The College Student’s Guide to Ibotta (8 Ways the App Helps You Save Money)

Updated December 4, 2023 by Kyle James

Couponing and instant rebate apps like Ibotta are no longer just for soccer moms and grandparents living on a fixed income. New features on the Ibotta app actually make it a great money-saving tool for any college student. From saving on food, travel, entertainment, and clothing, the app has you covered and can easily save a student hundreds of dollars per year.

The best part is that Ibotta is currently offering a $10 Welcome Bonus for those who sign-up and give their app a try. Here are 8 ways the app can help students save significant money.

College Students Guide to Ibotta (8 Ways the App Helps You Really Save)

1. Earn Cash Back When Shopping Online

Ibotta Online Shopping

Let’s face it, college students love to shop online.

So why not get some cash back on those online purchases?

Simply start all your online shopping via the Ibotta app and you’ll get money added to your account after your purchase.

Here are some current cashback rates that caught my attention.

  • – 5% back.
  • – 6% back.
  • Abercrombie & – 6% back.
  • Under – 5% back.
  • – 3% back.
  • – 5% back.
  • – 5% back.
  • – 3% back.

New online retailers are being added weekly to the Ibotta app.

See Also: Calling All Students: 50+ Places Where Students Get a Deal

2. Use Ibotta When Road Tripping

Ibotta Convenience Store

The next time you’re road tripping and you need to stock-up on candy, chips, or Corn Nuts (Man, I love Corn Nuts) be sure to pull up the Ibotta app.

They recently added convenience stores to their list of participating stores so you might as well get a kickback on those junk food purchases.

FYI: Your car will stink for a week after you eat Corn Nuts in it.

3. Get Money Back on ANY Brand at ANY Grocery Store

Ibotta Generic Shopping

I remember those college days when you went to the store and always bought the cheapest brand, even generics. Heck, I even remember buying really cheap beer that came in a yellow can and just said “Beer” on it.

Ibotta is perfect for college students in this regard as the app will give you money back on generic purchases like fruit, bread, milk, and eggs.

Hey, it’s free money, you might as well scan your receipt via the app and get some money back in your pocket.

4. Shop Amazon and get 3% Back

Ibotta Amazon Shopping

College students love Amazon and who can blame them. Great prices, fantastic selection, and free 2-day shipping via Amazon Prime.

Well now you can save even more with Amazon. Currently you can use the Ibotta app and collect 3% cashback on Amazon device purchases which includes the Kindle, Echo, and Fire TV.

Specific Amazon offers on Ibotta change all the time and have recently included Amazon gift cards when you sign-up for Prime, as well as flat cashback on all Amazon orders.

See Also: Amazon “Prime Student” Hacks (Plus a 6-Month Free Trial Membership)

5. Earn Cashback When You Eat Off Campus

Ibotta Restaurant Deals

Let’s face it, dorm and cafeteria food gets kinda old and stale after a while.

So why not use the Ibotta app and save on your next meal from ANY bar or restaurant.

As long as the establishment has the food or drink that Ibotta currently offers rebates for, you’ll get an instant rebate when you scan your receipt.

6. Get Cash Back on Alcohol Purchases

Ibotta Alcohol Shopping

Gotta be 21 years old for this hack to work.

Ibotta offers a ton of rebates on beer, wine, and spirits.

The best part is that it doesn’t matter what store you buy your booze at, as long as you save the receipt so you can scan it later, you’ll get the rebate.

Drink responsibly and save some money in the process.

7. Book Your Travel via Ibotta and Save

Ibotta Travel

When booking travel plans for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Spring Break make sure you check Ibotta first.

The following travel sites offer cashback via the Ibotta app:

  • –  4% back.
  • –  $5 back on any purchase.
  • –  4% back.
  • Hotel Storm –  5% back.
  • Hotel Tonight –  3% back, great for last-minute hotel deals.

I’ll add to this list as Ibotta partners with more travel sites.

8. Save Big on Sports Tickets

Ibotta Tickets

Via a service called SeatGeek, the Ibotta app becomes a terrific place to score deals on tickets to the big game.

The best part is that you’ll get 5% cashback on all tickets purchased via the app.

Click Here to Sign-up for Ibotta and claim your free $10 Welcome Bonus once you redeem your first rebate.

Ask the Reader: Do you already have Ibotta on your smartphone? If so, how do you use the Ibotta app to save money while in college?

By Kyle James

Disclaimer: Ibotta paid me nothing to write this article although I do get a referral fee if you use my links to sign-up. Money I use to keep this blog operating and buy some generic beer every once in a while.


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This app is awesome! I use it every chance I get and have been able to get back $105 in just a few months (and I only make purchases for myself and my husband).