The Upgrade Card is not one of our top-rated credit cards. You can review our list of best credit cards for what we think are better options.
Full Review of Upgrade Card
No fees to obtain or use the card
Predictable monthly payments
Useful alternative to balance transfer offers
Most applicants won’t qualify for the maximum credit line
No rewards or additional benefits
No grace period
- No Fees to Obtain or Use the Card: While some credit cards charge annual fees, setup fees, and monthly fees, the Upgrade Card doesn’t charge any fees at all. That includes no foreign transaction fees or prepayment penalties.
- Predictable Monthly Payments: When you put charges on your Upgrade Card, they’re turned into an installment loan. You’ll repay the loan with fixed payments over a loan term of 12 to 60 months. You’ll have a predetermined monthly payment and fixed APR, so you can plan ahead and create a budget. You’ll also know exactly when you’ll pay off the amount you borrowed.
- Useful Alternative to Balance Transfer Offers: For people who can’t qualify for the best balance transfer cards because of their credit, the Upgrade Card could be a good alternative. While the Upgrade Card technically doesn’t allow balance transfers, it does have an easy workaround: You can draw money from your account online and deposit it into your bank account. Once that money is in the bank, you can use it to pay off your existing credit card debt. Going forward, you’ll make payments on the Upgrade Card balance.
- Most Applicants won’t Qualify for the Maximum Credit Line: While the Upgrade Card offers credit lines as large as $50,000, most applicants won’t qualify for that much. According to the company, the majority of credit lines are for $20,000 or less. Your APR, credit line amount, and loan term will depend on your credit, credit usage history, and the credit line you requested.
- No Rewards or Additional Benefits: Unfortunately, the Upgrade Card doesn’t have a rewards program, so you won’t earn points, miles, or cash back on your purchases. The card doesn’t provide any additional benefits, either, so you won’t get travel insurance or extended warranty coverage, for example. If you have less-than-perfect credit and are looking for a card that offers rewards, consider the Discover it Secured card. It requires a security deposit, but you’ll earn 2% cash back at gas stations and restaurants on up to $1,000 in spending each quarter, plus 1% unlimited cash back on all other purchases.
- No Grace Period: With traditional credit cards, you typically have a grace period—the time between when your billing cycle ends and your minimum payment is due. In most cases, if you pay off your statement balance before the grace period ends, no interest will accrue. However, the Upgrade Card doesn’t have a grace period. All of your purchases will start accruing interest right away.
This Card is Best For
Motivated to create positive credit history
If your credit isn’t perfect and you’re looking for an alternative to subprime credit cards, the Upgrade Card may be a good option for you. It offers the flexibility and convenience of a credit card but the lower costs and predictable payments of a personal loan.
There are no fees, and you’ll repay your charges over 12 to 60 months. By having a fixed repayment term, you’ll be committed to repaying your debt by a set deadline, and you may pay less in interest charges than you would with a traditional credit card.
Because the Upgrade Card isn’t a standard credit card, it doesn’t offer the usual benefits you might expect from credit cards. However it does allow you to add your Upgrade Card to Apple Pay or Google Pay, and you can use it at contactless terminals.
The Upgrade Card is issued by Sutton Bank and is licensed by Visa. As a small, privately held, community bank, Sutton Bank was not rated in the 2019 J.D. Power Credit Card Customer Satisfaction Study.
Upgrade was launched in 2017 and specializes in personal loans and personal lines of credit. Since its inception, it has issued $3 billion in credit to customers. The company introduced the Upgrade Card in 2019, so it’s a very new financial product.
Upgrade’s customer service team can be reached by calling 844-558-5687 Monday through Friday from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 6 a.m. to 5 p.m. Pacific time.
The Upgrade Card doesn’t offer the usual security features typical of a credit card. For example, it doesn’t have account monitoring or fraud alerts, so you’ll have to be diligent about your own account security. If your card is lost or stolen, contact customer service right away to freeze your account.
If you’re afraid of running up a credit card balance, the Upgrade Card can be a useful alternative to a traditional credit card. The card automatically puts your charges into an installment plan with fixed monthly payments, so you’ll pay off your balance within 12 to 60 months. Depending on your credit, you may qualify for a lower APR than you could get with a regular credit card.
However, the Upgrade Card doesn’t offer any other benefits or rewards. As you build good credit, you may want to apply for another card that allows you to earn rewards on your routine purchases.
For example, you may qualify for the QuicksilverOne from CapitalOne if you have average credit, meaning you have a limited credit history, have had your own credit card or other form of credit for less than three years, or have defaulted on a loan in the past five years.
That card has a $39 annual fee, but you earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase you make. It also has benefits like secondary auto rental collision damage waiver, travel accident insurance, and extended warranty coverage, making it a more robust option than the Upgrade Card.