Those who behave responsibly with their money are finding that, between very low savings yields and stock market volatility, earning returns is quite difficult.
Enjoying the rewards for your smart financial decisions has never been tougher.
Which is why it's refreshing to see SaveUp, a startup trying to reward consumers for saving money and getting out of debt.
How SaveUp Works
SaveUp started in 2011, and offers a rewards program for those who want to save their money. The web site recognizes that many rewards programs are based on spending. Whether you are spending money with a credit card rewards program, or with the help of a debit program like PerkStreet, the idea is that you are rewarded for getting rid of your money — not saving it.
In order to change that dynamic, SaveUp decided to offer rewards for saving money and paying down debt. You link your accounts to SaveUp (much as you would with a site like Mint.com), and the startup monitors them. As your online savings accounts balances improve, and as you reduce your debt, you earn points. It's that simple. SaveUp also features educational videos and surveys that can help you earn points. And, if you refer others to the program, you also earn points.
Once you start earning points, you can enter various drawings for a chance to win prizes. Unfortunately, this rewards program doesn't guarantee that you will get anything. You have three plays each day, and you can use your points to enter drawings that are instant win, as well as as monthly drawings.
SaveUp also has a $2 million jackpot available.
The points/credits you earn only allow you to enter the drawings, though. It's not a shopping-type experience where you can use your points to “buy” specific items.
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SaveUp is able to offer these prizes, and be free for users, because some of the prizes are provided by partners. Additionally, there is a lead aspect to it, since you answer financial questions, or click through on product suggestions. SaveUp is paid for these items as well. If you are uncomfortable having your accounts linked through an outside site, or if you don't want to be part of a lead generation situation, this may not be the rewards program for you.
If you need a little more encouragement with reaching your savings goals, SaveUp can be a great option. SaveUp rewards you for good financial behaviors, and it makes it easy to track your progress. Plus, you have the chance to win great prizes. It's unfortunate that you can't directly redeem your points for rewards, and that you can only redeem them for drawing entries, but since you aren't paying anything, it's no real loss — except of time.
It's an interesting idea, and perhaps in the future SaveUp will be able to begin adding more direct rewards. But, for now, it can be a fun way to join a community, encourage your good savings habit, and perhaps even win some really cool prizes. Who knows, maybe you'll even win the $2 million jackpot.
Jeff: Save Up has been on radar for quite some time as I was intrigued with the concept. It's hard to knock a company that inspires those to save more and get out debt. They've made a special offer to Good Financial Cents readers for 100 points if you sign up through my site. What more of an incentive do you need? 🙂
Sign up for your free Saveup account now and thank me later.