I’m a big fan of online portals. Who doesn’t love getting money back after shopping for items you needed to buy anyway? Giving Assistant is a new website that offers rebates and coupons for various online merchants with the added bonus of being able to donate all or a portion of your cash back to charity.
Giving Assistant is different from other cash back portals in a few key areas.
More Cash Back
All cash back websites are paid a commission from retail partners for originating purchases. The Giving Assistant website states that 100% of the commissions earned from their retail partners are given back to members through cash back, meaning the rebate percentage is greater than what is available from some of the other online portals.
For example, Ebates is currently offering 3% cash back for Amazon purchases in home improvement, jewelry, handbags, and shoes. Giving Assistant offers 5% cash back for any in stock purchase through Amazon.com. It looks like some things are not included, like gift cards and purchases from third party sellers, but for the most part, it’s 5% back from Amazon! (Update: 5% cash back from Amazon is only available until November 1st)
You can also use Giving Assistant concurrently with Amazon Smiles for an even greater charity donation or to keep some cash back while still donating to your favorite cause.
Most cash back portals pay out every 3-4 months, but Giving Assistant sends out payments much faster. You have three options for receiving cash back once your balance is above $5.
Debit Card– You can receive payments via Stripe.com by adding a US based Visa or Mastercard debit card. You’ll receive payment into your checking account within a week’s time.
Paypal– Paypal payments are sent at the first of every month. There are no fees to get paid via this method.
Check– Giving Assistant prefers to pay digitally, but you can also sign up for check payments that are mailed every three months.
No Hassle for Missing Cashback
One of my biggest complaints with using cash back portals is when purchases don’t show up, even if I’ve completed all the steps correctly. Giving Assistant states that any missing cash back will be credited to your account if you email proof of order confirmation.
If you choose, some or all of your cash back can be donated to charity. For people on a tight budget who don’t have lots of cash to spare, this offers a way to help your favorite non-profit without actual money leaving the budget. Obviously, you’d have to buy loads of stuff to make a sizeable individual donation, but if everyone logged in through a the portal before shopping, it would all add up over time.
Cons with Giving Assistant
If I had to say something negative about Giving Assistant, it would be that not every retailer listed on the site offers cash back. There are lots of coupons and promo codes that can save money, but some of my go to travel sites like Hilton and Marriott are not offering any sort of a rebate.
I also noticed that the local charities I support with Amazon Smiles were not in the system. It appears they can be added if the organization representatives email with their non-profit information.
Hopefully both of these issues can be resolved as the site continues to grow and add new users.
Giving Assistant is a viable contender in the growing pool of cash back portals. It is attractive because of fast payments, the possibility of more cash back from popular sites like Amazon, and because of their option of donating rebate money to charity. Taking the extra five seconds to log into a portal is certainly worth the effort!
I was compensated for this review, but all opinions are my own.