Planning to borrow money for a large purchase? Undoubtedly, you’ll start thinking about the best way to pay for it. You might wonder if using a credit card for a large purchase has any benefits over using a personal loan or credit line and vice versa.

On one hand, a credit card might come with the opportunity to earn rewards, along with the option to make minimum payments over time. On the other hand, a personal loan could have a much lower interest rate and more predictable monthly payments. If you’d like a financial option that combines both, the Upgrade Triple Cash Rewards Visa® could fit the bill.

Upgrade Triple Cash Rewards Visa card benefits

The Upgrade Triple Cash Rewards Visa combines the flexibility and rewards structure of a credit card with the predictable payments of a personal loan. The issuer of this card set out to make lower-cost, responsible borrowing more accessible to credit card users — and it looks like it’s an option worth exploring for a few reasons.

Like the Upgrade Cash Rewards Visa®, this card encourages responsible borrowing by issuing rewards when payments are made on the card balance, instead of when money is spent on the card, like with most issuers. These rewards can then be applied to monthly payments.

Potential for a high credit line

The Upgrade Triple Cash card offers credit lines of $500 to $50,000, although the majority of people will be approved for credit lines under $25,000. If you are approved for the card, you’ll know your available credit line and variable APR right away.

The credit limit and APR you’re approved for will depend on factors like your credit score and whether or not you agree to an autopay arrangement for monthly payments. Additionally, other credit-related risk factors and your payment history may affect the amount of your credit limit or your interest rate for future transactions.

Earn cash rewards

With the Upgrade Triple Cash Rewards Visa, you can earn 3 percent cash back on qualifying home, auto and health purchases and 1 percent cash back on everything else. However, keep in mind you’ll only earn rewards when you pay off your purchases.

Here’s some of the spending that qualifies for 3 percent cash back:

  • Home: Hardware, home supplies, landscaping services, heating, plumbing and A/C
  • Auto: Automotive parts, car dealers, car washes, tires and towing services
  • Health: Health and beauty spas, gym memberships and exercise equipment

Upgrade has an entire list of eligible purchases on its website, along with examples of retailers for each category.

No or low fees

One thing that really sticks out about this card is the lack of fees. The Triple Cash card hardly charges any of the fees that many card issuers charge. This card has no:

  • Annual fee
  • Late fee
  • Penalty APR fee
  • Balance transfer fee
  • Cash advance fee
  • Foreign transaction fee

Encourages responsible borrowing

Though you can earn cash back with the Triple Cash card like you would with a traditional credit card, it’s important to know that when it comes to paying down your balance, the card operates more like a personal loan or credit line. If you maintain a balance on the card, it will be split up into an installment payment plan payable over a fixed term at the applicable interest rate. You may also pay off your balance in full at any time with no prepayment penalties.

The goal of this arrangement is to encourage cardholders to pay down their balances as quickly and predictably as possible. Once you make purchases on the card, you’ll know, every month, what your fixed monthly payment will be. This can be extremely helpful if you’d like your monthly credit card payments to be consistent for budgeting purposes.

This also means you could pay less in interest charges over time and train yourself to pay off your debt at a faster rate than when simply making smaller, minimum payments each month, like with a traditional credit card.

How to maximize the Upgrade Triple Cash Rewards Visa

To maximize the Upgrade Triple Cash card, be sure to take advantage of as many card benefits as possible.

If you foresee large purchases in your future that have to do with qualifying home, auto or health spending, you’ll get 3 percent cash back — plus the benefit of installment payments — at a potentially lower interest rate. For example, a home improvement project, expensive orthodontia or a nice snowmobile could be more affordable with the Triple Cash card than paying with a traditional credit card (unless that card is one of the top cards with a 0 percent intro APR on purchases or balance transfers).

This card could be a good option for those who have at least a fair credit score. However, the better your credit profile is, the better your terms will be for the Triple Cash card and the more benefits you’ll get from using the card. If you can get a high credit line and the minimum variable interest rate (which currently ranges from 14.99 percent to 29.99 percent), this card could be a win for your financial goals. For those who want to be more responsible with credit, this card can also help thanks to the many incentives and features that can fast-track the repayment process.

The bottom line

If you’d like more favorable borrowing terms for larger purchases (or larger balances), it could be well worth your time to look into the Upgrade Triple Cash Rewards Visa. With no fees, more aggressive installment payment plans, rewards earned on payments and potentially lower interest rates than traditional credit cards, you’ll have ample opportunity to knock those balances out quickly and cultivate healthy credit habits.

*Earn a $200 bonus after you open & fund a Rewards Checking Plus account & make 3 debit card transactions within 60 days. If you previously opened a checking account through Upgrade or do not do so as part of this process, you are not eligible. Payout made within 60 days of meeting the conditions.