Upromise: Earn Money For College or Pay off Student Loans

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I’ve mentioned Upromise here and there, but never really talked about it much, so I figured this is the best time to do a post, especially with many people going back to school this fall.

College is expensive. Even more expensive in hindsight if you have student loans to pay off. Upromise gives you many ways to earn money back on purchases you’re already making and the program is extremely passive, meaning you sign up and then there’s not much else you need to do to earn money back. That’s what I love best about Upromise.

Let me say this as well: You do not have to use Upromise earnings to pay for college. They will also send you a check. So just because you’re not in school, not in debt, or not planning to pay for your kids college, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take advantage of earning money from Upromise.

These are the easy ways you can earn from Upromise:
Save for College the Smart Way!

  • Shop Online
  • Buy Gas
  • Buy Groceries
  • Eat at Restaurants
  • Travel

Those are things I already do every month as I’m just living my life. If you sign up for Upromise, you can start earning money back on those things without doing any extra work.

Okay, it’s a little extra work, but ultimately it’s pretty passive. Here’s what you do after you sign up:

  • Register your credit cards and debit cards, and all of your dining and gas purchases will automatically be credited to your account.
  • Register your grocery and drug store cards (you know, those loyalty cards you get from places like CVS, Jewel, Albertsons, etc) so your eligible grocery purchases are automatically tracked.
  • Activate the eCoupons every month for extra grocery earnings.
  • Install the Turbosaver toolbar. It does not slow your computer down and it will automatically credit you for any eligible online purchases (I have mine installed, but hidden so it doesn’t take up space on my browser).

Do those things and you’re all set to passively earn cash back. As a bonus, Upromise provides exclusive coupons and online deals to make your shopping experience even sweeter.

If you want extra savings, Upromise offers a credit card, which rewards an extra 1% on all purchases and 10% on grocery purchases, plus either 10% on dining or 2% on gas. Be careful with this though. I’m a firm believer that credit cards should only be used for emergencies or used very carefully and paid off every single month.

In addition to earning for yourself, you can invite friends and family to sign up and earn on your behalf. Since it’s pretty passive, it’s not too hard to convince Mom, Dad, Aunt, Uncle, or the creepy extra-friendly guy from work to sign up and help you pay for college. There’s also a guest shopping link you can send out so people can shop and earn without signing up.

How do you receive this money you’ve earned? There are many different options. First you can link your Upromise Account to your Sallie Mae account to pay down your student loans (that’s what I do). Whenever your account reaches $25, it’s automatically transferred quarterly to your loans. You can also invest the money into a 529 college savings plan or transfer to other friends and family members. If none of that floats your boat, you can request a check be sent to you.

My personal experience with Upromise has been great. I use it passively and make sure it doesn’t dictate where I shop or what I buy. I use it as a tool to save money and earn money and I think anyone can benefit from it.

If you don’t want to sign up for Upromise, but would like to “guest shop” for me (I get the percentage from your purchases and you get deals and coupons from Upromise) you can do it through this link. All of my Upromise earnings go straight to my Sallie Mae account to pay off my loans.

Upromise Stats

Info Required to Sign Up: Name, email, address, phone number. Optional info about credit cards and loyalty cards you want to register.
Sign up bonuses: I believe you’re entered into a sweepstakes.
How money is earned: Cash back for buying gas, dining out, groceries, and shopping online.
Value of action: Depends on the partner, exact percentages are available on the site.
Redemption options: Check, transfer to pay Sallie Mae loan, or transfer into college savings account.
Fees or rules for redemption: Minimum $25 to pay loans, automatically transferred quarterly


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