What is the ibotta app Reviews, a Scam or Legit Cash Back Opportunity?

Immerse yourself in the world of savvy spending with Ibotta, a versatile cashback platform that turns your everyday purchases into rewarding opportunities. With an expansive network of participating retailers, from grocery stores to online boutiques, this intuitive application allows you to amass savings while shopping in-store or online. Ibotta transcends the realm of conventional cashback apps, offering an array of enticing deals on everything from travel and pet supplies to home and auto deals. With an easy-to-use interface and no need to link your bank or credit cards, this innovative platform offers an uncomplicated way to optimize your spending and earn rewards. Discover the art of smart shopping with Ibotta, and let your shopping spree become a rewarding journey.

History of ibotta

Ibotta, a mobile technology company, was introduced to the world in 2012 by Bryan Leach. Since its inception, the platform has evolved to partner with over 1,500 brands and retailers to offer users a variety of ways to earn cashback. The platform has thrived, paying out over $1 billion to more than 35 million users since it was first established​.

The concept of Ibotta originated from the vision of its founder, Bryan Leach, who desired to bring coupons into the digital age. Rather than traditional paper coupons, Leach wanted to offer a platform that could provide digital offers that could be accessed right from a user's smartphone. This idea was the seed that eventually grew into the cashback app known today as Ibotta​​.

Ibotta started with a simple premise: provide users with a way to earn cash back on their everyday purchases. Over the years, it has expanded the ways in which users can earn rewards. Originally, the app focused primarily on grocery shopping, but it has since branched out into other areas, including clothing, electronics, and even travel. Some of the popular partner retailers include Whole Foods, Kroger, Target, Walmart, Instacart, Old Navy, American Eagle, and Uber​​.

The company has shown a strong commitment to its user base. It's not only about providing a platform for saving money but also about giving users a seamless and enjoyable experience. This commitment is reflected in the user ratings for the app, which are 4.8 and 4.4 on the Apple app store and Google Play store respectively​​.

Despite its success, Ibotta has also faced challenges. Some users have complained about account deactivations and difficulties in redeeming earnings. However, the company has made efforts to resolve these issues, as reflected in its accredited status and B rating with the Better Business Bureau​​.

It's also worth mentioning that Ibotta has expanded its features to include cash back on gift card purchases. Currently, over 120 retailers offer gift cards for sale within the app, allowing users another way to earn cash back.

How Ibotta Works

Ibotta is a user-friendly cash-back system that enables its users to earn returns from their shopping activities, both in physical stores and online. Here's how the process works:

Step 1: Setting up the platform

To start enjoying the benefits of Ibotta, the initial step involves creating an account and downloading the application on your mobile device. This operation is uncomplicated and user-friendly. Once the setup is complete, you're ready to start saving with Ibotta.

Step 2: Exploring offers

Inside the app, you'll come across a wide array of specific deals from over 300 retailers, tailored to your shopping preferences. When you spot an appealing deal, all you have to do is press the ‘plus' button to add it to your list of selected offers. Each offer comes with a detailed description, including any exclusions, how often you can claim it, whether it qualifies for additional bonuses, and its expiration date and time.

Step 3: Earning rewards

The next phase is all about shopping and earning your rewards. If you're shopping in a brick-and-mortar store, you'll need to snap a photo of your receipt after making a purchase and upload it to the app within seven days. Alternatively, some retailers allow you to connect your store loyalty card to the Ibotta app, eliminating the need to upload a receipt.

For online shopping, Ibotta has a separate section dedicated to online offers. Upon choosing an offer you'd like to claim, you'll click on the “Shop” button. The app will then direct you to the retailer's website within the app interface. You won't need to provide a receipt for online purchases; just ensure that you don't leave the app interface while shopping to guarantee your rewards.

Moreover, Ibotta offers an opportunity to earn cash back on gift card purchases from over 120 retailers. Each retailer outlines the cash back offer on gift card purchases. Most often, you can expect to earn around 5% for most gift card purchases. Note that these gift cards are virtual.

Step 4: Redeeming your rewards

Once your cash back earnings reach $20, you can request a payout. If you prefer, you can exchange your earnings for gift cards from popular retailers. Alternatively, you have the choice to transfer your earnings to your bank account, PayPal, or Venmo.

In essence, Ibotta is a convenient and free app that can help you earn extra money from your regular purchases. It's a great addition to your suite of personal finance tools and can lead to significant savings over time.

