Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Ibotta love

Every once in a while, I'll post on Facebook inviting people to join Ibotta (pronounced "I bought a"), with a screenshot of my current earnings.  Want to earn money by grocery shopping too?  Join my team!  https://ibotta.com/r/ksxicjj

Typical PMs I get in response:

- How have you earned that much?
- I've downloaded Ibotta and it's confusing.
- Is that real money?

The goal of this post is to simplify Ibotta and give you tips, so you can start earning or increase your earnings!

The Basics - Getting Started with Ibotta

  • If you don't already have Ibotta, please use my referral link to sign up: https://ibotta.com/r/ksxicjj
  • The Ibotta app is available for free in the Google Play store, or Apple App store.
  • Finding retailers: In the app, under Find Offers, you will be able to search for realtors.  To make things easier for future shopping trips, search for the places that you typically shop, and add them to My Favorites.
  • Finding and adding offers: Within each realtor, you can find rebates.  Touch the logo of the store you'll be shopping at.  To add a rebate to your account, click the + sign - it will turn into a check mark once it's added.  In order to read the rebate details (product size specifications, number of items you need to purchase, limitations on variety), touch the picture of the product.  Some rebates are store-specific, others are available at multiple stores (and you only have to add it to your account once).
  • See what offers you've added to your account: When you initially open a retailer page, at the bottom it will say Your List.  If you touch the Your List text, you'll see the offers that you have added to your account for that retailer.
  • Shop: Keep your receipt - you'll need it to redeem the rebates you've just earned!  When you're shopping, you can validate the product barcode through the details page in case you're concerned it may not be an exact match.  If you're hunting for a bonus, I recommend buying at least one extra rebate item in case you didn't read the product details close enough.
  • Redeem: When you get home, go to the Redeem page in the App and select your retailer to upload your receipt.  Depending on the retailer, you may only need to scan the receipt's QR code (Walmart, for the win!), or you may need to photograph your entire receipt and then scan the barcodes of items that match your rebates.  Rebates are validated by Ibotta and your earnings will be deposited in your account shortly.
  • Cash out: When you've reached $20.00+ in earnings, you can withdraw cash.  Go to the Account page in your account, and select Withdraw Cash.  Funds can be withdrawn as giftcards (some companies will give you extra money for selecting their gift card), or as cash (Paypal, Venmo).

Tips - How to Earn More!

  1. Use Ibotta for every trip to the store!  If you forget to check Ibotta before you shop, take a look when you get home to see if any offers match.  You will at least be able to upload your receipt and earn the "Any Item" credit!
  2. Stock up!  When there's a rebate on something that you buy all the time - fill your pantry/linen closet.  There was a month where Cottonelle and Kleenex had rebates every week - neither of these get stale, so my closets are stacked high.  We also have weeks of cereal in our pantry.
  3. (Not a strategy that I often get to do, but) make multiple trips to the store!  Multiple purchases of the same item on one receipt do not count toward item-counts for bonuses, but rebates generally repopulate in your gallery within 48 hours.  So if you're hunting for a bonus but have a limited number of offers that work for you, use each rebate multiple times!  Note, you cannot submit the same receipt more than once (even if you bought multiple of one item but submitted for only one of that item and the rebate is back in your gallery), your account will be locked.
  4. Be flexible about your brands!  To me, paper towels are paper towels.  I'm willing to try any brand as long as the cost is comparable.  Similarly frozen lunches for work - if there's a rebate, I'll try something new.
  5. Build your team!  The "Level" bonuses count your progress and that of your teammates, so a bigger team means more bonuses.  Join my team!  https://ibotta.com/r/ksxicjj  If you already have Ibotta, friend me on Facebook (and make sure your Facebook is linked to your account).  If we don't know each other in real life, PM me to let me know that the friend request is to grow your Ibotta footprint :-)
  6. Use Pay with Ibotta!  Ibotta has a partnership with several retailers where if you pay through the Ibotta app, you'll get a percentage back.  It's easy - at checkout you input the total into Ibotta and the app purchases a gift card for the exact amount.  You present the QR code/e-gift card for the cashier to scan, and your purchase is complete!  Some current rates: 2% back at Home Depot (no limit!!), 1% back at Walmart
  7. Use Ibotta when you shop online!  If you launch the shopping app (like Amazon) from Ibotta, you'll get a percentage back on your purchase.  Amazon has 1-5% back, depending on the category of your purchase.  Note, these funds do take a few weeks to show in your account.
  8. Stack your bonuses!  Most weeks, I won't "bonus hunt" (buying items just to hit a bonus).  The exception is, if there are bonuses that can be stacked, and I'm close to the item quantity based on things that are already on my grocery list.  For example, on this recent trip:
    • The "Scarecrow" bonus required 14 redeemed rebates to earn $5.
    • The "Weekend Warrior" bonus required 12 redeemed rebates to earn $1.
    • The "October Level 1" bonus required 15 redeemed rebates to earn $.50.  I already had 1 qualifying rebate, so only needed 14 more offers.
    • 9 items on my grocery list matched rebates.  So by adding 5 other offers (and filling my pantry), I could earn an extra $6.50.
    • My Ibotta haul (not pictured: Sunsweet Prunes - one of my kids favorites):
    • My earnings:
      • $19.15 in item rebates:
        • $0.20 Any Item
        • $0.25 Any Brand laundry item
        • $3.98 Sweet Earth frozen lunch
        • $3.75 Mott's Applesauce pouches
        • $0.75 Sunbelt Bakery granola bars
        • $0.75 Sunsweet prunes
        • $0.50 Townhouse crackers
        • $1.00 Barilla pasta
        • $0.50 Krusteaz muffin mix
        • $1.00 Food Network meal kit
        • $0.50 Hillshire Farms lil smokies
        • $1.22 Chobani Yogurt
        • $1.00 Lysol wipes
        • $1.00 Carbona color grabbers
        • $1.00 Love Home and Planet cleaner spray
        • $0.50 Softsoap handsoap refill
        • $1.25 Sparkle paper towels
      • + $6.50 in bonuses
      • + $1.42 pay with Ibotta cash back
      • $27.07!

Other Tips
  • Ibotta is not a bank.  I used to keep my earnings there until I wanted to cash them out for a gift card.  But if Ibotta were to go out of business and your money is still sitting there, you'd lose it.  Because of that I now cash out to Paypal anytime I reach the $20 minimum.

If there's anything else you'd like learn about Ibotta, let me know!