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Uplift travel loans review

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Uplift travel loans
3.7
★★★★★
Finder score
2.0
★★★★★
Max. Loan Amount
$15,000
APR
0% to 36%
Min. credit score
550

Our verdict

Travel now and pay in installments with this convenient travel lender.

Uplift offers a buy-now, pay-later (BNPL) service that lets you travel now and pay later. To use the service, you must book through one of its partner sites, which includes many airlines and cruise companies. Rates range from 0% to 36% APR – this is as high as some credit cards, but without the benefits of rewards or cash back. But Uplift only does a soft credit check and can be a good option if you don't want to use cards or cash to pay for travel.

Best for: Travelers with good credit who need to finance their next trip.

Pros

  • Travel while making payments
  • No late fees or prepayment penalties
  • Borrowers with credit scores of 550 or higher are eligible

Cons

  • High maximum APR of 36%
  • Limited selection of travel partners
  • May require a down payment

In this guide

  • Our verdict
  • Details
    • Product details
  • Your reviews
  • Ask a question

Bottom line: Uplift can be a good choice if you're looking to beat the high rates offered by travel credit cards. But its limited selection of partners — and potentially high APR for borrowers with fair credit — mean you'll be limited in how you use your funds. Read our full review or get our 30-second take.

Details

Product details

Min. Loan Amount $100
Loan Amount $15,000
APR 0% to 36%
Interest Rate Type Fixed
Min. credit score 550
Origination Fee 2%
Loan term 3 months to 2 years

Our take on Uplift travel loans

Uplift, owned by Upgrade, offers a buy-now, pay-later service through top airlines, cruise lines, resorts and travel booking agencies. It’s best for people who want to pay for travel in installments or don’t want to tie up their credit cards or use cash.

Unlike many lenders, Uplift only does a soft credit check when you apply for financing, skipping the long application process. Just fill out a short form at checkout and receive an instant decision and payment plan on your purchase. Uplift also reports your repayments to Equifax so you can build your credit.

But your booking options are limited to Uplift partners, and you don’t get the benefit of earning points or miles as you do when you book with a travel or rewards card. On the plus side, there are no late fees and no prepayment penalty if you pay your Uplift balance off early.

While some borrowers may pay no interest at all when getting a loan with Uplift, rates can run high if your credit is on the lower end – so you’ll need to decide if paying in installments makes financial sense for you.

Eligibility requirements for Uplift

To finance your next vacation with Uplift, you’ll need to meet three basic criteria:

  • Credit score of over 550
  • Trip must originate in the US if financing air travel
  • Must be going on the trip to be eligible for financing

Uplift is acquired by Upgrade

Uplift was recently bought by Upgrade, a personal loan lender that works with lower-credit borrowers. The idea behind this merger is to make credit available to people who don’t necessarily want to open a new credit card or apply for a personal loan to pay for large travel expenses like airline tickets and cruises.

Uplift loans cover big and small travel expenses

Uplift finances exclusively through the merchants in its network, so you’ll be able to break down the cost your trip into monthly increments.

  • Fixed interest rates could be as low as 0% — but borrowers with bad credit may face an annual percentage rate (APR) up to 36%
  • No late fees, origination fees or prepayment penalties.
  • The typical loan term is 11 months, but some merchants may offer terms of up to 24 months.

Pricing is based on your credit score and the cost of your travel package, among other factors. While Uplift accepts borrowers with bad credit, you’re unlikely to qualify for a competitive rate. If you have good to excellent credit, you may be able to score an APR close to its minimum of 0%, making it much less expensive than most credit cards.

You can use our calculator to gauge how much your travel might cost when financed through Uplift. Enter the amount you need to borrow, how long you expect to be paying off the loan in the term field and your potential interest rate to see your monthly payment.

Uplift monthly payment calculator

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How Uplift compares to other lenders

Compare Uplift’s rates, terms and features to other popular loan providers.

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Upgrade
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Best Egg personal loans
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Uplift reviews and complaints

BBB accredited No
BBB rating A+
BBB customer reviews 2.71 out of 5 stars, based on 86 customer reviews
Trustpilot Score 2.5 out of 5 stars, based on 461 customer reviews
Customer reviews verified as of 08 August 2023

As of January 2023, Uplift has an A+ rating with the BBB and is not accredited. Reviews on its BBB page are mixed, holding a 2.71-star rating. Many of the negative reviews reference poor customer service, communication issues, and problems around payment and refund issues. The few positive reviews are pleased with the service, with most being happy with the buy-now-pay-later terms and quick application process.

On its Trustpilot page, reviews are just as mixed, holding a 2.5-star rating. Some people are pleased with Uplift’s customer service, also citing an easy application and praising the simple payment system. Negative reviews — similar to its BBB profile — often report issues around cancellations, refunds and repayments.

