Update 12/22/22: Referral reduced to $50.
Update 10/28/22: Extended until 1/31/2023.
Update 10/26/22: Premier savings account has been increased to 3.5% (note: that account is not available for Upgrade checking customers)
Update 10/24/22: There’s also $100 Swagbucks bonus on the Upgrade checking account (slightly better on MyPoints). Reports in the comments indicate it’s possible to stack the referral bonus and the Swagbucks bonus, YMMV.
Update 10/14/22: Upgrade is now offering a 3% APY account with no monthly fee as well. Making it one of the better high yield savings accounts.
Update 9/30/22: Extended until Oct 31, 2022.
Offer at a glance
- Maximum bonus amount: $100
- Availability: Nationwide
- Direct deposit required: No
- Additional requirements: 3 debit card purchases
- Hard/soft pull: Soft pull
- ChexSystems: Unknown
- Credit card funding: Up to $500 with a debit card
- Monthly fees: None
- Early account termination fee: None
- Household limit: None listed
- Expiration date:
July 14th 31st, 2022 August 31st, 2022September 30, 2022
Direct link to offer (find and share your referral links in this linked post)
- Upgrade is offering a $100 referral bonus (for both the referrer and referee) when the person being referred opens a new rewards checking account and complete the following requirements:
- Make 3 debit card purchases within 60 days of account opening
The Fine Print
- All bank account bonuses are treated as income/interest and as such you have to pay taxes on them
This account has no monthly fees
Early Account Termination Fee
According to the fee schedule there is no early account termination fee.
Credit Karma has been offering a $500 bonus when you open a line of credit. It’s not 100% clear if you can do this $100 referral bonus and then that $500 bonus (some discussion of it here). If you can only do one then that $500 bonus will be a much better offer.
Hat tip to Ryan Michael Bednarski
Useful posts regarding bank bonuses:
- A Beginners Guide To Bank Account Bonuses
- Bank Account Quick Reference Table (Spreadsheet) (very useful for sorting bonuses by different parameters)
- PSA: Don’t Call The Bank
- Introduction To ChexSystems
- Banks & Credit Unions That Are ChexSystems Inquiry Sensitive
- What Banks & Credit Unions Do/Don’t Pull ChexSystems?
- How To Use Our Direct Deposit Page For Bank Bonuses Page
- Common Bank Bonus Misconceptions + Why You Should Give Them A Go
- How Many Bank Accounts Can I Safely Open Within A Year For Bank Bonus Purposes?
- Affiliate Links & Bank Bonuses – We Won’t Be Using Them
- Complete List Of Ways To Close Bank Accounts At Each Bank
- Banks That Allow/Don’t Allow Out Of State Checking Applications
- Bank Bonus Posting Times
(Update – Tax Payments) I made a small test tax payment using payUSAtax and the app showed 1% cashback after the transaction cleared. Cashback not debited yet.
Jan 12, 2023 Bonus Upgrade Cashback Rewards for December 2022 $1.34
Feb 7, 2023 Bonus Upgrade Cashback Rewards for January 2023 $0.96
Those were for Debit card purchases in local stores.
Not sure how I’d manage to get by without it, but they DO pay.
No cash back rewards for debit card purchases ever paid
Does anyone know what date every month they pay the cash back rewards?
For some reason they do not pay at the end of the month like interest payments. Mine usually pays out sometime after the 7th of the month.
Thanks for the reply. As of today, I’m still waiting to receive the cash back rewards from January. I joined around mid-Jan so have debit card cash back rewards from mid-Jan to end of Jan which I thought would have been paid to my checking account by now.
Doesn’t seem like they pay. It shows cash back on the transaction and amount for each transaction but never gets paid out. The app says paid the first week of the next month but never pays.
Beware for those who get mail stolen. They don’t mask your SSN on your mailed 1099s.
Terms update, 90 days for debit purchases now, not that anyone probably cares:
“Once you sign up for Rewards Checking and complete 3 debit card purchases within 90 days, both you and your friend will receive $50.”
Bonus seams to have been extended through 2/15/23
Applied mid Dec for checking only account with $100 bonus promo. followed up diligently and got all documents submitted by dec 21. Kept following up twice a week. Supposedly 4506-T irs response didn’t get to them in time so they “expired” my application today. Wasted my 10+ hours for account application. Frustrating. Their supervisor asked to keep applying! Said, sometimes applications go through in a day (others here have reported so in the past too).
Need to know if paying 1040-es gets 1% or 2% or 0% cash back. Thanks
Assuming that IRS 1040-ES payments will get 1% cash-back, I applied one more time. Fingers crossed that I don’t have to go through the full process with them and actually get the debit card in my hand quickly.
anybody get a 1099 from upgrade?
was yours just for normal interest income earned in the checking account? or was the 1099 for a checking referral bonus (ie: $100 per referral)?
See this post: https://www.doctorofcredit.com/which-banks-send-out-tax-form-1099-discussion-post-for-2022-tax-forms/#comment-1547561
Does the 1% cashback work with tax payments?
Has no one yet used Upgrade to pay taxes / 1040-ES? If anyone has, please inform whether you got 1% cashback.