homepage image rakuten vs ibotta

Ever feel like you’re leaving money on the table with every swipe of your debit card online? Even getting 1% back sometimes feels non-rewarding.

You’re not alone.

I’ve definitely been there, always wondering if I could be getting more from my shopping experiences.

That’s where cashback apps come in handy – they help us turn regular purchases into rewarding opportunities.

Rakuten and Ibotta are two apps I highly recommend to save money while shopping online.

These cashback rewards promise to put dollars back into your pocket just for shopping!

Deciding between which one is better might not be the best use of your time – but I got you since I have been using these apps for years 😉

rakuten vs ibotta

Rakuten vs. Ibotta – Which App is Better?

rakuten vs ibotta apps

Rakuten and Ibotta are two awesome options that can help you save some serious cash on your everyday shopping, both online and in store.

The whole process to earn cash back works pretty similarly with Rakuten and Ibotta. But you might discover that you vibe with one of them more than the other.

Both apps give you access on your phone and even have browser extensions to help you cash in on deals wherever you go.

But when it comes to how you can redeem your cash and the minimum amount you can cash out, that’s where the difference can really stand out. Check out this table below for a quick reference:

Quick ReviewRakutenIbotta
Welcome Offer$10 after $20 spent$10 after $30 spent
Redemption OptionsPayPal, Check, Amex Rewards pointsPayPal, Venmo, bank deposit, gift cards
Main differenceGreat for online shoppersGreat for in-store shoppers
Referrals Each person gets $30Get $10 after your friends sign up, friend gets $5
Cash Out Minimum$5.01$20
Download the AppRakuten App DownloadIbotta App Download

Understanding Cashback Apps: Rakuten vs. Ibotta

If you’re looking to save money on your everyday purchases, both online and in-store, cashback apps like Rakuten and Ibotta might be your answer.

How do Rakuten and Ibotta compare?

Let’s delve into their unique features, rewards system, and overall usability.

The Fundamentals of Rakuten and Ibotta

Rakuten is an app that offers users cash back for shopping at partner stores—both online and offline. By using a linked bank account or credit card while shopping with retail partners such as Target or Walmart, users can earn a percentage of their purchase back.

Ibotta operates similarly but focuses more heavily on in-store purchases through receipt scanning. Users add offers to their shopping list before heading out to shop and then upload receipts after purchasing eligible items from retailers including grocery chains like Kroger.

The Reward System of Rakuten and Ibotta

Cashout thresholds are essential when comparing these two apps of the cashback world.

Once you earn cash ($20) with Ibotta (which isn’t hard considering they offer enticing deals) you can start redeeming your earnings for gift cards or have them transferred directly to your bank account via PayPal.

Rakuten requires slightly more patience since it pays its members quarterly if there’s over $5 balance accumulated.

If you hate waiting and are quite the shopper go for Ibotta.

Navigating Online Shopping with Rakuten & Ibotta

  • Rakuten has a smooth online shopping experience. When you shop through the Rakuten app or website, it’s incredibly easy to get cash back.
  • Ibotta requires users to link their store loyalty cards or upload receipts for in-store purchases but offers great deals on online shopping as well.

Maximizing Earnings with Rakuten and Ibotta

earnings graph

Both Rakuten and Ibotta offer fantastic ways to earn cash and rewards, but there are strategies that can help you save even more money.

I’m not talking about coupon clipping or extreme bargain hunting, it’s all about knowing how these apps work best.

Navigating Online Shopping with Rakuten and Ibotta

The secret is understanding the partner stores for each app.

These range from popular sites like Amazon to specific brands such as Nike. With most Americans now shopping online, this knowledge could mean big savings on everyday purchases.

Rakuten partners up with a massive number of retailers which gives you access to exclusive deals in addition to cash-back offers when you shop online. Just log into your free Rakuten account before starting your retail therapy session and make sure you click through their multiple offers.

Ibotta operates slightly differently by focusing on giving you cashback rewards after you upload receipts from certain partnered stores post-purchase. It might seem tedious at first, but those seconds spent uploading a receipt equals dollars saved.

The process is incredibly easy: buy what’s listed in the app offers section at Target or Walmart (for example), take a photo of your receipt afterward using the Ibotta app, and then wait for the savings to roll in.

Making the Most of In-Store Shopping with Rakuten and Ibotta

Rakuten lets you save money by allowing in store offers that can be activated by linking a credit or debit card to your account. After activation, simply use the linked card for purchase and earn rewards automatically.

Before heading in store, you’ll need to put in a bit more effort than with online shopping if you’re using Ibotta. Plan ahead to maximize the in-store cash back rewards. Take some time before you hit the stores and check out their in-store cash back deals. That way, you’ll know exactly what items will give you those sweet rewards.

