IN-DEPTH ANALYSIS

Upgrade Cash Rewards Visa® Card Review

Advertiser Disclosure
Written By
G. Dautovic
Updated
October 24, 2022
Some or all of the products/services listed on this page are from our affiliate partners from which we receive commissions. This, however, does not influence the evaluations in our reviews. Learn more by reading our Advertiser Disclosure.

If you’re looking for an affordable credit card option available to clients with average credit scores, then Upgrade might be just the card for you.

Personal credit cards typically come with higher interest rates than bank loans, and this is where Upgrade’s hybrid card and loan product comes into the frame. It features an attractive APR and equal monthly payments, similarly to a personal loan. On top of that, the product comes with no fee.

Most customer Upgrade card reviews we found online are positive, so we decided to take a closer look and offer our expert opinion. We compared the product to similar credit cards today to see its strengths and weaknesses and when Upgrade can prove to be a better option. So, keep on reading to find out the details.

APR:
14.99% - 29.99%

Credit limit $500 - $50,000

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Fortunly Rating

Fortunly's Rating: Our editorial team determines the rating based on a set of evaluation criteria developed for each product and service category.

APR
14.99% - 29.99%
FEES
$0
RECOMMENDED CREDIT SCORE
Average
CREDIT LIMIT
$500 - $50,000
CARD NETWORK
Visa
pros thumb up Strengths
  • No fees
  • Affordable rates
  • 1.5% cash back
  • Contactless payments
  • Mobile app
pros thumb up Weaknesses
  • No welcome bonus
  • Less flexible payments
  • No ATM service

Overview

Upgrade is an American fintech company founded in San Francisco, California, in 2016. It is an online platform specializing in personal loans and credit cards.

Its Upgrade Visa card is based on a personal credit line that you can pay off in monthly installments, and it has lower interest rates than you would typically pay with a credit card deal.

It requires an average to excellent credit score and comes with a low-fee pricing structure making it an affordable option.

Upgrade has been a BBB accredited business since 2017, holding a rating of A+. On Trustpilot’s review platform, its score ranks as excellent with 4.7 out of 5, clearly indicating that it has been a reliable business partner.

How Does Upgrade Cash Rewards Visa® Card Compare With Other Credit Cards?

Upgrade Cash Rewards Visa® Logo
Upgrade Cash Rewards Visa®
APR

14.99% - 29.99%

Rewards rate

1.5%

Chase Freedom Unlimited® Credit Card Logo
Chase Freedom Unlimited® Credit Card
APR

16.49% - 25.24%

Rewards rate

1.5% - 5%

Bank of America® Cash Rewards Credit Card Logo
Bank of America® Cash Rewards Credit Card
APR

15.49% - 25.49%

Rewards rate

1% - 3%

What Is an Upgrade Card?

You can use Upgrade the same way as a traditional credit card – to make purchases, pay bills, or transfer funds to your bank account. The main difference is that Upgrade has a payment structure you’d expect from a bank loan, with lower APRs than those found with traditional credit cards and equal monthly payments commonly featured by bank loans.

What To Expect With Upgrade?

When approved for an Upgrade card, you get a line of credit that you will pay off in equal monthly amounts. The available credit range is $500 to $50,000, depending on your requirements and eligibility. The credit score required for the Upgrade cash rewards card is average to excellent.

The payment period is 24, 36, or 60 months, depending on the line of credit you agree to. You’ll need to make regular monthly payments with much less interest than when using a traditional credit card. And with a 1.5% cash back on all purchases, you’re sure to save money with this card.

How To Apply for Upgrade?

You need to fill in a single-page form, which doesn’t take very long to complete. The company doesn’t do a hard pull as part of its pre-approval process, meaning that your credit ratings won’t suffer because of the check. 

While you wait for your Upgrade credit card to arrive, you will have access to a virtual card through the platform and mobile app.

Why You Should Consider Upgrade

There are definite upsides when using Upgrade in comparison with traditional credit cards. We’ve compiled a list of its strong points, so read on to make the most of it.

APR

Upgrade’s APR is where this card shines: It starts at 14.99%, which is solid for a credit card. You will need an excellent credit score and enroll in automatic payments to get the maximum from this offer.

Lower credit scores will result in higher annual percentage rates, of up to 29.99%. So make sure to check beforehand what deal you will be eligible for. If you require help getting the hang of how the interest rates work, take a look at our guide on this subject.

Fees

We’ve already mentioned the fees during this Upgrade credit card review, but we feel it’s worth pointing out just how straightforward this offer is. The set monthly payment is the only expense you need to worry about with this credit card. There are no transaction, maintenance, or foreign exchange fees. Making it fair and simple is the way to go.

Rewards 

With every purchase, you get a 1.5% cash back. It’s not the highest rate we’ve encountered when comparing the Upgrade credit card with reviews of credit cards we previously covered. Still, we liked the transparency and the reliability of its offer.

Also, there is a $200 bonus that you will receive when you make three purchases in the first 60 days of opening the account. If you’re interested in comparing the Upgrade Cash Rewards Visa® Card with some other popular credit cards with cashback rewards, take a closer look at our list

Why You Might Want To Consider Other Options

Upgrade has its advantages, but this card might not be for everybody. Here are a few things to consider before going for this option.

Eligibility 

To get an Upgrade card, you must have a fair, good, or excellent credit score. The higher your ratings, the better the conditions under which you secure the line of credit. 

However, other cards with affordable rates don’t require good credit scores. If you have excellent credit ratings, you can take your pick of any card available, and there are some improved deals to be had.

Less Flexibility  

The lowest APR rates are only available with the Upgrade cash rewards card when you set up automatic payments. Even without being automated, payments have to be paid in full each month, whereas traditional credit cards allow for more leeway when you need extra cash.

Mobile App 

A mobile app is available for both iOS and Android. You can use it for virtually anything you can do with your Upgrade card, and the reviews from customers show that it runs smoothly. There is no fee attached, and the app follows the standard safety measures with data being encrypted in transit.

Customer Support 

You can contact the support team via mail or, if you need to speak to an Upgrade representative, there is a phone line available Monday to Friday, 5 a.m. to 7 p.m. (PT), and on the weekend, 6 a.m. to 5 p.m. (PT).

Bottom Line

Upgrade offers a card that you can use every day without having to worry about paying the full balance each month. It will serve for your daily purchases and transactions just as well as a credit card but without the high annual rates.

In the course of this article, we showed you how to get an Upgrade card and how it works.

To get approved, you need to have an average to excellent credit score, but there are benefits to using it as it comes with no fees. 

Upgrade provides reliable services, and there is no reason to withhold from using its products if they suit your financial needs. There aren’t many downsides, but if you have a high credit score, you should shop around and see if Upgrade is the best for you.

FAQ

Is Upgrade a good credit card?

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Upgrade is a good choice for a credit card if you have an average credit score, as it doesn’t charge any fees for transactions or maintenance and its APR starts at just 14.99%, which is a good deal for a credit card. But there are also other things to consider when choosing a credit card.

Do Upgrade cards increase credit scores?

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Making your payments on time will improve your credit score over time. And purchases made with the Upgrade card are reported to three credit bureaus.

Does Upgrade card do a hard pull?

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No. When you sign up for an Upgrade card, the company reviews your application without doing a hard pull, and you can get pre-approved without affecting your credit score.

Is Upgrade legit?

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Yes. None of the Upgrade card reviews we’ve encountered online suggest there have been any security issues in dealing with this company or using its credit card. Also, you can find a guide on the company’s website on recognizing possible scams.