SmarterBucks® Review – A Rewards Program Geared Toward Student Loans

smarterbank reviewHere is my SmarterBucks review.  I hope you enjoy!

If you have been living under a rock, then you might now know that student loan debt has skyrocketed in the last decade or more.  As of the latest numbers, outstanding student loan debt just in the United States is over $1 trillion.  That is right, I said $1 TRILLION!  Higher education has become harder to reach for those in the middle and lower class because of the increased tuition in almost every university.  With higher unemployment, people are going back to school to get a different education, but they have to borrow in order to do it.  This is a problem and there doesn’t seem to be an end in sight.  Since student loans seem to be inevitable, what do you do in order to kick student loan debt in the pants?


With so many people struggling with student loan debt, a solution was needed.  Well, thanks to SmarterBucks, there is finally a solution that will help people make extra student loan payments.  Anyone knows that if you make extra loan payments, then you will pay off your loan quicker and you will pay less in interest.  That is a win/win situation.  Let me break down my review of SmarterBucks, so you can see if it is right for you.

SmarterBucks is a rewards program that provides you with ways to earn rewards that can then be applied to your student loan debt.  This program is dedicated to helping your pay off your student loan debt.  You can sign up for free if you have student loans, or you can sign up for a friend or family member.  Your rewards can then be given to another member of SmarterBucks.  With the help of friends and family, you can get out of student loan debt faster.

Ways to Earn with SmarterBucks

  • Marketplace – The SmarterBucks marketplace is a list of online retailers that will provide you with rewards back after a purchase.  You can earn up to 10% back that will then be applied to your student loans.  When you go shopping online, all you have to do is sign into your account and then click through to the retailers website.  Once you make a purchase, you will receive SmarterBucks back into your account.
  • SmarterBucks Exclusives – These are random ways to maximize your earnings.  You will be notified of special offers that can provide you with more than the usual rewards back.  It is an easy way to earn more rewards.
  • Gifted Rewards and Contributions – One unique thing about SmarterBucks is that you don’t have to have student loan debt in order to sign up.  You can sign up to help a friend or family member earn rewards.  You can also invite your friends and family to create accounts and earn rewards.  Rewards can be applied to another member’s loans and that will increase the amount of rewards earned.
  • Giveaways – Each member is automatically entered in a monthly giveaway that provides money for your student loan repayment.  The amounts will be different, but it is a simple way to earn more rewards if you win.

Smarterbucks review giveaway

Introducing SmarterBank

smarterbank review debit cardSmarterBucks decided that they wanted to provide you with more ways to earn rewards.  They teamed up with Bancorp to provide a new checking account product for their members.

You can sign up for this checking account and it will give you unlimited 0.5% back in SmarterBucks and 1.0% back on all purchases over $100.  You only can earn SmarterBucks on Non-Pin purchases.  What this means is that when you use your card, you just choose credit instead of debit.  You earn these rewards on top of any rewards that you earn through your SmarterBucks account.

SmarterBank offers a Visa debit card with many of the great features of a regular checking account.  Here are the features of the SmarterBank checking account.

smarterbank review checking account features

SmarterBucks Review Conclusion

After hearing so much about how bad student loan debt has become, I am really happy to create this SmarterBucks review.  I think both SmarterBucks and SmarterBank are great ways to earn rewards to pay off your loans.  If you combine them together, you can accelerate your loan repayment and become debt free sooner.  By harnessing the power of your regular daily purchases to not create more debt, but tear down your debt balloon.  If you are in student loan debt, then I would recommend that you sign up for SmarterBucks and apply for the SmarterBank checking account.

Would you use a rewards program and checking account like that offered by SmarterBucks and SmarterBank?

Disclaimer: I am an affiliate of SmarterBank.  If you were to choose to open an account, I would get a small commission.  This relationship has no bearing on my opinion of the service, as I only affiliate myself with services I use or would recommend to others.  The commission helps me cover the cost of hosting Debt Roundup.

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Grayson Bell

Grayson Bell

I'm a business owner, blogger, father, and husband. I used credit cards too much and found myself in over $75,000 in debt ($50,000 in just credit cards). I paid it off, started this blog, and my financial life has changed. I now talk about fighting debt and growing wealth here. I run a WordPress maintenance and support company, along with another blog. It is Empowered Shopper, which helps people get information about products they want to buy. You can also check out Eyes on the Dollar, which is a great blog that I co-own.


  1. April 24, 2013 at 7:26 am — Reply

    Smarterbucks is a pretty cool company! What a great way to save just through your regular spending.

    • April 24, 2013 at 10:14 am — Reply

      It makes it easy for people with student loan debt to get it together.

