Upromise World MasterCard Credit Card Review

By Christina Majaski. Last updated 24 May 2017. 0 comments

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Editor's note: This card is no longer available. Here are our current recommendations for Student Credit Cards.

There are a number of student credit cards on the market designed to help college students start out healthy credit journeys, but credit cards that award you cash back that can be used to save for college or pay student loans are limited. The Upromise® World MasterCard® is one of the only rewards credit cards on the market designed to actually help prepare for college or pay off the mountain of loans usually incurred during college. Sallie Mae’s Upromise program not only provides a different opportunity for earning rewards for purchases, but with the Upromise World MasterCard offers one of the most valuable rewards programs available.

If you are a student or someone who would like to earn cash back, this card provides one of the best rewards programs offered by a credit card. (See also: Best Credit Cards for College Students)

How This Card Works

In order to earn cash back rewards with this card you must open a free Upromise account. The card features 2% cash back on eligible in-store and movie theater purchases and 1% cash back on all other purchases. You can earn up to 10% total cash back as a Upromise member when you use your card on purchases with online retailers and travel partners at Upromise.com. 

These awards are separate from the cash back you get just for being a Upromise member, even without the card. For example, you would earn 5% on eligible purchases at an online retailer or travel partner through Upromise.com. If you used your Upromise credit card, you get an additional 5%. This allows you to earn as much as 10% total cash back on Upromise purchases.

Cardholders can choose to redeem the cash back as an investment into a high-yield Sallie Mae savings account or tax-deferred 529 plan, or use it as payment toward a Sallie Mae student loan. Another option is to request the cash back as a check starting at $10. There are no limits to the amount of cash back you can earn, and it does not expire.

Pros

Multiple bonus categories. Because Upromise includes over 850 retailers, you have an opportunity with the Upromise World MasterCard to earn bonus cash back in a wide range of categories from retailers such as Amazon.com, Best Buy and Target, to a number of department store and restaurant merchants. Many rewards credit cards offer bonus opportunities, but the categories are limited to one or two types of purchases. Plus, the categories with other rewards programs might rotate quarterly.

High earning opportunities. There are no other rewards credit cards, especially student credit cards, which provide an opportunity to earn as much as 10% cash back on your purchases. Because of the partnership with Upromise retailers, you can earn much more cash back with this card than most other rewards cards. (See also: Best Cash Back Credit Cards)

Cons

Must use Upromise.com. In order to earn the most cash back from your credit card, it is important that you are diligent in actually shopping and making your purchases through Upromise's online shopping mall. Otherwise, you lose the extra 5% boost and depending on the type of restaurants and travel, you may not even get 5% back. If you aren’t able to dedicate your shopping trips to Upromise, you can likely earn more cash back with credit cards that focus specifically on the types of purchases you make. (See also: 5 Best Cards for Dining Out)

Foreign transaction fee. Because of the foreign transaction fee, this is not a great card if you frequently travel abroad or make foreign purchases. For students traveling abroad a card with no foreign transaction fee would be more economical for foreign purchases. (See also: Best Credit Cards with No Foreign Transaction Fees)

Who This Card Is Best For

The Upromise World MasterCard is best for those who regularly shop online and are diligent in using the Upromise shopping mall in order to earn the most cash back possible. It is also best for cardmembers who will use the card primarily for domestic purchases.

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