TD Clear Vs. Upgrade Cash Rewards Visa®: Read This Before Applying

Advertiser Disclosure

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:

Info Explained
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:

  • American Express
  • Bank of America
  • Capital One
  • Chase
  • Citibank
  • OpenSky
  • Wells Fargo

Currently, only two major card issuers don’t allow applicants with an ITIN:

  • Barclays
  • Discover
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.

Annual Fee

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:

Credit limit $1,000 $2,000
Monthly fee $10 $20
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®
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

Other Features

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 Luxury Hotel Collection Extended Warranty Coverage
Roadside Dispatch Lost/Stolen Card Reporting ID Navigator from Norton Travel & Emergency Assistance


Here is a quick breakdown of both credit cards’ features and how they compare head-to-head:

TD Clear

Upgrade Visa®
Credit limits $1,000 or $2,000 $500 to $25,000
Annual fee N/A None
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

Featured image by Gam-Ol  / PixaBay

Editorial Disclosure – The opinions expressed on's reviews, articles, and all other content on or relating to the website are solely those of the content’s author(s). These opinions do not reflect those of any card issuer or financial institution, and editorial content on our site has not been reviewed or approved by these entities unless noted otherwise. Further, lists credit card offers that are frequently updated with information believed to be accurate to the best of our team's knowledge. However, please review the information provided directly by the credit card issuer or related financial institution for full details.

About: Cory Santos
Cory Santos

Cory is the senior credit card editor at BestCards, specializing in everything credit card-related. He’s worked extensively with credit cards and other personal finance topics, including nearly five years at BestCards. Cory’s extensive knowledge is an essential part of the BestCards experience, helping readers to live their best financial lives with up-to-date insights and comprehensive coverage of all facets of the credit card space, including market trends, rewards guides, credit advice, and comprehensive credit card reviews.

Advertiser Disclosure

BestCards is an independent, Florida-based credit card comparison platform. Many of the card offers that appear on this site are from companies from which BestCards receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). BestCards does not include all card companies or all card offers available in the marketplace.