Upromise is another one of those companies that I simply adore. It’s a free service that helps you save money for college. If you’re not familiar with the program, it goes a little something like this: you register your credit, debit, and grocery savings cards with them, and when you make qualified purchases (in the supermarket, you’ll sometimes notice some price tags have the Upromise logo on them), Upromise tracks the purchase and puts a small amount of money into your Upromise account. The money earned in the account can be put towards student loans, or deposited in a 529 account.
It’s a very small amount of money indeed – but it adds up over time. My mom signed up for Upromise, for me, when the service was very new – around the time I was 12 years old or so. She registered her cards, and then we forgot about it for 8 years. During that time, her credit and debit cards expired and changed, so the service was no longer receiving any information from those cards. However, her grocery card stayed the same, so for 8 years, it registered all of her qualified supermarket purchases.
A few months ago, we suddenly remembered the account and logged in. Sitting pretty in the account was about $42. Sure, that’s only the cost of about a textbook. But remember, that’s just the grocery card. If we’d actually kept all of her information up to date, and if we had actively encouraged friends and family to sign up, the amount would have been much, much greater. Yep – you can invite anyone you like to set up a Upromise account to benefit the person you’ve set it up for! I even have some of my own friends contributing to my Upromise account (I love you guys!).
I strongly encourage anyone who is planning to go to college, goes to college now, or knows someone who they’d like to help go to college someday (the further off the better – we’ve set up an account to benefit my two-year-old niece!) to sign up for this service. It’s completely free – in 8 years, we’ve never been charged for anything. There is a fair amount of email in the first month – Upromise will send a series of emails, reminding you of all the different ways to earn they offer (sign up your current credit cards, get their credit card, sign up your grocery card, shop online through them, etc. – one email per service) to get the most out of their program. After one month, those “rookie” emails stop, and it’s up to you to remember to update your cards!