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UPromise: Free money for college

Have you joined yet? If not, now's the time to do so. Why? Because you can earn money for college or future education just by registering your grocery cards and buying the things you would normally buy.

I always thought was just one of those gimmick programs which highly encouraged you to buy things you didn't need anyway in order to save a few dollars towards your children's future education. However, I've been investigating it further and I'm learning that there are ways which you can earn money through it, without spending any extra money to do so.

First off, you just need to and then register your shopper's cards and debit cards. When you shop and use these cards, you can earn a small percentage back on many items you would already be purchasing.

But that's not all! They've also rolled out an ecoupons program. These are unlike the ecoupons offered through Cellfire or Shortcuts which automatically come off of your grocery total. Instead, when you redeem these ecoupons (by buying one of the items these coupons are for), you'll get the cashback credited to your UPromise account.

I'd recommend loading on all of the ecoupons available every month. You probably won't buy a number of the items, but you never know when there's going to be a great bargain.

I've noticed that it seems many times the ecoupons available are for items which also have good coupons/deals currently running. For instance, right now you can load on an ecoupon for $0.75 in UPromise money if you purchase a Chiquita Bites Single. Well, as you know from my recent post, you can buy it for free with this coupon, so that would be a completely free way to earn $0.75 in your UPromise account (Thanks, !).

And that's just one small example of the many deals which you can snag by combined manufacturer's coupons and UPromise ecoupons with deals and sales. If you're already going to be buying the items because it's a great deal or you need it, you might as well earn a little money for college savings while you're at it, right?

Yes, it's only $0.75 here and $1 there, but over time, it can really add up. Plus, if you have friends or relatives who are not interested in earning
their own money, you can ask them if they'd be willing to add
their cards to your account and then you can also earn a little bit for
their purchases, too!

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  • Lisa says:

    Upromise is great! We signed up about 4 years ago, and have around $170 in there. It’s mostly from earning a few cents at a time for groceries and gas (some online shopping, but for the last few years I’ve been going through cash back websites instead). Granted that’s not a whole lot in the grand scheme of college, but considering we didn’t have to do anything but sign up it’s pretty good!

  • says:

    We have accumulated over $3k. Big ticket items like purchasing your home thru Centry 21 will earn you a lot.

  • Mandy says:

    My Upromise e-coupon for the Chiquita bites is for $1.00 for the single pack and there’s another one for $1.50 if you purchase the multi-pack. I wonder if the Upromise e-coupons vary depending on where you live since yours is for .75 cents??? The last time I used the free Chiquita bites coupon last month, I got $1 added to my Upromise (for the e-Q) PLUS 2% which was .02 cents (because any Chiquita purchase adds 2% to your account automatically)!!! So, this month, I’ll get another $1.02 when I use my other free coupon! There’s a list of over 100 brands and products that when you buy, you get a certain percentage added to your account. For instance, I didn’t know until I saw it on my account, but I purchased two Hefty sandwich bags a month ago (with coupons, of course!) and I got .04 cents added.

    I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Upromise!!! I’ve only been doing it for 2 months (doing nothing differently then just buying products I normally would at Kroger and CVS) and I have $14 in my son’s account! I plan on opening a 529 college savings plan at my credit union before the end of the year, that way, when I get to a certain amount (say, $50) I can transfer my Upromise money to an interest-bearing 529!

  • says:

    I just want everyone to know what a great program this is. We signed up 5 years ago and have over $2,700 in savings. I have the Upromise credit card and I used it religiously (until this year when business was bad) for gas and groceries and anything else I bought (just make sure you pay it off every month). It’s amazing how the savings add up. You get 1% savings on everything you buy on the card, the savings from the manufacturer or store, and 10% savings back on groceries. And the best part is you can get grandparents to contribute too. You just do your regular shopping and it starts to really add up. Plus I’ve found their deals are really good too. When we were on vacation, I couldn’t beat their car rental prices anywhere.

  • Coral says:

    I’ve been a member for 5 or so years. I have it linked to my school loan and have earned close to $100 in that time. It’s true that it’s not much, but on the other hand, that’s $100ish that I don’t have to pay back!

  • Roxanne says:

    I think I have an amazing ability to accidentally avoid all the items UPromise pays back on, because after 7 years we only have about $75 accumulated. But hey, it’s still free, effortless money!!

  • says:

    I’ve been using UPromise for about 6 years! I don’t know what my account balance is, but my mother and mother-in-law have their grocery cards on it, too. When my daughters and son are ready for college, we should have accumulated a fair amount of money, in addition to the money that we are saving for them in an ESA.

