This post is NOT sponsored by Upromise. Instead, it is my honest review. All links to Upromise are my referral links.
Way back in 2008 I signed up for a Upromise account and then it sat unused for many years. I don’t recall why I never used the account, but I guess it just slipped my mind. Back in 2008, I was a mama to a toddler and infant, so a lot of things slipped my mind.
Hello, 2020. Right before the pandemic started, I opened 529 College Savings Accounts for our daughters. My oldest was in eighth grade and one of my goals for 2020 was to start saving consistently for both daughters’ college education. We want to assist them in financing their college years and we needed to make some progress. Prior to 2020, we spent years aggressively paying off six figures of non-mortgage debts, so saving for college was sporadic deposits into a regulard savings account and basically on the back burner.
In January of 2020, I was gung-ho about saving for college, however, I had no idea what was about to happen. But my point of this post is not to discuss the pandemic.
Instead, it is to share with you my honest review of Upromise, an online cashback portal that partners with major retailers, restaurants, and businesses. The unique aspect of Upromise that differs from other cashback portals is that you can transfer the cashback that you earn into your 529 College Savings Accounts.
Since March of 2020, over $1300 has been transferred into my daughters’ 529 College Savings Accounts. It averages out to about $72 a month. In the grand scheme of college tuition, $1300 barely makes a dent, however, that was just the first 18 months, and we have another 9 years before my youngest graduates from college. 108 Months X $72 = $7,776! I’ll take it!
We’re currently in the “shovel all extra funds into their college savings accounts season of life. ” Realistically, we will most likely not be able to cover 100% of their college education, but we are eager to assist as much as we can. My Upromise strategy will help with our goal.
What is Upromise?
As mentioned, Upromise is a shopping portal, similar to Rakuten. Anytime I shop online, I log into Upromise to see if that business offers cashback on purchases. If they do, I click on the “shop Now” button on Upromise, make my purchase and in a few days, the cashback is put into my Upromise account.
But I’ll be honest with you, the cashback aspect of Upromise accounts for a very small percentage of my $1300. The majority of the $1300 came from linking a Upromise Mastercard to my Upromise account AND linking to our 529 accounts.
Side Note #1: I do not advocate the use of credit cards unless you are able to pay off the balance every month so as not to incur fees and charges. If you’re not at this point in your financial journey, please don’t go any further, because the money that will be added into your Upromise account will most likely be less than any fees that you incur.
Side Note #2: I am not in the position to give advice on 529 accounts. The only thing I can and will tell you is that I did a lot of reading and we chose a Guaranteed Savings Plan. This plan lets us save for tomorrow’s college expenses at today’s plan rates – without worrying about the ups and downs of the stock market. The main reason I chose this type of plan was because we got started so late in the game. Had we started saving for college when the kids were much younger, I might have chosen a 529 investment plan. Please: READ AND RESEARCH TO DETERMINE what is best for you and your family.
How to Save for College with Upromise:
The first step to saving for college with Upromise is to join. It’s FREE!
Currently, you will receive a $5.29 bonus for signing up and a $25 bonus for linking a 529 account. To take advantage of the bonuses, you must link your eligible 529 College Savings Account. Your Upromise portal will walk you through this step.
After joining, there are two ways to earn money for your 529 College Savings Plan:
1) Shopping Portal
Before you shop online, log into your Upromise account and connect to the store’s website. In the below example, you would earn 3% cashback from your purchases at Old Navy and 2% at Walmart. These percentages change often, depending on the promotion.
2. Use a Upromise Mastercard.
If you are committed to paying your credit card off at the end of every month so as not to incur fees and charges, consider signing up for the Upromise Mastercard. You can apply for the card through your Upromise account.
Currently, the Upromise Mastercard offers the following rewards, but they can change at any time:
- Earn $100 in bonus cash back rewards after spending $500 on purchases less credits, returns and adjustments (“Net Purchases”) within the first 90 days after the Account open date.
- Earn 1.25% cashback rewards on purchases when the account IS NOT linked to eligible plans.
- Earn 1.529% cashback rewards on purchases when the account IS linked to eligible plans.
- Sign up for Upromise Round-Up. This program lets you round up your purchases to the nearest dollar, based on the limit you set (from $1 to $500). The total Round Up Amount is considered a purchase and converted to cashback rewards when the billing cycle closes. Participation in Upromise Round-Up is optional. I average about $18 a month.
Show me the money!
Cashback from the Mastercard will transfer at the end of the billing cycle, and transfers to your 529 accounts happen once a month if you meet the $100 minimum. The $202.20 earned in the below picture was transferred in early October.
Before I shop online, I check to see if I can earn cashback through the Upromise portal. Not every company is on this portal, so if it’s not, then I check Rakuten. My goal is to always get cashback on every online purchase.
If you have a 529 college savings plan or are thinking about getting one AND if you are good with paying off your credit card balance at end of the month then joining Upromise is an easy way to save a little money for college. It’s not going to pay the whole bill, but as we start navigating the college process with our girls, every dollar counts!
Join today with my referral link and start saving for college!