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Upgrade Select Visa®

Cory Santos

| Last updated on February 14th, 2024

Upgrade Select Visa®

Upgrade Select Visa®
Fair
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: Fair
Visa Processing Network
$39 Annual Fee

Upgrade Select Visa®

  • 21.96% to 29.99% variable based on creditworthiness and the Prime Rate Regular Purchase APR
  • 21.96% to 29.99% variable based on creditworthiness and the Prime Rate Balance Transfer APR

At a Glance

The Upgrade Select Visa® combines the best of the regular Upgrade Card for those looking to establish a strong credit history with unsecured credit for the first time. Cardholders enjoy credit lines between $500 and $2,000, up to 10% cash back on select merchants through Dosh®, and a sensible welcome bonus, all for a modest $39 annual fee.

  • Best Benefits
  • Rates & Fees
  • Why Should You Apply?
  • $200 bonus after opening a Rewards Checking Plus account and making 3 debit card transactions*
  • Combine the flexibility of a credit card with the predictability of a personal loan
  • $39 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: 21.96% to 29.99% variable based on creditworthiness and the Prime Rate
  • Balance Transfer APR: 21.96% to 29.99% variable based on creditworthiness and the Prime Rate
  • Balance Transfer Transaction Fee: Up to 5%
  • Annual Fee: $39
  • Foreign Transaction Fee: 3% of the transaction amount in U.S. dollars
  • You struggle to pay off your credit card balances
  • You want a structured repayment plan
  • You can reliably pay off your statement balances and establish a strong credit history
  • You have a desire to get debt-free quickly
  • You hate penalty or other hidden fees

In-Depth Review: Upgrade Select Visa® Credit Card

Upgrade Select is a new type of credit card from Upgrade, the maker of the popular Upgrade line of credit cards. The Upgrade Select Visa® works with the Upgrade Rewards Checking account, offering improved access to credit-building tools and allowing you to establish a strong credit profile with responsible usage of unsecured credit for a modest $39 annual fee.

Who Can Benefit from Upgrade Select?

As briefly touched upon, the Upgrade Select Visa® offers the opportunity to enjoy access to unsecured credit, with credit lines ranging from $500 to $2,000. Those starting limits are considerably lower than what you’ll find with Upgrade’s other credit card products, namely the Upgrade Triple Cash Rewards Visa® (also called the Upgrade Life Rewards Visa) and the Upgrade Cash Rewards Visa®. Which offer credit lines of up to $25,000, but that’s because the Select Visa is designed with another credit profile in mind.

Upgrade Select offers the chance to establish a positive credit history with unsecured credit, making it ideal for those with fair credit scores looking to jump from secured to unsecured credit but not looking for another secured card. Upgrade specializes in helping users establish credit and demonstrate financial responsibility with generous credit lines, no hidden fees, and the flexibility of a credit card with the predictability of a personal loan.

How to Get Upgrade

Even better, Upgrade provides a free online pre-qualification tool. This means you can see if you pre-qualify in minutes without hurting your credit score. This feature is a great way to see your suitability for an Upgrade product without a ding on your credit report. Remember, however, that a credit card pre-qualification or preapproval is not the same as an application approval. Typically, your approval odds with pre-approved offers are good if you receive an offer and your credit profile has changed recently.

How Does Upgrade Card Work?

The Upgrade’s credit cards work in two ways. Cardholders can use their line of credit to make purchases anywhere Visa is accepted worldwide. Tap, swipe, insert, or purchase online with the card anywhere you see the Visa logo – currently in over 200 countries worldwide. You can also use some of the credit line to transfer to an external bank account to help tackle existing debt.

Once the statement period ends, Upgrade lumps all bank transfers and purchases into one balance, which you can pay down based on the installment terms. As noted, these terms range from 12 months to 60 months.  During subsequent statement periods, you can continue making purchases or transferring funds to existing bank accounts up to the credit limit, repeating the process.

The upgrade takes the guesswork out of credit card balances with a set, pre-determined automatic payment from your linked account each month, saving you time and headaches. The Upgrade Card program is a simple yet effective platform to streamline your credit life and help you flourish financially.

Upgrade Vs. Traditional Credit Cards

Upgrade balances feature a fixed rate and term, so you know when you pay off your balance and can save on interest. Here’s how that process can help you save significant time (and money) versus a traditional credit card making just the minimum amount due each month:

Upgrade Card Traditional Credit Card
Monthly payment $38.68 $28.33
Time to repay balance 3 years 10 years
Interest accrued $392.17 $1,193.25

How to Earn Cash Back with Upgrade

$200 Rewards Checking Rewards Checking Welcome Bonus

New Upgrade Select Visa Card accounts can also earn a solid welcome bonus for opening, funding, and using a Rewards Checking Plus account. Enjoy a $200 bonus when you open and fund a Rewards Checking Plus account and make three debit card transactions within 60 days of opening your Rewards Checking account. The bonus will be applied to your Rewards Checking Plus account as a one-time payout credit within 60 days after meeting the conditions.

Earn Bonus Rewards with Dosh®

While the Upgrade Select Visa doesn’t offer cash back rewards baked into the card, Upgrade does provide the chance to earn rewards via Upgrade Shopping powered by Dosh®. Dosh is a mobile app and service that can help you get automatic cash back at thousands of places when you shop, dine, or book hotels.

