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Ibotta vs Fetch: Here’s the Winner…

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If you have scanned receipts for cash, then you’re probably well aware of two of the bigger players in the field, Ibotta and Fetch Rewards.

If not, these apps will pay you to scan your shopping receipts, and in exchange for doing so, you can earn rewards, such as PayPal cash, Amazon.com gift cards and much more.

Seeing these are two of the bigger names, I wanted to compare the two to show you the differences as well as which one I prefer.  As in all of my posts, I always remain non-biased, only promoting what I feel is fair.

Ibotta vs. Fetch Rewards

How Do They Work?

While they both work in the same way, where you will be asked to scan a receipt, there are some differences that you should know about.

Fetch Rewards

With the Fetch Rewards app, you can scan receipts for any purchases, both online and offline, as long as the receipts aren’t older than seven days and you haven’t scanned more than 35 receipts in a 7-day time frame.  Stores must be a grocery store, convenience store, drug store or big box retailer.  If it doesn’t fit into one of these four categories, then there’s a good chance your receipt with be denied.

For every receipt you upload, you will earn a number of points, no matter what you purchase; however, if you purchase an item that’s being promoted, then you can earn a bonus on top of the base points.  For example, you may earn 30 extra points if you were to purchase a certain frozen food product or 300+ points if you were to buy deodorant.  Usually, the app has more than 250+ special offers, all of which you can view on your dashboard.  You don’t have to purchase these special offers to receive your points, as, again, any receipt, can be uploaded in exchange for points.

Ultimately, Fetch Rewards is one of my favorites since I can take a picture of almost any receipt and get rewarded.

Be sure to read the Fetch Rewards review in depth to see how it works in detail.



Ibotta

Ibotta, on the other hand, will not let you upload any receipt.  Instead, you will have to purchase what’s on the app.  And, while this can seem like an annoyance, it’s not as bad as you think as the app has hundreds of offers.  The best thing about this app is that some of these offers only require that you do something simple, such as buy bananas or maybe a loaf of bread.  Sometimes, it will be a very simple task, but in other cases, it will be a specific item, such as Kraft Macaroni and Cheese, for example.

You will want to picture this app more like a coupon app, where you will upload your receipts or link your loyalty cards to receive a rebate whenever you purchase an item on the list.  As I’m writing this, they work with more than 140+ retailers that allow you to link your loyalty card to the app.  When you do so, you can make purchases and the app will reward you automatically.

What I usually do is browse the app ahead of time and then jot down any item that may be of interest to me.  Then, during my shopping trip, I will make sure I purchase it to get my rewards on the app.

Today, Ibotta is much more than a receipt scanning app as you can download a browser extension as well, where you can get cash back on purchases made online.

Like Fetch, I also wrote a review on Ibotta, so I recommend you check it out.

Signing Up

Both of these apps make it easy to join as they are very similar in the sign-up process.

Once downloaded, you will need to enter your name, email address, zip code, gender and your birthdate.  Of course, you will need to create a user name and password as well.

You must be at least 21+ to join.

The Key Differences

While they both reward you for your receipts and shopping habits, there are some differences you will want to keep in mind.

Minimum Cash Out

For starters, the minimum cash out threshold is quite different between the two.

The Fetch Rewards app only asks that you have at least 3,000 points, which equals $3 in points, to cash out, whereas Ibotta will require a minimum of $20, almost seven times more than Fetch Rewards.

I would say this is the biggest difference between the two since it can take some time to reach that $20 threshold on Ibotta.

Scanning Receipts

As mentioned prior, another difference relies on which receipts the apps accept.

Unfortunately, you can’t upload any receipt to the Ibotta app like the Fetch Rewards app.  You will have to purchase the exact item mentioned on the Ibotta app to get your reward.  This isn’t the case on Fetch, as you can upload any receipt, as well as a receipt with any special offers noted on the app.

In short, if you don’t have the item with Ibotta, you won’t earn a reward; however, with Fetch, you can always earn a reward as long as your receipt is no older than 14 days old and is from one of the approved store types.

