I use Ibotta every time I go shopping. When I use it, I like to get the most out of it. That is, I wanna get the best bang for my buck.
Sure, I can get 50 cents or maybe a dollar or two back on products just by using Ibotta in it’s most simple way. It’s really easy to do.
That’s not good enough for me, though. Not when there are ways to save money on the products I’m buying or, better yet, get even more money back by changing how I use Ibotta.
Note: This post contains affiliate links.
Before I go any further, I want to make sure you know what Ibotta is.
Ibotta is a rebate app you can use on your phone. Basically, you buy products at the store and Ibotta gives you money back for your purchases. It’s a pretty awesome app and I’m approaching $550 in lifetime earnings right now.
If you didn’t already know about it and are curious, you can read my more detailed review here.
Simply using Ibotta to get money back here and there on items you purchase is great and all, but why not maximize your earnings and savings? Below are seven different ways you can get the most out of Ibotta!
Get some teammates
What are teammates and why are they important?
Teammates are friends you have who also use Ibotta. They are important because they can be an immense help in completing certain bonuses.
You see, some of the bonuses (including the monthly level bonuses) require you not only redeem a certain number of rebates, but they also require you earn a certain amount of money through rebates prior to completing the bonus.
For example, right now I have the “March Level 3” bonus over 50% complete. It requires I not only redeem 15 offers but that my team earns $20.
This would be very difficult to achieve by myself with just 15 offers, but my teammates have me covered. My team had reached the $20 required to advance on the first week of the month.
How do you gain teammates? It’s pretty simple.
The first, and coolest, way is to have friends or family members who aren’t currently using Ibotta sign up using your referral code (which can be found in the account tab of your app). Why is this the coolest way to build your team? Because both of you get extra money!
They get $10, you get $5. It’s awesome for both of you!
The second way to build your team is by adding other users.
This works through Facebook. You can’t add people from your phone’s contact list or search for people in the app by name. You have to be friends with them on Facebook.
Your Ibotta-using Facebook friends are added to your team automatically.
Take the bonuses seriously
Bonuses can be great ways to make extra cash.
In the account section of your Ibotta app, you’ll see a button that says “Bonuses”.
Inside this bonus page, you should find a whole bunch of bonuses. These bonuses usually entail you redeem a certain amount of rebates within a certain timeframe or redeem two or three specific rebates. In return, Ibotta rewards you with extra money!
The amount you are given when completing a bonus varies, but it is usually anywhere between $0.25 and $5.
And, as I said earlier, having teammates can help you out a lot.
Check the expiration dates
Once upon a time, offers expired on some random day at midnight. It made things easy. I never went shopping that late, so I never had to worry about rebates expiring while I was in the store.
These days, offers expire at a random time on some random day. That means you can lose a rebate while you’re at the store buying the item you need.
For example, right now I have a rebate for $1.50 off a bag of Totino’s Pizza Rolls. It expires in 6 days at 12:15 pm. I have another rebate for $1.25 off a tub of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream that expires today at 9:09 am.
When I go shopping, I try to go between 9 am & noon. That means there’s a good chance I could be in the store purchasing these things when they expire.
It’s happened to me before and I was honestly irate. I realized it was my fault, though, and ever since then, I’ve double checked the expiration date and time prior to stepping foot into the store.
Use other apps, too
It isn’t all of the time, but now and then you can find rebates for the same product on both apps. Obviously, this increases your savings!
I also highly recommend using Walmart Savings Catcher everytime you purchase items at Walmart. I get the most cash back from the savings catcher when redeeming Ibotta rebates.
Check store sales
I know, this seems like a no-brainer. Not everyone does it, though!
I can’t say I blame those who don’t. It’s definitely boring and could be kind of time-consuming if you have a lot of stores around you.
Honestly, I’m not the best about this. Some weeks I keep up with the store sales, others I don’t. Most of the time I just sort of get lucky and find out the item I wanted to buy just so happens to be on sale after I’ve already entered the store.
Actually searching for the best deal on an item, though, is obviously the best choice if your goal is to save the most money possible.
Start clipping (or printing) coupons
Talk about boring!
I hate coupons. That’s the main reason I enjoy Ibotta so much. There’s no coupon clipping required. I can look at and unlock all the rebates I want to use on my next shopping trip in a matter of minutes.
That being said, if I stumble across a coupon for an item I have a rebate for in Ibotta, I always use it.
Sometimes, when I’m feeling super motivated or something, I will actually search for coupons that match up with my rebates. I don’t do it nearly as often as I should, but now and then it happens.
It’s sorta like working out. I dread doing it. Then I force myself to get it over with. Afterward, I’m so glad I did it and can’t help but be proud of myself!
Join a Facebook group
There are Facebook groups that can help you immensely (check out this one: Ibotta Friends & Bonuses).
Not only can they help you build your team, but they are also always talking about Ibotta. From explaining bonuses to sharing the best tips to maximize your savings while using Ibotta.
I’ve been an Ibotta user for a few years now and my favorite thing about these groups is that they help me get the best deals possible.
Members share info on where to find coupons (or rebates in other apps) that help you save even more when purchasing an item to redeem on Ibotta.
They’ll even share “money makers” (when the item price is less than what the rebate pays you) and “freebies” (when the item price is equal to the rebate’s value) whenever they show up in Ibotta. It takes a lot of the guesswork out of choosing rebates.
Cash out ASAP
It hasn’t happened to every user, but there are rumors going around that Ibotta has, in past months, shut down people’s accounts claiming misuse.
While I don’t know if people have actually been misusing the app, the money these people had stashed in their account disappeared along with the account itself.
I don’t assume you’ll be misusing Ibotta, but accidents and mix-ups happen all the time. Better to be safe than sorry. Cash out as soon as you reach the $20 minimum!
Do you use Ibotta? What’s your favorite tip? I’d love to hear it!