When you’re ready and when the options open up for travelling again, do you know there is an innovative and great option for creating the travel of your dreams?
At Uplift, they bring your future travel dreams within reach.
We were joined by Tanya Johnson from Uplift on a Travel Talk Thursdays with Travel Time live interview, and Tanya brought us all the information about the platform, how it works, and how you can incorporate it into your travel planning.
Scroll to the bottom of the post to watch the video recording of the whole interview!
First of all, what is Uplift?
Uplift brought to Canada a new form of payment. It helps you travel in a more affordable, accessible, and rewarding way. It gives you the freedom to book now and pay later with flexible schedules on fixed installments over 12 months.
First, you choose the trip of your dream, and then you go through the booking process with your travel advisor. Once you’re ready to book the trip you will have the option to pay on a monthly basis. Almost as soon as you apply, Uplift will gather some information from you to check your rate and you’ll receive a quick decision about what options are available and at what rates. Certainly, this is going to be very welcome news!
The whole process is easy and it takes less than a minute once you receive that application from your travel advisor.
If you’ve decided where you want to go and what you want to do, then you’ll go through the automated application process– the travel agent submits your information, you receive some brief questions to your phone for you to respond to (the travel agent doesn’t have access to anything behind the scenes for Uplift), and you’ll get a response back from Uplift in short order.
The great people from Uplift knew that this was a need and a niche that needed to be filled and one of the special things about Uplift is that it’s not a layaway, so you don’t have to pay for your entire vacation before you can go. You can book today, and you can travel next month, then you’ll continue paying over the course of 12 months. These options really facilitate travel for a wide range of clients.
How does it work?
Of course, clients do have a credit evaluation process and each one is different.
In Canada, their rate currently starts at 6.24% APR which is simple interest, it’s a fixed amount. When you look at your application you will see exactly how much it is so you have the information you need to make a decision for your travel budget.
If you’re happy with what you see you can proceed, if you’re not you simply drop out and you can go back and use a more traditional form of payment.
To use a more descriptive example, if you’re paying for something on your credit card, you’re charged every single month on that balance. If you’re carrying a balance on your credit card for your vacation without paying it off each month, it will compound for the total amount every single month.
The difference with Uplift is that it actually gets less every single month so it’s a fixed rate yet you’re only charged on how much is due every single month. Of course, each month you’re paying down a certain amount of your travel so you owe less and less every month. In that way that percentage is charged on the amount remaining on your balance.
When you get that application the APR will be estimated at 15% but you may actually end up paying about half of the listed rate, based on the way it’s calculated, and it’s approximately 8%. Without getting into all the details right now, the documentation makes these things pretty clear to see, it’s written out so it’s not confusing.
One of the things that people like most about this form of payment is, first of all, you’re keeping your vacation separate. It’s not getting thrown in with everything else on your credit card. You get to see exactly how much that trip is costing and you know that it will be paid off within the next 12 months.
There’s an added bonus, if you want to pay it off before the 12 months, you can do so and they don’t penalize you for paying it off early. They’ll waive any remaining interest if you don’t use the full term to make the payments.
If you booked your vacation, then go away on your trip, and then you come back with six months left on your Uplift payments. If you want to get rid of this one particular payment you can do it and you will only pay for the remaining travel. It’s very transparent!
Let’s say you visit us at Travel Time – TPI and for the sake of the example, you’re a couple who want an all-inclusive package to Mexico. The cost per person is 2,000 dollars plus your insurance of 250 dollars. The total would be 4,250 dollars. Using this example we will see what the process would be like.
First of all, the Uplift platform has a little calculator and you can keep putting the price into that calculator to see a ballpark pricing and payment schedule. It will always be calculated at 15% which, as we said, isn’t necessarily the rate you’d have applied to your file after the proper application has been done with all considerations accounted for.
If you’re quite happy with the payment structuring and you consider it to be affordable, you may want to look into upgrading. You can ask how much it would cost if you upgrade your room getting that ocean view that you really want. You can play around with the estimator until you have found the desired trip, luxury options, price range, and payment schedule.
Once you have found the trip that you want for the cost of 4,250 dollars, as was mentioned, we at Travel Time – TPI, will send you the application form where they’re going to ask your name, your address, your email address, and your phone number.
