UPDATE: Ibotta to End Target Linking & Switch to Paper Receipts Only

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More Grocery

How does Ibotta work to earn you cash back, in light of all the recent changes?

linking Target to Ibotta on mobile phone

Ibotta is planning a change that will affect Target shoppers.

UPDATE: Due to ongoing issues, Ibotta will no longer support account linking with Target. All Target accounts will automatically be unlinked by 12/5/2022. Target Online and earning cash back through a Target loyalty account have also been discontinued.

Moving forward, you will still be able to earn cash back when you shop in-store at Target and submit paper receipts. Keep reading for more information!

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, Best Buy, Kohl’s, and more!

holding iPhone with Ibotta app

For years, Target shoppers have been able to earn automatic rewards on their purchases by linking their Target account with the Ibotta app. But Ibotta users received an email this week notifying them that this option is being discontinued, along with online shopping at Target.com and earning cash back through your Target loyalty account.

From now on, if you want to earn cash back on your Target purchases, you’ll have to go back to scanning your paper receipts from in-store purchases only.

woman with MacBook giving thumbs down

Obviously, this is going to be a bummer for the Ibotta users who enjoyed the convenience of automatic cash back without any receipt scanning. And the fact that you can no longer earn cash back on your Target.com purchases really adds to the disappointment!

But apparently, there were issues with this system, and some users were not getting all of the cash back they were expecting on their Target purchases.

If you notice that you are missing any cash back from Target purchases that may have been impacted between 11/04/2022 – 11/29/2022, Ibotta recommends that you try submitting your paper receipt if you still have it or contact Ibotta Care. Be prepared to share a list of the offers or bonuses you were attempting to redeem and a complete picture of your digital or paper receipt.

pay with ibotta on iphone

How does Ibotta work to save you money at other stores?

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 $15 when you sign up here and spend $50. 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.

using the Ibotta app on a smart phone

You can still link many other store accounts to earn cash back without having to scan your receipts!

Even though account linking is no longer available at Target, you can still use this easy method to earn cash back at other retailers like Walmart, for example.

To get started, simply log into your Ibotta account via the app or the website. Select Walmart from the Recommended Retailers and then choose the option to Link Walmart Online account, found at the top of the screen.

You’ll be asked to enter your Walmart.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.

Walmart Grocery Pick Up

When it comes time to shop (whether in-store or online), simply browse Ibotta’s current Walmart 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. 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.

woman holding phone and cereal box

For those who prefer to scan their Walmart 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 Walmart 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 Walmart account well before your next purchase, as this process can take up to 24 hours.

Meijer store front

Shopping elsewhere? Link your store loyalty accounts wherever possible!

In addition to national retailers like 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!

3 iPhones showing the Ibotta app

In addition to account linking at select retailers, there are three ways to earn cash back from Ibotta:

  1. 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!

  2. 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!

  3. 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.

Kroger Store Front

Use Ibotta to earn cash back without ever entering a store!

With Ibotta, you can still earn cash back on groceries that have been picked up curbside or delivered to your home. Just submit your receipt as usual!

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!

woman looking at iphone

One warning – beware of account maintenance fees!

According to Ibotta’s terms of use, they start deducting $3.99 from your Ibotta earnings each month if you haven’t redeemed an offer within the past 180 days. This is not a charge to any payment method you have on file, and you won’t receive a bill, but you definitely don’t want to lose any of your Ibotta earnings!

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? 

Get $10 off your first Walmart Grocery order of $50 or more!

About the writer:

Jenna has a Bachelor's Degree from Lycoming College and her Master's from Penn State, holding 4 years of writing experience between a variety of publications and Hip2Save.

Join The Discussion

Comments 16

  1. L

    If you want to “unlink” your Target account from Ibotta before Dec. 5th, here are the details.
    Steps to disconnect:
    In the top-left dropdown menu, tap Profile.
    Tap Settings.
    Tap Linked accounts.
    Tap Unlink to the right of the retailer loyalty account you would like to disconnect.
    Return to the Home page and pull down (using your thumb) to refresh the app.

    I did it in store, just before I purchased an item. I was successful in submitting the receipt right after purchase.

    • Jessica (Hip Sidekick)

      Thanks so much for sharing that helpful tip, L! We sure appreciate it! 🥰

    • 5pink1blue

      Thank you for the clear instructions

  2. Jen S

    I just unlinked Walmart in my profile. It seems like automatic anything doesn’t work! When I emailed for missing credit they finally did give it to me, but then treated me like an idiot that doesn’t know how to add an offer and described how to do it. I’ve been using Ibotta for years, The offer was definitely activated.

    • Jessica (Hip Sidekick)

      So sorry to hear about your experience, Jen S. Hoping that with this change at Target, you’ll be able to receive your offers a bit more easily! 🤞❤️

  3. Mimi

    I’m having issues with them for a while now, especially when it comes to online purchases (not just Target).
    I stopped using them for online purchases and use other services instead.

    • Jessica (Hip Sidekick)

      Thanks for taking a moment to share about your experience with the online purchases, Mimi. Glad to hear that in-store offers seem to work better for you! 💕

  4. Kim

    I had issues with Target before so I unlinked a while ago. I also submit Walmart receipts so I don’t have to deal with setting up a Walmart account. Meijer does a good job of automatically crediting; I’ve only had one sale missed during the last 3 years. I love Ibotta!

    • Jessica (Hip Sidekick)

      YAY! Glad to hear how well you like using Ibotta and that redeeming automatically at Meijer has worked well each time! Thanks for taking a moment to comment and share your thoughts with us! 💕

    • Jo

      Oh my gosh, noooo, Meijer has been such a nightmare lately. I’ve missed out on several deals , or had to fight to get it fixed, because I was so use to it automatically crediting, that I didn’t notice until a couple of weeks after that I hadn’t been receiving the proper credit. I so wish they’d just allow paper receipts for every retailer.

  5. Brindha

    Paper receipts are easier anyway… have been doing that until now.

    • Claudette (Hip Sidekick)

      Thanks a bunch for taking the time to comment, Brindha!🥰

  6. Melissa

    So inconvenient 😩I use target drive up all the time !

    • Claudette (Hip Sidekick)

      Thanks for sharing your thought on this, Melissa!

  7. tracieann

    Yes it’s convenient but I have had a lot of problems with the linking from target, Walmart and especially Hannaford where I don’t get all my items credited

    • Claudette (Hip Sidekick)

      Hi, tracieann! Sorry to hear you had lots of problems. Good new is that you will still be able to earn cash back when you shop in-store and submit paper receipts. Hoping this helps you get credit for all your items.💕

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