How to Use the Ibotta App to Get Free Cash


How to Use the Ibotta App and Get Free Cash

Remember getting the newspaper and clipping all the coupons each week? You do? Wow, you’re really old like me! Okay, just teasing you a bit, and actually clipping coupons isn’t really that old of a thing, in fact it’s taken quite awhile for online coupons to catch up which means a lot of us are still resorting to finding coupons the old ways, through paper form. Although there’s still not really a great way to use or get online coupons, rebates have improved a lot.

Now, with the right rebate app you do not have to make copies of receipts or barcodes anymore, nor do you have to mail them in just to wait months to see if your check for fifty cents ever comes in. We reviewed one such money saving app recently, a rebate app called Ibotta. We were impressed with it enough that we decided to write up a ‘how to use the Ibotta app’ article for those of you that are also impressed enough to give it a try, and look at that, you’re here in that article! Without further ado, here it is:  We tell you how to use it and a few other tips that will help you get the most cash back from this free app below. Enjoy!

How to Use The Ibotta App

Step 1 Download App: To find and get the rebates with the Ibotta app you first download it from iTunes or Google Play Store. You can register with your email or through Facebook. Once you’ve got the app you are ready to start choosing which products you wish to buy. You can choose by product or by store you’ll be shopping at.

download ibotta app

Step 2 Choose Product / Category: To get started choose a category (such as grocery, pharmacy, clothing) or choose a retailer (such as Walmart, Target, Walgreens). Next, you will click on ‘unlock rebates’ on each product that you want the rebate on. To unlock the rebate or cash reward you will have to perform a task, in most cases anyway.

ibotta app category

Step 3 Unlock Task: To find out what tasks you have to perform you will click the unlock button and on some it will unlock without any task, but for most you will have to either watch a video (a short commercial), read a few lines about the product, or answer a question about it by clicking on the appropriate response.

unlock task ibotta apptask ibotta

After you pick which rebates you want by unlocking them,  go shopping at the retailer you picked and purchase the items on your list. After you get home DON’T put away your items. You will need to first verify your purchases first and to do this you’ll need to scan each item.

How To Verify Purchases:

After getting your groceries home you’ll want to verify the purchases before putting them away, as we just mentioned above. Here’s how to do it:

Step 1: After you click on the ‘Verify Purchases’ icon at the bottom of your app, click on ‘Step 1.’  This step will lead you to a button: ‘Scan Product Barcode.’ A page will load that will show all the items that you had unlocked and chosen to add to your grocery list before shopping. Click ‘yes’ to allow access to your camera, and then scan each product’s barcode.

verify purchases ibotta

Step 2: Next, just click on ‘Step 2’ which leads you to taking a photo of the receipt that those products are on, and that’s it. You’re done.

Once you’ve verified your purchases by scanning them and submitting the receipt image you’re finished with the process and the app says that you will have your cash within 24-48 hours. We’ll tell you how you get your cash next.

Tip: Ibotta rebates are also available online through their website, however, to redeem the rebates, that is to actually get your cash back, you’ll still have to get the app. You can find your unlocked rebates on your phone or on your computer once logged into their site. I find that nice so that I can see them all on a bigger screen and take a screenshot or print it out if needed.

How to Get Your Cash from Ibotta

ibotta app giftcardsTo get your cash after using the app you can choose to receive it through a PayPal or Venmo account, or it can be put onto a gift card. They offer a lot of different gift cards including; Gap, Best Buy, Amazon and Starbucks. To determine how you get your payment go to your account settings in the app.


verify purchase ibotta app

There are a few other ways to earn money with the Ibotta app as well. Not all of them are perfect, such as sharing with your friends may not be something you want to do, but feel free to skip whatever you don’t like. 

Sharing with Friends: Wonder why your Facebook friends share the “I love Ibotta! Look what I saved! Click here to save too!” posts? You probably already guessed, and yes you’re right, they’re getting a kickback, err, I mean a bonus for being so kind as to share that post with you. Thought they did that out of the kindness of their own hearts? They did I’m sure, but it doesn’t hurt that your pal also gets a little extra cash from getting you to join their team, right? This amount and bonus can change, but at this time you get $5 when your friends join (and redeem a rebate), and they get $10. You can send it post your code on Facebook or Twitter, or you can text or email it to them.

Ibotta friends

Not everyone loves spamming their friends with these posts, and I am one of them, but I figure that as long as you are open about it by letting them know they’re going to get something too, then it’s not so bad. One of the downsides that we mention in our Ibotta review is that in addition to spamming your friends, is that the friends you share with have to use your special referral code AND redeem a rebate within two weeks of your sharing.  So you may have to harangue them a bit for the next two weeks if it’s really worth it to you to get them to join.

Link your store loyalty account: To earn cash back this way, you add your loyalty card to the app, as long as it’s one of their preferred partners that is. Through the use of your connected loyalty card you can also unlock any cash rewards on products at that particular retailer. This can be pretty beneficial since you wouldn’t have to carry around all your loyalty cards anymore either. 

Mobile in-app purchases: This way of earning money through this rebate app is by purchasing something that has a rebate directly through the Ibotta app. Some retailers that offer in-app purchases through them are Groupon,, Boxed, and Drizly. On the Ibotta website they show an example of purchasing a Groupon through their app and the user is immediately notified of a 5% cash back offer they received. This seems to be something still growing, but it looks promising. 

Cash Rocks


Saving money using coupons and rebates has been something many of us have done for years, but thankfully, due to technology, some of this process is becoming a lot easier for us to use. I was quite skeptical about Ibotta at first, I wasn’t thrilled at having to unlock each rebate, but I have come around since using the app a few times. It’s actually not that time consuming and the benefits definitely outweigh the inconveniences. There are a lot of other money saving apps out there to still review, like Checkout 51, but I am up for the task if you are so be sure to check back soon for that review and others coming out soon! Update: Here’s the Checkout 51 app review, definitely worth the read if you liked Ibotta!

Use the Ibotta app or other money saving or cash back apps? Which is your favorite, which do you hate, or which would you like for us to review for you? Let us know the answer to any of that or anything else below!

About The Author
Kimberly Shalda Carver
Kimberly Carver writes for multiple websites, mostly in the technology niche. She also enjoys gardening with her husband and is now busy writing a book.