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Upgrade is a financial technology company known for its personal loans. The San Francisco-based company offers bank accounts and services through a partnership with Cross River Bank, including a high-yield savings account and rewards checking account. Upgrade's high yields and cash back make it a worthy option for savers and spenders. 

Upgrade Highlights

  • 5.07% APY on balances of $1,000 or more
  • No monthly service fees
  • Up to 2% cash back on debit card purchases when you meet monthly direct deposit requirements
  • Complimentary debit card
  • FDIC-insured through a partner bank

Who Is Upgrade Best For? 

woman banking on mobile

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Upgrade offers a high APY with its savings account comparable with the top online banks. There's a lot to like with its checking account, too. Upgrade might be a good option if:

  • You want to maximize your savings.
  • You can meet monthly requirements to earn APY and cash back rewards.
  • You're comfortable banking digitally online or through a mobile device.
  • You frequently make ATM withdrawals. 

Upgrade Premier Savings

  • Interest rate: 5.07% APY
  • Minimum opening deposit: None
  • Minimum balance requirement: None
  • Monthly maintenance fee: None

Upgrade's Premier Savings offers a highly competitive APY, making it a powerful vehicle for boosting short-term savings. You must meet monthly requirements to earn interest, though. You'll only earn 5.07% APY on days when your minimum daily closing balance is $1,000 or more. Premier Savings has no interest tiers, so balances below the $1,000 threshold earn zero interest. 

Premier Savings has no monthly service fee, leaving more of your money in savings to grow. You can access and manage your account 24/7 online or through the highly-rated Upgrade mobile banking app. 

Upgrade is a fintech company, not a bank, but deposits to Upgrade's bank accounts are FDIC-insured up to the maximum allowance limit through its partner bank, Cross River® Bank (Certificate # 58410).

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CIT Bank Platinum Savings Account

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$100 minimum deposit
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Benefits

  • Competitive APY: Premier Savings offers high-yield APY in line or higher than the best high-yield savings accounts
  • No fees: Upgrade doesn't charge monthly service fees or an annual fee on Premier Savings accounts. 
  • No minimums: There are no minimum opening or ongoing balance requirements with Premier Savings. 

Drawbacks

  • APY minimum: There are no minimums to open an account or avoid fees, but you must keep a minimum balance of $1,000 to earn interest. 
  • No physical branches: Upgrade's banking services are online-only and not ideal for customers looking for in-person support. 
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Upgrade Rewards Checking Plus

  • Interest rate: N/A
  • Minimum opening deposit: None
  • Minimum balance requirement: None
  • Monthly maintenance fee: None

Upgrade Rewards Checking Plus offers a unique take on an everyday spending account. Rewards Checking Plus accounts have no monthly fees or overdraft fees. Accounts come with a complimentary Upgrade VISA® Debit Card and ATM fee reimbursements up to five times per month on active accounts. 

What makes the checking account stand out is its cash back rewards program. Account holders earn up to 2% cash back on debit card purchases in common spending categories, including restaurants, gas stations, monthly subscriptions, mobile services, utilities and convenience and drug stores. You'll earn up to 1% cash back on all other purchases. 

There's a catch to earning Uprade's highest cash back rates and ATM fee reimbursements. These perks are only available for active accounts, which require direct deposits of $1,000 or more the previous month. Upgrade doesn't reimburse ATM fees for accounts that don't meet the monthly direct deposit requirement. Without $1,000 in monthly direct deposits, you will earn 1% cash back on eligible purchases in everyday spending categories and 0.50% cash back on all other eligible purchases. 

Upgrade limits 2% cash back to $500 in rewards per calendar year. After that, you'll earn 1% cash back on eligible purchases for the remainder of the year. 

Rewards Checking Plus customers can access select direct deposits, like paychecks, up to two days early. Availability of this service may depend on your employer's payroll service and when Upgrade receives notice of pending direct deposits. 

Benefits

  • Cash back rewards: Eligible checking customers can earn up to 2% cash back on common purchases up to annual limits. 
  • ATM fee reimbursements: Use any ATM and get reimbursed for ATM fees charged by other banks or ATM owners.
  • Early direct deposit: Access your paycheck up to two days early with Rewards Checking Plus.  

Drawbacks

  • Benefit requirements: To access the checking account's best benefits, you must meet monthly direct deposit requirements. 
  • Annual rewards cap: 2% cash back is capped at $500 in rewards per calendar year. After that, you'll only earn 1% cash back. 
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How To Open An Upgrade Account

You can open an Upgrade savings or checking account online through the company's website or mobile app. Upgrade requires applicants to provide personal information, like your full name, physical address, social security number and contact information, to verify your identity. The company may ask you to provide additional documentation in some cases. You must be at least 18 years old and a U.S. citizen or permanent resident living in the U.S. 

About Upgrade

Upgrade logo

Slickdeals/Upgrade

Upgrade is a fintech company offering online banking, lending and credit products and services. Since its launch in 2017, Upgrade has provided consumers with over $24 billion in credit through its personal loans and cards. Upgrade's banking services are provided by Cross River Bank.

Is Upgrade Worth It? 

Upgrade offers enough benefits with its savings and checking account offerings to make it an excellent choice for certain consumers. 

Upgrade might be worth it if: 

  • You want to build up your short-term savings.
  • You want to get rewards for debit card purchases.
  • You want to avoid monthly fees and minimum balance requirements.
  • You can meet account requirements to earn the best savings and checking account benefits. 

Upgrade may not be suitable for you if: 

  • You want full-service banking or in-person support.
  • You want to avoid jumping through hoops to earn benefits.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Upgrade Premier Savings earns 5.07% APY on balances of $1,000 or more. The account has no opening or ongoing balance requirements and no monthly fees. 

  • Upgrade customers can deposit or withdraw funds electronically through ACH transfers with a linked external bank account. Customers with a Rewards Checking Plus account can withdraw funds at any ATM. Upgrade doesn't charge ATM fees but reimburses up to five ATM fees per calendar month on active accounts with at least $1,000 in direct deposits the previous month.

  • Upgrade offers fixed-rate personal loans for up to $50,000 for various needs, including debt consolidation, paying off credit card debt, financing large purchases or home improvement projects and business expenses. The Upgrade OneCard is a credit card that combines debit card and personal loan features into one rewards card with no annual fee. 

KP

Kevin Payne

Kevin Payne is a personal finance, credit card, and travel writer. He is the family travel and budget expert behind FamilyMoneyAdventure.com. Kevin lives in Cleveland, Ohio, with his wife and four kids. His work has appeared on several websites, including FinanceBuzz, Credit Karma, Millennial Money, Club Thrifty, Student Loan Planner and Slickdeals.