Discover Upgrade OneCard, a combined credit and debit card

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Upgrade has been offering consumers personal loans, auto loan refinances, and other personal financing products since 2016. Today, the San Francisco-based fintech company is showcasing its latest product – Upgrade OneCard™ – which offers a unique combination of a debit card and a credit card, with a hint of “Buy now, pay later” thrown into the mix.

Select spoke with Upgrade CEO Renaud Laplanche to learn more about the new product and how it aims to help consumers make better decisions about debit and credit spending.

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OneCard™ Upgrade Overview

Upgrade OneCard™

  • Awards

    3% cash back on restaurants, gas stations and pharmacies, 2% cash back on all other purchases

  • welcome bonus

    $400 welcome bonus when you start using a new rewards checking account and make three purchases

  • Annual subscription

  • Introduction AVR

  • Regular APR

  • Balance Transfer Fee

  • Foreign transaction fees

  • Credit needed

The Upgrade OneCard™ allows consumers to choose between “Pay Now” and “Pay Later” when it comes to paying for their purchases. For the first option, the amount will be immediately withdrawn from the cardholder’s current account, in the same way as a debit card. For the latter, the amount of the purchase will be spread over time to be reimbursed in fixed installments with interest, like a credit card.

The APR for the OneCard ranges from 8.99% to 29.99% (fixed), however, there are no fees apart from interest charges when you choose the “Pay Later” option. Interest charged is set up as a fixed rate installment plan, which means that your specific charges will have a fixed interest rate until they are paid off and you will not have to worry about a fluctuating TAP. The card’s interest rate range starts at a lower number of 8.99%, compared to the typical 12.99% starting rate of many other credit cards, so this card could save you money if you need to keep a balance.

If you sign up for an Upgrade Rewards checking account and spend with the Upgrade OneCard, you’ll be able to earn 3% cash back at restaurants, gas stations, and pharmacies, and 2% cash back for all other purchases. These rewards categories make this a great all-purpose cash back card, but you need to make sure you’re using the ‘Pay Now’ option as the interest charges you’ll pay using ‘Pay Later’ will quickly erase the value. any cashback you have earned.

Although the card offers strong cash back categories to help cardholders save, to qualify you must combine it with an Upgrade Rewards checking account. It should be noted that whether you choose the “Pay now” or “Pay later” option, you will earn the same amount of cash back and benefit from the same protections as a credit card.

The OneCard upgrade is technically considered a credit card – so your credit report will be pulled from the application process and the card will remain on your credit report going forward. This can be an opportunity to continue building your total credit limit, which plays a role in determining your credit score. However, if you plan to use Pay Later extensively, a high revolving credit utilization rate can hurt your credit score. So before you apply for the OneCard, think about how you plan to use the card first, as it could potentially help or hurt your credit score.

Finally, there are no annual fees and you won’t have to worry about foreign transaction fees when using it abroad. Cardholders also have access to several Visa Signature Preferred Benefitsincluding:

  • Extended warranty
  • Price Protection
  • Travel and emergency assistance services
  • Road distribution
  • Visa Signature® Concierge Services
  • Zero Liability Policy

Laplanche expressed his views on the best way to use this card, saying the “Pay Now” option should be used for small, everyday purchases, while the “Pay Later” credit option is for larger purchases.

If Pay Later is selected, cardholders will have options with fixed monthly payments – something akin to a “Buy Now, Pay Later” payment plan, but with the added ability to earn money for your purchases. However, the APR on the payment plan can be between 8.99% and 29.99%. So if you are unable to make your monthly payments on time or want to avoid interest charges, it is best to avoid a BNPL payment plan.

If you’re looking for more financing flexibility, consider using a 0% APR credit card like the Wells Fargo Reflect® Card. With this card, you will enjoy an introductory APR of 0% for the first 18 months from account opening, with an extension of up to 3 months (totaling up to 21 months) with minimum payments on time during the introductory and extension periods (15.24 months). % – 27.24% variable APR thereafter). Using a 0% APR chart is probably a better choice than using the Upgrade OneCard™ Since you can carry over a balance and won’t incur any interest charges during the introductory period, just make sure you have a plan to pay off your debt before the introductory period ends.

Wells Fargo Reflect® Card

On the Wells Fargo secure site

  • Awards

  • welcome bonus

  • Annual subscription

  • Introduction AVR

    0% intro APR for 18 months from account opening on eligible purchases and balance transfers. Intro Extension APR for up to 3 months with on-time minimum payments during the introductory and extension periods. 15.24% – 27.24% variable APR thereafter; balance transfers made within 120 days qualify for the introductory rate

  • Regular APR

    15.24% – 27.24% Variable APR on purchases and balance transfers

  • Balance Transfer Fee

    3% introductory fee ($5 minimum) for 120 days from account opening, then up to 5% ($5 minimum)

  • Foreign transaction fees

  • Credit needed

At the end of the line

The Upgrade OneCard™ is a good option for anyone who wants to pay their daily expenses with the “Pay Now” option, because you can earn money at a favorable rate and enjoy purchase protections and advantages. It’s also recommended that you use the Pay Later benefit sparingly, as you’ll be charged a fixed fee to fund these long-term costs.

Before you apply for a new credit card, be sure to check your credit score to make sure it’s up to snuff, and most importantly, make sure you’ve established a monthly budget so you know exactly how much money goes in and out every month.

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Editorial note: Any opinions, analyses, criticisms or recommendations expressed in this article are those of Select’s editorial staff only and have not been reviewed, endorsed or otherwise endorsed by any third party.

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