Home Tech Ibotta Review: Earn Cash by Taking Photos of Your Receipts

Ibotta Review: Earn Cash by Taking Photos of Your Receipts

by Alex Musk

Ibotta is a popular cashback app that pays rebates on items from certain vendors. Every time you make a purchase, information is collected through receipts and/or barcode scans, and your refunds are dLet’s be realistic. Sometimes shopping can be expensive. Fortunately, Ibotta helps alleviate this problem by giving you cash back on more than 2,000 different products.

Originally designed to pay you just for scanning grocery receipts, the Ibotta app now pays you to shop online, scan receipts from any store, and link your loyalty card.

In this Ibotta review, we are going to cover the following:

  • How Ibotta works
  • All the ways to earn cash
  • Estimated rate per hour of earnings with Ibotta
  • Apps like Ibotta
  • If it is a scam or legit
  • Whether it’s worth your time or not

The best part? You get a $10 Bonus when you scan your first receipt. Let us begin.

What is Ibotta?

We can no longer honestly claim that Ibotta is simply a receipt scanning app. Its features have been greatly expanded, and there are now many different ways you can earn cash:

  • Take a photo of your receipt
  • Link a loyalty card
  • In-app mobile purchases
  • refer friends
  • Teamwork
  • Additional cash back bonuses

We will cover each of these topics in more depth below. Every time you complete one of these tasks above , you will earn a certain amount of cash in your Ibotta account.

Once your balance reaches a minimum of $20, you can withdraw a gift card of your choice or direct deposit to your PayPal or Venmo account.

The reason Ibotta is willing to pay you is because they collect the information from your receipts and purchases as market research. They sell this data to companies so they can improve their products, services and prices.

Instead of keeping all this money for themselves, they give some of it back to you in the form of a cash back.

Please note that all receipt data is kept completely anonymous. In other words, if your name is on the receipt, there is no way anyone can trace the purchases back to you.

This app is available for iOS and Android devices. Registration is 100% free.

Pros and Cons of Ibotta

Here’s a quick list of Ibotta’s pros and cons.


  • 100% free to sign up – never join a rewards app that asks for payment information
  • No need to clip coupons
  • Earn Cash Back Scan Receipts
  • $10 bonus after you scan your first receipt
  • Earn money for referring a friend
  • Excellent customer service
  • Many payment options
  • *NEW* – earn cash when shopping online


  • You only have 1 week to scan your receipt from the date of purchase
  • $20 minimum withdrawal bonus
  • Not available through all retailers
  • You can spend more money just to get rebates

Honestly, we couldn’t find many cons with the Ibotta app. If you have some you’d like to share, let us know in the comments below.

We are going to cover how each feature works with the Ibotta app and how much you can earn.

receipt scanning

How does receipt scanning work with Ibotta?

The main way you can make money using Ibotta is by taking photos of your receipt from your smartphone. While you were originally only able to earn cash on groceries, they have expanded into other categories.

You can now earn cash back on products like electronics, alcohol, prescriptions, restaurant meals, clothing, etc.

In fact, the wide variety of items to earn cash with Ibotta means you almost always have to check the app after a purchase just to see if there’s a cash back opportunity.

In order to get cash back by scanning a receipt, Ibotta needs to have a matching offer in your app on a specific product. Not only that, but you have to buy it from a specific retailer as well.

For example, you can get $1 cash on an Energizer battery pack at Fred Meyer. To get cash back, the receipt must be from Fred Meyer and the batteries must be listed on the receipt.

Although your purchase must be purchased from a specific store, they often have the same offer for multiple stores. You shouldn’t have to worry about not being able to find your offer. At the time of this writing, they have 274 supported stores .

The best part about Ibotta is that many times the offers are generic . This means that it doesn’t matter which brand you buy. I can often find that I can get a cash back on any brand of milk or yogurt, for example.

Sometimes Ibotta will give you cash back for any receipt. You claim this as an offer, and you can usually only do this once per retailer.

How much can I earn by scanning receipts?

Scanning receipts is probably the best way to earn cash with Ibotta. It’s fast, easy and convenient. I often take a photo right after my purchase.

Once you take a photo, you must allow up to 24-48 hours before the cash refund is posted to your account. If you wait longer than this, please contact the Ibotta support team.

