ibotta App Step By Step Tutorial – Questions Answered

I have seen a few emails and comments come in asking about the ibotta app but since I highlighted it last week...my inbox has been slammed with questions!  So I thought I would put a step by step tutorial up so that those of you who are new to ibotta can see exactly how it works.

First, download the ibotta app to your iPhone, iPad or Android phone and register your account.

When you’re registered, you’re ready to start choosing the offers you’re interested in. Just tap on the product pictures to see the various ways to earn money. You can read facts, take quizzes, post info to Facebook, watch videos, and more.

You can do some or all of the earning options. I know some of you were concerned about posting on Facebook. You can skip past any of the earning options - just be aware the more you do... the more money you will make! There are typically three earning options per offer. Right now I have offers that range from 25¢ to $1.75 per product.

Once you've done all the activities that you want to do for a particular offer, it saves that offer in your ibotta app and you can earn that amount of money when you purchase the specific item.

In order to earn your cash, just go shopping. You can buy your chosen products at a variety of stores (including PUBLIX). For those of you asking, you can absolutely use a coupon to make your purchase price for that item less expensive!

One thing that I want to stress is that you have to make sure you are purchasing the correct item. It's no problem as you can make sure that the item you're purchasing is the right one...just tap the barcode icon in the top right of the offer screen and scan the product barcode. The app will tell you if the item you're purchasing qualifies for the offer - easy breezy!

Ok...so you have completed the offers, shopped and now you are home. The next step is uploading your receipt.

ibotta-howTo do this just tap the "Redeem" button in the bottom right corner. Choose the store where you made your purchase, then touch the "Upload Receipt" button at the bottom of the screen to take a photo of your receipt and upload it. If your receipt is a long one, you can tap "Add Section" and take multiple pictures until you have captured the entire receipt. When you are done taking pictures, tap "Submit." You will then select the items that you purchased with that receipt and scan the bar code to confirm.

Once you've submitted your receipt, ibotta will verify your receipt and approve your earnings (usually within 24 hours). To check on your pending earnings, just tap the icon with three horizontal lines in the top left corner of the app, then select the "Account History."

ibotta menuYou are earning real money with ibotta. When you have earned $5 or more, you can choose to withdraw your cash securely via PayPal or donate to a school or the United Way. The first time you withdraw cash, you will need to verify your email and input your PayPal information. Then just tell ibotta how much of your cash you want to withdraw or donate, and that's it!

You will need that Paypal account to get your earnings. Setting up a Paypal account is totally free and super easy to use. You can use Paypal as a method of payment when you shop online at various stores and even connect the account to an existing bank account and have the money transferred. I typically just leave the money in my Paypal account (what I call my Monopoly money). I use it for things like my Vistaprint orders, coupon clipping sites and the like.

Keep in mind that every time you redeem an offer, ibotta will send a new one. This way they will learn what you like and don't like, and you'll be able to get more personalized offers.

A few tidbits to keep in mind:

  • You will only get cash back on one item purchased. So, if you buy 6 boxes of Cheez-its, you will only get cash back for one. NOTE: The exception to this is if you get an identical offer show back up in your offers. In this case you can redeem the offer again!
  • You can use coupons when purchasing your items.
  • The offers look like they are starting to vary a bit by user. Hopefully you guys can help me stay up to date in the matchups.
  • ibotta works at 33 retailers - you can see the full list HERE.
  • Some folks are not seeing Publix as a listed store. First make sure that your device is supported. If that is not the issue, you might want to see if the app has an update. Ibotta currently supports the following devices:

-iPhone 3GS and newer
-iPod Touch fourth generation and newer
-iPad 2 and iPad 3
-Android devices running on platform 2.2 and newer (see minimum requirements below)

Please note: Ibotta does not support any device without a camera.

iPad 2 and iPod 4 users: iPad 2 and iPod 4 do not have the barcode scan function, therefore offers cannot be redeemed from retailers using text strings on their receipts instead of product codes. You will not see them load onto the list of available retailers.

Android users: Your device must meet the minimum requirements below to run the Ibotta app:
Camera with autofocus
Network access to location data
Portrait and landscape screen orientation
Wi-Fi compatible
OS 2.2 or higher

I hope that helps to answer some of your questions. If you have more, leave them in the comments and maybe we can get those hammered out too. I will try to keep this post updated as a reference.


