Is Ibotta Legit? 7 things you should know

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There are many apps out there that claim they pay. After trying a few, and being disappointed a couple of times, you probably would want to find out; “is Ibotta legit?”

Pin image of 'Is Ibotta legit?'

The stories about Ibotta are almost everywhere; the $20 sign-up claim and cashback on every shopping is almost too good to be true – I had to make my findings. 

Hang on a little bit to discover if Ibotta is legit and how you can make over a hundred dollars from shopping online.

*As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. This post may contain affiliate links from Amazon or other publishers I trust (at no extra cost to you). See disclosure for details.

What is Ibotta?

Ibotta is an app that pays you every time you shop. This platform allows you to shop at more than 100 retailers in the USA and pay you back for doing so. These retailers are either online or in-store retailers.

When this article was written, Ibotta received offers from more than 1,505 retailers, with more than 1,000 of them actively participating on the site. Also, the site has paid out cashback of $860M.

This app was created in 2012 by Bryan Leach and has employed more than 600 people. The headquarters of this company is in Denver, and during the first few years of launching, Ibotta made $76 million.

Photo of Ibotta's site. The question is 'Is Ibotta Legit? '

How Ibotta works

Ibotta pays you back for shopping from their partner retailers. However, this list of qualified retailers keeps changing.

Using Ibotta starts by signing up with the site. The sign-up is free, and you will be welcomed with a $20 bonus. After that, you will download the app and start earning from any of their methods. These are:

  1. Online shopping

You can shop with the Ibotta app and save money. To do this, you just need to open the app and click on online shopping, and start. 

Here, you will have a list of their currently available offers, and you will need to click the shop to buy from. Then you can start making your purchase like you would from an online store.

After completing the process, you will get the cashback in your account. 

  1. Earn in-store

For days that online shopping is not a part of the options, you can still earn money shopping from your favorite retailer. 

Ibotta partners with many stores, like Best Buy, Staples, Expedia, Dollar Tree, Walmart, as their retailers, and this answers the “is Ibotta legit?” question

To earn cash on Ibotta, you can open the app and go to find offers. Here, you can choose all the offers you need and add them to your account, and if you want to shop at Best Buy (for instance), you will pick the offers related to that brand.

After choosing the offers you want, you go to the local Best Buy store and shop. When you are done shopping, use the app’s camera and upload the receipt to earn. 

After uploading the receipt, Ibotta will cross-reference the offers you selected and the ones you finally got after completing your shopping. 

Photo of a lady shopping online

When the receipt marches the offer, you will choose the payment method of redeeming the cash and go on to getting your money.

  1. With your loyalty account

Another easy way to earn from Ibotta is by linking your Ibotta account to the loyalty cards you have with any of their partners.

Whenever you buy from their partner retailers (those that own the loyalty card), the cashier will scan the loyalty card, and Ibotta will get the information on the products you purchased.

Immediately, the cashback will be sent to your Ibotta account.

  1. Pay with Ibotta

You can save money by paying for your products with the ‘Pay with Ibotta’ feature. However, you can only use this payment feature with the Ibotta partner retailers.

With this feature, you can earn instant cash backs and discounts or save up to 10% of your purchase without using any coupons.

To use this feature, go to your Ibotta app, under the ‘Payments’ section, add your debit or credit card to your account. 

Then whenever you buy something, you can pay by displaying your Ibotta gift card code to the cashier at the store. After the cashier scans this code, you will pay for the products instantly and get cashback in your Ibotta account.

These features work well for people who frequently visit Olive Garden, Steak, Peet’s Coffee, amongst others.

Is Ibotta legit?

Yes, Ibotta is a legit app, and you can truly earn cash backs from them. You can visit the website or TrustPilot to read the reviews about this site.

On TrustPilot, Ibotta had a 4.8 out of 5-star rating. Even on the site, thousands of people claim to have earned hundreds of dollars from them. 

Photo of Ibotta's site. The question is 'Is Ibotta Legit? '

However, we do not know how long it took them to earn that much. 

But from what I noticed, I realized that it took many people about a year to make up to a few hundred dollars, and this does not sound so different from Ibotta’s statement where they mentioned that each earner might get an average of $25 per month.