Earning Opportunities

Ibotta offers a multitude of avenues to augment your earnings, thereby enriching your shopping experience. These diverse earning opportunities include:

  1. In-Store Shopping: Ibotta enhances the traditional in-store shopping experience by introducing a cashback feature. By linking your loyalty account from a specific store, scanning receipts after a shopping trip, or acquiring gift cards for future use, you can accumulate rewards. Ibotta even offers a functionality to notify you about new offers in your vicinity, ensuring you never miss a money-saving opportunity​.
  2. Online Shopping: Not confined to physical stores, Ibotta extends its cashback rewards to the digital realm. For online shopping enthusiasts, Ibotta allows you to earn back a portion of your spending. Within the app, you can explore a separate section dedicated to online offers. Once you find an offer that piques your interest, simply click the “Shop” button. This action will transport you to the brand's website within the app screen, making sure you capture your rewards​​.
  3. Gift Card Purchases: Ibotta provides an added incentive to buy gift cards. Currently, the platform includes over 120 retailers that offer gift cards within the app. Each retailer specifies how much cash back they offer on gift card purchases, with a typical rate being around 5%. These gift cards are virtual, adding a layer of convenience and security​.
  4. Referrals and Bonuses: Ibotta encourages its users to bring their friends and family into the fold by offering referral bonuses. Additionally, Ibotta runs periodic bonus programs where you can earn extra rewards by redeeming a certain number of offers within a given timeframe​​.
  5. Brand-specific Offers: Inside the Ibotta app, you'll discover a plethora of store-specific offers. These offers contain detailed information such as product exclusions, the frequency of redemption, whether the offer qualifies for any bonuses, and the expiration date and time. The cash back you earn with Ibotta largely depends on the offers you redeem. The rewards rates are variable, starting from as low as $0.10 and going up to $3.00 or even more​​.

By leveraging these various earning opportunities, users can maximize their savings and make the most out of their shopping endeavors.

Reward Redemption

  1. Payout Initiation: Once you've amassed enough rewards in your account, specifically a minimum of $20, the process of initiating a payout can begin. This could be likened to starting the withdrawal process from your digital wallet.
  2. Earnings Conversion: This phrase refers to the transformation of your accumulated cash back into a form you can use. This could be in the form of gift cards or actual money transferred to your bank account or digital payment apps like PayPal and Venmo.
  3. Benefit Cashing: This term reflects the action of taking out the benefits you've earned through your diligent shopping.
  4. Gains Exchange: This is another way to describe the process of swapping your cash back gains into a more spendable form, be it gift cards or cash.
  5. Profit Extraction: This phrase emphasizes the process of extracting your profits from the app and into a format that you can utilize.
  6. Rewards Disbursement: This phrase refers to the distribution of rewards to your preferred outlet, be it gift cards for popular retailers or a direct deposit to your bank account or digital payment platforms.
  7. Incentives Claiming: This refers to the process where you claim the incentives you have earned through the shopping you've done using the app.
  8. Bonus Realization: This describes the moment when the bonuses you've accrued through the platform become real, tangible value in the form of gift cards or cash.
  9. Loyalty Points Liquidation: This suggests the conversion of loyalty points or cash back into liquid assets, such as money or gift cards.
  10. Dividend Reclamation: This term signifies the act of reclaiming your dividends from the app in a form that suits your needs, like gift cards or direct transfers to your bank or digital wallets.

Each of these terms refers to the same process: converting the rewards you've earned through Ibotta into a form you can use, whether that's gift cards or cash transferred to your chosen outlet.

Pros and Cons of ibotta


The primary upside of using Ibotta is its cost-free registration and operation, making it a feasible option for a broad spectrum of consumers.

  • Incentives: The platform offers the chance to amass rewards from regular shopping activities, serving as an extra incentive or bonus.
  • User-friendliness: Many patrons value the intuitive and uncomplicated design of the app, marking it as a hassle-free addition to their shopping regimen.
  • Data Security: A noteworthy advantage is the lack of necessity to connect your banking or credit card information to Ibotta, offering peace of mind for those who prefer to maintain their financial data confidential.
  • Diverse Retail Partners: The application features an extensive array of associated merchants, granting it flexibility for varied shopping requirements.


A significant disadvantage is that users are required to secure deals prior to purchase, necessitating some degree of pre-planning and foresight.

  • Restrictions: Cashback options are only accessible for certain items, which could narrow down the range of possible savings.
  • Payout Minimum: A prerequisite of $20 in rewards is necessary before you can redeem them, which might hinder those who shop infrequently or tend to spend less.
  • Non-Compatibility: There are certain loyalty programs that may not be compatible with the Ibotta application, which could be a downside for individuals who heavily rely on these accounts for their purchases.
  • Account Suspension: There have been reports of account suspension and inability to redeem earlier earnings. However, it seems that many of these issues occur when users breach the app's usage guidelines.

In essence, while Ibotta showcases numerous substantial advantages, it is also crucial to consider its potential drawbacks. Like any tool, its usefulness will depend on how closely it resonates with your personal shopping patterns and inclinations.

is ibotta a Scam or Legit?

In assessing the credibility of Ibotta, it's beneficial to look at various factors. According to data displayed on Ibotta's website, it's clear they've disbursed over $1 billion to over 35 million users since the company's inception in 2012. The platform provides more than 1,500 deals at over 1,000 retailers. This substantial distribution of rewards and the wide range of participating retailers provide a strong indication of legitimacy.

In addition, the company's profile on the Better Business Bureau (BBB), a reputable source for evaluating businesses, reveals that Ibotta is accredited with a B rating. Although there have been over 700 complaints in the last three years, all of these issues have been addressed and resolved to the satisfaction of the users who filed them. The most common complaint, however, revolves around deactivated accounts and an inability to redeem previous earnings, but according to Ibotta's responses on the BBB, this usually occurs when the Terms of Use are violated by creating multiple accounts with the same user information.

