How Does LendingTree Get Paid?
LendingTree is compensated by companies on this site and this compensation may impact how and where offers appear on this site (such as the order). LendingTree does not include all lenders, savings products, or loan options available in the marketplace.

How Does LendingTree Get Paid?

LendingTree is compensated by companies on this site and this compensation may impact how and where offers appear on this site (such as the order). LendingTree does not include all lenders, savings products, or loan options available in the marketplace.
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Advertising Disclosure

LendingTree is an advertising-supported comparison service. The site features products from our partners as well as institutions which are not advertising partners. While we make an effort to include the best deals available to the general public, we make no warranty that such information represents all available products. We are compensated by companies on this site and this compensation may impact how and where offers appear on this site (such as the order).
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American Express Disclosure
Terms apply to American Express benefits and offers. Visit americanexpress.com to learn more.

American Express Disclosure

Terms apply to American Express benefits and offers. Visit americanexpress.com to learn more.

Upromise® Mastercard® Credit Card Review

LendingTree's Review

How LendingTree Rates Credit Cards?

Our experts rate credit cards based on several factors including card benefits, bonus offers and independent research. Credit card issuers do not influence or have a say in our card ratings. Read our credit card methodology here.
2.9
Upromise® Mastercard®
Sign Up Bonus
Earn $100 cash back rewards after spending $500 on purchases in the first 90 days
Rewards
Earn 1.529% cash back rewards on every purchase when your Upromise program account is linked to an eligible college savings plan. Earn 1.25% cash back rewards on every purchase if your Upromise program account is not linked to an eligible college savings plan.
Annual Fee
No annual fee.
Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It was not reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer. This site may be compensated through a credit card issuer partnership.

Our take: This card gets an A+ for offering a creative way to save for college; however, the rewards rate lowers its grade. If maximizing savings for college tuition is your goal, choose a cash back card with a higher rewards rate.

Pros and cons of the Upromise® Mastercard®

  • Helps you save for college
  • Earn additional cash back on eligible gift card purchases
  • Intro balance transfer offer
  • Meager sign-up bonus
  • Low earning rate
  • You have to join Upromise
  • Must have a 529 plan to maximize rewards
  • High balance transfer fee

Is the Upromise® Mastercard® a good card?

Citi is an advertising partner.

The Upromise® Mastercard® is an okay choice when it comes to cash back cards since it does give more than 1% cash back. However to get the most value from it, you need to have the rewards deposited into an eligible 529 plan. Other cards offer 1.5% and 2% without restrictions, so we suggest using those and funneling the cash back to your preferred savings vehicle for your kids, be it a 529 plan, ESA or UTMA/UGMA account.

First year value: $406 versus $444 for the average cash back card*
Second year value: $306 versus $292 for the average cash back card*

*Based on LendingTree’s value methodology

Quick facts

    • The Upromise Mastercard has no annual fee and includes the following benefits:
    • Earn $100 cash back rewards after spending $500 on purchases in the first 90 days
    • Earn 1.529% cash back rewards on every purchase when your Upromise program account is linked to an eligible college savings plan
    • Earn 1.25% cash back rewards on every purchase if your Upromise program account is not linked to an eligible college savings plan
    • Upromise Round Up lets cardmembers round up purchases for additional cash back rewards
    • $0 Fraud Liability protection means cardmembers are not responsible for charges they did not authorize
    • No foreign transaction fees on international purchases
    • Free online access to FICO® Credit Score lets cardmembers keep an eye on their credit score and get email alerts when we learn that their score has changed
    • 0% Introductory APR for 15 months on balance transfers made within 45 days of account opening, then 20.24%, 25.24%, or 29.99% variable based on your creditworthiness
    • To apply for the Upromise Mastercard or learn more, visit

      www.upromise.com/card

  • Recommended Credit
    Credit scores ranges may vary. Your individual chance at approval may vary due to factors such as creditors using a particular variation at their discretion
  • 660 720
    Good
  • Upromise Round Up feature
  • ID theft protection
  • Global emergency services
  • Zero liability protection
  • Free FICO score access

Intro Purchase APR

None

Regular Purchase APR

20.24%, 25.24% or 29.99%

Intro BT APR

0% introductory APR for 15 months for each balance transfer made within 45 days of account opening

Regular BT APR

20.24%, 25.24% or 29.99%

Annual Fee

$0

Cash Advance Fee

Either $10 or 5% of the amount of each cash advance, whichever is greater.

