Giving Assistant Review 2016
What if you could combine the warm and fuzzy feeling that comes from doing something good for another with the excitement of saving money? Thanks to Giving Assistant, all of this is made possible and more, such as the opportunity to earn extra dollars through a legitimate shopping portal that provides coupon codes for both leading and specialty online retailers; cash back payments within days; and the ability to easily donate to charitable causes just by using the Giving Assistant site while shopping online.
What is Giving Assistant?
Supplying online shoppers with cash back-, charitable-, and money-saving opportunities, Giving Assistant.org is a digital coupon marketplace launched in 2013, which has already grown to include more than 1,100 retail partners… and counting. The company is focused on spreading positive social change in a way that benefits all parties involved. Giving Assistant also provides some of the highest cash back rates in the industry, excellent customer service, and payments within days – all additional perks that continue to catch the attention of consumers who frequent the site to earn an average of 5.3% cash back on qualifying purchases from retailer partners.
Users (who are non-members) save money by utilizing the coupon and promo codes listed on the site, which work on laptops, computers, and mobile devices. Every purchase results in a meal donated to the needy. Giving Assistant members have the ability to earn cash back, make money through a generous referral program, as well as donate cash back to the charities of their choice.
Like most sites of this nature, Giving Assistant is paid a commission by retail partners whenever a user makes a qualifying purchase using a link from its website. However, the company differs from the majority of their competitors because it gives away their full commission to its members. This has left some people skeptical, leaving them to think – so, what does the company get out of all this? How do they make money? Giving Assistant is able to make money when non-members use the site to save money, which happens every time a visitor clicks on sitewide digital coupons and promo code links to make a purchase at a participating retailer. The commission earned from those sales goes to Giving Assistant.
Non-members do not receive cash back, while members do. Therefore, it literally pays to spend the few seconds it takes to sign up for a free account, and earn cash back for your purchases.
Thousands of online partners are listed on the Giving Assistant site, including the likes of Lowes, Home Depot, Best Buy, Sephora, Starbucks, Petco, Hotels.com, Kohl’s, Expedia, Priceline, Saks 5th Avenue, and Go Daddy. Depending on the retailers, shoppers can earn cash back, as well as save money when using their online coupon codes to receive discounts on merchandise; enjoy free shipping; get Buy 1, Get 1 Free deals; and add complimentary items to an order.
How Can I Start?
To begin earning cash back and donating to charities, there are two ways to set up a free account.
You can join Giving Assistant by using your Facebook account, or with your email. In order to receive payments, members must fill out relevant information, such as their first and last name; choose a charity and designate donation percentage (when applicable); and select a method of payment.
Within the member dashboard, account settings on Giving Assistant consist of the following:
- Basic Information: Your full name, email address, and account password.
- Charity Information: The charity you support, and the percentage of cash back you’d like to donate towards the cause.
- Method of Payment: Your preferred method of payment: debit card, Paypal, or check.
- All Time Earnings: The amount of Cash Back earned since the creation of your account.
- Current Balance: The current ‘payable’ amount based on payment preferences and having an account in good standing.
- All Time Donated: The total amount of money you’ve donated since being a member.
Within the Dashboard Settings, members can also review the date and location of Cashback Clicks, as well as monitor their Referral Program activity.
How Do I Use Giving Assistant?
Before shopping online, visit the Giving Assistant website to locate store-specific offers, deals and discounts. Use Giving Assistant to save money on online purchases with coupon codes posted on its site (which ranges from taking a percentage off an order’s total to getting free shipping to free gifts with a purchase); earn cash back on purchases; and donate to good causes.
An added bonus is being able to earn money through the Giving Assistant referral program, which not only benefits yourself, but also rewards those you refer to the site (and who have earned cash back by making a qualifying purchase).
What to Expect with Giving Assistant…
As a Giving Assistant user, you should expect to discover an ever-changing collection of coupons and promo codes that help you save money when shopping your favorite retailers online, such as Target, Amazon.com, Ann Taylor, Barnes & Noble, Novica, and Walgreens. Giving Assistant also verifies promo codes before adding to the site, which means you gain access to a treasure-trove of reliable savings. Team Picks signify hot deals and discounts. User-submitted savings are found below the site’s verified codes which also lead to extra savings.
