Fetch Rewards vs. Ibotta: Which Cashback App Can Save You More?

Both Fetch Rewards and Ibotta are designed to save you money. But is one better than the other?
Updated April 11, 2024
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Fetch Rewards vs. Ibotta: Which Cashback App Can Save You More?

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An easy way to save money while shopping is to pair cashback apps with your routine expenses. With apps like Fetch Rewards and Ibotta, you can earn rewards for purchases you’re already making. This can help you learn how to manage your money better because you’ll be spending less money overall.

In this Fetch Rewards vs. Ibotta comparison, you’ll see how both apps work, where they excel, and what their differences are. This will help you decide which app is a better fit for your shopping habits and personal finance goals.

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Fetch Rewards vs. Ibotta

Fetch Rewards and Ibotta provide straightforward opportunities to earn rewards on your everyday purchases. For example, you can scan a grocery receipt with either app and get rewarded. You also aren’t limited to using only one app at a time, so you could scan the same grocery receipt with both apps and get rewards from each.

Using both apps at the same time can provide a lot of value, but it may not be the best strategy for everyone. How you typically shop and what you buy play a large role in deciding how to save money with cashback apps. You may find one of these apps aligns more with your spending habits and lifestyle.

In the table below, we look at Ibotta vs Fetch and how they stack up against each with their features and benefits.

Fetch Rewards
Online vs. offline Online and offline Online and offline
Type of app Mobile app (iOS and Android) Mobile app (iOS and Android) and browser extension
Redemption options Gift cards PayPal account deposit, bank deposit, and gift cards
Minimum cash out $3 (3,000 points) $20 minimum
Rewards expiration Rewards expire after 90 days of inactivity or immediately if you request to stop participating in Fetch Rewards Rewards don’t expire, but they’re subject to account maintenance fees after six months of inactivity
Best for... Any type of purchase In-store offers and online shopping
Visit Fetch Rewards Visit Ibotta

How does Fetch Rewards work?

Fetch Rewards is a shopping app that rewards you for scanning receipts from your purchases. Scanning receipts to earn rewards or points isn’t necessarily a new concept, but Fetch Rewards makes the process a lot simpler than some of the alternatives. For instance, all you have to do is take a quick picture of a physical receipt or use the eReceipt button inside the app to earn your points. It doesn’t matter what you buy or where you shop — Fetch Rewards offers rewards on uploaded receipts from any store.

If you want to earn extra points, take advantage of the special offers in the Fetch Rewards app. Purchases on certain participating brands will always earn you bonus rewards, but sometimes limited-time offers on select products can offer a lot of value. These rewards are in addition to the rewards you receive for scanning a receipt. And to make it even easier, you don’t have to add these offers to get them to work — they’re automatically applied.

Read our Fetch Rewards review.

How does Ibotta work?

Ibotta started as an app that rewarded you for scanning receipts, but it’s evolved to become a payments app and browser extension as well. Scanning receipts is still one of the major features of Ibotta because you always have in-store offers available to save money on shopping.

For in-store purchases, compare Ibotta to your shopping list and add any relevant offers to your Ibotta account before you go on your shopping trip. Once you’ve made your purchases, submit your receipt and you’ll earn cash back on the eligible offers you added. You can also buy gift cards through the app to instantly earn cash back. Gift card options are available from more than 70 different popular retailers, including Amazon, Walmart, Target, Starbucks, and Sephora.

If you’re shopping online, you can use the Ibotta app or browser extension to earn rewards. Simply select from the available offers, make your purchases, and earn cash back.

Read our Ibotta review.

What both cashback apps excel at

Both Fetch Rewards and Ibotta provide consumers with opportunities to earn rewards on their purchases, so they end up having some similarities. This is common among many of the best money-saving apps, especially among cashback apps.

Here are a few ways in which both Fetch Rewards and Ibotta excel:

  • Free and easy to use: There’s no cost to either of these apps, so everything you earn is a bonus. You must invest a small amount of time to scan receipts or find offers, but it’s not a steep learning curve to get started. Both apps are straightforward and easy to use, whether you’ve used cashback apps before.
  • Earning potential: Because Fetch Rewards allows you to earn rewards points from any store receipt and Ibotta partners with hundreds of major retailers (including Costco, CVS, Kroger, Walmart, Target, and Whole Foods Market), you decide how much money you want to save. As you shop more, your potential to earn more rewards increases.
  • Redemption options: Both apps give you multiple redemption options for your rewards, so you get to choose whichever bonus suits you the best. With Fetch Rewards, you get to choose among a variety of free gift cards. With Ibotta, you can choose PayPal deposits, bank deposits, or gift cards.
  • Referral bonuses: Both Fetch Rewards and Ibotta offer referral bonuses if you help them get new users, which is an easy way to start stacking your earnings. To get a referral bonus, you’ll need to get your unique referral code or link from your account and someone has to use it to sign up. Your friend will then need to redeem an offer on Ibotta for you to earn your bonus cash or they’ll need to scan and submit their first receipt on Ibotta, where you’ll both get bonus points.

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3 important differences between Fetch Rewards vs. Ibotta

When you compare the differences between Fetch Rewards and Ibotta, it’s easier to see where certain features stand out between the two apps. This can help you better understand how one app may bring you more value than the other.

Minimum cash-out threshold

Being able to earn rewards is useful, but only if you’re able to easily get a payout as well. Otherwise, they’ll sit in your account and won’t offer you any value. This can often occur if you’re using a cashback app, but you haven’t earned enough rewards to redeem them.

The minimum cash-out threshold is different between Fetch Rewards and Ibotta. Fetch Rewards requires only a minimum of 3,000 points, which is equal to $3, to start redeeming, whereas Ibotta requires a minimum of $20 to cash out.

This is a big difference that affects how quickly your rewards start to matter. If you’re patient as far as when you’re able to use your rewards, it’s not a big deal. Otherwise, Fetch Rewards is the clear choice for being able to redeem your rewards quicker.

Scanning receipts

Both Fetch Rewards and Ibotta allow you to scan receipts from stores to earn rewards. This is the only way you can earn with Fetch Rewards and it’s also a primary part of Ibotta. However, the process isn’t the same between the two.

Using Fetch Rewards is relatively simple. With Fetch Rewards, you simply scan a store receipt and earn your rewards. If you buy any products with bonus offers, you’ll get increased rewards. For online purchases, you can use the eReceipt feature to link your Amazon and email accounts to have Fetch automatically scan them for purchases. Then you earn rewards on those purchases, too.

With Ibotta’s receipt-scanning feature, you have to add offers in the app before you make purchases. So you need to look for the offers you want to add and then go buy those specific products at the store. Depending on the store, you’ll then have to scan the shopping receipt and sometimes the barcodes of certain purchases. If you don’t find any offers, you won’t earn anything with Ibotta for scanning a receipt. Also, Ibotta doesn’t work with every retailer, so you might shop at stores that don’t have any offers and wouldn’t provide any value for you.

Overall, the Fetch Rewards process for scanning receipts and earning rewards is a lot easier than Ibotta’s process. There’s no searching and adding offers with Fetch Rewards, which can save you a lot of time.

Earning potential

Ibotta does come ahead of Fetch Rewards with its different earning opportunities. For instance, if you’re shopping at an eligible retailer and you link your loyalty account to the Ibotta app, you can automatically earn rewards without having to scan any receipts. This functionality isn’t available on the Fetch Rewards app. You always have to scan your receipts with Fetch.

Ibotta’s browser extension is another feature not available with Fetch Rewards. The extension enables you to earn cash back from a variety of online stores with the click of a button. If there’s a cashback promo available at a store, the Ibotta extension will let you know. Then you click to activate the cash back, make your purchases, and earn your rewards.