Foreign Transaction Fee

0% of each transaction in U.S. dollars.

Balance Transfer Fee

Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.

What we like about the Upromise® Mastercard®

  • Helps you save for college

    The mission of the Upromise® program is to help members achieve their college savings goals, and the Upromise® Mastercard® is another way the mission plays out. You can use Upromise and earn cash rewards for free without the Upromise® Mastercard®. However, the credit card offers additional cash rewards that you can deposit into your Upromise account.

    The Upromise® Mastercard® incentivizes you to save the cash back in a 529 account by offering a slightly higher rewards rate. You’ll earn 1.59%, on all purchases made with the Upromise® Mastercard® if you link it to a 529 account. This higher rate is helpful if you haven’t prioritized saving for college but want to.

    If you choose not to link an eligible college savings plan, you receive 1.25% cash back.

    Discover 16 strategies to pay for college

  • Round up feature helps boost college savings

    The Upromise® Mastercard® offers a round-up feature that automatically rounds your purchases to the nearest dollar and funnels the extra money into your linked account. For example, if you purchase coffee for $5.25, your credit card statement will show $6.00, and the $0.75 that wasn’t spent on coffee goes to your savings account. You’ll also earn additional rewards on the rounded-up amount.

    Note that this isn’t free money from Upromise. Rather, Upromise adds up to 99 cents more to your credit card charges and move that money to an account that you, your kids or grandkids can later use for education.

    You can limit how much you will “spend” on rounding up each month. It can range from $1 to $500 a month. If you choose $20, rounding-up stops for the month once the cumulative rounded-up amount hits that threshold.

  • Earn additional cash back on eligible gift card purchases

    You can get an extra $250 cash back when you buy eligible gift cards from MyGiftCardsPlus. Registration is required, and you have to use your Upromise® Mastercard® to purchase them. But it’s a simple way to earn a little extra by buying gift cards to places where you usually shop or dine. Your bonus depends on the amount of your gift card purchases for the month. You’ll get:

    • $10 cash back rewards bonus on purchases between $50.00 and $149.99
    • $20 cash back rewards bonus on purchases of $150+ ($25 cash back rewards bonus in the months of November and December)

    The extra cash back is earned monthly, so you need to make a purchase of $150 every month to receive the full $250 over the year.

  • Intro balance transfer offer

    The card offers a longer-than-average intro APR for balance transfers. You’ll get a 0% introductory APR for 15 months for each balance transfer made within 45 days of account opening (followed by a 20.24%, 25.24% or 29.99% APR). While this isn’t the most extended length for 0% APR offers on balance transfer credit cards, it gives you over a year to make progress on paying off debt.

    Find the best student loan for your college student

How does Upromise work?

Upromise is a free program that helps families save for college. Members can earn cash rewards on groceries, dining out, online shopping and even by completing surveys. The funds are deposited into your linked bank account. Every month you’re automatically entered to win one of five scholarships in the amount of, you guessed it, $529.

What to look out for with the Upromise® Mastercard®

  • Must join Upromise

    The Upromise® Mastercard® requires you to be a Upromise® member, which is free. Joining is simple but does require minimal effort. However, a Upromise membership opens the door to earning cash rewards from your other shopping. While it might be off-putting to join yet another rewards program, this one could pay off. As a bonus, when you link your Upromise® account to an eligible 529 plan within 30 days of opening, you’ll receive a $25 bonus. Every little bit adds up when it comes to paying for college.

