Credit Cards » Credit Card Reviews » Upgrade Visa® Card with Cash Rewards: 2024 Review
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Upgrade Visa® Card with Cash Rewards: 2024 Review

The Upgrade Card functions like a personal loan while offering you the freedom and benefits you get from a traditional credit card.
Author: Lorraine Smithills
Lorraine Smithills

Writer, Contributor

Experience

Lorraine is a freelance finance writer with years of experience in the banking sector and after a successful career in one of the largest retail and commercial financial services providers. She has a passion for helping people with less financial confidence to get control of their money through budgeting, saving, and responsible credit practices.
Interest Rates Last Update: June 3, 2024
The banking product interest rates, including savings, CDs, and money market, are accurate as of this date.
Author: Lorraine Smithills
Lorraine Smithills

Writer, Contributor

Experience

Lorraine is a freelance finance writer with years of experience in the banking sector and after a successful career in one of the largest retail and commercial financial services providers. She has a passion for helping people with less financial confidence to get control of their money through budgeting, saving, and responsible credit practices.
Interest Rates Last Update: June 3, 2024

The banking product interest rates, including savings, CDs, and money market, are accurate as of this date.

We earn a commission from our partner links on this page. It doesn't affect the integrity of our unbiased, independent editorial staff. Transparency is a core value for us, read our advertiser disclosure and how we make money.

Upgrade Visa® Cash Rewards

upgrade cash rewards

Rewards Plan

1.5% 1.5% cash back on payments

Sign up Bonus

$200 Earn a $200 bonus after you open & fund a Rewards Checking Plus account & make 3 debit card transactions within 60 days. If you previously opened a checking account through Upgrade or do not do so as part of this process, you are not eligible. Payout made within 60 days of meeting the conditions.

Our Rating

3.9
3.9/5

0% Intro

Up to 5%

Annual Fee

$0

APR

14.99% – 29.99%

Upgrade Visa® Cash Rewards

upgrade cash rewards

Rewards Plan

1.5% 1.5% cash back on payments

Sign up Bonus

$200 Earn a $200 bonus after you open & fund a Rewards Checking Plus account & make 3 debit card transactions within 60 days. If you previously opened a checking account through Upgrade or do not do so as part of this process, you are not eligible. Payout made within 60 days of meeting the conditions.

Our Rating

3.9
3.9/5

PROS

CONS

APR

14.99% - 29.99%

Annual Fee

$0

0% Intro

Up to 5%

Credit Requirements

Average to Excellent

The  Upgrade Visa® Cash Rewards Card with Cash Rewards functions like a personal loan while offering you the freedom you get from a traditional credit card. The card has no annual fee, and cardholders can earn 1.5% cash back on payments. 

Unlike conventional credit cards, which charge you daily interest for carrying a balance, this card gives you a personal line of credit ($500 – $25,000 or more). This will be split into equal installments, which you pay monthly, ranging from 12 to 60 months.

The card's transparency is highlighted as a benefit, providing a clear payoff schedule and the ability to check credit lines and rates before committing. It offers a chance at a low APR, a potentially large credit line, and a straightforward application process without a hard credit pull.

However, the rewards ratio is average and there are no extra travel or protection benefits. Considering the high APR – we recommend paying on time without carrying a balance in order to avoid interest. Overall, the card can be a perfect solution for those looking to build credit. If you have a credit score of +650, there are better alternatives. 

What is the Upgrade Cash Rewards Visa®?

The Upgrade Cash Rewards Visa® is a credit card that combines features of a credit card and a personal loan, providing a unique financing solution for large expenses.

How does the Upgrade card differ from traditional credit cards?

Unlike traditional credit cards, the Upgrade card offers fixed installment plans with a clear payoff schedule and APR based on your credit score.

Is there a zero percent intro APR with the Upgrade card?

No, there's no zero percent intro APR, but the card's unique structure may save you money by obligating timely repayments.

