Adjust Text Size

Withdrawing Funds From Upromise

Written by Nickel - 39 Comments

A long, long time ago in a galaxy far, far away… I signed up for a Upromise account on a whim. I knew that it would never really make a dent in our college savings, but I’m a big fan of free money, so why not?

For the most part, I just ignore the fact that we even an account, but every once in awhile I log in and check out our balance. This past weekend I did just that, and discovered that we have $44.96 in savings built up. Woohoo! That’s enough money to go to the trouble of withdrawing it. What’s that you say? You didn’t know that you could just withdraw the funds rather than investing them through Upromise? Sure enough, you can do just that.

Here’s the scoop straight from Upromise:

Can I withdraw company contributions from my Upromise account without transferring them to a savings plan, and if so, how?

You can withdraw your Upromise contributions at any time during your membership. To withdraw company contributions from your Upromise account, submit a letter in writing to Upromise requesting a withdrawal from your Upromise account. The letter must state your full name and exact amount that you would like to withdraw, up to total amount available in your account, pending contributions are not eligible for withdrawal.

For the protection of our members, we require that your letter either be notarized or contain a Signature Guarantee if the withdrawal request is in excess of $200. A Signature Guarantee is a guarantee you can obtain from a financial institution, such as your bank, that your signature is yours and that it is genuine.

Withdrawal letters should be sent to:

Upromise
ATTN: Customer Care
P.O. Box 55555
Boston, MA 02205-5555

Checks are sent once per calendar quarter, so you should typically receive your check within 12 weeks of your request being received.

To make your savings work for you, you may want to consider transferring your company contributions to an investing plan for a future college student.

So there you have it… Just whip up a letter including the requested information, send it to the above address, and then wait. As long as you’re withdrawing less than $200, there’s no need to deal with obtaining a Signature Guarantee. In my experience, it actually takes quite awhile to get your check — they say up to 12 weeks because checks are sent once per quarter, and it was at least that — but the check does come. You’re then free to do anything you want with the money.

Published on October 16th, 2006
Modified on July 30th, 2012 - 39 Comments
Filed under: Education, Saving & Investing

About the author: is the founder and editor-in-chief of this site. He's a thirty-something family man who has been writing about personal finance since 2005, and guess what? He's on Twitter!

Related articles...

» Upromise $10 Signup Bonus
» Requesting a Check from Upromise (Revisited)
» Do You Use Upromise?
» From the Archives (October 14th – October 20th)
» Carnivals – Week of 10/23/06
» Shopping Online? Be Sure to Get Cash Back
» Upromise Check Request Followup
» Withdrawing Your Roth IRA Contributions (Followup)

Was this article useful? Please sign up to receive our content via e-mail:

You will receive only the daily updates, and can unsubscribe at anytime.

39 Responses to “Withdrawing Funds From Upromise”

  1. 1
    Kira Says:

    I did that too, and yes it took a really long time. I forgot about it by the time it came, so yay, free money!

  2. 2
    Andrew Flusche Says:

    Wait a minute, aren’t there tax implications to withdrawing this money? Technically, isn’t it income? I believe it’s only tax-free if used for education.

    We have over $400 in our account, which I have considered moving into a 529 college savings account. Whoa! I just found out that Upromise can now link to a variety of these accounts, not just the Vanguard option. I might need to reconsider the 529 account.

  3. 3
    nickel Says:

    Andrew, that’s a really good question. In general, I think of Upromise ‘earnings’ as being (effectively) rebates. I’m by no means an expert on this, but I wouldn’t think they’d be any more taxable than money you otherwise save by using coupons, mailing in rebates, or cashing in on credit card rewards. Think discount as opposed to income. Here again, don’t take me at my word — you’ll need to verify this with someone that’s more well-versed in the tax codes than I am.

  4. 4
    Steve Says:

    As you say, it’s essentially free money. I’ve had an account for almost a year now and I’ve saved up a grand total of $13.26! Woohoo! Still, it only took a few minutes to set up, so it was worth it.

  5. 5
    Cathy Says:

    Thanks! This is new info to me. I haven’t signed up for UPromise but now I probably will :P

  6. 6
    FMF Says:

    Thanks for being a fan of “Free Money”. ;-)

  7. 7
    foolarch Says:

    We have over $1,000 in the Upromise account (because we have relatives joining in with us)! I am anticipating extracting the money and funding a Roth.