Moreover, the app has high ratings on both the Apple app store (4.8) and the Google Play store (4.4), with a combined total of 1.7 million reviews and more than 10 million installations on the Play store alone. These high ratings, the vast number of reviews, and the significant number of installations all underscore the app's trustworthiness.

While no app is perfect, the overall evidence strongly suggests that Ibotta is a legitimate company and a safe platform to use for earning cashback on purchases. It aligns with other popular apps in its category and stands out as a reliable and trusted tool for savvy shoppers.

ibotta alternatives

Venturing into the expansive universe of cash-back apps, one might quickly realize the multitude of alternatives to Ibotta. With the rapid evolution of digital platforms, the market teems with a plethora of applications, each offering unique features and rewards structures that cater to diverse consumer preferences. This dynamic landscape invites an exploration of some noteworthy competitors to Ibotta, illuminating the potential for savings beyond the familiar.

    1. Rakuten (formerly known as Ebates) is a cashback and shopping rewards platform similar to Ibotta. The service offers cashback for purchases made at over 2,500 stores when you start your shopping through the Rakuten website or app. Rakuten also offers a $10 welcome bonus for new users.
    2. Swagbucks serves as a viable alternative to Ibotta, offering cash back on shopping, while also incentivizing users for engaging in other tasks like participating in surveys, browsing the internet, and viewing videos. Swagbucks dispenses rewards in the form of “SB points” that can be exchanged for gift cards or cash through PayPal.
    3. TopCashback is a portal that provides users with cash back for their online shopping endeavors. It boasts competitive cashback rates, and users can retrieve their cashback perks via bank transfer, PayPal, or gift cards.
    4. Dosh is a mobile app that connects with your credit or debit card and rewards you with cash back for transactions made at participating retailers and eateries. The cashback process is automatic, eliminating the need for receipt uploads or pre-shopping offer activation.
    5. Checkout 51 is an additional cashback application with a focus on grocery items. Users can earn cashback on specific purchases by snapping a picture of their receipt and uploading it to the application.
    6. Fetch Rewards is a cashback application akin to Ibotta with an emphasis on grocery shopping. Users scan their grocery receipts to accumulate points, which can subsequently be exchanged for gift cards.
    7. Honey is a browser extension that automatically applies coupon codes at checkout when you're shopping online. In addition to helping you save money, Honey also offers cashback on purchases at certain retailers.
    8. Starfish Perks, a novel addition to the cash-rebate app sphere, is swiftly garnering interest and praise for its pioneering strategy towards customer savings. Previously recognized as “Life's Super App,” the application has experienced a triumphant transformation, re-emerging as “Starfish Perks” with an invigorated emphasis on improving the user interface.
    9. The Temu app, a comprehensive digital bazaar, features a vast assortment of goods, from apparel to artisanal crafts and beauty essentials​. Acclaimed as the premier gratis shopping app as of mid-2023, it boasts a stellar 4.7-star rating based on nearly half a million reviews​.

Patrons commend its broad range of budget-friendly offerings and swift delivery, though some yearn for enhanced features like wishlists and more precise search tools

In the bustling marketplace of cash-back apps, the alternatives to Ibotta offer compelling opportunities for discerning savers. Each platform, with its distinctive advantages and potential drawbacks, caters to a specific set of needs and shopping habits. Whether it's the convenience of automatic cash-back offered by Dosh, the broad selection of online stores provided by Rakuten, or the innovative consumer-centric approach of Starfish Perks, the right app for you hinges on your personal shopping style and savings goals. While Ibotta remains a reliable and popular choice, these alternatives underscore the vast possibilities in the realm of digital savings. Ultimately, it's a dynamic world of options, and the savvy shopper would do well to explore them all.

Summarizing Final Thoughts

Reflecting upon our comprehensive exploration of Ibotta and its alternatives, we are presented with a rich mosaic of digital savings options. Each cash-back app, distinguished by its own unique attributes and operational nuances, caters to different facets of consumer behavior and financial goals. From Ibotta's well-established model, providing a wealth of retailer affiliations and user-friendly interfaces, to the innovative approach of Starfish Perks which is rapidly emerging as a contender in the sphere of consumer savings, we've observed a wide spectrum of possibilities. Simultaneously, we've considered the advantages and limitations of each platform, providing a balanced perspective that can guide decision-making.

We also examined the legitimacy of these platforms, with Ibotta's credibility backed by millions of satisfied users and a high rating on various app stores, while the newer Starfish Perks is already garnering positive attention in its nascent stages.

Moreover, we delved into the intricacies of reward redemption across these platforms, highlighting their diverse payout methods and reward thresholds.

All in all, our journey through the landscape of cash-back applications illuminates the multiplicity of ways in which savvy consumers can optimize their shopping experiences. While Ibotta remains a reliable choice for many, the breadth of its alternatives underscores the dynamic and user-centric nature of this domain. The final takeaway is a testament to the exciting potential of these platforms to revolutionize the way we approach everyday shopping and savings.

Leave a Comment