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Upgrade Triple Cash Rewards Visa: Earn 3% Cash Back With Personal Loan Perks

Need to space out payments on a big purchase? This card can help with a fixed-rate plan.

Upgrade Triple Cash Rewards Visa®

6/10 CNET Rating CNET rates credit cards by comparing their offers to those of their categorical competitors. Each card is individually evaluated through a formula which reflects the standards and expectations of the contemporary market. Credit card issuers have no say or influence in our ratings. How we rate credit cards
Apply Now with Upgrade
CNET’S PICK
Upgrade Triple Cash Rewards Visa®
Apply Now

Upgrade Triple Cash Rewards Visa®

6/10 CNET Rating CNET rates credit cards by comparing their offers to those of their categorical competitors. Each card is individually evaluated through a formula which reflects the standards and expectations of the contemporary market. Credit card issuers have no say or influence in our ratings. How we rate credit cards
Apply Now
On Upgrade’s secure website
Intro Offer
$200 $200 bonus after opening a Rewards Checking Plus account and making 3 debit card transactions*
Annual fee
$0
APR
14.99% -29.99%
Rewards rate
1% – 3% Unlimited cash back on payments – 3% on Home, Auto and Health categories ; 1% on everything else
Rewards Rate
3%
Unlimited cash back on payments – 3% on Home, Auto and Health categories
1%
1% on everything else

If you need money fast, a personal loan may help. But most loans lack two perks -- rewards and savings features. The Upgrade Triple Cash Rewards Visa® offers you a personal loan that you can access in two ways -- as a credit card, which lets you earn rewards, or as a traditional loan.

The Upgrade Triple Cash Rewards card lets you make big purchases and repay your balance in fixed monthly payments. You can also earn up to 3% cash back on select categories, then use your rewards to lower your outstanding balance and the interest you’ll pay. 

The card can come in handy if you’re planning to make a large purchase and need more time to repay your balance. Depending on when you can repay your balance, another type of credit card, like a rewards credit card may offer a better value. Here’s what to know about the Triple Cash Rewards card and how it compares to other cards with similar benefits.

How it works

The Upgrade Triple Cash Rewards card offers you a personal loan that you can use in two ways:

  • As a credit card: Use this card like a traditional rewards card and if you do not pay it off at the end of your billing cycle, your remaining balance will become a fixed-rate personal loan that you’ll repay in equal monthly payment.
  • As a personal loan: Alternatively, if you don’t want to earn rewards or use the credit card functionality right away, you can request to borrow money against your credit limit. Funds will be sent to your bank account and then repaid in equal monthly installments.

When used as a credit card, the Upgrade Triple Cash Rewards card works just like the Upgrade Cash Rewards Visa® -- but instead of earning 1.5% cash back on purchases, you’ll earn 3% on select categories and 1% on all other purchases. 

If you don’t repay your balance in full at the end of the month, you can use your cash back to help repay your loan, applying your rewards directly to your principal balance. 

You can also open several personal loans with this card. For example, if you’re already paying on an existing payment plan and you use your card to make a new purchase, Upgrade will open a separate repayment plan for these new purchases, with a new repayment term. However, we don’t advise opening multiple loans -- it’s better to pay off your existing loan and strive to pay off your card balance in full at the end of every billing cycle to avoid interest.

The Triple Cash Rewards card has a variable APR of 14.99% – 29.99%. To qualify for the lowest interest rate, you’ll need excellent credit and must enroll in autopay. Credit lines range from $500 to $25,000**, depending on creditworthiness. 

How it’s different from a personal loan and buy now, pay later plan

The Triple Cash Rewards card is similar to a personal loan or buy now, pay later plan, but there are fundamental differences to consider.

  • Minimal fees: Upgrade doesn’t charge prepayment or late fees, as many loan issuers do.
  • Line of credit: Your credit limit will depend on your credit score and other financial factors, but the limit can automatically increase without needing to reapply like you would for a loan. 
  • Rewards: Cash-back rewards can be applied to your outstanding balance. 

Rewards and redemption

The Upgrade Triple Cash Rewards card comes with unlimited 3% cash back on home, auto and health purchases, and earns 1% on everything else. 

