Upgrade Premier Savings: Up to 0 Deposit Bonus + 5.21% APY (Improved)

(Update 2/27/24: Upgrade has improved this promotion in multiple ways: the base interest has been raised to 5.21% APY, all of the tiers have been improved ($50 is now $75, $200 is now $300), and a new $500 tier has been added.)

Upgrade is offering up to a $500 deposit bonus via referral link when you open their standalone Premier Savings account and make a deposit of at least $15,000 in the first 30 days and leave it there for at least an additional 60 days. No credit check for me. FDIC insurance through Cross River Bank.

Note: This is a separate bonus from the ongoing $200 Upgrade Rewards Checking bonus, which had a direct deposit requirement. You can add on a “Performance Savings” account onto a Rewards Checking account, while this offer is for a different “Premier Savings” account.

Upgrade Premier Savings: Up to 0 Deposit Bonus + 5.21% APY (Improved)

Per the fine print, you should be able to get this bonus as long as this is your first “Premier Savings” account. It doesn’t matter if you already got the Rewards Checking bonus (as I did). You just need to make sure you use a referral link with the promotion attached.

If you have never had a Premier Savings account through Upgrade (a “New Customer”), you can receive a Welcome Bonus (defined below) if you (1) use an Existing Customer’s unique referral link to open a new Premier Savings account, subject to account approval, by the Offer Period, (2) make a deposit within 30 days of opening the new account, and (3) after the initial 30-day period, maintain at all times during an additional 60 days the minimum account balance presented to you (a “Qualified Registration”).

The account opening process for my first Upgrade account 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. If you are an existing customer (as I was this time), it was even faster. All my details were pre-filled and so it just took a few clicks.

All of my previously-linked external bank account details were also available to make a transfer. Upgrade uses Finicity (owned by Mastercard) for linking external bank accounts.

Here are the highlights of the Premier Savings account:

  • 5.21% APY as of 2/27/24 with $1,000 minimum balance required to earn interest.
  • No direct deposit requirement (unlike the Performance Savings).
  • No monthly fees.

Napkin math (Effective APY). If you deposit towards the end of the 30-day funding period, your technical minimal holding period is 60 days.

For the $15,000, $30,000, and $100,000 deposit tiers, earning 0.50% on your funds with a 60 day holding period works out to an additional 3.00% annualized yield. If you assume the current 5.21% APY, that adds up to a total effective interest of roughly 8.21% APY annualized for 2 months.

For the $50,000 deposit tier, earning 0.60% on your funds with a 60 day holding period works out to an additional 3.60% annualized yield. If you assume the current 5.21% APY, that adds up to a total effective interest of roughly 8.81% APY annualized for 2 months.

A straightforward deposit promotion with a smooth application and short hold period that doesn’t incur a hard credit check. The savings account also has a high base APY to keep around long-term. Finallly, it also stacks with another $200 checking account promotion from the same place. This is my Upgrade Premier Savings up to $500 referral link. Thanks if you use it.

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