In this Review..
The Triple Cash Rewards card by Upgrade is a hybrid credit card/personal loan that also provides cash back rewards. The card has no annual fee and there is a tiered reward structure, with 3% unlimited cash back on home, auto and health categories and 1% unlimited cash back on everything else.
This is a great card option for those who want greater flexibility. You can use the card to make purchases anywhere Visa is accepted. If you don’t pay the bill in full at the end of the month, the remaining balance converts into a fixed rate loan that you repay in equal monthly repayments.
You can also use the card as a personal loan, requesting funds to your bank account up to your agreed credit limit. Once your request is processed and approved, you’ll have a fixed interest rate and you will repay the loan over a set period. However, unlike many credit cards, you can’t use this card at ATMs for a cash advance.
This card is ideal for those who want to set a budget to repay their debt, particularly if you don’t have excellent credit.
14.99% - 29.99%
Balance Transfer Fee
The Triple Cash Rewards Card by Upgrade earns 3% unlimited cash back on home, auto and health categories and 1% unlimited cash back on everything else
This card not only has no annual fee, but no late fees, prepayment penalties or even penalty APRs. This means that you only need to think about the interest charges on your borrowing, which makes managing the account easier.
If you do want to take a credit card with you when you travel, the Triple Cash Rewards does not charge any foreign transaction fees.
Upgrade does have a pre approval process, so you can check if you can qualify without impacting your credit score.
Many reward credit cards require at least good credit, so the fact that you can qualify for a Triple Cash Rewards card with average credit is a massive pro. Upgrade specializes in offering services to help those who want to work on their credit.
So, being able to enjoy a rewards credit card before you have a good credit score should appeal to many people.
One of the difficulties with a standard credit card is that you need to be very disciplined about paying more than the minimum amount due. If you only pay the minimum, you can very quickly become overwhelmed with interest charges and get into debt difficulties.
However with equal monthly payments, you can budget for the payments and have an end date in place to clear the account.
You can start using your card upon approval, as Upgrade provides a virtual card. This means that you don’t need to wait until your physical card arrives in the mail.
Since this card is designed for those with average credit, you may find that the rates offered are higher than other companies may offer you.
This is particularly the case if you have excellent credit, as you are likely to find rewards credit cards with more attractive rates.
It is not possible to transfer a balance from another credit card to your new Triple Cash Rewards card.
The cash back that you earn on your purchases cannot be accumulated for a particular savings goal. Instead the rewards are automatically applied against your next month’s balance.
Although the Triple Cash Rewards is a hybrid credit card/personal loan, offering flexibility, the rates are likely to be high compared to Upgrade personal loan products.
Although you can request funds to be transferred from your credit card account to your bank account, you can’t simply go to an ATM and obtain a cash advance.
How to Maximize the Triple Cash Rewards?
There are two main things you can do in order to make the most of the Upgrade Triple Cash card:
- Focus on the Top Tier Rewards: The Triple Cash Rewards card has two reward tiers, so if you want to maximize your rewards you’ll need to focus on the top tier. This encompasses three categories; Home, Auto and Health. These are quite broad categories and include hardware, home supplies, furniture, home accessories, automotive parts, dealership purchases and gym memberships, exercise equipment, spas and beauty product purchases.
- Open a Rewards Checking Account: Upgrade is currently running a promotion for new Triple Cash Rewards customers. If you open and fund a new Rewards Checking account, you could receive a $200 welcome bonus. All you need to do is make three debit card transactions within 60 days of opening your Upgrade Card account.
Rewards Simulation: How Much You Can Earn?
The card offers a different rate based on the purchase category. If you usually spend on everyday purchases, here's a table that can help you understand how much exactly you can get back. Don't forget to adjust it to your own spending habits.
Spend Per Category
Triple Cash Rewards Card by Upgrade
$10,000 – U.S Supermarkets
$5,000 – Home/Auto/Health
$5,000 – Restaurants
$2,000 – Airline
$2,000 – Hotels
$4,000 – Gas
Estimated Annual Value
How to Apply for the Triple Cash Rewards Card?
Upgrade is an online-based financial institution, so it is remarkably easy to apply for the Triple Cash Rewards card from the comfort of your own home.
- You can start the application process by clicking the “Get Started” button on the main product page.
- You’ll then be directed to a basic application form that allows you to check if you cpre-approvedproved for the card. This involves providing some basic details including your full name, address, date of birth, and income.
- At this point, you also need to create an account with your email address and a password.
- You can then click “Apply Now” to check if you qualify. This will only involve a soft credit pull, so you don’t need to worry about impacting your credit. Upgrade will only initiate a hard pull if you decide to go ahead and complete the application upon becoming pre approved.
Compare The Alternatives
If you're looking for cash-back cards with no annual fees, there are many alternatives in the market. Here are some of the best:
American Express EveryDay® Card
Chase Freedom Flex℠ Card
Citi® Double Cash Card
$0 . See Fees & Rates
1X – 2X 2X at U.S. supermarkets (up to $6,000 each year), then 1x on all purchases
1-5% 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases on selected categories each quarter and 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. Also, you can earn 3% cash back on dining at restaurants (including takeout and eligible delivery services), drugstore purchases , and 1% on all other purchases
2% (1% when purchase and another 1% upon payment) 2% cash back rewards rate – 1% every time you swipe and another 1% upon payment.
10,000 points 10,000 points after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new card within the first 3 months
$200 $200 bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening
Foreign Transaction Fee
17.49% – 28.49% variable
19.49% – 28.24% variable
18.74% – 28.74% (Variable)
Upgrade does not have specific income requirements for the Triple Cash Rewards card. However, you do need at least average credit.
This will mean that your current debt obligations, length of credit history and other factors will be considered in addition to your income.
In most cases, Upgrade will require some form of income verification. If you’re self employed, you will need to provide two most recent filed tax returns, bank statements or other paperwork or your application may be declined.
Yes, the main website allows you to check if you are pre-approved without impacting your credit. You can then proceed with a full application, at which time Upgrade will initiate a hard credit pull.
The minimum credit limit you can expect with this card is $500, but your credit limit could be as high as $25,000 or more, according to your income and creditworthiness.
Upgrade will periodically assess your account and if you make your payments on time and keep the account in good standing, you’ll receive a credit limit increase.
If you want to accumulate rewards for a specific savings goal, the Triple Cash Rewards is not a great choice for you. All your rewards will automatically be applied to your account in the following month.
Another reason why you may not want to get this card is if you have good to excellent credit. With better credit, you are likely to find other cards offer similar or better rewards with additional perks and lower rates.
Unfortunately, Upgrade does not allow authorized users on Triple Cash Rewards cards. This means that the account can only be in one name.
The digital experience for the Triple Cash Rewards card is a little lacking. There have been a number of customer complaints about the interface not being intuitive or easy to use. However, Upgrade has stated that it is aware of the complaints and is working on some resolutions.
You can obtain pre approval in a very short time, and you should have a decision within one day. From this point, the application process is quite fast
Unlike many credit card companies that have a 24/7 helpline, Upgrade’s customer service tends to be focused on social media channels and email. The company does have a phone line but it is not open 24/7.
The phone line is open 6 am to 6 pm Monday through Friday and 6 am to 5 pm on weekends.