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Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Couponing Tutorial: How I've Earned More Than $6500 With Ibotta

This post may include affiliate links.  Go here to see my full disclosure policy!

One of my favorite daily blogging tasks is to check my Ibotta app -- because there's nothing more inspiring and rewarding about couponing that seeing your savings add up.

And my savings have SERIOUSLY added up with Ibotta.  Hands-down, it's one of the most effective couponing tools I have at my disposal.

In fact, since the app launched back in 2012, I've earned a whopping $6,613.25 through rebates and referrals!  

And almost $4000 of that earnings has come over the last 12 months.  

Amazing, right?

pictured: Basically my whole life.
There's a reason I call Ibotta my part-time job that lives in my phone.

The money I earn through using the app is actual JOB money.  

Except I don't have to pay for commuting costs, deal with a boss or co-workers, or show up at an office every day.

So if you haven't started using Ibotta yet (or you downloaded the app but don't know how to maximize earnings), you are literally losing out on cash.  

Real cash.  

Like, take-a-vacation or pay-off-your-credit-cards cash.

Here's a screenshot I took this morning of my Ibotta app.  

You can see my crazy lifetime earnings -- it really makes me smile every time I see that number go up -- but the most important items are actually at the bottom of that screen.

The bonus categories, the teamwork categories, and above all the Invite Friends link are THE ways to really explode your earnings on this app.

So here are my easy tips on how to boost your earnings on Ibotta using those three categories (without being scammy or coming across as desperate on social media!)

Grab some coffee and settle down to read -- I promise it will be worth the time investment!

How To Boost Your Earnings On Ibotta Fast

Reach out to non-couponers or new couponers you personally know. 

Ibotta is very easy to use, even for folks who have never clipped a coupon in their life.  And since you score a referral bonus whenever someone new signs up using their link, it's a great way to add extra $$ into your account. 

June is an excellent month to work on this -- because through the end of the month, YOU get a $10 referral bonus when you refer a new user to Ibotta!

For example, think about your family members you see often.  

If you add the app onto, say, your parents' phones, your in-laws phones, and your siblings' phones, using your referral link, you could probably rack up some sweet referral money just with them!  

That could easily add up to $40, $50, or more right there.  For maybe an hour's worth of work total.
Trust me, not a lot of part-time jobs pay $50 per hour.

And even non-techy people can use Ibotta if you sit down for a minute or two and show them around the app.  

My mom knows how to use Ibotta (and she has called me in the past for help adjusting the volume on her iPhone.)  And I showed my sister how to use Ibotta while we were walking around her Target!

And as a bonus, through the end of June 2016, your referrals will earn an additional $10 when they sign up and use the app for the first time, which means free money all the way around.

NOTE: In order to score a referral bonus, your newbie has to a) sign up using your referral code and then b) submit for their first rebate within 10 days of download. 

So it makes sense to not only show your family and friends your referral link, but also a suggested deal scenario they can use the first time out.

Luckily, I keep an updated list of rebate app deals right here on Spend Less, Shop More -- just go here to see what's currently available.  

(Note to local San Antonio readers -- the HEB-exclusive rebate app deals are maintained over here.)

And let's be honest -- if you've been couponing for any length of time at all, you probably have LOADS of people in your life or on your Facebook page begging for you to help teach them. 

So you might as well make teaching them Ibotta your first project, as it would literally be a win-win for both of you. :D

Build up your Ibotta team.  

The more friends you connect with on Ibotta, the easier it is to unlock monthly team-work bonuses, which sometimes can be up to an additional $30 per month

As you can see, I have over 3600 teammates, which means I pretty much never have to worry about hitting those bonuses -- my team always has those unlocked on the first or second day of the month.

Now, there appears to be a common misconception among couponers on how Ibotta teams work.

You can't join my team and have access to all those 3600 team-mates (that would be lovely if that's how it worked, though!)

Instead, your team is made up of: a) the person who referred you to Ibotta, b) all your Facebook friends who currently use Ibotta, and c) any people YOU refer to Ibotta.

Now, if you want to build your team FAST, you can always check out the Ibotta thread in my Facebook coupon group (it's a closed group, so you'll have to request admission first.)

That thread has literally hundreds of couponers who are interested in becoming Facebook friends with other Ibotta users, solely to build up their teams.

So an hour or so spent connecting with other couponers could help you start hitting those Ibotta bonuses much more quickly!

Please note: I no longer accept Facebook friend requests from Ibotta users on my personal profile -- it would mean spending a few hours each week keeping up with my settings so that my personal FB news feed doesn't become totally unusable. 

Frankly, I prefer to spend those hours finding you guys more deals!

Pay attention to your bonus offers!

Ibotta rotates out brand-based bonus offers all the time, that hook you up with additional cash for redeeming rebates multiple times across multiple transactions. 

In fact, I just looked in my app and I see a whopping $43 worth of bonuses available today -- and that doesn't count the cash you'd earn for actually redeeming the individual rebates. 

I don't recommend buying items you wouldn't actually use just to trigger the rebates -- unless of course they are free or money-makers, in which case you can probably find somewhere to donate them. 

But it definitely pays (literally!) to stay on top of these, and earn the ones that work for you and your family.

Remember, Ibotta often will return a rebate offer to your app a few days after you redeem it -- so sometimes you can take advantage of these deals three and four times before they disappear for good!

And now, a warning...

Don't share your referral links in social media coupon groups.

I cannot emphasize this enough.

I see this happen pretty routinely (and expect to see it happen in the comments or when I post this article in various Facebook groups tonight) and guys, it's a complete waste of time.

In my personal experience, the couponers savvy enough to have joined coupon groups online are already using the app, and are going to scroll right past your referral link. 

The other thing I see happen is that couponers start commenting on your referral post with their OWN referral links, and then the whole post turns into just a text wall of spam!

Now, if you find a coupon group that's specifically dedicated to new couponers, that could potentially be a useful venue for you to share your Ibotta referral code or link.

But those newbie coupon groups are usually run by folks who are donating a lot of time and expertise to the group -- so that admin should really be the one referring their group members, unless they specifically invite you to share referral codes and links. 

So be sure to read through the group rules and/or message the admin to ask before you post!

Again, social media can be a great way to build your referral earnings -- but you're going to have a lot more success connecting with non-couponers you personally know, whether it's face to face or online.

What other questions do you have about earning more $$ on Ibotta?  Was this useful information for you? Let me know in the comments section below!