Thanks to all of the rewards credit cards available today, there are plenty of financial incentives to get us to spend more money (and sadly not very many incentives to save, with interest rates being as low/nonexistent as they are). Wouldn’t it be great if you could find an easy way to save money on purchases you were going to make anyway, without the cumbersomeness of clipping coupons from your local newspaper or searching the web for good deals?
Luckily, there’s an app for that! It’s called Ibotta and it lets you instantly earn cash back while shopping for everyday items and special gifts alike. If you’ve been on the lookout for a good way to earn cash back without inadvertently splurging – which is how many of us typically justify spending “just a little bit more” to earn extra points or cash back – then Ibotta could be an excellent app to add to your shopping routine. Here’s how it works.
Cash-Back on Everyday Purchases
Ibotta’s premise is fairly simple: help consumers earn more cash back on their purchases without making them jump through several hoops to score substantial savings. You can save money while shopping in-stores (a feature that many cash-back web browser extensions don’t offer), shopping online and shopping as a loyalty program member at grocery stores and related retailers.
To earn cash back from an in-store purchase, simply add an offer to your Ibotta account and upload a photo of your receipt after the purchase. Within 24 hours, cash-back earned from approved purchases will be deposited into your account.
To date, Ibotta users have collectively earned more than $500 million cash-back on their purchases. This includes everything from grocery and household items to travel and luxury expenses. If you were planning to make a purchase anyway, why not get the most value from this expense by checking to see if there’s a bonus or cash-back reward through Ibotta before you check out?
Pay with the Ibotta App
Another nifty feature you’ll find in the Ibotta app is the ability to pay for purchases directly from the app, which eliminates the need to upload a photo of the receipt afterward. Currently, over 30 stores and restaurants participate in the Pay with Ibotta program, which lets you get instant cash-back on your entire purchase when you present a gift card code to the cashier upon checking out.
There are no fees involved and Ibotta comes with 256-bit bank-level encryption. So, you can safely make purchases with the app without worrying about the security of your financial details.
What Types of Ibotta Offers Are Available?
More than 140 major retailers participate in the Ibotta cash-back program, including (but not limited to): Amazon, Booking.com, Etsy, Expedia, GrubHub, Home Depot, Hulu, Nike, Petco, QVC, Sephora, Uber, Ulta, Walmart and many more.
It’s important to routinely check your Ibotta app for new Offers and Bonuses to see when a purchase you plan to make in the near future might qualify for a higher cash-back bonus (some bonuses are only offered on a short-term basis). When you’re a brand new Ibotta user, you may also qualify for a Welcome Bonus to help you get started.
In addition to daily/weekly/ongoing shopping offers, Ibotta periodically offers giveaways and sweepstakes for its users. For instance, the “Semester of Savings” giveaway hosted just before each school year comes with great prizes for students (e.g., Apple Macbook Air, new iPhone, $500 Amazon gift card). There’s no purchase necessary to enter these giveaways/sweepstakes, but there may be other terms and conditions required for eligibility, so be sure to read the contest rules before the closing period.
Should I Download Ibotta?
Ibotta can help you earn anywhere from 1-10% cash-back on your everyday purchases, which effectively functions as an instant discount on those items (even if you’re paying the full amount in-store or online). For instance, a $50 dinner at a restaurant with a 5% cash-back offer from Ibotta would give you $2.50 back – it might not sound like much, but those little savings can really add up over time.
You can withdraw your earnings through PayPal, Venmo or by purchasing a gift card to your favorite retailer through the app; the primary requirement is that you need to rack up $20 in cash-back before you’re able to withdraw funds. While this may sound like a lot of money, thousands of people have reportedly save hundreds of dollars while using Ibotta over the past few years. And it’s completely free, so consumers have little to lose and a lot to potentially gain from the cash-back rewards offered by Ibotta.