We’ve found that you can earn anywhere from $.25 cents to $5 in cash back per offer. If you want to go above the $5 threshold, you can have multiple offers per receipt.

You can get cash back on 3, 4 or 5 different items per receipt. There is no limit to the number of offers you can claim at one time. Please note that each receipt can only be used once.

How to take a photo of a receipt

There are a few things we want to point out when taking a photo of a receipt through Ibotta. If he does things wrong, he may not get the cash back he deserves.

  • Activate the offer . You must add a refund to your list to receive credit for it. This is especially important if you want to claim more than one offer per receipt, as you’ll need to activate both.
  • Answer some questions . Typically, before unlocking a deal, you’ll be asked to answer 1-2 questions about your shopping experience. This usually takes a short period of time (10 – 20 seconds). Sometimes this can include a short video, and sometimes you don’t have to do anything at all.
  • Take a photo of the entire receipt. There are certain data points that Ibotta needs to collect from your receipt. To avoid missing any information, we suggest simply taking a photo of the whole thing. Have an extra long receipt? It is not a problem. Ibotta allows you to take multiple photos of the receipt until you can fit it all into the app.

We will cover all of this more in detail in the tutorial process below.

Is it worth it to scan receipts with Ibotta?

Here are the 3 basic things you need to do when earning cash with receipts with Ibotta:

  1. Find and activate your offer.
  2. Answer one or two basic questions. This takes maybe 10 – 20 seconds.
  3. Scan your receipt.

All told, this takes between one and two minutes and you’re making between $.25 and $5 per scan. At this rate, we estimate that you can earn approximately a rate of $15/hour .

Keep in mind that while you’re earning at this rate, it doesn’t mean you can use Ibotta to replace your full-time job. There are not enough offers for you to do so.

This is a pretty good amount for such a simple task, and for that reason we definitely say scanning receipts with the Ibotta app to see if it’s worth it .

You may not feel like you’re gaining this much because you’re doing it so gradually. You earn cash with a receipt, wait a while before your next purchase, and then earn again.

You may be able to increase this amount if you consistently purchase higher priced items. However, to be on the safe side, we can honestly say that at a rate of $15 per hour it is a safe bet.

What are some quick examples of cash back offers through Ibotta?

Here are some photos to get you started on what kind of cash back offers Ibotta offers.

Link a loyalty card

How do loyalty cards work with Ibotta?

Linking a loyalty is just one of the methods of scanning receipts through Ibotta. Instead of having to take a photo of the receipt, you’ll be prompted to link your loyalty card if you have one.

When you go to the checkout counter, scan your loyalty card and Ibotta will do the rest. There is no need to scan a receipt as all the information they need will be collected electronically.

All the other things we mentioned in the receipt scanning section apply here. In short, the only difference is that you don’t have to take a photo.

In-app mobile purchases

How does mobile in-app purchases work with Ibotta?

This is another popular feature with Ibotta that allows you to earn cash online. When you shop through one of Ibotta’s partner retailers through the app, a certain percentage of your total purchase price is returned to you.

The reason Ibotta is able to do this is because they earn a small commission when you make a purchase. Instead of keeping this for themselves, they pay most of it back to you in cash.

The nice thing about this feature is that it doesn’t matter . What you buy, since Ibotta only looks at the total purchase price. Please note that there may be some exceptions.

For example, the purchase of gift cards from retailers is not eligible for cash back. If this is found in your purchase, you will not be rewarded with a cash back, even if you have other eligible offers.

How to earn with mobile in-app purchases

You can find these deals in the app by clicking the Find Rebates tab at the bottom and then clicking “Mobile Purchases.”

Click on any of the retailers to be redirected to the retailer’s home page or app (if you don’t have the app, you’ll be prompted to download it.

Make your purchase online, and Ibotta automatically tracks what you buy. Within approximately 10 days, you should receive a cash refund in your account.

Again, if you discover that your cash back has not been credited or is in the wrong amount, please contact Ibotta support.

Important things to note with in-app purchases

Here are a few things to keep in mind with in-app purchases through Ibotta.