  1. Sandy says

    You can also thumbs up an offer if you like it so they will send you more offers like it. Likewise, you can thumbs down an offer & they will remove it from your offers and replace it with a different offer. To do this, click on the offer twice and you will see the thumbs up & thumbs down offer. I love this app.

      • mel says

        hooray for people who can afford these devices, but people who cant are the ones who really need the coupons!

        • Sharon says

          My flip phone crashed a few times & I did not think I could afford a new phone. Found a “plain vanilla” smartphone for $49.99 running lollipop along with a $50 rebate, & no contract & reduced my monthly bill by $17.

    • Robin Leonardo says

      I completed all the steps but I can not scan the barcode. My tablet has all the requirements so what am I doing wrong?

    • Marti Garren says

      when i double click i only get a NOT INTERESTED box. I would rather have the thumbs. any suggestions

      also when i first started i signed up using my email, i would now like to change that to facebook. Can someone help me

    • Sarah says

      Yes. After you click submit for your receipt, it will ask you to click on the item that you purchased that is on that receipt. Then, you will scan the barcode of that item to make sure that it is a match to the offer you are trying to redeem. If you have multiple products on that receipt that you are trying to redeem, then you will keep selecting the products after you scan the barcode.

  2. melinda says

    What does ibotta get from doing this? Are the stores/manufacturers paying them for advertisement? How do they verify your purchase?

  3. Sarah says

    I have a question and maybe someone else has an answer. They claim to give you $1 to invite friends and $5 once they redeem an offer. So, I have had someone sign up through me and I saw the $1 in my account. I know this person has redeemed an offer and it was verified because I have seen their account. However, I haven’t seen any additional money in my account. Do this take awhile? Has anyone else had this problem? Thanks.

    • Michelle says

      Hi Sarah!

      When someone signs up through your link, you automatically get the $1 deposit into your account. The $5 offer through the “Share the Love” program will actually be deposited into your friends account once they redeem their first offer. The $5 deposit is one time only, the first time they upload a receipt and redeem. It’s a $1 incentive for you to invite others AND have them join and a $5 incentive for them to join AND redeem.

      Michelle :-)

  4. Andrea says

    Sorry if this was already answered, but are new products randomly added to the app? Do they stay available till that particular expiration date and are new ones added only when you’ve completed one(bought a particular product).

    • Sandy says

      New offers do appear when you have completed an offer or you have “thumbs downed” an offer it will be replaced with a new offer shortly thereafter.

  5. Michelle says

    The top 3 things I have discovered while using my new favorite app :-)

    #1) Offers DO expire! And like printable coupons, they can run out ahead of the expiration date.
    For example: Simply Orange offer. You can earn up to .75 cents, depending on the activities you do. The offer technically expires on March 1, 2013. HOWEVER, it does have a max number of available redemptions. We don’t know how many this is, but according to the Help Center on ibotta.com, it is a possibility. I know, because I missed out on the Rice Krispies Treats!

    #2) Which brings me to the second thing I’ve learned: Don’t drag your feet! I had a couple receipts lying around and missed out on a few offers because they either expired, or like the Rice Krispies Treats, the offer hit its max before I got in on it.

    #3) How do you know when an offer is going to expire? Use the shopping list feature! When you are on your offers screen and tap on a product, you get a lot of information. What sizes are included, what flavors, which activities you can do. You can check specific product participation with the barcode or press the little “i” just under the barcode in the upper-right corner and then you can thumbs up or down, like Sandy mentioned above. But you still don’t know how long this offer will be available. If you go to your Shopping List (from the drop down menu that appears when you tap the 3 lines in the upper left corner), you will see all available stores and how many offers are redeemable from each store. Select a store and the list of all the products you have completed activities for will show up. They are sorted by department, which is also nice, and will tell you their absolute last redeem by date. Ibotta will only give you credit for receipts uploaded before the expiration date of that item.

    I truly love this app, and the more I explore it, the more I realize just how fabulously designed and tested it is. If you haven’t signed up yet, or if you downloaded it but haven’t really played around with it yet, please do! They’ve done a great job!

    Michelle :-)

  6. Laura says

    Has anyone addressed the issue with different dollar amount offers per person? Like, I believe Michelle posted she received $1.50 or $1.75 off for her Capri Sun purchase and my ibotta only offered $1.00. Any idea if its a regional difference or the more you use, the more you’re offered?

