This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure for more information.
Everyone loves saving money whenever possible, and cashback apps have become a popular way to do so when shopping. Rakuten and Ibotta are two major cashback app players, but which one is better?
If you aren’t taking advantage of cashback apps to save one your everyday purchases you should. You might be missing out on a lot of extra money.
Both Rakuten and Ibotta are excellent apps, but there are some differences. Read on to find out the details on each app and which one might be best for you to get free money!
Rakuten vs. Ibotta: A Comparison
To help you decide which one works best for your needs, let’s compare their features, pros and cons, and savings potential.
Ibotta is primarily known for being a go-to grocery app, offering cashback rewards and grocery rebates when you shop at various stores. You can even link it up and use it with your store loyalty card to earn money.
You simply upload your receipts after you shop in store and get cashback once your purchase is verified.
With millions of downloads and over $980 million paid to users, it’s evident that Ibotta is quite popular and one of the best grocery rebate apps out there.
Ibotta Pros & Cons
- Has always been known primarily for grocery shopping but has now added other stores and categories
- Great for in store purchases, you can upload receipts after your shopping trip
- Offers cash back for in-store and online purchases
- The requirement to upload receipts can be tedious
- In some cases you need to opt-in for offers before you shop
- Might only be ideal for grocery shopping rather than other categories as those are newer additions
On the other hand, Rakuten is a popular cashback platform for both online and in-store shopping.
By signing up and shopping through the Rakuten app or website, you can earn a percentage of cash back from various retailers.
Rakuten has also partnered with a diverse range of stores, allowing you to save on multiple shopping categories. When it comes to Ibotta vs Rakuten, Rakuten has a lot more participating stores and retailers.
Rakuten Pros & Cons:
- Easy to use for online and in-store shopping
- Diverse range of partnered stores
- Occasional promotions like Double Cash Back Events
- Offers big referral bonuses of $30 per customer you refer
- Not as focused on grocery shopping as Ibotta
- You must activate offers before shopping to be eligible for cashback
When it comes to the features and potential savings, both Ibotta and Rakuten have their strengths.
If your primary goal is to save on groceries, you may find Ibotta more suitable as it is one of the bets grocery rebate apps.
However, if you’d like to earn cashback across various categories, Rakuten might be the better fit. Ultimately it is probably best to use them both!
Chart of Rakuten vs. Ibotta Features:
|PayPal, Physical Check
|PayPal, Venmo, Bank Transfer, Gift Cards
|Online & In Store Options
|Online & In Store Options
|$30 when friend spends $30
|$5 when friend uses app
|Best for general shopping, many participating stores
|Best app for groceries
What is Ibotta?
Ibotta is a cashback app that helps you save money on your grocery shopping and other purchases. The app’s main focus is to provide offers on groceries, but it has expanded to include other categories as well.
Ibotta partners with various stores and brands to bring you discounts on items you are already shopping for.
The app lets you browse available offers, add them to your account, and then claim the cashback once you’ve made the purchase.
It’s especially useful for larger families or those who spend a significant amount on groceries and has easy mobile app access for use.
- Cashback on groceries and more: The Ibotta cash back app works with a wide range of stores, both online and physical, to help you get more value for your money. Save on groceries, retail shopping, and even travel bookings with Ibotta.
- Loyalty card integration: Link your store loyalty cards to the app to streamline your cashback process and make it even easier to save.
- Bonuses: Ibotta offers various bonus opportunities in addition to regular deals, allowing you to earn even more cash back. They also offer referral bonuses if you get your friends to download the rebate app.
- In-app mall: The app also features a “mall” section, making it convenient to browse and shop for a variety of items while earning cash back.
Earn Money with this Cash Back App
Ibotta: Make cash back on all your shopping. Get a $5 bonus!
How Does Ibotta Work?
- Download the app: To get started, download the free Ibotta app on your smartphone. They also have a browser extension you can use, just like Rakuten but it is only available on Google Chrome.
- Browse offers: Before heading to the store, open the app and browse through the available offers. You can search for specific products or browse by store or category.
- Add offers to your account: When you find an offer you want to claim, just tap on it and follow the instructions to add it to your account.
- Shop at the store: Purchase the items with the added offers at a participating store. If you’ve linked a loyalty card, you can skip to step 6.
- Scan your receipt: After shopping, take a photo of your receipt through the Ibotta app to verify your purchase.
- Earn cash back: Once your purchase is verified, the cashback amount will be added to your Ibotta account. When you reach the minimum withdrawal amount, you can cash out through your PayPal account or gift cards. The minimum payout is $20.
Ibotta makes it easy for you to save money on your everyday purchases at the grocery store. By taking advantage of the cashback offers and features, you can keep more of your hard-earned money in your pocket.
What is Rakuten?
Rakuten is a popular cash back platform that allows you to earn money while shopping at your favorite online and in-person stores.
It offers you up to 40% cash back on online purchases by partnering with various retailers. Unlike Ibotta, Rakuten is not just for grocery rebates but instead includes tons of big brands and online sites where you might be purchasing just about anything.
It offers a user-friendly app and browser extension that helps you find deals and cash-back offers with minimal effort while you are online shopping.
When you look at the Rakuten website you can actually see what percentage cash back you get from each store.
In this section, we’ll explore Rakuten’s features and how it works, so you can make the most of your shopping experience.
Rakuten is known for its wide range of features that make earning cash back a breeze. Some of these features include:
- Access to cash-back offers at over 3,500 partner stores
- An easy-to-use browser extension available for Chrome, Edge, Firefox, and Safari, ensuring you never miss out on a deal when you shop online
- Support for various electronic payment methods, such as PayPal and paper checks
- Daily deals and promotions, so there’s always a fresh opportunity for savings
Our Favorite Cash Back App
Rakuten: Make cash back on all your online shopping. Get a $30 bonus!
How Does Rakuten Work?
Using Rakuten is simple and straightforward, especially if you’re a frequent online shopper. Here’s how it works:
- Sign up for a free Rakuten account to start earning cash back.
- Browse through the Rakuten app or website to find cash-back offers from your favorite stores. You can also use the browser extension to see available offers while shopping on different websites.
- Shop as you typically would, either online or in-store. Just make sure you’re using Rakuten’s app, website, or browser extension to access the store and complete your purchase.
- Earn cash back for qualifying purchases, which will be credited to your Rakuten account.
- Receive your cash-back earnings via your preferred payment method — PayPal or a paper check — once you reach the minimum payout threshold of $5.01.
So, with Rakuten’s user-friendly features and seamless cash-back process, you can effortlessly save money on your everyday shopping, both online and in stores. Happy shopping!
Common Retail Partners Between Ibotta and Rakuten
Here are some major retailers that both Rakuten and Ibotta will give you cashback earnings for shopping with.
- Best Buy
- Old Navy
Features Shared by Rakuten and Ibotta
Is Ibotta or Rakuten better? Well it depends, but there are actually several features they both have and are equally good:
When it comes to mobile apps, both Ibotta and Rakuten have user-friendly interfaces available for Android and iOS devices.
The Ibotta rebate app primarily focuses on offering you cashback for grocery shopping, whether it’s in-store or online. Before you shop, you have to select offers within the app to ensure you receive discounts when making purchases.
On the other hand, Rakuten’s mobile app is designed for online shopping across various retailers. It automatically applies the best available cashback offers at checkout, making it convenient and seamless to save money while shopping.
If you prefer shopping on your computer, both Ibotta and Rakuten offer browser extensions to make saving while you nline shop easy.
The Ibotta browser extension allows you to find cashback offers for selected online retailers. However, you must activate these offers before shopping to guarantee their availability.
Meanwhile, the Rakuten browser extension automatically finds and applies the best cashback deals during your online shopping experience.
This makes it easier for you to save money without needing to search for individual promotions or activating offers ahead of time.
You can earn even more by referring friends to use these cashback apps. Both Ibotta and Rakuten have referral programs in place, allowing you to receive a bonus when your friends sign up using your invitation link.
This can lead to extra savings for you and your friends, making it a win-win situation! Rakuten currently pays $30 for every successful referral. But the referral has to actually spend $30 for you to receive that money.
Ibotta’s referral bonus is only $5 but you are able to give your referrals a $5 bonus and they only have to use the app for any type of cash back for you to get the money so it is a little easier vs. Rakuten.
To make the deal even sweeter, both apps offer sign-up bonuses for new users. Ibotta and Rakuten provide a bonus once you create an account and make your first qualifying purchase, giving you the chance to earn even more cash.
Be sure not to miss out on this opportunity for some free money, and always check the current sign-up bonus promotions.
