SaveUp Partners with Banks to Reward Saving, Not Spending
by Leslie Meredith, TechNewsDaily Senior Writer
November 02 2011 04:36 PM ET
Hana Yang, a student in San Francisco, Calif., was one of the first SaveUp winners. "Saveup makes saving money and paying down debts fun and definitely more rewarding," she said after receiving a new iPad 2.
It’s no surprise that banks reward customers for spending, but a new partnership launched this week rewards people for thrifty behavior such as adding to their savings accounts or paying down credit balances.
Americans could use the help. Twenty-seven percent of workers said they had less than $1,000 in savings http://personal-finance-software-review.toptenreviews.com/index.html, an increase of 7 percent over 2009 figures, according to survey conducted by the Employee Benefit Research Institute in March 2010.
As of today’s launch, nine banks and credit unions are participating in the SaveUp pilot program, including Bank of the West, Spectrum Federal Credit Union and Plastyc UPside Visa prepaid card. In addition, SaveUp has partnerships with more than 18,000 financial institutions in the U.S., so determined savers can participate in the program by registering on the SaveUp website if it is not offered from their bank. Once registered, participants can begin earning credits toward what Priya Haji, CEO and co-founder of SaveUp, called “life-changing” prizes.
SaveUp prizes were selected to turn spenders into savers. Each month, SaveUp will draw the name of a participant who will then be eligible for a $2 million jackpot. “What’s exciting is that our winners will have won because of their own positive financial actions," Haji told TechNewsDaily. "But more importantly, the winner will be a great example that making small right actions every day will not only create future security, but also possibly make you a millionaire!”
Beyond the jackpot, participants are eligible to win new wardrobes, full college tuition, trips, electronics and store gift cards. Daily and weekly drawings will be held with prizes worth up to $50,000. The more credits a participant earns, the more chances he or she has of winning. For instance, one credit is awarded for each dollar of debt reduction on car loans, mortgages and student loans and for every dollar added to checking accounts. Watching an educational video earns 30 credits. Prizes are paid for through advertising and sponsorships with companies such as Virgin America.