  8. 8
    UKidme Says:

    Upromise dollars are considered REBATES, so the money you withdraw is indeed nontaxable.
    The program isn’t nearly as good as it promised to be, when it started 5 years ago. Lots of mismanagement…for example, you used to save on Kelloggs and Coca-Cola products, but many of these partners are leaving in droves. You’re better off with any number of the competing credit card loyalty programs where you can save much more.

  9. 9
    cradle Says:

    Ukidme — it doesn’t cost anything and you just link your cards (credit cards, grocery cards etc) and it just works. It’s not like you have to pick one or the other. ie you could be in a credit card loyalty program AND be in Upromise.

    I didn’t know about the fact that you could extract the money — but that’s ok, I needed to set up a 529 for my daughter anyway. It’s a nice bonus that every quarter there’s a little something extra contributed by upromise.

  10. 10
    Matt Says:

    I use the Citi Upromise credit card for all my purchases and every quarter the remaining money gets swept into my student loan. This is what I was doing with ThankYou points but it eliminates the step of calling Citi and requesting a check.

    I haven’t gotten any friends or family to sign up for it yet, that’s where the real savings is I think.

  11. 11
    Joseph Says:

    I’ve been a Upromise member for about 2 years now. I love going to the grocery store and looking for those little blue-and-yellow tags. I can ususally spot one about every 3 aisles! I always get about a dozen frozen Swanson t.v. dinners, well, even though no one in my family eats them, but think of the savings! My balance after 2 years got all the way up to $11.13. I filled up my car’s gas tank! Well, I got the needle up to 1/4 anyway! Like everyone says, it’s free money! Woohoo!

  12. 12
    Lou Says:

    The problem I seem to run into is that the Upromise items are always more expensive. You don’t find them on store brands! I’ve been signed up for over a year and I’ve only made something like .60 cents (I’m a college student right now). But you are probably buying a lot more groceries than me to feed those mouths. :) That is AWESOME though that you’ve made so much. Congrats!

  13. 13
    nickel Says:

    We don’t actually do anything different when we shop. I just enrolled the cards and then every once in awhile (like about once a year) I log in to upromise to see where we’re at.

    It builds up pretty (very!) slowly, especially since we buy a lot of store brands. But since we don’t do anything special, it really is free money.

  14. 14
    DCD Says:

    I have been with upromise for approximately one year. I have had nothing but trouble for the past 3 months trying to log into my account. Upromise unilaterally CHANGED my password and now, although they have no problem bombarding me with emails EVERYDAY about savings, they can’t seem to connect me to my account. I have talked with service techs, emailed, and requested my password for months. One of the problems that I see is that, I won an auction for over $2K on eBay (one of their merchants) in July. In August, the last time I was able to access my account, I had not received any credits for my eBay winnings (numerous auction winnings, not just the $2K)….When I complained, for some strange reason, I could no longer get into my account. I have spent over 2 hours talking with techs, and they just tell me that upromise is having technical “difficulties” with “SOME” of the accounts. When I go to the home page, I receive the “Welcome, _____”, and shop on line at their preferred merchants….But, the real big ticket credits NEVER arrive in your account!!!! Only the grocery stores!!!! This is a scam.

  15. 15
    Mary Says:

    I’m surprised to see how little some of you have made. If you sign up for the Upromise master card and add that card to your Upromise credit card list, you’ll save tons. 1% of all your purchases are put into this account. Plus whatever participating merchants contribute on top of that. We don’t go crazy with spending either – we pay off the credit card each month. But all purchases we make are with this cc. I’ve had the account over 5 years now and have earned over $2000. Most of the contributions have been from the MC. I withdrew $1500 last year to buy my freshman in college a Dell laptop. I was wondering if I’d have any tax implications for 2007 – it sounds like not from what I am reading above. This is an awesome program.

  16. 16
    Kristina Says:

    I’ve done the same…

  17. 17
    cate Says:

    We have been putting $$ into a upromise account for 4 years, both purchases and % of credit card purchases. We recently tried to get the $$ out–no luck. I spent several hours on the phone with someone who I had difficulty understanding. She kept checking with her supervisor. Finally, she said that since my daughter also had a upromise account we needed to be her “friend” and then we could transfer money to her account. We did all of those things–no luck. I didn’t realize that we could simply write a letter and withdraw. I can’t believe it could be that simple after the runaround we got but it’s worth a try. Thanks!

  18. 18
    ME Says:

    We’ve been members for only seven months and already have $70.00

    I think people don’t remember to shop online through the Upromise links.

    Got $10 for ordering my Sears dishwasher online for store pickup.

    Got $ from Best Buy by ordering online for instore pickup.

    Got $ for ordering clothes from JCPenney online.

  19. 19
    Tracey Says:

    I am beginning to think Upromise is a scam. I signed my son up in Oct 08. We have not been able to access his account because it is linked to his SallieMae loan. They keep saying they are working on the problem but nothing changes. I have to use a new password every time I go into his account and then it changes the SallieMae password. It is totally ridiculous and not worth the trouble.

  20. 20
    Pat Milton Says:

    what about now that the upromise card changed banks? still the same info to withdraw $$?

  21. 21
    AJ Says:

    From everything that I see Upromise really works if you are banging out bucks and spending on cards all the time. Sounds like excess spending. I do spend money but on food for my children. I only buy what I need. I’ve only built $.82 in savings. My 529 plans have made no money in 2-3 years. I’m closing shop and managing my babies future myself.

  22. 22
    Lori Titus Says:

    I use both LittleGrad and UPromise. LittleGrad offers higher rebates, and sweeps automatically into my checking account once each quarter. I signed up for UPromise just for the websites that LittleGrad doesn’t offer cashback on.

    I recently discovered that UPromise has been absconding with business I intended to go to LittleGrad. I don’t know how they do it, but it has cost me (hence, my daughter’s 529 plan) about $40 in lost rebates. I AM SO PISSED!

    Now that I know how to sweet the UPromise funds, I’ll do that, and shut down the account. Trust me – check out LittleGrad.com.

  23. 23
    Sam Says:

    Wake up people. Nothing in life is “free”. There is no such thing as “free money”. Upromise is organized through banks and investors. You think they don’t have to report to the IRS every dollar that goes through their fingers? Anyone have a savings account? At the end of the year they send you a IRS 1099, statement of earned interest. Any monies you receive is considered income by the IRS, no exceptions, however some are identified as tax free. If your spending your Upromise money on anything other than schooling your going to pay to Uncle Sam.

  24. 24
    Lori Titus Says:

    I am so pissed at LittleGrad now! As of January 18, they are “no longer available”. No notice, no email as to why, and – I just realized – they never posted the 3Q or 4Q rebates. I had checked my Littlegrad account earlier this month, and saw that it had something like $35 in it. Grrrrr.

    They used to advertise that it could take up to 6 weeks for funds to post to the account. It kind of makes sense, if retailers are waiting to see if merchandise is returned before posting the rebate. I’m hoping that there will be a deposit no later than March. But, with no info from the company, no phone number posted, privacy enacted on whois, I’m not holding my breath. (And I’m considering contacting the local attorney general…)

  25. 25
    Ange Says:

    I also order online through the UPromise link, select in-store pick-up and then get my item from the store. Saves time and I get UPromise money. I’ve earned a few hundred in 3 years with very little effort.

  26. 26
    Karen Says:

    I started with Upromise 7 years ago. I am currently at $3000.00 worth of contributions from Upromise. I use the Upromise creditcard, and when I shop on line, I try to shop through their link. I do make somewhat of an effort. If Mobil gas is the same price as all the others then I fill up there. I shop on line instead of over the phone to get the contribution, and if I have to choose between 2 companies and they are the same price, I pick the one that will give me the contribution. I’m sure it would be a lot higher if I only had one creditcard and really tried. But hey, I think that by the time my kids are in college, (2 1/2 years until the first one goes), Upromise will at least pay for books/fees for all my kids!

  27. 27
    Lita Says:

    Upromise is great. It doesn’t cost a thing. I don’t buy anything special just to get the contributions. I just shop through their site and have my Safeway card linked for any store Upromise purchases. When I refinanced my house in ‘09 through Chase I got $450 in my upromise account at no extra cost to me. It has been several years since I joined and I have almost $2000, it may not seem like much after all these years but I was spending the money anyway so why not get a little back for my kids.

  28. 28
    Mary Says:

    I’m a fan. I joined when Upromise first started and I have over $10,000 now that has been directly deposited into my 529 plan. No scam, no extra spending. Just being a smart consumer and taking advantage of loyalty rewards programs like using Upromise affiliated companies.

  29. 29
    Karen Says:

    Sallie Mae is worth over 20 billion dollars and by acquiring UPromise was a way to make them look like a more charitable company and slither their way into retail and consumer world. They have over 40 million student loan borrowers and do you know how much money they “donated” since 2001 to help funding for college? 10 million dollars! They donated 1 dollar for every $12,690 dollars they made. Come on people this company makes billions a year and in ten years that’s all they were able to contribute. So while your starving just trying to pay your student loans and you think “Wasn’t life supposed to be better by going to college?” Sallie Mae is sitting back collecting all the money you’re making with your new degree and your new career and from all the hard hard work that it took to get it. I’m sure those math and science classes for your graphic design degree were worth the thousands of dollars that’s going in their pocket. People do not start UPromise accounts and make they’re wallet fatter or lend through Sallie Mae because they don’t care about you and wanting to enrich your life, they only care about when you sign your life away on the dotted line saying that you’re going to give them every dime you make. Think about the 10 dollars of “free money” you’re making and how much you had to spend to get it. Is it really free after all?

  30. 30
    L.M. Says:

    I have been with upromise for awhile but just realized how it worked. I now have a daughter that I am saving for so now that I know how it works I’ve been using it to buy items online such as travel and items. I only have 17.00 in the past few months since i started but I just purchased the speedpass from exxon mobile I figured I d get more money though that since I have to get gas anyways. I am debating on the credit card because I have one already and not sure if I want to switch over or not the 1% from the credit card could make a difference. every cent counts. My daughter just turned 2 so by the time she goes to college there should be quite a bit of money as long as I am shopping online. I am also thinking about getting an mcdonalds arch card because you can refill on that and spend and earn upromise from that as well. I just wish the resturants I eat at are upromise the ones i dont tend to eat at are not part of upromise. OH WELL!
    Karen yes pretty much its free we dont have to do anything just buy stuff you normaly would in the stores online thats it as a far as i know of your not penalized for it. For example the exxon speedpass hey you have to get gas anyways. I dont do anything extra I dont over buy just because its upromise i just do my normal thing and I get money for it as long as the company is part of the program.

  31. 31
    MB Says:

    I have over $3400.00 in my daughter\\\’s account. I signed up with Upromise in July, 2004. I have found the best way to accumulate money is to shop online and also get the Upromise Mastercard. I have always preferred to buy online so that was no sacrifice on my part. I only make purchases that I planned on making anyway. The Mastercard gives you 1% on all purchases and for several months has offered an additional 2% for online purchases. I pay the card in full each month so it\\\’s not like the money I \\\”earn\\\” goes right back out in interest. :) My daughter just graduated. Dh and I bought her an Apple computer for graduation. Upromise was offering a 10% rebate (it\\\’s usually only 1%), so that\\\’s $139.90 into her account. Add on the 3% Mastercard contribution ($41.97) and I received $181.87 for making a purchase that I had planned on doing anyway. Another example is an oven I purchased from Sears. I ordered it online (after seeing it at the store)and then of course it was delivered to my house. I got around $39.00 into the account for that purchase. If I find a price that is lower at a site that does not participate, that\\\’s where I purchase. I don\\\’t purchase things just because the site participates in Upromise. The best price always wins. :) I also buy my gas at Exxon/Mobil. They are competitive around here so I\\\’m not paying more than if I bought somewhere else. While this won\\\’t make a dent in tuition, it is money I wouldn\\\’t have had otherwise, so why wouldn\\\’t I utilize it? It should at least buy some books.