  • Make the purchase immediately. When you click on a retailer in the app and are redirected, make the purchase in that same session. If you close it and come back, you may not receive credit.
  • Gift cards may not count . It will say in the fine print what you’re eligible for, but chances are the only item not eligible for cash back is gift cards. If you purchase a gift card along with another item, you should receive a cash refund for the other item. However, sometimes this does not always work. This is something to keep in mind.
  • Cash back rates may change or expire . Some in-app purchase offers may expire or change. We have seen Ibotta return cash back to Groupon between 8% and 10%. Rates are more likely to increase during the holidays.
  • You don’t have to do anything . That’s right, Ibotta does it all. They track your purchases with cookie technology. All you have to do is make the transaction and wait up to 10 days to receive your cash back.

Is it worth shopping with mobile in-app purchases through Ibotta?

You might be thinking, “What a great deal!” With mobile in-app purchases, it costs you nothing and you essentially get free cash back in return for shopping through Ibotta first.

While this is a lot, it may not look great compared to other available cash back options .

This Ibotta feature is nowhere unique and has been around for a while through shopping portal websites and apps. Not to go into too much detail, a great example is the TopCashback mobile app.

Just like Ibotta, at TopCashback you can search for a retailer of your choice and earn cash back. They earn a commission and return most or all of it to you. They have a desktop version and a mobile app.

However the fees with these shopping portals tend to be higher than with Ibotta. Let’s take a look at some examples. First is booking.com.

TopCashback gives you 6% cash back when you shop online at Booking.com while Ibotta only gives you 4%.

We can see from the image above that TopCashback gives you 6% cash back. Ibotta only gives you 4%. Let’s look at one more example, Gap.com.

TopCashback gives you 10% cash back when you shop online at Gap.com while Ibotta only gives you 5%.

Once again, TopCashback earns 10% on cash back through Gap with Ibotta only 5%.

Note that these rates can change, but in general I generally find that TopCashback wins. However, this is not to say that Ibotta fails in this area.

Compared to other shopping portals, Ibotta does a much better job. It’s just that TopCashback has some of the highest cash back rates out there.

You can check out our list of the 10 best portals to make a comparison for yourself.

Refer a friend with Ibotta

How does refer a friend work with Ibotta?

Refer a friend with Ibotta has to be one of the most powerful ways to earn money. You get extra money, your friend gets extra money, and you both join a “team” (more on that below).

To receive a referral, your friend must sign up using your promo code. The best part of their referral program? There is no limit to the number of people you can refer.

When your friend uses a promotion or bonus code, you both get a sign-up bonus. If you don’t use a promotion or bonus code when signing up, unfortunately you don’t get anything extra.

How much can I earn by referring a friend?

When a friend signs up using your referral link or promo code, you earn a $5 bonus and your friend earns a $10 bonus when they scan their first receipt.

Please note that if no referral link or promotional code is used, no one receives a bonus.

You can find this promotional code in the app by clicking on “Account” and then pressing “Invite Friends”. You will have the option to create links and also the option to have your friend type in the referral code.

Ibotta often has referral bonuses. For the month of September, they are giving you a bonus of $20 for two referrals, $50 for the next 5, and $100 for every 10. There is no limit to the number of referrals.

Is the referral program worth it?

Definitely. All you have to do is share your link. Not only that, but Ibotta is so simple to use and useful for a wide range of people.

For this reason, you can recommend the app to basically anyone , giving you more chances to earn bonuses.


What is teamwork with ibotta?

When you refer a friend or use a referral link to sign up through Ibotta, you become part of that person’s “team.” When you complete tasks in a team, you have the potential to earn bonuses.

For example, you can earn a bonus when you and 5 other team members scan at least one receipt in the month of September.

How much can I earn through Ibotta Teamwork?

Using the example above (5 team members plus one receipt in a month), you can earn a $2 bonus on your account.

For bonuses like this, you basically don’t have to do any extra work if you’re already scanning receipts with Ibotta.

To find out how much you can earn, you can view teamwork bonuses by going to “Account” and then clicking on “Teamwork”. The more people you have on your team, the more likely you are to win.

That’s why referring a friend doesn’t just stop at the sign-up bonus.

Ibotta will reward you only for reaching certain goals on your own, with or without equipment. These bonuses are used to encourage you to keep going and continue using the app.

You can find these bonuses by logging in, going to the home screen and clicking on “See all bonuses”. You may be surprised to find that you have already completed some without your knowledge.