Earnings

While Ibotta can seem like a pain to find the items within the app, it actually isn’t.  The app works with so many brands, you would be surprised as to how many items are on the app that you already buy.  And, because of this, the earning potential, I feel, is much higher than that of Fetch Rewards.  One of the main reasons is that you can link your loyalty cards, such as at a Kroger, and let the app do the work for you.  Every time you shop and check out, Ibotta will know exactly what you purchased without you having to add items to your app.

With Ibotta, you can also add the cashback browser extension, wherein you can earn cashback from online stores.  Many companies do this, but it’s another way to earn on Ibotta and pad your balance.

When you think of a receipt scanning app, almost everyone who uses these apps have heard of Ibotta.  It’s definitely one of the bigger names in the space, with Fetch Rewards following closely behind.  While Fetch isn’t as popular, you can still earn, but I would say it isn’t as much as Ibotta.

Personally, I have used both apps and have earned almost three times more using Ibotta, but the main reason was that most of the times on the app were purchases I was going to make anyways.  This seems to be the common consensus online.

Timing

Fetch Rewards will instantly credit you points the second you upload the receipt.  This makes it nice if you want to know what you’re going to earn.  Ibotta, on the other hand, can take a few days to finalize your rewards.

This isn’t a deal-breaker, but it’s sometimes nice to know what you’re earning right away.



Points vs. Cash

Fetch Rewards works on a points system, where you will earn $1 for every 1,000 points you earn.  Once you hit that 3,000 points threshold, you can then choose from a variety of rewards, such as Amazon and Walmart.  There is no PayPal, however.  This is a huge difference between the two.

As for Ibotta, it simply offers a dollar amount, not a points system.  And, as mentioned, you will need at least $20 in cash rewards to redeem your cashback.  If you don’t want the cashback, you can also choose from a variety of instant gift card options.

The rewards are similar, but the minimums are slightly difference.  Just be aware of that.

Chrome Extension

And, lastly, Ibotta has that Chrome extension that you can install on your desktop/laptop and get automatic cashback at online retailers.

So, for example, if you were shopping online and there was a cash back opportunity, Ibotta would alert you, where you could save up to 15%+ on your purchase just for clicking.

Fetch doesn’t offer this sort of opportunity.

The Pros and Cons

Fetch RewardsIbotta
Pros:
- $3 minimum payout
- Can upload almost any receipt
- Tons of rewards, including cash and gift cards
- Takes 10 seconds to upload a receipt
- Real time points, showing you exactly what you're earning
Pros:
- Hundreds of special offers
- Highest earning potential out of all receipt scanning apps
- Cash back extension to earn more
- Sign-up bonus
- Can link loyalty card for almost all of your big-name grocery stores
Cons:

- Not as many special offers
- No sign-up bonus (or very little)
- No cash back online, expect Amazon
- No PayPal option
- Points do expire after 90 days if your account is active
- Can't link your loyalty cards
Cons:

- $20 to cash out (one of the highest)
- Have to purchase item on list to get credit
- May have to scan bar codes
- Location tracking, which can be annoying to some

Final Thoughts

Both of these apps are 100% legit, and the great thing about this is that you can use both apps at the same time.  Plus, they both offer cash, the best reward option available.

Whenever you get a receipt, always make it a habit to use both.  In fact, use as many as you can to take full advantage of your shopping trips.  While these apps won’t make you rich, I think you can make anywhere from $5 to $20+ a month, depending on how much shopping you do as well as which offers you take advantage of.

If you want to save money, both can help, and as you can see, they both have pros and cons.  While they work in slightly different ways, the concept is the same.  Just make sure you take full advantage of the special offers to maximize your savings.

That’s going to do it for now.

As always, if you want to comment on this post and/or add to what I have already written, then feel free to sound off in the comments below.

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Tom Nathaniel

Hi! My name is Tom Nathaniel, and I created LushDollar to help share my honest thoughts on everything money. It's the Internet's most honest money site after all. I have worked in the finance industry since 2006, consulting with multiple Fortune 5000 companies.

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