In these two ways, Ibotta shows how it can rise above competing apps like Fetch Rewards. When you have more easily accessible opportunities to earn rewards, you raise your chances of saving more money.

Which cashback app should you choose?

There is no overall best app between Fetch Rewards and Ibotta. The best cashback app for you depends on your spending habits and financial goals. Neither of these apps will make you rich, but they could both help you save if you're struggling with how to manage your money.

Fetch Rewards provides a straightforward solution to earning rewards on just about every purchase you make. If you have a receipt from a store or online retailer, Fetch Rewards will give you points for it. It’s simple and easy, plus you can often earn more rewards with specialized offers. Fetch Rewards is an excellent choice if you want a no-hassle cashback app that earns rewards on anything that comes with a receipt.

Ibotta is slightly more complicated than Fetch Rewards because you have multiple options for earning cash back. You can earn online with the browser extension and by linking loyalty accounts and then making purchases online. You can also earn cash back from in-store offers and scanning receipts or by buying gift cards through the app. Ibotta is an ideal option if you want flexible options for earning rewards and you mainly want to earn cash back for your efforts.

However, if you want to maximize your earning potential, consider using both apps at the same time. You can use Ibotta for its increased earning options and then scan every receipt you have with Fetch Rewards. Scanning receipts with Fetch Rewards barely takes any time at all, so it’s ideal for pairing with other cashback or rebate apps.

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Is Fetch Rewards legitimate?

Fetch Rewards is a legitimate mobile app that’s designed to help you save money on all your purchases. You can scan any receipt with the Fetch Rewards app to earn rewards. Once you earn enough rewards, you can redeem them for gift cards, sweepstakes entries, or charitable donations.

Does Ibotta really give you money?

Yes, Ibotta really gives you money. Ibotta is a legitimate cashback app that offers multiple ways to earn cash back on everyday purchases. You can add offers in the app and then go shopping at the store to buy the products being offered. Once you make your eligible purchases and submit your receipt, you’ll earn cash back. You can also use Ibotta to earn cash back from online purchases with the Ibotta browser extension.

What is better than Ibotta?

No other money-saving app is automatically better than Ibotta in every situation, as it depends on each person and their financial goals. Ibotta provides great opportunities to earn cash back on everyday purchases like groceries, but it doesn’t do much for cutting down your monthly bills.

To save money on your cable or internet bills, consider an app like Rocket Money that can help lower common expenses. If you want to save on gas, Checkout 51 or GetUpside could be a good choice. Or if you want to build an emergency fund, an app like Digit can help you get there. You could also give Receipt Hog or ReceiptPal a try; both work similarly to Ibotta and could help you save on your everyday purchases. To find the best cashback apps or best budgeting apps for you, look into all the available options and see which ones align with your needs.

How do Fetch Rewards and Ibotta make money?

Both Fetch Rewards and Ibotta make money through their partnerships with large companies. Through these partnerships, both apps are able to offer specialized deals to their users while also earning a portion of the profits on the sales of those items. The consumer isn’t affected because the apps are free to use and the offers help them save money.

Bottom line

Both Fetch Rewards and Ibotta can help you save money on common purchases from grocery stores, drugstores, convenience stores, online retailers, and more. They work in slightly different ways, but their end goal of helping you financially is the same. And if you couple them with the use of your loyalty card when grocery shopping and you use one of the best cashback credit cards, you can really save a lot of money over time.

If you can’t decide which app would be a better fit for you, try using both of them. Because they’re free to use, there’s no money for you to invest to simply try them out. This makes it easy to see where each app can offer you value in your daily life.

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Author Details

Ben Walker, CEPF, CFEI® Ben Walker, CEPF, CFEI®, is credit cards specialist. For over a decade, he's leveraged credit card points and miles to travel the world. His expertise extends to other areas of personal finance — including loans, insurance, investing, and real estate — and you can find his insights on The Washington Post, Debt.com, Yahoo! Finance, and Fox Business.