How to Quickly Eliminate Credit Card Debt

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Last updated on May 16th, 2023

With the average U.S. credit card debt over $8,000, shoring up your finances has never been more important.  While balance transfer credit cards are a staple of debt reduction, a new option is rapidly gaining popularity. Known as the Upgrade Visa® Card with Cash Rewards, it offers the low rates of a personal loan plus the flexibility of a traditional credit card. What is the Upgrade Visa® Card with Cash Rewards, and should you consider applying to quickly eliminate credit card debt?

The Trouble with Balance Transfer Cards

The recent economic volatility has many Americans considering getting their finances in order. Given that the Covid-19 pandemic has no end in sight, eliminating debt has never made more sense. One of the most popular options for paying off debts is balance transfer credit cards.

Balance transfer credit cards work by providing an introductory interest rate and low fees for conducting transfers. Typically, this special rate is 0% intro APR for between 6 to 18 months. Once this bonus period ends, balance transfer cards offer a “low” APR of around 14% – though some credit union credit cards come with rates below 10%.

While the APR on a balance transfer credit card is significantly lower than interest rates on other types of cards, it is still high. Paying off a balance requires patience and the correct tools for the job, so using a card that charges 14% interest just isn’t practical.

Upgrade the Way You Eliminate Credit Card Debt

Fortunately, Sutton Bank understands the problems that arise from paying off balances via a balance transfer card. The bank, along with fintech pioneers Upgrade, created a new type of credit product. Known as the Upgrade Visa® Card with Cash Rewards, it is a unique approach to paying down balances and eliminating fees of any kind.

Upgrade Cash Rewards Visa®

Upgrade Cash Rewards Visa®
BestCards refers to a variation of FICO Score 9, which is one of many different types of credit scores. A financial institution may use a different score when deciding whether to approve you for a credit card. Please note that the range shown here is our own estimation and not a guarantee of credit needed to be approved for any given card. Recommended Credit: Excellent / Good / Fair
Visa Processing Network
None Annual Fee

Upgrade Cash Rewards Visa®

  • 14.99%-29.99% variable based on creditworthiness and the Prime Rate Regular Purchase APR
  • 14.99% to 29.99% Balance Transfer APR

At a Glance

The Upgrade Cash Rewards Visa® offers no fees, low rates, cash back, and credit lines from $500 to $25,000 in one unique package. The card provides consumers the flexibility and predictability to quickly pay down balances and get debt-free. The Upgrade credit card is one of the lowest regular APR credit cards on the market for those with excellent credit scores, putting it firmly on any list of the best balance transfer credit card deals – or any list of the best credit cards in the U.S.

  • Best Benefits
  • Rates & Fees
  • Why Should You Apply?
  • $200 bonus after opening a Rewards Checking Plus account and making 3 debit card transactions*
  • Earn 1.5% unlimited cash back on card purchases every time you make a payment
  • Combine the flexibility of a credit card with the predictability of a personal loan
  • No annual fee
  • No touch payments with contactless technology built in
  • See if you qualify in minutes without hurting your credit score
  • 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 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.
  • Regular Purchase APR: 14.99%-29.99% variable based on creditworthiness and the Prime Rate
  • Balance Transfer APR: 14.99% to 29.99%
  • Balance Transfer Transaction Fee: Up to 5%
  • Foreign Transaction Fee: Up to 3%
  • You struggle to pay off your credit card balances
  • You want a structured repayment plan
  • You can reliably pay off your statement balances to earn cash back for your purchases
  • You have a desire to get debt-free quickly
  • You hate penalty or other hidden fees

The Upgrade Card combines the purchasing power of a Visa credit card with the excellent rates of a personal bank loan. New accounts get a credit line of up to $20,000, with installment repayment plans of 12, 24, 36, or 60 months. Cardholders can use the Upgrade Card like a credit card or transfer funds over to existing accounts to pay off their high-interest balances.

The beauty of the Upgrade Card is that existing balances are paid off using the credit line, then paid back over a set period – all at a rate significantly lower than any balance transfer credit card. The APR with the Upgrade Card starts as low as 8.99% – almost 6% lower than the average balance transfer card. This low rate and set payment structure are proven to help individuals pay down their faster and more effectively than with traditional credit card products.

Pay Down Balances Faster – and Cheaper

The following shows how effective Upgrade is versus traditional credit cards. This table shows how much a user pays on a $10,000 balance when making just the monthly minimum payments:

Upgrade credit cards Traditional credit cards
Time to pay off balance 2 years 28 years
Interest paid $2,102.71 $14,423.16

Who Can Benefit Most from the Upgrade Card?

Because of the low-interest rates and set repayment periods, the Upgrade Card is the perfect option for those who struggle to make payments with their current credit cards. Paying down balances using tricks like the snowball or debt avalanche method requires planning and dedication. The Upgrade Card, on the other hand, requires cardholders to make their monthly minimum payment. That’s it.

No Fees Means No Worries

Even better, the Upgrade Card charges no fees of any kind.

All Upgrade Visa® credit cards charge NO FEES on the following typical charges:
Annual fee Monthly fees Late fees
Penalty APR Over-the-limit fees Subscriptions

Have a Balance You Want to Pay Down? What’s Your Best Option?

Many individuals enjoy the introductory bonuses that come from balance transfer cards. After all, 0% intro APR is very enticing. Once that intro period ends, however, you’re left with interest rates in the teens. Still, for those who have a smaller balance to pay down a balance transfer credit card makes perfect sense.

If you are like the average American household, however, six months of 0% APR won’t help you much. That’s because the average American family has over $8,000 of credit card debt, according to For those with substantial debts, the Upgrade Card provides a simple, efficient, and inexpensive way to quickly pay down balances and eliminate credit card debt. And, with no fees, it’s a solution that not only saves you money but won’t cost you anything to get either. Now that’s a win-win!

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.

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