Cash back opportunities not only help you save money, but can also go towards helping the charitable causes that you’ve selected to support. And, for every qualifying purchase that originates from the Giving Assistant marketplace, the company donates a meal to a needy family on your behalf.
Most Popular Cash Back Stores:
- Macy’s Cash Back at Up to 7%
- Nordstrom’s Cash Back at 3%
- Walmart Cash Back at Up To 4%
- Target Cash Back at Up to 1%
- Best Buy Cash Back at Up to 1%
- Kohl’s Cash Back at 3%
- Staples Cash Back at Up To 5%
- JCPenney Cash Back at 3%
- Sephora Cash Back at 5%
As a member, you should also expect to earn a $5 bonus for every new user that clicks on your assigned, unique referral link (found under the Referral Program tab within the account dashboard); becomes a Giving Assistant member; and completes a qualifying cash back purchase.
To make sure Giving Assistant is able to function properly, you should also expect to meet the following requirements:
- Browser compatibility plays an important role. Your computer or mobile device must have the most recent versions of Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, Safari, Mobile Safari, or Internet Explorer 10+.
- Merchant stores and Giving Assistant awards cash back when you click on specific links to make a purchase, which means disabling AdBlocking software and similar plugins/extensions must take place while shopping online. Failure to disable can result in the inability to verify cash back activity and a loss of commission.
Step-by-Step Instructions on How to Get Cash Back
- Visit GivingAssistant.org, and sign in as a member.
- Use the Giving Assistant search bar to locate a desired retailer. ‘Macy’s’ has been chosen in the example below. As you browse the site, you’ll find links to popular stores and categories found at the bottom of the homepage.
- To date, Macy’s is offering up to 3% cash back through Giving Assistant. Click on the ‘Shop Now‘ button to initiate a transaction on their site which earns cash back.
Additionally, you can click on the ‘Show Code’ button once you’ve found a discount or offer that has caught your eye. ‘Copy’ the code, and then click on the Macy’s link (shown in pink below) for redirection to the retailer’s website. Here, you will complete your purchase, save money using the code, and earn cash back all at the same time – if you are a member of Giving Assistant.
- Once you have added items to your ‘cart’ and are ready to make a purchase, check out as you normally would (making sure to enter any applicable promo codes or gift certificate numbers).
- Giving Assistant and the retailer are tracking your purchase activity, which is attached to the specialized link you clicked on Giving Assistant’s site. Your cash back-eligible activity will appear in your Account Dashboard under ‘Cashback Clicks.’
How Long Does It Take to Get Cash Back?
How does 48-hour cashback sound? Giving Assistant offers one of the fastest payouts for cash back. Unlike other companies that can take weeks or up to three months to pay out, users receive their funds within days (depending on their selected payment method).
There are three different ways to receive payments from Giving Assistant, all of which are 100% fee-free. Once users reach a minimum balance of $5.00, they can request the following:
- Debit card payment, issued daily at 3 p.m. Pacific time; this is the fastest way to get your money, where payments are delivered within days of a purchase.
- PayPal, paid out on the 1st of every month following a 30-day processing period.
- Check, sent out every 3 months in May, August, November and February.
Sometimes, users receive their cash back even before their purchases are delivered to their door.
Giving Assistant Referral Program
Giving Assistant has a referral program that not only rewards members, but also gives $5 to individuals who sign up using a member’s unique link. You earn $5 once a referred member makes a qualifying cash back-earning purchase. Referral payments are made 60 days thereafter. There is no limit to the amount of referral bonus cash you can earn, and perhaps you’ll join some of the members who have earned more than $800 through the program.