Activate Upgrade Shopping offers from participating merchants via your account dashboard, then shop online through Dosh or at stores using your Upgrade Card. All cash back rewards are automatically applied to your balance and will not otherwise reduce the amount of your regular monthly payments.

Other Card Benefits

As an Upgrade cardholder, you can expect an array of helpful tools, security features, and more. All Upgrade Cards feature EMV chip technology, allowing you to shop with an additional layer of security in-store and online. EMV chips let you tap and pay at retailers worldwide, streamlining your buying experience and keeping you safe.

Visa Benefits

Upgrade Select cardholders enjoy the Visa Platinum protections consumers have come to expect from a credit card, including the following features:

Zero Fraud Liability Cardholder Inquiry Services Emergency Card Replacement
Roadside Dispatch and Auto Collision Damage Waiver Lost/Stolen Card Reporting ID Navigator from Norton

Comparison

Upgrade Select Visa® Surge® Platinum Mastercard® Revvi Card
Annual fee $39 See Terms $75 1st year, $48 after
Starting credit $500 to $2,000 Up to $1,000 $300
Rewards Up to 10% back with Dosh N/A 1% back

 

What We Love About Upgrade

There’s plenty to love about Upgrade. The good features start with the simple pre-qualification and streamlined purchase and repayment process with the card. The Select Card might not provide the “up to $25,000” credit limits of other Upgrade Cards, but it offers an exceptional platform with a top-end credit line significantly higher than other near-prime credit cards on the market.

Adding a welcome bonus for opening and using an Upgrade Rewards Checking account is also great, with a few cards for this credit profile offering welcome offers. Even better, that welcome bonus, $200, requires only opening an eligible checking account and making three transactions within 60 days of the date the Rewards Checking Plus account is opened.

Finally, the lack of hidden fees with Upgrade is something everyone will love. Sure, the Select Visa features a $39 annual fee, but that charge is very competitive compared to similar products.

Things to Consider

Despite the reasonable annual fee, that $39 charge is a letdown. Other options, such as the Petal Cards, feature a $0 annual fee and basic rewards. But while that is negative, it’s fairly minor, especially given how much is on offer with the card.

Upgrade FAQs

Here are answers to some of the most commonly asked questions regarding the Upgrade Card and the Upgrade Select:

  • Yes! The Upgrade Card is a regular Visa credit card that also acts as an installment loan.
  • Unlike other cards, Upgrade is reported as an installment loan on your credit report.
  • Yes. Upgrade reports to Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion.
  • Upgrade Loans are different from the Upgrade Visa® Card with Cash Rewards. 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.
  • The Upgrade Card is available in all 50 U.S. states plus the District of Columbia (DC).

Upgrade Card Ratings

How does the Upgrade Card stack up? Here is a selection of expert reviews for the card:

Should You Apply for the Upgrade Select Visa®?

The Upgrade Select Visa allows individuals with fair credit scores to establish a positive credit history with unsecured credit. While the initial credit limits may be lower than Upgrade’s other credit card products, it is designed for a specific credit profile. Upgrade specializes in helping users build credit and demonstrate financial responsibility with generous credit lines, no hidden fees, and the convenience of a credit card with the predictability of a personal loan.

The free online pre-qualification tool allows potential cardholders to check their eligibility without affecting their credit score. The Upgrade Card allows for purchases worldwide and offers the flexibility to transfer funds to external bank accounts to tackle existing debt. The set, pre-determined automatic payment system simplifies managing credit card balances. Additionally, the card offers the opportunity to earn rewards through Upgrade Shopping powered by Dosh®. Overall, Upgrade provides a user-friendly platform with competitive features and benefits for individuals with average to fair credit.

*To qualify for the welcome bonus, you must open and fund a new Rewards Checking Plus account through Upgrade and make 3 qualifying debit card transactions from your Rewards Checking Plus account within 60 days of the date the Rewards Checking Plus account is opened. If you have previously opened a checking account through Upgrade or do not open a Rewards Checking Plus account as part of this application process, you are not eligible for this welcome bonus offer. Your Upgrade Card and Rewards Checking Plus account must be open and in good standing to receive a bonus. 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. Welcome bonus offers cannot be combined, substituted, or applied retroactively. The bonus will be applied to your Rewards Checking Plus account as a one-time payout credit within 60 days after meeting the conditions.

Credit Lines opened through Upgrade feature Annual Percentage Rates (APRs) of 21.96% – 29.99% and line amounts ranging $500 – $2,000. Optional ACH transfers to your bank account, balance transfers, and foreign transactions are subject to fees that, if incurred, will increase your finance charge and APR. The lowest rates require Autopay and the majority of the line amounts will be $1,500 or under. For example, a $1,000 transaction with a 36 month term and a 22.00% APR has a required monthly payment of $38.68. The APR on your transaction may be higher or lower. Your rate, line amount, and default term depend on maintaining a qualifying credit score, your credit usage history, requested amount, and other factors. The Upgrade Card is unique in that it allows you to obtain a series of closed-end loans which you may access through transactions such as card purchases up to the approved line amount. As you repay your balance, additional credit may become available to you up to the approved line amount subject to meeting our credit requirements. The Upgrade Card will not replenish as it would in an open-end credit arrangement.

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