Posted by Chuck on August 31, 2015
Portals

Published on August 31st, 2015 | by Chuck

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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.]

Fast Payout

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.)

Charity Partner

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.

100% Payout

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.

Referral Bonus

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.

Final Thoughts

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.]



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Octavio
Octavio

Made a purchase $6.59 purchase on Saturday @ Amazon via Giving Assistant and the cashback posted today; they even rounded up to $.33. Just made a $99.99 purchase yesterday, hoping for the same results 🙂

Ryan Quiel

Hi Octavio,

Glad you got your cash back fast and rounded up 🙂

You will for sure get your cash back from your $99.99 purchase. If anything is delayed though, please email me at help [@] givingassistant.org and I will personally make sure it is paid out to you promptly.

Have a great day and thanks again for using our platform!

Ryan Quiel
Cofounder at Giving Assistant

patternseverywhere
patternseverywhere

You can double-dip with e-GCs. And if you pay with a Discover enrolled in double cashback, that’s effectively 20%.

Christine
Christine

What do you mean double dip with e-gift cards?

HORACE
HORACE

Chuck,

Question for you. When you write “debit” card, do you know if they mean a true debit card or would a AMEX Serve account or NationWide “Teen’ card suffice for putting the cash back on?

Finally, as you may know, I am not a credit card churner, nor a person who does gift card MS.

I do know that many people who read your site are but I bet that many are not, as well.

Might you guys do a comparison of portal cash back sites some time in the future?

I primarily use E-Bates and Mr. Rebates and have been leery of Top Cash Back and others because of stories I have read about them and their failure to properly track, etc.

I think a future post on these sort of web sites would be good for those who MS and those who do not, as well!

Thanks,

Horace

Calvin Tam
Calvin Tam

The debit card has to be Visa or MasterCard network.

Presley
Presley

I made a purchase through the portal yesterday and the click did not record at all!
I tested first by clicking on Saturday and that one recorded under cashback clicks but I did not make a purchase so I thought the one for Sunday when I actually made a purchase would show up, but it didn’t

Chris
Chris

I made a purchase on amazon through giving assistant after you posted it the other week and have yet to get payment, hoping I do though.

Ryan Quiel

Hi Chris,

It takes a few days to show up (each retailer sends us data at a different speed) and you will for sure get your cash back. We pride ourselves on making sure all of our users get the cash back they deserve.

Please send an email with your receipt to help[@]givingassistant.org and we will quickly sort this out. Hopefully it is just a delay in the system with Amazon’s API and your cashback credit is now showing.

Thanks again for using us and feel free to talk to the team on live chat if and when you have any further questions.

Best,

Ryan
Cofounder at GA

EBF
EBF

Hi Ryan,

Any chance order numbers could be added to the Amazon order number to the Cashback Clicks page in My Account? I’ve placed a few orders and get a bit confused what’s for which order.

Thanks.

Josh T
Josh T

I have found that I often am not paid for click-through purchases by Giving Assistant and need to contact their technical support. After submitting documetation of my purchases, they have always provided fair cash back. But the process is laborious.

Patrick
Patrick

So far so good!
Last Tuesday I bought something on Amazon. Last Friday a payment was sent to my debit card. Today, I see the money in my bank account!

Ryan Quiel

Great to hear Patrick! Welcome to Giving Assistant 🙂

Let me know if I can do anything else to make your time on the site better as a new member.

Have a great day.

Ryan Quiel
Cofounder at Giving Assistant

Dave
Dave

Have people gotten cash back for BUYING and REDEEMING Amazon gift cards?

Calvin Tam
Calvin Tam

I have been using this portal since April 15. It is the best portal I have used compared to ebates or TCB.. Great support. They reply within 24 hours.

In my experience, the cashback will credit into account in 2-3 days after shipped e.g. amazon (vary from merchant). Different cashback rate sometimes listed under the button — look for “See more details”. Once it sent a payment, it usually takes 2-3 biz days to show up in my citi checking account.

By the way, they don’t have referral program while I signed up. If you don’t mind, this is my referral link: http://mbsy.co/give/482565

wwllmm
wwllmm

Still unclear on being paid via debit card. You can put in the #’s from any old vanilla or USB GC you have laying around? Or you can put in the digits from your bank ATM debit card (seems risky for some reason)? Never heard of this form of payment before.

