When finding the best credit card for you, you must do your homework first. The TD Clear Visa and Upgrade Visa with Cash Rewards are two popular low APR credit card options, but which is best? Here is everything you need to know to find your best credit card offer:
Upgrade Cash Rewards Visa® or TD Clear: Which Is Right for You?
Before deciding which credit card is right for you, the Upgrade Cash Rewards Visa or the TD Clear Visa from TD Bank, here is a detailed breakdown of the cards, their features, and their suitability:
Pre-Qualification Before Applying
Applying for a credit card requires a credit check. Often, these credit checks (or credit inquiries) are known as “hard inquiries,” meaning the bank pulls your full credit report before approving (or denying) your credit card application. If you apply for a credit card and are declined, your credit score will likely take a minor hit. One way to avoid a negative impact on your credit score before getting a new credit card is by pre-qualifying before you apply.
TD Bank offers pre-qualification but only offers via mail or e-mail or to existing customers through their online accounts. This is frustrating if you don’t already bank with TD but are interested in knowing if you qualify for the card before applying.
Fortunately, Upgrade provides a simple, online pre-qualification before applying. Once you click through to the Upgrade application page, you can check your suitability for any of the three Upgrade credit cards by entering your name, address, date of birth, and annual income.
Related Article: How to Pre-Qualify for a Credit Card
Credit Score Needed
Both credit cards typically require a “good” or “excellent” credit score, meaning a FICO Score of 670+ is the minimum you should expect to have before applying. The Upgrade Card, however, also offers products to customers with “average credit,” so a FICO Score of 640+ might be acceptable for approval.
However, remember that your credit score is only one part of the equation. Banks also consider other factors, including how your income compares to your debt obligations and your overall ability to make monthly credit card payments.
How to Apply
Most credit card applications from major issuers are similar. Here is what you can expect from the application process with all three cards – including what information is needed:
|① Full legal name and contact information||You'll need your full legal name, contact address, phone number, and e-mail address to apply for pretty much every credit card.|
|② Social Security Number (SSN) or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN)||
Most credit card issuers require applicants to have a U.S. Social Security number to apply for a credit card. Since foreign citizens likely lack an SNN, they may receive an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) instead. An ITIN is an ID number the IRS issues to anyone who needs to file income tax returns in the United States but doesn’t qualify for an SSN. Be ready to provide either of these items when applying for a personal credit card.
The following banks accept foreign national applicants with an ITIN number, according to Experian:
Currently, only two major card issuers don’t allow applicants with an ITIN:
|③ Income||You'll need to provide income information when applying for a credit card. Banks like to see that you aren't too stretched financially, and part of this process is by evaluating how much income you have from things like your job, investments, and other sources.|
|④ Expenses||Your monthly expenses are the second part of the puzzle when it comes to gauging your risk as an applicant. Your monthly housing costs (rent, mortgage) current utilities, and other relevant info might be asked when you apply.|
|⑤ Credit Score||The final piece of informational lender needs to judge a credit card application is your credit score. Much of the information in your credit report is supplied by creditors and lenders, and potential lenders will use these details as a point of reference when considering you for a loan or line of credit. Your credit report is prepared and sold to prospective lenders and creditors by three credit reporting agencies – or bureaus, as they’re also known. They are Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion.|
Both cards feature no annual fee, which is common for most low APR credit cards. You should never pay an annual fee on a low APR or balance transfer credit card.
Now, for the meat of the comparison – the APR with both cards. Here, the cards are very different, providing unique approaches toward credit card APR.
Pay No Interest with TD Clear
The TD Clear Card is a credit card with no APR. That’s right, with TD Clear, you’ll pay 0% interest on purchases. The TD Clear is a subscription-based Visa credit card with a straightforward monthly fee. Clear cardholders pay a monthly subscription fee and another charge based on the amount of the credit line they use. This charge and the subscription fee combine into something TD Bank terms “predictable minimum payments.”
Here are those credit line options:
|Predictable monthly payments||$45||$70|
Pay Down Balances Faster with Upgrade
The no annual fee Upgrade Cards offer an everyday APR that is significantly lower than the national average. Conversely, Upgrade is more geared toward paying down balances than paying no interest on payments, like TD Clear.
Upgrade cardholders can use their line of credit to make purchases anywhere Visa is accepted worldwide. They can also have some of the funds from their credit line transferred to their bank account to help tackle existing debt. This latter method makes the card a useful alternative for a balance transfer credit card.
Cardholders can use their line of credit to make purchases anywhere Visa is accepted worldwide. They can also have some of the funds from their credit line transferred to their bank account to help tackle existing debt. According to Upgrade research, paying a $10,000 balance takes just a few years with the Upgrade Visa, compared with other traditional credit cards that can take up to 20 years – or more.
A great, low interest rate is a reward in and of itself, but can you earn additional rewards with either card? The TD Clear does not earn rewards on purchases, instead focusing on no APR. Upgrade, on the other hand, offers rewards on all three of its credit card products. Each Upgrade Card earns cash back rewards on purchases. Here are the earning rates of the cards:
Upgrade Cash Rewards Visa®
Upgrade Triple Cash Rewards Visa®
Upgrade Visa® Card with Bitcoin Rewards
|Earn 1.5% unlimited cash back on card purchases every time you make a payment||Unlimited cash back on payments - 3% on Home, Auto and Health categories and 1% on everything else||Earn unlimited 1.5% back in bitcoin rewards after you make payments on your purchases|
Both cards are Visa credit card products. The TD Clear is a Visa Platinum credit card that provides cardholders with the essentials for security and protection. Visa Platinum features include Zero Fraud Liability, ID Navigator from Norton, Roadside Dispatch, and more.
Upgrade offers cardholders Visa Signature benefits. Visa Signature offers an elevated level of protections, including:
|Zero Fraud Liability||Cardholder Inquiry Services||Emergency Card Replacement|
|Roadside Dispatch and Auto Collision Damage Waiver||Lost/Stolen Card Reporting||ID Navigator from Norton|
|Luxury Hotel Collection||Travel & Emergency Assistance||Extended Warranty Coverage|
|Visa Signature Concierge|
Here is a quick breakdown of both credit cards’ features and how they compare head-to-head:
|Credit limits||$1,000 or $2,000||$500 to $25,000|
|Monthly fee||$10 or $20 ($120 or $240 annualized)||N/A|
|Minimum monthly payment||$45/$70||$5|
|No hidden fees||✔️||✔️|
|Rewards||No||Cash back, Bitcoin|
Related Article: The Best Balance Transfer Credit Cards