Upgrade Review for 2024: Checking and Savings Accounts


Are you weighing the pros and cons of Upgrade’s checking and savings options? This article cuts through the fluff to provide an honest, concise upgrade review checking and savings – revealing what truly benefits you, how Upgrade stacks up against competitors, and what drawbacks you should consider. Read on for a clear-eyed evaluation to inform your banking choices.


Upgrade’s Checking Account Perks

Upgrade presents a unified checking account known as the Rewards Checking Plus, alongside a singular savings account option, the Premier Savings. These accounts aren’t just kind to your finances; they come loaded with benefits that enhance your banking operations. Forget about the monthly service fees and retain more of your earnings – that’s the Upgrade promise. With the Rewards Checking Plus account from Upgrade, those frustrating fees that usually accompany traditional banking are nowhere to be found.

And there’s even more to get excited about! The Rewards Checking Plus account isn’t merely a tool for cost savings; it’s also a vehicle for earning. Engage in up to 2% cash back on common qualifying expenses. This transforms your routine purchases into a rewarding experience.

The savings scenario is equally impressive with Upgrade’s Premier Savings account, which boasts a remarkable 5.21% APY. Upgrade maintains transparency by steering clear of hidden fees. This results in a no-fee policy and no specific conditions to qualify for the top savings rates, positioning it as an ideal option for anyone aiming to enhance their savings.

In the arena of digital banking, Upgrade holds its ground with confidence. It surpasses Current with its higher interest rates for savings accounts and competes with Varo Bank by offering cash back on debit card transactions. Coupled with FDIC insurance and an absence of concealed charges, Upgrade establishes itself as a formidable contender in the digital banking landscape.

No Monthly Fees and High APY

Many banking customers dread the monthly account fees charged by some banks for account access and management. However, with Upgrade, those worries are a thing of the past! Their checking account offers the benefit of no monthly fees, allowing you to focus on growing your wealth without worrying about these pesky charges.

But what about the returns on your savings? Upgrade’s savings accounts come with an annual percentage yield (APY) designed to bolster growth potential. This means that if you keep your principal and interest on deposit and the rate does not change, you stand to benefit significantly.

Digital Banking Experience

In the age of digitalization, banking has also transitioned online, and Upgrade is right at the forefront of this transformation. Operating entirely online, Upgrade eliminates the need for physical branch locations, reducing costs for customers. But that doesn’t mean you have to compromise on convenience or accessibility. Upgrade supports mobile check deposits via their app, allowing you to bank on the go without any hassles.

Moreover, from May 2024 onwards, customers using Upgrade’s Rewards Checking Plus will enjoy free access to 55,000 AllPoint ATMs. This means more flexibility in cash access and a better banking experience without the worry of hidden charges.

Rewards and Incentives

Who doesn’t love rewards? With Upgrade’s checking accounts, you get to enjoy a rewarding banking experience, quite literally! Their rewards structure includes cash back on eligible debit card purchases, making every swipe of your card an opportunity to earn. Think about it: every time you pay for your groceries, gas, or even your monthly Netflix subscription, you could be earning up to 2% cash back!

Furthermore, if you’re a newcomer, Upgrade has exclusive benefits lined up for you. Their introductory banking bonuses reward you for meeting certain deposit and transaction criteria. So not only do you get a fantastic banking service, but you also get rewarded for using it. Talk about a warm welcome!

Premier Savings Account: Features and Benefits

If you’re a saver looking for an account that gives your savings a boost, look no further than Upgrade’s Premier Savings Account. Recognized as a high-yield savings option, this account offers a highly competitive annual percentage yield (APY) that significantly surpasses the national average as per FDIC reports. Just imagine your savings growing at an impressive 5.21% APY.

Additionally, with the Premier Savings Account, the concerns of monthly fees or maintaining a minimum balance to earn interest are eliminated. This means you can start saving regardless of your current financial situation, making it an excellent choice for savers looking to maximize their returns with premier savings accounts.

Earning Interest with Premier Savings

The Upgrade Premier Savings account stands out because:

  • It doesn’t have a minimum balance requirement for account opening
  • This makes it accessible to a wider range of customers
  • So whether you’re just starting your savings journey or you’re a seasoned saver, this account is easily accessible.

But what about the growth of your savings? Well, with the Premier Savings account, there is no cap on the maximum balance that can earn interest. This allows for unrestricted growth of your savings. Add to that the fact that interest on this account compounds over time, and you’re looking at a fantastic opportunity to maximize your earning potential.

Accessing Your Savings

When it comes to savings, access is just as important as growth. With the Premier Savings Account, you can deposit funds via standard ACH transactions, wire transfers, or by linking an external account to initiate a transfer. You can also set up direct deposits from a payroll provider, making it easy for you to add funds to your account.

Moreover, you can:

  • Make withdrawals or transfers using ACH transactions to linked external bank accounts
  • Make transfers through internal transfers to an Upgrade Rewards Checking Plus account
  • Receive your direct deposits up to two days early, providing added flexibility for managing bill payments and personal spending.

The Perks of Upgrade Rewards Checking Plus Account

The Upgrade Rewards Checking Plus account is designed with the customer in mind, offering a host of benefits that elevate your banking experience. One such benefit is the built-in protections that prevent overspending. This means you won’t find yourself in a pinch due to unexpected overdrafts. Moreover, Upgrade does not charge overdraft fees, ensuring you are not penalized for account shortfalls.

Moreover, if you establish a monthly direct deposit of at least $1,000, you receive extra privileges. This makes the Upgrade Rewards Checking Plus account an attractive option for those looking to use the account as a primary checking solution.

Everyday Spending Benefits

One of the standout features of the Upgrade Rewards Checking Plus account is the everyday spending benefits. With this account, you can earn up to 2% cash back on select everyday expenses like payments and subscriptions. Every dollar you spend on these categories could be earning you rewards.

In addition to everyday expenses, Upgrade’s Rewards Checking Plus also offers 2% cash back on daily debit purchases up to an annual limit of $500, and continues to provide 1% cash back on other debit card transactions. This means that no matter what you’re purchasing, you’re always earning something back.

Linking Accounts for Optimized Management

Efficient fund management is at the heart of successful banking, and Upgrade understands this. By linking Upgrade checking accounts with a linked external bank account or Upgrade’s own savings accounts, you can streamline your financial management, making it easy to keep track of your money.

What’s more, with Upgrade’s digital-only banking services, you can link different accounts without the need for physical branch visits. This saves you time and gives you the convenience of managing your finances from the comfort of your home or on the go.

Premier Savings Account: A Closer Look

If you’re looking for a savings account that delivers top-notch performance, then Upgrade’s Premier Savings Account is worth a close look. Offering an industry-leading interest rate, this account allows you to earn up to a 5.21% APY, one of the highest rates in the market today.

However, there’s a condition. To optimize the APY to 5.21%, you should link the Premier Savings Account with the Rewards Checking Plus account. Plus, you need to maintain a minimum balance of $1,000 in your Premier Savings Account. But considering the high APY on offer, these requirements seem like a small price to pay.

Account Holder Eligibility

Like any high-performing financial product, the Premier Savings Account has certain eligibility criteria. To qualify, customers must first have an active Rewards Checking Plus account with Upgrade.

Moreover, the active Rewards Checking Plus account needs to have monthly direct deposits amounting to $1,000 or more. This makes the Premier Savings account an excellent choice for individuals with a steady income who are looking to maximize their savings.

Compatibility with Personal Financial Goals

Upgrade’s accounts are not just about convenient banking and attractive rewards. They also support your personal financial goals. Whether you’re looking to grow your emergency funds or maximize your rewards, an active account with Upgrade has got you covered.

The flexible savings management tools on offer, including mobile check deposit and automatic savings features, make it easy for you to meet your financial objectives. So whether your goal is to save for a vacation, a new car, or just a rainy day, Upgrade’s accounts can help you get there.

Savings Strategies and Account Flexibility

Let’s start with savings strategies. By setting up a monthly direct deposit of $1,000 into an Upgrade Rewards Checking Plus account, you can enhance your savings through higher savings rates.

