Beyond Ebates…Ibotta Can Earn You Cash for Shopping


If you have read our other money-saving articles, you know about sites like Ebates that rewards you for shopping, as well as the use of coupons to help you keep money in your pocket. There are many apps out there, but one question we get often is whether sites like Ibotta are as significant as other, similar services like Ebates.

To begin with, you know that we always encourage readers to create accounts at all valid and safe sites of this kind to take advantage of any methods for saving money or being rewarded for consumer behaviors. Free money is, after all, free money. The few dollars you might get out of an hour or two at Inbox Dollars is better than no money for just browsing the net. The same can be said of sites like Ibotta and Ebates. You might get a few bucks back or you might get a tremendous amount of rewards – the point is that you took the steps to get free money.

Looking at Ibotta

In this article, we will look at Ibotta specifically and take time to consider answers to questions like “is Ibotta worth it” or even “is Ibotta safe”. After all, it is something that uses the phone, and this means you share information and other details.

For those who don’t like to wait until the end for the solution, we’ll just supply the answers to those questions now. Luckily, we can do it in a single word – “yes”.

Yes, Ibotta is worth it. The effort and time you use to setup an account and learn how to use it makes it well worth it.

Is Ibotta safe? Yes, to date there have been absolutely no problems with the app and site.

Of course, there are still many out there unaware of sites like Ibotta or even Ibotta itself. So, let’s first do a quick rundown on the site and help you discover how it can so easily, safely and effectively help you save money in the coming year.

What On Earth Is Ibotta?

So, Ibotta is just a free app that gives you mobile coupons and cash back shopping on select products. In other words, it rewards you for buying the things you normally buy, but asks you for a tiny bit of time in exchange for the reward. Much the same way that printed coupons ask for a few moments in exchange for the discounted prices or deals.

Typically, it might ask you to do a simple task, provide a proof of purchase or just buy something to get cash back. In the world of money saving apps, Ibotta is relatively new, and it is important to look at it as a way of saving money in addition to other strategies.

For example, it goes beyond basic coupons, rebates, coupon stacking and rewards programs. And as one financial expert writes, “This makes it an important inclusion to the couponers’ toolbox for savings.”

So, if you have a coupon for an in-store purchase of a particular product. You use that coupon and get the deal, and then you take your receipt and use Ibotta to get cash back on the deal, too!.

How do you use it? You just have to have a mobile device and PayPal account (as this is how the app pays you your rewards), or Venmo. It works with the iOS 5.0 and later devices as well as Android 2.2 devices. Once installed, you just create your account and then navigate through the different products and take advantage of the Offers.

The Offers

The main area of Ibotta that you will use is called the Offers area and it features images of the items for which there are cash back options currently available. You tap on the “Earn $” bar to see the tasks you need to perform in order to get whatever offer is available. Usually, the first step is that you have to actually purchase that product.

However, that may not be the case and instead, upon completing tasks you may then be able to buy the product through a participating store linked to the app and get the rewards earned.

Either way, you will discover that you have several different ways to get money back on the purchase. You simply pick and choose from the list of tasks to decide which ones you are willing to perform. It could be taking a poll, viewing a very short video, sharing the purchase to Facebook, reading something about the product or offering a comment/review. There could be multiple, rewarded tasks, available.

When you do a task, the item is actually automatically added to your Ibotta app and you then get the reward if you can prove you purchased that product.

And if you are sitting there shaking your head, saying, “No…I am not into doing all kinds of steps and losing 30 minutes or so for a dollar in return,” think again. This is because Ibotta has designed tasks to take about the same amount of time you would dedicate to clipping a paper coupon! So, for those few moments of time, you can see rewards that add up to significant amounts.

On top of the in-app methods for earning from your purchases, you also find that there are many proof of purchase rewards. This simply means you return to the app and use the Redeem feature on the qualifying product. You choose the linked store where the item was purchased and then submit an image of the receipt or scan the bar codes from the products, and receive more cash. If this is all you wish to do for cash back, that works as well and you can just register an account and scan your receipts to get some nice sums in return.

So, it is as simple as finding offers before you shop for items you require. Doing any and all of the tasks in the Ibotta app. Going shopping to complete the purchase (either at a participating store or through the app) and then redeeming the offer by taking a photo of the receipt.

