Upgrade, the US challenger bank launched by former Lending Club chief Renaud Laplanche, has launched a cash back rewards programme with a twist, crediting the cash to accounts when users pay down their monthly balance.
The new programme earns users unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase they make with the card. But, instead of being credited at the time of purchase, the rewards are paid as cardholders make their monthly balance payments.
“Credit card companies typically reward their customers for spending more,” says Laplanche. “That’s hardly the most responsible incentive in normal times, and is particularly irresponsible in the current environment. We’re rewarding our customers for doing what’s good for them: paying down their balance.”
Since launching in 2017, Upgrade has seen more than 10 million applications for a card or loan, with the company delivering over $3 billion in credit, growing at a triple digit annual rate.
The challenger in June secured a $40 million Series D investment round to fuel the growth of Upgrade Card in the US, and the upcoming launch of Upgrade Account, a mobile banking product.