How do I get to earn from Ibotta?

  • Sign up and get the bonus

This is like the first way to make money with Ibotta. So, you are asking, “is Ibotta legit?” you may want to find out for yourself by signing up.

The first $20 will be the best proof you can get. However, the money will only come in after signing up and installing the app.

How to sign up with Ibotta

When you click their sign-up link, a page will open for you to enter your first name, email address, date of birth, password, gender, and zip code. If you were referred, you could add the referral code to help the person earn some bonus.

You must be 21 years old or more to sign up for the Ibotta app. 

To get the signup bonus, you need to complete the signup process (which includes downloading the app) within 30 days.

Photo of Ibotta's site. The question is 'Is Ibotta Legit? '

However, you will sign up with a unique device. It could be an android, iOS, or desktop to get the bonus. This means that you will not get another bonus if you use another device to log into your account.

  • Refer people

Though you may not earn so much from referring people, you will get $5 after the person you referred signs up and redeems his first offer.

  • Go shopping

This is the most common way to make higher cash with Ibotta. You need to use the app the way the owners intended, and they will pay you for doing so.

You need to buy items through the app or directly with their partner retailers and follow the process I shared above to earn.

Though you can earn a substantial amount from shopping with Ibotta, avoid impulsive buying as the amount you will get will not be worth going off your budget.

  • Look out for bonuses

Ibotta comes up with different bonuses to boost your earnings, and you should always stay abreast with them. 

Some of these bonuses may be attached to buying a product alongside another or referring some friends at a certain period. Most likely, they come up at the end of the month.

How do I get paid with Ibotta?  

There are two ways to get paid from Ibotta:

  • Gift cards: you can choose to earn from any of the 57 redeemable gift card options from Ibotta, and you can use these gift cards to buy from most of their partners like Starbucks, Panera, Olive Garden, Buffalo Wild Wings, Amazon, Staples, etc. When you want to withdraw your cash from the Ibotta app, you can choose the gift card you wish to use, and within 24 hours, you will receive an email with a digital gift card.
  • Cash: you can get your money from Ibotta and add it to your bank account; you know how much it can help with this month’s bills. To do this, you need to link your PayPal or Venmo account to your Ibotta account and then transfer the money. Within a few minutes, you will get your money, cash.

Is it safe to use the Ibotta app?

Among the problems anyone can have using the Ibotta app, security is not one of them. Their app is safe to use, and it has received a B rating from the Better Business Bureau. Most of the questions that are gotten are “is Ibotta legit”? and more about qualifying for offers than significant data security breaches.

Photo of a woman shopping online with her card

The Ibotta Company has hired a lot of IT staff to work in-house to keep your data safe. They also achieve this by employing advanced security protocols like 256-bit data encryption.

However, you must know that the site sells your data to third parties. If you have been wondering how the site makes money, you have found the answer. 

But the problem is not with Ibotta; it is with these third parties because you cannot tell what they do with the details or how well they keep it safe. However, seeing that there have been no complaints about security breaches shows that even third-party sites are safe. 

You can prove this by reading the privacy policy of the Ibotta app (most of us don’t do that). You will see that Ibotta and their partners use your information to know the location of the places you visit and how often you visit them. They will send you notifications when you visit those places.

Also, they will use your information to offer you advertisements, and marketing solicitations through push notifications, text messages, emails, and other communication methods.

How to maximize your gains from Ibotta

  • Never buy more than you need

Maybe I should drum this in a bit more. No matter how desperately you want to earn from Ibotta, never buy what you do not need. There is no sense in purchasing a $50 product for $5 cashback.

  • Buy from a dollar store

You can get cheaper items from dollar stores, but there are certainly some differences in the prices between two dollar stores. However, you can get better offers and free products when you shop from Ibotta.

Photo of a woman shopping

Dollar Tree offers many rebates, and some of these rebates are $1. This means that you can get these products for free when shopping from Ibotta. 

So, if you want to make more profit, go to Ibotta and shop from a dollar store.

  • Look for the hidden offers

There are a few offers you can get from Ibotta that are not available on other apps. 

Some of them include getting a $10 cashback off getting a Sam’S Club membership. If you are to use the website directly, you will buy a new membership for $45, but with Ibotta, it will be $35.

Another mega one is the 50% off for getting an Amazon Student Prime account. This account helps students get free shipping, movies and music, and even free textbook rentals. 

  • Use promo codes

There are some benefits in reading some of the emails and notifications you get from Ibotta; they may contain promo codes to help you earn more from the site. 

You can also check for these promo codes on the site, and you may be amazed to find $20 cash backs when you buy from Amazon Prime, a $5 rebate for shopping on Walmart, and the rest.

  • Build a team

Unlike other cashback apps, Ibotta allows you to connect friends from your Facebook list to shop on Ibotta and become your teammates. 

You can also build a team by using your referral link. With this team, you can start working towards any bonus offer on Ibotta. 

You will earn $5 for referring a friend to Ibotta, but after referring 10 friends for $5 each, you will start earning $20 for referring three friends and $30 for another set of three friends, and $50 for 4 other friends.  

What are the cons of using Ibotta?

We have seen most of the benefits you can get from using Ibotta, but there are some untold truths about this app. Here are some of them.

  1. The site charges an inactivity fee

Maybe you did not know, but Ibotta will charge you a $3.99 inactivity fee if you do not use the app for a month. This charge will continue until there is not more cash left in your Ibotta account.

However, you will receive an email notifying you that it will be deducted.

Ibotta will not charge from any of the accounts you have linked to their site. So after your Ibotta account balance has reached zero, the site will stop charging the maintenance fee.

You can avoid this by redeeming one of your offers every six months.

Photo of Ibotta's site. The question is 'Is Ibotta Legit? '
  1. You only get to buy from major brands

Ibotta only partners with major brands to make the cashback possible. If there are some products you prefer from growing brands, you may want to buy them in your local store and earn nothing from Ibotta.

  1. The app will track your location when you are in the store

As included in their privacy policy, this app will track your location when you are at any of their partner retailers in-store. This information will help them know the exact places you visit and how often you get there. 

  1. Your receipts may be considered too old

If you want to earn with Ibotta, you need to be prompt about the processes. You need to snap and send the receipts of the items you bought from the store to redeem the applicable offers, and this must be done within 7 days.

After 7 days, the receipt will be considered too old, and you will lose all the applicable offers for that purchase.

Ibotta and other cashback apps

  • Ibotta vs Rakuten/Ebates

It is difficult to compare between Ibotta and Rakuten. They give different offers, but they both work well. 

Rakuten partners with more than 2,500 retailers and most of them are online with a few in-store. 

To earn from Rakuten, you need to choose your offer and link it to your bank card. You will pay through the card, and there will be no need to upload your receipts.

Though Ibotta offers a $20 sign-up bonus, Rakuten gives $10, but they have a $25 referral bonus instead of the $5 Ibotta gives for each friend you refer.

In summary, Ibotta has better store offers, and you can go for them if you want to buy from in-stores. But if you are more interested in online shops and referral bonuses, you can go for Rakuten.

Photo of Ibotta's site. The question is 'Is Ibotta Legit? '
  • Ibotta vs Dosh

The Dosh app is another cashback site like Ibotta, and though Ibotta has more deals and offers, Dosh seems to stand out with the simplicity of its processes. 

To earn with Ibotta, you need to find offers, buy them in-store or online, and then snap the receipt; if you forget to do so within 7 days, you lose the offer.

But Dosh only needs you to link your credit and debit card and use them to checkout. That is all; the money will come in after shopping.

Dosh partners with more than 1,000 restaurants and stores and offers you free money for patronizing their partner retailers.


Is Ibotta legit? Of course, you now know it is, but remember that it is not one of those apps that bring you money for just idling online. You have to be actively shopping.

Ibotta is a safe site, and you can make money by signing up, referring friends, and making purchases. 

Ibotta is worth it but be sure that you are not throwing $15 out the back door for $1.2 to smile in through the front. Shop responsibly! Also, check out these other legit apps that pay real money.

Lily & The DollarCreed Team

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