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529 $26 Bonus from Living Social and GradSave

A longtime reader, Kelly let me know about an easy Free Money [1] Friday deal!

You can get a free $26 for your 529 plan through Living Social and GradSave [2]. But you’ll have to hurry, the offer expires in 4 days.

Kelly, being the great Aunt that she is, asked me to look into the deal. Thanks to Kelly, I signed up and scored a free $26 for each one of my kids.

How to Get Your Sign Up Bonus

  1. Buy a GradSave gift card [2] for $24 at LivingSocial by January 22, 2013.
  2. Redeem your gift card for $50 at GradSave.
  3. Link and redeem your GradSave money with any nationwide 529 savings plan, prepaid tuition, or other state tuition savings plan.
  4. Get your $50 in your linked account within 14 business days.

Terms and Conditions

  • Limit 1 per customer, up to 5 additional as gifts.
  • Limit 1 voucher per customer, beneficiary, account, savings plan, or 529 plan.
  • Limit 1 per transaction; cannot be combined.
  • Entire value must be used in a single visit.

More on GradSave

What is GradSave? GradSave is not a 529 plan, but rather an “online college savings registry”. Basically, you can tell friends and family about it and they can make gifts that will go towards you kids 529 plan. Think of it as the middleman collecting and sending out money for you.

Refer Your Friends. After you buy your gift card at Living Social [2], you can share a special link. You’ll get your gift card for free if 3 friends buy one.

Multiple Kids. To open and get a bonus for each kid, you can set up multiple profiles in your GradSave account. Then you can link each child’s profile to their 529 plan. I bought 3 vouchers, one for each of my kids. I’m still debating whether or not I’m going to try to buy one for the 529 plans that list me and my husband as beneficiaries…

Cash Back. You can get 2% cash back on the deal for your Living social purchases via Mr. Rebates [3] and Ebates [4].

GradSave Going Forward

Kelly also wanted to know about using GradSave going forward. As with many startups, we see them come and go, so I don’t know how long they’ll be around after we all redeem our vouchers. However, based on the fees [5] which I think are way too high (charging over 3% to contribute via check is absurd!) you probably won’t want to use them after the deal anyways.

You are better off to contribute directly to a 529 plan with no fees after you redeem your free money from the Living Social deal [2].

Thanks again Kelly for sharing!