How are payments structured with the Upgrade card?

Payments are structured as fixed and equal monthly installments, similar to a personal loan.

How can I check my credit line and rate with the Upgrade card?

You can check your credit line and rate before committing to the card, offering transparency in the application process.

Can I avoid all interest charges with the Upgrade card payment plan?

While not all interest charges can be avoided, the structured payment plan minimizes risks associated with ballooning balances and high interest.

Pros & Cons

Let’s take a closer look at the pros and cons of the Upgrade Visa Cash Rewards :

Pros
Cons
Cash Back Rewards
Interest Charges Inevitable
Structured Repayment
No 0% Intro APR
High Credit Limits
Limited Cardholder Perks
No Annual Fee
May Not Suit Confident Repayers
Transparency
Easy Application Process

Not many unsecured cards aimed at people with average credit offer rewards. With the Upgrade Card, you earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on payments when you pay them back. 

This cash back does not extend to transfers you make to your linked bank account.

The card offers a fixed installment plan, providing a clear and predictable schedule for repayments, similar to a personal loan.

Individuals with excellent credit have the opportunity for a higher-than-average credit limit, ranging from $500 to $25,000, with the potential for even higher limits.

The Upgrade Card doesn’t charge an annual fee, putting it in the small crop of cards that are truly low maintenance.

The card provides transparency in the application process, allowing users to check their credit line and rate before committing.

 Users can check their credit line and APR without a hard credit pull, streamlining the application process.

Most conventional credit cards allow you to escape paying interest if you pay your bill before the due date.

With the Upgrade Card, no such thing exists. Users cannot completely avoid interest charges, as the installment plan requires payments to begin immediately

Unlike some traditional credit cards, the Upgrade card lacks a zero percent intro APR, potentially making it less attractive for those seeking an initial interest-free period.

The card offers few additional perks compared to traditional credit cards, potentially making it less appealing for users seeking extra benefits.

For those confident in their ability to pay off balances on time, a credit card with a zero percent intro APR on purchases may offer more flexibility and cost savings.

Top Offers

Amex gold

Rewards Plan:
1X – 4X 4X points at restaurants (including Uber Eats purchases in the U.S.) and U.S. supermarkets (up to $25,000 per year in purchases, then 1X points), 3X points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com, 2X points on rental cars through amextravel.com and 1X points on all other purchases
Welcome Bonus:
60,000 points 60,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $6,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership

upgrade cash rewards

Rewards Plan:
1.5% 1.5% cash back on payments
Welcome Bonus:
$200 Earn a $200 bonus after you open & fund a Rewards Checking Plus account & make 3 debit card transactions within 60 days. If you previously opened a checking account through Upgrade or do not do so as part of this process, you are not eligible. Payout made within 60 days of meeting the conditions.

AMEX Blue Cash Preferred Card review

Rewards Plan:
1-6% 6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets (up to $6,000 per year in purchases, then 1%) and selected U.S. streaming subscriptions, 3% cash back on transit and U.S. gas stations, 1% cash back on other purchases
Welcome Bonus:
$250 $250 statement credit after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 6 months
Advertiser Disclosure
The product offers that appear on this site are from companies from which this website receives compensation.
Top Offers

Amex gold

Rewards Plan:
1X – 4X 4X points at restaurants (including Uber Eats purchases in the U.S.) and U.S. supermarkets (up to $25,000 per year in purchases, then 1X points), 3X points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com, 2X points on rental cars through amextravel.com and 1X points on all other purchases
Welcome Bonus:
60,000 points 60,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $6,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership

upgrade cash rewards

Rewards Plan:
1.5% 1.5% cash back on payments
Welcome Bonus:
$200 Earn a $200 bonus after you open & fund a Rewards Checking Plus account & make 3 debit card transactions within 60 days. If you previously opened a checking account through Upgrade or do not do so as part of this process, you are not eligible. Payout made within 60 days of meeting the conditions.

