In this Upgrade Visa® Card review, we’ll look at who this card is best for, the credit score requirements, its pros and cons, and more.
Let’s dive in.
Who is the Upgrade Visa Card for?
Although the Upgrade Visa Card looks like your standard credit card, it functions slightly differently.
It’s essentially a combination of a credit card and a personal loan.
As such, the Upgrade Visa Card with Cash Rewards is great for consumers looking for the convenience of a credit card with the low cost and payment predictability of a loan.
Here’s how the Upgrade Visa Card works
When using the Upgrade Visa as a credit card, the credit card company converts your purchases into an installment loan at a fixed interest rate. If you carry a balance over to the next month, you can repay it in equal monthly installments.
When using it as a personal loan, you can request funds from your credit limit be sent directly into your bank account. Again, you pay back the installment loan amount in equal monthly payments at a fixed interest rate.
Upgrade Visa Credit Limit
Upgrade typically offers a credit limit of between $500 and $20,000.
However, some may qualify for a limit up to $50,000.
Upgrade’s unique take on the credit card could also appeal to those looking for a more affordable and faster way of paying back debt. But bear in mind that if you can’t pay the card off in full each month, your interest charges will add up.
Ultimately, the benefits of this card boil down to a lower loan interest rate in return for more consistent payments made to Upgrade.
Upgrade Visa Card credit score requirements
The credit card company designed the Upgrade Visa Card with Cash Rewards for consumers who have a fair credit score and above.
It has a minimum credit requirement of 600, and applicants can quickly check their eligibility for the card online without impacting their credit report.
Once you’ve received approval, Upgrade will provide a virtual card until your physical card arrives.
Tip: If you’re interested in learning more about credit scores or want to track and improve yours, check out Credmo.
Next, let’s see what kind of fees you can expect from the Upgrade Visa Card:
Upgrade Visa Card fees
The Upgrade Visa Card has a $0 annual fee.
On top of that, there aren’t any traditional credit card charges like a late fee, set up fee, balance transfer fee, foreign transaction fee, cash advance fee, or any type of monthly payment.
This makes the Upgrade Visa Card a low-cost option to access credit lines and borrowings.
However, note that the Upgrade card doesn’t support a cash advance.
What’s a cash advance?
When you’re taking out a cash advance, you’re borrowing cash against your credit card’s line of credit.
Upgrade Visa Card APR
The card issuer offers an ongoing APR of between 8.99% and 29.99%. The interest rate is competitive if you meet the requirements for the lower end of that scale. To qualify for a lower APR, you’d need excellent credit.
If you have a lower credit report, you’re subject to the higher APR. As a result, depending on your financial situation, you may find a personal loan or a more traditional credit card at more affordable rates.
Upgrade Visa Card cash rewards
The Upgrade card also rewards cardholders for making payments with a 1.5% cash back when you pay your bill. This cash back bonus applies whenever you make a purchase with the card.
However, it’s important to note here that the cash back is applied to the next month’s credit card balance.
Upgrade Visa card benefits
The Upgrade card includes all the conveniences of a Visa Signature card.
This provides roadside assistance, concierge services, price protection, extended warranty protection, and more.
Now let’s compare the pros and cons of the Upgrade Visa Card with Cash Rewards:
Pros and cons of the Upgrade Visa Card
Let’s look at some of the pros and cons of the Upgrade Visa Card
Here are a few of the advantages:
- Actively build your credit score - The card issuer reports your credit card account information to the three major credit bureaus: TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian. By practicing responsible financial habits, you’ll effectively improve your credit history with time.
- Larger credit line - Because this card is essentially a personal loan attached to a prepaid credit card, you’re more likely to receive a larger credit line with Upgrade. This helps achieve a lower credit utilization rate, a critical factor in improving your credit history.
- Payment predictability - Because the issuer structures debt as a fixed-rate personal loan, cardholders have the benefit of predictable payments. Knowing how much they owe each month encourages cardholders to budget their finances well and pay down debt quickly.
- Can finance large card purchases - If you’re looking to make a big purchase, the Upgrade Visa Card with Cash Rewards can be a powerful tool to decrease the financing cost. As a cardholder, you can borrow funds within your credit limit directly from Upgrade’s lending partners and pay it back just like any other personal loan.
- No fees - Unlike many other cards available to those with less-than-perfect credit scores, there are no fees of any kind.
- Digital wallet compatibility - As a cardholder, you can add the card to your Apple Pay or Google Pay digital wallet, and you can use it at contactless terminals.
Here are some of the downsides of the card:
- Can’t withdraw cash - Something to remember is that the Upgrade Card card isn’t a debit card and can’t be used to withdraw money from an ATM. If this is a deal-breaker, Upgrade offers a Visa debit card with cash back on qualifying purchases. The Visa debit card has the added benefit of lower rates on new loans and cards.
- Lacks some benefits - If you’re looking for a card that offers sign-up bonus points or 0% into APR on a balance transfer or gift card rewards, you might need to look elsewhere.
- Limited availability - The Upgrade Card is currently unavailable to residents of Iowa, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Washington D.C.
Now that we’ve looked at the pros and cons of the Upgrade Visa Card with Cash Rewards, let’s look at some potential alternatives:
Alternatives to the Upgrade Visa Card
Here are some other card options you could consider:
The Upgrade Card with Cash Rewards is a great option for consumers who are looking for better control of their finances.
With the ability to send a personal loan to your savings account coupled with a predictable payment schedule, the Upgrade Visa is excellent for those looking to finance bigger card purchases.
The Visa credit card differentiates itself by acting as a personal loan tool with its unique, predictable payment schedule.
Think of this as a mortgage for personal purchases.
With its solid 1.5% cash back rewards program and $0 card fees, the Upgrade Visa Card with Cash Rewards can be quite an attractive credit card for consumers with fair credits.
You can apply for this card here.