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Upgrade Bitcoin Rewards review
Earn 1.5% back as bitcoin on all eligible purchases, but there are limitations on rewards earned.
- Get this card if you want a credit line for carrying balances that will also earn bitcoin on purchases.
- Get something else if you want a traditional reward system or the ability to earn more than 1.5% on your purchases.
- Apply with a fair credit score of 600 or higher.
Up to 1.5%
14.99% to 29.99%
Purchase APR (variable)
Recommended credit score
Steven Dashiell is Senior Writer, Personal Finance at Finder specializing in all things credit cards. With more than 300 articles under his belt, he aims to help readers embrace credit cards and maximize their rewards. Steve is studying to become a Certified Educator in Personal Finance, and is a frequent face on Finder’s YouTube channel, offering the latest in credit card hacks and advice. His expertise has been featured on numerous outlets, including U.S. News & World Report, NASDAQ, Time, CBS, Fox Business, Lifehacker, Martha Stewart Living and more.
The Upgrade Bitcoin Rewards card is the newest crypto credit card to hit the market, released by online bank Upgrade. The card comes with no fees and earns an unlimited 1.5% back as bitcoin when you make the payments on your eligible purchases, though the card lacks any sort of signup bonus. It also comes with an APR ranging from 14.99% to 29.99% variable.
Here’s where things get weird. Like the standard Upgrade Cash Rewards Visa®, the Upgrade Bitcoin Rewards card doesn’t work like a traditional credit card. Any unpaid balance left over at the end of the month is added up and converted into an installment loan at a set rate at either 24, 36 or 60 months.
Another thing to watch out for is that while the Upgrade Bitcoin Rewards card earns 1.5% on purchases when you make payments, bitcoin is “purchased” by Upgrade within one to two statement periods from the date your payment is received. This means there’s no way of knowing exactly how much your 1.5% is going to be worth at the time of payment.
It’s also a far cry from how something like the Gemini Credit Card works, which posts your earned bitcoin to your account at the time of purchase. Upgrade will also need to hold your bitcoin earnings for 90 days before you can sell them. Plus, your sales earnings are also subject to a 1.5% transaction fee and are also redeemable in the form of statement credit.
Ultimately, while the credit and loan hybrid nature of the card might prove useful for some consumers, the limitations on the bitcoin rewards earned with this card leave it low on our list of upcoming crypto credit cards to keep an eye on.
How to apply for the Upgrade Bitcoin Rewards card
As of January 2022, this card isn’t available in DC, Hawaii, Iowa, New Hampshire, North Carolina, West Virginia and Wisconsin. For everywhere else, apply for the Upgrade Bitcoin Rewards card by doing the following:
- Select Apply now.
- On the front page select Get started under Upgrade Bitcoin Rewards.
- Fill out the requested information, including your name, address, date of birth, income and email address.
- Select the agreement box and then hit Check your credit line.
Upgrade Bitcoin Rewards card benefits
- Earn bitcoin rewards on purchases. You’ll earn 1.5% back in the form of bitcoin when you make payments on your credit card. NYDIG provides and manages Bitcoin services and accounts.
- No fees. The Upgrade Bitcoin Rewards card features no fees.
- Unique pay-over-time structure. Any purchases you make that you don’t pay off by the end of the month are added up and turned into a fixed-rate payment plan. The assigned APR to this plan depends on your purchases and financial history, as does the payment period, which can be 24, 36 or 64 months.
Upgrade Bitcoin Rewards card drawbacks
- No grace period. You’ll start accruing interest from the day you make your purchase.
- Bitcoin limitations. Since it takes up to two statement periods for NYDIG to purchase your bitcoin, the value of that bitcoin could change from the time you initially made your card purchase. Bitcoin is also the only crypto you can earn with this card, and an outside company manages assorted functions and fees — including a 1.5% sales fee.
- No signup bonus. Unlike many flat-rate rewards cards and other crypto credit cards, this card doesn’t offer a signup bonus.
- Payments are inflexible. Payments made during your pay over time period are fixed and are due at a set date even if you paid more than you needed the prior month.
- Not available everywhere. This card isn’t available in DC, Hawaii, Iowa, New Hampshire, North Carolina, West Virginia and Wisconsin.
Compare Crypto credit cards that are available now
Upgrade Bitcoin Rewards card customer complaints and reviews
As of April 2022, Upgrade is accredited with the Better Business Bureau and has an A+ rating. It earns a rating of 4.6 stars out of 5 after 2,662 reviews. Most complaints cite poor customer service or billing issues.
Upgrade receives a 4.7 out of 5 rating on Trustpilot based on 27,690 customer reviews as of April 2022.
While the standard Upgrade Cash Rewards Visa® might prove useful to some consumers, it’s hard to imagine anyone who would find the Upgrade loan and payment style credit card useful would equally benefit from earning crypto rewards on purchases. Unfortunately for the Upgrade Bitcoin Rewards card, there are better credit-building options available, just as there are better crypto card options available.