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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IS250
IS250

Chuck Is your referral still active?

rob354345

Chuck

I was looking to make a big purchase and looking on many sites that gives cash back i was lured by giving assistant that shows on their site and on their app that would give 10% back while others would give 5% or less. Little that i knew that was a big bait and switch and ended up having no cash back at all. I contacted them and told them that on their site was showing 10% cash back and nowhere on their site says otherwise. Their response was to read the privacy and policy of the site i bought from and not theirs. I think this is very misleading since they are the one providing the service of giving me 10% cash back and not the site i bought from. For me this is a big deal false advertisement and i think people should be well aware of this scam on this site.

Problems
Problems

Giving assistant appears to no longer default to 100% cashback, but 100% donation. I just signed up in order to make an order from Boxed, and after 1 day, 100% has been donated to a Charity that I did not select.

Francesco
Francesco

HI Chuck,

Just signed up for Giving Assistant with your referral link above. Thanks for the great website!

Francesco

Thomas Lutz
Thomas Lutz

This is a message for Ryan Quiel, Cofounder:

I have been trying to reach customer service for about two week now. I have had the same response asking the same question from three different specialists, and have answered them and never heard back. I made a large purchase on a 5% cash back through giving assistant in October and still have not gotten a straight answer as to why after almost two weeks I have no confirmation of my cash back in my account with them. The cash back click is there, they have proof of receipt and purchase. Not sure if I will ever see the cash back. Thanks.

Eli
Eli

Just one data point – I contacted Giving Assistant twice to get clarification on one of the merchants that is listed as “up to…” and not a fixed percent. No response at all. Nada. The rates are tempting but I’m going to pass on this site.

Ryan Quiel

Hi Eli,

We have all our breakdowns of “UP TO” in our details section of each store page.

We have a 24 hour turn around time getting back to users. I have no idea why you didn’t get a response, but would be glad to help personally.

Whats your last name and I will add $10 cashback in your account as a thank you for giving us another chance.

Best,

Ryan
CoFounder

Rufus
Rufus

Hi I referred some of my friends and all i get is clicks and not referrals, what could be the problem, and my friends have registered and also made some purchases through giving assistance.

Hua He
Hua He

I didn’t get paid the cash back I earned in November yesterday.Is there something wrong with them?They should pay me yesterday via paypal.

Ethan
Ethan

Hi Ryan,
Thanks for the quick reponse. I have sent a message to Sarah using chat today. I don’t mind to donate more to feeding America but I am puzzled at this surprise. I am already doing most if not all of my purchases through you guys regardless whether there is cashback or not, including amazon.

Ryan Quiel

Hi Ethan,

Sarah is great. She will sort this out for you in a jiffy. I think buying via Amazon in Nov through a few users off as donations started to roll in.

We are working to make this more straightforward on the dashboard. Update to come this week to make cash back and cash back donations (ie Amazon) crystal clear on the tracking page.

Thanks again for your questions,

Ryan

Ethan
Ethan

This message is to Ryan Quiel,
Hi Ryan, just found out my recent two payouts are now 50% donation eventhough my settings still show 1% donation. Anything new going on ? The two merchants are Stride Rite and Newegg.

thanks

Ryan Quiel

Hi Ethan,

It should not be the case.

Digging deeper into the affiliate commissions we get and state on our store pages, I think I found the root of your problem for NewEgg.

NEWEGG:

Cash Back Breakdown
1% of sale for new customers
0.5% of sale for returning customers (most likely you fell into this pool?)
0% on game consoles

STRIDE RITE

Cash Back Breakdown
7% of sale
0% on gift cards

I don’t know why Stride Rite donated half of your earnings though? Be happy to look into this. Just chat me up (bubble chat in lower right to a message I sent you) when you log in and will get this sorted. I don’t have your last name to dig deeper at this point.

Also, please keep in mind that you will be donating automatically now regardless of your slider when shopping at Amazon.com, as that is strictly a 1.5% cash back donation.

Thanks,

Ryan