Earn Cash With ibotta Just For Shopping

Forget coupons. If you’ve ever gone through the checkout line at the grocery store or other market and been dismayed at the grand total flashing across the register, you are going to be excited about ibotta, an app that rewards you for buying certain brands and products: with cold, hard cash.

OK, maybe more like digital cash, but it’s still deposited directly into your PayPal account, from which you could then turn it into, yep, cold hard cash. The service is completely simple and free to use. Sound like an offer you can’t refuse? Click “more” and I’ll give you the details.

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Get Started

To use ibotta, you can sign in with Facebook, Google or email. After you make a decision there, getting started is a snap.

The main screen displays your Offers, which appear as though they’re sitting upon a wooden shelf. Swipe through them to see all the products currently included in Offers and how much you can earn from them. The latest Offers will feature New ribbons beside them, while any offers that are down to their last few days will feature Expiring ribbons.

Signing up for ibotta is easy and grants you access to offers that you can earn cash back on.

Signing up for ibotta is easy and grants you access to offers that you can earn cash back on.

Before your shopping trip, select all the Offers that interest you. The more you choose, the more cash you’ll earn. Tap “Earn $X.XX” (which displays the total possible amount you can earn) to see what specific offers are available and how much each is worth.

For example, $0.25 might be earned for each of three tasks: reading a recipe, answering a poll question and watching a video. If you complete all three tasks, you could earn a total of $0.75. This figure will appear in your Pending total, which appears in the bottom left of your screen and keeps a running total of all your Pending offers.

Get Shopping

The next step, of course, is to go shopping at one of the retailers partnered with ibotta. (And to not forget to purchase all the products associated with the ibotta offers you selected.) You can view a list of all the retailers in your area by tapping Redeem in the lower right corner at any time. To make sure the product you’re buying is the same featured in the app, you can navigate to the product in ibotta and then use the barcode scanner in the upper right.

View offers in your area according to the category. Earn cash for completing offers and purchasing products.

View offers in your area according to the category. Earn cash for completing offers and purchasing products.

After you’ve made your purchases, save your receipt. You’ll need to take a photo of it to show you completed all your selected Offers and get your cash. Tap Redeem in the lower right corner and select the retailer you just shopped with. This will bring up the camera function on your iPhone.

The ibotta team has some instructions for making sure you get this step right. Make sure you capture the full receipt, including the total. (For long receipts, you can use the Add Section button to take multiple photos.) The image should be focused, well-lit and product codes should be clearly legible. Tip: This whole process works best if the receipt is flat and unwrinkled.

Tap the store you shopped at, then take and submit a photo of your complete receipt.

Tap the store you shopped at, then take and submit a photo of your complete receipt.

Get Paid

Following submission of your receipt, ibotta will verify your purchases and credit your account within 24 hours. Note that this isn’t enough to get your hands on your money, though. You still have to link your ibotta account to a PayPal account.

To access your earnings, choose Withdraw Cash from the main menu, then click the plus sign. Now you’ll be able to link ibotta to your existing PayPal account or sign up for a PayPal account. (You can choose to sign up for a PayPal account either in the app or at Paypal.com, whichever you prefer.)

Additional ways of earning cash include taking advantage of special store offers and bonus offers.

Additional ways of earning cash include taking advantage of special store offers and bonus offers.

From now on, ibotta will deposit earnings directly into your PayPal account every time you reach at least $5 in earnings. From there you can transfer the funds to your bank account, send them to other PayPal users or load them onto a debit card.

You can also earn cash by referring friends. Money you earn is transferred from your ibotta account to the PayPal account you link.

Earn cash by referring friends. Money you earn is transferred from your ibotta account to the PayPal account you link.

Those are just the basics. You can get even more out of ibotta by exploring the main menu. View special offers categorized by store, plus bonuses you can achieve (for example, redeeming a certain number of items on a single receipt). And on your Checklist, you can view all the offers you’ve selected, making for a convenient shopping list with all your items in one place.

Wrap-Up

I like ibotta. There are an impressive number of offers included in the app — and they’re for things I already buy or would actually consider buying.

Yes, I realize that the app is essentially a coupon program, but it’s a convenient one. Instead of tearing out coupons (that could easily get torn or wrinkled or lost) and then handing them over at the register so I don’t have to part with more of my money, with ibotta I spend the money upfront and receive a delayed discount when the funds are dumped into my PayPal account. I’m OK with that, since the alternative involves keeping track of a stack of coupons.

So far the offers I’ve redeemed have been speedily verified, although I still have a few more cents to go before I hit the $5 threshold. Judging by how well the experience has gone thus far, though, I have no reason to doubt that they PayPal portion won’t work just as easily.


Summary

Turn shopper rewards, rebates, coupons, savings and discounts on popular brands and products into instant cash via your mobile device.

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