10 Steps Help You Maximize Your ibotta Membership

You’ve got your coupons stacked neatly and matched against the week’s sales, and you’re due to pay very little for your groceries, but you don't have to settle just for savings You also can earn a little income from your purchases if you use the ibotta app and match your grocery list against the offers in the app and then upload your receipt.

Ibotta works by offering users deals on items ranging from foods and beverages to cleaning products and beyond, and each can net you a bonus anywhere from 25 cents to more than $1. When choosing deals, users sometimes must complete a brief task, such as watching a short video about the product or taking a quick quiz. Once that's done, users can choose to redeem the offer. To accomplish that, users must buy the products they are redeeming at a participating store. By uploading a picture of the receipt to the app, the deals that have been redeemed will be matched with the appropriate items on the receipt. Next thing you know, you’ll have some extra cash in your account for future purchases or savings.

As of 2018, ibotta had partnered with more than 280 stores, including popular chains like Walmart, Kroger, Walgreens, and CVS Pharmacy. It also is offering a $10 bonus just for downloading the app and signing up.

Before getting started with ibotta—compatible with both Apple's iOS and Google's Android—learn about some important steps to follow to ensure you’ll be banking the most savings possible.


Planning Ahead

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Savings are most valuable when you earn them from items you already were planning on purchasing anyway. Stores earn money by luring you in with items on sale and then counting on you to buy more nonsale items once you're there. However, you maximize your savings by avoiding impulse purchases and sticking to what you need.

The best way to do this is to compare available offers to your grocery list and identify matches.

Saving Time on Required Tasks

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The required tasks are a turnoff for some people, but they don’t take any longer than clipping a coupon. And most of them don't require a high level of concentration, so it's something you can do while watching TV or cooking dinner. In other words, save time on the required tasks by multitasking.

Request a Store

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If one of your favorite stores is not partnered with ibotta, contact the store in person, via the store’s Facebook page or by email. Demand for ibotta has grown steadily since its inception, so stores that receive a lot of requests likely will be receptive.

Linking Loyalty Cards

Torrey Kim

If you have a loyalty card with one of ibotta's partners, you can link it to your ibotta account. Just like always, you find offers and redeem them through the ibotta app, but instead of uploading a receipt, you purchase them using your loyalty card, and the applicable deals are applied to your ibotta account.

Mobile Purchases

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Torrey Kim

If you also have a mobile app for one of ibotta's partners, you can make purchases through that app that can be applied to your ibotta account. Find the offer through the ibotta app like you normally would and complete the tasks to redeem it, then tap on the shop button in the ibotta app. This will launch the applicable app, from where you can make the purchase.

Scanning Items In-Store

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If you have any question whether an offer is available ​on an item, you can confirm the offer by scanning the item right in the store. If there is an offer, the ibotta app will let you know.

Refer Friends

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Another way to collect reward money is by inviting friends to use the app, either through the app itself, via email, or on your Facebook or Twitter accounts with an app-generated link specific to your account. Specific rewards change every month or so, but you'll generally receive a reward of some value every time someone you refer signs up and uses the app.

Redeeming Earnings

Torrey Kim

Once you redeem enough offers to have $20 in earnings, you can connect the app to your PayPal or Venmo accounts. Alternately, you can have the money loaded onto a gift card from one of many available retailers.

Maximizing Deals

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Many of the deals available through ibotta are a fixed amount, such as 25 cents, 50 cents, or $1. As such, one of the best ways to maximize savings is to find offers on items that already cost no more than $1 or $2—or even less than $1.

For example, consider buying smaller package sizes. For example, if you earn 25 cents for each item of a specific product you purchase, you'll earn 50 cents if you buy two smaller packages, as opposed to just 25 cents for one larger package. Smaller packages often cost more per ounce/pound/etc., so do a quick calculation to make sure the additional reward is saving you money.

Another way to do this is to shop at dollar stores or other discount stores. A 25-cent reward on every purchase at a dollar store obviously amounts to a savings of 25 percent.

Using Coupons

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Using ibotta does not have to be an alternative to clipping coupons. You can do both and save extra money. When putting together your shopping list and clipping coupons, prioritize the items on your list that have coupons and also offer ibotta rewards to further maximize your savings.

Another benefit to ibotta is rebates on some discount club memberships. So, you can use ibotta to get a better deal on a discount club membership, then use ibotta in conjunction with the applicable discounts.