You can earn higher cash-back rates -- up to 10% -- when you activate Upgrade Shopping offers in your account with select merchants in-store or through Dosh, a cash-back platform that you can combine with your credit card to earn more rewards. You can apply your cash back to your outstanding balance or have it deposited into your bank account. Keep in mind that applying cash back to your balance won’t reduce your minimum monthly payment -- but it will lower your overall balance.

If you’re interested primarily in earning rewards, this card won’t net you as much as most other rewards credit cards. Plus, in order to get the most out of this rewards card, you’ll want to pay your balance in full each month. Otherwise, your cash back may be overshadowed by interest.

If you want more flexibility and rewards options, but need more time to make payments, you could also consider a credit card with a long introductory 0% APR for new purchases. Introductory APR offers can help you avoid interest charges for a period of time, allowing you to finance a large, planned purchase over a number of months.

Welcome bonus 

Even though you won’t receive a welcome bonus from this cash-back card alone, you can earn a $200 welcome bonus if you have an Upgrade card, open a Rewards Checking Plus account and make three debit card transactions within 60 days of opening your checking account. 

ATM transactions do not count toward the welcome bonus. The bonus will be applied to your checking account as a one-time credit within 60 days of making your third transaction. 

If you already have a Rewards Checking Plus account, you won’t qualify for this welcome offer. 

Fees

The Triple Cash Rewards card is a no-annual-fee credit card. There are no late fees either, but there is up to a 3% foreign transaction fee.

Alternative cards

Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card 

The Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card is a solid choice compared to the Triple Cash Rewards card. Like the Triple Cash Rewards card, the Wells Fargo credit card has no annual fee and a similar sized $200 cash rewards welcome bonus -- but you’ll need to spend at least $500 in purchases within the first three months, instead of opening a checking account.

The Wells Fargo card may seem to have a lower rewards rate than the Triple Cash Rewards card, earning you 2% cash rewards for purchases. But since this rate is not limited to a specific category, if you frequently spend money outside of home, auto and health categories (which net you 3% cash back with the Upgrade Triple Cash card), you may be able to get more value out of the Active Cash card. 

You also have more redemption options with the Active Cash card and can redeem your rewards for a statement credit, purchases in the Wells Fargo Rewards portal, checkout at PayPal or cash in $25 increments. 

And if the main reason you’re considering the Upgrade Triple Cash Rewards card is to pay off a large, planned purchase over time, the Active Cash card also has a 0% introductory APR for the first 15 months from account opening on purchases and qualifying balance transfers (then 20.24%, 25.24%, or 29.99% variable APR). If you can repay your balance in full within 15 months, the Active Cash card may be your best option.

You can find all of the details in our Wells Fargo Active Cash card review.

Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit card 

If you want to earn even higher rewards and don’t mind strategizing, the Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit card* offers a tiered cash-back reward structure that can offer more value than the Upgrade Triple Cash Rewards card. You get 3% cash back in the category of your choice, 2% cash back at grocery stores and wholesale clubs (on up to the first $2,500 in combined choice category/grocery store/wholesale club quarterly purchases, then 1%), plus 1% cash back on all other purchases.

Like the Upgrade Triple Cash Rewards card, the Customized Cash Rewards card has no annual fee and comes with a $200 online cash rewards welcome bonus if you spend $1,000 within the first 90 days.

The Customized Cash Rewards card also trumps the Triple Cash Rewards card when it comes to repaying your balances over time and reducing or eliminating interest. The Bank of America card has an introductory 0% APR on new purchases for 15 billing cycles (then 18.24% to 28.24% variable).

You can learn more in our Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards card review.

How Upgrade Triple Cash Rewards Visa® compares to other cards

CNET’S PICK
Upgrade Triple Cash Rewards Visa®
Apply Now

Upgrade Triple Cash Rewards Visa®

6/10 CNET Rating CNET rates credit cards by comparing their offers to those of their categorical competitors. Each card is individually evaluated through a formula which reflects the standards and expectations of the contemporary market. Credit card issuers have no say or influence in our ratings. How we rate credit cards
Intro Offer
$200 $200 bonus after opening a Rewards Checking Plus account and making 3 debit card transactions*
Annual fee
$0
APR
14.99% -29.99%
Intro Purchase APR
N/A
Rewards rate
1% – 3% Unlimited cash back on payments – 3% on Home, Auto and Health categories ; 1% on everything else
Apply Now
On Upgrade’s secure website
Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card
Apply Now

Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card

9.5/10 CNET Rating CNET rates credit cards by comparing their offers to those of their categorical competitors. Each card is individually evaluated through a formula which reflects the standards and expectations of the contemporary market. Credit card issuers have no say or influence in our ratings. How we rate credit cards
Intro Offer
$200 cash rewards Earn a $200 cash rewards bonus after spending $500 in purchases in the first 3 months. Select “Apply Now” to take advantage of this specific offer and learn more about product features, terms and conditions.
Annual fee
$0
APR
20.24%, 25.24%, or 29.99% Variable APR
Intro Purchase APR
0% intro APR for 15 months from account opening
Rewards rate
2% Earn unlimited 2% cash rewards on purchases
Apply Now
On Wells Fargo’s secure website
Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit card

Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit card

7.5/10 CNET Rating CNET rates credit cards by comparing their offers to those of their categorical competitors. Each card is individually evaluated through a formula which reflects the standards and expectations of the contemporary market. Credit card issuers have no say or influence in our ratings. How we rate credit cards
Intro Offer
$200 $200 online cash rewards bonus after you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening
Annual fee
$0
APR
18.24% – 28.24% Variable APR on purchases and balance transfers
Intro Purchase APR
0% Intro APR for 15 billing cycles for purchases
Rewards rate
1% – 3% 3% cash back in the category of your choice; 2% at grocery stores and wholesale clubs (up to $2,500 in combined choice category/grocery store/wholesale club quarterly purchases); 1% cash back on all other purchases

FAQs

The Triple Rewards card lets you apply your cash back to your balance owed, or you can redeem your rewards to your bank account. Unlike other rewards credit cards, you won’t be able to redeem your cash back directly toward travel or other purchases.

Yes, we recommend paying your balance off as soon as you can to reduce your interest payments.

No, you won’t be able to use the Upgrade Triple Cash Rewards card at an ATM, like other rewards credit cards.

*To qualify for the welcome bonus, you must open and fund a new Rewards Checking Plus account through Upgrade and make 3 qualifying debit card transactions from your Rewards Checking Plus account within 60 days of the date the Rewards Checking Plus account is opened. If you have previously opened a checking account through Upgrade or do not open a Rewards Checking Plus account as part of this application process, you are not eligible for this welcome bonus offer. Your Upgrade Card and Rewards Checking Plus account must be open and in good standing to receive a bonus. To qualify, debit card transactions must have settled and exclude ATM transactions. Please refer to the applicable Upgrade VISA® Debit Card Agreement and Disclosures for more information. Welcome bonus offers cannot be combined, substituted, or applied retroactively. The bonus will be applied to your Rewards Checking Plus account as a one-time payout credit within 60 days after meeting the conditions.

**Credit Lines opened through Upgrade feature Annual Percentage Rates (APRs) of 14.99% – 29.99% and line amounts ranging $500 – $25,000. Optional ACH transfers to your bank account, balance transfers, and foreign transactions are subject to fees that, if incurred, will increase your finance charge and APR. The lowest rates require Autopay and the majority of the line amounts will be $15,000 or under. For example, a $5,000 transaction with a 36 month term and a 19.99% APR has a required monthly payment of $187.90. The APR on your transaction may be higher or lower. Your rate, line amount, and default term depend on maintaining a qualifying credit score, your credit usage history, requested amount, and other factors. The Upgrade Card is unique in that it allows you to obtain a series of closed-end loans which you may access through transactions such as card purchases up to the approved line amount. As you repay your balance, additional credit may become available to you up to the approved line amount subject to meeting our credit requirements. The Upgrade Card will not replenish as it would in an open-end credit arrangement.

*All information about the Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards credit card has been collected independently by CNET and has not been reviewed by the issuer.

The editorial content on this page is based solely on objective, independent assessments by our writers and is not influenced by advertising or partnerships. It has not been provided or commissioned by any third party. However, we may receive compensation when you click on links to products or services offered by our partners.

Dashia is a staff writer for CNET Money who covers all angles of personal finance, including credit cards and banking. From reviews to news coverage, she aims to help readers make more informed decisions about their money. Dashia was previously a staff writer at NextAdvisor, where she covered credit cards, taxes, banking B2B payments. She has also written about safety, home automation, technology and fintech.