How to Start Saving Money with the Upromise MasterCard

By Shannon Gurnee
In Budgeting
May 23, 2016

This is a sponsored post. All opinions are mine.

The first time I ever had a credit card was my freshman year in college. I’ll never forget it. I was attending the local community college and if you signed up for their credit card, they’d give you a full pound bag of Peanut M&Ms. Oh how young and naive I was. I signed up for candy, people! If it were me now as a freshman in college, I would want more! I would want the opportunity to earn rewards and cash back based on my purchases, as well as to start building my credit. Well, guess what? There is a card where you can earn rewards and get cash back and it’s with the Upromise MasterCard®. And guess what else? According to Sallie Mae’s new report “Majoring in Money: How American College Students Manage Their Finances”, 68 percent of college students choose a credit card based on what their parents have. So, parents, it’s time to wise up and set a great example for your college student!

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Upromise MasterCard Benefits

The Upromise MasterCard® is perfect for parents of future or current college students, especially those who are looking to contribute to college savings or pay down an existing student loan for their child. It means more cash back to help students AND parent reach their savings goals.

  • Well, the Upromise MasterCard® is a perfect card for parents to use regularly and not only build credit, but also cash back rewards. The card offers significant cash back options, with up to 10 percent cash back for college.
  • Parents can easily put their cash back toward helping a student pay down an existing eligible student loan.
  • Parents can purchase necessary items for their students, such as school supplies, by shopping at one of the 850+ Upromise online retail partners.
  • They can also link cashback rewards into a Upromise GoalSaver account.
  • Upromise GoalSaver is a free, online savings account that lets families save toward a specific goal, for example, the cost of a semester’s worth of classes or the cost of textbooks. Upromise GoalSaver lets families save for multiple goals all in one place.
  • With Upromise GoalSaver, families see and track their progress toward multiple savings goals. Learn more at


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Why the Upromise World MasterCard?

The Upromise MasterCard® is designed to help you build college savings. With the Upromise MasterCard®, you can earn up to 10 percent cash back, which can be used to save or pay for college.

  • When you open the Upromise MasterCard®, you’re automatically enrolled in Upromise by Sallie Mae, a program that allows families to earn cash back on everyday purchases. What’s more, by applying for the Upromise MasterCard® — issued by Barclaycard — students and families can take saving for college and other financial goals to the next level.
  • Upromise by Sallie Mae members can earn higher cash-back rewards and grow their college savings more quickly with the Upromise MasterCard. Last year, Upromise MasterCard cardmembers earned $42 million in cash back rewards.

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Five reasons why students and families should consider the Upromise MasterCard:

1. Earn up to 10 percent cash back. Really!

With the Upromise MasterCard®, you can earn up to 10 percent cash back. You can earn up to five percent
back when you shop through Upromise by Sallie Mae, and an additional five percent from using the Upromise MasterCard®.

Here are 3 ways you can do that:

  • Shop at more than 850 online retail partners at;
  • Dine at more than 10,000 Upromise participating restaurants;
  • Book travel at major travel sites via

Plus, there’s more! You can also earn two percent cash back when using the Upromise MasterCard® for in-store shopping at major department stores and at movie theaters. All other purchases with the card are eligible for one percent cash back. Pretty cool all around, I would say!

New cardmembers can even earn a one-time special offer of $50 cash-back bonus after making a purchase, cash advance transaction, or balance transfer within 90 days of opening an account.

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2. You’ll shop where you’re already shopping – just earning more.

With more than 850 online retail partners, more than 10,000 restaurants, and multiple major travel sites, chances are most families are already shopping, dining, or booking travel through a Upromise partner. So why not earn cash back and start boosting savings on purchases from major retailers travel sites like Travelocity,, and Expedia? For a complete list of Upromise partners, click here.

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3. Build college savings.

Saving for college can feel like a marathon but the Upromise MasterCard® can help you sprint ahead.

When families open a Upromise MasterCard® account, they’re automatically enrolled in Upromise by Sallie Mae, and they can immediately start earning up to 10 percent cash back.

The cash back earned on everyday purchases can be invested in an eligible 529 college savings plan, used to help pay down an eligible student loan, transferred into an FDIC-insured Upromise GoalSaver account, or withdrawn by check.

Last year, Upromise MasterCard® cardmembers collectively earned $42 million in cash back for college. Collectively, the Upromise MasterCard® program has awarded $484 million in total cash back rewards.

4. No annual fees, no cash back limits, and no expirations.

Unlike other credit cards that offer points that expire or you may simply never redeem, the Upromise MasterCard® means cash back. There are no limits to how much cash back you can earn. No expirations and no annual fees. It’s that simple. Also, there are no rotating cash-back categories. In addition, you’ll stay on top of your credit with free access to your FICO® Credit Score, and enjoy $0 fraud liability on unauthorized transactions.

5. You can earn extra through special promotions throughout the year.

Upromise partners with major retailers to offer special promotions that offer additional cash back opportunities at major online retailers. For Upromise MasterCard cardmembers that can sometimes mean cash back savings of up to 15 percent. Cardmembers also receive special cash back offers via email.

Planning a vacation or get-a-way shouldn’t be stressful — Using the Upromise MasterCard® for travel and everyday purchases helps save for college.

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Here’s Some Background

Upromise by Sallie Mae is free to join and our members have earned more than $900 million in cash back for college.

  • While some programs offer reward points, Upromise members earn real cash earned that can be invested in a Upromise GoalSaver account, an eligible 529 plan, used to help pay down an eligible Sallie Mae student loan or withdrawn by check.
  • Upromise by Sallie Mae was created to help families save for college. Whether saving for a child’s college education, paying for it now, or repaying student loans, Upromise enables you to earn cash back through everyday purchases.

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How the Card Works

  1. Shop. Shop online via, and earn a percentage in cash back for college on the purchases at more than 850 major online retailers. Savings can double up to 10 percent when shopping with the Upromise MasterCard. 
  2. Earn. Members can also earn cash back for college with Upromise by Sallie Mae by dining out at more than 10,000 partner restaurants or booking travel with major online partners including Travelocity,, and Expedia.
  3. Save. Cash earned may be invested in an eligible 529 college savings plan, used to help pay down an eligible student loan, transferred into an FDIC-insured Upromise GoalSaver account, or withdrawn by check.

Who in your family could benefit from a Upromise MasterCard?
What features do you like about it?

About Has 2151 Posts

Shannon Gurnee is the author of Redhead Mom formerly "The Mommy-Files", a national blog with a loyal following. She has a Bachelor's Degree in Marriage, Family, and Human Development with a Minor in Business Management. Shannon and her husband, Frank, have a large family with 6 awesome kids and love living on the Central Coast near San Luis Obispo, California, as well as traveling around the world. A full-time Social Media and Professional Blogger, Shannon also serves as a National Brand Ambassador for many well-known companies. Her blog focuses on motherhood, family fun activities, traveling, fashion, beauty, technology, wedding ideas and recipes while providing professional opinions on products, performances, restaurants, and a variety of businesses.

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