If you do most of the shopping for your household, you should use shopping reward apps.
The simple fact is that reward apps are one of the easiest ways to earn free gift cards and PayPal cash for buying everyday essentials.
But, there are also a lot of reward apps out there, so it’s important to figure out which ones are actually worth your time.
So today, we’re breaking down Fetch Rewards vs Ibotta to cover how both apps work, how much money you can make, and which app is ultimately the best reward app for you.
Let’s get to it.
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Ibotta vs Fetch Rewards At A Glance
About Fetch Rewards
Fetch Rewards is a grocery rewards app that began in 2012. But, the app has only recently risen in popularity during the last few years, making it a newer player in the space.
Groceries are Fetch Rewards’ main focus, although the app also lets you earn points for buying household essentials, personal care products, and even magazines.
Ibotta is probably the most popular receipt scanning app out there and largely set the standard for what to expect from a grocery reward app.
The company began in 2011, and, unlike Fetch Rewards, Ibotta has more brand partners and also expands well beyond the grocery store.
With Ibotta, you can earn points for buying groceries, household products, apparel, electronics, and even travel expenses!
We’ll get to brands and offer availability in a bit for our Ibotta vs Fetch Rewards throwdown, but this is the gist of what both companies offer users.
Like Fetch Rewards, Ibotta is also free and available on Android and iOS. The app has a 4.5 star rating on the Google Play store and over 10 million downloads to date.
Fetch Rewards vs Ibotta – The Features
On the surface, both Fetch Rewards and Ibotta look quite similar. After all, both apps let you scan shopping receipts to earn points as a form of cash back.
I’ve also used both apps to save money on groceries and everyday expenses. I currently prefer Fetch Rewards since it’s more passive, but Ibotta has more offers and higher-paying ones as well.
Plus, there are several key differences between these leading reward apps that might make one app superior for you depending on your shopping habits.
1. Availability & Partners
One main factor in deciding if Fetch Rewards is better than Ibotta or not is how many partners each app has.
After all, if an app doesn’t let you shop at your favorite stores, there’s no real point in using it.
Fetch Rewards Partner Stores
As mentioned, Fetch Rewards focuses on groceries and partners with dozens of popular brands. Some notable ones include:
- Betty Crocker
- Maxwell House
You can view a list of Fetch Rewards’ partners on its website.
Additionally, Fetch Rewards lets you earn points for shopping at various medication brands, alcohol, magazines, personal care products, household goods, and baby products.
So, it’s a little more comprehensive than an app like Checkout 51, but it doesn’t really extend far beyond the grocery store.
Finally, Fetch Rewards is only available in the United States.
Ibotta Partner Stores
Ibotta has more partners than Fetch Rewards and is much more flexible in terms of shopping categories.
For example, Fetch Rewards mostly lets you earn points for buying groceries.
But, Ibotta partners with over 1,500 brands, making it much larger than Fetch Rewards. You can also earn cash back for categories like:
- Clothing and accessories
- Health and beauty
- Home and auto
- Kids and baby products
- Pet supplies
- Online shopping
- Restaurants and bars
- Sports and outdoors
You can view a list of all of Ibotta’s store partners on its website.
Ibotta also works in the United States and Canada, whereas Fetch Rewards is U.S. exclusive.
Winner: Ultimately, Ibotta is more flexible for users, so it’s easier to earn cash back with than Fetch Rewards.
2. How The Apps Work
Another massive difference between Fetch Rewards and Ibotta is how you actually earn points with each app.
Again, on the surface, both apps seem identical.
However, Fetch Rewards is better for passive earning whereas Ibotta takes a bit more effort. Let’s take a look.
How Fetch Rewards Works
Fetch Rewards is better than Ibotta if you don’t want to spend a lot of time building a grocery list before you go shopping.
This is because Fetch Rewards pays you points as long as a partner brand appears on your receipt.
So, unlike Ibotta, you don’t have to preselect offers you want to shop for and then upload a receipt to get paid; as long as you shop for a partner brand and it’s on your receipt, you get paid.
Oh yeah, that’s another difference: Fetch Rewards only cares about brands whereas many Ibotta offers are store-specific.
So, Fetch Rewards might pay you 100 points for buying a pack of Kraft singles since Kraft is a partner. In contrast, Ibotta might pay you for buying Kraft singles from Walmart and Publix.
Small differences, I know, but Fetch Rewards generally takes less effort than Ibotta to earn.
How Ibotta Works
Unlike Fetch Rewards, you usually have to put some effort in to make money with Ibotta.
Here’s how the Ibotta app works:
- You scan the Ibotta app for offers
- You add offers to your virtual shopping list
- You shop and buy those offers
- You upload a picture of your receipt using Ibotta’s app for proof of purchase
- You earn cash back
As you can see, this extra step of adding offers to your grocery list means taking time to scan for offers, whereas you can just upload receipts with Fetch Rewards and get paid (even if you didn’t realize what you were buying was eligible for points).
But, in fairness, Ibotta has one perk that Fetch Rewards doesn’t: loyalty card linking.
That’s right, Ibotta lets you link store loyalty cards to your Ibotta account from over 100 partners, including Meijer, Hannaford, and Wagmans.
