Upromise – Earn Free Money for College Education

by Ryan Guina

My wife and I are expecting our first child, so we have been looking into various college savings programs, including 529 College Savings Plans and Coverdell ESA programs. As part of our research a friend referred us to Upromise, a free college savings program. Upromise has been around for years, but we haven’t used it because we hadn’t been thinking about saving for college until now.

Upromise – Earn Free Money For College Education

Upromise.comUpromise is a free rewards program that gives members a little kickback each time they make a purchase at participating stores.

How Upromise works

Upromise works by linking your credit card, debit card, or grocery store card to your Upromise account. Each time you make a purchase through a participating merchant, a percentage of the transaction will be deposited into your Upromise account (you continue to earn your regular credit card rewards as well). You can have your rewards deposited into a 529 plan, use your rewards to pay down student loans, or you can have a check mailed to you to pay for college expenses.

How to sign up for Upromise

All you need to do is sign up for a free Upromise account, register your credit card or grocery store card with Upromise, and shop like you normally do. You will then receive rewards for certain transactions. You can automatically earn rewards money for everyday purchases at grocery and drug stores, gas stations, restaurants, retail stores and online shopping sites. Additionally, some Upromise partners offer additional rewards – up to 8% at some restaurants.

Benefits of a Upromise membership:

  • Earn college savings through eligible everyday spending.
  • Start a college savings plan and save money on taxes.
  • Learn about ways to pay for college.
  • Receive special discounts, bonuses, and money-saving offers by shopping through Upromise website.
  • Use Upromise to repay student loans.

How much money can you earn with Upromise?

I only recently signed up for Upromise, so I haven’t earned much yet. But we have about 18 years of use before we should need to pay for college, so I hope 18 years will make a difference! I am a big fan of Free Money!

Have friends and family help you save for college. When you sign up for your Upromise account, you can invite your friends and family to register as well, and their rewards can go toward your college savings. This is a great way to have Grandma and Grandpa help out!

Sallie Mae

Sallie Mae Savings

Earn 10% more with Upromise by linking a Sallie Mae Online Savings Account! Upromise is owned by Sallie Mae, the company well known for funding student loans. If you open a Sallie Mae online savings account, you can earn a 10% bonus on your Upromise earnings. There is no limit to how much additional you can earn. If that isn’t enough to convince you, Sallie Mae also offers one of the top interest rates in the nation, currently over 6x the national average. Read this Sallie Mae Bank Online Savings Account Review for more information or to sign up for a Sallie Mae savings account.

Sign up for Upromise today! Upromise is a great way to help save for college, repay student loans, or help pay for current college expenses. Sign up for your Upromise account and get started!

Published or updated January 23, 2012.
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{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Kristen

Sallie Mae keeps sending me e-mails to sign up for UPromise. I haven’t done it up until now, but maybe now that we too have a new edition on the way it’s time to take another look at it.


2 Miranda

We have Upromise, and it’s been great. When I shop online, I use the toolbar to automatically alert me to rewards. I buy online with my Upromise card to increase the savings. Even so, it’s not a huge amount. But it’s not too bad, since grandma and grandpa help out, too. We’re thinking of using the Upromise 529 plan, in which you can put your earnings automatically into New York’s 529 (which can be used for education in other states). I want to check on the fees first, though.


3 T!

I have an account with UPromise and from what I’ve found so far it seems really limited as far as where you can earn points and like most of these types of systems you have to spend a ton of money to earn an amount that might make a difference in your school savings plan. The biggest rewards come from stuff like buying or financing a home or car and vacation related expenses. So if you are already planning to do these things maybe you might be able to pick enough extra money that would make it worth while. I wouldn’t suggest relying on this using this as the main method of saving for college or paying off school loans. Make your plans as if you weren’t getting any money from this program and then anything you do earn is a bonus.


4 Ryan

T!,Thanks for the tips. Good point, and one that I should have mentioned. I plan on doing just that. College expenses will surely be much higher 18 years from now, so I know I will need to find other ways to save. I recently set up a 529 College Savings Plan in Ohio, which I plan on contributing to every year. Hopefully over time that will grow large enough to be a big help when the time goes to send our little one off to school. 🙂


5 Dan

I’ve used Upromise for about 3 years and I’ve earned about $25 total in rewards – mostly from grocery shopping.


6 Lannie

I have one question … how do you eventually get your Upromise rewards? When you decided enough is enough and you have saved as much as you want, then what happens?


7 Lannie

*let me clarify, does it really work? Has anyone actually received a check in the mail for their rewards? Sorry to be a skeptic, but I don’t want to waste too much time on this if it really doesn’t matter in the end.


8 Ryan

Lannie, UPromise will mail you a check. I know several people who have received rewards checks (friends and relatives). I personally have not yet, but I only recently started.


9 jjk

I have been a member of Upromise since 2001 and I have earned almost $2200. As other people have said, no, it is not going to pay for college, but every little bit helps and if it will pay for their textbooks at least, great. I am conscious when I decide to buy something to try to use a Upromise member. I also have the Upromise credit card as well as use the toolbar. I have to say that I also save my emails from online purchases and go through my account periodically. If a purchase is missing, which does happen, I simply follow their link to report it and once they verify the purchase, my account gets credited. As for getting the money, yes, I have received several checks from them. Keep in mind that your money does not make any interest, so every time it reaches $200, I send them a letter with my account number and ask to withdraw the $200. I then deposit the money into my children’s college funds where it can earn more money.


10 asithi

I use Upromise and ebates as a way to get back some money for my online purchases. I’ve only been a member for one year and has earned $51 with Upromise. Though this is not my primary means of saving for college, it is nice to have a little bonus for my existing shopping habits.


11 LT

I have been a member of Upromise since August 2006. My credit cards are registered with them, as well as my grocery cards. The majority of my shopping for non-food items is online. I always check Upromise before making a purchase. I have only earned a little more than $200 in the past eight years. I would say that at least 50 percent of the time I do not receive credit for my purchases. Somehow there is no record of me accessing partner sites through Upromise.


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