How to beat ibotta – and get free money

Fifty cents. That’s all it took. I sold out for fifty cents. To Big Brother, otherwise known as the ibotta app.


You might be in the same ibotta boat. Or maybe you’ve never heard of ibotta. Basically, it’s a coupon-free coupon app for the anti-coupon couponing crowd. You download the app, search for rebates on stuff you typically buy at the grocery store (or liquor store, whatever). Then you buy that item and scan your receipt for a rebate of fifty cents or so. As they say, you get “cash back on everyday purchases.”

For your convenience, I’m including affiliate links to ibotta (should you be in a gotta-wanta-hav’ta try it mood.) Check out my Disclaimer to learn more.

Here’s how Big Brother kicks your ass with the ibotta app.

1. You have to tell it about yourself.
Like household income and how many cats you have.

2. You have to scan the receipt.
By which I mean, the entire receipt, including the date and time of when you shopped. And it won’t give you any money until you confirm that yes, you scanned the entire thing.

3. You have to make $20 before you get any money.
You don’t get a pay out til you reach $20 in rebates. So they keep you hooked with reminders, like, only $15.25 to go! you’re almost there! look at all your friends on the Facebook who already got $63! what a loser, you can’t even earn $20!

Who doesn’t like free money, with a little peer pressure thrown in?

So I use it. Sometimes. And it knows my household income and that I live in Trump Tower with two small dogs. In exchange, I got fitty cent, mofo. Because I bought bananas at Target.

Here’s my advice on how to beat ibotta.

1. LIE.
Not kidding. To “claim” a rebate, you have to answer kindly worded, intrusive questions about yourself. Got 5 kids at home? Tell them you’re childless. They’ll get over it. Probably everyone else is telling the truth. It’ll only throw off their data so much.

2. Make TWO SEPARATE purchases.
This will totally annoy people in line behind you at the grocery store, but whatev. Also, this takes a little organizing.

Keep your ibotta rebate purchases separate from all the other stuff you get. Two grocery carts should do the trick. Pay for the ibotta items first, then buy everything else. That way you get two separate receipts and the app only gets to see that, hm, you only ever just buy bananas at Target. Not that you also bought 5 packs of Paw Patrol socks because your kid LOVES them, and you really like aqua/yellow/plaid throw pillows with tiny gold deer on them, or that you spent $150 on other useless crap. Let’s keep Big Brother in the dark about our weird shopping fetishes. (Says the lady who moonlights as a Marketing professor.)

Sounds easy enough.

    If you want to give ibotta a try, click this link to sign up and get a FREE $10 WELCOME BONUS.

Great job! You’re half-way to twenty already! Woohoo!

Then you can peer-pressure your friends into joining up and earn another $5. Big Brother’s way of saying, Thanks! Hey, everybody wins, even if ibotta thinks you only ever just buy bananas at Target.

How do you beat ibotta? Share your tips below or on Facebook at MothersRest.

Photo credit: Mike Dorner from

Love this tips shared on Facebook:

Interesting. No clue what an ibotta product would be but as an off-brand fan I probably would be a low earner too. I do like Ebates though.
–Alisa, mom of two

One thought on “How to beat ibotta – and get free money

  1. It’s easy! Just use their links to do online shopping. I will send you a link. I get about 150. back a year. 😀

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