It’s not solely about savings. The same direct deposit arrangement can also fetch you lower interest rates on Upgrade loans and credit cards. This means you can borrow money more affordably, making it easier to manage your financial obligations.

Loan Discounts and Financial Products

Upgrade is more than just a checking and savings account provider. They also offer a range of financial products, including loans and credit cards. And if you’re a banking customer, you can enjoy lower interest rates on new loans and credit cards as an additional financial perk.

Wondering about the extent of the discount? Interest rates on new loans and cards can be slashed by 10% to 20% for Upgrade banking customers. And to become eligible for these reduced loan rates, all you need to do is open a bank account with Upgrade.

Upgrade’s Partnership with Cross River Bank

Upgrade’s banking services are primarily facilitated by their collaboration with Cross River Bank. As a fintech company, Upgrade leverages the bank’s infrastructure to provide customers with the benefits of traditional banking. Based in New Jersey and managing over $8.7 billion in assets, Cross River Bank specializes in partnering with fintech companies like Upgrade to extend banking services.

This partnership not only enables Upgrade to offer FDIC-insured accounts, ensuring customer deposits are secured up to $250,000, but it also enhances trust and financial security. So with Upgrade, you can bank with peace of mind, knowing your money is safe and protected.

Security and Insurance Coverage

In banking, security and insurance protection are fundamental. Upgrade’s savings accounts, including the Premier Savings Account, come with FDIC insurance, ensuring the safety of your deposits.

This insurance coverage is made possible through Upgrade’s partnership with Cross River Bank, a Member of FDIC. This means that your deposits in Upgrade’s savings accounts are insured up to $250,000, giving you the assurance that your money is safe, no matter what.

The Role of Cross River Bank in Upgrade’s Services

Cross River Bank significantly contributes to Upgrade’s services by supplying the banking framework that underpins Upgrade’s checking and savings accounts, along with the Upgrade Visa Debit Card.

This partnership enables Upgrade to provide its customers with access to checking and savings accounts, and aids in their efforts to expand their suite of financial products. All this while ensuring a focus on compliance with financial regulations, so you can bank with confidence.


In the world of digital banking, Upgrade stands out with its competitive checking and savings accounts, high APYs, and rewarding cashback system. Whether you’re a seasoned saver or just starting your financial journey, Upgrade offers a range of products and features to meet your needs. So why wait? Take the leap and experience the Upgrade difference today!

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use my Upgrade Visa Debit Card internationally?

Yes, you can use your Upgrade Visa Debit Card internationally. Upgrade’s debit cards are accepted worldwide at any merchant that accepts Visa. However, it’s always best to check for any foreign transaction fees or notify Upgrade of your travel plans to ensure uninterrupted access.

What types of transactions qualify for cash back rewards?

Qualifying transactions for cash back rewards typically include everyday purchases such as groceries, gas, and recurring subscriptions like streaming services. For a complete list of qualifying expenses, refer to Upgrade’s Rewards Program Terms and Conditions.

Is there a limit to the amount of cash back I can earn?

With Upgrade’s debit card, you can accumulate up to $500 in rewards at the 2% rate annually, and there’s no cap on the 1% cash back for all other qualifying debit card transactions, which includes the usual day-to-day purchases once the $500 limit is reached.

How long does it take for cash back to be credited to my account?

Cash back is typically credited to your Upgrade account within a short period after the qualifying purchase has been made. The exact timing can vary, so it’s recommended to review your account statement or contact Upgrade customer service for details.

Can I open an Upgrade account if I’m not a U.S. citizen?

Upgrade accounts are generally available to U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents with a valid Social Security number. If you’re not a U.S. citizen, check with Upgrade directly to determine if you’re eligible to open an account based on your residency status.

What measures does Upgrade take to protect my personal information?

Upgrade implements robust security measures to protect your personal information, including encryption, secure login protocols, and continuous monitoring for fraudulent activity. Additionally, Upgrade’s privacy policy outlines how your data is used and protected.

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