Upromise: earn money for kids’ college tuition
Several years before I had kids, I signed up for a new program called Upromise. It offered people a way to earn money for college by doing a variety of things: shopping through the Upromise website with their partner retailers, using eCoupons with your local stores’ loyalty cards, or dining at participating restaurants.
When you register at Upromise, you’ll have to have your wallet handy. Because you’ll be asked to provide your grocery store loyalty card information and if you choose, your debit and credit card numbers to track your purchases. The participating loyalty cards include Copps, CVS, Piggly Wiggly and Festival Foods.
What if you shop at Festival Foods? While they do not have a store loyalty card, you can request a Upomise Festival Foods card at the customer service desk. Just remember to have it scanned at the checkout every time you shop there.
Several years ago Upromise launched their eCoupon program which has been very nice. At the beginning of each month, you can select from the coupons offered and “add them” to your loyalty card. When you purchase those select items, the amount offered on the eCoupon will be deposited into your account. It’s even better if those products are ones that you are buying already because they are on sale and have a paper coupon. It’s like triple dipping!
You can also sign up for the Upromise Dining Rewards. If you do this, you will have to have your credit or debit cards registered; that is the only way they can track your usage. Current participating restaurants in the Green Bay area include Chili Johns, Nakashimi of Japan, Fetaz and Caffe’ Espresso to name a few.
With all your other qualifying purchases, you’ll earn money which will go into your Upromise account. The percentages vary depending upon the partner. 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.
Because we didn’t have kids (I thought I was saving for my nephews), I forgot about it. At the time, my husband and I were earning one penny for each gallon of gas pumped at Mobil stations. When I finally remembered to check my account about 18 months later, there was $37 in the account–the majority of it through gas purchases. Not a lot, I know, but I was passively saving.
There’s also the option of the Upromise credit card which gives your account a percentage back for all purchases made with the card.
In ten years of passive saving (meaning I do not go out of my way to specifically do a deal because of a Upromise bonus), we’ve got $154 in our account. No, not a lot in ten years, but again, we haven’t made the effort, either. Because you can now request a check (which wasn’t an option for many years), I am going to use the money towards my student loans which have come due this year.
Do you have a Upromise account? Do you actively save and if so, how?