Vital Dollar may receive compensation from companies, products, and services covered on our site. For more details, please read about how we make money.
In the current economic climate, many people are looking for ways to save money. One approach that you may have considered is getting cashback on your groceries and other purchases.
Earning cashback is a great way to save money because, with the right approach, you can earn cashback or rewards for the same purchases that you’re already making. We’re not talking about spending more just for the sake of earning rewards. Many of the purchases you’re already making have the potential to earn cashback for you.
Although there are lots of platforms offering cashback, two of the leading apps are Ibotta and Fetch Rewards. Here we’ll look at how these two apps compare to help you to find the best cashback app for groceries.
The Ibotta Basics
The Ibotta app allows you to earn cash back on everyday purchases from more than 300 online and in-store retailers. The app currently has a 4.3 out of 5 rating and over 30 million downloads on the Google Play Store. Ibotta has been around since 2012, and it has its headquarters in Denver.
There are a number of ways you can earn cash back with Ibotta. If you’re visiting a store, you can “find offers” filtered to that specific brand. Once you’ve found offers of interest, you can simply go to the store and make your purchases as normal. You will then need to upload your receipt to earn your cashback. Ibotta will automatically cross-reference the offers you selected with your completed purchases.
You can also connect your loyalty accounts. Since Ibotta has relationships with many of the major retailers, you can also link their loyalty accounts. Once the loyalty accounts are linked through the app, any time you make a purchase and swipe your loyalty card, you’ll automatically receive Ibotta cashback. This eliminates the need to upload your receipts after shopping.
Finally, you can use the Ibotta app to save money with more than 140 online retailers. You can look at the current offers and then shop through the app. Once you click “shop”, you can make your purchases as normal. You’ll then receive your cashback into your Ibotta account automatically.
Ibotta is not exclusively for groceries. You can earn cash back from purchases at many different types of stores, however, the amount of offers available at grocery stores makes Ibotta an excellent app if you want to save money on groceries.
The Fetch Rewards Basics
Fetch Rewards is similar to Ibotta in that it is a free mobile app where you earn rewards for taking pictures of your shopping receipts. However, where Fetch Rewards differs is that you don’t need to check for offers before you buy.
After your shopping trip, you just need to open up the app, select scan, and follow the prompts to take a picture of your receipt. Longer receipts require several pictures, so Fetch Rewards has a copy of the whole receipt.
All receipts are processed in real-time, and you have up to 14 days to scan any receipts. Additionally, there is a maximum of 14 receipts in any seven day rolling period. Unlike Ibotta, Fetch Rewards is specifically for saving money on groceries. However, you can scan receipts from supermarkets, convenience stores, club wholesalers, liquor stores, and grocery retailers.
Fetch Rewards works with over 200 brands, and the list continues to grow. There is a full list of participating brands on the app, but it includes Breyers, Oscar Mayer, and Kraft. There are also special offers that provide higher rewards.
The Sign-Up Process
Both apps make it easy to sign up and start earning your cashback. You can sign up for Ibotta on the website. You’ll need to enter your name, email address, zip code, gender, and date of birth. You need to be over 21 to join. At this point, you’ll need to create a password.
Once you’ve registered, you can download the app and start collecting savings. You’ll be able to redeem your first rebate within 15 days to get your introductory bonus.
The Fetch Rewards sign up process is a little different, as it can all be done through the app. Once you download the app, you can sign up with your Facebook account, Google account, or a valid email address. You will need to provide a contact phone number and the state where you live. Fetch Rewards will send you an SMS text with a confirmation code for your registration.
Again, it is possible to get $2 as a welcome bonus.
Want more cashback? Be sure to see our list of the best cashback apps and websites. You’ll learn about a number of resources that make it very easy to save money on the things you’re already buying. With just a few small changes to your shopping routine, you can save hundreds of dollars or more each year.
How You Can Claim Your Cashback
Ibotta offers dollar amounts as cashback, which you can claim as a gift card or PayPal transfer. You will need to link your PayPal account, and you’ll need a minimum of $20 in order to withdraw. On the other hand, you can transfer your earnings to a gift card with a denomination of $20 or $25. Gift cards are available for the same major retailers offering you cashback through the Ibotta app.
Fetch Rewards works a little differently. You’ll earn points for the grocery store receipts you scan. You can earn as much as 10,000 points for special offer items.
The conversion rate for Fetch Rewards is 1,000 points equaling $1. You can cash out from 3,000 points. Like Ibotta, you can choose from a large selection of gift card options, including Walmart, Target, and Amazon. However, there is no PayPal option.
Which One is Best?
To fully understand which app is best for you, we need to appreciate that both platforms have pros and cons. We’ll look at these in a little more detail here:
- Cashback is available at most national retailers – There are over 300 retailers who partner with Ibotta, so you can easily earn.
- You can link your loyalty cards – Ibotta makes it easy to link your loyalty cards. So, whenever you make a purchase and swipe your loyalty card, Ibotta will automatically calculate your cashback.
- You can earn bonuses – In addition to the regular cashback amounts, there is a variety of bonuses to boost your earnings.
- Only available with massive brands – Ibotta only links with huge brands and major retailers. So, if you prefer to shop in smaller, independent stores, you will struggle to get cashback.
- Location tracking – The Ibotta app tracks your location when you’re shopping, which some people may find invasive.
