How Does LendingTree Get Paid?
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How Does LendingTree Get Paid?

LendingTree is compensated by companies on this site and this compensation may impact how and where offers appears on this site (such as the order). LendingTree does not include all lenders, savings products, or loan options available in the marketplace.

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Upgrade Cash Rewards Visa® Review

Upgrade Cash Rewards Visa<sup>®</sup>

Upgrade Cash Rewards Visa® Review

Credit Line
Up to $20,000*
Rewards Rate
1.5% unlimited cash back on card purchases every time you make a payment
Annual Fee
$0
Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer. This site may be compensated through a credit card issuer partnership.

Who is the Upgrade Cash Rewards Visa® best for?

The Upgrade Cash Rewards Visa® is a cashback rewards card with a little bit of a twist designed for those with fair credit and charges a $0 annual fee.

What sets the Upgrade Cash Rewards Visa® apart from other cards designed for those fair credit is how the card creates an installment plan with a fixed monthly payment to pay off your balance within a certain time period. This way you can avoid “balance creep” that can happen when you opt to just pay a card’s minimum payment and continue to add to the balance, making it difficult to get your debt under control.

For example, after you apply for the card, you are given a credit line that aligns with your credit score, with repayment terms of 12 to 60 months. Having a fixed monthly payment plan can help you pay off what you owe faster than a traditional credit card, which gives you the option of just paying the minimum payment due or something more. For those people seeking more structured repayment terms that can keep balances from ballooning, then the Upgrade Cash Rewards Visa® may be what you’re looking for.

Upgrade Cash Rewards Visa® overview

    • Earn 1.5% unlimited cash back on card purchases every time you make a payment
    • Earn a $200 bonus on your Upgrade Card after opening a Rewards Checking account and making 3 debit card transactions*
    • Combine the flexibility of a card with the low cost and predictability of a loan
    • $0 fees - $0 annual fee, $0 activation fees, $0 maintenance fees
    • No touch payments with contactless technology built in
    • See if you qualify in minutes without hurting your credit score
    • Access to a virtual card while you wait for your card to arrive in the mail
    • Great for large purchases with predictable payments you can budget for
    • Mobile app to access your account anytime, anywhere
    • Enjoy peace of mind with $0 Fraud liability 
    • * To qualify for the $200 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 bonus will be applied as a one-time credit to your account and will not otherwise reduce the amount of your regular monthly payments. The bonus credit will be posted to your Upgrade Card as a rewards credit within 1-2 billing periods following the third debit card transaction on your Rewards Checking account. Your Upgrade Card must be in good standing to receive a bonus.

  • Credit needed:
    600 659
    Fair
  • Chip-enabled card
  • No penalty fees
  • Access to virtual card number before card arrives in the mail

Intro Purchase APR

N/A

Regular Purchase APR

8.99%-29.99%

Intro BT APR

N/A

Regular BT APR

N/A

Annual Fee

$0

Cash Advance Fee

N/A

Foreign Transaction Fee

$0

Balance Transfer Fee

N/A

Pros and cons

Pros

  • Fixed monthly payment plan
  • Potentially low APR
  • No fees
  • Cash back program
  • Sign-up bonus opportunity

Cons

  • No option to pay just a minimum payment

What we like about the Upgrade Cash Rewards Visa®

  • Potential low APR

    While applicants are not guaranteed to qualify for the lowest possible APR on the Upgrade Cash Rewards Visa®, the low end of the APR range is very attractive at 8.99%-29.99%.

  • Cash back program and chance for a sign-up bonus

    Earn 1.5% unlimited cash back on card purchases every time you make a payment . You can choose to have the cash back deposited into your bank account as well.

    Plus: Earn a $200 bonus on your Upgrade Card after opening a Rewards Checking account and making 3 debit card transactions. See Details*.

    *To qualify for the $200 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 bonus will be applied as a one-time credit to your account and will not otherwise reduce the amount of your regular monthly payments. The bonus credit will be posted to your Upgrade Card as a rewards credit within 1-2 billing periods following the third debit card transaction on your Rewards Checking account. Your Upgrade Card must be in good standing to receive a bonus.

  • Avoid balance creep with monthly installment payment program

    If you’ve been wary about getting a credit card because you don’t trust that you’ll keep your balance under control, the Upgrade Cash Rewards Visa® works much like a personal loan, with set payment amounts due over a specified period of time.

  • Few fees

    The Upgrade Cash Rewards Visa® has a $0 annual fee and $0 foreign transaction fees.