We also reviewed a number of reviews for Uplift, with the majority of them being negative. Complaints are in the same vein as we’ve seen on Trustpilot and BBB — past customers cite issues with refunds and payments, and reports of poor customer service.

How the application works

When you use Uplift, you’ll need to find a travel partner through its website — or you can book directly from a provider’s website. If your trip is available to finance, you’ll see the option to pay with Uplift on the checkout page when you’re ready to book your vacation.

If you’re approved and want to accept the loan offer, you’ll need to enter your full Social Security number and payment information. Uplift does a soft pull of your credit to determine final approval. Though not always the case, you may also need to provide a down payment when you book your trip.

Uplift partners with airlines, cruise lines and resorts

Uplift works with a wide selection of flights, cruises, resorts and vacation packages, including:

  • American Airlines Vacations
  • Carnival Cruises
  • Expedia Cruises
  • Frontier
  • Funjet Vacations
  • Lufthansa
  • Norwegian Cruises
  • Royal Caribbean Cruises
  • Southwest Vacations
  • Spirit Airlines
  • Spirit Vacations
  • United Airlines
  • United Airlines Vacations
  • Universal Orlando Resort
  • Vacation Express
  • Vacatia

You can view Uplift’s full list of partners on its website.

Payments are made automatically through Uplift

Interest starts to accrue as soon as you receive your financing. Monthly payments are automatically withdrawn from the debit or credit card you have on file — and Uplift sends you both email and text reminders before each withdrawal.

Uplift also allows you to make manual payments on its website by signing in to your account. And since there are no prepayment penalties, you could save on interest if you pay your loan off before its due date.

If you know you won’t be able to make a payment, notify Uplift at least three days before the due date to request a 15-day grace period to prevent a late payment. Payments more than 30 days late may be reported to Equifax, which could damage your credit.

You still need to pay for canceled trips and changed plans

Much like a credit card, you must pay back Uplift even if you aren’t able to travel. If the travel provider gives you a cash refund, then you can use that to make payments on your loan. But even if your refund is a travel credit or gift certificate, you need to continue to make payments.

Is Uplift legit?

Uplift is a legitimate service that allows you to borrow for your vacation — and it works with top travel partners across the US. It has a secure website and a privacy policy that covers how your information is collected and used. You can contact Uplift by phone or email, and it frequently responds to customer complaints on its Trustpilot page.

3 alternatives to Uplift

A travel loan isn’t always the right choice. In fact, it could be the wrong choice if you don’t have firm plans or don’t qualify for a low APR on your loan. Although using Uplift makes travel much more affordable, it can still be more expensive than saving up or using a credit card.

  1. Savings should always be your first choice to avoid paying interest. This may not always be possible — especially if you need to make an emergency trip — but it is the least expensive option.
  2. A credit card may be a good alternative to Uplift if your APR is higher than 20%. Since there are credit cards designed with travel rewards in mind, there may be a less expensive deal that earns you points toward future vacations.
  3. Of course, other personal loans may be a solid alternative as well. You should compare lenders to find the best APR and terms. Uplift may be convenient, but for borrowers with good to excellent credit, you may be able to score a lower rate with a different lender.

Not sure Uplift is right for you? Check out our guide to financing your vacation or compare more personal loan options to pay for your next trip.

Personal loan ratings

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★★★★★ Good
★★★★★ Average
★★★★★ Subpar
★★★★★ Poor
We analyze top personal loan providers and rate them one to five stars based on factors that are most important to you. These factors include: rates and fees, customer reviews, loan amounts, loan processing and borrower experience. Read the full methodology of how we rate personal loan providers.

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Amanda

February 11, 2020

I live in WV and when I go to apply at the end of my vacation package its states not eligible in WV. Is this true?


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Charisse Finder

February 11, 2020

Hi Amanda,


Thanks for reaching out to Finder.


Yes, it’s true. Unfortunately, Uplift is not authorized to do business in West Virginia due to regulatory practices.


If you want to learn more information about regulatory lending practices in West Virginia, you may contact your state securities regulator.


I hope this helps.


Cheers,

Charisse


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Randy

October 03, 2019

Does Uplift report payments to the major credit bureaus?


Than you,


Randy


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Charisse Finder

October 03, 2019

Hi Randy,


Thanks for reaching out to Finder.


Yes, Uplift will report accurate payment status on a monthly basis to the credit bureau, although they did not give specific information which credit bureau(s) they report to.


They also reserve the right to report partial or late payments of 30 days or longer to consumer reporting agencies in accordance with applicable law.


I hope this helps.


Cheers,

Charisse


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Carol

September 23, 2019

Can you have more than one UpLift loan at a time?


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Charisse Finder

September 25, 2019

Hi Carol,


Thanks for reaching out to Finder.


Yes. UpLift allows you to have more than one active loan however, credit restrictions may apply and all loan approvals are credit dependent at the time of your application.


I hope this helps.


Cheers,

Charisse


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