AMEX Blue Cash Preferred Card review

Rewards Plan:
1-6% 6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets (up to $6,000 per year in purchases, then 1%) and selected U.S. streaming subscriptions, 3% cash back on transit and U.S. gas stations, 1% cash back on other purchases
Welcome Bonus:
$250 $250 statement credit after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 6 months
Advertiser Disclosure
The product offers that appear on this site are from companies from which this website receives compensation.
Top Offers From Our Partners

Amex gold

Rewards Plan:
1X – 4X 4X points at restaurants (including Uber Eats purchases in the U.S.) and U.S. supermarkets (up to $25,000 per year in purchases, then 1X points), 3X points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com, 2X points on rental cars through amextravel.com and 1X points on all other purchases
Welcome Bonus:
60,000 points 60,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $6,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership

upgrade cash rewards

Rewards Plan:
1.5% 1.5% cash back on payments
Welcome Bonus:
$200 Earn a $200 bonus after you open & fund a Rewards Checking Plus account & make 3 debit card transactions within 60 days. If you previously opened a checking account through Upgrade or do not do so as part of this process, you are not eligible. Payout made within 60 days of meeting the conditions.

AMEX Blue Cash Preferred Card review

Rewards Plan:
1-6% 6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets (up to $6,000 per year in purchases, then 1%) and selected U.S. streaming subscriptions, 3% cash back on transit and U.S. gas stations, 1% cash back on other purchases
Welcome Bonus:
$250 $250 statement credit after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 6 months
Advertiser Disclosure
The product offers that appear on this site are from companies from which this website receives compensation.

How To Apply For Upgrade Card?

The application process for this card is swift and does not impact your credit score if you’re not approved.

To begin, visit the Upgrade website and click on “Get Started” from the homepage. In case this doesn’t show up on the homepage, click on “Upgrade Card” from the navigation bar at the top of the screen.

Upgrade Visa Card

The next step is to provide your personal information. This includes your full name, full house address, zip code, date of birth, and annual income. You will also be asked to enter your social security number. Your individual or additional annual income may include alimony and child support if you want these considered. Providing additional annual income is optional.

Upgrade Visa Card

The next and final step is to create an account. Provide your email and a password to go with your account. Click on the “Check Your Credit Line” button to submit and get a decision on your application. This process does not affect your credit score.

How It Compared To Other Upgrade Cash Back Cards?

When comparing the Upgrade cash rewards to other Upgrade cash back cards, its flat rate cashback stand out as the rest have other rewards model.

For example, the Upgrade Life Rewards Credit Card provides 3% cash back on gas, grocery, health, streaming, and utilities purchases and 1% cash back on all other purchases. It has no annual fee and also offers a similar welcome bonus. Users can pay their balances in full early each month with EarlyPay to avoid interest.

The Upgrade OneCard Credit Card features a 3% cash back for everyday purchases and 2% unlimited cash back on everything else. With the Pay Now, Pay Later option, cardholders can choose whether to pay with no interest immediately or pay later over time at a fixed rate. Connecting the OneCard to Rewards Checking provides extra spending power, and users can enjoy a predictable payment plan by paying down balances each month.

Compare The Alternatives

If you're looking for a credit card that can help you build credit and also get some rewards – the Upgrade is definitely a good option, but there are some good alternatives:

chime card

Capital One Journey Student Card

discover-it-student-cash-back_5mNPw7i

Chime Credit Builder
Capital One Journey
Discover It Student Cash Back
Annual Fee
$0
$0
$0
Rewards
None None
Up to 1.25% earn 1% cash back and another 0.25% if you pay on time, so you can boost your cash back to a total of 1.25%
1-5% 5% cash back on activated rotating category purchases (up to $1,500 in purchases each quarter, then 1%) and 1% on all other purchases
Welcome bonus
None None
None $5 per month for 12 months on select streaming subscriptions when you pay on time
Match Bonus Match Bonus for the first 12 months
Foreign Transaction Fee
0%
None
$0
Purchase APR
N/A
29.99% (Variable)
18.24% – 27.24% Variable

FAQ

Upgrade does run a credit check for its credit cards, so your income to debt ratio will be a deciding factor. However, you can obtain pre approval for the cards, so you can confirm that you have sufficient income to qualify for the minimum credit limit.

