Upgrade has increased the bonus from $150 to a $200 bonus via referral link on their Rewards Checking Plus account (referred gets $50). Must set up direct deposits totaling at least $1,000 within 45 days. Note: This promo usually scheduled to end at the end of the current month, but has been getting extended a month at a time.

Good news is the account opening process was very quick and easy, literally under 5 minutes. I did not have to upload any extra documentation and I did not experience any hard credit checks. The account was open and ready the day after application. FDIC insurance through Cross River Bank.

Here are the highlights of the Rewards Checking account, if you maintain that $1,000+ in monthly direct deposits:

  • 2% cash back at restaurants, gas stations, utilities, convenience stores, drugstores, select monthly subscriptions (including Netflix, SiriusXM, Spotify, Disney Plus), and cell phone providers (including AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon Wireless, Cricket Wireless). Maximum of $500 in 2% rewards per calendar year.
  • 1% cash back on everything else. (unlimited)
  • No minimum balance, no monthly fees (even without direct deposit).
  • ATM fees rebated when charged by another institution for debit card withdrawals in the United States, up to five times per calendar month.
  • Can fund up to $500 instantly via debit card. Some of you may have debit cards that earn rewards.


An “Eligible Direct Deposit” is a recurring deposit to your Account by Automated Clearing House (“ACH”) from your employer, payroll, or benefits provider, or gig economy payer OR a deposit by Original Credit Transaction (“OCT”) from your gig economy payer. One-time direct deposits, including tax refunds, bank ACH transfers, bank verification or trial deposits, peer-to-peer transfers from services, such as PayPal or Venmo, merchant transactions, mobile check deposits, and cash loads or deposits are not Eligible Direct Deposits.

You can also add on their Performance Savings account with the following features, again with $1,000+ in monthly direct deposits into the Rewards Checking Plus:

  • 5.07% APY as of 1/11/24 (lower APY without direct deposits)
  • No minimum balance, no monthly fees (with or without direct deposits).

A straightforward checking direct deposit promotion that doesn’t incur a hard credit check, nor a large number of debit card transactions, nor require joining any partner organizations. Perfect if you can switch over and/or split direct deposits easily. Gig economy payments count.

“The editorial content here is not provided by any of the companies mentioned, and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone. This email may contain links through which we are compensated when you click on or are approved for offers.”

Upgrade Rewards Checking $200 Referral Bonus + 5.07% APY Savings from My Money Blog.


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