The Upgrade Cash Rewards Elite Visa® credit card is for borrowers who want a flexible credit line that earns an unlimited 2.2% cash back without credit card fees. While Upgrade Cash Rewards Elite Visa® is a credit card, it has several personal loan features that make it stand out from other cards.
First, you can send cash from the credit line to your bank account without having to worry about a draw or cash advance fee. The card also offers fixed rates and fixed payment plans for card transactions. Credit lines typically range from $500 to $25,000, but some borrowers may get approved for as much as $50,000.*
One drawback is that the unlimited 2.2% cash back is earned when you pay off purchases and not when you make them. If you want to earn cash back rewards upfront with each swipe, a card like the Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card (unlimited 2% cash back on purchases) may be a better option. Also, beware that interest on the Upgrade Cash Rewards Elite Visa® may be high depending on your credit.
Intro Purchase APR
Regular Purchase APR
14.99% - 29.99% APR
Intro BT APR
Regular BT APR
Cash Advance Fee
Foreign Transaction Fee
Balance Transfer Fee
Earn a high rate of cash back as you pay off your balance
The Upgrade Cash Rewards Elite Visa® lets you earn 2.2% unlimited cash back on card purchases every time you make a payment. This is an exceptional rate of cash back that beats some of the best contenders in the cash back rewards space, like the Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer. And, since the cash back is awarded when you pay down your balance rather than when you make purchases, it incentivizes paying down your balance.
Furthermore, cash back earned is automatically credited to your account within a few billing cycles.
Fixed rates and equal monthly installment payments
Interest rates on the amount you borrow are fixed, which is an unusual feature for a credit card. Typically, credit card interest rates are variable and your minimum payment can vary from one month to the next.
The Upgrade Cash Rewards Elite Visa® card works more like an installment loan where you pay down debt over a set term with predictable payments. This feature can help you avoid a debt cycle of paying only a small percentage of your card balance each month.
An easy to qualify for sign-up bonus
Upgrade is currently offering a $200 bonus after opening a Rewards Checking account and making 3 debit card transactions* If you meet the terms of the offer, a bonus credit will be posted to your credit card account within one to two billing cycles.
No credit card fees
The Upgrade Cash Rewards Elite Visa® card has no annual fee, prepayment penalty fee or cash advance fee, which could lead to significant savings if you plan to transfer cash from the credit line to your bank account.
When you draw cash from a traditional credit card, there’s usually a cash advance fee and it can range from 3% to 6%. With the Upgrade Cash Rewards Elite Visa®, drawing cash from the credit line won’t trigger a fee. Plus, it offers a $0 foreign transaction fee, so you can use it freely while abroad.
Average credit to excellent credit is needed to qualify
Borrowers with low credit scores may not qualify for the Upgrade Cash Rewards Elite Visa®. If you have no credit or poor credit, building credit with a secured card first could help you qualify for this card and other rewards cards in the future. Secured cards require an upfront deposit, but that deposit is usually refunded after you make on-time payments and prove you’re creditworthy.
High interest rates possible
APRs at Upgrade range from 14.99% - 29.99% APR APR. While 8.99% APR is a lower-than-average rate for a credit card, the upper end of that range is high. If you choose to borrow a large sum and pay it off over a long period of time with a high rate, interest charges could get expensive.
It’s ideal to pay your balance entirely each month to avoid interest. But if that’s not possible, making advance payments can help you keep interest charges down. Upgrade has no prepayment fees, so you won’t be penalized for getting rid of debt early. In fact, you may be able to avoid interest entirely if you pay your balance in full at the end of the month, with Upgrade’s new EarlyPay feature.
Cash back may not be earned right away
If you use the card to make a large purchase, such as bedroom furniture or appliances, you won’t see the full rewards benefit until the amount is paid off. With other cash back cards, you usually get cash back for the actual purchase, which would offer a more immediate reward. However, the silver lining to this is that it incentivizes you to make payments, and that could motivate you to pay down the card faster.
|Upgrade Cash Rewards Elite Visa®||Capital One Platinum Credit Card||Discover it® Secured Credit Card||Capital One QuicksilverOne Cash Rewards Credit Card|
on Upgrade's secure site
on Capital One's secure site
on Discover's secure site
on Capital One's secure site
|$200 bonus after opening a Rewards Checking account and making 3 debit card transactions*||No bonus||Discover will match all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year.||No bonus|
|Earn 2.2% unlimited cash back on card purchases every time you make a payment||Non-rewards Card||2% cash back at Gas Stations and Restaurants on up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter. 1% unlimited cash back on all other purchases - automatically||1.5% Cash Back on every purchase, every day; 5% Cash Back on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel (terms apply)|
|Intro Purchase APR|
|14.99% - 29.99% APR||29.99% (Variable)||27.74% Variable APR||29.99% (Variable)|
|Intro Balance Transfer APR|
|N/A||N/A||10.99% Intro APR for 6 months||N/A|
|Regular Balance Transfer APR|
|N/A||29.99% (Variable)||27.74% Variable APR||29.99% (Variable)|
|Balance Transfer Fee|
|N/A||$0 at this Transfer APR||3% intro balance transfer fee, up to 5% fee on future balance transfers (see terms)*||$0 at this Transfer APR|
|Additional card details unavailable||Capital One Platinum Credit Card||Discover it® Secured Credit Card||Capital One QuicksilverOne Cash Rewards Credit Card|
If you have fair credit or better and you want to finance a purchase, using the
Upgrade Cash Rewards Elite Visa® card could be a good way to buy now and tackle the balance in equal installments. If you’re working on a project with ongoing costs, using a credit line instead of a loan gives you the flexibility to borrow what you need. Plus, 2.2% cash back earned as you pay off the balance is just icing on the cake.
However, if you prefer the flexibility to carry a balance and want to earn cash back right away, there are other great flat-rate card options, including the popular Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer and the Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card.
* To qualify for the welcome bonus, you must open and fund a new Rewards Checking account and make 3 qualifying debit card transactions from your Rewards Checking account within 60 days of the date the Upgrade Card account is opened. To qualify, debit card transactions must have settled and exclude ATM transactions. Please refer to the applicable Upgrade VISA® Debit Card Agreement and Disclosures for more information. Your Upgrade Card and Rewards Checking account must be open and in good standing to receive a bonus. If you have previously opened a Rewards Checking account or do not open one as part of this application process, you are not eligible for this welcome bonus offer. Welcome bonus offers cannot be combined, substituted, or applied retroactively. The bonus will be applied to your Rewards Checking account as a one-time payout credit within 60 days after the 3rd qualifying card purchase.