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Barclays and Upromise Accelerate Cash Back Rewards into College Savings with Enhanced Upromise® Mastercard® Program

- National survey reveals one in three parents would use cash back rewards from credit cards to save for college. Upromise Mastercard now offers greater cash back rewards to reach college savings goals faster.

Barclays and Upromise today announced an enhanced Upromise® Mastercard® program, which simplifies how cardmembers earn rewards, helping college savers across America reach their goals faster by turning everyday spending into college savings. The card program offers an increased earn – 1.529% cash back rewards on every purchase when cardmembers link their Upromise program account to an eligible college savings plan.

"Our enhanced Upromise Mastercard program rewards college savers with greater benefits when making everyday purchases," said Daniel Hahn, vice president and general manager, Upromise. "Over time, these benefits will help families reach their college savings goals faster. This is just one of the ways we continue to lead the college savings industry with everyday opportunities to build college savings."

Upromise Mastercard cardmembers are automatically enrolled in the Upromise program, which includes new and improved earning opportunities with cash back rewards on everyday grocery purchases, discounted gift cards through MyGiftCardsPlus at over 100 different brands, and easier access, via the Upromise Browser Extension, to thousands of stores that offer Upromise cash back rewards.

Upromise Mastercard cardmembers can also enroll in Upromise Round Up. This feature lets cardmembers round up their purchases to the nearest dollar. The total Round Up amount is considered a purchase and converted to cash back rewards.

"We updated the Upromise Mastercard to help cardmembers accelerate their college savings," said Mike Bolmer, director of travel and affinity partnerships, Barclays. "This enhanced card program helps cardmembers build substantial college savings over time simply through everyday purchases."

According to a recent national survey commissioned by Upromise, 82% of parents with a child under 18 believe saving for college is "extremely" or "very" important – second only to an emergency fund. However, just 19% of parents are "very confident" they will be able to save the amount of money they hope to put aside. Despite the uncertainty, parents agree saving for college is necessary. In fact, more than 80% of parents surveyed said their college savings contributions have stayed about the same or increased since the pandemic escalated in March 2020; and 40% of parents with a college fund anticipate increasing their contributions over the next 12 months. Additional survey findings include:

  • Starting Early: Half of parents (51%) would start a college fund soon after a child is born, with another 11% saying they would do so as soon as they knew they wanted children.
  • It Takes a Village: While parents do identify themselves as the primary contributor to their children's college funds, nearly half (45%) indicate that relatives have contributed or will be doing so in the future.
  • Rewarded Spending: One in three parents (32%) would use cash back rewards from credit cards to save for college.
  • Stress-Free Saving: Some of the top desired features by parents of a 529 plan are contributing a little at a time (54%) and through everyday purchases (44%) without feeling the pinch on their budget.


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

To apply for the Upromise Mastercard or learn more, visit

About Barclays US Consumer Bank
Barclays US Consumer Bank is a leading co-branded credit card issuer and financial services partner in the United States that creates highly customized programs to drive customer loyalty and engagement for some of the country's most successful travel, entertainment, retail and affinity institutions. The bank offers co-branded credit cards, small business credit cards, installment loans, online savings accounts, and CDs. For more information, please visit

Barclays is a British universal bank. We are diversified by business, by different types of customer and client, and geography. Our businesses include consumer banking and payments operations around the world, as well as a top-tier, full service, global corporate and investment bank, all of which are supported by our service company which provides technology, operations and functional services across the Group. For further information about Barclays, please visit

About Upromise
As a part of the Prodege family, Upromise provides unique opportunities for consumers to earn rewards for spending, shopping, dining out, and other activities, and then automatically deposits those rewards as contributions to any linked bank account or 529 Plan education savings account. Contributions into a 529 account can be invested and grow tax-free, and then can be withdrawn tax-free for qualified education expenses. Over the years, Upromise has awarded its members more than $1 billion in rewards. Upromise also sponsors the Upromise 529 Scholarship program helping more kids go to college. Visit for more information.

Methodological Notes
The Upromise College Savings survey was conducted by Prodege, parent company of Upromise, via an online survey of 1,007 U.S. parents/guardians with children under the age of 18, between March 19 and March 23, 2021.