UPDATE: Ibotta No Longer Allowing Some Offers to Be Stacked With Coupons

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More Grocery

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

Ibotta app scanning a receipt with bananas

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.

hand using smartphone with ibotta ulta offer

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.

woman with MacBook giving thumbs down

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.

holding iPhone with Ibotta app

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.

using the Ibotta app on a smart phone

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.

man using iPhone to choose Target offers in Ibotta app

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.

Target Circle app on smartphone

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.

woman holding phone and cereal box

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.

Walmart Grocery Pick Up

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.

Meijer store front

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!

3 iPhones showing the Ibotta app

Altogether, 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 3 years of writing experience between a variety of publications and Hip2Save.

Join The Discussion

Comments 79

  1. Colorado Amy

    Well bummer. It’s getting harder and harder to save money, isn’t it?

    • Jessica (Hip Sidekick)

      I hear ya! Have you checked out the post on the Fetch Rewards app? We have a post about it here! I like this for scanning and earning also! ❤️

      • Colorado Amy

        I’ll check out Fetch Rewards. Thank you for letting me know.

    • VAlerie

      There are other apps that give better deals and rebates. If a company is giving us lesser deals, we move on to the next company.

      • lisalynch

        What apps do you like for deals?

    • Natalie

      You hit the nail on the head. Even Kroger is getting stingy on taking their store coupons if they are expired. I have been using the Makeena app since they have many brands and let you use it at any store for produce and health and beauty items also. Sign up with my code for $1.00 Referral code QGRKGD

  2. Sherry

    It excludes coupons, but can you still get the offers if the item is just on sale in store?

    • Jessica (Hip Sidekick)

      Hey Sherry! Yes, you should still be able to earn on sale items. From what I understand of the changes, when you’re scanning and submitting a receipt, it will be rejected if there is a coupon attached to the product you are purchasing. The article mentioned in the post states – “Store-run sales promotions on discounted items are not considered an exclusion for Ibotta offer redemption.” Hoping this is helpful. 💕

  3. Lyndsey Rullman

    That is a huge bummer for me. I noticed the other day that my app is no longer offering offers on Kroger Pickups. It has to be in-store purchases.

    • Jessica (Hip Sidekick)

      Oh darn! Thanks for the heads up, Lyndsey!

  4. Amichael0323

    That’s a little extreme of them to do. Most couponers will drop their app for that though 🤷🏻‍♀️ especially at Walgreens/cvs I don’t buy anything without a coupon.

    • Jessica (Hip Sidekick)

      Thanks for letting us know your thoughts on this. It will definitely be a change – we like to post deals from those stores also while keeping in mind those offers. ❤️

    • Monique

      Yep I feel the same way…

  5. Brittney

    Bummer, Ibotta in general hasn’t been that great the last few years, but with this being added in they’re going downhill fast.

    • Jessica (Hip Sidekick)

      Thanks for sharing your honest thoughts with us, Brittney! 💕

    • Malinda

      Agree. Stopped using it a long while back. I like Fetch so much better.

    • Varsha darekar

      Yes I deleted my app very long,love to use fetch

  6. Michelle

    Thanks for the heads up. Think I will probably delete the app. I usually stack it with other deals.

    • Jessica (Hip Sidekick)

      You’re welcome, Michelle! 💕

  7. Em C

    Poop emoji pretty much sums it up. 💩 Thanks for letting us know!

    • Jessica (Hip Sidekick)

      You bet! 🥰

  8. Klp

    Does this apply to all rebates or just the ones that say it can’t be combined with other offers? I still see a lot of rebates that don’t say that it can’t be combined. Thanks

    • Jessica (Hip Sidekick)

      Hey Klp! According to the article, it seems that it would include all offers – “Ibotta offers available in-store and online cannot be combined with other discounts including: Manufacturer coupons, Paper coupons, Digital coupon codes, Retailer digital rewards. In-store shopping offers won’t be redeemed if another coupon or reward promotion is applied to that item.” Hoping this is helpful! 💖

  9. Amy

    Well that’s a huge bummer!

  10. Ashley

    This might be the motivation I need to ditch Ibotta. I spend entirely too much time seeking deals, earning the bonuses, etc. It really is a time-suck for me, but then again I’ve also gotten some really good deals. I’m not sure if the benefit necessarily outweighs the cost (since I often times buy things I otherwise wouldn’t just because it ends up being a good deal), but it certainly won’t now that you can’t combine offers. I might still use it to buy giftcards (i.e., the one grocery store/gas station I go to has 1% cash back on gift cards through ibotta … and you can use those earnings toward the next GC purchase rather than waiting to accumulate the $20 minimum for a PayPal payment), but that will likely be it.

    Sad to see this happen. But, again … might be a silver lining — at least for me personally.

    • Klp

      I can relate!

    • Jessica (Hip Sidekick)

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Ashley. Good to know about the gift card offers! 💞

    • ReneeAnn

      Same. It’s way too time consuming to scroll through all the items and then any brand item will only give you 10cents and makes you watch a video ad first!

  11. Cassie

    Man, what a bummer, I’ve been slipping away from them for awhile but now I’ll be done with them after I get to my next cash out due to the hassle. I love the ease of Fetch and Rakuten has been amazing! I paired the Every Plate deal you all posted with Rakuten and got $15 back so I paid about $26 for five 4-serving meals! 🙂

  12. Klp

    When did this go into effect?

    • Jessica (Hip Sidekick)

      Hey Klp! The article was updated yesterday with this new information. 💕

  13. riss

    I’m not too invested in ibotta. I don’t usually buy the products that they have on their list. I buy an item, and if there’s a rebate, good. But if not, no sweat. Plus , ibotta recently locked me out of my account. They said the last receipt I scanned was questionable (because of the creases) . I scanned it on Fetch and it went through. I still have over $10 left, so I guess I keep it, but cannot submit any receipt until they cleared me. Oh well…

    • Jessica (Hip Sidekick)

      So sorry to hear about your experience with them, riss. I use my account in the same way. I usually consider it an afterthought when I’ve been to the store. Hoping there will be more “any brand” offers popping up! 🙌

  14. kimhavelka

    Wow, I’m going to be pretty much done with them, then.

  15. acgold

    I found Ibotta and Shopkick to be too much work for too little return in the area I shop (NY/NJ). I find Fetch Rewards the easiest. Even though I buy a lot of store brand things (Costco/Kirkland, Aldi’s) I have earned over $250. in gift cards in a year. If it is allowed by H2S, please use my referral HHPE1 and you will get 2000 points to start.

    • Jessica (Hip Sidekick)

      Thanks for sharing the reward apps that you use, acgold! 💕

    • dwascavage

      Decided to try Fetch, used your referral code, and got my 2000 bonus points after my first scan
      Thanks, acgold!

  16. ReneeAnn

    Ugh that stinks! I like using Drop app. You earn points on total amount spent at places like Kroger Walmart Target and many more. You have to link a major bank credit card but it’s so nice not have to buy specific items and upload receipts. My referral code is 4bahq 🙂

    • ReneeAnn

      Oh and you get $5 with sign up

  17. Debbie

    I will still use Ibotta. But I won’t do as many rebates. There are some products that are too expensive, and not worth it to me, unless I can stack the coupons. I still like couponing, but it’s not what it used to be.

  18. kevashell

    I’ve noticed this already and it has hit hard. My shaws has special sales fri- sun and twice now they haven’t given me back my due rebate because of it. I’ll be searching for a better app.

  19. laura-24

    I have $6 to go to cash out – then I’m done. It’s been a real struggle the past few years.