Upgrade will use your application information to determine pre approval, but to confirm your application, you may need to provide copies of paystubs or other proof of income.

The top reason for not getting an Upgrade card is that you don’t want the card company to run your credit. If you already know you have a bad score or no credit history, a hard credit pull could have detrimental effects.

Upgrade doesn't allow second users on their credit cards, so it is not possible to add an authorized user on these accounts.

Upgrade does have a pre approval feature on its website, so you can check if you qualify for this or other Upgrade cards. You will need to provide some basic information, it will not impact your credit and you can receive a pre approval decision within minutes

If you want to speak to the Upgrade customer service team, there is a toll free number open Monday to Friday, 6 am to 6 pm and 6 am to 5 pm on weekends (Pacific Time). Alternatively, you can email the support team, but you’ll need to wait for a response

Upgrade has had some complaints about its interface, which is not particularly intuitive. While this is a good product, Upgrade does need to do some work on its customer digital experience

Upgrade does allow pre approval and you can get a response within a few minutes. This will speed up the approval process and you can expect to receive approval and your card within ten business days.

This will depend on your circumstances and financial habits. Upgrade provides free access to credit monitoring tools, so you can keep an eye on any improvements on your score.

When you open your account, Upgrade will report activity to the credit bureaus when you use the card or make a transfer to your bank account.

The initial credit limit for the Upgrade card is $500, but it is possible to get a limit of up to $50,000. Your specific credit limit will be determined by a number of factors including your income and your credit score.

Compare Upgrade Visa Cash Rewards

Both Chime and Upgrade cards are new in the view, offers great features for beginners who don't established their credit yet. Which one wins?

Chime Card vs Upgrade Card: More Than Building Your Credit?

Top Offers

Amex gold

Rewards Plan:
1X – 4X 4X points at restaurants (including Uber Eats purchases in the U.S.) and U.S. supermarkets (up to $25,000 per year in purchases, then 1X points), 3X points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com, 2X points on rental cars through amextravel.com and 1X points on all other purchases
Welcome Bonus:
60,000 points 60,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $6,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership

upgrade cash rewards

Rewards Plan:
1.5% 1.5% cash back on payments
Welcome Bonus:
$200 Earn a $200 bonus after you open & fund a Rewards Checking Plus account & make 3 debit card transactions within 60 days. If you previously opened a checking account through Upgrade or do not do so as part of this process, you are not eligible. Payout made within 60 days of meeting the conditions.

AMEX Blue Cash Preferred Card review

Rewards Plan:
1-6% 6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets (up to $6,000 per year in purchases, then 1%) and selected U.S. streaming subscriptions, 3% cash back on transit and U.S. gas stations, 1% cash back on other purchases
Welcome Bonus:
$250 $250 statement credit after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 6 months
Advertiser Disclosure
The product offers that appear on this site are from companies from which this website receives compensation.
Top Offers

Amex gold

Rewards Plan:
1X – 4X 4X points at restaurants (including Uber Eats purchases in the U.S.) and U.S. supermarkets (up to $25,000 per year in purchases, then 1X points), 3X points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com, 2X points on rental cars through amextravel.com and 1X points on all other purchases
Welcome Bonus:
60,000 points 60,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $6,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership

upgrade cash rewards

Rewards Plan:
1.5% 1.5% cash back on payments
Welcome Bonus:
$200 Earn a $200 bonus after you open & fund a Rewards Checking Plus account & make 3 debit card transactions within 60 days. If you previously opened a checking account through Upgrade or do not do so as part of this process, you are not eligible. Payout made within 60 days of meeting the conditions.

