The concept of rebates has been around as far as I can remember. One of my first major rebates was for a free inkjet printer with the purchase of a huge clunky Compaq Presario desktop computer. Sadly, the process of redeeming a rebate for many offers today is the same as 20 years ago. The monotonous task of making a copy of your receipt and the bar code, then filling out a form and making another copy of that, and then mailing everything to the company (good luck if you have postage stamps handy), all to receive a check for a couple of dollars come in the mail, almost feels like a sick joke.
Ibotta, Snap by Groupon, Checkout 51 and Ebates are four modern-day platforms that have taken a new social spin on the old mail-in rebate process, that’ll have you laughing all the way to the bank. Each of these platforms is supported by a free mobile application that can be downloaded from the Apple Store or Google play.
Every week, Ibotta features cash-back rebates from hundreds of brands—from daily essentials found at grocery stores; to apparel options for men, women and children; a strong selection of beer, wine and spirits offers; and opportunities to earn in a variety of other categories as well.
For advertisers, the company facilitates direct interaction with consumers, and its pay-for-performance model ensures that brands and retailers only pay for their mobile media and engagement when it results in a verified sale.
And how do users get that cash? Easy. Save it up and transfer it directly into a bank account via PayPal or Venmo, or turn it into gift cards to use at stores like Best Buy, Starbucks, iTunes and Amazon.com.
In October 2015, Ibotta received $40 million in Series C funding led by Jim Clark to help aggressively scale its mobile loyalty platform. Ibotta's new funding will allow the company to solidify its industry-leading position as the bridge between mobile phone use and in-store shopping.
Snap partners directly with top brands to bring shoppers cash-back offers on products—from fruits and vegetables to beauty supplies and household cleaners. Snap offers work at any store and shoppers never have to hassle with clipping or redeeming paper coupons.
Shoppers earn $20 in cash-back and are sent a check. It's that simple. Plus, shoppers can earn even more cash by sharing Snap with friends. Snap is like having grocery coupons on your mobile phone, but even better.
Every Thursday morning, Checkout 51 updates with a new list of offers. All shoppers have to do is pick the ones they like, purchase them at any store, and upload a photo of their receipt through the mobile app or website.
When their account reaches $20, Checkout 51 sends them a check. Checkout 51 takes a fee from the brand offering the deal for every redemption. The shoppers earn cash-backs when they buy their favorite brands.
The Toronto-based startup was founded three years ago by Pema Hegan, Noah Godfrey and Andrew McGrath. In July 2015, Checkout 51 was acquired by New America Marketing, a subsidiary of Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp.
Ebates rewards consumers with cash-backs on purchases while also providing access to thousands of coupons, discounts, promotions and special deals, including free shipping, at over 1,800 retailers. Free membership allows consumers to shop online at their favorite retailers while earning up to 26% of every purchase they make, paid quarterly in the form of a "Big Fat Check" or through PayPal. From niceties to necessities, members of Ebates benefit from incentives at top-name merchants for everything from furniture to fashion and appliances to airfare. Because shopping with Ebates is hassle-free—no rebate forms to fill out and no points or miles to redeem—the site supports a strong community of savvy shoppers across the country and around the world.