Upgrade Bitcoin Rewards Card: 1.5% Back in Bitcoin, but Crypto Rewards Are Volatile

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Upgrade Bitcoin Rewards Visa®
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Upgrade Bitcoin Rewards Visa®
Apply Now externa link icon At Upgrade’s secure site. See Rates & Fees, Terms Apply.
Upgrade Bitcoin Rewards Visa®
  • Intro offer:
    $200 bonus
  • Annual fee:
  • Regular APR:
    14.99% – 29.99%
  • Recommended credit score:
    670-850 (Good to Excellent)
Rewards rate:

1.5% back in bitcoin when you make payments

NextAdvisor’s Take

  • Earn 1.5% back in Bitcoin as you make payments on your card
  • Fixed payments each month can help you save on interest if you carry a balance
  • No annual fee
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Potential for high APR
  • Not available in every state
  • Rewards can fluctuate in value based on market trends
The Bottom Line
The no annual fee Upgrade Bitcoin Rewards Card lets you earn Bitcoin on your spending instead of traditional rewards points. You’ll earn 1.5% back in Bitcoin as you pay your credit card balance off (not as you spend). But this card is not the best option for earning rewards on spending or for investing in crypto. You’ll find better rewards rates from other issuers and better avenues to invest in Bitcoin from other exchanges, so we wouldn’t recommend it for most people.

Additional Card Details

  • Bitcoin is added to your account 1-2 statement periods after your payment, and the value is based on market prices at that time
  • If you sell the Bitcoin you earn, you’ll pay a 1.5% transaction fee, deducted from the sale
  • APR of 14.99% to 29.99%
  • Credit lines range from $500 to $25,000
  • Pay down balances with a fixed interest rate and set monthly payments
  • Not available in several states: Hawaii, Iowa, New Hampshire, North Carolina, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and the District of Columbia

Upgrade Bitcoin Rewards Card Full Review

Card Type

The Upgrade Bitcoin Rewards Card is a rewards credit card, and one of a few cryptocurrency-earning credit card options that have hit the market in the last few years. 

Annual Fee

This card does not charge an annual fee.

Welcome Offer

This card offers a welcome bonus equal to $200 in bitcoin on your Upgrade Card account after opening a Rewards Checking account and making 3 debit card transactions*. Many cash back card options also offer welcome bonuses, without the requirement of an additional account.


The Upgrade Bitcoin Rewards Card offers 1.5% back in Bitcoin as you make payments on your card. This makes it different from other rewards cards that offer points or cash back as you make purchases.

There are limitations to your Bitcoin earnings. To start, your assets are held by crypto platform NYDIG, and you won’t have the option to move them to your personal wallet storage or another crypto exchange. Bitcoin you earn is purchased within 1-2 statement periods of you paying down your balance; this can make a difference in your rewards value, since Bitcoin’s price is highly volatile. Finally, if you decide to sell the Bitcoin holdings you earn as rewards, you’ll pay a 1.5% transaction fee, which is deducted from the sale price. You’ll receive the amount from your sale as a statement credit.


The Upgrade Bitcoin Rewards Card doesn’t charge an annual fee or any foreign transaction fees. It doesn’t charge any late fees, either. If you decide to use the card to send cash to your bank account, you won’t be charged a cash advance fee.

The card charges APRs that range from 14.99% to 29.99% depending on your creditworthiness. If you’re unable to pay your statement in full, you’ll be assigned a fixed monthly payment plan at a fixed rate to pay down the balance.

And if you decide you want to sell your Bitcoin holdings you earn as rewards, don’t forget the 1.5% transaction fee you’ll incur for the sale.

Other Benefits

This card doesn’t have a ton of added benefits. However, it is a Visa Signature card, which comes with some purchase and travel protection perks. You can find specific Visa Signature benefits associated with your card within the card agreement you’ll receive upon approval.

Benefits of the Upgrade Bitcoin Rewards Card

If you have been wanting to get into crypto but haven’t yet taken the plunge, the Upgrade Bitcoin Rewards Card lets you experiment without committing your own cash. 

Instead of earning traditional rewards with a cash back credit card, this card gives you 1.5% back in Bitcoin as you make monthly payments. That’s not the highest return on your spending available, but flat rewards can help you maximize every dollar.

Upgrade also offers a unique fixed installment system for paying down balances for a flat rate and fixed monthly payment, more like a personal loan than traditional credit card. It’s always best to avoid spending more than you can afford and paying your balance in full and on time each month, but this repayment program can help you save on interest compared to some other cards.

Drawbacks of Upgrade Bitcoin Rewards Card

There are several drawbacks to consider with the Upgrade Bitcoin Rewards Card, including the fact that 1.5% back is a less than optimal rewards rate. There are quite a few rewards credit cards that dole out 2% back on everything you buy. And remember, you could always earn 2% back or more and use your rewards to buy Bitcoin in a separate transaction.

This card charges a 1.5% transaction fee to sell your Bitcoin for cash, which is deducted from the proceeds of your Bitcoin sale. If you sell bitcoin worth $100, for example, you would receive only a $98.50 statement credit on your account after this fee is taken out.

