Summer spending season is here. This year, instead of busting your budget, why not earn cash back for college as you enjoy summer fun with your family?

Upromise® is a program that helps families save for college by doing the things they do every day. Upromise members can earn cash back each time they shop online through Upromise or dine at participating restaurants. Rewards can be automatically deposited into any linked checking or savings account, or a child’s 529 plan account. Funds in a 529 plan grow tax-deferred and can be withdrawn tax-free when used to pay for qualified education expenses such as tuition, books, computers and even some room and board costs.

How Upromise works

Families can earn up to 5% in cash back rewards on purchase made through Upromise.com. There are over 1,000 partner retailers, including popular family brands like Walmart, Disney, Kohl’s and Nike.

Members who dine at participating restaurants can earn 2.5% cash back on their entire bill, including drinks, tax and tip. You can find local restaurants and reviews by using an interactive map on the Upromise Dining site.

With Upromise, even modest rewards can grow substantially over time when deposited into a 529 plan account. Every dollar you save for your child today is one less they will have to borrow in student loans to pay for college.

10 ways to grow college savings with Upromise this summer

1. Get ready for a road trip. The key to surviving a long car ride with the family is to keep everyone entertained. Consider packing an activity bag for each child to keep at their seat. Shop here to earn Upromise rewards:

  • Under Armour
  • Jansport
  • Ebags

2. Book hotels. Make your overnight stays more comfortable (and rewarding) when you book through a Upromise partner brand. Favorite family brands include:

3. Camp under the stars. Get everything you need for a perfect campsite – tents, sleeping bags, flashlights, camp chairs and more – through Upromise partner retailers.

4. Find participating restaurants in every city. Whether you’re traveling to visit family, going to a theme park or exploring a new city, you can earn 2.5% in cash back rewards at participating restaurants. Enter your location on the Upromise Dining site to find pricing, reviews and directions to eligible locations.

5. Pack for vacation like a pro. Be sure to check the weather forecast for your destination to help you decide what clothes to bring. Pack outfits based on your planned activities, such as swimsuits, comfortable shoes and nice outfits for dining out.

When shopping for clothes online, allow enough time for shipping, and check the store’s return policy. You may want an extra week or two in case you need to exchange an item for a different size. Many Upromise partner retailers offer extra cash back on clothing purchases during the summer:

  • Macys – was 3% cash back, now 9% cash back
  • Eddie Bauer – was 0.5% cash back, now 2% cash back
  • Shoes.com – was 5% cash back, now 20% cash back

6. Stock up on sunblock. Nothing ruins a summer vacation like a bad sunburn. Sunblock also protects skin from harmful UV rays that can cause skin cancer.

Find sun protection for the whole family, including sunscreen, lip care and aloe after-sun lotion at Upromise partners The Body Shop and the Honest Company, now offering extra cash back for summer.

7. Get your beach essentials. A day at the beach wouldn’t be complete without sunglasses, towels, chairs, coolers, and sand toys. Find everything you need and get cash back for college with these Upromise partners:

  • Modell’s Sporting Goods
  • Kohl’s
  • Bass Pro Shops

8. Plan the ultimate backyard barbeque. Welcome friends and neighbors to your home for dinner, drinks and good company. You’ll want ample seating for all of your guests, and décor and lighting to give your backyard a festive feel. These Upromise partner retailers will help you throw a great party and boost your child’s college savings:

  • Home Depot
  • Omaha Steaks
  • Wine Access

9. Focus on fitness. Don’t let the lazy days of summer get too lazy. It’s easy to stay active as a family when you have the right gear. Stay in shape with help from these Upromise partners:

  • Nike
  • Golf Galaxy
  • Find Your Trainer

10. Finish up a DIY project. Longer days mean you might have extra time to catch up on unfinished projects around the house. Get all the supplies you need, including paints, tools and more from Upromise partner retailers!

  • Lowe’s
  • Houzz
  • Bed Bath and Beyond

Learn more about Upromise and start saving today!

At Savingforcollege.com, our goal is to help you make smart decisions about saving and paying for education. Some of the products featured in this article are from our partners, but this doesn’t influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own.