Upgrade launches new credit card program

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Upgrade announced on October 29 that it would be offering its new Visa Card with Cash Rewards, which adds rewards and other features to the existing card.

This card offers consumers with a credit score of 600 and above a lot of flexibility as it works like a combo Credit card and personal loans, and now that it offers bonuses, it could be the card for you.

The details

If you have fair creditthe Upgrade Visa Card with Cash Rewards, issued by Sutton Bank, offers another type of credit card that you can use as a credit card and pay for purchases on a fixed-rate installment plan.

You can also use it as private loan by requesting money from one of Upgrade’s lending partners – as much as your credit limit will allow – and paying it back like a personal loan with monthly installments and a fixed interest rate.

Now that the Upgrade Card offers rewards, it could be more appealing to consumers, who get unlimited 1.5 percent cashback on all their purchases with every payment.

There are no annual fees, overseas transaction fees, or balance transfer fees associated with this card.

In addition, you pay no late fees, no prepayment fees and no APR. And you have access to a touchless payment feature, $0 fraud liability, and a mobile app.

The APR is 6.99 to 29.99 percent, and typical credit limits range from $500 to $20,000, but can be as high as $50,000 for some borrowers.

You do not need a deposit for the new Upgrade Card and you can apply for it without affecting your creditworthiness.

Bonus: Once approved, you can start using a virtual card right away, so you don’t have to wait for the physical card to arrive.

The issuer reports to all three credit bureaus-TransUnion, Experian and Equifax – so you can be sure you’re going in the right direction when trying to build your credit (if you pay on time, of course).

The Upgrade Card doesn’t technically allow balance transfers, but you can withdraw money from your account online, deposit it into your bank account, and pay off your existing credit card debt.

Note: This card is not available to residents of Iowa, West Virginia, Wisconsin, or Washington, DC

An expert’s opinion

“The devil is always in the details, and that’s especially true with the upgrade card,” said Ted Rossman, industry analyst at Bankrate.

Rossman says the card’s target audience is in debt by the month.

The most creditworthy cardholders can get a very low interest rate (as low as 6.99 percent), but the range goes as high as 29.99 percent.

The company says that someone with an average credit profile would end up in the 11 to 12 percent APR range, which is why Rossman warns consumers to be careful.

That APR is still lower than the national average — about 16 percent — but it’s still significant, he says.

Rossman noted that the Upgrade Card gives cardholders an incentive to get out of debt relatively quickly, and suggests it could be a viable option for something like financing a home renovation. However, he warns that consumers should pay close attention to the terms and try to get out of debt as soon as possible.

With stricter standards for 0 percent balance transfers, the Upgrade Card is a more desirable option now than it was a year ago.

“But again, that range from 6.99 percent to 29.99 percent APR is huge, so you have to figure out where you fall,” Rossman said.

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