Upromise Credit Card from Sallie Mae: Can You Do Better?
For cash-back rewards, the Upromise World MasterCard® is a solid option. It offers high rewards on common purchases and a signup bonus, while also boasting no annual fee and a free FICO score. Read on to learn more about the Upromise card and how it stacks up to the competition.
High rewards on the purchases you make most
With the Upromise World MasterCard®, you can earn up to 10% cash back on your purchases. Here’s the current rewards structure:
- 5% back on eligible online purchases through the Upromise site
- 4% back on eligible dines at thousands of Upromise restaurants
- 3% back at Exxon or Mobil stations, provided you meet the requirements
- 2% back at eligible movie theaters
- 1% back on all other purchases
In addition, you can receive another 5% back from online merchants through the Upromise shopping portal, allowing you to potentially rack up 10% on your online purchases. For extra cash, there’s a sweet signup bonus: You’ll earn $100 cash after making your first purchase within 90 days.
Whether you’re saving for college or paying down your student loans, this card can help with easy redemption options and potential matches when you redeem. Use your rewards for one of the following:
- Contribute to a Upromise 529 college savings plan
- Deposit into a Sallie Mae high-yield savings account and receive a 10% match
- Pay down an eligible Sallie Mae loan and receive 2% back when you make scheduled monthly payments while still in school
- Redeem for checks
Other features worth paying attention to
On top of the rewards, the Upromise World MasterCard® features an annual fee of $0 and an introductory APR of 0% on purchases and balance transfers for 12 months, and then the ongoing APR of 12.99% or 20.99% (Variable) . So you can take your time paying off your initial purchases if you need to. Plus, you can keep an eye on your credit, since Barclaycard offers cardholders their free FICO score.
The competition: Chase Freedom® and Citi®Double Cash Card
While the Upromise World MasterCard® is a good card for the right person, you may benefit from a different cash-back option. Here are a couple of other cards you might consider for cash-back rewards on every purchase:
- Q1 (January – March): Grocery stores, movie theaters and Starbucks stores
- Q2 (April – June): Restaurants, Bed Bath & Beyond, H&M and Overstock.com
- Q3 (July – September): Gas stations and more (in 2014, Kohl’s)
- Q4 (October – December): Amazon.com and more (in 2014, Zappos.com and select department stores)
For all other spending, you’ll receive 1% back. There’s also a signup bonus: get a $100 bonus after spending $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening
The Chase Freedom® has an annual fee of $0 and an introductory APR offer of 0% on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months, and then the ongoing APR of 13.99% - 22.99% (Variable). When deciding between the Freedom and the Upromise World MasterCard®, you’ll need to determine whether you’ll benefit more from the Freedom’s 5% rotating capped bonus categories or the Upromise’s static unlimited bonus categories.
Citi®Double Cash Card
The Citi®Double Cash Card has an annual fee of $0 and an introductory APR of 0% on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months, and then the ongoing APR of 12.99% - 22.99% (Variable). Like with any other credit card, you should pay your balance in full each month (outside of the 0% introductory APR period, at least). Not only will you avoid interest, but you’ll get the additional rewards for paying off your balance.
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