Ibotta Review 2024: How to Maximize Your Earnings
Earn real money with this top-rated cashback app. Scan receipts, shop online, and enjoy solid cashback rates at 2,000+ retailers. Flexible cashout options, a user-friendly interface, and a reliable referral program make Ibotta a lucrative choice.
Ibotta is a free cashback app, allowing you to earn real money by scanning receipts and making online purchases. In comparison to other cashback apps we’ve reviewed, Ibotta ranks highly and is certainly worth downloading.
Ibotta received the following reviews:
- 4.8 Stars on the Apple App Store (1.7M reviews)
- 4.5 Stars on the Google Play Store (700,000 reviews)
- 3.0 Stars on TrustPilot (1,270 reviews)
- 4.7 Stars on Think Save Retire
Our Ibotta Review: 4.7 Stars
Ibotta is one of the most well-known cashback apps, giving customers over $1.6 billion in cashback since their founding in 2011. It’s easy to use, offers incredible cashback rates, and allows you to withdraw earnings via PayPal, bank transfer, and gift card.
What We Love
Free to Use
Ibotta is completely free to use. You will find ads on the platform here and there, but this is standard for most free apps. If you find them to be a bother, there are a few free cashback apps, like Fetch, that don’t have ads.
Ibotta offers cashback at over 2,000 retail chains, restaurants, movie theaters, convenience stores, pet stores, and more. This allows you to earn cashback nearly everywhere you shop.
Solid Cashback Rates
At the time of writing, the cashback rates are solid — ranging from $0.20 to $5.00.
Great Earning Potential
Based on our research, active Ibotta users earn around $20 per month, or $240 per year. For the minimal effort it takes to scan receipts, this is substantial. We did, however, see a couple reviewers report earning upwards of $1,000 per year.
Decent Referral Program
Ibotta offers a decent referral program, giving both you and your referral $5 when they sign up and earn cashback for the first time.
You can cash out Ibotta earnings once you’ve hit $20. While this is slightly higher than some competing platforms, we love that you’re not tied to a specific cadence for withdrawal. For example, Rakuten allows for cashout just once every three months, which isn’t ideal for users that want to access their earnings more often.
Browser Extension Available
Ibotta offers a free Chrome browser extension, although it only works for earning cashback on online purchases. You’ll still need to scan receipts via the app. It does, however, make it more convenient to catch cashback offers before making purchases, as the extension will notify you of an applicable offer when you visit a retailer’s website.
What We Don’t Love
Receipts Don’t Always Scan Correctly
We sifted through customer reviews, and it seems the biggest gripe users have is an inconsistency in accurate receipt scanning. In some cases, the Ibotta app doesn’t detect all of the items purchased, leaving users to miss out on the cashback offer they intended to use.
You can, however, contact Ibotta’s customer support if this happens. They’ll guide you through the process for verifying your purchase and receiving the proper cashback.
Account Inactivity Fee
We’re not fans of their account inactivity fee. You’ll get hit with a $3.99 charge for every 30 days your Ibotta account remains inactive. The charge comes out of your Ibotta earnings, not your bank account, so no need to worry there. That said, it’s still not ideal.
You Need to Activate Offers Before You Shop
You’ll need to activate the cashback offer before scanning your receipt in. This makes the process a bit more tedious in comparison to competitors that don’t require this. For example, Fetch automatically applies whichever cashback offer your receipt qualifies for.
How Ibotta Works
To use Ibotta, follow these steps:
Download the App and Sign Up
Download the app from your phone’s app store. Then, follow the prompts to create your account. It’s free to sign up and will take just a few minutes to complete the onboarding.
Shop as Usual
Complete your shopping trip as you typically would, and make sure to hold onto your receipt.
Activate the Applicable Offers
Within the app, navigate to the store you shopped at, and activate any offers that apply to the items you purchased.
Scan in Your Receipt
You have seven days to scan your receipt after the purchase. Offers you’ve selected will apply, if valid, and the cashback deposit into your account within 24 hours.
Pro Tip: Double Check Items In Store
If you’re unsure whether an item qualifies for a cashback offer, tap into the offer and click the barcode banner at the bottom of the screen labeled “Check product barcode.” This allows you to scan the product’s barcode in the store to see whether it qualifies for the offer before you purchase it.
How to Maximize Ibotta Earnings
There are a few things you can do to earn even more cashback on Ibotta.
Check the App Before Shopping
Take a few minutes before going into the store to compare your shopping list with Ibotta offers. You may find that by making a small tweak, like purchasing another brand or switching up your dinner plans for the week, you can earn significantly more cashback.
If you have access to your store’s sale flyer, you may be able to align a store-run sale or discount with an Ibotta cashback offer, saving you even more.
Purchase Gift Cards
Purchase virtual gift cards through Ibotta to earn additional cashback. Most gift cards earn you around 2% to 3% cashback — which is only $2 to $3 on a $100 gift card, so not a ton, but better than nothing.
Stack with Other Cashback Apps
If you’re going through the trouble of scanning into Ibotta, take the extra couple of seconds to scan your receipt into Fetch as well. This allows you to earn even more for the same receipt.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Trustworthy is Ibotta?
Ibotta is a safe, trustworthy platform for earning cashback. In fact, they’ve received a B rating from the Better Business Bureau and frequently respond to any customer complaints.
Is it Worth it to Use Ibotta?
In our opinion, yes. To apply the offers and scan your receipt takes a few minutes, and you could earn substantial cashback.
Does Ibotta Pay Real Money?
Yes, Ibotta is a cashback app, allowing you to earn real money after purchasing specific items. You can redeem these earnings via bank transfer, PayPal, or gift card.
Does Ibotta Report to the IRS?
Ibotta only reports your earnings to the IRS if you earn over $600. You will, however, want to keep track of your earnings to report to the IRS as income.