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Upgrade Card review

A credit card with no fees for those who want fixed payments.

  • Get this card if you’re building or improving your credit.
  • Pick something else if you want to earn rewards on your spending.
  • Apply with a poor to fair credit score of 300 or higher.

NA

Rewards

$0

Annual fee

8.99% to 29.99% variable

Purchase APR

300

Minimum Credit Score

Details

Annual fee$0
Welcome offerN/A
RewardsNA
Purchase APR8.99% to 29.99% variable
Balance transfer APRN/A
Minimum Credit Score300
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Review by


Matt Miczulski is a personal finance writer at Finder. After paying off $30,000 in debt in a little more than a year, he applied what he learned as a writer at FinanceBuzz, where he specialized in finance news, banking, debt and travel. He has been featured on MSN, Best Company, Money Done Right and Recruiter. Matt is a proud military veteran, completing one tour in Iraq and earning a BA in History along the way.

Expert review

The Upgrade Card is Upgrade’s no-frills credit card designed for borrowers with below-average credit who are looking to build or improve their credit. Like the three other cards in Upgrade’s lineup, it charges no fees and offers a unique hybrid structure that combines the flexibility of a credit card with the predictability of a personal loan.

You’ll have the convenience of using your card just like any other credit card. But unlike a traditional credit card, interest rates are fixed and you pay off your balance with equal monthly payments. This fixed payment structure ensures you won’t carry a balance from month to month and makes budgeting easier and keeps interest in check. A typical credit card has variable interest rates and no set payoff deadline.

On the downside, the Upgrade Card doesn’t allow you to earn rewards on your spending. And unlike most other credit cards, you can’t withdraw cash at an ATM. Requests for cash are sent directly to your bank account.

Altogether, the Upgrade Card is a good option if you are trying to improve your credit and find the structure of equal monthly payments helpful. But if you don’t carry a balance, you might find other credit cards to be more rewarding.

How to apply for the Upgrade Card

Upgrade’s application process is straightforward and painless and takes just a few minutes:

  1. Select Apply now.
  2. Locate the Upgrade Card for improving credit and select Get Started.
  3. Enter your personal information such as your name, home address, email address, date of birth and annual income.
  4. Read and agree to Upgrade’s terms and conditions and select Check Your Credit Line.

What credit score do I need?

Upgrade doesn’t provide specific information regarding minimum credit scores. Instead, it mentions that a variety of factors are taken into account when determining borrower eligibility. We called and got the same response. But since it’s geared toward borrowers working to improve their credit and its other three versions require “average to excellent credit,” it’s probably safe to say you’ll need a poor to fair credit score of 300 or higher.

Upgrade Card benefits

  • No fees. Focus on improving your credit without the threat of pesky annual fees, late fees or balance transfer fees hanging over your head.
  • Charge like a credit card or draw funds like a personal loan. Use your card anywhere Visa is accepted or request a specific dollar amount to be sent to your bank account.
  • Predictable monthly payments. Rates never change and payments are fixed, making budgeting easier. Plus, it helps you to pay down your balances quicker. Most credit cards have variable rates and no set deadline to be paid off in full, making it easier to accrue interest.
  • Check your credit limit without a hard pull. Upgrade allows you to check your credit line without initiating a hard pull on your credit report. Only after you agree to the terms will Upgrade initiate a hard credit check. Most credit cards don’t offer this option.

Upgrade Card drawbacks

  • Rates can be high. If you don’t qualify for the best rates, you might see interest rates of up to 29.99% variable.
  • No rewards. The Upgrade Card is the only one in the Upgrade lineup that doesn’t allow cardholders to earn some type of reward for their spending.
  • No ATM access. Most credit cards will let you withdraw money from an ATM. You won’t get ATM access with the Upgrade Card.

Compare low credit credit cards

If this card isn’t right for you, compare other credit cards for those with low credit. Use the table to select up to four cards and click Compare to view their features side by side.

Name Product Filter values Minimum deposit required Purchase APR Annual fee Minimum Credit Score
Tomo Credit Card
N/A
N/A
$0
New to credit
A credit-building card with no fees, no APR, and no credit check.
Credit One Bank® Platinum Visa®
N/A
23.99% variable
$39
Earn 1% cash back rewards on eligible gas, grocery purchases and mobile phone service, internet, cable and satellite TV services.
PCB Secured Visa®
Starting at $200
18.9% fixed
$39
300
Choose your initial deposit amount and credit limit from $200 to $1000. Rates & fees
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Compare up to 4 providers

Upgrade Card customer reviews and complaints

Upgrade has been accredited with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) since 2017 and holds an A- rating as of November 2021. Reviews on the site are overwhelmingly positive, with customers rating Upgrade 4.7 out of 5 stars based on more than 1,500 reviews.

Over on Trustpilot, customers have rated the company 4.6 out of 5 stars based on more than 16,500 reviews. As of November 2021, 81% of reviewers rated Upgrade “Excellent.”

Common complaints among reviewers on both sites center around poor customer service and poor communication. Satisfied customers highlight the quick and easy sign-up process.

Bottom line

The Upgrade Card is a solid choice for anyone trying to improve or build their credit and who finds value in being held to making fixed monthly payments. But if you’re looking for a credit card that allows you to earn rewards on your spending, there are other no-annual-fee credit cards worth considering.

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