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Upromise® Mastercard® review

Earn cash back on your purchases and save it for college.

  • Get this card if you want to save your cash back for college.
  • Pick something else if you want a higher cashback rate.
  • Apply with a good to an excellent credit score of 670 or higher.
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Welcome offer

Up to 1.53%

Cash back


Annual fee

14.99%, 19.99% or 24.99%

Purchase APR (variable)


Annual fee$0
Welcome offer$200 after spending $500 in the first 90 days
Rewards1.53% cash back rewards when linked to an eligible College Savings Plan

1.25% cash back rewards if not linked to an eligible College Savings Plan
Purchase APR14.99%, 19.99% or 24.99% variable
Balance transfer APR0% intro for the first 15 billing cycles (then 14.99%, 19.99% or 24.99% variable)
Minimum Credit Score670

Review by

Kliment Dukovski is a credit cards and investments writer. He's written over 600 articles to help readers find and compare the best credit cards. Kliment has also written on money transfers, home loans and more. Previously, he ghostwrote guides and articles on foreign exchange, stock market trading and cryptocurrencies.

Expert review

The Upromise® Mastercard® lets you earn cash back on everything you buy and then directly deposit it to your college savings plan. It offers 1.25% cash back on all purchases, a 0% intro APR on purchases for 15 billing cycles and carries no annual fee.

Though the rewards rate may not be as high as other cards’ offers, this card does incentivize putting money away for college. Linking your Upromise account to an eligible college savings plan will net you a 15% bonus on your total cash back earned at the end of each billing cycle. Depending on your saving habits, this feature might make the card a better choice than competitor cards with higher rewards rates.

The Upromise® Mastercard®‘s intro period on balance transfers is also helpful and can help an impending student build some credit while they save. On the whole, the Upromise® Mastercard® is a solid choice, albeit for a niche demographic.

How to apply for the Upromise® Mastercard®

  1. Visit the Barclaycard website and locate the Upromise® Mastercard®.
  2. Click Apply now.
  3. Fill out the application form.
  4. Review the form and submit.

What credit score do I need?

To increase your chances of approval, apply with a good to an excellent credit score of 670 or higher.

Card benefits

  • Cash back. Earn 1.25% cash back on all purchases you make with the card.
  • Bonus cash back. Get a 15% bonus on your total cash back at the close of each billing cycle on your total cash back when you link your Upromise account to an eligible 529 college savings plan. For example, if you earn $1,000 cash back, you will earn an additional $150. This makes your cashback rate go up to 1.44%.
  • Upromise Round Up. This feature rounds up your purchase to the nearest dollar and you earn cash back on that amount as well. Suppose you spend $5.40. The round-up amount would be $0.60. This may not seem like much, but it quickly adds up.
  • Intro APR period on balance transfers. Enjoy an interest-free period for the 15 billing cycles for balance transfers made within 45 days of account opening. Once the period passes, your APR reverts to variable 14.99%, 19.99% or 24.99%.
  • No annual fee. You get to save money for college without paying an annual fee for the card.

How does Upromise Round Up work?

Upromise Round Up is an optional feature that lets you round your purchases to the nearest dollar. The rounded amount posts to your account as a separate transaction, which you then receive cash back on. Unfortunately, the wording on Barclays site is a little confusing as to how this works, so here’s a simpler breakdown.

When you turn on this feature, you must choose a dollar “threshold.” You can choose between $1 and $500.

If you make a purchase that is beyond your set threshold – let’s say $50 in this case – Barclayscard will stop rounding your purchases to the next nearest dollar.

PurchaseRounds to
$51.50No rounding

It’s important to note that Barclayscard isn’t fronting the difference here. This amount added for rounding is coming out of your credit card account. You’ll only want to turn this feature on if you want to maximize your cash back and don’t mind spending a little extra to do so.

What to watch out for

  • No intro APR period on purchases. With this card, you only get 0% intro APR period on balance transfers. But if you’re looking to make a large purchase and carry the balance, look for a 0% intro APR card.
  • Need to participate in Round Up. You don’t earn the round-up amount by default. Once you get the card, you must enter a threshold from $1 to $500. For example, you set $50 and then you wait to reach this amount by rounding up. Once you reach the amount, Upromise will convert it to cash and you can deposit it to your savings account.

Compare student credit cards

Name Product Welcome Offer Rewards Annual fee Filter values
Journey Student Rewards from Capital One
$5 per month for 12 months on select streaming subscriptions when you pay on time for up to $60 total credit
1% cash back on all purchases, 1.25% for months you pay on time
Earn 1% cash back on all purchases or get 1.25% cash back for months you pay on time.
Capital One Quicksilver Student Cash Rewards Credit Card
1.5% cashback on all purchases
A student credit card with a solid 1.5% unlimited cashback rate.
Deserve® Edu Card
Amazon Prime Student subscription credit up to $59 after spending $500 in the first 3 months
1% cash back on all purchases
Designed for college students to build credit history and earn rewards.

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Bottom line

If you find it hard to save money for college, the Upromise® Mastercard® could be worth considering. Every billing cycle, you can directly deposit your cash back to your 529 college savings plan, so you don’t have to worry about spending your rewards.

But if you think there could be a better card for you, compare other credit cards until you find the right fit.

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