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Upromise: Free College Savings

October 16, 2012

written by Cathy Baker, mom of 2 ‘tween daughters, livin’ in the Missouri Ozarks

I had heard of Upromise for awhile, but it wasn’t until a couple of years ago that I really checked into.  My only regret is not signing up for this FREE college savings program when my girls were younger.

Here’s what the upromise site states:

Upromise is a service that helps families earn extra money for education. The company was launched in April 2001 to help make a college education more attainable. It’s a service that helps members jumpstart their college savings or pay down student loans by earning 1-25% back on qualified everyday spending shopping online or in-store, eating out, buying groceries, purchasing travel and more.

The money you earn from your everyday spending with Upromise partners goes directly into your Upromise account. You can choose to invest your earnings in a high-yield savings account or tax-deferred 529 plan; use it to pay down a student loan; or request a check that can be used for college or other expenses.

You don’t have to get the upromise credit card. We didn’t at first, but then we ended up getting it after six months or so in order to increase our savings.  All the money we earn from our credit card and online purchases, gets transferred into the 529 plan we have set up. It’s automatically divided equally between our kids.  Also, if our parents wanted to join Upromise too, all the money they earn could be equally divided among all the grandkids.  You don’t have to have a college savings started for your kids, the money can stay in your upromise account. The advantage of transferring it is the added bonus of earning interest.

And so many huge online retailers participate, currently here are a few participating (percentages do go up and down)  – Toys R Us (5% back), Walmart (5%), Target (5%), Best Buy (5%), Home Depot (5%).  And that 5% percentage for all these purchases goes directly towards your child’s college savings! It’s a win-win in my book!

Lastly, if you do sign up, I would recommend downloading the Upromise TurboSaver, if your browser is supported. The advantage to this is when you search for an item, next to the search, it will pop up and show you the retailers that are participating and how much of your purchase you get back. Easy!!

If you want more info, or want to sign up for this FREE program, check out their FAQ page at Upromise here. Do it before you start your online Christmas shopping!

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