Ibotta review: is Ibotta legit? Or is it a scam? (2019)

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This article has been reviewed and deemed factual by our content auditor with 8 years of banking experience.

Searching for an Ibotta review?

Or, asking yourself any of the following:

  • Is Ibotta safe?
  • Is Ibotta legit?
  • How does Ibotta work?

Not to worry. Because in this comprehensive Ibotta review you’ll learn all there is to know about this massively popular cashback app.

We’ll start with the obvious, before we get into the particulars of how to use Ibotta, and if it’s worth your time–or not. Let’s check it out.

Is Ibotta Legit?

Ibotta was started in 2011. It’s blossomed into:

  • The largest consumer technology company in Denver, Colorado.
  • With over 50,000 five-star app reviews.
  • And has been featured in Forbes, Good Morning America, CNET and more
  • Downloaded over 30 million times
  • Paid over $375 million in cash back
  • So, the short answer is: it’s 100% legit.

Ibotta works with some of the largest brands. 

Some names you’ll recgonize include:

  • Procter & Gamble, Coca Cola, Unilever
  • Nordstrom, Best Buy, Heineken
  • Rite Aid, Sephora and others.

Another fun fact? Ibotta founder Bryan Leach is a graduate of Harvard, Oxford and Yale, and during his time outside of work, he climbed 44 of Colorado’s 58 tallest mountains.

So, does the whole question of “Is Ibotta legit?” sound crazy yet? It should. Because Ibotta is 100% a legitimate, real company.

How Does Ibotta Work?

The application itself is very easy to use.

You download it from the app store or their site, create your account–which asks for your name, date of birth, mailing address, and other information like gender–than you can claim your $10 sign up bonus.

  1. Check for offers before you shop.
  2. Once you find relevant offers, shop.
  3. Take pictures of your receipt or link your loyalty card to the Ibotta app.
  4. Then cash out via PayPal or Venmo.

That, or in the form of your favorite gift cards from top stores like Walmart, Target or your other favorite grocery stores.  

Our recommendation is to map out all of your shopping as far in advance as possible, that way you can maximize your savings and discounts. Plus, Ibotta works at hundreds of retailers, both offline and online.

Unlike with clipping coupons or even other cashback apps, you can let your shopping needs guide you, versus being restricted with buying the few items that have coupons.

For comparison, other cash back apps–like Paribus by Capital One (which you can learn more about in our detailed Paribus review, and is another favorite of ours) works with just 25 stores. With Ibotta you can shop at thousands of different stores.

More on that in a bit.

And, regardless of what you buy or where you buy it, you’ll always know there’s cash coming.

Apps like Ibotta

There are number of different apps like Ibotta.

  • Paribus was started by two Harvard grads and acquired by Capital One. It’s one of our favorite money making apps. Learn more: Paribus review.
  • Ebates is a pioneer in the cashback app space, and was first started all the way back in 1999. Since then it’s been used by tens of millions of people–who’ve saved over a $1B!
  • Dosh is one of the newer cash back apps that has a gorgeous, easy to use interface and bountiful rewards. Learn more in our new 2019 Dosh review.

Ibotta Reviews Overview

You can’t do a review without trying it yourself. So, I took a test run of the app to see what the hype was about.

But first, I visited the Ibotta app store page and also Google searched “Ibotta reviews.”

With over 303k reviews, averaging 4.7 out of 5 stars on the Apple app store, my first impression of Ibotta was definitely favorable. 

The Ibotta BBB reviews page wasn’t ‘five star central’. But people don’t go out of there way to leave favorable comments on BBB anyway.

But here’s what impressed me most there: it was the company’s responsiveness to it. 

For instance, if you take a look at the Ibotta BBB page, Ibotta has received 636 complaints in the last 3 years, 250 of which were closed in the last 12 months. 

Virtually every complaint has gotten a response, and the majority resolved.

Next, was the app itself.

I’ll tell you what. It’s nowhere near as much of a pain as clipping coupons. Granted, it’s not without annoyances. Mainly, the “pain” of having to scan your item and your receipt, rather than just the receipt. Minor stuff here.

For every inconvenience there’s 10x upsides.

  1. The number of stores accepted
  2. The percent of cash you can get back
  3. And the vast number of eligible items

Other cash back apps limit you. Ibotta allows you to even get rebates on generic brands, store brands and healthy food, too. That way you aren’t stuck eating sugary cereals just because it was on sale or gave cash back.

That’s a rare thing in the cash back space.

All without the hassle of traditional couponing in a free app that’s easy to use, right from the first time, all via your smartphone.   

Ibotta Review Summary

Ibotta can be lucrative if you check the app for offers before you do offline/online shopping.

It’s fast and easy to use. Just upload a snapshot of the items you purchased and the receipt–that or link your shopper card.

Their customer service is both fast and helpful, this based on our analysis of the thousands of Ibotta reviews we’ve gone through while writing up this one.

And, most importantly, Ibotta can help you earn a lot of cashback on items others can’t.

It’s the elephant in the room that we may have not acknowledged dutifully enough in here.

But just so there’s no confusion: you can make great money back on purchases.

You won’t get rich, but you will get paid, sometimes as much as 10%–20% back on your everyday purchases.

That’s probably the best thing about Ibotta.

It accomplishes what it advertises: it’s an app that allows you to earn money while grocery shopping or mobile shopping anywhere.

Signing up is a breeze, and checking how much extra money you made is just as simple. All you have to do is log into your Ibotta account on your phone or computer. 

And again, best of all, cashback offers aren’t limited to just your favorite stores. You can earn free money during a random shopping trip for toilet paper at a random drug store. 

It’s awesome. So while other shopping apps restrict you to big box stores (i.e., Publix, Costco, Whole Foods, etc.) you can take advantage by earning money on “no name” household items from anywhere.

Brian Roberts

Brian Roberts

Editor at CarefulCents
Featured in The Washington Post and published in Entrepreneur, Forbes, Business Insider, Time, Inc., CNBC and others.