Add another program to the recent innovations aimed at helping students get rid of their student debt.
SmarterBank offers college students and grads a way to pay off their loans through rewards earned every time they shop.
Much like a cash-back credit card, SmarterBucks rewards are accrued through debit cards linked to their student loan accounts. Rewards are on the small side, with just one .5 per cent for the first $100 spent and 1 per cent back on purchases past that point.
In short, in order to gain a little you have to spend a lot.
While SmarterBank is not a real bank, its affiliation with Bancorp allows it to offer services like online banking and bill pay, mobile alerts, and a free Visa debit card.
But because the rewards are accrued through debit purchases, the person needs to have that disposable income sitting in their accounts—not always the case for the average college student.
What’s more, despite the absence of a maintenance fee, students are charged a $4.95 inactivity fee if they don’t make a purchase during the month. The bright side is that parents and relatives can also contribute to the account by linking their debit cards.