Another detail that could matter to crypto traders is that your rewards are stuck in the wallet associated with your card account through NYDIG. This means you cannot transfer your bitcoin to any other crypto wallet you have, and it will be tied to your credit card account until you cash it out for statement credits.

Pro Tip

If you want to maximize the Upgrade Bitcoin Rewards Card, consider holding your Bitcoin earnings for the long haul.

The most important thing to keep in mind when earning cryptocurrency as rewards is the volatility compared to other rewards. A card with 1.5% cash back or 1.5x rewards within an issuer’s rewards program will offer a generally standard value, but the price of Bitcoin is highly volatile. Your 1.5% return may be worth much more or much less, depending on market fluctuations. That’s why, when it comes to holding cryptocurrency in general, experts recommend keeping no more than 5% of your overall portfolio in crypto.

How to Use Upgrade Bitcoin Rewards Card

Before you decide to apply for an Upgrade Bitcoin Rewards Card, make sure you’re eligible based on your location. This card is not available to residents of the following states: Hawaii, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and the District of Columbia.

If you are eligible and decide to apply, you can maximize the card by using it for all of your regular spending to earn the flat 1.5% rate. Just make sure to spend only what you can afford to pay off when your balance is due. You’ll avoid interest costs and accrue awards more efficiently, since Bitcoin rewards aren’t applied to your account until you pay down your purchases.

And when it comes to the Bitcoin rewards you earn, consider them as a long-term investment. Many proponents of Bitcoin believe in its long-term value, despite short-term volatility. If you choose a card with Bitcoin rewards only to sell your assets during the next market downturn, you could miss out on potential value over time. If the risk associated with Bitcoin or long-term strategy isn’t what you’re looking for, a credit card with more traditional cash or points rewards may be a more valuable option. 

Upgrade Bitcoin Rewards Card Compared to Other Cards

Our Choice
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Upgrade Bitcoin Rewards Visa®

Upgrade Bitcoin Rewards Visa®

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Upgrade Cash Rewards Visa®

Upgrade Cash Rewards Visa®

  • Intro offer:
  • Annual fee:
  • Regular APR:
    14.99% – 29.99% APR
  • Recommended credit:
    580-740 (Fair to Good)
  • Learn more externa link icon At our partner’s secure site
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Chase Freedom Unlimited®

Chase Freedom Unlimited®

  • Intro offer:
    Earn an Additional 1.5% Cash Back
  • Annual fee:
  • Regular APR:
    19.24% – 27.99% Variable
  • Recommended credit:
    670-850 (Good to Excellent)
  • Apply Now externa link icon At Chase’s secure site

Is the Upgrade Bitcoin Rewards Card Right for You?

Editorial Independence

As with all of our credit card reviews, our analysis is not influenced by any partnerships or advertising relationships.

A credit card that earns Bitcoin rewards could be a good way to begin investing in crypto without committing too much of your own money upfront. And while a 1.5% return on your spending isn’t the most valuable rate, it can add value to every purchase you make. Just remember, you’ll need to pay your credit card bill in full each month. Otherwise, the interest you pay will easily wipe out the 1.5% back you earn in rewards.

With that being said, when you choose to earn Bitcoin rewards on your spending, you give up the opportunity to potentially earn more value from other cards. Bitcoin is a speculative asset, and the value of your rewards will fluctuate, whereas cash back and points rewards offer a fixed value on the dollars you spend.  

If you’re looking at crypto rewards credit cards because you’re not willing to risk investing your own money into Bitcoin, consider whether cryptocurrency is a good choice for you. Bitcoin is highly speculative and volatile, and while it may pay off with increased value in the future, that’s not a guaranteed outcome.

Consider the rewards that may bring you the best value on your spending before you apply. And don’t forget to compare other cash back and rewards credit card options to find the right card for you. 

* To qualify for the $200 bitcoin welcome bonus, you must open and fund a new Rewards Checking Account and make 3 debit card transactions within 60 days of your Upgrade Card account opening. The value of the $200 bonus will be based on the value of bitcoin at the time it is purchased (within 1-2 statement periods from the date the bonus is earned) and may change in price by the time you choose to sell it. Refer to Program Terms. Your Upgrade Card must be in good standing to receive a bonus.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

How can you redeem rewards with the Upgrade Bitcoin Rewards Card?

When you pay your statement balance, your Bitcoin rewards will be purchased and held in your account within 1-2 statement cycles. When you’re ready to sell the Bitcoin assets, you can redeem the sale value of your Bitcoin for statement credits, after subtracting a 1.5% transaction fee.

Does the Upgrade Bitcoin Rewards Card charge foreign transaction fees?

The Upgrade Bitcoin Rewards Card does not charge foreign transaction fees for purchases abroad.

Does it cost money to cash in your Bitcoin with the Upgrade Bitcoin Rewards Card?

The Upgrade Bitcoin Rewards Card charges a 1.5% transaction fee to sell your Bitcoin and receive the value as statement credits.

Where is Bitcoin earned with the Upgrade Bitcoin Rewards Card held?

The Bitcoin you earn is held in a wallet with NYDIG, a trading platform for crypto and other assets.