Petal 1 Card Review

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The Petal 1 Card provides a better way to build credit than many alternatives in the bad- and fair-credit card market. It’s Petal’s second credit card offering and doesn’t come with as many perks as the Petal 2 Card, but if you’re looking for a card to help improve your credit score, it’s hard to argue against this one.

Petal 1 Visa® Credit Card

Overall Rating
2.6
Petal 1 Visa® Credit Card
Recommended Credit Score Our recommended ranges are based off of the FICO® Score 8 credit-scoring model. Credit score is one of the many factors lenders review in considering your application.
350 579
580 669
670 739
740 799
800 850
Poor - Excellent
Regular APR (%) 19.99% - 29.49% variable
Annual Fee $0
Ratings Breakdown
for Interest
1.7
for Fees
3.5
for Rewards
2.3
for Credit
4.4

Who Is This Credit Card Best For?

  • Avatar for Savvy Saver Persona
    Prioritizes sticking to their budget while buying what they want and need See more cards
    Savvy Saver
  • Avatar for Debt Warrior Persona
    Attacks existing balances while avoiding new debt See more cards
    Debt Warrior
  • Avatar for Credit Builder Persona
    Takes improving their finances seriously and wants recognition for using credit responsibly See more cards
    Credit Builder

The Petal 1 Card is designed for people with low to fair credit scores, so it’s best for you if you’re building your credit and, in general, you manage your money well. It’s particularly appealing if you want to avoid a security deposit, which is required by secured credit cards designed for consumers with low or no credit, and fees, which are relatively common among unsecured credit cards for bad credit.

While the card doesn’t offer consistent cash back, it’s one of just a handful of cards in its class that will give you some form of rewards while you work on your credit. So, if you can’t qualify for a solid rewards credit card right now, but don’t want to miss out on cash back, the Petal 1 Card may be right for you. That said, it’s not a good option if you have a good credit history and can get approved for a card with better perks.

Pros
  • Considers more than just your credit score (in some cases)

  • Doesn’t charge fees  common for cards of its type

  • Offers cash back

  • Provides high credit limits for some

Cons
  • No consistent rewards program

  • Not entirely fee-free like its predecessor

  • Doesn’t offer balance transfers or cash advances

Pros Explained

  • Considers more than just your credit score (in some cases): In addition to assessing your credit score (which most card issuers do), Petal may use a “Cash Score” based on your income and expenses to determine whether you qualify. You may have to connect your bank account during the application process and Petal will assess how you manage your money. This setup can be beneficial if you haven’t had a chance to build credit but have solid income and a low debt-to-income ratio. 
  • Doesn’t charge fees common for cards of its type: Many credit cards for bad credit require an upfront security deposit of $200 or more, depending on how big of a credit limit you want. Some of them charge high fees and interest rates, too. The Petal 1 Card’s interest rates are standard for low credit scores, there’s no security deposit, and no annual fee.
  • Offers some cash back: Cardholders will earn between 2% and 10% cash back at select merchants through the Petal Offers platform. The offers may not always align with your regular spending, but even a little cash back here and there is better than what many competitors offer.
  • Provides high credit limits for some: The Petal 1 Card comes with a credit limit ranging from $500 to $5,000. Your limit will be based on your ability to pay, your credit history (if you have one), previous credit limits you’ve had, and other variables.

Cons Explained

  • No consistent rewards program: While the card offers the chance to earn cash back, you won’t get a flat rewards rate on every purchase you make, which is typical for most cards that offer rewards. And if you never shop at the retailers listed in your Petal Offers, you won’t earn any rewards.
  • Doesn’t offer balance transfers or cash advances: Petal doesn’t currently support balance transfers or cash advances. While this may not be a deal-breaker for many who are focused on building credit—and it’s best to avoid cash advances anyway—it’s still something to keep in mind, depending on how you plan to use the card.  

Earning Points & Rewards

The Petal 1 Card offers between 2% and 10% cash back when you make purchases with select retailers in the Petal Offers program. You can view the current offers in your Petal mobile app.

