Checking accounts are essential financial products that help people manage their expenses and receive cash. These accounts are required if your employer pays workers through direct deposits, but you can choose from many checking accounts. Many financial institutions have upped their game and offer better rewards, perks, and features for their customers.
The Upgrade Rewards Checking Plus Account is a competitive account with a high 2% cashback reward for qualifying purchases. Account holders will receive a 1% cashback reward for all expense categories that do not qualify for 2% cashback. While the cashback reward program is an attractive component that Upgrade quickly introduces on its website, these accounts have additional advantages that this review will explore.
Upgrade is a fintech company that lets users create checking accounts and savings accounts. The company also lets customers take out personal loans, credit cards, and debit cards. Upgrade has several credit cards with cashback rewards programs with credit lines ranging from $500 to $25,000.
Upgrade was founded in 2017 based on a mission to help people make smarter financial decisions and achieve their long-term goals. Since its founding, Upgrade has made over $24 billion in credit available to its customers. The fintech company has millions of users across America and has several offices in the United States. Upgrade strives to provide more value than traditional banks.
What is an Upgrade Rewards Checking Plus Account?
An Upgrade Rewards Checking Plus Account is a premier checking account with a great rewards program. This checking account is FDIC-insured and does not have any monthly fees. Active accounts get ATM fees reimbursed, and you can also avoid overdraft fees. The bank account is free to use, and cashback rewards can help you accumulate funds with every purchase.
How Upgrade Rewards Checking Plus Account Works
The Upgrade Rewards Checking Plus Account works like any other checking account. You can set up direct deposits to receive funds electronically from your employer and other entities. You can get paid up to two days early with one of these accounts.
These checking accounts can be paired with Performance Savings accounts. With these accounts, you can earn 5.07% APY if you have an active account and make $1,000 in monthly direct deposits. If you do not fulfill that condition, you can still earn 1.50% APY for a Performance Savings account. An Upgrade Rewards Checking Plus Account comes with a debit card.
The Benefits of an Upgrade Rewards Checking Plus Account
An Upgrade Rewards Checking Plus Account offers several advantages. These are some of the perks.
No Monthly Fees
Monthly maintenance fees can add up in a hurry and force consumers to maintain an average minimum monthly balance to avoid the extra fees. Luckily, you don’t have to worry about a monthly service fee if you use Upgrade for your checking account experience. You don’t have to maintain a minimum balance or make a minimum deposit to open your account. Upgrade makes it a point to help you avoid as many banking fees as possible.
The cashback rewards program is the major advantage of this checking account, and it’s no wonder Upgrade advertises its 2% cashback rewards program throughout its checking plus account’s webpage. While the 2% cashback program does not apply to every expense category, it applies to a few big ones. If you spend most of your money in these categories, you will earn 2% cashback on the majority of your purchases:
- Convenience and drug stores: CVS, Walgreens, Rite Aid, and others
- Gas stations: Shell, Chevron, ExxonMobil, Speedway, and others
- Monthly subscriptions: Netflix, SiriusXM, Spotify, DisneyPlus, and others
- Restaurants: McDonalds, UberEats, Chipotle, Starbucks, and others
- Utilities and phones: AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon Wireless, Cricket Wireless, and others
Every purchase outside of these categories still applies for 1% cashback. You don’t need a credit card to get great rewards for your spending. Upgrade does offer credit cards with rewards programs, but if you want rewards without going into credit card debt, this checking account is for you.
Get Paid Early
You can receive payments up to two days early. Receiving early payments makes it easier to cover emergency expenses and avoid taking out personal loans and other debt products.
Add Performance Savings
The Upgrade Rewards Checking Plus Account already offers great perks, but you can combine it with a Performance Savings account. The main draw from this account is a 5.07% APY on your balance if you make at least $1,000 in monthly direct deposits. The high yield allows your money to grow risk-free and generate meaningful long-term returns.
How Can You Access Your Money with an Upgrade Rewards Checking Plus Account?
Customers receive a Visa debit card that they can use to make purchases against their checking accounts. You can also withdraw funds from an ATM. Upgrade does not charge any ATM fees for Active Accounts. You need to receive at least $1,000 or more of direct deposits into your Upgrade account(s) each month to be considered an Active Account. These must be Eligible Deposits in order to count toward the $1,000 per month threshold.
Can You Set Up Direct Deposit with an Upgrade Rewards Checking Plus Account?
You can set up direct deposit with an Upgrade Rewards Checking Plus account. You can either have direct deposits take place automatically or follow the manual process of generating a pre-filled letter and sending it to your employer’s payroll department. Most direct deposits take place automatically.
How Does an Upgrade Rewards Checking Plus Account Compare?
An Upgrade Rewards Checking Plus Account offers an enticing rewards program and no fees. Some checking accounts match these advantages, but very few accounts surpass the product Upgrade has established. You even get 2% cashback across many categories and 1% cashback for everything else.
Is an Upgrade Rewards Checking Plus Account Worth It?
An Upgrade Rewards Checking Plus Account can be worth it for people who want to get rewards for using a debit card. While you can get better rewards with a credit card, you also run the risk of getting deep into credit card debt. An Upgrade debit card eliminates the risk of running deep into debt through impulsive spending.
How to Open an Upgrade Rewards Checking Plus Account
You can open an Upgrade Rewards Checking Plus Account by visiting the company’s website or downloading the mobile app. The interface will guide you on how to create an account, and you will have to provide basic information about yourself to get started. Customers will have to provide an email address and create a password so they can access the online banking portal.
Other Upgrade Products
Upgrade offers various financial products that can help you access more capital and achieve your long-term financial goals. Here’s what you can expect if you get started with Upgrade.
Premier Savings Account
The Premier has a standard 1.50% APY, but if you receive $1,000 in eligible direct deposits each month, your interest rate goes up to 5.07% APY. It’s a big jump and is much higher than what most banks offer.
You can borrow up to $50,000 with a low, fixed-rate loan. Upgrade loans do not have any prepayment fees, and they come with fast funding as well. There are many reasons to get a personal loan, such as consolidating credit card debt, investing in home improvement, or making a major purchase.
Upgrade offers several credit cards that give you rewards like 3% cashback on everyday purchases and 2% cashback on everything else. Qualifying cardholders can receive a $200 welcome bonus. These cards have spending power ranging from $500 to $25,000. Upgrade does not charge annual fees for its credit cards.
Credit Health Tools
Upgrade’s credit health tools help people stay on top of their credit scores and know their numbers. You can receive personalized recommendations, weekly updates, trending charts, email alerts, and other resources that can help you build your credit score. A higher credit score can help you qualify for better financing for a mortgage, auto loan, personal loan, or any other debt product.