Petal® Visa® Credit Card review
You don’t need a credit history to qualify for this no-fee card.
- Get this card if you want something without any fees.
- Pick something else if you want a card that’ll help repair your credit score.
- Apply if you have no credit history, or if you have an existing fair to good credit score.
Up to 10%
14.49% to 25.49%
Purchase APR (variable)
Recommended credit score
Kevin Joey Chen is a credit cards, banking and investments writer whose work and analysis have appeared on CNN, U.S. News & World Report, Lifehacker and CreditCards.com. He's passionate about helping you get your finances in order and expertly navigate the cutting-edge financial tools available -- including credit cards, apps and budgeting software.
The Petal® Visa® Credit Card has a $0 annual fee and offers 1% to 10% cash back on purchases. Depending on your creditworthiness, you’ll receive a purchase APR of 14.49% to 25.49% variable and a credit limit of $500 to $10,000.
The card has no fees whatsoever — a rare sight in the credit card industry. It further distinguishes itself as an option for consumers who don’t yet have credit scores. If Petal needs more information for your application, it’ll deploy proprietary algorithms to evaluate your ability to repay your debt.
How the Petal® Visa® Credit Card works
Petal recently dropped a huge update to their consumer-friendly, zero-fee credit card. Petal® Visa® Credit Card users can now earn 1% cash back on all purchases. And, in line with their vision of rewarding responsible spending, that cashback value will be bumped to 1.25% after six on-time monthly payments and then to 1.5% after 12 on-time monthly payments.
This makes the Petal® Visa® Credit Card a unicorn of sorts in the credit card market — a cashback rewards card with no fees and no penalties whatsoever.
New 10% cashback benefit
As of December 2019, the Petal® Visa® Credit Card offers up to 10% cash back at some merchants, including but not limited to:
- Banana Republic.
- Old Navy.
- Home Improvement.
Petal says you don’t have to activate these cashback offers; they’re already linked to your card.
Who is the Petal® Visa® Credit Card for?
The Petal® Visa® Credit Card is for anyone who wants simple cash back and no fees. It’s an especially good choice for those who want access to great credit but are considered ineligible for cards by most credit companies. According to Petal’s site, nearly 45 million people in the US are “credit invisible” and unscoreable — with nearly 62 million considered thin-file and on the margin.
These people have a chance to find approval for the Petal® Visa® Credit Card because their full digital financial records are reviewed rather than just their credit score.
Is “no fees” for real?
Yes. Petal really means it: You won’t pay annual fees, foreign transaction fees, overlimit fees or even late fees when you use this card.
Who’s eligible for the Petal® Visa® Credit Card?
Anyone can apply for the credit card, even if you have no prior credit history. That’s unusual for an unsecured credit card that doesn’t charge fees. That said, the Petal® Visa® Credit Card is not for rebuilding poor credit. A history of bad credit or a poor financial history will likely disqualify you from obtaining the card.
You’re more likely to get approval with a fair to good credit score. Your credit history can also factor into your credit limit, along with the rest of your financial history.
If you want to rebuild poor credit, consider a secured card instead.
Why choose the Petal® Visa® Credit Card over a secured card?
The Petal® Visa® Credit Card is an excellent alternative to a secured card if you have no prior credit history because you won’t need to foot the security deposit required of most secured cards.
Many secured cards can also start you with a credit limit as low as $200. The Petal® Visa® Credit Card starts at a $500 minimum limit if you’re approved, and a maximum of $10,000.
The Petal® Visa® Credit Card also offers cash back on purchases. Not many secured cards offer rewards.
Is there a catch?
There isn’t a “catch,” per se. But because the Petal® Visa® Credit Card doesn’t collect fees, it tries to serve only customers who can responsibly pay their card bills.
Note that you might be required to sync your bank account through a secure third-party when you apply. Petal will have read-only access, allowing them to analyze your digital finances by looking at your income, savings and spending if necessary during the pre-qualification process.
By linking your account, you may be able to find approval in circumstances that you would otherwise result in denial other credit cards. Its intuitive mobile app also allows Petal to help you monitor your spending practices.
Petal doesn’t appear to pad its bottom line through sneaky tactics — for example, it doesn’t spike your APR for late or missed payments. According to Petal’s CEO, the company makes money purely through merchant transaction fees and from consumer interest payments.
- No fees.
There’s no annual, foreign transaction, overlimit or even late fees.
- No credit history required.
If you have no credit score or limited credit history, your income and financial records, including your checking accounts and bill payments, may be analyzed to determine your eligibility. You can still apply if you already have a good credit history and you want to take advantage of the card’s generous fee structure.
- Potentially high credit limit.
Petal offers credit limits between $500 and $10,000. This range is higher than average compared to similar cards. However, your limit is ultimately based on your ability to pay.
- Cash back rewards. You’ll earn 1% cash back on all eligible purchases. Petal will increase this cash back rate to 1.25% after you make six on-time monthly payments. Make 12 on-time monthly payments and your cash back rate will increase again to 1.5%. As of December 2019, you’ll earn up to 10% cash back at select merchants.
You’ll also like…
- Money-management tools.
Download Petal’s associated mobile app to track your spending and upcoming payments. Streamlined information and data through the app gives you a high level view of your finances and spending. You can track all your accounts connected to Petal, as well as schedule payments.
- Set your own spending.
Petal lets you set your own spending plan to track over a given time period.
What to watch out for
- No signup bonus.
Unlike many of its competitors that offer signup bonuses or introductory cards, Petal has no such offer.
Compare unsecured cards that can help you build credit
What should I know before I apply?
You must be at least 18 years old or 19 years old in AL and NE and a US resident with a valid Social Security number or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN).
Information you’ll need
- Full name and contact information
- Residential status
- Annual income, source of income and employment information
- Social Security number and date of birth
What credit score do I need?
You don’t need a credit history to apply for the Petal® Visa® Credit Card. However, Petal will first check for pre-qualification based on your credit score, so you’ll have a better chance of approval if you have a fair to a good credit score.
If you don’t have a credit history, Petal may allow you to link your financial accounts, including your bank information, to prove sufficient income and a responsible history of paying your bills.
How to apply for the Petal® Visa® Credit Card
Applying for the Petal® Visa® Credit Card is simple:
- Go to the provider site and click Apply now.
- Fill out the requisite information on each form to complete your application.
- If preapproved, Petal will alert you and invite you to fill out the full application
Credit pulls during the approval process.
Petal will perform a soft pull during the preapproval process and a hard pull during the full approval process. Note the difference between a soft and hard pull.
I got the card. Now what?
- Spend responsibly and pay off your balance in full at the end of each month.
- Use the accompanying Petal app regularly to see the state of your finances and spending habits and to develop better financial awareness.
- Set up autopay in your Petal account to ensure you never miss any payments.
The Petal® Visa® Credit Card has no associated fees and can help you learn to use credit responsibly. And the addition of a cashback structure makes this card an even more appealing option than before. It’s a good choice if you don’t have a credit score but feel like you’re a responsible borrower.