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The cost of college continues to rise, making higher education less affordable for future students. To help families plan for college, all fifty states and D.C. sponsor at least one 529 plan, a tax-advantaged college savings account.

When you have other expenses, it isn’t always easy to contribute to a 529 plan. Some credit cards can help, earning rewards that are directly deposited to your 529 plan.

Here are three credit cards with 529 college savings rewards.

  1. Fidelity Rewards Visa Signature Credit Card

Rewards: 2% rewards on all purchases.

Sign-Up Bonus: None

Annual Fee: $0

Annual Percentage Rate: Variable 15.24% APR on purchases and balance transfers.

Why We Picked It: Cardholders can put their cash rewards directly toward a Fidelity 529 plan.
For Your 529:
You’ll earn 2% cash back on every eligible purchase, which can be deposited directly into a Fidelity-managed 529 account. Every $2,500 you spend equals a $50 deposit to your 529.
Drawbacks:
If you don’t have a Fidelity account, you won’t see much value from this card.

 

  1. College Counts 529 Rewards Visa

Rewards: 1.529% rewards on all purchases.

Sign-Up Bonus: None

Annual Fee: $15

APR: Variable 12.4% APR on purchases and balance transfers.

Why We Picked It: All purchases earn rewards for your CollegeCounts 529 plan.
For Your 529:
Every purchase earns 1.529% cash back, which is automatically deposited in your CollegeCounts 529 on a quarterly basis if you’ve accumulated at least $50 in rewards. You can recruit friends and family, too – they can sign up for a card and earn rewards for your plan.
Drawbacks:
There’s a $15 annual fee.

  1. Bright Directions 529 Rewards Visa

Rewards: 1.529% rewards on every purchase.

Sign-Up Bonus: None

Annual Fee: $15

APR: Variable 12.4% APR on purchases and balance transfers.

Why We Picked It: This card earns rewards for Bright Directions 529 accounts.
For Your 529:
You’ll earn 1.529% cash back on every purchase. Cash back is deposited in your Bright Horizons 529 on a quarterly basis, provided you’ve earned at least $50 in rewards. Like the CollegeCounts card, family and friends can get in on the action, too.
Drawbacks:
There’s a $15 annual fee.

Choosing a Credit Card to Boost Your 529

If you don’t yet have a 529 plan, credit card rewards should only be a secondary concern. Look for a plan that offers the best features and helps you reach your college savings goals. Remember, many state 529 plans have no residency requirements, so you can participate across state lines and the student can attend any school of their choosing.

Credit cards that let you directly deposit your rewards in a 529 account do offer a convenience factor, but many 529 plans don’t have that option. Remember, you can use any cash back rewards card to save for college. Simply redeem your cash back for a check or bank deposit, then put those funds directly in your 529.

If you decide to get a conventional cash back card, find one that fits the way you spend. If you frequent many merchant types, you might want a card that offers a flat cash back rate on all purchases. If you only use your credit card for certain purchase types (e.g. supermarkets or gas), try to find a card that rewards those specific purchases.

What Is Required to Get a Credit Card for College Savings?

Cards with strong rewards usually require good to excellent credit. Before you apply, you should check your credit score to make sure you meet the requirements. You can check your credit score for free at Credit.com.

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Note: It’s important to remember that interest rates, fees, and terms for credit cards, loans, and other financial products frequently change. As a result, rates, fees, and terms for credit cards, loans, and other financial products cited in these articles may have changed since the date of publication. Please be sure to verify current rates, fees, and terms with credit card issuers, banks, or other financial institutions directly.

 

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