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Old Jul 17, 02, 9:29 am   #1
 
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upromise - experiences?

OK - not sure where this goes, but Spam seems pretty safe.

Has anyone used this program? (You register your credit cards, similar to i-Dine, and earn a cash rebate paid into a savings account for college.)

Is it worth it? How fast can you accumulate?
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Old Jul 17, 02, 10:05 am   #2
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Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by johnndor:
How fast can you accumulate?</font>
Not very fast. But it costs nothing and is painless, so there is no reason not to join.
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Old Jul 17, 02, 11:33 am   #3
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You get points for doing nothing other then what you usually do in a day and can hdlp a kid get to college. How can it not be worth it?

If anybody wants to sign up and help spay and neuter stray animals at the same time:

http://service.bfast.com/bfast/click...up_save_468x60
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Old Jul 17, 02, 12:13 pm   #4
 
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It is pretty slow but painless. Of course, I don't use upromise as a shopping portal. I'm still a slave to miles.

They've recently added grocery stores to the program and I'm hoping that I can boost my $$ through all the food I buy for a family of six.

Has anyone else signed up their grocery card? Have you had points/dollars posted yet? I've been waiting a month now and am getting ansy. Nothing kills enthusiasm for a program better than slow posting points/dollars/miles.
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Old Jul 17, 02, 1:04 pm   #5
 
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I think you are much better off starting your own 529 plan, rather than using Upromise.

Upromise says that they estimate you might save 8K for college in 15 years.

http://www.upromise.com/content/howi...ngs.html?cx=l1

(click on "how you save" and then "view assumptions")

However, the assumptions are *very* unlikely - you probably won't save anywhere near 8K. Even if you do, this is likely nowhere enough for the college tuition costs your kids will face, so you'll need to save lots of other money anyway.

You'd also be better off shopping at cheaper merchants than the ones offered by Upromise or through portals that offer a better rebate (such as ebates). An example? Exxon is the gas station of choice. But Arco or an independent brand will beat Exxon's gas price by at least a dime a gallon, while Exxon rebates only one cent/gallon. You'll save more money for college by NOT using Upromise in these cases.

Other issues? Loss of privacy (upromise will know an awful lot about you), participating companies and rates may change, account can be terminated if no money is added in a one year span, the company could fold.

See also:
http://moneycentral.msn.com/articles...asics/7652.asp

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Old Jul 17, 02, 2:05 pm   #6
 
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Thanks for the article... pretty good synopsis, I think.

Of course, I would not rely on something like this to fund college... it would be something extra.

I agree with one statement the article makes... the true value of the company lies in the data it collects about the people who register.
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Old Jul 17, 02, 6:14 pm   #7
 
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My upromise account is linked to a 529 account for my son. I also contribute monthly to this same account. With or without upromise, we have the 529 account. If upromise contributes to it, that is great. I doubt if it will be anywhere near $8k!
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Old Jul 17, 02, 7:11 pm   #8
 
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Hi,
I have been a member of UPROMISE for about a year. I have earned about $500.00 so far. I have earned .77 on the grocery program after waiting about 2 months. The money gets transfered into my Fidelity Brokerage account when it gets over $50. You can either work their program and try to maximize the contributions or just get accidental money. You register your credit cards and they check if you go to one of their merchants. This is like IDINE. You do not have to go through their web page to get contributions. You register your grocery card # and if you buy the right products - coke for example - you get a few pennies. Yes, it is a loss of privacy.
There is also another site BABYMINT that is similar. BABYMINT pays you if you buy from EBAY. You do have to go through BABYMINT web site to get credit for shopping.
Hopes this helps,
Matt
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Old Jul 18, 02, 6:47 am   #9
 
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I didn't know that you could make regular contributions to the same 529... that's a good idea, and nice not to have multiple savings accts.
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Old Jul 18, 02, 8:00 am   #10
 
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Does the money go into a self-directed brokerage account, or do you have to use the accounts they offer (about 4 state-sponsored plans)
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Old Jul 19, 02, 2:25 pm   #11
 
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Being a skepctic, I appreciate all of you on this thread who are also skeptical. However, I don't see how this program is any worse than any other FF program. In fact, its better because it pays cash! It seems to me its not in lieu of a 529 plan, but a way to earn free money to be contributed to your 529 plan. And while the rates may change or they may go out of business, the same is true with airline programs; but the risk with Upromise is less because the "points" are montized periodically and transferred to your account. Try doing that with USAir miles.
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Old Jul 20, 02, 10:39 am   #12
 
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I spoke to a couple of reps a while back when researching the program. They said yes, you can get the money out and put them into any 529 program. Fearing paperwork I asked about it and they said there wasn't any, So there is no obligation to re-deposit the money anywhere specific. You can just keep the cash. Must admit the savings for education slant is clever and I am seeing the Upromise symbol more and more often these days.
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Old Jul 21, 02, 9:10 am   #13
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My main goal is to accumulate miles, and I only use Upromise when they have vendors that don't give miles. So far I have a whopping $6 in my account.

It's also good for buying gas, Double Miles with my Delta Amex, plus Upromise contribution at Exxon gas stations.

Also, I don't understand why anyone would want to use the Upromise credit card. You get 1% on all your purchases, that go into your account, without earning any interest. Wouldn't it be easier to get a Discover card, get the same 1% and put it into an interest earning account?

I don't have any children now, so I wonder, is Upromise going to be around 20 years from now?



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Old Jul 22, 02, 10:02 am   #14
 
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Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by jfe:
My main goal is to accumulate miles, and I only use Upromise when they have vendors that don't give miles. So far I have a whopping $6 in my account.</font>
This is what I fear - effort for not enough gain.

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">I don't have any children now, so I wonder, is Upromise going to be around 20 years from now?</font>
Doesn't sound like this matters, as long as you get enough $, it is swept into your 529 brokerage account.
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Old Jul 22, 02, 11:20 am   #15
 
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JFE--here is my understanding of the UP credit card. It pays 1%. periodically that money is swept into your 529 plan, where it earns interest tax free. I believe this occurs quarterly, which is better than Discover's annual payment. Second, Discover pays much less than 1% until you hit $10,000 in a single year.

1% in cash is pretty good, especially if you can earn interest on it. If only you could earn interest on your milage balances.
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