Upromise: College Savings Made Simpler

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529s Insights

Upromise: College Savings Made Simpler

Ajay Singh Jun 03, 2019

But is it Worth it?

The sign-up process is fairly easy. Just enter a few details, then optionally link your credit cards and grocery store loyalty cards to your account (to get cashback on your purchases). Of course, you’ll want to create this link in order to get the maximum return.

Online Shopping Rebates

When you buy from online stores such as Dell, eBay, Barnes & Noble, Target.com, and Lands’ End, and start your purchase by logging into Upromise, you’ll get a cashback credit on your purchase, usually between 2%-6%.

My family shops online frequently. I estimate we spend $3,000 a year online at the stores Upromise supports. Assuming a 3% average rebate, that’s $90 per year. If we roll that into our 529 plan and earn an average 8% a year, that’s $3,526 by the time she goes to college.

Offline Shopping Rebates

Upromise’s offline rebates include one store, grocery stores, and Exxon gas stations.

For groceries, you need to shop at one of 21,000 participated grocery stores and use your shopping loyalty card. Then you earn 1% to 5% cashback on participating items. (You’ve probably see the Upromise logo on items you buy). If we spend about $150 a week on groceries and 10% of that amount is on covered items which earn an average of 4% cashback, then by the time our daughter goes to school we can ean another $1,121 from groceries.

Gas rebates are on purchases at ExxonMobile stations. If we fill up two cars at 15 gallons a piece twice a month, that will give us $253 toward college.

There’s also an in-store rebate for Bed Bath & Beyond. If we spend $300 a year there, we’ll have an extra $109 for college.

You can also eat at participating restaurants in the Upromise program, including many locally-owned restaurants, and earn up to 8% cashback. If we eat at one of these restaurants twice a month, and have an average tab of $40, we’ll have $2,786 for college.

The Credit Card Option

To make a lot more toward college, the Citi Upromise credit card holds the key. With it you earn 1%-10% on all purchases you make. We put most of our expenses on a credit card, and that adds up to about $60,000 a year. If the average purchase we make returns 2%, we’ll get a whopping $43,411 for college!

Sallie Mae Bonus

Plus, you can earn an extra 10% on your Upromise earnings by linking it to a Sallie Mae High Yield Savings Account or CD.

Add It Up

Non-credit card savings equal $7,795 and credit card savings bring the total to over $50,000!

Should You Do it?

So, I think it’s worth signing up for Upromise if you make purchases online or belong to a supermarket loyalty program. You won’t get rich, but every penny you save adds up for college.

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