  20. Marie

    I have been substituting so many off brand products that ibotta is useless to me now. When Tostitos Chips are $5 and the same size Great Value Catina Chips are 1.82, it is a no brainer. Brand name prices are getting out of hand, even with shrinkage. The $22 Milky Way Bulk pack is now $32 at Samsclub! A $10 jump? Nope. Plus, Sams wants to add $4 to do order pickups now. No. No. No. Not doing it. Getting out of control. Watch your grocery bills! A sneaky .50 price increase is becoming $, $$ added per item now.

    • Sue

      I hardly ever use Ibotta anymore for the same reason. It’s mostly products I don’t buy or I buy the store brand versions of.

  21. Beth

    I have used Ibotta for Walmart items without coupons before especially their thanksgiving promotion or other free or bogo offers, but any time I use Ibotta at Walgreens, Cvs, etc I always have a coupon for the item too. I guess time will tell if I decide to keep the app or not. Thanks for the heads up! I really appreciate it.

  22. Nikki

    I have Walmart rewards and Ibotta. I just tried to redeem for my Ibotta money and it was declined because it went to Walmart rewards first. Ibotta sent me an email explaining why declined

  23. KarenJ

    Every time I use Ibotta & place a pickup order at Walmart it never shows up on their end. I placed an order on 9/3/22, they gave me 2 cents for 3% cash back but say they have no record of the purchase & I was supposed to get over $40 back in rebates. I didn’t use any coupons. So frustrating!!

  24. Tracey

    Well, that’s a bummer! I did install the ibotta app on my laptop and get small cash back amounts for most of my online purchases but I don’t order that much online so it’s not much. Basically I used it when H2S would post deals that included submitting receipts after using a coupon. Fetch is soooo much easier to use; less money but you don’t have to spend all that time trying to see if any of the items you bought are listed in the app. Maybe once their advertising companies see a drop in ibotta accounts (as it probably those companies who had them make the change), they might reconsider this new policy…

  25. Erin

    I have been with ibotta for many years and honestly this is the WORST change. The offers, the rebates etc used to be so good, but as time has gone on its slowly gone downhill. And now a maintence fee? C’mon. The normal way I do mine is when I find a good group or rebates and bonuses I do a lot all at once often earning $20-50 at a time, and I cash out right away, and then nothing for a month or two. Half of the items I redeem are stacked so this change isnt making me happy at all.

    • Monique

      Yep I feel the same way…

  26. hip2trade

    It seems that everything is changing for the worse. Taking away incentives is usually a bad move. My sister signed up for Ibotta but found it to be a hassle. She loves fetch. So do I. I use Ibotta for online shopping like QVC but that’s about it.

  27. roselmandy

    I haven’t used Ibotta as often as before especially when I saw they were taking out a few if you didn’t upload a receipt within a certain period of time. I probably will delete app

  28. Shawna

    I know there are other apps like Ibotta, but I don’t remember hardly any of them. It would be nice if you guys could do a post with a list of all of them (some of them). With prices so crazy high now I told my husband that I need to start couponing again (how I found HIP2SAVE in 2009!). He told me I need to get with the times and use the apps LOL. I don’t know where to start. Any advice would be helpful. Thanks!

  29. A

    I started using ibotta & checkout51 for fresh produce savings, but now a days don’t see any offers. So one less app to use.

  30. Janet

    Ibotta has gone downhill for sure. I didn’t see any of the back to school great/free stuff like they had last year. I use fetch and it’s so simple. Ibotta is so picky about lining up the receipt pic too. I hardly get anything anymore.

  31. Laurie

    The economy is going down the toilet. These companies know it. Vote them out in November.

    • MombieZombie

      This has nothing to do with political parties. Or are you saying vote out companies, as that’s what you actually wrote? That’s impossible and also inaccurate. This started with covid production and transportation delays and then increased gas prices worldwide due to Ukraine War, and finally compounded by opportunistic corporate greed.