When you link a loyalty card, you still have to add offers to your shopping list but you automatically earn cash back when you buy them so you don’t have to upload receipts.
This is a cool feature, although I still think Fetch Rewards is more user-friendly and takes less time to earn.
Winner: Fetch Rewards is more passive since you just upload receipts to earn points and don’t have to preselect offers.
3. Reward Options
The entire point of using reward apps like Fetch Rewards and Ibotta is to get extra cash in your pockets.
So, what do both apps let you redeem for rewards?
Fetch Rewards’ Redemption Options
If you’re looking for PayPal cash or direct deposit, Fetch Rewards isn’t the app for you.
But, you can redeem points for dozens of free gift cards, including ones to retailers like:
- Dunkin’ Donuts
Gift cards are subject to change, but generally, you won’t have trouble finding a massive retailer to redeem gift cards for.
Extra Reading – Get Free Starbucks Gift Cards.
Ibotta Redemption Options
Ibotta has more variety than Fetch Rewards in terms of what prizes you can redeem.
With Ibotta, you can cash out with:
- Dozens of free gift cards
- Direct deposit
- Free PayPal money
Ibotta’s gift card selection is basically the same as Fetch Rewards, so this isn’t a weakness either.
Winner: Ibotta has more reward options than Fetch Rewards and also lets you redeem real cash.
4. Cash Out Minimums
Ibotta has better reward options than Fetch Rewards, but what about cash out requirements?
Well, here’s where it gets a little interesting!
Fetch Rewards’ Cash Out Requirement
You need 3,000 Fetch Rewards points, which is worth $3, to redeem certain gift cards. Other gift cards start at 5,000 points or 10,000 points, but generally, Fetch Rewards has one of the more generous cash out requirements out of all reward apps.
And, as we’re about to see, Fetch Rewards is easier to cash out with than Ibotta.
Extra Reading – Apps That Pay You For Playing Games.
Ibotta’s Cash Out Requirements
Ibotta requires $20 worth of earnings to cash out. This is the case for all redemption options, so it takes much longer to earn rewards with Ibotta than Fetch Rewards.
So, I think you can earn a free gift card with Fetch Rewards after a shopping trip or two. With Ibotta, it’s likely going to take a few weeks.
This isn’t exactly a con unless you want to earn free money as fast as possible for an upcoming purchase.
Winner: Fetch Rewards lets you redeem prizes significantly faster than Ibotta.
5. Online Earnings & E-Receipts
Both Ibotta and Fetch Rewards let you earn cash back for uploading photos of your shopping receipts.
But, what about online receipts?
Fetch Rewards E-Receipts
You can now earn points for shopping online thanks to Fetch Rewards E-Receipts, a new addition to the platform.
Essentially, Fetch Rewards can link to your email address and Amazon account and scan your inbox for online shopping receipts to pay you for shopping at various partners.
This is a new feature, and currently, Fetch Rewards E-Receipts work for a few dozen stores, including some big names like Amazon, Target, and Walmart.
Ibotta Online Shopping
Ibotta used to have a similar e-receipt function to Fetch Rewards.
However, Ibotta is completely different now and actually lets you earn for online purchases with two methods:
- In-App Shopping: Shop at online retailers through Ibotta’s app and earn cash back.
- On Your Computer: Download Ibotta’s browser extension and earn cash back for shopping from your computer.
Honestly, I think this update is a massive win for Ibotta.
Shopping through your app or computer is way easier than remembering to upload e-receipts. Plus, Ibotta lets you shop online at several hundred partners whereas Fetch Rewards E-Receipts only work for a few dozen stores.
I still think cash-back websites like Rakuten are better than Ibotta for shopping online.
But, for the Ibotta vs Fetch Rewards debate, Ibotta is certainly more versatile for online shopping.
Winner: Ibotta has more online partners and ways to shop online to earn cash back than Fetch Rewards.
Extra Reading – Lolli Extension Review – Earn Free Bitcoin For Shopping Online!
6. Referral Programs
In my opinion, referral programs shouldn’t massively sway your decision in the Fetch Rewards vs Ibotta debate.
But, if you’re still unsure if Fetch Rewards is better than Ibotta, this could be a deciding factor.
Fetch Rewards Referral Program
When you sign up for Fetch Rewards, you get a unique Fetch referral code you can share with other people.
You can also use the code “FRHELP” to enter as your referral code when you sign up.
This code usually pays out 3,000 points, so it’s a pretty awesome way to score a free gift card when you sign up for Fetch Rewards.
Ibotta Referral Program
Like Fetch Rewards, Ibotta also lets you invite new users or use someone’s unique referral code to get a welcome bonus.
Ibotta pays $20 in total welcome bonuses, but you have to put in a bit of work.
Specifically, here’s what you do to unlock every Ibotta welcome bonus:
- Bonus #1 ($10): Earn $10 for redeeming an in-store offer.
- Bonus #2 ($5): Earn $5 for completing a mobile shopping offer.
- Bonus #3 ($5): Earn another $5 for redeeming another in-store or mobile shopping offer.
In my opinion, this is a super easy way to at least earn $10 for free.