You’ll be able to receive that application on your smartphone. It will immediately appear, then you can open it and review your name and your trip details as you normally would before you travel.
They’re going to ask you for your annual income. If it corresponds to their criteria according to your budget of 4,250 dollars you will click “submit next”. Keep in mind that this is your private and personal information so it doesn’t go back to us as travel advisors.
After hitting submit, a consent form will come up which allows them to do a soft credit check. This will not impact your credit score; it simply allows them to determine if they are able to offer financing for that particular trip, at that time, and to that particular customer.
Once you have agreed to the consent that they can do a soft check, they want to do an additional security check. You’ll receive a verification code to your cell phone, so you’ll need a cell phone to receive the verification code.
Once you get your verification code, put it into the application, and then they will do the very quick soft credit check. Within less than a minute they’re going to come back to you with an answer based on the results. If everything goes well, they will come back to you saying you are approved and the interest you are approved at is X and X amount, which could be as low as 6.24%.
Uplift will never ever disclose your information as a responsible financial institution and that includes the result or if you choose not to proceed. The only time it is displayed back to the booking advisor is if you have proceeded with Uplift so we will know that you’d like to pay with Uplift rather than another payment method. You have the option of cancelling the Uplift process and contacting the travel advisor to book with a more traditional method.
After receiving the offer and if you like what you see, they’re going to ask you to put the first payment down that same day. In other words, that’s your deposit. You will enter your form of payment; it will either be your Visa or MasterCard debit card.
In that way, you’re using your bank account in the same way you would with a credit card but the funds are coming right out of your bank account; they’re not going on to a credit card.
Secondly, you will go directly through your bank account like online banking. They’re going to route you to your online banking, you will sign in, as you normally would do and you will approve the payment.
Once that first payment is done, you are already booked! We, as your agent, will then proceed to book your vacation, Uplift will pay us and we will take care of the booking from there but as far as you’re concerned it’s reserved at that point.
You will have access to your own private borrower’s portal again, it’s like online banking and that’s between Uplift and you, the customer. The travel advisor has nothing to do with this since you have now entered into a contract with Uplift. This is where you’re going to see when your next payment is due, how much is paid, and so on.
If you want to make any change to your form of payment, just communicate with Uplift, there’s a chat bot and other ways in which you can contact their support staff with any questions.
It should be noticed that Uplift doesn’t take payment via credit card for multiple reasons, one of which is that there would be multiple types of interest applicable to the payments for the trip. Uplift’s goal is not to put people into a financial situation that can be difficult for them.
Uplift also helps with any in-destination activities as excursions, drinks, packages, and everything. We as your travel advisors can package all that together into one price so you can pre-purchase it and that can all go through in your Uplift payment plan, of course paying in Canadian dollars rather than US dollars which is the currency most often used on location.
Different types of client, different purposes
Younger group (age 25 to 35): This age group includes heavy users of Uplift payment plans and they enjoy diverse celebrations and destinations, whether it’s a birthday party in Las Vegas or a wedding down in the Caribbean.
Affordable travelers: People who like to save for a rainy day. They’re putting their vacation money away every single month for their reward at the end of it. The nice thing about Uplift is what you were putting towards your savings every month is actually going towards your vacation and it really brings it that much closer.
Rewarding travelers: Especially if something special is coming up, if you have an anniversary, that more enhanced vacation, the three-week coach tour of Europe, or that safari. Right now it’s becoming a trend travelling in small family groups to celebrate something together and Uplift makes it a lot easier for small family groups travelling for that more rewarding trip.
Why choose Uplift?
A lot of times the vacation that somebody can afford today to purchase is not exactly what they want. Maybe it’s a few thousand more than what they can afford right now, so if they put the money that they have today into the vacation and then use Uplift, it makes it much less painless for the amount they’ll need to pay and they have the opportunity to pay toward it for the next 12 months.
Here at Travel Time – TPI we’re excited to be able to help our clients with this, often a payment plan such as the one provided by Uplift opens up many more possibilities for how and where clients can travel. We have this great payment option, we are ready to help and advise you on a vacation, and we are ready to assist you with Uplift as a payment plan if that is your choice.
Don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions about making your dream travel a reality!