Not only do you earn cash back, but you also get access to exclusive shopping deals on both platforms. Ibotta offers deals on your favorite grocery items, while Rakuten partners with thousands of major retailers to provide you with discounts and promotions.
Pay attention to these deals, as they can save you a significant amount on your shopping and help you earn cash.
Overall, using Ibotta or Rakuten to earn cash back, refer friends, receive sign-up bonuses, and discover shopping deals can contribute to a smart budgeting strategy and help you save more money on purchases you’re already making.
Differences Between Rakuten and Ibotta
When it comes to receiving your cashback rewards, both Ibotta and Rakuten offer various options. Let’s compare their payment methods to help you choose the app that suits your needs.
With Ibotta, you can cash out your earnings through PayPal, Venmo, or by redeeming them for gift cards from popular retailers such as Amazon, Starbucks, and Walmart.
To withdraw your earnings, you need to have a minimum balance of $20 in your Ibotta account. Once you’ve reached that threshold, you can easily transfer your money to your preferred payout method.
Rakuten, on the other hand, primarily pays its users through Big Fat Checks, which are mailed to your physical address every quarter. You’ll receive this check if your account balance is over $5.
If you prefer a more digital option, Rakuten also offers payouts via PayPal. Unfortunately, Rakuten doesn’t provide the option to redeem your cash-back rewards for gift cards.
Remember that with both Ibotta and Rakuten, you might need to link your credit or debit card from your bank account to your account to track in-store purchases.
This is to ensure you receive the correct amount of cashback for your eligible transactions. Don’t worry, linking your card is secure, and your personal information is not compromised.
As mentioned, the minimum payout for Rakuten vs. Ibotta is different. Rakuten lets you cash out with as little as $5 whereas you have to have a balance of $20 before you can redeem cash with Ibotta.
A nice extra way to earn cash with both apps is through their referral programs. In the Ibotta vs. Rakuten for bonuses battle, Ibotta pays less at just $5. But, the requirement for you to make that money is lower.
The person you refer only has to use the app once, no matter how much they spend. For Rakuten on the other hand, they pay more money with a big amount of $30. But the referred person has to spend $30 on Rakuten for you to get the bonus, so it may be harder to get.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do Ibotta and Rakuten compare in rewards?
Both apps offer cashback on various purchases. Ibotta focuses mainly on in-store grocery offers, while Rakuten lets you earn cash from a broader range of online retailers.
The amount of cashback may vary depending on the store and offer. In general, it depends on your shopping habits to determine which app brings you more rewards.
What are the pros and cons of using Ibotta and Rakuten?
Pros of using Ibotta:
- Wide range of in-store grocery offers
- Easy to use mobile app
- Multiple payout options
Cons of using Ibotta:
- Limited online shopping offers
- Requires scanning receipts for some offers
Pros of using Rakuten:
- Extensive network of online retailers
- Numerous discounts and cashback opportunities
- Automatic cashback tracking
- More money for refferals
Cons of using Rakuten:
- Quarterly cashback payouts
- Some users report tracking issues
Can you combine Ibotta and Rakuten for more savings?
Yes, you can use both Rakuten and Ibotta to maximize your savings. While shopping online, use the Rakuten app to shop and earn cashback.
For in-store purchases, especially groceries, use Ibotta to find the best offers available to you. By taking advantage of both apps, you can potentially increase your savings.
How do the referral systems in Ibotta and Rakuten differ?
Ibotta and Rakuten both have referral programs where you earn rewards for referring new users to the platform. Ibotta offers cash bonuses once your referrals sign up and redeem an offer, while Rakuten provides a flat cash bonus for each referral who makes an eligible purchase. Both platforms have promotional periods for increasing referral rewards.
What are some alternatives to Ibotta and Rakuten for cashback?
In addition to Ibotta and Rakuten, there are several other cashback apps and services, such as TopCashback, Swagbucks, Dosh, Capital One Shopping and Fetch Rewards.
Each service has its unique features and rewards system. Some may not require receipt scanning and some may have more stores. You may want to explore these options to find the best fit for your shopping habits and maximize your cashback potential.
Ibotta vs Rakuten – Which Platform Is Best?
When it comes to the iBotta vs. Rakuten debate, they are both an excellent cashback app. It really depends most on where you are shopping online.
You may want to use both apps and when you have something specific to buy, use the one that has the best deal and the best cash back offer!
Next Smart Money Posts: