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Over the weekend I checked in on our Upromise account. In case you’re not familiar with Upromise, it’s a free service that allows you to earn money toward college by shopping online, buying groceries, dining out, etc.
Here’s how it works:
First, you need to create an account. From there, you have a variety of options. The easiest things to do are to register your grocery and drugstore loyalty cards as well as your credit cards so that they can credit your account when you buy eligible products, meals, or services from their partners.
You can also initiate online purchases by clicking through from their “online mall” and receive anywhere from 1-25% of your purchase in cash back, or book travel through their partners (including Priceline, Expedia, etc.) and receive up to 4% cash back. Note that these rewards are in addition to any credit card rewards that you might otherwise earn.
Another option would be to sign up for the Upromise-branded credit card, which pays 1% cash back. You can also complete a number of other “high ticket” actions like requesting life insurance quotes, applying for a home loan, etc. If you do so, you’ll receive a bounty for each.
In general terms, the intended endgame is for you to link your account to a Upromise 529 account and have your earnings deposited straight into it. You can, however, withdraw your funds directly if that’s what you prefer.
Honestly, I’ve been a pretty lightweight user of Upromise, having just registered our loyalty cards and credit cards, and then just going on with my daily business as if nothing is happening. Nonetheless, I’ve earned a couple hundred dollars since first signing, and could have done better if I had been a bit more diligent about updating our credit card info when we switched cards, and so forth.
In the end, this isn’t going to be a major contributor to our kids’ college educations, but hey… It’s free money, so why not take advantage of it?
Are you using Upromise?
Please share your thoughts and experiences in the comments section.