Your personal dashboard provides real-time stats regarding your referral earnings that highlight:
- Link Clicks: the number of unique clicks from your referral link
- Signups Referred: total signups from your referral link
- Pending C.B. Users: referrals that have earned cash back, and payment is pending
- Confirmed C.B. Users: referrals no longer pending; your bonus has been received
- Total Earned
- Pending Earned
Giving Assistant Video
Giving Assistant has posted the following video to introduce new members and future users to the money-saving and charitable cash back possibilities that come with using their site:
Special Features of Giving Assistant
The following special features of Giving Assistant are what attract users, and set the site apart from its competitors:
Highest Cash Back Rates: Giving Assistant consistently offers the highest cash back rates for many of your favorite stores, and according to CashbackHolic.com, 61% of the time they deliver the highest cash back for the current lineup of stores on their site.
Double Cash Back: Instead of sending a portion of commissions to members, Giving Assistant gives 100% of it to users. Referred to as ‘double cash back,’ this perk makes it easier for consumers to make charitable donations, as well as earn their own cash back.
5% Cashback for Amazon: When compared to the competition, Giving Assistant offers 5% cash back on purchases from all categories on Amazon.com. Similar sites either have category restrictions in place for Amazon orders, or do not offer Amazon cashback at all. The 5% cash back is only valid when a shopper buys an item that is shipped and sold by Amazon, and excludes partner and seller goods.
In order to receive cash back from Amazon, it is important to remember to begin with a cookie-free browser session; AdBlocker and Privacy extensions are completely disabled on all websites; shopping carts are empty beforehand; and purchases are completed during the same browsing session within 24 hours.
Live Chat: For users in need of assistance navigating the site or inquiring about cash back issues, Giving Assistant offers live chat, where consumers receive instant support – sometimes from the co-founder themselves. The icon shown here is what you’d click to initiate a conversation – found at the bottom-right corner of every page.
Effortlessly Give to Charity: The ability to give back to charitable causes is a feel-good perk associated with using Giving Assistant to shop online. The site makes donations possible in one of two ways; the first is through a partnership with Feed America, which donates a meal for each purchase made through the site. The second method allows consumers to donate a percentage of their cash back earnings to a charity of their choice.
Searching for a charitable cause is easy; simply type in the name of a charity, school or religious organization in the search bar. From a drop-down menu, possible options appear. Once selected and confirmed, your good cause is saved and according to the percentage allocated for donations, every time cash back is earned, your charity receives a portion of it.
As a default, all accounts start with 100% cash back going to the user – it is up to you to adjust the percentages within the member dashboard, which can be increased and decreased at any time.
Expanded Information on Retailers: Many of the store pages which feature coupon codes and cash back information also provide convenient details about the specific retailer, such as:
- lesser-known facts
- store overview
- step-by-step instructions on how to use promo codes
- additional ways to save money
- direct links to social media accounts
- contact information
Any Complaints Regarding Giving Assistant?In comparison to the competition, Giving Assistant is a fairly new way to save online. Yet in still, the site has been pretty successful in actively working towards correcting any unforeseen issues and expanding the features offered to users. Criticism is surprisingly far and few between, typically centering on the following:The Site is Fake or It’s a Scam: A few random ‘reviewers’ have tossed out the words ‘fake’ and ‘scam’ without any further explanation regarding their experiences. However, according to the Better Business Bureau, Giving Assistant has received the highest BBB Rating possible (an A+) – a designation that is clearly not given to companies and websites that operate as a scam.*No Cash Back for Walmart: As Giving Assistant continues to add more stores offering cash back through its site, some consumers have groaned that Walmart is not one of them, as of yet.
Missing Cash Back: From infrequent technical glitches to user blunders, a few people have commented that not all cash back transactions register. However, in every instance that customer service was contacted, users remarked at the speed and high level of care in which their issues were handled.
In a Nutshell…
Giving Assistant is a user-friendly, free resource that provides a trifecta of benefits for members – cash back opportunities, attractive referral bonuses, and the chance to give back to others without donating out of pocket. Anyone who uses the site gains access to money-saving coupon codes, promos and hot deals that increase a shopper’s online savings.
Especially appealing to Amazon.com shoppers, some of the highest cash back rates make Giving Assistant one of the best ways that online shoppers can save money and maximize their dollars. It’s also a convenience for people who want their cash back earnings right away, as the company offers debit card payments within days, not months.
Giving Assistant’s tagline says it best: “Saving money never felt this good.”