Upgrade Card Review: The Credit Card You Pay Off Like a Loan

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4.6
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Quick Take: The Upgrade Card is a hybrid financial solution that provides a credit line from $500 to $50,000. It can be a convenient credit card alternative for individuals planning to make a more significant purchase or shift toward more responsible credit behavior.
  • Fees
    5.0
  • Credit Score Requirement
    4.4
  • Unlimited Cash Back Offer
    4.3
How did we calculate this?

Pros

  • Unlimited 1.5% cash back on payments when you use it at retail locations or online
  • Fixed rates and terms
  • No annual fees
  • Easy and fast application process

Cons

  • You can't use it at ATMs
  • Changes to your credit score or other factors may affect the availability of your credit
  • Potentially high APR rates

Upgrade Card Overview 

Created by the American fintech company Upgrade, the Upgrade Card is a unique financial product that combines the advantages of a credit card and a personal loan. The card comes with a personal line of credit ranging from $500 to $50,000.

While it offers the convenience and flexibility of a traditional credit card, Upgrade Card balances have a fixed rate and term. The card features annual percentage rates of 14.99% to 29.99% variable, depending on the user’s credit score, credit usage history, amount requested and other factors.

The Upgrade Card is issued by Sutton Bank. You can use it to make purchases online or at retail locations and transfer funds to a bank account. 

Key Features 

Here are some of the noteworthy features the Upgrade Card has to offer. 

Fees

One of the most significant advantages of the Upgrade Card is that it has no activation fee, annual fee, late fee or foreign transaction fees. The only cost users may encounter is a fee of 5% of any ACH transfer to a bank account.

Credit Score Requirement

While Upgrade checks your credit report upon application, the company doesn’t disclose a minimum credit score requirement on its website. The terms of the card and some reviews on Trustpilot suggest that even applicants with a fair or good FICO credit score can successfully qualify. 

Cash-Back Offers 

The amount of cash back that users can earn after they pay for their purchases depends on the type of their Upgrade Card.

  • The standard Cash Rewards Upgrade Card offers an unlimited 1.5% cash back on all payments.
     
  • The Life Rewards Upgrade Card offers an unlimited 3% cash back on purchases associated with gas, groceries, health, streaming and utilities and an unlimited 1% cash back on everything else. 
     
  • The Triple Cash Rewards Upgrade Card offers an unlimited 3% cash back on home, auto and health purchases and an unlimited 1% cash back on everything else. 
     
  • The Upgrade OneCard offers an unlimited 3% cash back on everyday items and services and an unlimited 2% cash back on everything else. 
     
  • The Bitcoin Rewards Upgrade Card offers an unlimited 1.5% back in bitcoin after all payments.

How the Upgrade Card Stands Out

The Upgrade Card is a unique alternative to credit cards, as it provides both convenient everyday use and fixed rates. With no annual fees and a simple application process, it can be a quick and easy solution for individuals looking for more personal funds. 

Comparable Upgrade Card Options 

Before applying for a personal line of credit, it’s essential to consider all the viable options. Here’s a closer look at some of the most significant competitors of the Upgrade Card.

SoFi Credit Card

The SoFi Credit Card offers 3% cash-back rewards for a year if you set up a direct deposit and 2% cash back after the first year. The application process is fast and straightforward, and individuals can get a digital card immediately. The card comes with Mastercard® benefits, including theft protection, free credits and memberships to partnering services.

On the downside, users need to set up a SoFi account or a SoFi Banking account to enjoy the full potential of the redeemable rewards. While the Sofi Credit Card has no application or annual fee, some transaction and penalty fees apply. 

QuicksilverOne From Capital One

The QuicksilverOne Card is an excellent alternative for individuals with at least a fair credit score. Users can earn 1.5% cash back on every purchase along with numerous other benefits. 

However, APR rates are higher than average, and there’s an annual fee of $39. Some additional fees may also apply in certain cases.

How To Apply

To apply for an Upgrade Card, you need to provide some basic personal information, your annual income and permission to access your credit report. After that, Upgrade will immediately show you what credit lines you qualify for, and you can complete the brief online application.

If your application is successful, you will receive your Upgrade Card in 7 to 10 business days.  

Who the Upgrade Card Is Best For

The Upgrade Card is best for individuals looking for an easy and fast solution to finance a bigger purchase or improve and maintain a good credit score.

Final Take

The Upgrade Card is a reliable, relatively low-cost alternative to credit cards. While some credit cards and personal loans come with more flexible terms or lower rates, the Upgrade Card provides a fast and predictable solution with a simple application process.

FAQ

Here are the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about the Upgrade Card.
  • What is an Upgrade Card?
    • The Upgrade Card was created by the American fintech company Upgrade. It's associated with a personal line of credit and has fixed rates and terms.
  • Is the Upgrade Card an actual credit card?
    • The Upgrade Card is a hybrid solution that combines some of the features of a credit card and a personal loan. While it's similar to a credit card in many ways, it doesn't function as one.
  • What can you use your Upgrade Card on?
    • You can use your Upgrade Card to make purchases online and at retail locations or transfer funds to your bank account.
  • What credit score do you need to apply for an Upgrade Card?
    • The company doesn't specify a minimum credit score requirement to apply for an Upgrade Card. However, it's safe to assume that you'll need a fair or good credit score to be eligible for it.

Rates are subject to change; unless otherwise noted, rates are updated periodically. All other information on accounts is accurate as of Jan. 5, 2023. 

Editorial Note: This content is not provided by any entity covered in this article. Any opinions, analyses, reviews, ratings or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author alone and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any entity named in this article.

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