, they even have the option of searching for that product at stores close to you.

Earn a $2 bonus when you sign-up using promo code 7xYw14Jb and scan your first receipt. You need a $5 minimum to cash out to PayPal.

Read our full BerryCart Review

Looking for more apps like Ibotta? Then check out these 11 apps like Ibotta that pay you to scan your grocery receipt.

You Can Stack These Apps To Increase Your Earnings

While you can’t use the same receipt on the same receipt scanning app, you use the same receipt for multiple apps.

Let’s say you can earn $.25 cents off a gallon of milk on Ibotta and Fetch Rewards. Scan the receipt on Ibotta, and then make the same scan with Fetch Rewards.

With this method, you’ve just doubled your cash back earnings at a total of $.50 cents. Cross-scanning is definitely the best way to increase your cash back earnings.

What Do Other Ibotta Reviews Have To Say?

Just because we say Ibotta is a great rewards app doesn’t mean you have to take our word for it. Here are some other Ibotta reviews.

  • Online Financial Success Story states that Ibotta is not a scam and is a great way to earn cash back. They love that you earn cash back for things you already do with basically no extra work involved.
  • Full Time Job From Home gives Ibotta 95 out of 100. They state that it’s a really easy way to earn cash back on groceries and other purchases. The downside? They state that it’s in-app only and only available at certain stores.
  • Bible Money Matters states that Ibotta is an easy way to get free gift cards at retailers like Starbucks and Amazon. Ibotta has a great user interface that makes it really easy to claim rebates
The Biggest Downside of Using Ibotta

With all great apps out there, there always a few cons. Ibotta is no exception.

The biggest downside I find to using Ibotta is that you’re sucked in to spend more money just to claim an extra rebate.

It looks like if I buy this pack of butter that I’d never normally buy I’ll save $.50 cents. And what about these bag of chips? I can save $.75 cents by spending an extra $4, and surely my kids will eat them.

I highly recommend being disciplined when using the Ibotta app. Only purchase the items you need, looks for rebates and get out. Otherwise, you might up buying things you don’t really need.

Is Ibotta A Scam?

Ibotta is one of the most popular money saving apps out there. They have over 50,000 5-star reviews on the app store and continue to grow. With that said, it’s difficult to say that Ibotta is a scam and is in fact legit.

Furthermore, I’ve personally received my payouts on time and every time. Here’s a snapshot of some payment proof below:

ibotta reviews payment proof

If you ever don’t get paid by Ibotta, they have excellent customer support. Be sure to contact them with any concerns that you may have.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Here are some common questions you may find when navigating through the Ibotta app.

Do I have to verify my phone number?

Sometimes Ibotta may ask to verify your phone number before cashing out. This is for your own security and to prevent others from accessing your account.

How do I delete my Ibotta account?

If you want to delete your Ibotta account, you’ll have to submit a ticket with their help center. They’ll get in touch with you to confirm your deactivation.

Does Ibotta have an affiliate program?

Yes! In fact, we’re using their affiliate program in this article. If you’d like to become a part of the Ibotta affiliate program you can either contact them or contact us and we can help you out.

Is there a quick way to find rebates?

Instead of searching for rebates directly through the Ibotta app, now you can find them on their website by clicking on the “Find Offers” tab at the top of the page.

Final Thoughts

Ibotta has come a long way since its inception, and I wouldn’t be surprised if they continue to add on a few more features.

The ease of use with this app is what makes it so great. Not only that, but the amount of cash back they actually pay is quite good. As we’ve seen from above, you can easily earn at a rate of $15/hour.

Do you have any additional thoughts you’d like to add regarding Ibotta? Please let us know in the comments below, as we’d love to hear about them. Registration with Ibotta is completely free.

Enjoy this post? Here are a few others we think you might like:

We hope you’ve enjoyed our complete Ibotta app review. Thanks for reading and happy frugaling!

Get Paid To Shop: The Shopkick app is a free mobile app that pays you walk into stores, link your credit card, scan barcodes in stores, shop online, refer friends and more. Convert points into gift cards and other cash prizes. This app makes shopping fun, and you even get a 250-point bonus when you sign-up as a new member. The best part? It's 100% FREE to join.

8 Comments

  1. Donna Jul 18, 2018
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