UPDATE: Ibotta No Longer Allowing Some Offers to Be Stacked With Coupons
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How does Ibotta work to earn you cash back, in light of the app’s recent changes?
Ibotta has made some changes to its coupon-stacking policy.
UPDATE: On September 20th, around 9AM EST, Ibotta updated their FAQ to state that the new coupon-stacking policy changes apply only to some cash back offers. This falls in line with what we were seeing in the app itself, which was that the wording was only showing on select offers.
Ibotta is a free mobile app that makes it easy to earn cash back on your everyday in-store and online purchases. There are multiple ways to earn at grocery stores, restaurants, and other brick-and-mortar retailers like Target, Walmart, and more!
For years, shoppers have used Ibotta as a way to earn cash back alongside their in-store coupons, rewards offers, and online promo codes. But according to a recent update posted in the program’s help center, the practice of stacking coupons with some Ibotta cash back offers is coming to an end.
In an article that was recently updated, Ibotta confirms that some Ibotta offers “have restrictions that would not allow them to be combined with manufacturer coupons, paper coupons, digital coupon codes, or retailer digital rewards.” The article goes on to say the following:
It is important to always check the offer details to understand the specific exclusions or restrictions for that offer.
Obviously, this is going to be a bummer for most members who were using the app in conjunction with coupons and other methods of saving. Rather than always getting the cash back they were expecting, those who continue to use Ibotta will see their pending offers reversed on transaction where they used a coupon or promo code and the offer expressly stated it could not be combined. 💩
If you read this article carefully, it does say that “Online Shopping offers usually cannot be combined.” According to the article in Ibotta’s help center, the offer details page is the best place to see if your online offer is eligible for stacking. If you see a message like “May not be used with other coupons or promotions,” then that offer cannot be stacked.
To make things even more confusing, this article still states that Ibotta offers cannot be combined with coupons of any kind, though we’re hoping it’s just an oversight and is soon updated to match this most recent update.
How does Ibotta work?
Ibotta can still be used to save you money in those situations where there are no coupons, or where the Ibotta offer would yield more savings than the value of a coupon or promo code.
If you’re new to Ibotta, just download the Ibotta app (iOS or Android) and complete the brief registration process to get started. It only takes a moment, and then you’re ready to shop and start earning cash back at Ibotta’s many supported retailers.
New to Ibotta?
For a limited time, you can get $5 when you sign up here and spend $15. Note that to qualify for this bonus, you must be a completely new Ibotta user. Creating multiple accounts with Ibotta will result in account deactivation.
Link your store accounts to earn cash back without having to scan your receipts!
To start earning easy cash back at Target, for example, simply log into your Ibotta account via the app or the website. Select Target from the Recommended Retailers and then choose the option to Link Target Online account, found at the top of the screen.
You’ll be asked to enter your Target.com email address and password, and then you’ll see a message that Ibotta is linking your account. This process may take anywhere from a few moments up to 24 hours.
When it comes time to plan your next Target run (whether in-store or online), simply browse Ibotta’s current Target offers and load your favorites to your account by tapping the plus sign next to each one.
Once your account is linked, you’ll start to earn automatic rebates on both your in-store and online purchases. Keep in mind that you have to load your offers to your account before you shop, though.
When shopping in-store, it’s also important to remember to check out using the Wallet feature of the Target app. Add any credit card to your Target Wallet to pay, or better yet – add your Target RedCard for 5% off every purchase!
When it’s time to pay, tap Show My Barcode. Your transaction will automatically be submitted to Ibotta when your barcode is scanned at checkout. That’s it! There are no receipts to submit, and nothing more for you to do! Just sit back and wait for your cash back to appear in your account. This could take up to a full day, but you could see your rebate posted in a matter of hours.
For those who prefer to scan their Target receipts manually, that option is still available. If you forget to load an offer to your account before you shop in-store, you can also scan your receipts after your purchase instead, but you’ll need to jump through a few additional hoops.
To load forgotten offers after a purchase, go to Ibotta’s Account Settings page, unlink your Target account, and add the offer(s) you missed. Then you can scan your receipts manually and get credit for completing those offers. Just don’t forget to re-link your Target account well before your next purchase, as this process can take up to 24 hours.
You can also get easy cash back without scanning receipts from both Walmart and Walmart Grocery Pickup and Delivery. Just look for Walmart in the list of supported retailers in your app, click on the account you want to link, and follow the steps that appear to link your account.
Note that any substitutions provided will not qualify for cash back, so you’ll want to uncheck the box for substitutions next to these items before you checkout.
Shopping elsewhere? Link your store loyalty accounts wherever possible!
In addition to national retailers like Target and Walmart, regional grocery stores and even locally owned markets may offer the opportunity to link their store loyalty accounts to Ibotta. To see if your favorite stores offer this easy way to earn cash back, tap Grocery on the Ibotta app home screen and select a retailer.
If you see a Link Retailer Account button at the top of the screen, tap it, and enter your account info. Once your loyalty account is linked, you can add offers in the Ibotta app before you shop, use your loyalty account at checkout, and your cash back will be automatically added to your Ibotta earnings — no receipt uploads required!
Altogether, there are three ways to earn cash back from Ibotta:
- Manual receipt submission – Before you shop, add offers to your account. To do this, just tap Find Offers at the bottom of the app and then tap Grocery. From here, you can find your local grocery store and browse available offers. To add offers, tap the plus sign. When you’re done shopping, just submit a photo of your receipt in the app to earn cash back on your qualifying purchases!
- Loyalty account submission – Simply link your store loyalty account as discussed above, and you’ll get cash back automatically. Ibotta will match your purchases with offers in the app, and you won’t even need to take a photo of your receipt!
- Maximize your earnings with gift cards – When you purchase a gift card through Ibotta, you’ll earn cash back on the entire gift card amount and get up to 10% cash back on your purchases at 120+ stores and restaurants – instantly! Just open the Ibotta app, scroll down to the Gift Cards section, and select a retailer to get started.
Use Ibotta to earn cash back without ever entering a store!
Even better, if your grocery store’s shopping app is linked to your store loyalty card and your store loyalty card is linked to your Ibotta account, you’ll automatically earn cash back on your qualifying purchases – no receipt upload is necessary!
One warning – beware of account maintenance fees!
When you approach 180 days of inactivity, you will start getting warnings and reminders to redeem offers during a 30-day grace period leading up to your first account maintenance fee. If you fail to redeem any of the qualifying offers, the $3.99 fee will be deducted from your earnings monthly until you either redeem a qualifying offer or your earnings reach $0.
This is easily avoidable and you will get lots of reminders that the maintenance fees are about to kick in, but it’s definitely something to keep in mind!
Have you tried earning automatic cash back from Ibotta yet?