We’re always talking about side hustles on our website. We love those little activities that help us put a few extra dollars in our pockets each month. One of our favorites is ibotta. We’ve both managed to earn hundreds of dollars using this easy-to-use shopping app. We thought it would be a great idea to perform a detailed review of the app and share some pros and cons we have identified after several years of usage. Here is our ibotta Review!
What is Ibotta? How Do You Earn Cash Back?
ibotta is an app that offers cash-back on everyday purchases. This includes grocery, cleaning, and everyday household items. I will discuss the categories/discount offerings in greater detail later in the article. ibotta allows you to earn cash back three ways:
- Selecting offers on everyday products purchased in store
- Linking a rewards card
- Online purchases (similar to Ebates).
Personally, I earn Ibotta through the the first method listed above. After preparing my grocery list, I will open the App and identify the products with rebates that match my list. In order to unlock the offer (occasionally), you watch a brief video or answer a question about the product. Once my shopping trip is complete, I will open the app once again to redeem the rewards. To redeem the rewards, select the redeem option, scan your receipt, and select the offers that you were able to find during the shopping trip. Boom, just like that, you have earned some cash back.
Overall, the experience takes minutes. This includes identifying the offers and the redemption phase. The ease of use is one of my favorite aspects of the App. For those of you that want a more detailed explanation, here is the “How To Use” guide on the company’s website.
How do I sign up?
It is very easy to sign up for the app and should take you minutes to download the app and create a code. In fact, at the time of this article, there is a pretty generous sign-up bonus. After your first use, you will receive a $10 sign-up bonus and you will receive a $5 bonus for each friend you refer. The beauty is that you are eligible to cash out after $20 in earnings Therefore, you are already HALFWAY there just by signing up and using it once.
Go through here to check out the app and would like to sign-up.
Ibotta Review – Pros
-Ease of Use – The app is very easy to use and I enjoy using it. The interface makes it easy to quickly identify the store where you are shopping. After selection, finding your discounts and adding to your selected offers is seamless. They make it seamless due to separation by category or searching for your product by text.
Then, you simply scan your receipts at the end of your shopping trip. Overall, this process takes minutes, which is nice when you are trying to squeeze every precious minute out of your day. I’ve found that some apps have a burdensome, slow, clunky, interface that discourages me from using it. That is not the case with Ibotta.
-Rebates are Offered on a Variety of Products – Ibotta offers products in all categories that may appear on your weekly grocery list. Discounts are offered over the following categories: produce, boxed goods, dairy/eggs, frozen, meats, seafood, beer/wine, beverages (non-alcohol), candy, snacks, beauty/personal care, pet, health & wellness, household goods. Within each of these categories, there are many products offered.
-Rebates Are Offered on Common Products, not Just Specialty Brands – This is the best part. The last bullet point showed that Ibotta offers goods in a variety of categories. Some apps may offer goods that are too expensive to purchase with the rebate or are such a specialty/niche item that it may not apply to you.
That is not the case with ibotta. The goods offered on ibotta are common products that users would consider purchasing without the rebate (there are exceptions to this, of course). Many of the products are household brand names, such as Kraft, Coke, Budweiser, Miller, Quaker Oats, Special K, etc. Also, the app offers discounts on generic products as well. For example, ibotta may offer a $0.25 rebate for purchasing any brand of milk, any cereal, or purchasing one banana.
-Low Cash Out Threshold and Simple Process to Transfer to Venmo or Paypal – Most rebates are between $.25 to $1.50. It would suck if you had to wait to cash out your rewards until you reached $100 in rebates. For ibotta, you are eligible to cash out your rewards after earning $20. To cash out, you simply link your Paypal or Venmo account to the app and transfer the funds accordingly. After registering your information, the process to cash out your rewards takes 30 seconds or less. See Lanny’s dashboard below (as of 4/14/2019):
-$1 Off Uber Ride (periodically) – This discount is awesome. ibotta offers $1 per Uber ride if you access Uber through their app. So for those that are heavy Uber users, you can finally earn cash back on all of those rides! This offer isn’t always available, which is the only downside. But I am always excited to use this offer when it is available!
-There is always a $.25 Cash Back Reward for scanning a receipt, even if you do not purchase any goods I know what you are thinking. What happens if you do not purchase anything that has an eligible rebate? ibotta thought about this as well. The app offers a $.25 “Any Item” rebate that can be redeemed with any purchase. Simply select this option and scan your receipt.
-Bonus Offers – ibotta even offers bonuses categories. Bonuses such as, additional rebates for purchasing a certain brand, an added bonus upon redemption of 3 rebates during a weekend, etc. I do not promote shopping just for the sake of earning a cash back reward, that defeats the purpose. But if you are purchasing an item regardless or were on pace to redeem three rebates, it is nice to receive the bonus! See below, as an example:
Ibotta Review – Cons
-Aldi is not included – My wife and I have been shopping primarily at Aldi and use other grocery stores to buy items that we could not find at Aldi. Therefore, we cannot claim the $.25 any-item rebate or benefit from discounts on generic goods (such as $.25 for bananas, peppers or milk). *There was an update to this, as Trader Joe’s is now available! Still no Aldi, though.
-Further, ibotta Does Not Have All Local Grocery and Convenience Stores – ibotta is registered with one of our local grocery stores, but not the other. Therefore, there are plenty of other local supermarkets that are not eligible for discounts. If you prefer to shop and support the local grocery store or farmer’s market, you may be out of luck.
-Some Products Are Not Stocked at Store – While ibotta offers some awesome discounts on products and alcohol, you cannot always find them at the grocery store. It may tell you that a product is eligible for a rebate at Target, Walmart, or Costco; however, after navigating the store’s aisles, the product is nowhere to be found. It would be nice if there was an “is this product available at your location” option.
-Cash Back for Shopping by visiting a site through ibotta is not as high as other websites or apps. I mentioned earlier that you can also earn via ibotta in a manner similar to Ebates.com or Swagbucks. But I also mentioned that I do not use this cash back feature for ibotta. You can earn a percentage back by shopping online by entering the website through the app, rather than the website directly. However, what I have found is that ibotta’s cash back percentage is not as high as others.
Due to this, I created the table below to show ibotta’s cash back percentages compared to Ebates and Swagbucks for places I shop online (Excluding Amazon – since their cash back tiers are complicated on the various websites). Review the table below, I was able to find a higher cash back percentage other alternatives (such as eBates).
Overall, I am very high on ibotta. I have enjoyed using the app and we both have earned over $200 using the cash-back app. In my opinion, the pros easily outweigh the cons and I would recommend that people try the app (Sign-Up here) to see if you enjoy the experience as much as we do. Earning a few extra dollars by taking an extra minutes to your shopping experience is well worth it.
-The Dividend Diplomats
SIGN UP and test out this App!