Save money for college while buying your necessities

January 19, 2011 4:09:38 PM PST
If you need to save money for your kids' college education, this is a story you must read!

Ever heard of Upromise? It can help you save thousands.

Upromise is a free service you sign up for that helps members get money back for college from their everyday spending. So while you are shopping at the grocery store, getting gas or even shopping online, you can potentially be earning money.

Most shoppers we talked to at the store had never heard of it, but it is a service you can sign up for free.

"The simplest definition is a savings account for college education," ABC13's Super Saver Erin Libranda said.

So here is how it works. First, sign up at You can link your Upromise account to up to 10 credit or debit cards. On top of that, you can also register your favorite rewards cards to earn cash back.

"You link them all to this account so every time you shop at participating stores or buy participating items, you get some type of credit added to your account," Libranda said.

The way you earn money is by shopping with Upromise partners. Take, for example, Exxon Mobil gas stations. It's 1 cent cash back per gallon of gasoline. At local restaurants like Amazon Grill and Kahn's Deli, you will also earn cash back.

Another way to score free money is to shop UPROMISE participating products. Right now, Girard's dressing is a participating product. The thing you have to watch out for is these items will change throughout the year.

No Yolks Noodles, Wacky Mac Pasta, Elmer's Glue and Charmin toilet paper are Upromise products. But if keeping up with participants is too much work, Libranda says to apply for the Upromise credit card to earn a 2 percent on everything you buy using the Upromise card.

"With the Upromise card, you earn 1 percent flat but then by buying these participating items you also earn percentages of those also," she said.

To take it one step further, shop online from participating merchants and earn 1 to 25 percent cash back. It's what Libranda does, and in the last 12 months, she has earned more than $1,200 of free money Libranda says it's easy money!

"It's just extra free money, not having to do anything else except link your cards," she said.

To earn even more money, you can link your Upromise account to a high-yield savings account or tax-deferred 529. But if you want, every quarter you can request a check that can be used for college or other expenses.