Upgrade Launches Cashback Shopping Portal for Card Customers
Fans of the FinTech service Upgrade could now have a new option for shopping online. This week, the company announced the launch of Upgrade Shopping — a new shopping portal available to Upgrade Card customers. With the new platform, cardholders can earn cashback on purchases from more than 20,000 local and national merchants. For online purchases, customers can click or tap the “Shop” button before making their purchase in order to activate cashback while in-store offers can be redeemed simply by paying with their Upgrade Card.
According to Upgrade, Upgrade Shopping users can earn up to 10% back on the platform. For example, the company notes a current offer from H&M earns customers 6% back on their in-store or online purchases. Moreover, as with other shopping portals, these cashback amounts come in addition to any credit card rewards.
While this is the first major offering Upgrade has unveiled in 2022, it does follow a busy 2021 for the FinTech. In January of last year, the company officially rolled out its Rewards Checking account. This was followed in the summer by the arrival of a Bitcoin Rewards version of its signature credit card. Meanwhile, Upgrade managed to raise $105 million in August — only to be soon topped by a $280 million Series F in November. The latter round valued the company at more than $3.325 billion.
The debut of Upgrade Shopping comes as inflation has weakened consumer buying power. This is something Upgrade co-founder and CEO Renaud Laplanche noted in regards to the platform’s appeal, stating, “Consumer prices rose 7% over the last year. Yet many workers did not get a 7% raise, so we decided to help balance our customers’ budget and put more money into their pocket.” Laplanche added, “While inflation has raised the price of many everyday consumer products, Upgrade Shopping can drive these prices back down.”
While other FinTechs such as Current, Cash App, and others have already integrated cashback offers into their debit card product, Upgrade Shopping seems to be a more robust offering. This would put it more in line with the likes of Rakuten (formerly Ebates), which has been one of the most popular shopping portals for some time. That said, those who are part of the Upgrade ecosystem may well prefer to earn their cashback directly from Upgrade rather than waiting around for Rakuten’s “Big Fat Checks.” In any case, the launch of Upgrade Shopping once again shows Upgrade’s intent to diversify its offerings and expand into other aspects of FinTech as it continues to grow.