The startup Fintech Upgrade is launching a new credit card today. The Upgrade Bitcoin Rewards card is a classic Visa credit card that works on the Visa network. But you get 1.5% bitcoin rewards when you make payments.
Upgrade isn’t the first company to announce a credit card with bitcoin rewards, but it’s the first that is generally available. If your request is approved, you can start using the virtual card immediately.
BlockFi announced its own credit card with bitcoin rewards in December 2020. Gemini quickly followed suit thereafter. But these cards are still not generally available. A few weeks ago, BlockFi started inviting people to its waitlist. A general deployment should therefore arrive as soon as possible.
When it comes to the Upgrade Bitcoin Rewards card, the company offers credit lines from $ 500 to $ 25,000 depending on your credit score. It works with Apple Pay and Google Pay. Like other Upgrade credit cards, there are no monthly fees, late fees, or return payment fees.
Essentially, this new card works much like Upgrade’s existing credit card. But instead of getting 1.5% cash back on all purchases, you get 1.5% in bitcoin – there’s no specific category, no partner retailer, no points system. This is a straightforward, uncapped cash back program.
While you get rates between 8.99% and 29.99%, Upgrade encourages you to combine the monthly fees into installment plans that you can pay off over 24-60 months. Once you’ve done that, you pay monthly installments equal to a fixed rate.
“Upgrade Card already offers more than $ 3 billion in annualized credit to consumers,” co-founder and CEO Renaud Laplanche said in a statement. “Starting today, anyone can apply for an Upgrade Bitcoin Rewards Card and enjoy the same affordable and responsible credit as with any Upgrade card, along with the potential benefits. and the fun of owning bitcoins. “
The company has partnered with NYDIG for bitcoin rewards. At the moment, there is not much you can do with your bitcoins. You can choose to keep them or sell them. There is no way to transfer your bitcoins to another wallet for example. If you choose to sell your rewards, you will be charged a 1.5% transaction fee.
It should also be noted that this card is not available in all 50 states. Customers from Hawaii, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin and the District from Columbia cannot order an Upgrade Bitcoin Rewards Card at this time.
Once again, Upgrade is diversifying its product portfolio as a high-end strategy. By diversifying your credit card offering, this will lead to more personal loans down the road.
To be fair, Upgrade encourages you to pay off your debt as you receive your rewards when you make your monthly balance payments. But Upgrade wants to make the customer relationship so that you think about it every time you need a personal loan.