    • laura-24

      You do realize that inflation is a global problem and has nothing to do with politics? Educate yourself.

  32. Csandst1

    This change will crush their business. App is too much work anyway. Fetch is much better. You don’t need to search for deals on the app.

  33. Marsha

    Just a question – Do I need to be careful when shopping to be sure that only Ibotta offers are on the receipt submitted so that no coupons are applied? My questions arises when I have a coupon for another item on that receipt that is not an Ibotta offer – at grocery stores for example where the coupons simply appear on the bottom of the receipt not attached to a particular item

    • Amber (Hip Sidekick)

      Great question, Marsha! We did find wording, as listed above 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. Hope that helps! We’ll keep an eye out for any other new details that pop up on this! 🤗

  34. Heather

    I just wrote a long letter to ibotta! I think others should as well to protest these changes! Another response I read said move on to a new app, unfortunately, I think this will be the case. I implore other savers to reach out to IBOTTA! Don’t hold back! I mean, is this really the time to snatch savings away from consumers!! Inflation is at a 40 year high! I wish ibotta could read this post along with all the replies! It would do them good! See the damage that such changes are making!
    Many use ibotta for optimum savings! Now they will be just another app!

  35. Raj

    Seriously ibotta is not what it used to be.The free after rebate items are seldom at any stores at least in NJ.Fetch app is definitely much easier and doing good.Hope they get many more offers for the users in the offing.

  36. OllieG

    I’m interested in Fetch. Anyone have a referral code?

  37. Raj

    You can use code VUJ9AY during registration on fetch to get 2000 points=$2 when you can first receipt

    • OllieG

      Thanks Raj. Just submitted my first receipt. We both got the bonus.

  38. Debbie

    My code for Fetch if anyone needs one. U4YJH

  39. Pam

    I, too, am disappointed in this huge change in Ibotta and expect my usage will diminish. My question is how did Ibotta inform its thousands of users? I received no notice from them and wouldn’t have known about the change had I not seen it in your posts.

  40. Debbie

    Pam. I didn’t think of this until you said it. I also wouldn’t have known , if it weren’t from reading it here. Ibotta should have contacted all of us by email about this major change. I’m disappointed in them. 🙁

  41. Debbie

    Thank you to whoever used my Fetch code. I appreciate it 😊

  42. Natasha-ai

    As another post said, it would be very helpful if Hip2Save created a post with other money-saving apps. I learned of Fetch from other members on H2S.

  43. JD827

    Hi Hip2Save friends, there has been a very important clarification to Ibitta’s new policies.
    Some Ibotta offers have restrictions which would not allow them to be combined with:

    Manufacturer coupons
    Paper coupons
    Digital coupon codes
    Retailer digital rewards
    … among others. It is important to always check the offer details to understand the specific exclusions or restrictions for that offer.

    So Ibotta has walked it back from you can’t use coupons on ANY offer to read the terms on EACH offer to find the ones that the manufacturer excludes the stacking of offers. I can confirm that I used coupons on several Walgreens purchases as of last night and got the cash back but was denied on one. Bottom line-read the fine print but it isn’t as bad as we all thought. Read Coupon in the News for a thorough explanation. Thanks all!

    • Amber (Hip Sidekick)

      You’re welcome! Thank YOU for sharing and for the heads up! It does seem that you’ll need to read the fine print of each offer to be sure how it may or may not apply with other offers. Good to know how it has worked for you recently. We’ll continue to keep an eye on this! ❤️🤗🙌

  44. Sue Wright

    If anyone needs a Fetch Rewards referral code, please use mine BY8TG 🙂

  45. Jodi H

    Please use my code 6B57ND. I used the persons above me

  46. Keesh

    I love fetch plz use my code if you decide to sign up ….9Q993B thanks I greatly appreciate you.

  47. Sarah

    I bought Atkins on sale at Kroger the chips 2/4 and it won’t accept them!! Totally worthless wow

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