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Upgrade Cash Rewards Visa Card Review 2024

Upgrade Cash Rewards Visa Review
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Updated January 10, 2024

The card_name acts as a credit card and a personal loan, with access to a credit line and fixed payments. The no-annual-fee card earns 1.5% cash back on card purchases, but has few other benefits.

All the same, the card_name could be just the ticket for individuals looking for flexible financing. The hybrid credit card combines the purchasing power of a cash back credit card with the structured payments and funding of a personal line of credit.

card_name

Upgrade Cash Rewards Visa®

Upgrade Cash Rewards Visa®

Credit score needed
credit_score_needed
Regular APR
reg_apr,reg_apr_type
Annual fees
annual_fees

Pros:

  • No annual fee
  • Earns 1.5% cash back
  • Fixed monthly payments

Cons:

  • Potentially high APR
  • Few card benefits
  • Bonus offer requires opening a checking account and meeting transaction requirements

TIME’s Take

The card_name provides predictable financing for consumers who have fair credit. You can use it to earn 1.5% cash back on everyday purchases when you pay them back—or you can transfer funds directly from your credit line to your bank account as needed. Unlike a traditional credit card, which charges interest for carrying a balance month to month, the card_name totals monthly transactions and treats your balance like an installment loan.

The card might be worthwhile for individuals who don't qualify for traditional lending. Those with above-average credit, however, may be better off looking at 0% APR cards and other cards that offer more benefits.

How it works

The card_name operates differently than a traditional credit card. If approved, card_name extends a line of credit, ranging from $500 to $50,000, based on your creditworthiness. Your credit also determines your APR and installment payment terms, which vary from 12 to 60 months.

Cardholders can draw from their credit line directly to a bank account as needed or use the card for purchases anywhere that Visa is accepted. All card purchases earn unlimited 1.5% cash back when you pay them back each month, which goes towards reducing your account balance.

Instead of having a minimum monthly payment based on your balance, card_name creates an installment plan with fixed monthly payments, with interest, based on your current balance at the end of each month. The payment amount remains the same over your assigned payment terms.

Pros & Cons

Pros:

  • No annual fee
  • Earns 1.5% cash back
  • Fixed monthly payments

Cons:

  • Potentially high APR
  • Few card benefits
  • Bonus offer requires opening a checking account and meeting transaction requirements

Welcome offer

The card_name comes with a unique welcome offer. New cardholders can earn a $200 bonus when they open an Upgrade Rewards Checking account and make three debit-card transactions. You must meet the offer requirements within the first 60 days of card opening to earn the bonus.

Rewards structure

card_name cardholders earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on all card purchases when they pay them back. That's a decent cash back rate, considering it's a card open to those with a fair credit card that charges no annual fee. 

Unfortunately, redeeming cash back is limited to one option. card_name applies cash back rewards to your account balance, typically after your next scheduled monthly payment. Cash back rewards will reduce your balance but do not reduce your monthly payment.

Card benefits

The card_name offers few benefits outside its unique structure and cash back rewards. Cardholders can earn up to an extra 10% cash back on select purchases with participating retailers through the Upgrade Shopping portal. Cash back earned through Upgrade Shopping comes as a statement credit.

The card_name is a Visa Signature Card, giving cardholders access to select Visa Signature benefits such as zero liability protection, roadside assistance, purchase protection, and extended warranty protection.

RELATED: Visa Signature vs. Visa Infinite Credit Cards

Annual fee

The card_name doesn't charge an annual fee. Annual fees often lessen the value of a card unless it offers enough rewards and benefits to outweigh the added cost. You may still pay additional interest charges on your credit line, depending on usage.

APR

Upgrade doesn't provide an introductory 0% APR offer with the card_name. The regular APR for Upgrade credit lines ranges from reg_apr,reg_apr_type on your creditworthiness and other factors. The high end of its APR range is exceptionally high, but you could qualify for a lower rate depending on your credit. Upgrade reserves its lowest rates for applicants who sign up for autopay.

Credit score requirements

No hard credit inquiry is required to apply for the card and check credit line and APR offers. If you accept an offer, Upgrade performs a hard credit check to determine your credit line amount, APR and payment terms.

To qualify for the card_name you need a FICO credit score of 580 or higher, which is considered a fair credit score. Upgrade considers your credit score, credit usage history, the requested credit line amount, and other factors to determine eligibility.