Key Takeaway: 

Maximizing your cashback with Rakuten and Ibotta isn’t about extreme bargain hunting, but understanding how each app works best. With the Rakuten app, use their links for online shopping to access exclusive deals to earn cash. For the Ibotta app, upload receipts post-purchase from partnered stores for cashback. If you’re an in-store shopper, make sure to link a card on these apps – it’s a simple step that can significantly boost your savings.

Browser Extensions for Rakuten and Ibotta

I’m all about making your shopping online experience easier.

Let’s talk about a couple of tools that can help you do just that: the browser extensions for Rakuten and Ibotta.

These cool tools sit quietly in your browser, ready to alert you when cashback deals are available.

Now who wouldn’t love an automatic deal-finder?

Rakuten’s Browser Extension

If we were comparing apples to oranges here then Rakuten’s extension would be like one of those giant Honeycrisp apples – crisp, sweet, and incredibly easy to use. It pops up on compatible browsers as soon as you land on a partner site. Just click ‘Activate’ and boom. You’ve added offers from the Rakuten platform without even breaking a sweat.

This tool is totally free with your Rakuten account. If by some chance you don’t have one yet visit their website.

Once activated, it keeps track of your potential earnings too. Super handy if math isn’t exactly your strong suit.

Ibotta’s Browser Extension

Ibotta’s offering is a bit different. Now this may seem more like an orange compared to our previous apple but hear me out.

Like Rakuten, Ibotta notifies users about eligible online purchases while surfing through retail partners’ sites. However, it’s a little pickier when it comes to browsers.

What makes Ibotta’s extension stand out is its knack for spotting in-store offers. By linking your store loyalty card or scanning your receipt after purchase, you can earn cash back on qualifying items. Just remember that not all stores accept uploaded receipts so make sure to link your debit card as well.

Tracking your spending is a great way to make sure you stay on budget. Plus, having all your receipts in one place can be super handy come tax time.

Key Takeaway: 

Shopping smarter is easy with Rakuten and Ibotta’s browser extensions. They alert you to cashback offers automatically. Rakuten’s extension pops up effortlessly on partner sites, while Ibotta excels in spotting in-store deals. So why wait? Start leveraging these tools today for hassle-free savings.

Special Offers and Deals on Rakuten and Ibotta

special offer image

These two cashback apps are competitive, but Rakuten and Ibotta shine with their special offers. Let me break down the unique deals you can find on these platforms.

Rakuten’s Incentives: From Coupon Codes to Free Gift Cards

You don’t just get cash back when shopping through Rakuten. You also access an array of coupon codes from retail partners like Target or Walmart. These codes make it incredibly easy to save more while shopping online.

Creating a free Rakuten account opens up even more possibilities. With your first qualifying purchase, earn a welcome bonus through a free gift card. There are no paid members here, everyone gets equal opportunities for savings.

Ibotta’s Edge: Cashback Rewards Plus More

Ibotta knows how to keep its users engaged. Their rewards platform not only lets you upload receipts for cash back but also has in-store offers where using your linked card helps you earn cash.

Ibotta takes earning cash one step further by incorporating grocery items into their scheme – everything from milk and bread to wine.

The process?

Add offers before heading out on your Ibotta shopping trip at partner stores such as Walmart, then scan the receipt post-purchase to earn those well-deserved dollars.

Battle of Referral Programs: Rakuten vs. Ibotta

Referral programs are a common feature in cashback apps, and both Rakuten and Ibotta have competitive ones. With Rakuten’s referral program, you can earn cash ($25) for every friend who signs up using your link or store loyalty card.

Ibotta takes it a step further with its Tiered Referral Program. The more friends you refer, the bigger your bonus.

FAQs on Rakuten Vs. Ibotta

Is there a downside to using Rakuten?

Rakuten can be limited. Not all stores are partnered, and some categories don’t qualify for cash back. Also, payments are quarterly.

What is the downside of Ibotta?

Ibotta needs manual work: scanning receipts and barcodes. Some users find this inconvenient compared to other apps’ automatic processes.

Which app gives the best cash back?

The “best” depends on your shopping habits. However, both Rakuten and Ibotta consistently offer competitive rates across various categories.

Which receipt app pays the most?

This varies by purchase but generally speaking, Ibotta often offers higher rewards on grocery items than others in its league.


Choosing between Rakuten and Ibotta in 2023 can be tough if you are looking to earn cash. Both have their unique advantages, mostly tailored to fit your shopping style.

Rakuten’s broad retail partner network opens doors to a world of deals and free gift cards, making online shopping incredibly rewarding.

Ibotta stands out with its robust in-store offers system. The process of scanning receipts and earning cash back has never been easier or more efficient.

It’s not just about choosing one over the other. It’s about maximizing savings by leveraging each app where it shines brightest – be it online or in-store purchases!

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