Ibotta Review - Save Money on Groceries

Updated on August 13, 2018
KCO profile image

Katy tests money-saving apps to find ones that are legitimate, easy-to-use, and effective to share with readers.

Ibotta is a popular app that gives you cash back on groceries. Submit a pic of your receipt and earn credit for certain purchases.

It takes a bit of work but can result in a lot of cash back. Read my Ibotta review below.

How to Use Ibotta

Before we get to the review, let’s look at how Ibotta works. First download and install the app. Then, earning cash back rewards with Ibotta is multi-step process:

  1. Add offers for specific products in the app
  2. Buy those products in store
  3. Scan the receipt and bar codes
  4. Earn cashback

Offers refresh weekly. Most coupons return for the next week so you can figure out what works for your family and repeat it. After your earnings total at least $20 Ibotta lets you transfer into a PayPal account.

Offers

Before going to the store you need to add “offers” for items you expect to buy. Start by selecting the grocery or convenience store you use. Most offers are available at multiple stores but some are exclusive to a one store. So you need to be sure you have the store selected that you will be visiting.
Most of the offers are for grocery or home items. But some clothing retailers also offer Ibotta cash back. Each week there are a handful of "Any Item" offers.

Ibotta Stores

It's not difficult to find store that works with Ibotta. Here are some of the stores Ibotta has rewards for:

  • Home: Walmart, Target, Home Depot
  • Pharmacy: CVS, Walgreens, Rite Aid
  • Grocery: Albertson’s, Kroger, Safeway
  • Convenience: 7-Eleven, Shell, Circle K

It seems every major chain store in the United States is available for some sort of offers.
You can also use the mobile shopping portal for cash back at online retailers like Ebay or Groupon. They don’t have the best percent cash back at any given time but the rates are fairly competitive.

Buy Groceries

Once you've added all the offers you expect to use it's time to go shopping. You can view all the offers you selected for a certain store in the app. If you're unsure if a product meets the criteria you can scan the bar code before purchasing.

Screenshot of Ibotta offers available at Walmart.
Screenshot of Ibotta offers available at Walmart.

Ibotta Review

I've been using Ibotta for my family's grocery and Walmart trips for the past 2 years. I recommend anyone wanting to save money on groceries give it a try. Ibotta has both positives and negatives to be aware of.

Positives:

  • Many Stores
  • 10-20% Back
  • Fun to Use!

Ibotta has programs with most grocery stores in the country and has offers outside of that. Any store I go into with the intention of buying a brand name, I look at Ibotta first. The big contributor to me liking Ibotta so much is the value of the cash back offers. You get at least 50 cents for a brand name offer, usually more like $1.00 to $1.50. Earning money for buying the groceries you would anyway is super appealing to me. And even though it's a little bit of hands-on work it's pretty fun! Finding offers, stacking savings with coupons and scanning the receipts is pretty fun. It's turned into a weekly game for me to see how much I can get. On a normal week's $100 grocery run I'll earn anywhere from $5-$10.

Negatives:

  • Some Ads
  • Active Work
  • Items Not Available

The easy offers require you to watch an ad before you can select them. They're quick but can be annoying when you're trying to get through offers.Ibotta is certainly more active work than other cash back apps. It is disappointing when an offer I selected in the app isn't carried in the store. With snacks and coffee I'm willing to try new brands just because they show up in Ibotta with a big refund amount. But about half the time those brands aren't even available in the store.

Example of Ibotta earnings for a Walmart trip.
Example of Ibotta earnings for a Walmart trip. | Source

Ibotta Review Summary

Quickly earn cash back if you buy brand names and are willing to do a little work.

Is Ibotta Worth It?

So overall, is Ibotta worth it? Ibotta is the most time intensive of the rewards apps I use. I have to check the offers, buy the right items at the grocery store then upload the receipt and scan bar codes as I put items away at home.

I use a handful of other apps that give a percentage cash back automatically, like Drop. No receipt scanning needed. But it does take longer to build up rewards with those apps. To me, Ibotta is worth a little bit of effort each week. It makes grocery shopping a little more rewarding.

What Do You Think of Ibotta?

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Questions & Answers

    © 2018 Katy Medium

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      • KCO profile imageAUTHOR

        Katy Medium 

        4 months ago from Denver, CO

        I think so too Dred, thanks for reading!

      • dredcuan profile image

        Dred Cuan 

        4 months ago from California

        Not bad at all. It makes a difference even just a penny worth of savings. Thanks for sharing!

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