You have probably heard of uPromise, the program where you register your grocery frequent shopper cards and get 1-3% back on the price of certain items. This is supposed to add up and help you pay for college by depositing the money into a 529 - all the ads have cute (and YOUNG) kids in them. Well, I don't know about my kids, but I already paid for it for myself! uPromise also has a feature where you can send that money to your student loans.
Unfortunately, you have to accrue $50 in rewards before they will transfer it the first time, and then $25 after that, and they only pay once a quarter. You know how much I've earned total in uPromise rewards, despite having my parents and two friends' cards on my account? About $73, and I signed up four years ago. (I did withdraw about $49 by check two years ago, which you can do by sending them a written request.) So I only have $27 available and $3 pending. It might be a while before they actually send any money to my student loan. I appreciate that they realized that not everybody has wee ones to save for.
I think uPromise is a nice idea but it might take a while to get going - somehow it seems like they expected a lot more merchants to sign up! It IS kind of an incentive for me to purchase one brand over another if they are the same price, and that advantage would presumably be lost if both brands had enrolled. (Many grocery stores have uPromise stickers on the shelves next to items that qualify.)
-- The stickers look like this.
Yay for companies trying to do a good thing! I do hope they get more merchants on - they have an ancillary eBates-like system where you can buy things and get a percentage back into your account, but often it isn't competitive with eBates itself, or they don't have the right kind of merchant.
Anyway, if you're interested, here's a signup link. It seems like somebody who bought a lot more groceries than me would probably get more benefit out of it, but every little bit helps! I do like the idea of getting an extra ten or twenty cents out of my grocery bill, especially since there's no work for me.