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Help me understand gift cards

southlake
Saver

Hi friends! I've been using Ibotta for awhile now and have never purchased a gift card because I'm not sure how it all works.

If I want to buy a Jamba Juice gift card with 5% back, is that 5% applied to my ibotta earnings? How long does it take to receive after the gc purchase?

Also, does the gift card purchase count towards a bonus? I think that's where I've always been confused. 

Thanks in advance!

4 Replies

Re: Help me understand gift cards

TXbelle
Super Saver

@southlake 

When you buy a gift card from the home page list , the % is your offer rebate that is added to your total earnings.  I always use Ibotta earnings so I don't have any knowledge of that way. It's pretty easy follow the directions.  I like to keep a good amount in my earnings so I can get gc's whenever I want.  The gift card is electronic and can be hard for some places to redeem.  I always make the amount the minimum amount so I can more offers. They are treated just like any completed offer. Today I bought 3 Walmart gift cards each for $5. I bought 3 offers with these same gift cards ( I spent more than the $15 on the cards) but I completed my mwmm ($3/6). Walmart is the easiest place to use an e-card if they have a scanner at the checkout.  I don't have my account linked at Walmart so don't know what that entails. I always prefer to use these gc's at Walmart and Sam's Club  but am more hesitant with restaurants.  I have 2 for Chili's, 2 for Michael's,  and a Big Lots card. 

The most important tip is to update what amount was used on the card right as it's spent. Otherwise you'll forget you spent it and then think Ibotta took it away(erroneously). I also keep all receipts that I used a gc to buy. It's really a great way to maximize your earnings.

On a separate note, I see your community name is the same as a city I live next door to.  If so, let me give you a mid-cities hug. I hope I was able to help.

Re: Help me understand gift cards

southlake
Saver

Thank you, @TXbelle ! Appreciate the response. I don't live in Southlake, TX but it was an old street name of mine (I'm sure there are many in the US 😀 )

I guess I'm just going to have to test this out and purchase a gift card. I get 2% back for restaurants on my Visa so I probably won't purchase with Ibotta earnings just so I can maximize my cash back from 5% to 7% 😀

Thank you again!

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Re: Help me understand gift cards

AshbobSanDiego

When Gift Cards/(Pay with Ibotta) was 1st launched, you were able to use a Credit Card for the purchase.  By doing so, you were basically stacking the IR with a credit card transaction.  So for example, my Starbucks purchases using an Apple Card, I was getting 2% back on my Apple Card and then 2% back on the Starbucks Gift Card.  Then by loading the Starbucks gift card into the Starbucks App, you get Starbucks Stars on top of the purchase. (My $/star ratio is $.085 per star redeemed based on a $4.25 Venti Misto w/ Chai for only 50 stars).

Unfortunately ibotta took away the option to buy the GC with a credit card and now you can only use a bank debit card or existing ibotta funds. 

So my tip when buying GC is to NOT load your bank debit card directly onto the app.  Since I assume most people now use a mobile wallet/Apple Pay, load your debit card onto your Apple Pay and then buy the gift card using your debit card with Apple Pay.  It is a much more secure transaction vs storing your debit card number on ibotta servers.

Gift Cards have been a total game changer for me using iBotta.  I have a small rotation of retailers that I know I will eventually be spending money at, so buying the lowest amount for a gift card multiple times is what has allowed me to hit almost every Bonus $ offer I get.  Any IR I get from shopping, I apply towards GC only when I am shooting to close a $ Bonus.  

The wife hates it because of all the extra transactions I have to do when redeeming 4x $5 gift cards at Panera or copy and pasting all the card numbers and pins into the Starbucks app.

Re: Help me understand gift cards

southlake
Saver

@AshbobSanDiego this is great info, thank you! That was another reason I was hesitant to load a credit/debit card into the Ibotta app. Some companies / apps don't let you delete your card until you upload another one, and I didn't want to risk having my credit or debit card info permanently stored on Ibotta's servers, ripe for the hacking lol. I use Samsung Pay all the time though at grocery stores (it's the only way I pay) but it hadn't occurred to me to use that debit card number when inputting it on Ibotta. Thanks for the tip!! I know there's probably a lot I'm missing by never purchasing a gift cards so that's next on my list to try!

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