Sallie Mae unveiled a rebooted version of its popular Upromise World MasterCard on Wednesday, following Barclaycard’s purchase of the portfolio from Bank of America.
The credit card, primarily targeted at parents looking to save for their child’s college education, allows its holders to put rewards into a tax-deferred 529 college savings plan or a Sallie Mae High-Yield Savings Account. The earnings can also be used to pay down an eligible Sallie Mae student loan or redeemed in the form of a check.
Under its new partnership with Barclaycard, Sallie Mae has added 2% cash back at movie theaters and upped straight earnings off of purchases made through the UPromise online shopping center from 3% to 5%. Bonus cash back is often offered on top on this through the provider’s retail partnerships.
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The card also features 4% cash back at UPromise-affiliated restaurants, up to 3% cash back at Exxon and Mobile gas stations and 1% cash back on all other purchases, just like its Bank of America predecessor.
It carries no annual fee and the annual percentage rates run between 12.99% and 20.99%, depending on creditworthiness.
The revamped card is already available to new customers. Existing Bank of America UPromise cardholders will receive the new Barclaycard version by the end of September, says Debby Hohler, a spokeswoman for Sallie Mae. Until then, they will earn rewards under their original program structure.
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The reboot is a product of Sallie’s Mae desire to increase ways people can save for college.
“We had an opportunity based on the timing of the contract [with Bank of America] and other factors,” Hohler says.
According to Sallie Mae, cardholders have earned more than $675 million in cash for college since 2001. Hohler says $174 million of that sum has actually been deposited into 529 plans.
Image: Herkie, via Flickr