DEAL DEAD – Gift of College w/o a 529 plan

Introduction

I had heard of these Gift of College cards from FM a while back.  I read through the post, but didn’t think much of it since I didn’t have a college loan or a 529 plan.  Well it turns out that once again, if you think out of the box, there was a way to liquidate these without any of those plans.  The secret – a Upromise Goalsaver account.  You essentially send the money from the GOC to the Goalsaver account, which you can then withdraw to yourself (or the like, but I don’t have first hand experience with this.) By the time I was ready to lock and load on this, when the $500 GoC’s appeared online last month, the GOC web site actually removed the Upgromise Goalsaver as an option.  At the time, if you had already set it up, you were still grandfathered into it.  Well it appears they sent out this memo last week:

As of 8/8/17, we will no longer be accepting gifts towards Sallie Mae’s Upromise GoalSaver or High Yield Savings accounts.

Gift of College will only be working with 529 plans and student loan accounts.

If you have any gift cards that you would like to redeem towards one of these accounts, please redeem them by 11:59pm (MST) on 8/8/17.

Thank you for being a GiftofCollege.com Member!

 

Lessons Learned

Even when you think you aren’t qualified for a deal, you should try it anyway just in case.

  • It was a good run, I tapered off when the various online outlets kept drying up while I was still in NY and the handful of Toys R Us express stores didn’t stock them.

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  • Joe

    i hit GoC very hard at the end of the last year and beginning of this year — as we were planning to pay off her remaining school debt anyways. (we have 3 young kids). My spouse and myself each went through a mini AOR for this … each a CSR, Arrival +, Merrill +, Amex Plat Biz, Marriot Biz. We cleared about $80K in all — maxing out 2 years of 529s at 10K per kid and paid off the rest of my spouse’s school debt … The reason we really hit it so hard is that the store thought the gift cards were kites (go figure) and were paying us 4% back in store rewards. Mainly ended up buying NES classics, 3DS XLs, and tons of video games that went on ebay. Was able to convert that 4% back in store rewards into mostly cash. But like you I’m not going to tell the story until the opportunity is dead.

    • Miles per Day

      Oh man, I didn’t even know those were earning rewards. Now I’m really kicking myself. Talk about a huge play.

  • Carl Pietrantonio

    Vinh, You can still use these in another way. IF you have someone you know PAYING student loans, have them give YOU the money, buy the GoC and then they send the GoC data to the Student Loan. They pay their bill and you get some points. Not the best deal but another way, anyhow. (I have a kid with student loans)

    • Miles per Day

      Haha I wouldn’t trust my friends with money like that.