The iBotta App is a receipt based cash back app, which gives you cash back when you purchase specific items at specific stores, and then upload your receipt to claim the cash back. Usually I prefer using cash back apps which do not require you to upload receipts, but I did want to take some time to review this app since it could be a great way to earn cash back in addition to my favorite automated options as part of a cash back stacking strategy.
Ways to Earn Cash Back
How do you earn cash back with iBotta? iBotta has partnered with several retailers to offer cash back when you upload your receipts to their app. You receive cash back when you purchase specific items offered within the app. Cash back can range from a 10 cents to a few dollars for one item. There are some items you can purchase which end up being free once you claim the cash back within the iBotta App. In my experience these are typically new products, or a new version of a product that companies are trying to sell.
Some of the most popular retailers and grocery stores are available in the app, including: Walmart, Target, Costco, Sam's Club, Kroger, Publix, Aldi's, Whole Foods, and many many more. Click on the name of your retailer of choice, then check for the available cash back offers at each store. Some stores may offer different items than others, but many of the cash back offers are the same for all stores. However also keep in mind that just because the offer is available at the store you choose in the app, this does not mean that your local store necessarily carries the specific item being offered. When I first signed up for iBotta, there was a new Campbell's soup which was offering an over $2 cash back offer, which essentially made the cost of the soup free. However I checked with 3 of the Publix's in my area, and none of them sold the specific flavor of Soup listed in the cash back offer. I did however find it at my local WalMart. It may be possible to check this with the individual stores using their apps, before you actually go shopping in order to know what you will purchase before you get to the store. For those of you who make a list before grocery shopping, include walking through the iBotta app with your normal list creation activities to maximize use of the app.
Lets start with the easiest way to earn cash back, and that's with the "Any Item" item list. This allows you to earn cash back for buying generic everyday items like bananas, apples, cheese, diapers, or whatever is being offered at the time. Typically for the Any Item list iBotta may ask you to watch a short video or take a short survey to activate the Any Item option, and then these cash back options can be used to receive cash back at any of the available stores within the app. No matter the brand of the item, as long as you make a purchase in that category you will be credited for cash back.
For the rest of the items available in the app, you can search by category, or look at the list of What's Hot, New Offers, or Best Value! I like to check the Best Value list first to see where I can maximize on my cash back, then I scroll through the full list of offers within the particular store I am planning to shop at. Once you start to use the app on a regular basis, then you can just look at the New Offers to save yourself some time, as well as the Buy it Again section for items you purchase on a regular basis. This way you don't have to scroll through all of the possible cash back items each time you open the app. This is a huge time saver!
Once you've added all of the offers you would like to purchase at your local store, you can then take a look at the "Your List" section to view all of the cash back offers you have marked within the app for that particular store. If you already have your general shopping list, you can use this as a secondary shopping list to ensure you actually purchase all of the items you are going to receive cash back from when you shop.
Once you've made all of your purchases, all you have to do is go to the "Redeem" section at on the bottom row of the app, select the store, then take a photo of your receipt within the app to upload it and claim your cash back offers. The app should recognize your purchases from the receipt, but if not you will be asked to scan the specific product you purchased for proof of purchase. I have messed up in the past by buying the wrong product, whether it was due to being the wrong size or wrong flavored item. Be sure to double check these specifics before purchasing.
With some retailers there is an automated option to receive credit for your cash back offers! Two stores I have personally used are Publix and Target. With both options you have to already have or create an account with those specific stores, then link that account to the iBotta app. This way when you use those store apps to make purchases, the purchases will also link to iBotta for recognition of your purchases without the need to upload a receipt. I like to use these options when I can, that way I don't have to worry about forgetting to upload my receipts after I get home. Any way I can find to automate things of this nature, I take advantage of to ensure I get every cash back offer I can with the individual stores as well as with iBotta!
Earn More With Bonuses:
In addition to the individual cash back offers, iBotta offers Bonus offers. These bonuses can be related to purchasing multiple of a specific product, having a streak of purchases at a particular store, or reaching a specific dollar amount of cash back offer claims within a particular time period. These help to boost your cash back offers when you use the iBotta app on a consistent basis. You can even join forces with your friends and family you invite to use the iBotta app, and they will be included in your Teamwork section of your Account. As a team you can earn Level 1-4 bonuses.
Categories of stores you can shop at include: Grocery, online shopping, clothing, health & beauty, restaurants, travel, home and auto, entertainment, and much more. You can even Pay with iBotta.
With the Pay with iBotta feature, you can literally use the iBotta app to pay for purchases. The same way you would with Apple Pay, Google Pay, or PayPal. Just check the Pay with iBotta section to see which stores provide automatic cash back when you use the iBotta app to pay. You can sort from alphabetical order or by stores which provide the most cash back. You can also make a list of favorites so you can easily see how much cash back you can earn, or search by category when you're getting ready to make a purchase. Cash back can range from as low as half a percent up to as high as 10%. This is in addition to any cash back you can receive when you use their cash back offers for individual products, so don't forget to upload your receipts to receive the additional cash back.
However there is one downside to using the Pay with iBotta feature, and that is the fact that all purchases are final! You cannot return items and receive it back on your credit card, because technically your payment method is the iBotta App. So if you plan to use this feature, maybe using it for an item you know there is a potential for you to return is not a good idea. You may be able to receive store credit or a gift card at some retailers for items purchased using the Pay with iBotta feature. This return problem does not apply to the normal purchases you make with your actual credit card when you receive cash back from iBotta, just to the Pay with iBotta feature within the app. So if you actually physically swipe your card at the retailer, and just upload your receipt to iBotta for the individual cash back offers, then this rule does not apply.
Make a List, Check It Twice!
Despite all of the great options and ways to use the iBotta app to earn cash back, I don't always fully take advantage of these features. I'm more of a spontaneous shopper when it comes to groceries, and I don't always remember to check the app to activate the individual cash back offers. This is why I prefer the automated cash back apps, where I just receive credit automatically whenever I use my credit card. However if you take the time to check the iBotta App and activate these offers, you can earn a lot of cash back!
Do you use the iBotta App? If not be sure to use a link in this post to get started today! If you already use the app, let us know which store is your favorite, which store you get the most value from in combination with the iBotta app, and which stores you use the Pay with iBotta feature if you use it at all. Pretty much let us know your experience with this app!
AJ Mobile Money
Husband | Father | YouTuber | Former ATLien
Disclosure: Some of the links throughout my site are Affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase or sign up for certain accounts. Affiliate links help to run this site!