- $20 minimum cash out – The minimum $20 cash out is a little high compared to Fetch Rewards and other cashback platforms.
Fetch Rewards Pros
- Real-time points – The Fetch Rewards app calculates your points in real-time, so you can easily track your earnings.
- No preselecting deals – Fetch Rewards does not require that you browse and select deals before you head out shopping.
- Large selection of gift cards – There are hundreds of gift card options, including restaurants, home brands, fashion, electronics, and other popular retailers. You can even donate your points to charity.
Fetch Rewards Cons:
- No PayPal – Unlike Ibotta, there is no PayPal option, so you cannot obtain quick cash.
- Points Expire – If your account remains inactive for 90 days, you will find your points expire, and you’ll lose your accumulated earnings.
- No loyalty card link – There is no possibility to link your store loyalty cards.
So, Which is the Best Cashback App?
Fortunately, you don’t need to choose between the two apps. It is possible to use Fetch Rewards in addition to Ibotta to maximize your cashback potential.
|Available for:||Android and iOS||Android and iOS|
|Save money at:||Grocery stores, department stores, clothing stores, and more.||Grocery stores, liquor stores, convenience stores, and warehouse clubs|
|Strength:||Larger cashback potential||Ease of use|
|Redeem your rewards for:||PayPal cash or your choice of gift cards||Your choice of gift cards|
|Minimum to cash out:||$20||$3|
|Get started||Sign up||Sign up|
Tips to Maximize Your Rewards
As with most apps and reward platforms, there are certain things you can do to maximize your rewards. So, here are a few tips to ensure that you get the most out of Ibotta, Fetch Rewards, or both apps.
Double or triple your savings! Did you know that it’s surprisingly easy to stack multiple layers of rewards and cashback? Read our article How to Stack Rewards and Cashback to see real-world examples of how you can earn multiple layers of rewards on groceries, gas, and other purchases.
1. Save and Double-Check Your Receipts
Although it may be tempting to scan your receipt and then throw it away, this will give you no recourse if there is an error. Although the teams at both Ibotta and Fetch Rewards aim to be as accurate as possible, mistakes can still happen.
So, it’s a good idea to save your receipts after you’ve scanned them. You can then check that you received the correct reward before you dispose of the paper receipt. Ibotta tends to update rebates on a Thursday, so try and get into a routine of checking your rewards once or twice a week to ensure they are correct. Remember, that there is a deadline for scanning receipts, so you want to ensure that you still have time to claim should a receipt fail to properly go through.
2. Keep an Eye on Special Offers
Both apps regularly have special offers that can earn you a far higher rate of rewards. So, it is well worth checking into the app to see the latest special offers. You can earn up to 10,000 points on Fetch Reward special items. Even if this isn’t something you need right now, it is well worth buying these very special offers; you’ll get an immediate reward, and you’ll have something stored in your pantry.
3. Claim Your Welcome Bonus
Both Ibotta and Fetch Rewards offer welcome bonuses, but there are some conditions, so don’t miss out. For example, Ibotta requires you to redeem an offer within the first 15 days to qualify for your welcome bonus.
It’s also important to check the fine print. You cannot claim a welcome bonus unless you’re a brand new user, and the app has not previously been used on your device. So, you cannot share devices with another user.
4. Check for Bonuses
There is the possibility of bonuses in addition to your regular rebates. These are easy to find on the apps, but can offer you an extra $1 or $2 for redeeming other offers. So, you’re getting money for nothing!
5. Get Strategic
It’s also worth planning your shopping strategically to get the best bonuses. If you’re using both apps, look at which will give you the best rewards. Typically, Ibotta offers the best rewards in larger stores and with bigger brands. In contrast, Fetch Rewards allows you to scan your club warehouse, liquor store, and independent retailer receipts.
So, before you head out shopping, look at both apps to work out, which will give you the best rewards for your planned purchases, and in some cases, you may be able to use both.
You can also plan individual purchases to get the highest redemption reward. For example, if Ibotta is offering a 75 cent rebate on individual yogurts, with no variety or size requirements, and a 75 cent bonus if you purchase three, you can use this to your advantage.
If you buy three large containers, you may spend $8 or $9. You’ll still get the $2.25 in rebates and $0.75 bonus. So, your purchase will have cost you $5 or $6.
However, if you buy three small containers at $1 each, you’ll spend $3 and get the same $3 in rewards. So, in effect, your items are free!
6. Look Out for Recurring Offers
Some of the offers appear again and again. Many of the offers you’ll use will be repeats of your favorite items, particularly if you like to stock up. You may find clues about recurring offers or discover a pattern once you’ve been using the apps for a while.
7. Stack Your Rebates
You can gain even more savings by stacking your rebates. If there are “any item” or “any brand” deals, these can often stack with others for specific brands or items. So, you can combine the deals for even more cashback.
8. Look Out For In-Store Sales That Match Your Offers
Finally, look out for in-store sales and external coupons that match your app offers. If there are items that are on sale in-store or there are coupons in your local paper, you can combine the sale price, coupon, and cashback for even greater savings.
As you can see, there are some great advantages to cashback apps. In these tough economic times, earning cash just for shopping for your groceries is a real bonus. Both Ibotta and Fetch Rewards offer different bonuses, so you can maximize your cashback by signing up for both!