Upgrade Card Review – A Winner Amongst All?

The Upgrade Card is good for people who are looking out to earn cashback rewards on payments and purchases. This card gives them the flexibility that makes things easier and more convenient for people. Especially with its fixed APR, the hybrid functionality of the card to convert the remaining balance into a fixed installment plan is also desirable for many people out there.

Balance Transfer with the Upgrade Card:

Also, the Upgrade Card is good for debt consolidation. It does not allow balance transfer, but there is an easier alternative workaround that the card offers. With your Upgrade Card, you can transfer all the money allowed in your credit line, put it in your bank account, and use it to clear off all your pre-existing debts.

On the other hand, cards that offer balance transfer come with a limitation. Most of these cards come with an introductory zero APR. And the borrower is bound to take advantage of this APR for a limited time period-say a year or a year and a half. After this period is over, and if the borrower is not able to clear all their debt, i.e., if some balance still exists, it will then be subjected to the original APR that the card comes with. And this APR is usually quite high.

So, in this regard, an Upgrade Card sounds better. But it all depends on your personal priorities of budgeting and financial management.

In One Glance:

  Upgrade CardCiti Simplicity® CardDiscover it® Cash BackCapital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card
1Annual Fee$0$0$0$0
2Regular APR8.99% – 29.99%Variable rate: 16.24%-26.24%Variable rate: 13.49%-24.49%16.49%-26.49%- Variable rate  
3Intro APRSame0% intro APR for 21 months on balance transfers from the 1st time transfer, and for 12 months on purchases from the date the account is opened0% APR on balance transfers and purchases for 15 months0% intro APR for 15 months on balance transfers and purchases
4Required Credit Score600 and above690 to 850690 to 850720 and above. However, people with lower credit scores (690 plus) can qualify for another type of this card from Capital. But it does not provide upfront benefits like 0% intro APR and sign-up bonus
5Sign-Up BonusNoneNo sign-up bonuses. But you can earn 20,000 bonus points on $1500 worth of purchases within 3 months of account opening, and redeemable $200 on gift cards and thankyou.comIntro Offer of Unlimited Cashback Match by the end of 1st year without any minimum spending amount or max rewardsYou can earn a one-time $200 cashback on $500 worth of purchases within the first 3 months
6Rewards Cashback1.5% cashback on payments, 3% cashback on payments on The Upgrade Visa® Triple Cash RewardsNone– 5% cashback on rotating categories on a quarterly basis upon $1500 worth of purchases each quarter. – 1% cashback on all purchases – Allows cashback redemption  .5% cashback on all purchases and 5% cashback on hotels and rental cars categories if booked through Capital One Travel
7Balance TransferNoYesYesYes
8Balance Transfer FeeNot Applicable5% of the amount transferred, or $5 (whichever is greater in value)3% introductory fee, and 5% fee on all the future transfers3% of the amount transferred for 15 months
9Foreign Transaction FeeNone3% for every transactionNoneNone
9Card TypeStarter cards, ideal for people with a Fair credit scoreBalance Transfer card for people with Good or Excellent credit scoresCashback card is ideal for people with Good or Excellent credit scoresCashback card is ideal for people with Excellent credit scores

Comparative Analysis:

There are many other cards too out there that allow better cashback or better balance transfer options. When your compare all of these cards that have the highest ratings, you will see that each card caters to certain things but not the others.

For some people, the 0% intro APR is highly desirable, but for others, balance transfer, cashback incentives, and sign-bonuses matter more.

The Upgrade cards do not offer these things. The APR is fixed from the beginning, and they do not allow balance transfer or offer sign-up bonuses. But the unique thing about the Upgrade cards is that they offer unlimited cashback rewards on payments made as well as purchases, rather than purchases alone as other cards do.

This means that when you make your regular monthly installment at a fixed APR, you will earn rewards on that rather than purchasing alone.

So, this makes the borrower more regular in their payments, and the overall disciplined routine that the Upgrade cards offer, budgeting easier and more flexible for the cardholder.

Our Verdict:

At the end of the day, the decision is going to base on your priorities and requirements only. However, all the benefits of the Upgrade cards and their unique features like their easier credit score requirements, flexibility, convenience in payments, stability, and duality, i.e., the hybrid functionality of a credit card as well as a personal loan weigh a lot against many other cards in the market.

For someone whose credit score is less than 600 also can apply for the Upgrade cards. The soft inquiry will not affect their credit scores too, so even that is a plus for someone who is looking out to rebuild their credit history.