Scam or Not: Not a Scam
Overall Ranking: 8/10
What is Ibotta?
Ibotta is an extremely popular app that allows you to make money while you are shopping.
Well, more specifically, the app lets you save money. Essentially, the app acts a little bit like couponing, where you are getting a discount on products. However, instead of just buying items at a lower price, you earn the difference via the Ibotta app.
The money you earn can be cashed out in the form of a PayPal payment or a few other ways.
You can earn money back on grocery items and on a range of other purchases. The app also features some fairly well-known brands and products.
Currently, Ibotta is available for more than 300 different companies across the United States.
Additionally, many of the items that you can get money for are things that you might buy regularly.
These aspects alone can make the app appealing for some people.
At the same time, not all of the offers are branded. This means that in some cases you can get cash back on purchases regardless of which brand you choose.
How Does Ibotta Work?
The basic idea is that Ibotta offers you a range of digital coupons, which are tailored to you. So, as you use more of them, the deals you get shown are more likely to be relevant.
To use Ibotta, you select the deals you want before you go shopping. Afterward, you take a photograph of your receipt, which is used to verify your purchases.
There are also some other ways to earn.
For example, some loyalty accounts can be linked to the app, which makes the entire process simple. However, with those retailers you have to use loyalty cards, submitting receipts instead isn’t an option.
Finally, you can also earn some money by getting cash back on purchases made within specific apps, like Groupon.
Now, there are more terms and conditions associated with getting cash back from app purchases, so it’s important to pay close attention to all of the requirements.
For example, you have to launch any app you shop from within Ibotta. Likewise, you have to be careful with multiple purchases.
Regardless of the specific approach you take within the app, the general idea is simply that you are earning money back from your purchases. The process is simple enough and its’ easy to see how the app would be appealing to many people.
Finally, there are various bonuses that you can earn. These include bonuses for buying specific products or completing tasks.
These areas may not be a good option for everybody but they do make the process of earning money a little more interesting.
There is also a great video about how the app works, which I’ve embedded below.
There is also a referrals component of Ibotta. This aspect gives you the chance to earn some money by referring other people.
However, some Ibotta reviews note that the referrals don’t always credit correctly. In some cases, people never received payment for people that they referred.
So, this can be a way to earn money but it doesn’t always seem to work as advertised.
Ibotta Reviews and Complaints
For the most part, Ibotta reviews tend to be fairly positive. For example, the average rating on Google Play is a little over 4 stars.
Likewise, the ratings are high in the iTunes Store.
Many individual reviews are overwhelmingly positive and people tend to find that the app works well for earning cash back.
Still, despite the mostly positive Ibotta reviews, some people have noticed issues.
For example, there are sometimes problems with rebates actually going through correctly.
And there are other examples of bugs as well.
Additionally, the app does seem to be tailored more towards some people than others.
For example, some groups of people may find many different offers that are relevant to them, while others may find relatively few. As one reviewer noted, there is no shortage of coupons for alcohol and entertaining, while there are fewer offers for some other areas.
This is obvious when looking at the company’s screenshots too, as there are many more offers in the alcohol section than anywhere else.
Some members also note that there isn’t a large amount of brand variety.
That aspect may be frustrating but it does make sense. After all, Ibotta provides the various offers as the result of relationships with companies. As such, it wouldn’t be possible to provide rebates for every brand out there.
Benefits and Advantages
The first advantage of Ibotta is simply that it works. This is evident in many different Ibotta reviews and it’s clear that members are able to effectively earn money and withdraw what they get.
The digital nature of the app is also beneficial.
In particular, some people can’t save money with coupons because they may not have the ability to print coupons out. This app provides a good way around that. Likewise, the process is easier than having to manage a large number of physical coupons.
Another advantage is that the system is different than manufacturer coupons.
This means that, in many cases, you can use a coupon on the same purchase and save even more money. That practice is particularly powerful as the ability to stack coupons has dramatically decreased over time.
In a similar way, the offers are still valid even when the items you buy are on sales or clearance. This means that if you’re lucky and plan well, you can end up saving a lot.
For example, one site highlighted one time when this happened.
This means that you do have more potential to save than with couponing alone.
Finally, you do start off with $10 bonus if you sign up via a referral link. Finding a link is easy as many people regularly post their referral codes online.
Issues with Ibotta
Some Ibotta reviews do note that the app doesn’t always work like it is supposed to, which can be a problem.
Likewise, the brand selection isn’t always the best.
This may mean that the app is a good option for people who often buy the specific brands the app is promoting. But, if you don’t, then the app may be mostly a waste of time.
Additionally, the app does have a fairly high payout threshold. In particular, you need to hit $20 in your account before you can cash out. That’s fairly high, especially when you might only be averaging less than $1 in rebates per shopping trip (depending on your habits).
Indeed, various Ibotta reviews suggest that the average may be around one withdrawal per month, although the exact pattern varies between people.
So, you’re not earning money exceptionally fast but you are still making some.
Is Ibotta a Scam?
There can be no doubt that Ibotta works and it works well. Based on this alone, the app certainly isn’t a scam.
Indeed, Ibotta reviews tend to be overwhelmingly positive.
Can You Make Money With Ibotta?
Ibotta works but it isn’t necessarily a great way to make money.
After all, the entire concept is just that you spend less, which isn’t quite the same thing as earning money directly.
Now, if you were to use the app effectively, then you would save money. In a way, you might say that this means you’re making money – especially if you don’t increase your spending in any way.
But, that’s the major catch here. You only save money if your spending habits remain unchanged.
That mightn’t be the case. This is an underlying challenge with couponing and anything else that gives you cash back.
Basically, if you’re getting money back or a discount, you may be more likely to buy a specific item. As a result, you can easily end up spending more because of the app than you actually save.
If you’re very careful with your shopping and monitor your behavior, then you may be okay. Indeed, the issue affects some people more than others.
So, if you tend towards impulse purchases, Ibotta may end up being a bad choice. However, if you don’t, the app could save you some money.
My Personal Ibotta Review
How you view Ibotta really comes down to what you want.
For one thing, the app does exactly what it claims to do and most Ibotta reviews suggest that it works well. So, as an alternative or an addition to couponing, the app could be a good choice.
But, it isn’t a way to make money.
At best, you’re saving a little bit on purchases that you would make anyway. There isn’t anything wrong with that pattern, providing that it’s what you want.
On the other hand, the app is horrible for actually making money. After all, you have to actively spend money to earn anything. And, as I mentioned before, it’s very easy to end up spending more than you save.
Realistically, apps are never a great choice for actually making money. At best, you would earn a little bit but the time involved is often significant as well.
An alternative is the idea of starting your own business online. This approach allows you to earn more money and also has greater long-term potential.
One key way of doing this is a process called affiliate marketing.
With this, you have the chance to develop a business that you can then grow over time. For some people, this approach even leads to full-time income.
Affiliate marketing has some similarities to simply selling products but there are key differences as well. In particular, you end up promoting items, which means that you don’t have to worry about customer service or any type of shopping cart.
Instead, you end up developing a website where you can help people and talk about areas that interest you.
To learn more about this area, please check out my Wealthy Affiliate review. That site is where I personally learned how to make money online and where countless others have as well.
Wealthy Affiliate also offers an amazing community where people support one another. That aspect alone makes the site a great choice and well worth looking into.