Published on August 31st, 2015 | by Chuck82
Review of Giving Assistant Shopping Portal
We noted recently in a roundup post that there’s a new shopping portal called Giving Assistant which is offering 5% cashback on all Amazon purchases.
We’d like to do a short review on the portal. There are literally hundreds of shopping portals out there, but there are a few aspects of this portal which make it interesting to take a look at.
- Payout within days of purchase
- Just $1 minimum payout
- Partner with charities
- 100% payout
Some of the info in this post is found on their site and some of it we clarified with the staff at Giving Assistant.
5% Amazon Many shopping portals offer nice amounts of cashback on various categories of items sold on Amazon. Clothing, for example, is often found with as much as 8% cashback on various shopping portals. That said, you won’t find any such deal for the purchase of electronics and many other categories. Giving Assistant offers 5% cashback on all categories. They do note that the 5% cashback in not guaranteed on things like gift cards, items sold by third-party sellers, subscribe and save purchases, among some other exclusions.
Note: The team at Giving Assistant told us that this 5% Amazon offer has been around since October, but it will not last forever. We don’t have a clear date on when it will expire. [Update: now expired.]
One fascinating aspect of the portal is that they have a system in place with which they payout your portal cashback literally within days of the purchase if you choose the debit card payment option. The portal offers three payout options: debit card, Paypal, and check. (For Paypal, you cover the fees.) If you choose the debit card option, they’ll payout daily any cashback that has tracked to your account, with a minimum payout of just $1. This is an awesome benefit to be able to get paid out on most purchases within a week or so of the actual purchase date. Most portals will tell you about any cashback pretty quickly, but they won’t payout for a few weeks or months.
They now have similar payout times as other portals: it takes a month or two until it reaches payable, and then every Monday payments are sent out. Minimum $5.99 balance required for payout. (Original Givingassistant users are grandfathered under the old payout times.)
As indicated by their name, Giving Assistant strives to incorporate charitable giving into the portal experience. They donate a small amount for each purchase made through the site, in partnership with Feed America.
They also allow the consumer to decide to donate a percentage of their earnings to charity. You don’t have to donate anything; the default setting is that all the cashback goes into your own pocket.
The portal itself is a for-profit business, not a charity.
The portal advertises that they’ll payout 100% of the commission that they take in. Many wonder how they can be making money under such a system. They clarified for us that they make money from the non-members who click through the portal and don’t get paid. (The claim of 100% payout isn’t unheard of; Topcashback also says that they payout 100% of their commission rate.)
I poked around a little to compare rates and it seems like they do have solid rates at many retailers. There were usually some portals offering slightly higher, but the rates seemed pretty good overall. For example, at Lowe’s they are offering 4% cashback which is higher than all other portals aside from the 5% rate of Upromise.
The portal also offers a $5 bonus for each new member who opens an account using a signup link and then earns any amount of cashback. The referrer also gets a $5 bonus. I included my referral link in the Giving Assistant link at the beginning of this post.
Not everyone is eligible to be a referrer; you can try to request it from them and they may give you a link if you have a blog or similar medium for referring people.
We obviously don’t have much experience with this portal yet, it’s a small portal and just a year old. I recently tested it out on a purchase to see how it goes.
Those who make lots of Amazon purchases should be jumping on this opportunity to get 5% back on most items there. For impatient folks who want to get paid out their portal cashback immediately, it would also make sense to give the portal a spin.
Ultimately, as with all portals, a lot boils down to the cashback rate being offered. While I do value speed of payout highly, a better rate from a different portal would pull me there. If you see a high cashback rate on Giving Assistant, it sounds like a great way of getting the portal money into your bank account quickly.
Remember also that you can get up to 5% back on Amazon purchases by using the right credit card, see Best Credit Card for Amazon Purchases. Currently, Discover cashback is doubled for many of us which means you can get 10% back from the card and another 5% back from the portal.
Thanks to orensmoneysaver for making us aware of the Giving Assistant portal.
[Disclosure: The Giving Assistant link in this post is my referral link. I’ll receive $5 if you signup for an account and make a $5 purchase.]