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Monday, January 27, 2014

Ibotta, Checkout51 and others: Leveraging in-store shopping coupon/rebate apps

I've always had a hard time getting excited about Ibotta, since they didn't have offers at many stores near me and the app was a pain to use.  They have, however, recently added new stores and made the rebate process easier to navigate, so I have paid more attention to it.

Recently, however, I discovered Checkout51.com, which is even easier than Ibotta to use.  While it doesn't have as many offers as Ibotta, all you have to do to get credit is take a picture of the receipt, and you can use it at any store.

Where it gets interesting is when it overlaps.  For example, this weekend, one app had a rebate of $.75 for Belvita breakfast biscuits, while the other had one for had a rebate for $1.00.  Same thing for certain Nabisco cookies.  Combine a manufacturer's coupon and you run into the situation where you are actually getting the product for free or better!  Don't like the product?  There's probably a shelter that would be grateful.  Note also that the Ibotta/Checkout offers are normally timed to coincide with what you'll find on sale in your circulars.

To Maximize:
  • Look for products that are on both apps.  This should take about two seconds.
  • Do a quick search for manufacturer coupons for the product.  Another two seconds.
  • Check products for prices.  I usually hit Walmart.com to check prices, but your local circular will also have deals.  
  • I have not yet discovered if two people with the app can use the same receipt, since my wife does not have a smart phone.  But if you can, that doubles your earnings.
This is the type of thing that I love to do.  You're not going to get rich from it, but I always enjoy the game.

Likewise, if anybody can find other apps similar to these two, please let me know and I'll post your referral link.

Full disclosure: Please note that I do get a $1 referral bonus if you use my link for Ibotta.  Checkout51, which is the better of the two, does not offer a referral bonus and should be the one that you use if you only do one.

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