How much can I earn through Ibotta bonuses?

The amount you can win depends on the bonus. For example, when you redeem any 2 offer by scanning a receipt, you earn a $2 Bonus .

The best part? You don’t have to activate anything to do it. All you have to do is continue using the app as you normally would.

Another great example is spending $200 getting a $15 cash back bonus. When you spend $200 or more on your fall fashion category, you get cash back typically plus an additional $15.

Things to keep in mind with ibotta bonuses

Here are some things to keep in mind with Ibotta bonuses.

  • They usually have an expiration date . Most of the time you will have 30 days to complete a bonus.
  • You do not have to activate bonuses . All you have to do is use the app as you normally would. If you activate a bonus, you get paid more. The bonuses are there or they encourage you to buy more or be more active in the app.
  • There is a great variety . Sometimes all you have to do is redeem 2 rebates of a certain brand for a quick $.25 cents. This is a great way to earn extra money while you shop.

How can I get started with Ibotta?

Getting started with Ibotta is incredibly simple. However, to make sure you don’t miss a thing, we’ll walk you through the process in detail.

  1. Sign up .

You can sign up for Ibotta for FREE by clicking this link here. Receive a $10 Bonus after scanning your first receipt. You can sign up via email or Facebook .

Redeem receipts.There are many ways to earn cash with Ibotta, but let’s start with receipt scanning. Click on the “Find Refunds” tab at the bottom of the app.

Browse through their list of rebates or use the search bar to find a particular offer.

Right now I have the option to earn cash back on groceries, mobile purchases, alcohol, dr*gst*re, clothing, beauty and wellness, specialty items, restaurants, convenience, crafts and gifts, electronics, and travel.

Please note that the product offer must match a specific retailer and each offer may have an expiration date.

Once you activate your offer, click “Redeem” at the bottom of the app and take a photo of the entire receipt. Also make sure it is on a flat surface so it is legible.

With certain retailers, all you have to do is scan your loyalty card instead of taking a photo, and then make the purchase at checkout to be automatically rewarded.

  1. Buy online.

Earn cash through online purchases. Go to “Find Refunds” and then click on “Mobile Purchases”. Expect to earn between 1% and 10% when you shop at one of their partner retailers.

All purchases are automatically tracked, so there is no action required on your part. As of now I have over 50 different online cash back offers:

  • Walmart – 2% cash back
  • Walgreens – 3% cash back
  • Groupon – 10% cash back
  • Target – 3.5% cash back
  • Plus!
  1. Refer your friends.

Refer your friends to earn additional cash back. For each friend you refer, you get a $5 bonus and your friend a $10 bonus when your friend scans your first receipt.

There is no limit to the number of referrals, and they often have bonuses for referring more than one person. For example, this month they are giving an extra $20 for every 2 friends you refer.

You can find your referral link and referral code by clicking on the “Account” tab and then clicking on “Invite Friends”. A great way to spread the word about your link is through Facebook or Twitter.

  1. Withdrawal.

When you reach a minimum of $20 in your account, you can withdraw a gift card of your choice or direct deposit to PayPal or Venmo.

Please note that you may be required to verify your phone number prior to making a withdrawal.

What are some other apps like Ibotta?

Just because you’re making money scanning receipts with Ibotta doesn’t mean you have to stop there. Here are some of my other favorite receipt scanning apps that are similar to Ibotta.

  1. Shopkick

Shopkick makes my #1 pick on the list of apps like Ibotta because of its versatility. You can earn cash by taking photos of receipts, shopping online, scanning in-store barcodes, and simply walking into certain retailers.

Shopkick rewards you in points in the form of kicks, and you receive a bonus of 250 Kicks when you register as a new user.

My favorite feature with this app is definitely the walk-in feature. Just turn on your bluetooth and Shopkick will reward you when they detect you’ve entered a certain retailer, no shopping, no scanning.

You can redeem your kicks when you reach a minimum of $5 in your account for cool gift cards or cash prizes.

Read our full Shopkick review

  1. Earn rewards

Fetch Rewards is fairly new to the receipt scanning app scene, but they are doing a great job so far. They start with a $1.50 Signup Bonus when you sign up using promo code HH3MN .

The best thing I enjoy about Fetch Rewards is that compared to many other receipt scanning apps, the amount of cash back you can earn is actually quite high.

