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Rewards Credit Card Helps College Savings

Upromise credit card allows you to earn cash back with qualifying purchases.Skyrocketing student loan debt is getting a lot of media coverage lately.

But one way to reduce the amount you have to borrow for college — at least a little — is through Upromise.

Upromise, which is owned by Sallie Mae, a big private student loan lender, is a free service that helps families earn extra money for education by getting 1% to 25% back on qualified spending at participating retailers.

If you’re already a Upromise member, you can earn additional rewards with the Upromise rewards credit card.

Here’s a look at the credit card details:

APR 0% on purchases for first 12 months, then variable, currently 12.99% to 20.99%.
National Average APR 14.97% (source:
Annual Fee None
Rewards 1% back on all purchases, plus extra 2% on qualifying online purchases and 10% on eligible grocery purchases. $25 bonus on first purchase.
Verdict Somewhat complicated, but the card can help boost your Upromise rewards for college.

The card deposits a rebate of at least 1% on everything you buy into your Upromise account.

You earn an additional 2% — or 3% total — on eligible online purchases and an extra 10% — or 11% total — on eligible grocery purchases. (Only certain items at certain stores qualify for the reward.)

When you apply for the card, you choose whether you want “Gas” or “Dining” rewards.

If you choose gas, you earn 3% back at Exxon and Mobil stations. If you choose dining, you get 10% back on meals at participating restaurants.

You also get a $25 bonus by making your first purchase within the first 90 days of opening the account.

There’s no cap on how much you can earn, and there’s no annual fee.

There’s a 0% APR on purchases for the first 12 months. After that, you’ll pay a variable rate of 12.99% to 20.99%, depending on your credit history.

You must be a Upromise member to get the card, and must register your card with Upromise in order to receive all eligible cash back, which can be invested in an eligible 529 account or used to pay down student loans.

The Upromise credit card has been through a lot of changes in the past few years and is about to undergo some more.

In 2009, Citibank sold the portfolio to Bank of America. Now BofA has agreed to sell the portfolio to Barclaycard.

Barclays plans to relaunch the card sometime in the second quarter of 2012, so if you already have the card, watch your mailbox for important changes to your account.

In the meantime, Bank of America will continue to service existing accounts through September 2012.

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