FinTech Upgrade Now in Top 25 U.S. Credit Card Issuers

Nearly three years ago, Upgrade debuted its first credit card offering aptly named Upgrade Card. Since then, the company has regularly added to its slate of cards, landing it a spot on the list of the Top 50 U.S. Credit Card Issuers according to a Nilson Report. Now, the October 2022 edition of that list finds Upgrade moving from the top 50 to the top 25.

Not only did Upgrade place 24th on the latest list but the company was also the fastest-growing issuer observed. Year over year, the company saw a 311% increase. Notably, the list is based on outstanding balances and only looks at Visa and Mastercard issuers. According to the report, Upgrade has issued 785,000 cards, which marks a YOY increase of 262.7%. For context, top-ranked Chase has issued 126 million cards (up just 13.8% year over year).

Currently, Upgrade offers a variety of credit card options. These include the Cash Rewards and Bitcoin Rewards cards, which offer 1.5% cashback on purchases. Additionally, the Life Rewards card features 3% cashback on gas, grocery, health, streaming, and utility purchases as well as 1% back on all other purchases. Upgrade also recently launched its OneCard, which combines credit and debit card features. In each case, Upgrade’s cards differ from traditional credit card options as balances are broken down into fixed monthly payments, helping consumers to pay down their debt more quickly.

Commenting on the latest figures, Upgrade co-founder and CEO Renaud Laplanche stated, “We are so excited to see the growth of Upgrade Card because success wasn’t obvious. Upgrade Card is ultimately better for consumers, but it requires more discipline as they commit to paying down their balance every month.” Laplanche concluded, “Upgrade customers can save money and sleep better at night as they’re paying down their debt.”

As Upgrade has continued to attract new credit card customers, the FinTech has also caught the attention of venture capital firms. In November of last year, the company closed a $280 million Series F, with a $105 million Series E coming only three months earlier. To date, Upgrade has raised a total of $587 million.

Regardless of the metrics used, it is impressive to see Upgrade making its way up the list of major credit card issuers. In turn, expect that the company will continue to debut new credit products and/or tweak its current line-up. Ultimately, it will be interesting to see how Upgrade continues to evolve.


Jonathan Dyer

I'm a small town guy living in Los Angeles looking to make solid financial decisions. I write for a number of finance websites, including HuffingtonPost and Business2Community. I founded in 2015 to focus on personal finance and the emerging FinTech markets.

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