Upgrade Introduces Premier Savings Account with 3.50% APY

Throughout this year, interest rates have skyrocketed thanks to a series of aggressive moves from the Federal Reserve. While this is bad news for those borrowing funds, it also means that the interest consumers are earning from savings accounts has also been on an upward swing. Now, the FinTech Upgrade is unveiling a high-yield savings account with one of the highest APYs available.

Upgrade has launched its Premier Savings account, offering 3.5%0 APY. To earn this rate, customers will need to have a minimum balance of $1,000. On days when an accountholder’s balance is below that threshold, they’ll earn 0% APY. Funds deposited in Premier Savings accounts will be held with Cross River Bank and are FDIC insured up to $250,000 per depositor.

In addition to its high interest rate, Upgrade’s Premier Savings will reportedly allow customers to make same-day transfers to or from other banking accounts (up to $100,000). Also notable is that the account carries no monthly account fees or transfer fees.

Despite interest rates rising quickly among many banks, Upgrade’s 3.50% APY is 16 times higher than the 0.21% national average. It’s also higher than several other high-yield options at the moment. For comparison, as of this writing, Ally, Discover, and Marcus by Goldman Sachs all offer 2.35% APY on savings balances. Elsewhere, the neobank Current allows customers to earn 4% APY on funds, although this is limited to $6,000 total ($2,000 each across three “Savings Pods”). At the high end, Varo Bank has rates as high as 5% if you meet certain requirements.

Announcing the launch of Premier Savings, Upgrade co-founder and CEO Renaud Laplanche stated, “Our mission is to help consumers move in the right direction with responsible financial products that put more money in their pockets. Premier Savings achieves this goal with an exceptional APY coupled with no account fees or transfer fees, truly delivering outstanding value to consumers.” 

The debut of Premier Savings comes as Upgrade has continued to diversify its offerings. Despite starting as a personal loan destination, the company has since entered into the world of checking accounts, credit cards, and more. In fact, earlier this month, Nilson Report ranked Upgrade among the 25 largest credit card issuers by outstanding balance. Jumping from 50th place to 24th in the year, the company was also the fastest-growing issuer on the list.

Although there are several accounts where today’s consumers can earn APYs in the neighborhood of Upgrade’s 3.50%, Premier Savings is notable for a couple of reasons. First, while many high-yield products (especially those from FinTechs) put limits on how much cash consumers can earn on, Upgrade is doing the opposite by instead requiring a balance of at least $1,000. On that note, this is seemingly the only requirement the account has whereas other high-yield offerings may be contingent on direct deposits, number of debit card transactions, etc. For those reasons, Upgrade’s Premier Savings may be a good options for savers — and represents another significant move for the rapidly-expanding startup.

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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 DyerNews.com in 2015 to focus on personal finance and the emerging FinTech markets.

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