For example, earn $3 cash back when you buy a 24 or 30 pack of Miller Lite. Get $1.50 cash with any Breyers Delights ice cream.

Every time you scan a receipt, you earn a certain number of points. These points can be exchanged for a gift card of your choice, and you need a minimum of $3 to withdraw.

Read our full Fetch Rewards review

  1. BerryCart

BerryCart is the outlier when it comes to receipt scanning apps. Instead of getting cash back on everyday groceries, earn cash back on rare ones.

Earn cash back when you shop for gluten-free, organic, dairy-free, non-GMO, and other health-specific products. This app is ideal for health freaks looking to stay fit.

The best part about BerryCart is that since the products they have listed are so hard to find, they even have the option to search for that product in stores near you.

Earn a $2 Bonus when you sign up with promo code 7xYw14Jb and scan your first receipt. You need a minimum of $5 to charge PayPal.

Looking for more apps like Ibotta? Then check out these 11 apps like Ibotta that pay you to scan your grocery receipt.

You can stack these apps to increase your earnings

While you can’t use the same receipt in the same receipt scanner app, you do use the same receipt for multiple apps .

Let’s say you can earn $.25 cents off a gallon of milk at Ibotta and Fetch Rewards. Scan the receipt at Ibotta and then do the same scan with Fetch Rewards.

With this method, you have just doubled your cash back earnings to a total of $.50 cents. Cross scanning is definitely the best way to increase your cash back earnings.

What do other Ibotta reviews have to say?

Just because we say that Ibotta is a great rewards app doesn’t mean you have to take our word for it. Here are some other Ibotta reviews.

  • We at Gigonway claim that Ibotta is not a scam and is a great way to earn cash. They love that you earn cash for things you already do with basically no extra work involved.
  • Entrepreneur gives Ibotta 95 out of 100. They claim it’s a very easy way to earn cash back on groceries and other purchases. The inconvenient? They claim that it is only in the app and only available in certain stores.
  • Inc claims that Ibotta is an easy way to get free gift cards at retailers like Starbucks and Amazon. Ibotta has a great user interface that makes it really easy to claim refunds.
The biggest drawback of using Ibotta

With all the great apps out there, there are always some cons. Ibotta is no exception.

The biggest drawback I find using Ibotta is that you get sucked into spending more money just to claim additional cash back.

It seems that if I buy this packet of butter that I would normally never buy, I will save $.50 cents. And what about this bag of chips? I can save $.75 cents by spending an extra $4, and my kids will surely eat them.

I highly recommend being disciplined when using the Ibotta app. Just buy the items you need, look for sales and get out. Otherwise, you may find yourself buying things you don’t really need.

Is Ibotta a scam?

Ibotta is one of the most popular money saving apps out there. They have over 50,000 5-star reviews on the app store and continue to grow. With that being said, it’s hard to tell that Ibotta is a scam and is in fact legit.

Also, I have personally received my payments on time and every time. Here’s a snapshot of some paid proofs below:

If Ibotta ever doesn’t pay you, they have excellent customer service. Be sure to contact them with any concerns you may have.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Here are some common questions you may encounter when browsing through the Ibotta app.

Do I have to verify my phone number?

Sometimes Ibotta may ask you to verify your phone number before charging. This is for your own security and to prevent others from accessing your account.

How do I delete my Ibotta account?

If you want to delete your Ibotta account, you will need to submit a ticket with their help center. They will contact you to confirm your deactivation.

Does Ibotta have an affiliate program?

Yes! In fact, we are using their affiliate program in this article. If you want to be part of the Ibotta affiliate program, you can contact them or contact us and we can help you.

Is there a quick way to find refunds?

Instead of looking for rebates directly through the Ibotta app, you can now find them on their website by clicking the “Find Deals” tab at the top of the page.

Final thoughts

Ibotta has come a long way since its inception, and I wouldn’t be surprised if they continue to add a few more features.

The ease of use with this app is what makes it so great. Not only that, but the amount of cash back they actually pay out is pretty good. As we have seen from above, you can easily earn at a rate of $15/hour .

Do you have any additional thoughts you’d like to add regarding Ibotta? Please let us know in the comments below, as we’d love to hear from them. Registration at Ibotta is completely free.

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