  7. Jessica says

    Can anyone “testify” so to speak as to how much they are actually saving using this a month? I don’t have a smart phone, but would certainly love an excuse to get one :)

    • Michelle K. says

      Hi Jessica!

      I’ve been using it for about 5 weeks and have saved $10.25 off of 9 receipt entries. Those entries took me all of 2 minutes each to upload and do. The initial setup/account creation wasn’t bad at all, either.

      So if every 5 weeks I average $10.25 put into my PayPal account for about 20 minutes worth of work, then downloading and trying this free app was well worth it!

      Also, over the course of a year I may be getting back approximately $106. Depending on the smart phone you get, you could practically pay for your phone thanks to this app! :-)

      My uncle liked the old adage “You have to spend money to make money.” He may have been referring to lottery tickets tho…. 😉

    • says

      I am at about $12 since I started using it a month or so ago. I even scanned in a relative’s receipt since they didn’t want to “hassle with it”…I will take that moolah…thank you very much!!

      • Jessica says

        Thanks for the info everyone. I was hoping that the app would work on my husband’s Galaxy tab, but apparently it doesn’t. His birthday is coming up, and I know he would love a smartphone, so maybe now I’ll have an excuse to get him/us one.

  8. betty says

    Do you have to have one of those phones to sign up? Seems like they would do something for those of us who don’t want fancy phones or iPads.

    • Becky Parker says

      I totally agree! I refuse to pay extra money for a smartphone. Can’t we just do this same thing over the computer!!!

      • Carrie2 says

        I know these phones are expensive. But if you research you can get Great Deals. I got my GAlAXY S3 Android on BestBuy.com about a month ago for $54! Of course you have to shop for discount codes and there is a bit more of a monthly charge for internet access, but I use it so much its really paid for itself. Also thru Sprint you can 10% discount montly off you bill if you have an account with Suncoast School Credit union (1 requirement is to have a child in school!) You so need to ask specifically ask what discounts they offer. Hope this helps. :)

        Thanks for the Info on the Ibotta!!

  9. tk says

    I’ve been using my ipod touch 4g, but not all stores are available on it apparently (i’ve had walmart, walgreens). If you click that ibotta link she has posted and scroll all the way on the bottom it will have the apple devices that will have missing features with ibotta. HTH

  10. Stacey says

    Thank you for answering some questions I had already. I have been using the last 2 days and have already saved a ton. Thanks for your help. This is fast and easy.

  11. edie says

    I’ve made about $25 already and I’ve only had the app for a couple of weeks. It just came out for Android. I absolutely love it.

  12. Kathy says

    You mentioned that there is an exception, that if an offer reappears for an item you can use the same receipt if you have already redeemed that offer. I redeemed an offer for Frosted Flakes, in which I had purchased 2 of on the same receipt. After I redeemed it, it reappeared and I redeemed it again. I received the following from Ibotta:
    Our records show that you submitted a receipt that has alrady been submitted to Ibotta, either by you or by someone else. According to Ibott’s rules, you may only submit each receipt once. Duplicate receipts will not earn credit. Thank you for complying with Ibotta’s Terms of Use.

    • Bee says

      Thanks for posting this. Another rule learned – similar items purchased have to be on separate receipts if I want to redeem another Ibotta offer.

  13. Becky says

    I sure wish you could use this on a computer! It only benifits those with Smartphones. Not everyone has a smartphone or is able to pay to have one every month. I just have a basic phone and would love to save if I could just use my computer!

    • Jacqueline says

      You really need a phone to use this app because while your shopping you really need to scan bar codes to be sure the product is eligible for the rebate. Otherwise you’d be risking buying the item and it not being accurate. Also how would you scan items with a desktop? I’m not sure if there is an add on software for that….but ibotta requires a scan on each item to verify.

      • Jacqueline says

        I’m laughing bc I just discovered this page and just realize its over 2 years old! Gosh darn it so sorry!

  14. Lori says

    Publix isn’t on my list of stores to choose from. I have miliary, target, walgreens, walmart, duane reade, fred meyer, meijer and winco foods. Most of these aren’t even near me — just target, walgreens and wal-mart. It didn’t ask me my zip code…any ideas?

