Gradsave Groupon: $50 Towards Any 529 College Savings Plan For $30

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Groupon is currently offering a $50 Gradsave gift card for $30, which can be redeemed for a $50 deposit into any national 529 college savings plan. So if you’re already meaning to contribute some money towards a 529 plan, it’s basically at least $20 in free money. Thanks to reader Jon for the tip. Gradsave ran a similar promotion earlier and I successfully got it transferred to my daughter’s existing Ohio CollegeAdvantage 529 plan. It may take a couple of weeks.

Expires 60 days after purchase. Limit 1 per person, may buy 3 additional as gifts. Limit 1 per customer, beneficiary, account, savings plan, or 529 plan. Online only. New customers only. Cannot be combined with any other discounts or offers.

You can save a little extra on your Groupon deals with cashback shopping portals like eBates ($10 new customer bonus), Mr. Rebates ($5 bonus), and BigCrumbs. This should also count towards the Alaska Air promo I posted yesterday.

Also, 529 contributions can be taken out without penalty. If you withdraw any earnings for unqualified expenses, then you will be subject to income taxes as well as a 10% penalty. You can even set yourself up as the beneficiary if you have qualified educational expenses now or coming up (computer equipment counts if you’re a student). I’m just tucking it away for the kiddo.

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  1. Thanks, Jonathan! I took advantage of this deal this morning. I linked my son’s 529 to the GradSave account. I was a little unclear about what happens next. Will the $50 be transferred to his 529 automatically next month (although it may take a while to post to his 529)?

  2. so if we have more than one child, can we buy two or three or four?

  3. Sofaking Nuts says


    Just wanted your opinion on which you thought was a better vehicle for college savings, a 529 or a Roth? IMO, I don’t see how a 529 is better unless you’re contributing to your state’s plan and are receiving tax benefits.

    For our young son my wife and I contribute to our previously-established Roth accounts because of the flexibility – if our son (and potential future children) either didn’t want to attend an institution of higher learning or earned scholarships we could use the money for ourselves in retirement. If we needed to use this money to pay for education, distributions from the Roth prior to age 59 1/2 aren’t subject to any tax.

  4. Hi,

    I took this promo before. For me to take this promo again, it is possible to create a new gradsave account and contirbute to the same 529 plan as it says new customer only..

    Any idea?


  5. Also, if you go through Upromise to buy the groupon, you get 8% back into a 529. Basically an extra $4 on top of the free $20.

  6. Note “New customers only”. Does it mean that anyone who used GradSave before is not eligible?

  7. Jonathan, can you go through the mechanics of how this works. I just want to make sure there is no execution risk on doing this. I also have an Ohio 529 plan. Thanks.

  8. @Lynn – If you log into your Gradsave account and deposit your gift card into a linked plan, it should say something to the effect of making contributions automatically. I think they run it twice per month, around the 1st and 15th.

    @michael – My interpretation of the rules is that you can by one for child #1, you can buy a gift for say grandparent #1 that they could use for child #2, buy another gift for grandparent #2 for child #3, and so on.

    @Sofaking – Well, my opinion is that Roth contribution limits are so low that you should max them out for your retirement if at all possible. Then you’re out of space so the 529 is the next best thing. If you have other retirement income sources such that you don’t need to save anymore, then you could use Roth I suppose.

  9. @JR – Well, again my interpretation is that you could buy a gift to grandparent #1 who would contribute to a new 529 that wasn’t previously linked to Gradsave. You could also help out grandparent #1 by setting up their account for them if they don’t want to do it themselves.

    @shannon – Good point. Upromise also works with Ohio CollegeAdvantage 529 plan now according to a recent letter I got.

    @D M – Yes, it appears to be limited to new users. You are however allowed to buy them as gifts for other relatives that may want to support your children.

    @Hi – Gradsave is basically a gift registry for 529s. You link an existing 529, redeem the $50 towards that kids goal with the linked 529, and in a week or two the money is deposited as a contribution into the linked 529.

  10. I tried it , but wasn’ t able to . Read the fine print…limit 1 per beneficiary. So if you did it in the past, you cannot use this Groupon for the same child.

  11. I’m a first time customer and purchased through my Discover Card shopping portal to get 15% cash back. Super easy to setup account and link 529. Only a few clicks to get it done; almost as easy as picking up a $20 ($24.50) off the ground 🙂

  12. @Jonathan,
    How do I link GradSave to my NY state 529 account and earn the $50 deposit?

  13. SF Maven,

    I found if I clicked from Shop Discover, the price was $35 instead of $30. When I clicked from the first embedded link of this posting, the price was $30. Besides, shop discover says, “•Offer is not valid in combination with any offers found outside ShopDiscover”.

    So, do you still think it is better to buy this deal from shop discover?


  14. @Jonathan,
    I figured it out and have linked my NY State saving plan in the GradSave.

    1. Can I buy two $50 Gradsave coupons and transfer into my two kids’ 520 accounts, $50 for each?
    2. Can my wife buy two $50 Gradsave coupons (she needs to open an GradSave account beforehand) and transfer $50 into each of our two kids’ 529 account?


  15. GradSave is absolutely the most unresponsive and hard to deal with financial company ever conceived. Their product is valueless. Buy these Groupons at your own risk.

  16. Just fyi, Louisiana START program doesn’t participate, so you can’t link with it.

  17. I bought two coupons, $50 each, for my kids. I immedaietely deposited through and am waiting to see the results. If you guys hated the Gradsave poor experience, it is better you posted very early so that I will simply give up Gradsave. Now it is too late. I am keeping my finger crossed.

  18. Just purchased and set up with NY plan. Thanks

  19. I purchased on 10/8, and had the gift card by end of day. After creating a gradsave account, the $50 was applied and set to deposit into my account. The deposit reached my account on 10/15! That seemed pretty painless. Hopefully they learned from the livingsocial debacle earlier in the year.

    Deposits are on the 1st and 15th of every month.

  20. Contribution was made. Took about a week.

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