  32. 32
    Arden Says:

    Upromise is legit. I’ve been a member for 10 years and slowly accumulated $2,000 that’s paying off my Sallie Mae student loan monthly, though a small portion of my loan but hey I’m not complaining. I’m not an avid shopper of Upromise services but have learned that every little bit counts as I earn money by purchasing travel through Orbitz, using coupons at grocery stores, or eating at participating local restaurants. The Upromise Citicard contributed to most of my earnings. So 1% back does not sound like not much, but if you spend $1,000 you get $10 free money. Just make sure you pay off your credit card monthly to avoid the high interest rate, otherwise the contribution is spent on paying the interest. If you know how to work the Upromise system, it’ll work for you.

  33. 33
    Aida Holland Says:

    Wait one minute, I have been with Upromise from; I believe it’s inception. I have two kids in college and am, and was very thankful for it. If you know how to use the SYSTEM as in any other service you can really benefit. We have been a very blessed family, it worked for us. One down and one to go. Listen it’s FREE money to assist in the cost of your child’s education.

  34. 34
    Sandy Says:

    I signed my son up as soon as he was born…2002. Since then I have had over $2,000 transfered into his 529 account. I didn’t change my shopping habits at all. I see this as FREE money! I went in knowing I wasn’t gonna make a million but every dollar helps. Would I recomend Upromise….you better believe I would!! My only regreat is that I didn’t start sooner.

  35. 35
    Pam Says:

    I signed up both my children upon birth 2001 & 2003. To date we have earned over $3700 in one account and just under $500 in the other. I stopped using the second account for ease. I did not change any habits or shop differently, but do use the Upromise credit card which does not have an annual limit. I will soon be opening a Sallie Mae saving to add. Also the money is tranfered to a 529–not upromise, but one of my choice. How can you turn down free money–even if it only buys books. Having put three already thru college, it ain’t cheap….

  36. 36
    Pamela Ables Says:

    I signed up for Upromise in 2002 when I was four months pregnant. My initial transfer went easy at nearly 400 dollars into my sons 529 plan. Then Upromise and Fidelity broke the relationship. Now I have a Fidelity 529 plan and no connection to transfer the money. I requested a check for the first time in March of 2012 for a little over $600.00. They claimed to have sent it but I never received it. I complained and they sent me another check. I never received that one either but in August I received a letter that I had cashed the check so our business was done…thank you customer care. It is now September 2012 and I still have not received my money. I suspect when you are leaving a paper trail like auto transfer it is easy but they can certainly use the “our records show” story when you need to use snail mail. I’m still working on it but no luck… Anybody else have this problem?

  37. 37
    Bryan Says:

    I have used UPromise for years. During the last two semesters, I requested withdrawal payable directly to the University. I feel that since I paid the university directly, it would be viewed as used for education. I have not had a probelm at all. I still contribute besides what I earn. By the time my 2nd child attends, I may have enough to pay for at least a semester or two.

  38. 38
    Concetta Says:

    Great weblog here! Also your website loads up
    very fast! What web host are you the use of?
    Can I am getting your associate hyperlink for your host? I wish
    my web site loaded up as quickly as yours lol

  39. 39
    njrodak Says:

    UPromise is a great program. I called UPromise and they indicated the “cash back” is a rebate, not income. The 1099 reporting is for gains on the 529s that one may have the rebate swept into. You’ve already paid taxes on that principal from income tax. Sallie Mae purchased UPromise in Aug. 2006. Sallie Mae just sold the 529 program/administrator part to Ascensus, but kept the Rewards program. They’re now facilitating people transferring those contributions into a High Yield Savings Account with 10% up front transfer bonus. See site for details, but the non-traders, it’s a nice 10% on the transferred principle. We opened our account in Q2 2004 and now have around $6500 in it. The 529 is flat (hate them – poor investment vehicles), but the matching contributions from purchases is great. $5200 of that $6500 came through the UPromise card and purchases online. Christmas is a great time as in the last 2 years many vendors offer 10-15% rebates along with 2-5% from the Upromise card. It really adds up. The bilk of the contributions (60%) came within the last 24 months. We’re getting roughly $1000 a year back now. Best is to transfer out into a Roth IRA or like vehicle. Remember you’ve already paid income tax on that “principal.” GL.

Leave a Reply

Disclaimer...
Because rates and offers from advertisers shown on this website change frequently, please visit referenced sites for current information. This website may be compensated by companies mentioned through advertising, affiliate programs or otherwise.

FiveCentNickel User Survey