What to watch out for with the Upgrade Cash Rewards Visa®

  • Not your average credit card

    With its installment repayment plan, you don’t have the payment flexibility of a regular credit card — meaning if money is tight one month, you won’t have the option to just pay a minimum payment. Your balance is divided into fixed monthly installment payments that may be substantially higher than a regular card’s minimum payment.

  • Fixed payments may fluctuate

    At the end of the month, your balance is entered into an installment plan of either 12 to 60 months (depending on your creditworthiness) with a fixed payment. While that may work in theory for financing a one-time purchase, when you add new purchases to your balance, that fixed payment amount may readjust to a higher amount.

Alternative to the Upgrade Cash Rewards Visa®

Compare it to the NetSpend® Visa® Prepaid Card

| Disclosures
NetSpend® Visa® Prepaid Card
NetSpend® Visa® Prepaid Card
on NetSpend's secure site
N/A
N/A
See Terms*
See Terms*
  • With Netspend Direct Deposit, you can get paid faster than a paper check.
  • No late fees or interest charges because this is not a credit card.
  • No Overdraft Fees on purchases using your card.
  • Use the NetSpend Mobile App to manage your account on the go and get text message or email alerts (Message & data rates may apply).
  • Card issued by MetaBank®, Member FDIC. Card may be used everywhere Visa Debit cards are accepted. Click "Get My Card" for full details.
300 599

How Does LendingTree Get Paid?

LendingTree is compensated by companies on this site and this compensation may impact how and where offers appears on this site (such as the order). LendingTree does not include all lenders, savings products, or loan options available in the marketplace.

 

If you’re afraid you’ll succumb to the temptation to overspend on a credit card, then perhaps a prepaid card like the NetSpend® Visa® Prepaid Card will give you access to plastic but without borrowing money from anyone but yourself.

With the NetSpend® Visa® Prepaid Card, you can load funds from your personal checking account or have your paychecks deposited to the card via direct deposit. There is no activation fee or minimum balance required.

There is no credit check required, plus the NetSpend® Visa® Prepaid Card comes with fewer fees than many of its competitors. However, you will have to choose between paying a $9.95 monthly plan fee or pay $1.50 per purchase fee.

While the Upgrade Cash Rewards Visa® may excel in helping you finance a large purchase over time with set repayment amounts, the NetSpend® Visa® Prepaid Card is better for handling day-to-day expenses.

Compare the Upgrade Cash Rewards Visa® to similar cards

Comparison of four different credit cards
Upgrade Cash Rewards Visa<sup>®</sup> NetSpend<sup>®</sup> Visa<sup>®</sup> Prepaid Card OpenSky<sup>®</sup> Secured Visa<sup>®</sup> Credit Card Petal<sup>®</sup> 2 Cash Back, No Fees Visa<sup>®</sup> Credit Card
Upgrade Cash Rewards Visa® NetSpend® Visa® Prepaid Card OpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit Card Petal® 2 Cash Back, No Fees Visa® Credit Card
Apply Now
on Upgrade's secure site
Apply Now
on NetSpend's secure site
Apply Now
on OpenSky's secure site
Apply Now
on Petal's secure site
Annual Fee
$0 See Terms* $35 $0
Welcome Offer
Earn a $200 bonus on your Upgrade Card after opening a Rewards Checking account and making 3 debit card transactions. See Details* N/A N/A N/A
Rewards Rate
1.5% unlimited cash back on card purchases every time you make a payment See Terms* None Earn 1% cash back on eligible purchases right away, and 2% to 10% cash back at select merchants
Intro Purchase APR
N/A N/A N/A N/A
Regular APR
8.99%-29.99% N/A 18.89% (variable) Variable APR between 15.24% - 29.24%
Recommended Credit
Fair Poor/Limited Poor/Limited N/A
Card Details
Upgrade Cash Rewards Visa® NetSpend® Visa® Prepaid Card OpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit Card Petal® 2 Cash Back, No Fees Visa® Credit Card

Is the Upgrade Cash Rewards Visa® right for you?

The Upgrade Cash Rewards Visa® is unique in that its mission is to help consumers get out of debt faster by applying a more disciplined approach to paying off what they charge to the their cards. It works more like a personal loan with a fixed repayment plan and end date, but if you want to add future transactions to the card, you may be required to accept new terms beforehand, based on any changes to your credit score or other risk factors.

Another path for those reluctant to open a credit card out of fear of overspending could be to use a prepaid card instead, such as the NetSpend® Visa® Prepaid Card. With prepaid cards, you only spend the funds you load onto the card — you’re only borrowing from yourself instead of third party.

Apply Now
on Upgrade's secure site