Dosh and Ibotta are two types of cashback apps with one ultimate goal: helping you save money on purchases you already make. They’re both free to use and offer mobile apps for easy accessibility, but their differences may make one of them a better overall fit for you than the other.
When deciding between using Dosh, Ibotta, or both apps at once, consider how each matches with your typical spending routine. Do you like to shop online or in stores? Where do you shop the most often? Answering these questions will help you determine how to save money more efficiently, as one of these apps may present a better solution for you.
Dosh vs. Ibotta
Comparing and using any of the best cashback apps can be a smart move when it comes to how to manage your money. Cashback and rebate apps are meant to save you money, so using any of them is a step in the right direction.
In the case of Dosh vs. Ibotta, both apps present excellent opportunities to earn cash back on everyday purchases like groceries and office supplies. Still, it makes sense to see whether the cashback process or redemption options for either app aligns better with your personal finances.
In the table below, you can see how both apps have loads of similarities and a few differences. Seeing where each app excels can help you decide which one might be right for you.
|Online vs. offline shopping||Online and offline||Online and offline|
|Type of app||Mobile app (iOS and Android)||Mobile app (iOS and Android) and browser extension|
|Redemption options||PayPal or Venmo deposit, bank transfer, or charitable donation||PayPal deposit, bank transfer, gift cards|
|Minimum cash out||$25 minimum||$20 minimum|
|Rewards expiration||Rewards don’t expire, but they’re subject to account maintenance fees after 12 months of inactivity||Rewards don’t expire, but they’re subject to account maintenance fees after six months of inactivity|
|Best for...||In-store offers and online shopping||In-store offers and online shopping|
How does Dosh work?
Dosh is a free mobile app that automatically rewards you with cash back when you use any of your connected credit cards or debit cards at participating stores or on eligible offers within the app. You just link cards to Dosh and then use the app to browse available cashback offers from thousands of places. Popular merchants and retailers include Walmart, Instacart, Disney Plus, and more.
For online offers, click on the offer through the Dosh app and use your Dosh-linked card at checkout. If you want to use Dosh to earn cash back on in-store purchases, simply check the Dosh app to see what stores have available offers in your area. Then, go to the store and use one of your connected cards to complete the purchase and you’ll automatically earn cash back.
Read our Dosh review.
How does Ibotta work?
Ibotta is both a cashback app and browser extension that offers multiple ways for you to save money on purchases. You can shop in-store, through the app, or online using the browser extension.
To earn cash back on in-store purchases with Ibotta, just add offers to your account through the app before making a purchase at a participating store. You can automatically earn cash back on activated offers if you link your store’s loyalty account to your Ibotta account and then make purchases. Or you can make the purchase and then scan the receipt in the Ibotta app.
If you want to earn cash back on online purchases, shop directly through the Ibotta app or use the Ibotta browser extension to activate cashback offers at participating online retailers. When you make your eligible purchases, you’ll earn cash back.
Read our Ibotta review.
What both cashback apps excel at
As two of the best money-saving apps available, both Dosh and Ibotta offer plenty of great features and ways to save money on common expenses. Here are a few similarities you can find on both apps:
- Free and straightforward: Dosh and Ibotta are both free apps to use, which already goes a long way in helping you save money. Add in the fact that they’re also easy to use and you have a couple of real winners on your hands. There’s no added stress of using either app because their cashback processes are simple and easy to navigate.
- Earning options: Earning cash back from either in-store or online purchases is helpful, but you can pick both options when using Dosh and Ibotta. This opens up your earning potential because you have more stores to choose from.
- Redemption options: The best part about cashback apps is earning actual cash. With both apps, you can redeem rewards for deposits into a PayPal account or bank account. Dosh also allows for Venmo deposits and charitable donations, and you can get gift cards on Ibotta from popular stores like Amazon, Best Buy, Domino’s, Walmart, and more.
- Lucrative referral bonuses: Referrals often provide the highest potential to earn money on a lot of cashback apps, including Dosh and Ibotta. This is because the referral bonuses are often much higher than the amount of cash back you can earn on everyday purchases. If you have a good network of friends and family members who also want to save money with apps, make sure you give them your referral codes so you can both add to your rewards.
4 important differences between Dosh and Ibotta
It’s easier to see how one app might be a better fit for you when you compare their differences. These areas of contrast can help you see the benefits and drawbacks of each app, which can help make your selection process more clear. Here are a few important differences between Dosh and Ibotta:
Venmo and Jelli
If you like how Dosh works, you’ll like seeing how it’s used with other popular financial services as well, including Venmo and Jelli. Dosh’s partnership with these companies doesn’t necessarily affect how you use the Dosh app, but it gives you extra opportunities to earn cash back.
For example, you can earn Venmo Rewards when you use the Venmo Mastercard Debit Card on purchases from select merchants. Venmo Rewards is powered by Dosh, which means Dosh’s services are able to quickly check whether your purchases are eligible for cash back.
In the same way, Jelli cash back is also powered by Dosh. When you use your Jelli debit card to make purchases, Dosh checks to see whether the purchase qualifies for cash back and rewards you accordingly.