The app accepts receipts from more than 280 firms, and you can see the complete list here. There are retail establishments, grocery chains, movie theaters, restaurants, and countless other in-store and mobile only offers. In fact, they say that they have cash back for more than 500k real world and online locations.

The app also lets you link a loyalty card with one of the many Preferred Partners. This helps you discover even more important offers and get whatever special pricing and rewards your membership in that loyalty program provided.

There are also the simple Mobile In-App Purchases that let you get rewards just for opting to shop through the Ibotta app’s links. Just browse the cash back offers made through top apps, launch the app through Ibotta and make the purchase. You get cash back instantly in Ibotta without any receipts scanned. Their mobile app partners include the same wide array of categories, such as travel oriented apps, pharmacy, grocery and more.

Each time your account hits the $20 mark, Ibotta automatically transfers the funds to your PayPalor Venmo account. If you prefer gift cards, they can also provide you with an array of options, including Whole Foods cards and more.

Is that it? Actually, Ibotta goes beyond its Offers feature and has Bonuses.The Bonuses are simply further steps to take to get cash, and the more Bonuses you act on, the more you are offered.

The app also allows you to earn more through Teamwork, which allows you to sign up via Facebook and both you and your friends will belong to the same team. The more friends there are on a team, the more chances you have to hit Teamwork bonus amounts on a monthly basis. There is also a referral program that pays out $5 when a friend signs up and uses an offer. If you get two friends to sign up, that amount goes to $20 and up to $50 or more.

Sites Like Ibotta…Are They Better?

As we said, we’ve looked at Ebates quite a bit in the past and we still strongly recommend it for anyone who does a lot of online shopping of all kinds. The thing to remember is that Ibotta is a bit different. It is a tool for your real world shopping adventures, such as your grocery shopping as well as in-app or through app purchases. Sites like Ibotta do more than just reward you for shopping through them, and this can be a fantastic way to take in lots of bonuses and rewards.

Other Sites Like Ibotta to Consider

Before we close out this article, though, we want to take a look at everything beyond Ebates and consider other sites like Ibotta that are worth checking out and using in order to get the most out of any and all shopping adventures.

  • Swagbucks – Giving you points rather than direct percentages or preset rewards, it will reward you for every dollar spent at participating stores. Typically you get a Swagbuck for every dollar or a set amount of Swagbucks for specific items. You can translate them to percentages, too, such as 2% at stores like Walmart and so on. The bucks are sent to your account and you redeem them for coupons or gift cards. You can also have them turned into PayPal gift cards and use them the same as cash.
  • Inbox Dollars – This is one of the sites like Ibotta because it rewards you for tasks, but your tasks are never assigned to any specific product. Instead, you take surveys, watch videos, and do other small tasks (and by small we mean two minutes or less). For doing these tasks, you get small amounts of cash deposited into your Inbox Dollars account. There are also raffles and sweepstakes you can enter and there are even some cash back deals available through affiliated vendors and retailers. In previous articles, we have looked at this as a potential “part time gig” that can get you money just for killing an hour or so on these little tasks each day.
  • Dosh – New and unique, it is more entertainment and travel oriented than other sites like Ibotta. This one is an app that gives rewards for things like hotel stays, restaurant meals and other activities. It is also one of the very few of its kind with local emphasis or focus. That doesn’t mean it is limited. In fact, it is a cash back app that “searches all available coupons, promo codes, and rebates and gives you cash back from thousands of restaurants, retail stores, hotels, and more.”

Just connect a credit or debit card, load the app to your device and it automatically starts to reward you for everything done through the app.

  • Shopkick – This is the only one of the sites like Ibotta that rewards you without you spending a penny. The way it works is very simple – you just load the app to your mobile device and earn rewards when you walk into a store, scan products, view products in online venues and make a purchase. You don’t have to make a purchase or even scan something in a real store. The app knows you are in a store and gives you a reward just for stepping inside. You then can redeem the points earned for give cards.

Don’t just go shopping anymore. With Ibotta and sites like Ibotta, you can get all kinds of cash back and financial rewards for any number of activities. Whether you want to earn a few bucks through sites like InboxDollars or you wish to maximize financial returns on every purchase thanks to Ibotta’s impressive setup, you can start doing so today. Don’t forget that referrals are also a great way to passive income – so make them whenever possible.


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