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One of the best ways to make money is by doing something you already do. And Ibotta is one of the best apps for this, by giving you great cash back offers on items you’re probably already buying at the supermarket.

Not to mention that, just by signing up through our exclusive Ibotta link, you can get a free $20 welcome bonus – and despite what you may have heard, you don’t need an Ibotta referral code to get this!

It’s a seriously amazing deal with literally no difference in what you get compared to if you use a referral code. This means there’s actually one less step between you and that free money.

And in terms of earning more money through Ibotta, it’s beyond simple. You literally just have to buy your usual groceries or do a bit of online shopping on Amazon or even go out for dinner. Then simply tap on the app and immediately start watching my cash back start coming in.

Given that these are all things I’d be doing anyway, it really is as close as you can get to making money for doing absolutely zero extra work.

It’s literally as easy as that. And with Ibotta being completely free, this is basically free cash in hand.

Why should you sign up for Ibotta?

  • It’s completely free to sign up for an account and to download the app, which is available for both iOS and Android.
  • There are no fees for using Ibotta.
  • You’ll get that free $20 sign up bonus (even without using an Ibotta referral code).
  • It’s legit. In fact, Ibotta has paid over $682 million to users and more than 35 million people have downloaded the app.
  • It has monthly average earnings of around $25. Sure, it won’t make you a millionaire. But that will at least cover some of your grocery bill! And speaking of which…
  • If you want, you can actually pay for purchases through the app using cash you earn through the app. Paying for shopping with your shopping? Not bad.
  • There are also extra cash bonuses on offer – which are far easier to earn than with a lot of other apps.

Related: The 42 Best Passive Income Apps to Make Money on Your Phone

Ibotta app cash back example from shopping

Ibotta

Free sign-up bonus: $20

Ibotta’s a completely free app that gives you cash back on what you’re buying already – groceries, medicine, clothes and more.

In fact, users make $150 per year on average – not including your free $20 welcome bonus – with over $682 million having been paid out, so you know Ibotta is definitely legit.

What is the Ibotta referral code?

The Ibotta referral code is a code offered by some people to take advantage of Ibotta’s free $20 sign up bonus. However, it’s not needed to enable you to get that money if you simply sign up through an eligible link.

That is, if you just sign up through an exclusive link like this one, you’ll automatically get the $20 welcome bonus – no referral code needed!

What to do once you’ve entered your Ibotta referral code?

Once you’ve signed up for Ibotta, including downloading the app (and remember, there’s no need to use an Ibotta referral code at any step to get your bonus here), there are a few different ways to use it for earning cash back on your purchases at any of Ibotta’s 500,000 partner retailers.

(If you have used someone’s Ibotta referral code though, feel free to also follow the next steps as the process is exactly the same for you too.)

1. In-store shopping

If you like to physically go to a store for your shopping fix (or, you know, just to grab some groceries), Ibotta has your cash back sorted.

It works in over 300 retail chains, restaurants, movie theaters, convenience stores, home improvement centers, pet stores, and pharmacies throughout the US. Some of the stores include:

  • Target
  • Walmart
  • Aldi
  • Costco
  • Dollar Tree
  • Kmart
  • Trader Joe’s

So now you know where to go (i.e. pretty much anywhere), let’s see how you can actually get your money back!

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Link your store loyalty card

If you link your loyalty account with one of the stores in Ibotta’s system and you make sure your card is scanned when you go to buy something, Ibotta will electronically receive your purchase information within 48 hours. It will then process your cash back automatically.

Related: How to Make $100 a Day: 41 Ways That Actually Work

Take a photo of your receipt

Alternatively, simply shop at one of the retailers accepted by Ibotta, take a photo of your receipt and upload it into the system. In some cases, you’ll also have to scan a QR code on the receipt.

And then you should get your cash back within 48 hours!

Woman using Ibotta referral code on phone to get sign up bonus

2. Online shopping

Ibotta also works at a bunch of different online stores, including:

  • Amazon
  • Expedia
  • Petco.com
  • Uber Eats
  • ASOS
  • Ticketmaster

For online purchases, you have to make sure you do a few steps before pressing “pay” to ensure that Ibotta recognizes what you’ve bought.

Basically, you first go to the app on your phone, or to Ibotta’s online portal if you’re on a computer, and select the retailer where you want to buy something.

You’ll then be taken to the store’s website in the same window, where you’ll just follow the standard purchase process. 

Ibotta will then automatically know what you’ve bought and will start processing the cash back immediately.

Related: 37 of the Highest Paying Online Jobs

How do I get cash back with Ibotta?

There are a bunch of ways to get cash back with Ibotta. And most of them involve doing things you’d be doing anyway!

1. Going to the store

This is probably the best part of Ibotta – the fact that you can buy things you would need anyway and get money back for doing so.

Some of the products and services for which you can receive cash back include:

  • Groceries
  • Medicine and other pharmaceutical products
  • Clothes
  • Beauty and wellness items
  • Travel (yes, seriously, you can get a ton of money back on flights and hotel bookings)
  • Electronics

Just check that your store is available and you’re good to go!

Person using Ibotta app on phone after entering Ibotta referral code

2. Eating in restaurants

In your Ibotta app, there’ll be an option for Ibotta Store Extras. There, you can check the list of restaurants to find one in your area where you can get a meal AND some money back.

3. By linking store loyalty cards

We mentioned this above but it’s worth highlighting again.

That is, if you have a store loyalty card, just swipe it when you shop and Ibotta will do the rest in terms of processing your cash back.

4. Buying alcohol

This definitely ranks high on the list of great things about this app.

That is, you can earn cash back on certain brands of beer, wine and spirits. And they’re even brands you’ll recognize.

