What Is Upromise And Why You Need To Use It

by Hank Coleman

Upromise - Join Now 125x125What is Upromise? Upromise is a service that helps individuals save money to pay for college or to pay down existing student loan debt.

The beauty of the program is that you save money for college by simply shopping at the normal stores you visit every day. Upromise was created in partnership with Sallie Mae and is designed to help save for education costs.

What Is Upromise?

It is not a college savings plan (like a 529 College Savings Plan). It does not see tax deferred growth. However, what the program does offer is a great way to save through partnerships with retailers. Similar to a cash back rewards card, this plan puts rewards from retailers into an account that you can use to save money for school or paying down current Sallie Mae serviced student loans.

How Upromise Works

fb-529-college-savings-plans-2Once you join Upromise, you simply have to shop at eligible retailers. You can shop online and get anywhere from 1$ to 25% back that is credited to your account. There are more than 600 online retailers, including Target and more, which will give you rewards.

Ultimate Checklist for Your Finances

Take back control of your finances!

Get a FREE checklist for the money moves to make in the New Year.

Also get new articles, advice, and tips delivered right in your email inbox with our newsletter!

Many stores link your Upromise account with your loyalty card. You can also get up to 8% back from participating restaurants when you pay with a credit card or debit card that you have registered on the Upromise website. There are over 8,000 restaurants to choose from including many nationwide chains like Subway. The opportunity to save money for college simply by continuing to shop at your favorite stores and restaurants is huge. Finally, you can also get 1% to 3% back at grocery stores.

You just register your grocery card at Upromise, buy participating products and earn your rewards. Using your rewards card to earn money for your Upromise account still allows you to pay for your groceries any way you want.

Getting Your Money From Upromise

Once you have accumulated rewards, you can do three things: invest them into an actual 529 college savings plan, use them to pay down existing student loans, or receive a check for college expenses. If you invest your earnings with a Upromise account, you can have your Upromise earnings automatically transferred to your 529 College Savings Plan.

You can also pay down your existing Sallie Mae student loans with the money saved in your account. With Upromise Loan Link, you can automatically transfer $25 or more each quarter from your Upromise account directly to your eligible Sallie Mae student loans. Finally, you can always request a check, which will get you your rewards sent straight to you.

Upromise is an excellent way to help you save for college without realizing that you are actually saving and investing your money. While this program will not pay the entire bill for college, every little bit helps when so many people are living paycheck to paycheck or struggling to even start saving for college for their children.

What is Upromise? Have you ever used it? Do you have your grocery store loyalty cards and credit cards linked to your Upromise account? I’d love to hear your experiences with the programs in the comment section. Thanks!

Open a Lending Club IRA and boost your retirement

About Hank Coleman

Hank Coleman is the founder of Money Q&A, an Iraq combat veteran, a Dr. Pepper addict, and a self-proclaimed investing junkie. He has written extensively for many nationally known financial websites and publications. Hank holds a Master’s Degree in Finance and a graduate certificate in personal financial planning. Email him directly at Hank[at]MoneyQandA.com.


Hank Coleman has written 593 articles on Money Q&A. Learn more about Money Q&A on Twitter @MoneyQandA and @HankColeman.


Subscribe To Money Q&A

If you want to learn more about taking back control of your money please subscribe to Money Q&A’s RSS feed or via email to receive all the latest articles! You can also subscribe to our Free Weekly Newsletter.

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Newlyweds on a Budget

I’ve heard of this and think it’s an excellent program! Hope it’s still around by the time I need to use it : ) I unfortunately don’t have sallie mae loans because this would have helped!

Reply

Hank

It is not just for student loan repayment. You can open an account now for yourself and then transfer the benefits to your children after they are born.

Reply

SB @ One Cent At A Time

never heard of. interesting though.

Reply

Paul @ The Frugal Toad

We have used Upromise for close to 10 years for our children’s education fund, we have other accounts as well. I linked our frequent shopper cards to the account and we earn money on our purchases. We also have some relatives who we signed up and every time they use their frequent shopper cards a small amount goes into the 529 account. It’s not much but it helps!

Reply

Brent Pittman

How much $ are we talking about? Is it worth my time?

Reply

Brent Pittman

This sounds like free money to me. Any catches? Can I transfer to ESA?

Reply

Leave a Comment


Previous post:

Next post: