Cashback app Ibotta giving away free school supplies for back to school at Walmart, Target and more

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A popular cashback app and rewards platform is offering free school supplies for millions of students.
Ibotta announced Wednesday that it is partnering with brands including Five Star, Kleenex, Skippy and Nature’s Own to “give students a free bundle of backpack and lunchbox staples to help ease the financial burden for families heading into the 2021-2022 school year.”
Like other Ibotta offers, the items in the “Back to School Free for All” program are free after rebates, while supplies last. They include a three-subject notebook, 12-pack of Ticonderoga pencils, box of tissues along with the ingredients for peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.
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The rebate items, which combined have a value of up to $20, are available to purchase in-store and online at Walmart and online at Target, Instacart, H-E-B or Shipt.
However, depending on where you shop, the items might not be 100% free after the rebates and could each cost a few cents. Ibotta bases the rebate on the manufacturer’s suggested retail price, which can vary.
Ibotta launched in late 2012 and has given away $1 billion in rebates and cash back to users, CEO and founder Bryan Leach said in an interview with USA TODAY.
Last November, Ibotta did its biggest promotion and partnered with Walmart, Campbell’s, Butterball, Coca-Cola to give away free Thanksgiving dinners.
“We fed 3.1 million Americans a free Thanksgiving, 1% of the population,” Leach said. “We were able to give away $21 of free food for nothing with 100% cash back so now we’ve decided to expand on that and we’re partnering with more brands.”
To redeem the Ibotta’s free back-to-school bundle – or select items in it – shoppers need to download the free Ibotta app or browser extension and add the items to their shopping lists through either platform.
Then, shop in-store at Walmart or purchase the items at participating online retailers to get 100% cash back deposited in your account.
Here’s how it works:
For Walmart in-store: Add the offers to your account on the app by clicking on a plus sign and then buy the rebate items at Walmart stores. If you link your Walmart Pay account to Ibotta, you can earn the money back when you use Walmart Pay at checkout. You can also “redeem” the rebates in the app by scanning your receipt barcode. You’ll then earn cash back on qualifying purchases within 24 hours.
For online orders: When shopping the promotion with grocery pickup and delivery, make sure your Ibotta account is linked with the online retailer. Then add offers to your account and checkout online. You’ll get cash back 24 hours after your order is picked up or delivered.
Shopping tip: Check to confirm you are purchasing the rebate items. In the app, you can scan the barcodes of your items to check and when using the browser extension, you can check your items with the offer details.
Once a user earns $20 in rebates through Ibotta they can withdraw earnings through PayPal, depositing into your bank account or selecting a digital gift card. Gift card options, most of which have a $20 minimum, include Amazon, Best Buy, Lowe’s, Starbucks, Walmart, Sephora, Panera Bread and Victoria’s Secret.
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According to Ibotta, the following items are free after 100% rebates, while supplies last, with a limit of one per user. However, the company says the “offer value is based on the average” manufacturer’s suggested retail price.

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