Uplift travel loans review
Travel now and pay later with this unique lender.
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.
- Travel while making payments
- Low starting APR of 0%
- Borrowers with bad credit eligible
- 30-day grace period and no late fees
- High maximum APR of 36%
- Limited selection of travel partners
- Interest accrues immediately
- Down payment required
Our take on Uplift travel loans
Uplift offers a unique buy-now, pay-later service through top airlines, cruise lines, resorts and travel booking agencies. Its interest rates are relatively competitive for borrowers with good credit. And you won’t need to have your entire balance paid off before you travel.
Plus Uplift reports payments to Equifax so you can build your credit. Unlike many lenders, you’ll be able to skip the long application process and finance directly when you book a vacation package.
But beyond that, it works like any other personal loan. There are no major features that set it apart, and you’ll only be able to finance your vacation. If there are other expenses you want to cover, Uplift won’t be the right choice for you.
You’re also limited to booking travel through one of its partner sites. And interest rates could be as high as 36%, which could cost more than a credit card — without the added benefits.
Uplift works with a variety of travelers
To finance your next vacation with Uplift, you’ll need to meet a two basic criteria:
- Credit score of over 550
- Trip must originate in the US if financing air travel
You'll also need to be going on the trip to be eligible for financing.
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%
- Uplift charges an origination fee of 2%. But there are no late 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 a 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
Calculate the cost of an Uplift travel loan
|Loan terms (in years)|
How Uplift compares to other lenders
For other ways to finance your travel, compare lenders by selecting your credit score and state. Then click Show me my personalized options to view our selection of lenders. Providers like SoFi, LightStream and Marcus by Goldman Sachs all offer more flexible loans that can be used to finance travel expenses at a low APR.
Recent Uplift reviews are mainly positive
|BBB rating||Not rated|
|BBB customer reviews||3.3 out of 5 stars, based on 132 customer reviews|
|Trustpilot Score||4.5 out of 5 stars, based on 123 customer reviews|
|Customer reviews verified as of||31 August 2021|
As of August 2021, Uplift's Better Business Bureau (BBB) page is being updated — so there are no reviews or complaints available. But on its Trustpilot page, people are pleased with Uplift's customer service. The most recent reviews praise Uplift's easy application and the simple payment system.
And while Uplift responds directly to its lower reviews, there are numerous negative reviews about Uplift’s poor response to the COVID-19 crisis, including the lack of full refunds for canceled trips. Keep this in mind as you plan and pay for future trips.
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. Since you don’t apply directly through Uplift, the application process will depend on the travel provider you book through. If your trip is available to finance, you’ll see the option to pay with Uplift on the checkout page when you’re set to book your vacation.
Uplift does not have its own mobile app. However, financing through Uplift should be available through the travel provider's mobile app in addition to its website.
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 will do 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
- Funjet Vacations
- Norwegian Cruises
- Royal Caribbean Cruises
- Southwest Vacations
- Spirit Airlines
- Spirit Vacations
- United Airlines
- United Airlines Vacations
- Universal Orlando Resort
- Vacation Express
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.
Uplift is a legit way to pay for your vacation
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.