- Choose the Upgrade card with a personal credit line instead of a credit card and enjoy predictable payments on lines from $500-$20,000
- No Fees – No annual fees and no fees to use your card
- Quick and easy application – find out if you qualify in minutes
- Checking your line won’t hurt your credit score
- Free access to credit monitoring, alerts and features to help you understand your credit
- Use wherever Visa is accepted. (cannot be used at an ATM)
- Regular Purchase APR: 6.99%-29.99% variable based on creditworthiness and the Prime Rate
At a Glance
The Upgrade Card offers no fees, low rates, and credit lines up to $20,000 In one unique package. The card provides the flexibility and predictability consumers need to quickly pay down balances and get debt-free.
Ideal for Those Who:
- Struggle to pay off their credit card balances
- Want a structured repayment plan
- Have a Desire to Get Debt-Free Quickly
- Hate penalty or other hidden fees
Upgrade Card Review
The Upgrade Card is a new – and unique – take on what a credit card can be. The card, issued through New Jersey-based Cross River Bank, blurs the lines between a personal credit card and a personal loan. This provides cardholders the predictability and low rate of a personal loan and the flexibility of a credit card – all in one package.
A Fresh Take on the Credit Card
Many credit cards come with the offer of 0% intro APR. These introductory bonuses are designed to help cardholders pay down existing balances.
The Upgrade Card takes this concept and turns it on its head. Gone is the introductory offer. Instead, cardholders get a lower rate and an installment plan based on their creditworthiness.
The Upgrade Card isn’t exactly a credit card. Nor is it exactly a traditional loan. Instead, the Upgrade credit card is an easy-to-use credit line with installment plans of 12, 24, 36, or 60 months. These periods vary depending on the creditworthiness of the applicant.
The APR with the Upgrade Visa Card also varies depending on the creditworthiness.
How the Upgrade Card Works
The Upgrade Card works in two ways. Cardholders can use their line of credit to make purchases anywhere Visa is accepted worldwide. They can also choose to 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.
Once the statement period ends, Upgrade lumps all bank transfers and purchases into one balance, which the account holder then pays down based on their installment terms. As noted, these terms range from 12 months to 60 months. During subsequent statement periods, cardholders can continue making purchases or transferring funds to existing bank accounts up to their credit limit, with the processes repeating itself.
Pay Off Balances Faster
Thanks to the excellent APR (in comparison with other low APR credit cards), the card makes paying off existing debts almost effortless. While interest rates with the card vary depending on creditworthiness, those with excellent credit scores can expect an APR almost eight percentage-points lower than found with the best credit cards.
This exceptional rate makes accelerates debt repayments, with many Upgrade Cardholders eliminating balances years before those with traditional credit cards. Not only does Upgrade make paying off debt more manageable, but it also dramatically reduces the amount of interest paid at the same time.
According to research from Upgrade, paying of 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.
No Hidden Fees
The Upgrade Card positions itself as a different kind of credit card, so eliminating fees of any kind is keeping true to its mission statement. The card has no annual fee, no foreign transaction fees, no late fees, and no penalty fees or APR. There’s also no balance transfer fees, making paying down balances even easier. Normally, cards charge a fee of around 5% of the transfer, so no fee is a big win.
Who Can Benefit Most from the Upgrade Card?
The hybrid nature of the Upgrade Card makes it an excellent option for those who struggle with making payments with their regular credit cards. The structure of the installment plan makes it ideal for those who need help paying down their debts. This is especially true for those who prefer to carry a balance on their cards.
While the Upgrade Card doesn’t allow balance transfers per se, the ability to transfer some (or all) of the available credit line to an existing bank account makes it perfect for immediately eliminating an individual’s card balances. Once they do this, a person can then pay down one balance instead of several. This, in turn, can boost their credit score and reduce their monthly outlay. And, like other credit cards, Upgrade provides free access to credit monitoring tools, making it easy to track potential credit score growth.
Things to Consider Before Applying
The Upgrade Card does not feature a rewards program, meaning cardholders shouldn’t expect to earn any points or cash back with their purchases. While reducing debt and getting control of finances is undoubtedly rewarding, for those who crave points, Upgrade isn’t quite there – yet.
Should You Apply for the Upgrade Card?
The Upgrade Card is a refreshing approach to the traditional credit card. Balance transfer cards are great because they allow cardholders to reduce balances by combining them and paying them down over time. Typically, this involves a 0% intro APR period.
Upgrade Card, on the other hand, offers a credit line which the cardholder can use to pay off their balances. Once they accomplish this, they can pay off the card balance over a set installment period. Even better, most cardholders get interest rates, which are dramatically lower than those found with the most economical, low APR credit cards.
Ultimately, the Upgrade Card is an excellent – and unique – alternative to the balance transfer card for those with great or good credit scores. The lack of an annual fee, excellent interest-rates, and generous repayment terms make it ideal for those who struggle to pay off their debts – and need a helping hand in the process.
Upgrade Card FAQs
Is the Upgrade Card a Credit Card?
- Yes! The Upgrade Card is a regular Visa credit card that also acts as an installment loan.
Does the Card Show Up As a Credit Card or Installment Loan On Your Credit Report?
- Unlike other cards, Upgrade is reported as an installment loan on your credit report.
What Credit Score Do You Need to Get the Upgrade Card?
- The card requires a fair credit score or higher. Those with a credit score of 620 or more are eligible for the card, while those with lower credit scores should consider another credit card for rebuilding credit.
Does the Upgrade Card Report to All the Major Credit Bureaus?
- Yes. Upgrade reports to Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion.
Does Upgrade Do a Hard Pull?
Will Upgrade Contact My Employer?
- Upgrade Loans are different from the Upgrade Card. Upgrade Loans may contact your employer to verify employment and income details. The Upgrade Card, however, acts like any other credit card application, meaning you won’t have to worry about your employer being contacted.