I wrote a review for Swagbucks, a few weeks ago. Swagbucks lets you to earn cash back on items that you buy online, by clicking through their links. Ibotta is like online cash back systems (Ebates, Swagbucks, Mr. Rebates), but for when you go inside physical stores.
The first question I asked myself: Is Ibotta legit? They’ve been around for five years, and users have earn around $70 million in cash during that time. They also have a five-star rating in the app store and a positive BBB review.
In my Ibotta Review, I’ll show you how it works, who should use it, and how I use it personally.
How does Ibotta work?
- Download the app in the App Store.
- Browse for offers and find offers that interest you.
- Qualify by taking a poll, reading some facts, or watching a video. These tasks literally take 15 seconds or less.
- Go to the store and buy the items.
- Scan your receipt in the Ibotta app.
- Wait for the email approval from Ibotta (it says up to 24 hours, but it’s only been a couple hours in my experience).
- Once you hit the $20 threshold in your account, you can transfer it to you PayPal account.
Why’s it legal?
These offers are just like the coupons you get in the newspaper, but they’re more intuitive and more personal. Stores give Ibotta a commission for the placement of advertising inside the app. Then stores or brands give out sweet deals to customers to give more incentive to buy their stuff.
Who’s this app for?
Ibotta’s a lot easier than searching out coupons for yourself at each separate store. This app is a necessity if you’re currently couponer. This is the new age of coupons.
You can easily save $2 a week by spending under 60 seconds in the Ibotta app (and this is for things you were already planning on buying). It doesn’t sound like a lot, but this translates to over $100 a year of free money. And all this if for basically doing nothing. You could save a lot more if you want to be much more diligent and spend five minutes going through offers.
This app isn’t for you if you don’t typically care about saving a couple bucks when you go to the store.
How do I personally use Ibotta?
I’ve only been playing around with the Ibotta app for a few weeks. I live in a small town where most of the stores listed aren’t anywhere near me, but I can say it’s still definitely useful.
I’ve saved a few bucks on grocery items (i.e. milk, bread, eggs) that I was planning on buying regardless of any special offers.
I think the best way to earn the most is by taking advantage of the restaurant deals. I saw one on there to get $4 back when you buy a Bud Light with your meal (works at any restaurant). That’s a free beer. And that’s pretty awesome!
I don’t live near a Best Buy, but there was an offer for $10 off a purchase of $100. That’s great and you don’t really have to do anything to get that money.
When will I use it? I will fire up the app to see what’s going on before I go to a restaurant or buy a more expensive item.
Things I like:
- Most major retailers are on Ibotta.
- They don’t give you points, just real money.
- They have generic things (i.e. milk, eggs, bread, etc.) where you can earn on any brand you buy.
- It only takes a couple hours for the money to show up in your account.
- Every time you enter a store or get into the store’s parking lot you get a push notification on your phone, letting you know that there are offers available. This is cool, and makes it so you have no excuse for forgetting to check the offers.
Pitfalls of Ibotta
Stores want you to buy things that you weren’t anticipating on buying because you see a “sweet deal.” This is the whole point of coupons for stores. They want to show you that you’re getting a deal, so that you make extra purchases, rather than actually saving money on things you need. Don’t do this.
But it’s an easy trap to fall into…I just did it.
On Tuesday, I checked the offers before I went to Walmart. I saw they had a $1.50 off Tyson Chicken Anytizer offer. I’ve never tried it before, but it looked good, so I bought the bag. I definitely wouldn’t have if it weren’t for the deal.
This is a really slick app and definitely works very efficiently. It’s an app I’ll keep on my phone, but I don’t know how frequently I’ll use it. If you sign up through one of my links, or use my referral code (iqqbwmc), you’ll get a start up bonus. I’ll get a bonus for referring you, so it’s mutually beneficial.
Thanks for checking out my Ibotta Review. Do you use Ibotta or plan to in the future? Let me know your thoughts in the comments.