  • AmyB says:

    In five years, we have accumulated $1600+ just from regular shopping. We do have our reward cards and credit cards linked to it but have never made any extra expenditures–it is just everyday stuff. It is also good because the distribution isn’t set in stone. You can change who gets the $ at any time and can even use it for adult education expenses. For once my procrastination has also paid off–I never got the $ transferred over into a 529 investment account–the $ are just in the “holding” account. So, we didn’t take a hit when the markets dropped. Restaurant spending can get you up to 8% too. All in all, a great program and I feel like I am making a SAHM contribution to their college in some way by tracking everything.

  • Christy Carden says:

    $3K?? I wish I had known about the Century 21 thing–we are probably moving within the next year or two–I will have to look into that! We actually started a UPromise acct. when we got married 6 years ago and didn’t even have a kid yet–a friend told us about it and you don’t have to have a kid yet to do it–you can start saving for your future children. Sometimes you can even put the money towards your own student loans, but my husband’s loan didn’t qualify. Anyway, we have only saved about $80. I think we got around $20 when we bought our laptop and the rest have been a few dollars here and there. We hardly ever buy any of the items that qualify. We make a bit from on-line shopping; but really only on-line shop for gifts for others who live out of town and we would have to mail anyway. We have never made anything from gas, another thing I’ll have to look into. We have made a bit dining out, but 1. We don’t eat out often. and 2. Only a few random restaurants near us participate; we have been pleasantly surprised when we eat out while traveling and a dollar or so goes to our account. Oh, well, like Lisa said, we didn’t have to do anything but sign up and maybe it will buy a book or 2 when college rolls around!

  • says:

    Great post!

    Did you know you don’t have to use this money for college or education? Upromise sure doesn’t publicize it much, by you ask them to send you a check.

    You can find out more about it here.

    My husband and I really don’t have a need to save money for college so we just have them send us a check for the balance every now and then. Even though we only end up accumulating money in small chucks of a few coins or dollars at a time, over a few months it really adds up!


  • tonya says:

    We got a credit card linked to the Upromise account. The credit card co gives us 1% of what we buy. We’ve earned approx $2k just buying the things we normally buy with the credit card.

  • Honey says:

    I am confused. I am signed up and have registered my CVS, Kroger, and other shopper cards. But do I also have to register and use a certain debit card to pay? (Because I use cash now for most of my expenditures) Thanks!

  • jenna says:

    Upromise is a fikle program we signed up 6 years ago. I have had over $ 148K in purchases I registereed all my cards , when i went to cash in the account we were told we had $3.00 and even that $3.00 we could never get. So I am glad so many of you are finding upromise to be such a great program, I hope that they actually pay out when the time comes for all the little ones to go to college. College is expenisve! Sign me,
    Mom to two Grad Students!

  • LK says:

    We have earned around 1100$ with Upromise over about 4 years of doing what we normally do. It’s quite a nice program! Also, you can ask for a check directly for your earnings, which they send to you, if you don’t have one of their linked 529 college savings plans. I put our earnings into my children’s high yield savings accounts, then quarterly make our deposits into their Education Savings accounts. It really works!

  • EmilyD says:

    We love Upromise! I thought it was a gimmick too but my husband (a CPA) convinced me to join up. When we do go out to a meal, we find a UPromise restaurant (he does that for business dinners too) – and my in-laws have signed up their credit cards on our account too.

    We have over 2K put away for our girls already! BUT, I didn’t know about the ecoupons until I read your post – THANK YOU!

  • Jess says:

    We have been with Upromise for quite a few years now. I love it!! I also earn additional money for my Upromise account by taking surveys with For those interested, here is the URL for more info- .

  • says:

    I looked and looked for the Chiquita Bites at Dillon’s today and couldn’t find them. Maybe it’s karma since I didn’t load the UPromise coupon, and I’ll find them the next time. Does anyone know if they carry them? if so, Where?!?!

  • Janet says:

    They will also let you use your UPromise money to pay off a parent’s student loans.

  • maggie says:

    Signed up 1 year ago and have about $30 in there now.

    TIP: Go through their site to get to EBAY. They will give you like 2% back.

  • Mandy says:

    The Chiquita Bites are in the refrigerated section of my Kroger.

  • Gwen says:

    If you go through their site for regular online purchases, you get 1-3% back, depending. We switched to cash for everything, while trying to pay off the credit, but I was using my Upromise card to pay for everything and was getting about 20 a month back–all of which was going directly to my student loans as a principal payment, basically about three extra payments a year. (everything was paid off of the card)

    Love it.

  • Holly says:

    I’ve asked several times, and nobody ever seems to know. We intend for our son to attend a private college, and at the time he was born I signed up for UPromise only to discover they will not transfer money for a private school. Has this policy changed?

  • says:

    I have registered my debit cards but nothing seems to show up on my account. I also registered all of my grocery store and drugstore cards. Do I have to push the “credit card” button when I check out for it to work? And if I do that does it affect my bank account that is attached to my debit card since it is actually debit rather than credit? Someone said it might cost me more. Any answers anyone?

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