If big companies like Venmo and Jelli are using Dosh to power their rewards programs, Dosh must be doing something right with its own app. Ibotta doesn’t currently have these types of partnerships, though that doesn’t mean Ibotta is a worse app. It simply shows how easy Dosh is to use for earning rewards.
Scanning receipts and adding offers
Cashback apps are only worth the time and effort you put into them if the payout is valuable enough. Ibotta often requires you to scan (with the in-app scanner) or take a picture of your receipt after you’ve made your purchases. This can be slightly time-consuming if you also have to scan the barcode of certain products you purchased as well. And of course, these steps come after you’ve already added offers in the Ibotta app.
With Dosh, you don’t have to scan receipts to earn cash back. You have to connect a debit or credit card to the Dosh app, but you only have to do that once. Then, it’s a simple matter of shopping through the Dosh app or shopping at participating stores in person and using your connected card to make purchases. There’s no time wasted searching through different offers and scanning receipts.
Ibotta excels with its different earning options. Shopping through the app or in-store works for a lot of people, but many of us also like to get online shopping done with a computer. If you use the Ibotta browser extension, you can easily activate cash back from Ibotta with the click of a button as you’re shopping at some of your favorite retailers’ websites.
Dosh doesn’t currently have a browser extension, which severely limits its uses for some people. Plenty of consumers are moving away from in-person shopping, yet getting your shopping done from a mobile device can sometimes be a hassle.
Hotels vs. gift cards
Both Dosh and Ibotta offer unique features in their apps. The Dosh app offers a tab for earning cash back on hotel reservations and Ibotta provides an area to earn cash back on gift cards for many popular brands, like Adidas, DoorDash, GameStop, and more.
Neither of these features is automatically better than the other, as it depends on what you’re looking for. However, having a dedicated area for earning cash back on gift cards likely provides increased value for more people than earning cash back on hotel stays. Not everyone is looking to stay at a hotel, but most people can find something on Ibotta’s gift card list they could use.
Which cashback app should you choose?
The better cashback app for you between Dosh and Ibotta depends on your spending patterns and financial goals. Both apps are designed to help you save money, but their functions and features may work well for different people.
For example, Dosh makes it easy to earn cash back automatically and without much effort on your part. You simply connect your preferred debit or credit card and start making purchases through the app or in person at participating stores. Once you get to the $25 threshold, you redeem your rewards how you want. However, Dosh doesn’t always have available deals for common expenses, such as buying groceries at Walmart or Kroger-branded stores. Instead, you may be able to find deals at other types of big-box stores or restaurants in your area.
Ibotta has largely been seen as the go-to cashback app for grocery shopping because it always has deals on groceries. That isn’t to say you’ll only earn cash back on grocery receipts, but you’ll often earn something on most trips to popular grocery stores, whether you shop at Whole Foods Market or Sam's Club.
The gift card section in the Ibotta app can also provide a lot of value because you can buy a gift card to a store you want to shop at anyway. You’ll earn cash back on getting the gift card through Ibotta and then you can shop at the store with the gift card. In this way, you can earn cash back on a wider variety of products.
Ibotta also has the clear advantage over Dosh with its browser extension if you are someone who shops on your computer. The browser extension is the ideal way for you to save money while doing online shopping because it easily integrates into your normal experience.
If you want to save the most money possible with these rewards apps, consider using both of them. You can stack the rewards on Dosh and Ibotta in certain ways, such as using your Dosh-connected card at a participating store that also has Ibotta offers. It also makes sense to choose the app with the better cashback offer if they both offer cash back at the same store and you’re not able to stack the offers. This will help you maximize your rewards and achieve your full saving potential.
Is it safe to use Ibotta?
Yes, Ibotta is a safe and legit money-saving app that offers cash back on everyday purchases from hundreds of retailers and thousands of locations around the country. Ibotta users have earned more than $600 million in cashback rewards since the company was founded in 2012. As Ibotta improves and expands its services, the opportunities to earn cash back continue to grow.
Does Ibotta charge a fee?
Ibotta doesn’t charge any fees for you to download and use its app or browser extension. The only fee Ibotta charges is an account maintenance fee if your account has been inactive for at least six months.
Does Dosh really pay?
Yes, Dosh really pays its users for shopping at thousands of locations, including many you likely already shop at. Simply connect a debit or credit card to your Dosh account and then shop at participating stores with your connected card. Cash back will automatically be deposited into your Dosh account for eligible purchases and you can redeem it once you’ve hit at least $25 in rewards.
How does Dosh make money?
Dosh makes money by partnering with big brands and retailers to earn a small fee from each qualifying transaction made with the Dosh app. This includes in-store purchases made with a Dosh-connected debit or credit card at participating retailers and purchases made directly through the Dosh app. Dosh will also charge account maintenance fees against your reward balance if your account has been inactive for more than 12 months.
Dosh and Ibotta provide excellent opportunities to earn extra cash on purchases you’re already making. Because they’re both so simple to use, it’s easy to integrate them into your daily shopping routine. Be aware, these apps aren’t going to make you rich, but they can help you save money on common purchases.
If you also pair these cashback apps with some of the best cashback credit cards, you’ll start to notice the rewards pile up very quickly. Cashback credit cards earn cash back on every purchase you make, which stacks nicely with Dosh offers, Ibotta offers, or both.