And, this is similar to websites like Rakuten or MyPoints that require you to make a qualifying purchase before you earn a $10 to $20+ welcome bonus.
Winner: Fetch Rewards is faster but Ibotta is more lucrative, so it’s up to you what you prefer.
Does Fetch Rewards Pay More Than Ibotta?
A lot of Fetch Rewards offers can pay out a few cents to a few dollars if you buy a sponsored offer. In contrast, I find Ibotta has slightly higher paying offers, but that’s mostly because Ibotta has more partners and more offers in general, so you can cherry-pick the best paying ones.
However, this is a pretty hard question to answer since it depends where you shop and what products you buy.
Both apps are great for earning cash back on things like medication, beauty products, and personal care items however.
I think Fetch Rewards pays more for some groceries, or at least, it’s easier to use so you might earn more in the long-run or earn without having to put effort in.
But if you want to earn cash back for electronics, apparel, or other categories that aren’t on Fetch Rewards, Ibotta is best, especially if you use some Ibotta hacks to earn even more!
Pros & Cons
I think it’s helpful to highlight the pros and cons of both apps to help pick a winner between Fetch Rewards or Ibotta.
Fetch Rewards Pros:
- More passive way to earn
- Cares about brands, not stores
- Low redemption minimum
- Great gift card selection
Fetch Rewards Cons:
- Can’t redeem real cash rewards
- E-Receipts needs some development to add more brands versus Ibotta
- No loyalty card linking
- Variety of redemption options, including real cash
- Strong welcome bonus program
- Links with loyalty cards
- Versatile online shopping options
- $20 cash out requirement so it’s slower to redeem rewards than Fetch Rewards
- You have to pre-select offers before shopping which takes time
I think Fetch Rewards is better for passive earnings, but Ibotta has more earning potential if you put in the time.
Frequently Asked Questions
If you’re still wondering if Ibotta is better than Fetch Rewards or what else you should know about both apps, this list of common questions will help.
1. Can I Use Fetch Rewards And Ibotta Together?
Really, it’s Checkout 51 and GetUpside that get a bit picky about stacking receipts with other reward apps.
So, in short, don’t be afraid to try both Fetch Rewards and Ibotta. If doing so messes up one of your receipt redemptions, you can stop double-apping and pick your favorite.
2. How Old Can Receipts Be?
Fetch Rewards receipts can be 14 days old. In contrast, Ibotta receipts can be 7 days old.
So, Fetch Rewards is more lenient and easier to use if you usually forget to redeem your shopping receipts immediately.
3. Are There Receipt Limits?
Fetch Rewards only lets you upload 35 receipts over a 7 day period. This is still very generous, and unless you do a lot of shopping, you won’t hit this limit. Unlike Fetch Rewards, Ibotta doesn’t have a receipt limit.
However, both apps obviously require receipts to be unique, so you’ll get banned if you just upload the same receipt over and over again.
Should You Use Fetch Rewards Or Ibotta?
I think Fetch Rewards and Ibotta are both popular because of partner variety, ease of use, and high-paying rebates.
But, if you’re wondering what to choose between Ibotta or Fetch Rewards, or if you should both apps, here are some factors to consider.
Use Fetch Rewards If
In my opinion, Fetch Rewards is the best reward app if you want to quickly save money and keep things passive.
I love that you just have to upload your receipts to Fetch Rewards to see if you earn. There’s no need to pre-select offers before shopping, so it saves time versus Ibotta.
Verdict: Use Fetch Rewards if you don’t want to spend a lot of time or effort to save money on groceries.
Extra Reading – How To Earn More Points With Fetch Rewards.
Use Ibotta If
Ibotta is more robust than Fetch Rewards and has more partners and shopping categories.
Plus, Ibotta’s online shopping offers are also better than Fetch Rewards’ E-Receipts program.
But, you have to be okay with putting some time into the Ibotta app to pre-select offers before shopping.
Verdict: Use Ibotta if you want to earn real cash rewards, do a lot of online shopping, and want more shopping categories.
Use Both Apps If
If you do most of the shopping for your household, I suggest using both apps.
I think Fetch Rewards is better for groceries because you don’t have to preselect offers. And, you can always use Ibotta for online offers or categories outside of groceries.
Plus, receipts can work for both apps, so try and double-dip on rewards if possible!
I hope our Fetch Rewards vs Ibotta comparison helps you decide which app is right for you.
Personally, I like using passive income apps, and Fetch Rewards is a little closer to that side of things than Ibotta.
But, Ibotta is still super popular and can help you save more money, so I think both apps deserve a spot on your smartphone.
I still think you should use extensions like Rakuten and Capital One Shopping for online purchases. But for everyday spending, I hope Fetch Rewards and Ibotta help you save more of your hard-earned money.
Thanks for reading! Catch you in the next one.
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Tom is a full-time blogger and freelance writer with a passion for side hustling, passive income, and the gig economy. His work has appeared on dozens of personal finance websites like Money Crashers, The College Investor, Investor Junkie, and more. This Online World is all about providing people with honest ways to make and save more money by using technology. To learn more about Tom, read his About Page!
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