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Why the Upgrade Card is perfect for financing your purchases

Installment plans can offer convenience, predictability and less interest paid over time


The Upgrade Visa® Card with Cash Rewards can help you pay off large purchases while avoiding deferred interest promotions. If you have excellent credit, you may even end up with a lower APR than is typically offered by traditional credit cards.

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If you’ve been eyeing a big-ticket item or wondering how to cover upcoming expenses, the Upgrade Visa® Card with Cash Rewards could be an ideal financing option, offering the flexibility of a credit card along with straightforward repayment plans. If you have good credit, you also have a chance at a lower APR and higher credit line than may be typically offered through traditional credit cards.

We’ve broken down the basics of how the Upgrade Card works and what makes it a smart choice for financing your purchases, along with some of the advantages it has over a popular alternative like store financing.

See related: Guide to the Upgrade Card: A credit card and installment loan hybrid

How does the Upgrade Card work?

The Upgrade Card is a unique, fee-free lending tool that combines the flexibility of a credit card with the fixed repayment terms of a personal loan, which should help keep you on track. Applicants with good credit may even have the potential for a lower APR versus typical credit cards.

If you qualify, you’re offered a set line of credit and APR and can use the card to make purchases as you would with a traditional credit card. Alternatively, you can have funds transferred directly to your bank account with the same terms as when you make purchases (contrast this with credit cards, which tend to charge a higher rate for cash advances).

Each statement period, your card charges or draws are automatically combined into an installment plan of 24 to 60 months, depending on your creditworthiness. You’ll then make fixed, equal monthly payments as part of a repayment plan designed to help you pay off your balance quickly and save more on interest charges than you would if you were making minimum payments on a credit card.

Advantages of financing purchases with the Upgrade Card

The Upgrade card offers a number of unique advantages if you’re looking to pay off your purchases over time and avoid putting down a ton of money up front. Not only do you have a chance at a lower interest rate and higher credit line than you may find with traditional credit cards, you’ll also enjoy the predictability of an installment payment plan to keep your repayment efforts on track.

Some of the advantages of financing purchases with the Upgrade Card include:

  • A chance at a rock-bottom interest rate – If you have excellent credit history, you could qualify for an APR as low as 8.99%, which is unheard of even among low-interest credit cards.
  • A potentially huge credit line – The Upgrade Card comes with a personal credit line of $500 to $20,000, which could be a lifesaver should you need to finance an especially large expense like furniture or a home repair.
  • You can check your credit line and APR before you complete your application – With a traditional credit card, you won’t know your credit limit or APR until you’re approved. With the Upgrade Card, you’ll have a much better sense of your potential credit line and APR before you complete your application, allowing you to make an informed decision about how best to proceed and which purchases to prioritize. Plus, you can check your credit line and APR without damaging your score via a hard inquiry.
  • Transparency and predictability – You’ll know exactly what you need to contribute each month to stay on top of your repayment plan. If you stick to the Upgrade Card’s installment plan, you will know your payment schedule in advance and should pay off your balance in a timely fashion.
  • Convenience and flexibility – You can make purchases with your Upgrade Card online or in-store anywhere Visa is accepted or have funds sent to your bank account. (Note, you can’t use the Upgrade Card to withdraw cash at an ATM.)
  • No fees – The Upgrade Card charges no fees of any sort: no annual fee, foreign transaction fees or penalty fees.
  • Rewards repayment – The Upgrade Card has a rewards program coming in 2020 that offers cash back each time you make an on-time payment toward your balance. By incentivizing repayment instead of spending, the Upgrade Card should help you pay off your purchases instead of burying yourself even deeper in debt.

Upgrade Card versus store financing

Many big-box, furniture, electronics and home improvement stores offer months-long “same as cash” or “no interest if paid in full” promotional plans that promise you a chance to pay off large purchases over time without drowning in interest.

But these promotional offers may be riskier than they sound. Here’s why the Upgrade Card may be a better choice for financing your purchases.

Deferred interest could come back to bite you

Most store financing offers use a deferred interest model, which means if you’re unable to pay off your balance before the promotional period ends, you’ll not only be charged interest going forward, but also going all the way back to the original purchase date. What’s worse, these financing plans offer little guidance on how much you should contribute each month to ensure you pay off your balance in time. Indeed, they may even count on you slipping up.

With the Upgrade Card’s installment plans, you’ll know exactly what you need to do to pay off your purchases, how long it will take and how much you’ll pay in interest.

You aren’t limited to one store or purchase

As you might expect, store financing offers are limited to a single store or family of stores, and usually only cover a single large purchase. But what if you need to fund a major project that entails several large purchases across stores and service providers, like a move or home renovation? You’d have to start multiple financing plans, each with its own terms, balance and interest rate. Your credit score may also take a hit from multiple hard inquires.

With the Upgrade Card, you can finance large projects without juggling multiple promotional offers. All of your charges are lumped into a single installment plan, making it easy to understand what you owe and how you’re going to pay it off.

Bottom line

Offering a chance at a lower APR and higher credit line than is typically available with traditional credit cards, the Upgrade Card is a solid option for financing your purchases, and its simple installment plans set it apart as a smart choice for cardholders who could use a helping hand as they work to pay off a balance and stay out of debt long term.

Editorial Disclaimer

The editorial content on this page is based solely on the objective assessment of our writers and is not driven by advertising dollars. It has not been provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. However, we may receive compensation when you click on links to products from our partners.

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