At the same time, if you want, you have the ability to hide alcohol deals from appearing in the app. This is a great feature that, to my knowledge at least, other cash back apps don’t have – and whatever your reason for doing this, could be a huge help in your day to day life.

Alcohol cash back on Ibotta

5. Working in a team

If you sign up for Ibotta with your Facebook account, you can link up with Facebook friends to form an Ibotta team. The more you individually use Ibotta, the more bonuses you can earn at the end of the month.

Related: 11 Legit Ways to Get Paid to Advertise For Companies

6. Making in-app purchases

This one couldn’t be simpler. Just launch the app, check out the offers, find something you want and click through to buy it. Two days later, check for your cash back!

Related: 6 Proven Ways To Make Money on Snapchat

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You’ll also join our mailing list to get updates on how to make and save money – unsubscribe at any time at the end of each email.

7. Taking advantage of bonuses

The $20 welcome bonus isn’t the only bonus you can get with Ibotta. From time to time, retailers will offer extra cash back if you buy certain items from them or do certain tasks.

Take a look at the “Bonus” section of your app for more information.

8. Inviting friends to sign up

Want to get your friends on board? Just by doing so, you can get an Ibotta referral bonus amount of $5 per friend!

All you have to do is grab your own Ibotta referral code after you sign up for your own account (you can find it in your profile in the app) and share it with them.

Related: How to Get Paid to be a Virtual Friend

How do you get $20 from Ibotta?

Claiming your $20 Ibotta bonus is very simple (and even simpler to do without an Ibotta referral code as you save an extra step). Here’s how:

  1. Sign up for Ibotta through an eligible link. This link here has just what you need.
  2. Verify your email address so the system knows you’re a real person and creates your profile.
  3. Download the app in either iOS or Android, as it works just the same with either operating system.
  4. Redeem one offer and, in addition to the cash back on that item, the $20 will be automatically added to your account.
Ibotta app cash back on groceries

Is there an Ibotta referral code hack?

There isn’t an Ibotta referral code hack, per se, and if you do try to trick the system, you could be banned. For instance, some people who’ve tried to sign up with multiple accounts to get multiple sign up bonuses have had their accounts blocked, meaning they lose both the sign up bonus and any other earnings they’ve accrued.

So sorry, but the gremlins running Ibotta’s system know when you’ve used an Ibotta referral code. This means it’s much better for you to just play nice.

Related: 13 Sites Where You Can Test Websites for Money

How do you get your hidden bonus on Ibotta?

Ibotta sometimes has “hidden bonuses” where you can earn up to an extra $15 each month. Each time these are available, there’s a slightly different way to discover them. To find out where the current hidden bonus is, subscribe to the Ibotta newsletter or activate push notifications in your app.

You’ll get some clues from Ibotta on where this bonus may be rather than them telling you outright. For instance, they may say that the hidden bonus can be found in a certain category of item under a specific retailer – although they’ll only give you a hint about which retailer rather than telling you outright. This is usually something like telling you the colors of their logo or a play on words regarding the retailer’s name.

From there, once you find the hidden bonus, you’ll generally have to do something to redeem the offer.

To receive newsletters or push notifications from Ibotta, simply go to the Settings section in your app and agree to these. With the push notifications option, you may have to click an extra pop up when your phone asks you if you’re sure you want the app to have permission to do this. This is very standard though, so simply say yes and get on with your day.

Does Ibotta pay in cash?

You can get your cash back from Ibotta in two ways:

  1. Purchase a gift card through the app
  2. Withdraw your earnings to your PayPal account

Getting it through PayPal is basically like getting cash in your hand. 

screenshot of lifetime Ibotta earnings after using the Ibotta referral code

And if you choose to go down the gift card route, you’ll have the choice of over 50 different retailers across all sorts of shopping categories. These include:

  • Amazon
  • Walmart
  • Starbucks (…did someone say free coffee?)
  • BestBuy
  • eBay
  • iTunes

Related: 22 Proven Ways to Get Cash Urgently If You Need Money Desperately

How much cash back can I earn with Ibotta?

Ibotta has reported that the average user makes around $25 per month. But according to some people on Reddit, Ibotta regularly lets people earn several hundred dollars per year.

A few have even earned upwards of $500 in a year, which is definitely a good deal for a completely free app.

Ibotta app cash back example from shopping

Are there other cash back apps I should be using?

The other free app we’d recommend for making money is Swagbucks.

Just for signing up and verifying your email, you get a free $5 sign up bonus.

From there, there are a bunch of ways you can earn money through the app. Check out our Ultimate Guide to Swagbucks to find out how.

Swagbucks

Free sign-up bonus: $5

A great app for making extra money, including with cash back from online shopping, watching videos, playing games and more.

And given it’s paid out over $400 million through Amazon, Paypal and other gift cards, it’s 100% legit.

So you really don’t need an Ibotta referral code to get $20 for free?

Using a genuinely free app and getting paid for it (without having to use an Ibotta referral code!) is a great deal. Which is why signing up with Ibotta to grab $20 for free is a no-brainer.

And Ibotta is actually legit. There are many cash back apps out there that won’t let you earn more than a few bucks, but Ibotta can help you earn serious money back.

There are no catches: it’s free and you can earn money by doing exactly what you were doing before. This makes it a particularly great option if you’re looking for free gift cards online without having to complete any offers

Which means that it’s definitely worth giving Ibotta a chance. Why wouldn’t you, when you literally have nothing to lose!

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About the author

Anna is the founder of LogicalDollar and a personal finance expert, having been seen in Forbes, HuffPost, Reader’s Digest, MSN Money, Yahoo! Finance, CreditCards.com and many more. She’s committed to helping others get on the path to financial freedom using the experience gained from turning $60,000 in debt into a thriving investment portfolio. Find out more.