RELATED: Best Credit Cards for Fair Credit

Foreign transaction fees

The card_name earns cash back on card purchases, but it's not ideal for international travel. Upgrade charges up to foreign_transaction_fee foreign transaction fees on purchases made outside the U.S.

Application process

Unlike many card issuers, Upgrade allows you to check for credit line and APR offers without a hard credit inquiry. You can apply and see offers before committing to see if it makes sense for you. If you decide to move forward, Upgrade performs a credit check to set credit line amounts, rates, and terms.

Who should get it?

The Upgrade Cash Rewards Visa is ideal for individuals who want to finance large purchases or who struggle managing credit card balances month to month. Having predictable monthly payments may be a better option than ballooning monthly payments. You may pay less interest than you would with a traditional credit card if you qualify for a lower APR. It's also a decent option for those who don't qualify for other financing options since you may qualify with a fair credit score. Keep in mind, this could mean being assigned a relatively high APR.

If you have good to excellent credit, you are better off considering more favorable rewards credit cards with 0% intro APR offers for new purchases and balance transfers. You may also qualify for more favorable terms and rates through a personal loan.

Is this card right for you?

Whether the card_name is right for you depends mainly on the APR offer you receive. Because of the card's wide APR range, you could score a relatively low or extremely high rate. Landing a higher rate could mean paying more interest than you would through other borrowing options.

While the card's predictable payments may help those who sometimes carry a balance, it's not as beneficial for individuals who typically pay their balances in full.

How the Upgrade Cash Rewards Visa Card stacks up

The card_name offers unique benefits but may not be suitable for everyone. Here are other credit cards to consider.

card_name
card_name
card_name
Card
Credit score needed
credit_score_needed
credit_score_needed
credit_score_needed
Regular APR
reg_apr,reg_apr_type
reg_apr,reg_apr_type
reg_apr,reg_apr_type
Annual fees
annual_fees
annual_fees
annual_fees
Welcome offer
bonus_miles_full
bonus_miles_full
bonus_miles_full

What Are the best cards to complement the Upgrade Cash Rewards Visa Card?

The card_name earns a respectable flat cash back rate, but you can maximize your rewards potential by pairing it with a credit card that earns higher cash back rates in categories that match your spending habits, like Discover it® Cash Back or Chase Freedom Flex®.

Like the Upgrade card, Discover it Cash Back has no annual fee, but it earns 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in purchases each quarter in rotating spending categories (activation required), like Amazon.com, gas stations, and wholesale clubs. Plus, Discover matches all of the cash back you've earned at the end of your first year. The card also offers a 0% intro APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers.

Chase Freedom Flex is another cash back card with no annual fee. Cardholders earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in purchases each quarter in rotating spending categories (activation required), like gas stations and grocery stores. The card also earns 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards, 3% cash back on dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery services, on drugstore purchases, and 1% cash back on all other purchases. There's also an intro APR offer of 0% APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers.

RELATED: Best Credit Cards Offering 5% Cash Back

Bottom line

The card_name isn't necessarily a great option for many consumers, especially those with good to excellent credit. While above-average credit will score a lower APR on a personal line of credit, it also opens the door to better credit cards with more benefits.

card_name

Upgrade Cash Rewards Visa®

Upgrade Cash Rewards Visa®

Credit score needed
credit_score_needed
Regular APR
reg_apr,reg_apr_type
Annual fees
annual_fees

RELATED: Best Credit Cards

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

How can I manage my card_name account online?

Cardholders can manage their credit card account online through Upgrade's online dashboard or through the Upgrade mobile app, which is available for iOS and Android.

card_name vs. Quicksilver: Which is better?

The card_name and card_name both have no annual fee and earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on card purchases. For a more traditional credit card with an introductory 0% APR offer, Quicksilver wins out. Keep in mind, though, it requires excellent credit, which would make the card_name a better option for individuals with fair or good credit or those looking for flexible financing.

card_name vs. card_name?

card_name offers higher cash back rates in select spending categories like travel purchased through [Chase Ultimate rewards](https://time.com/personal-finance/article/chase-transfer-partners/), dining, and drugstore purchases. It also offers introductory 0% APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers. And it currently has an [welcome offer that doubles the points](https://time.com/personal-finance/article/chase-freedom-unlimited-new-welcome-offer/) you earn in the first year after you get it. Both benefits make card_namethe better choice for many consumers.

RELATED: Best Balance Transfer Credit Cards
RELATED: Best Sign Up Bonus Credit Cards

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