How Does Ibotta Work: 17 Hacks to Make More Money

(Last Updated On: March 6, 2019)

How does Ibotta work? Really well, it turns out! I was a skeptic for years but I finally installed the app in September 2018. Within about a month, I’d earned over $400! Now, I’m a believer – and I firmly recommend Ibotta to everyone! It’s an easy way to put extra cash back in your pocket.

If you’ve never used Ibotta before, click here to sign up. If you redeem your offer within a certain period of time, you’ll also get a Welcome Bonus!

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There are many hacks you can use to maximize your Ibotta revenue.

Most users miss out on potential Ibotta revenue because they don’t fully understand how the service works. Statistically, the average Ibotta user earns about $20 per month on this service. However, there are some tips and techniques you can use that can help you earn so much more!

Of course, the first thing you need to do is click here to sign up for the Ibotta service. Then, continue reading this post to learn how to make the most from your rewarded shopping experience!

Start every shopping trip with Ibotta.

For many shoppers, the Ibotta app is an afterthought to their usual shopping. However, if you make a major shift in your shopping habits and start every shopping experience with Ibotta, you will get significantly more cash back than the average user.

1. Plan your shopping list in advance.

If you’re trying to save money, then you’re probably already using a grocery list to make sure you avoid costly impulse buys at the store. This list actually makes it even easier to use the app to get cash back!

It’s easy to check your grocery list against Ibotta’s existing offers! Simply search for the brand and types of items that you’ll be buying. Add any relevant offers to your account so that you can redeem them after your shopping trip.

You can prove that you purchased the items in three ways: you can scan a printed receipt, you can link a store loyalty card or you can initiate the online purchase through the Ibotta app. Click here for details on that.

2. Shop online with Ibotta, too!

If you are going to shop online, don’t start with the retailer’s app or website! Always open the Ibotta app first to check for relevant offers. You can follow the steps in this article to ensure that you get credit for your mobile shopping purchases.

You can actually do the shopping on your desktop or laptop computer, if that’s easier for you. However, before you checkout, you will need to open the Ibotta app and click over to the retailer. Complete the checkout on your phone so that you get cash back credit for your purchases!

3. Use the scanner while you shop to confirm your offers.

Be sure that the items you are buying qualify for your offers by scanning the bar codes while you shop! This will prevent nasty surprises later if certain items didn’t actually qualify for the offers.

4. Save your receipts and double-check everything.

You have up to seven days to submit your receipts to Ibotta. If there aren’t any compelling deals for the items you need to buy, wait a few days and see if something better appears!

Other Ibotta users recommend checking on Thursdays because that is when the most new rebates tend to appear.

5. Use Ibotta for more than just grocery purchases!

If you’re only using this app to get cash rewards for your food purchases, then you’re wrong. Ibotta can be used to earn money on clothing, beauty, wellness, crafts, travel, electronics and even restaurant purchases! That’s why it’s important to always start your shopping trip with Ibotta – you’ll be surprised what you can make money on!

Pay attention to the bonus offers!

You can earn a lot of money from bonuses! In my experiences, the bonuses are far more lucrative than the actual offers you redeem.

6. Make sure you get your Ibotta Welcome Bonus!

If you’re a new customer, then you can get a Welcome Bonus just for signing up and redeeming your first qualifying offer! It’s so easy but it’s important to pay attention to the fine print.

First, you must be a brand new user to Ibotta. You cannot have an an existing account.

Second, you must use a device that has never had another Ibotta account on it. If you have previously used the app on your device, or you’re trying to share someone else’s device, then you won’t be able to get the $10 welcome bonus.

Third, you must redeem a qualifying offer within a certain time frame (usually 30 days). You can do this with a printed receipt, a loyalty card or an online purchase. You only need to redeem one offer to start. It’s easy!

7. Always check for bonuses.

Bonuses are awarded in addition to your regular rebate amounts. At the time of this writing, the following bonuses are available:

  • $1 bonus if you redeem 3 Non-GMO offers
  • $5 bonus if you redeem 5 offers before the”Monster Cash Bonus” expires
  • $2 bonus if you redeem 10 offers before the “Dracula Dough Bonus” expires

You can easily find the available bonuses in your app by scrolling to the “Earn Extra Cash” subheading.

8. Strategize your purchases to get those bonuses.

If you check the bonus section before you go, you can divide your purchases into separate transactions so that you can qualify for the bonuses. For example, buying three Non-GMO offers in separate transactions could help you earn that extra $1 bonus.

If you’re trying to get a bonus, be sure to read the fine print. You may be able to get those bonuses for free or cheap if you plan ahead. Consider the following example:

Ibotta has a 50 cent rebate for individual yogurt containers. There are no size or variety requirements. There is also a 50 cent bonus if you redeem three yogurt purchases.

If I buy three of the large, $3 containers I usually buy, I’m going to spend $9. I’ll get $1.50 in rebates and $0.50 for a bonus. Overall, I spent $7.