  2. April 24, 2013 at 7:31 am — Reply

    Okay this sounds like a really legit idea, especially since I have a decent amount of student loan debt. I will definitely be checking this out!

    • April 24, 2013 at 10:14 am — Reply

      It is a legit company DC. You should definitely check it out to see if it would work for you.

  3. April 24, 2013 at 8:00 am — Reply

    It definitely sounds like a cool idea, especially if you have student loan debt. Every little bit extra thrown at it can only help you in the long run in order to get it knocked out faster.

    • April 24, 2013 at 10:15 am — Reply

      It is money that is just sitting there waiting to be used. Why not earn for your regular spending. It is like a credit card rewards program, but it just works for your student loans.

  4. April 24, 2013 at 9:58 am — Reply

    Cool review. I’m excited about this…it’s not often I find companies that I’ve never heard of that sound really cool. Thanks for the review.

    • April 24, 2013 at 10:15 am — Reply

      Thanks Joe. I really appreciate it.

  5. Jenny @ Frugal Guru Guide
    April 24, 2013 at 12:23 pm — Reply

    Wouldn’t it be better to get a more generous rewards program and use that money toward your loans? .5% isn’t much.

    • April 24, 2013 at 12:29 pm — Reply

      Where are you going to get a more generous rewards program? The .5% is just for the debit card and below $100, which can be used in tandem with the SmarterBucks online shopping rewards which can be up to 10%. If you are thinking about credit card rewards, this is just a bad idea. You don’t want to tell people to pay off debt with putting on more debt. Also, many of the top rewards programs out there for credit cards are not true cash back, they are statement credits, so you wouldn’t be able to put those savings toward your student loans.

      The purpose of this program is to reward you for your everyday spending and help out a little more than what you would do regularly. Small rewards are much better than no rewards.

  6. April 24, 2013 at 3:17 pm — Reply

    Always a skeptic, I’d have to explore more first but this sounds great. As I’ve recently confessed, I made my college decision based on scholarships and graduated without any debt. But if I can sign up and help out friends in debt that is a really amazing feature. I’ll have to explore it!

    • April 24, 2013 at 3:19 pm — Reply

      You should always be skeptical until you can research it for yourself. The help pay friends and family debt is a pretty awesome feature and one that will go a long way.

  7. April 24, 2013 at 4:13 pm — Reply

    Interesting. So essentially it’s like a rewards program but instead of using the rewards to buy gas, plane tickets, groceries, make-up, cologne.. bla bla like other reward programs it goes towards your student loans.

    • April 24, 2013 at 6:04 pm — Reply

      Essentially that is correct. This gives you the motivation to not spend your rewards on stuff you don’t need.

  8. April 24, 2013 at 4:34 pm — Reply

    Looks legit Grayson, I’ll have to check it out further. We have some debt left, sadly. The student loan bubble just keeps growing. It’s too bad…

    Thanks for a great review.

    • April 24, 2013 at 6:04 pm — Reply

      Thanks Jacob. The student loan bubble will continue to grow as long as tuition rates go unchecked.

  9. April 24, 2013 at 7:13 pm — Reply

    I’ve seen a lot of chatter about smarter bucks and need to take a closer look at it, but I appreciate hearing your thoughts about it. While we no longer have our own student loans (we’re old! 🙂 our girls are too young!) I certainly have clients this could benefit. It sounds like a great plan to help ease the pain of student loans. It scares me to see 1 trillion dollars in student debt today and worry what it will be like when our kids are ready for college.

    • April 24, 2013 at 9:13 pm — Reply

      Hopefully you can suggest it as a new way for your clients to help pay down student loan debt. It is free and an easy way to do it.

  10. April 24, 2013 at 8:40 pm — Reply

    Oddly enough I have never heard of Smarter Bucks but it looks like a great program for college students. Hopefully it’ll be around when my kids decide to go to school.

    • April 24, 2013 at 9:12 pm — Reply

      Well, hopefully you won’t need a program like this when your kids get into and out of school.

  11. April 24, 2013 at 9:21 pm — Reply

    Good review! It’s a good thing anytime you can accelerate the paying off of student loan debt. Thankfully, I’ve already taken care of mine. Now I just have to make sure my kids don’t need to take on debt to go to college.

    • April 24, 2013 at 9:36 pm — Reply

      Thanks Brian. Making sure your kids don’t need to take on any debt is harder than it ever has been.

  12. Justin
    April 24, 2013 at 10:21 pm — Reply

    I’m glad to see that debit cards are finally offering reward programs. They’ll probably never be on par with a credit card reward, but it’s a good way to help people save money. Especially with student loan debt.

    • April 25, 2013 at 11:20 am — Reply

      There are very few that offer rewards, but I know a lot of credit unions do. This is just a good way to put a dent in the student loans.

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