Looking for ways to boost college savings? Families can earn rewards of 7% cash back or more by booking travel plans through the Upromise shopping portal. These college reward dollars can be automatically transferred to a linked 529 plan account.

Book travel plans with Upromise

Before you book a trip, visit the Upromise shopping portal and select “travel” from the list of categories to view partner offers. If you are not a Upromise member, you can join for free by completing an online application. Remember, anyone can join Upromise including grandparents, aunts, uncles or anyone else who is saving for future college expenses.

Upromise members are eligible to earn cash back rewards on purchases made during each stage of the travel planning process:

  • Book flights on sites including Orbitz, Expedia and Travelocity
  • Make hotel reservations at Marriott, Holiday Inn, Loews Hotels and more
  • Featured car rental options include Budget, Alamo, and Enterprise
  • Pay for parking with Airport Parking 
  • Cover ground transportation costs with Uber and Zipcar
  • Order luggage from Samsonite, ebags and Irv’s luggage
  • Reserve cruises with Carnival Cruise Line, Celebrity Cruises, Hawaiian Cruises and Norwegian Cruises
  • Plan a family trip to Florida to visit Walt Disney World, Busch Gardens and Sea World 

Upromise also offers a 2.5% cash back reward for dining at any participating Upromise Dining location and paying with a linked credit or debit card. Plan ahead for your trip by looking up participating restaurants by zip code or U.S. city. Even if you don’t see the type of restaurant you’re seeking, be sure to enter your credit or debit card information. You’ll want your card linked in case you unintentionally dine at a participating restaurant. Upromise will never charge your credit card (you’re not even required to enter the security code). 

Pack your Upromise Mastercard for the trip

Families who pay with the Upromise Mastercard are eligible for additional cash back rewards for college. Every purchase made with the Upromise Mastercard earns 1.25% cash back. (If the purchase was made through the Upromise shopping portal, the member receives the cash back reward from the retailer plus the 1.25% cash back). Dining rewards are doubled (5%) when the Upromise Mastercard is used at participating restaurants. 

Upromise members also have the option to “Round Up” their spending to earn even more cash back. The total Round Up amount is converted to cash back and also earns a 1.25% cash back reward. 

Link a 529 plan to your Upromise account

The best way to grow college savings with Upromise is to link an eligible 529 plan to your account. Your cash back rewards will be automatically swept into your linked 529 plan, including a 15% bonus reward on purchases made with the Upromise Mastercard.

 

Here’s an example of how to maximize college savings with Upromise Rewards when paying for travel:

TOTAL UPROMISE REWARD

 

Online travel purchase reward: 7% cash back on $1,480 for fight and hotel reservations (Priceline and Marriott)

$103.60

Upromise Mastercard Rewards:

 

1.25% Cash Back on $1,500 in travel purchase

$18.75

Upromise Round Up

$20.00

1.25% Cash Back on $20 in Round Up

$0.25

15% Bonus on Cash Back and Round Up

$9.56

Total Upromise Mastercard Reward

$48.56

Total Reward

$103.60 + $48.56 = $152.16

The money saved in your 529 plan will grow-tax free and will not be taxed when distributions are used to pay for qualified higher education expenses. You don’t have to be the 529 plan account owner to link the 529 plan account to your Upromise Account. For example, a grandparent can help save for a grandchild’s college education by linking a parent-owned 529 plan. To link a 529 plan, enter the name and address of the 529 plan account owner, the 529 plan account number and select the name of the 529 plan. 

It’s important to set up your Upromise account and linked 529 plan accounts as soon as possible to start earning rewards. Each day you wait to start saving for college you miss out on potential earnings growth in a 529 plan. The money saved in your 529 plan will grow-tax free and will not be taxed when distributions are used to pay for qualified higher education expenses. You don’t have to be the 529 plan account owner to link the 529 plan account to your Upromise account. For example, a grandparent can link a parent-owned 529 plan by entering the name and address of the 529 plan account owner, the 529 plan account number and selecting the name of the 529 plan. 

 

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