What would you do with an extra $3,000? That’s how much money I’ve made since I started using Ibotta to earn cash back on my grocery purchases.

I’ve been a member since May 2014 and have learned that maximizing cash back requires a strategy. Let me explain…

Ibotta review: Earn the most cash back on your grocery spending

Some people are missing out on cash back by not planning. They shop for groceries and then open up Ibotta after they’ve returned home to see if there are offers that match the purchases they just made.

If this is your Ibotta strategy, you may only redeem one offer a week and have 25 cents to show for it.

I’m writing this post to share my method to earn the most cash back with Ibotta. Follow these steps and you can easily make an extra $25 to $50 a month. Let’s get started…

Table of Contents

  1. Make a grocery list
  2. Open the Ibotta app and search for offers
  3. Check for bonus opportunities
  4. Go back to your grocery list and note Ibotta items
  5. Go to Fetch Rewards and look for matching offers
  6. Use Ibotta’s barcode scanner at the store
  7. Don’t forget your receipt
  8. Withdraw cash when you reach $20
  9. Refer your family and friends

1. Make a grocery list

My weekly grocery shopping starts with making a list. I’m not big on coupons (you can use them with Ibotta), but I do check my supermarket’s app for the weekly circular.

I write down the items I need before I check Ibotta so that I don’t add things to my list just because there’s a rebate or coupon.

2. Open the Ibotta app and search for offers

Next, go to Ibotta and click on “Find offers.” Once you select a participating store, you’ll see a long list of cash back offers. Start with these categories if you’re in a hurry:

  • Any Item
  • For You
  • What’s Hot
  • Best Value
"Find Offers" on Ibotta
“Find Offers” on Ibotta

When you find an offer that you like, click on the plus sign to add it to your account. Sometimes Ibotta will require you to complete a task like watching a short video or answering a poll question. Ibotta offers are updated on a daily basis, so check back frequently.

All of the offers that you add to your account will be saved under “Your List” to keep track of them.

3. Check for bonus opportunities

Once I identify the Ibotta items I want to buy, I check for bonus opportunities. Find these by clicking on “Earn more.” There are typically several ways to boost your earnings.

Here are some examples of bonus offers that I completed this month:

  • $2 for redeeming 5 offers
  • $3 for redeeming 7 offers
  • $5 for redeeming 10 offers

There are also multiple levels of teamwork bonuses that are like free money! The more that you and your team members use the app, the more cash back everyone gets.

Tap "Earn more" for Ibotta bonuses
Tap “Earn more” for Ibotta bonuses

4. Go back to your grocery list and note Ibotta items 

After I’ve added Ibotta offers to my account and checked for bonus opportunities, I go back to my original grocery list and simply mark “Ibotta” next to items that qualify for rebates.

If you have coupons (digital and/or paper) or if any of your Ibotta items are on sale, the savings will add up quickly!

5. Go to Fetch Rewards and look for matching offers

My final step before heading to the store is to check another grocery rebate app called Fetch Rewards. It usually has about two dozen “Special Offers” that may overlap with Ibotta rebates.

Fetch Rewards doesn’t make you unlock offers or scan any barcodes — just upload your receipt to earn rewards.

I’ve had Fetch Rewards since January 2018 and have already earned more than $500 in Amazon gift cards. Like Ibotta, the app typically has a sign-up bonus. Get the details here.

6. Use Ibotta’s barcode scanner at the store

Once you get to the grocery store and start adding items from Ibotta to your cart, open up the app and use the barcode scanner to make sure that they qualify.

If you pick up the wrong size or quantity, you won’t get the cash back. Don’t get burned!

Ibotta barcode scanner
Ibotta barcode scanner

7. Don’t forget your receipt

When the cashier asks if you want a receipt, always say yes! After you get home and unpack your groceries, immediately upload your receipt to Ibotta before you forget about it. You may also have to scan some barcodes.

Earnings are typically added to your account within a couple of hours, but it could take a couple of days. From my experience, it’s pretty quick.

Depending on where you shop for groceries, you may be able to link your loyalty card instead of uploading a receipt. Take advantage of this option if it’s available!

Take a picture of your receipt with your phone to get cash back with Ibotta
Take a picture of your receipt with your phone to get cash back

8. Withdraw cash when you reach $20 

Ibotta gives users multiple gift card redemption options after they reach $20, but I always take the cash.

I have my earnings transferred to a PayPal account so that I quickly move it to a savings account where my money can earn interest.

As of January 2020, Venmo is no longer an option. Your choices are PayPal or gift cards.

Lifetime Ibotta earnings of $3,000
Ibotta earnings (December 2019)

9. Refer your family and friends 

The Ibotta welcome bonus is $20 for every new member who redeems an offer. When you invite family and friends with your referral code, Ibotta will typically reward you with a few bucks.

I make more money every month because my Ibotta team is full of people who use the app — the top 30 people have earned from $201 to $1,340.


Fetch Rewards and Ibotta referral codes

Ibotta

  1. Use my referral link to sign up
  2. Download the Ibotta app and redeem an offer
  3. Collect your welcome bonus

Fetch Rewards

  1. Download the app: App Store (iOS) or Google Play (Android)
  2. Enter referral code MICHAEL
  3. Collect your 2,000 bonus points (sometimes 3,000 or 4,000)

Pay with Ibotta feature: What you need to know! 

Ibotta is heavily pushing its Pay with Ibotta feature to earn cash back on purchases from dozens of retailers.

With this feature, you add a credit or debit card to your Ibotta account, shop at 50+ retailers and pay through the Ibotta app to earn bonus cash back.

When I tried it, I got 1% cash back on my entire Whole Foods purchase — plus regular Ibotta earnings.

At the register, I just opened the Ibotta app, entered the total amount of my purchase and generated a gift card code for the cashier to scan.

Basically, you’re just buying a gift card through Ibotta for an exact amount and using it right away.

I don’t plan to use Pay with Ibotta again at Whole Foods because I gave up bonus cash back that I normally get from my credit card company when I buy groceries.

My American Express card gives 6% back at U.S. supermarkets, but I lost out on that. Why?

When you use Pay with Ibotta at a supermarket like Whole Foods, the store isn’t processing your transaction — Ibotta is. So my credit card company didn’t code it as a supermarket.

If you choose to use Pay with Ibotta, you’ve been warned that it may affect your credit card rewards.


Best credit cards

Best Credit Cards for Groceries

To determine the best credit card to use at the supermarket, I conducted a comparison based on $500 monthly grocery spending. The top card earns 6% cash back. See the results of my comparison here.


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