Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Get free money for a 529 college savings plan or cash through Upromise

Upromise.com came about years ago as a way to link your credit cards and grocery/drug store savings cards to a college 529 savings account. This account was funded by purchasing certain everyday items that were affiliated with the Upromise program. Well, the program hasn't changed much over the years, but there are certain things that make this a very worthwhile program to get involved in.

The first is the addition of the Upromise toolbar plugin. For the most part I disdain internet browser plugins, let alone toolbars, but this has proven to be one of the better ones that I've tried out. The best feature of it is that it will auto notify you with a small dropdown whenever you go to a site that is affiliated with Upromise and show the percent you will get back in your Upromise account when making a purchase. Also, It has a "Specials" tab which will show all special offers on the site as well as competitor sites also affiliated with Upromise. Last, and it's more of a vanity thing, it will show your current amount in your Upromise account (The current balance is not working for my account for some reason, but I may be an odd case).

**Note: Most of the affiliates are located on the web. If they do have brick & mortar stores, you usually can get more back by purchasing online**

The next thing, which I feel makes it all worthwhile, is that you can actually request a cash payout in the form of a check instead of funding a 529 account. Since I don't have kids, at first I didn't see a reason to participate, but then I found this on their site:

Can I withdraw company contributions from my Upromise account without transferring them to a savings plan, and if so, how?

You can withdraw your Upromise contributions at any time during your membership. To withdraw company contributions from your Upromise account, submit a letter in writing to Upromise requesting a withdrawal from your Upromise account. The letter must state your full name and exact amount that you would like to withdraw, up to total amount available in your account, pending contributions are not eligible for withdrawal.

For the protection of our members, we require that your letter either be notarized or contain a Signature Guarantee if the withdrawal request is in excess of $200. A Signature Guarantee is a guarantee you can obtain from a financial institution, such as your bank, that your signature is yours and that it is genuine.

Withdrawal letters should be sent to:

ATTN: Customer Care
P.O. Box 55555
Boston, MA 02205-5555

Download Withdrawal Request Form

Checks are sent once per calendar quarter, so you should typically receive your check within 12 weeks of your request being received

To sum it up, you can send their request form (if the balance is over $200 you will need to have it notarized, your bank should do this free of charge) to the above address and your check will be on it's way shortly.

The way I see it, it's additional free money to be earned for my normal spending habits, so what's not to like? Check out Upromise today and start earning some extra cash. Paired with a cashback credit card you can make some serious extra money on your normal purchases.

***Ethical Grifter tip: In case it doesn't show on the Upromise main page, enter code shop-10 to receive an extra $10 added to your account when you make your first online purchase through a linked credit card by 4/30/08***