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How to get $20 worth of free school supplies with Ibotta

Ibotta is offering more than $20 cash-back on school supplies at Walmart and through online retailers.

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With the beginning of the school year inching closer, you might be starting back-to-school shopping in advance as school districts across the country resume in-person learning. Ibotta, the free cash-back-rewards app and browser extension can give you a head start on shopping: for a limited time, you can get up to $20 worth of school supplies for free.

Ibotta has partnered up with Five Star, Kleenex, Skippy and Nature's Own to launch the "Back to School FREE for All" program for the 2021/2022 school year. When you purchase eight items, ranging from ingredients for a peanut butter and jelly sandwich to notebooks, Ibotta will provide you with a rebate for those items. You can purchase these items through an eligible online retailer, in-person or for delivery at Walmart.

Ibotta is not only providing school supplies for customers, they're also giving back to teachers. In July, they announced a partnership with AdoptAClassroom.org, a national nonprofit that provides funding for school supplies to families and schools. The $100,000 donation will go to teachers who will be given $200 to spend on classroom supplies.

This isn't Ibotta's first cash-back promotional offer either. In November, they gave customers up to $20 cash back on ingredients for a Thanksgiving dinner such as cranberry sauce and stuffing.

What items qualify for cash back?

In order to earn the back-to-school cash-back offer you'll need to buy your items in-store or delivery at Walmart (not walmart.com) and online retailers like Target Online, Instacart, Shipt and HEB Online.

  1. Five Star three-subject notebook, $4.30 cash back
  2. Del Monte Fruit Cups, $2.50 cash back
  3. 12-pack Ticonderoga pencils, $2.39 cash back
  4. 110-count box Kleenex, $1.89 cash back
  5. Loaf of Nature's Own Bread, $2.84 cash back
  6. Jar Skippy Peanut Butter, $2.53 cash back
  7. Three-pack Paper Mate Erasers, $1.39 cash back
  8. Smucker's Fruit Spread Squeeze Bottle, $2.54 cash back

Ibotta decides the value of cash back on each item based on a retailer's suggested price, so if all of your items cost more than $20.38, you might end up having to cover some of the cost.

How do you earn cash back with Ibotta?

  1. Download Ibotta: You can get the app, available in the Apple Store and the Google Play store, on your phone or the browser extension on your computer.
  2. Add items: Make sure to purchase the correct rebate items by using the app to scan the barcodes on items when shopping in-person. If you're shopping online, you'll have to manually compare your items to the offer.
  3. Shop and earn: If you're shopping at Walmart in-person, you can redeem your cash back by just scanning the receipt bar code using the Ibotta app. If you're shopping at an online retailer, make sure your Ibotta account is linked with your retailer before adding items to your cart and checking out.
  4. Redeem rewards: Once your rebates have been confirmed either through the app or the browser extension, you can redeem cash back through PayPal, direct deposit or a gift card. Gift card options include Amazon, Best Buy, Lowe's, Starbucks, Walmart, Sephora, Panera Bread and Victoria's Secret.

You can read Ibotta's blog post for more details on how to complete the promotion.

Earn more savings and cash back with a rewards credit card

If you're looking to earn cash back on other school supplies, you might consider getting a grocery rewards card or a flat rate cash-back card that will earn you money on all of your purchases. Many credit cards exclude Walmart for higher rewards or cash-back rates, but many still offer generous rates for other grocery stores.

If you want grocery rewards after the first year of card membership, you might opt for the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express, which offers 6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 worth of purchases per year (then 1%).

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

On the American Express secure site
  • Rewards

    6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1%), 6% cash back on select U.S. streaming subscriptions, 3% cash back at U.S. gas stations, 3% cash back on transit including taxis/rideshare, parking, tolls, trains, buses and more and 1% cash back on other purchases. Cash Back is received in the form of Reward Dollars that can be redeemed as a statement credit.

  • Welcome bonus

    Earn a $350 statement credit after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new card within the first 6 months.

  • Annual fee

    $95

  • Intro APR

    0% for 12 months on purchases and balance transfers from the date of account opening

  • Regular APR

    16.99% - 27.99% variable

  • Balance transfer fee

    Either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.

  • Foreign transaction fee

    2.7%

  • Credit needed

    Excellent/Good

See rates and fees, terms apply.

 

If you're doing most of your shopping at Walmart, you could go for the Capital One Walmart Rewards® Card which gives cardholders 5% cash back on Walmart.com on pickup and delivery; 2% at Walmart stores, restaurants and travel; and 1% on all other purchases.

However, if you're looking to splurge on back-to-school items beyond groceries and food, a flat cash rewards card like the Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card can also be a good choice because it'll earn you 2% cash rewards on eligible purchases — meaning you'll get 2 cents back for every dollar you spend on mechanical pencils or a new backpack.

Capital One Walmart Rewards® Mastercard®

Information about the Capital One Walmart Rewards® Card has been collected independently by Select and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of the card prior to publication.
  • Rewards

    Earn 5% cash back at Walmart.com, including pickup and delivery; 2% cash back on purchases in Walmart® stores, Murphy USA and Walmart® fuel stations, at restaurants and on travel purchases; 1% cash back everywhere else Mastercard® is accepted

  • Welcome bonus

    Earn 5% back on purchases in Walmart® stores for the first 12 months when you use your card with Walmart Pay

  • Annual fee

    $0

  • Intro APR

    None

  • Regular APR

    17.99% to 26.99% variable

  • Balance transfer fee

    3% of the amount of each transferred balance that posts at the promotional APR

  • Foreign transaction fee

    N/A

  • Credit needed

    Good/Excellent

Terms apply.

Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card

On Wells Fargo's secure site
  • Rewards

    Unlimited 2% cash rewards on purchases

  • Welcome bonus

    Earn a $200 cash rewards bonus after spending $1,000 in purchases in the first 3 months

  • Annual fee

    $0

  • Intro APR

    0% intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and qualifying balance transfers; balance transfers made within 120 days qualify for the intro rate

  • Regular APR

    17.99%, 22.99%, or 27.99% variable APR on purchases and balance transfers

  • Balance transfer fee

    Introductory fee of 3% ($5 minimum) for 120 days from account opening, then up to 5% ($5 minimum)

  • Foreign transaction fee

    3%

  • Credit needed

    Excellent/Good

See rates and fees, terms apply.

For rates and fees for the Blue Cash Preferred Card, click here

Editorial Note: Opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the Select editorial staff’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any third party.
Plenty of rewards and benefits including 4X points per dollar for dining at restaurants worldwide