AMEX Blue Cash Preferred Card review

Rewards Plan:
1-6% 6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets (up to $6,000 per year in purchases, then 1%) and selected U.S. streaming subscriptions, 3% cash back on transit and U.S. gas stations, 1% cash back on other purchases
Welcome Bonus:
$250 $250 statement credit after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 6 months
Advertiser Disclosure
The product offers that appear on this site are from companies from which this website receives compensation.
Top Offers From Our Partners

Amex gold

Rewards Plan:
1X – 4X 4X points at restaurants (including Uber Eats purchases in the U.S.) and U.S. supermarkets (up to $25,000 per year in purchases, then 1X points), 3X points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com, 2X points on rental cars through amextravel.com and 1X points on all other purchases
Welcome Bonus:
60,000 points 60,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $6,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership

upgrade cash rewards

Rewards Plan:
1.5% 1.5% cash back on payments
Welcome Bonus:
$200 Earn a $200 bonus after you open & fund a Rewards Checking Plus account & make 3 debit card transactions within 60 days. If you previously opened a checking account through Upgrade or do not do so as part of this process, you are not eligible. Payout made within 60 days of meeting the conditions.

AMEX Blue Cash Preferred Card review

Rewards Plan:
1-6% 6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets (up to $6,000 per year in purchases, then 1%) and selected U.S. streaming subscriptions, 3% cash back on transit and U.S. gas stations, 1% cash back on other purchases
Welcome Bonus:
$250 $250 statement credit after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 6 months
Advertiser Disclosure
The product offers that appear on this site are from companies from which this website receives compensation.
Picture of Lorraine Smithills

Lorraine Smithills

Lorraine is a freelance finance writer with years of experience in the banking sector and after a successful career in one of the largest retail and commercial financial services providers. She has a passion for helping people with less financial confidence to get control of their money through budgeting, saving, and responsible credit practices.
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Offers From Our Partners

Milestone® Mastercard®

Annual Fee:
$175 the first year; $49 thereafter
APR:
35.90%

upgrade cash rewards

Rewards Plan:
1.5% 1.5% cash back on payments
Welcome Bonus:
$200 Earn a $200 bonus after you open & fund a Rewards Checking Plus account & make 3 debit card transactions within 60 days. If you previously opened a checking account through Upgrade or do not do so as part of this process, you are not eligible. Payout made within 60 days of meeting the conditions.
Advertiser Disclosure
The product offers that appear on this site are from companies from which this website receives compensation.

Top Offers From Our Partners

upgrade cash rewards

Rewards Plan:
1.5% 1.5% cash back on payments
Welcome Bonus:
$200 Earn a $200 bonus after you open & fund a Rewards Checking Plus account & make 3 debit card transactions within 60 days. If you previously opened a checking account through Upgrade or do not do so as part of this process, you are not eligible. Payout made within 60 days of meeting the conditions.

Milestone® Mastercard®

Annual Fee:
$175 the first year; $49 thereafter
APR:
35.90%
Advertiser Disclosure
The product offers that appear on this site are from companies from which this website receives compensation.

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Editorial Note: Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.

Credit Card Reviews Methodology

In order to determine the best possible credit cards, we look at things like fees, interest rates and rewards. We do this with companies that are associated with us as partners as well as other offerings. From there, we make a decision about what the best card is related to different categories and needs. We focus on interest rate cost & fees, especially the cost of carrying a balance, rewards – cards accumulate rewards in different currencies—points, miles, cash back—and their values vary widely usability – cards that accept a wide range of credit profiles and offer simple solutions for things like checking your credit score or contacting. We also consider customer reviews.

We look at cards related to good or excellent credit ratings that will then provide a range of different benefits and improvements for someone who has these scores. We also look at low fees when it comes to those who have lower credit scores.