  15. says

    Thanks so much for the step by step tutorial on how to use ibotta! Thumbs Up!
    I personally have been using it for about a week now and I just love this app.
    It did take me some time to figure out how to work it, but now I got the hang of it! I have made $8.25 so far. Loving It!

  16. Gertie says

    Has anyone waded through the privacy policy on this app? I know all the store loyalty cards are amassing profiles on us and I use them and Catalina probably is too since you use your store loyalty card most times that you check out, but I’m wondering if this is any more intense than that. I did see that the geolocation function has to be enabled on the Android version. I haven’t actually enabled that up to this point.

  17. Dana says

    The Barcode scanner in the app doesn’t work. I have been trying to scan the barcode for 30 minutes. Does anyone know the trick to this? I have an android.

  18. Sarah G. says

    I am wondering if this app would work on a tablet powered by android, I can not afford a smart phone/iphone because I have 5 kids to support so my phone is a basic one from strait talk.

  19. marla says

    I also can not afford a smartphone in order to use ibotta.I would however lov to use my Samsung tablet. Anyone have any ideas?

  20. marg says

    So I just got the application. I clicked through and did all the stuff for each of the products. So If I don’t but the product, I get nothing for doing the stuff for each product? I was confused. I thought it could earn money for the product even if I don’t buy it. I get they want you to make money by buying the products and doing the stuff

  21. Amanda says

    So I have a Samsung Proclaim thru Straight Talk. It is an Android & runs on a 2.3OS but when I try to upload Ibotta it still tells me that it isn’t compatible with my phone. I am wondering why?? I really want to use this app as I coupon all the time & I already have Paypal. Any tips besides getting a new phone?? I haven’t had this phone that long & I really can’t afford to get a new one at this time. Any help is appreciated!

    • Francine says

      Have you found out any info on using your phone with Straight Talk? I am thinking about switching to them with same phone but if it will not work there is no point in it. Any info you have found would be nice. ty

  22. Tracey says

    My Ibotta seems to have issues. Ive gotten emails to say congratulations you’ve earned it however the amount stays at $6.25?? I should have about $8.00 in there. Is there anyway to contact someone to fix it?

  23. says

    How do you change between stores? I usually use Publix and that is what is coming up, but I made a recent purchase at Walgreens and I don’t see how to select them or switch between stores to see what offers may be at Walgreens or if the offers are all the same and they just read the receipt.

  24. CeCe says

    Can you use this with a kindle fire hd that has a camera and is able to connect to wifi? Would so much prefer this method instead of on the ipod touch.

  25. Kysha Harvey says

    So my question is about the store you make the purchase. When you purchase an item do you have to purchase it from a specific store to get the credit? For example, I want to purchase Tresemme hair products because they are on sale at Walgreen’s, however when I got to the part where I had to scan the receipt the only store choice was Harris Teeter. Are they expecting us to shop at specific stores for specific products?

  26. Carmar says

    Is there a way to upload the pictures of the receipt from the photo gallery? The
    devices keeps saying “hold the camera flat” when trying to take a photo, however that seems to be impossible, as it moves around all over the place. Just
    got Ibotta and am a little frustrated. Thanks for any help.

  27. nisha says

    I have Samsung grand phone having all the features required’but still I am not able to scan the bar code for verification of the product in deal or not. Sum 1 help me 4 that !

  28. says

    I confirmed that my juice purchase matches the rebate, but when I hit the redeem button I cannot get to a button to upload the receipt. It only brings up my loyalty card, which I did not scan at the store from the app (I forgot). I generally find it very difficult to figure out how to scan the receipt. Can you help?

  29. Jennifer says

    This may have been addressed already, if so I am sorry for restating. What do you do when the store gives you a receipt that does not have a barcode on it? How can you obtain the product?
    Thank you

  30. Elizbeth says

    The site says you can redeem offers without a receipt at preferred partners. How do I connect my accounts to these preferred partners?

  31. Michelle Bothell says

    I redeemed a rebate last night and I have 382 people on my team and I didn’t get a bonus or anything and several of them have done multiple rebates so I guess they really don’t pay !!!!

  32. Laurie says

    I’m new to ibotta and very much appreciate your tutorial! I’m trying to view my (long) shopping list sorted by expiration date. Is that possible? Thanks in advance…


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