If you make a qualifying purchase on an offer, Petal calculates the cash back you earn and then sends it to your Cash Back Wallet by the following statement period. You can view your wallet balance by logging into your Petal account.

Your rewards don’t expire as long as your account is open and in good standing. 

Redeeming Rewards

Petal allows you to redeem your Cash Back Points in two ways: 

  • Statement credit: You can get a credit for up to the total amount of your current balance, with no minimum redemption amount. Just keep in mind that redeeming rewards doesn’t count toward your minimum monthly payment requirement.
  • ACH transfer or paper check: If you have $20 or more in your Cash Back Wallet, you can request a bank transfer or a paper check sent to your mailing address.

The biggest drawback of the Petal 1 Card’s redemption process is that you have to call if you want a paper check or ACH transfer. Otherwise, redeeming your rewards is as easy as it is with other cash-back credit cards.

How to Get the Most Out of This Card

While the main benefit of the Petal 1 Card is the chance to build your credit history, take advantage of the Petal Offers feature to get more value out of your account. Make sure to check your mobile app regularly to see which offers are available, just in case there are offers that match how you spend your money. Of course, don’t spend money you wouldn’t normally spend just to get some money back—you may lose more than you gain if you don’t pay off the purchase before interest kicks in.

Plan to pay your bill on time and in full every month to keep your balance low and establish a positive payment history for your credit score.

Petal 1 Card’s Other Features 

  • Rental car collision insurance (secondary to your own policy)
  • Roadside assistance hotline
  • Visa Local Offers with Uber

Customer Experience

Petal provides an updated Experian credit score every month, plus some insights into your spending that you can view from your mobile app. For example, you’ll be able to see how much you spend each month, including by retailer and spending category, and the monthly subscriptions you’re paying for.

If you have questions or issues, you can contact Petal via email or by phone. 

Security Features 

The Petal 1 Card comes with standard security features, including zero liability, fraud alerts, and the ability to lock and unlock your card.

Petal 1 Card’s Fees

The Petal 1 Card fees are in line with most credit cards and has fewer fees than you’d typically find with a credit card for bad credit.

Next Steps
For Petal 1 Visa® Credit Card
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CURRENT CARD
Petal 1 Visa® Credit Card
overall rating
2.6
Recommended Credit Score Our recommended ranges are based off of the FICO® Score 8 credit-scoring model. Credit score is one of the many factors lenders review in considering your application.
350 579
580 669
670 739
740 799
800 850
Poor - Excellent
Regular APR (%) 19.99% - 29.49% variable
Annual Fee $0
Our Methodology
At The Balance, we are dedicated to giving you unbiased, comprehensive credit card reviews. To do this, we collect data on hundreds of cards and score more than 55 features that affect your finances.
  • Our Reviews Are Always Impartial: No one can influence which cards we review, the way we present them to you, or the ratings they receive. The scores and reviews come directly from the data we collect and our editorial expertise, and we focus on three areas:
  • How Much Does It Cost? With credit card debt at an all-time high, we believe you should know the cost of carrying a balance. Because of that, we give regular purchase APRs significant weight in overall scores, and cards receive low marks if they have an array of pricey fees.
  • What Are the Rewards Worth? Cards accumulate rewards in different currencies—points, miles, cash back—and their values vary widely. To simplify the problem, we built a system that fairly compares rewards and gives them a dollar value. We do this by looking at the ways you can earn and use rewards, which includes evaluating Americans’ typical spending habits and analyzing common travel patterns.
  • Does It Make Your Life Easier? Our scoring system favors cards that accept a wide range of credit profiles and offer simple solutions for things like checking your credit score or contacting customer service. Finally, we give preference to credit cards that have several tools for dealing with fraudulent charges.
  • For every review on The Balance, we hold the credit cards to these standards, and we set the bar high. While we recognize the appeal of splashy features like six-digit sign-up bonuses, our approach ensures that credit cards with the best combination of value, affordability, and accessibility receive the highest scores. See our full methodology for more details.

Article Sources

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  1. Petal. "Petal 1 Visa Card." Accessed Nov. 6, 2020.

  2. Petal Help Center. "Can I Earn Cash Back With Petal?" Accessed Nov. 6, 2020.