If I buy three of the small, $1 containers, I’m going to spend $3. I’ll get $1.50 in rebates and $0.50 for a bonus. Overall, I spent $1.

Get to know the rebates really well. 

The better you understand the way the rebates work, the better you will be able to optimize your Ibotta revenue. There are several tips and tricks that can help you maximize the return on your offers.

9. Do the math and you might get products free (or cheaper)!

Effective shopping with Ibotta may be different than your usual shopping methods. It may require a different type of thinking. For example, there are seven people in my family. I usually buy large containers and I usually shop in bulk. By default, I grab the largest possible container. However, you may be able to save money and get free products if you use the rebates to purchase smaller containers. Always do the math because the extra savings might surprise you!

10. Watch for recurring rebates!

Some offers come back again and again. In fact, most of the offers I’ve used have been repeats of my favorites.

You can often find clues about recurring rebates in the bonus offers. For example, if there’s a bonus for redeeming three identical yogurt offers, then you can be confident that you’ll be able to redeem that offer again and again. Some users recommend breaking up purchases of the same item into separate receipts so that you can redeem the offer again right away.

11. Stack rebates for even more savings!

My favorite offers are the “Any Item” and “Any Brand” deals. These can be stacked with other offers for specific items and brands! Combining these deals can help you get even more cash back.

12. Watch for external coupons and in-store sales that correspond with your offers!

Sometimes, you’ll see Ibotta offers for items that are already on sale or have coupons in the paper. You can stack the coupon, sale price and cashback offer for triple savings!

13. Always check for freebies! In some cases, you could actually make money from buying certain offers!

With careful planning, I’ve heard that many people are able to get their items completely free! This can happen when you carefully stack rebates and bonuses on cheap products. It can also happen when you shop at very low-cost retailers.

For example, you can redeem offers on Ibotta when you shop at the Dollar Tree! As of this writing, there are more than 60 offers available for the Dollar Tree.

Some of these include:

  • $2 back when you buy two KIND Protein Bars
  • $1 back on Pace Chunky Texas Salsa
  • $1 back on Simply Heinz Ketchup
  • $1 back on Bonne Maman Intense Fruit Spread
  • and more!

There are over a dozen items that will cost you absolutely nothing at Dollar Tree when you buy them and claim the corresponding offers on Ibotta. Some of the items offer even more than $1 back, which means you could actually profit from buying these items at Dollar Tree!

Work with your team for even better deals.

Teams make Ibotta even more lucrative than ever! You can work toward specific targeted goals with your teammates. Each goal has a personal goal and a team goal that has to be met in order for you to get that specific bonus.

14. Build your Ibotta Team to make Teamwork bonuses easier to get.

As of this writing, my team has 604 people in it. The person with the highest lifetime earnings is Ashli, who has earned $2,274.50 using the Ibotta app. It is so easy to make these team goals when you have a large active team using the app! You can join my team by signing up with this link.

Your team consists of the person who referred you to Ibotta, the people you have referred and any Ibotta users in your Facebook friends list. You can build your Ibotta team by adding new Facebook friends, so check out our Facebook group for a list of people who are interested in building their teams!

15. Make it a goal to earn all four team bonuses every month.

Currently, there are four Teamwork levels that can be redeemed every single month. When the new month starts, the Teamwork levels are completely reset and everyone starts back at Level One.

The four Teamwork Levels are:

Level One

The team must earn $10 by redeeming offers. You must redeem 10 offers yourself. Any Brand, Any Item and repeatedly redeeming the same offer do not count toward this requirement.

Level Two

You must redeem 15 qualifying offers and your team must earn $15 total.

Level Three

You must redeem 20 qualifying offers and your team must earn $20 total.

Level Four

You must redeem 25 qualifying offers and your team must earn $25 total.

16. Always redeem enough offers to get those bonuses!

Obviously, you have to be actively participating on Ibotta in order to earn these bonuses. It is completely possible for your teammates to earn all the bonuses for Level Four but for you to miss out because you didn’t redeem enough offers.

If you are having a hard time meeting these minimum purchases, I recommend shopping at Dollar Tree. As I’ve mentioned elsewhere in this post, you can get items for free with rebates at Dollar Tree. Sometimes, you’ll even make more in rebates than you spent to purchase the item!

Pay attention to your Ibotta emails.

It’s easy to ignore the emails from Ibotta… but you might be missing out on valuable details that could literally put extra money in your pocket.

17. Keep an eye out for promo codes!

Sometimes, you’ll find promo codes in Ibotta’s emails, notifications and social media pages. Past promo codes have been redeemed for offers worth $5 – $20! It’s easy money so be sure to pay attention.

Ibotta is a great resource for low income families!

With this service, you can get cash back on your EBT and WIC purchases! That’s why we’ve included it in our list of three legal ways you can get cash back from food stamps.

Save more money and get free stuff here!



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