  • You have to deposit rewards to a qualified 529 plan to earn the bonus

    This isn’t necessarily bad; some people may appreciate that this forces them to save for college. You don’t have to put your cash back rewards into a 529 plan, but if you choose not to, you only receive 1.25% cash back. This does give you some flexibility in case you’d rather change your strategy.

    Find other ways to save: 5 alternatives to 529 plans

  • Other cards offer higher rewards

    Even with the bonus for a 529 plan, the card’s earning rate is less-than-impressive. There are many cash back credit cards that give you a higher rate of rewards. There are even a plethora of flat-rate cards that give you 1.5% to 2% on all purchases without a requirement to deposit your rewards into a particular savings account.

    For example, the Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card lets you earn 3% cash back on dining, entertainment, popular streaming services and at grocery stores (excluding superstores like walmart® and target®); 5% cash back on hotels and rental cars booked through capital one travel (terms apply); 8% cash back on capital one entertainment purchases; 1% cash back on all other purchases. If you are interested in a cash back card to help you save for your child’s college, this card may enable you to stash away more cash back in areas where you are likely to spend a good amount of money.

  • Balance transfer fee

    While you can enjoy a long intro APR on balance transfers, know that you will pay a balance transfer fee of Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.

    This fee is on the higher end; most cards offer a 3% balance transfer fee and there are some balance transfer credit cards with no fees.

Alternatives to the Upromise® Mastercard®

Upromise® Mastercard® vs. Fidelity® Rewards Visa Signature® Card

| Disclosures
Fidelity® Rewards Visa Signature® Card*
Fidelity® Rewards Visa Signature® Card
Learn More
on Fidelity's secure site
N/A
19.24%
$0
Unlimited 2% cash back on everyday purchases
  • Earn unlimited 2% cash back into your eligible Fidelity account
  • No Reward Points limits, expirations or restrictive categories
  • No annual fee
  • Named Kiplinger's Best Rewards Credit Card for Cash Back for Savers 2018
720 850
Excellent
*The information related to the Fidelity® Rewards Visa Signature® Card has been collected by LendingTree and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication. Terms apply

How Does LendingTree Get Paid?

LendingTree is compensated by companies on this site and this compensation may impact how and where offers appears on this site (such as the order). LendingTree does not include all lenders, savings products, or loan options available in the marketplace.

If you like how the Upromise® Mastercard® automates college sayings, the Fidelity® Rewards Visa Signature® Card is a better option. It offers a higher rewards rate, and the cash back can be invested into a 529 plan or other investments.

The Fidelity® Rewards Visa Signature® Card has a $0 annual fee but lacks flexibility, since your rewards go into a qualified investment account. Whereas the Upromise® Mastercard® allows you to cash out the rewards at a lower rate, this card doesn’t. For example, if you put the money in a 529 plan, the money must be used for qualified education expenses to avoid penalties. This is not the right card for you if you prefer more control over how you use your cash back rewards from month to month.

Upromise® Mastercard® vs. Citi Double Cash® Card

| Disclosures
Citi Double Cash® Card
Citi Double Cash® Card
apply-now-icon Apply Now
on Citibank's secure site
Rates & Fees
N/A
19.24% - 29.24% (Variable)
$0
Earn 2% on every purchase with unlimited 1% cash back when you
  • Earn $200 cash back after you spend $1,500 on purchases in the first 6 months of account opening. This bonus offer will be fulfilled as 20,000 ThankYou® Points, which can be redeemed for $200 cash back.
  • Earn 2% on every purchase with unlimited 1% cash back when you buy, plus an additional 1% as you pay for those purchases. To earn cash back, pay at least the minimum due on time. Plus, for a limited time, earn 5% total cash back on hotel, car rentals and attractions booked on the Citi Travel℠ portal through 12/31/24.
  • Balance Transfer Only Offer: 0% intro APR on Balance Transfers for 18 months. After that, the variable APR will be 19.24% - 29.24%, based on your creditworthiness.
  • Balance Transfers do not earn cash back. Intro APR does not apply to purchases.
  • If you transfer a balance, interest will be charged on your purchases unless you pay your entire balance (including balance transfers) by the due date each month.
  • There is an intro balance transfer fee of 3% of each transfer (minimum $5) completed within the first 4 months of account opening. After that, your fee will be 5% of each transfer (minimum $5).
600 660 720 850
Fair/Good/Excellent

How Does LendingTree Get Paid?