J. Grant
J. Grant

Cashback from an Amazon purchase posted within 2 days, which is unheard of. Thanks Ryan for founding this website – it’s actually quite revolutionary in that it pays out so fast. What I like even MORE is that for every purchase, Giving Assistant “donates a meal to a needy family on your behalf.” This is ethical business practices at their best. Kudos!

If DoC doesn’t mind, here’s my referral link for those that would like to sign up. If you use my link, I thank you in advance; I get a tiny bonus 🙂

http://mbsy.co/give/19606453

Mimi
Mimi

Is the offer to get $5 after you got your first cashback still on if you sign up using someone’s referral? There are 2 boxes to type in one’s email address, which one do we put our email address so the one who refers will get the bonus ~ the one beside Shop Responsibly or do we click Join Now?

Ryan Quiel

Hi Mimi,

Please make sure to signup using Chuck’s link that he supplied. If you signup from Google, we can’t give you the $5 signup bonus.

Thanks,

Ryan
Cofounder at Giving Assistant

Shaun
Shaun

Just received an e-mail from Giving Assistant that the 5% return on Amazon purchases is ending November 1. E-mail does not specify any rate thereafter.

Also, looking through the site’s help section, looks like there’s a minimum of $5 for all payment options. And that they cover the PayPal fees.

Ryan Quiel

Hi Shaun,

Stay tuned, as we will be offering something new for Amazon and upping other store’s cash back rates insanely higher.

I know this sucks about Amazon. We are super bummed as well 🙁 Best thing is buy your xmas gifts now, as this window of 5% CB is closing. That is at least what I am doing in combination with my 5% Amazon Credit Card.

BUT, we are going to work hard to make it up to our community with a few surprises in the coming weeks!

Will keep this comment thread posted.

Ryan
Cofounder at Giving Assistant

LS
LS

I have made 3 amazon purchases with only the first one tracking.

Ryan Quiel

Hi LS,

If you made 3 purchases in the same wave after clicking through our site, it will only show as one click on our site, but three orders in a few days on your event page. There is always a bit of a delay from Amazon or any other merchant on when you transaction went though.

Send us an email and we will gladly look into it promptly.

Best,

Ryan
Cofounder at Giving Assistant

X.H.
X.H.

This site is very possible a SCAM.
Can you believe that a cashback website like giving-assistant will ask for your Social Security Number (SSN) and your debit card number?

They promised to instant payout. Sure, you first need to link your debit card to the account which maybe fine, or maybe they steal your debit card.

However, they still won’t pay you.
After a week, they will email you and ask you to reply with favorites store/purchase volume/suggestions to complete the verification, and “Verification is a one-time process.” Sure, you reply to complete the “one-time verification”.
After two weeks, they still won’t pay you. They will email you again for another “one-time process”, ask you to enter your debit card, legal name and SSN!

Who is crazy to give SSN to a fishy cashback website like this!

Ryan Quiel

Hi X.H.,

My name is Ryan Quiel and I am a cofounder at Giving Assistant. I have worked for nonprofits for 6 years and wanted to create Giving Assistant so everyone can save and give just a bit back to charities.

I assure you we are no scam and hate that we have a hold on your cash back. We got flooded with fraud last month and had to put a hold on payments and come up with a way to detect great community users/savers from some really advanced bad apples.

If we let things continue as it was, we would of bleed dry by these bad apples. We put a hold on payments to filter the bad apples out and put a SSN protocol for quick payments to filter out any new bad apples that signed up in the future.

Please send me a email to ryan [at] givingassistant.org and I will be happy to push your payment out.

I read what you wrote on Cashbackholic and here, & please note, I totally agree with you. This sucks, it really, really does. We worked hard to building a giving community this last year only to be attacked by fraudsters who are making things bad for everyone.

Our team is working really hard (& all weekend) to make things much easier to be paid without the hassle of SSN.

Thank you for your patience and again, please email me so we can push your payment out.

Thanks,

Ryan Quiel
Cofounder at Giving Assistant

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