LendingTree is compensated by companies on this site and this compensation may impact how and where offers appears on this site (such as the order). LendingTree does not include all lenders, savings products, or loan options available in the marketplace.

Like the Fidelity card, the Citi Double Cash® Card credit card offers the same 2% rewards rate without the restrictions of how you use the cash back. The cash back is earned in two parts: 1% at purchase and 1% when it’s paid off. Once you earn the rewards, you can apply them as statement credits toward any purchase, or you can redeem them for a variety of other options, including travel.

The Citi Double Cash® Card credit card comes with a solid sign-up bonus and a 0% intro APR for 18 months on Balance Transfers (followed by a 19.24% - 29.24% (Variable) APR).

Upromise® Mastercard® vs. Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card

| Disclosures
Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card
Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card
apply-now-icon Apply Now
on Capital One's secure site
Rates & Fees
0% intro on purchases for 15 months
19.99% - 29.99% (Variable)
$0
3% Cash Back on dining, entertainment, popular streaming services and at grocery
  • Earn a one-time $200 cash bonus after you spend $500 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening
  • Earn unlimited 3% cash back on dining, entertainment, popular streaming services and at grocery stores (excluding superstores like Walmart® and Target®), plus 1% on all other purchases
  • Earn 10% cash back on purchases made through Uber & Uber Eats, plus complimentary Uber One membership statement credits through 11/14/2024
  • Earn 8% cash back on Capital One Entertainment purchases
  • Earn unlimited 5% cash back on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of trip options. Terms apply
  • No rotating categories or sign-ups needed to earn cash rewards; plus cash back won't expire for the life of the account and there's no limit to how much you can earn
  • 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months; 19.99% - 29.99% variable APR after that; balance transfer fee applies
  • No foreign transaction fee
  • No annual fee
  • For Capital One products listed on this page, some of the benefits are provided by Visa® or Mastercard® and may vary by product. See the respective Guide to Benefits for details, as terms and exclusions apply
660 720 850
Good/Excellent

How Does LendingTree Get Paid?

LendingTree is compensated by companies on this site and this compensation may impact how and where offers appears on this site (such as the order). LendingTree does not include all lenders, savings products, or loan options available in the marketplace.

If you want the flexibility to use the rewards as you like and the potential to maximize them, the Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card card is worth checking out. This $0 annual fee card offers a generous easy-to-earn sign-up bonus and elevated rewards in popular spending categories.

You can earn 3% Cash Back on dining, entertainment, popular streaming services and at grocery stores (excluding superstores like Walmart® and Target®); 5% Cash Back on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel (terms apply); 8% Cash Back on Capital One Entertainment purchases; 1% Cash Back on all other purchases.

Is the Upromise® Mastercard®right for you?

If you need the accountability for saving for college, the Upromise® Mastercard® card might be worth considering. However, remember that you can earn even more cash back with the alternative cards mentioned above.

We like the Citi Double Cash® Card or Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card credit card because you can get more value and spend the cash back however you like. The Fidelity® Rewards Visa Signature® Card is a better option if you prefer a card that deposits your rewards into a college savings account.

Want to compare more options for college savings?
For Capital One products listed on this page, some of the above benefits are provided by Visa® or Mastercard® and may vary by product. See the respective Guide to Benefits for details, as terms and exclusions apply.

The information related to the Upromise® Mastercard® has been independently collected by LendingTree and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication.