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2021 Review: Petal® 1 No Annual Fee Visa Card – For Building Credit

Updated Jun 08, 2021 | Published Apr 02, 20217 min read

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Petal® 1 No Annual Fee Visa® Card

Min Credit Level Bad
Annual Fee $0
Regular APR 19.99%–29.49% Variable
At a glance

The Petal 1 Card is designed to help you establish a credit history, even if you’re starting from scratch or with some negative marks. There aren’t a lot of flashy features, but with responsible use you may be able to increase your credit scores.

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Our Rating: 5 Out of 5 Stars

We give the Petal® 1 No Annual Fee Visa® Card 5 out of 5 Stars. It provides a good opportunity to improve your credit, and the app lets you easily access your account information whenever you need to.

Why We Like It

  • If you haven’t yet established credit, Petal checks your banking history to give you a shot at approval
  • Opportunity to establish a credit history, and potentially improve credit scores
  • Can only apply if you’re pre-approved, although pre-approval doesn’t guarantee approval
  • 2%–10% cash back at select merchants
  • Relatively high maximum credit limit ($5,000)
  • No foreign transaction fee
  • No annual fee

Why It Could Be Better

  • Rewards at select merchants only
Apply Now

securely on the issuer's website

Petal® 1 No Annual Fee Visa® Card
Apply Now

securely on the issuer's website

  • Min. credit levelBad
  • Annual Fee$0
  • Regular APR19.99%–29.49% Variable

If you’ve made some credit mistakes, the Petal 1 card could be a good tool for rebuilding your credit history. Because it’s designed for people with bad credit, there aren’t many benefits. Use it as a stepping stone toward a card with better benefits and a more reliable reward program.

Petal takes a modern approach by pairing its cards with a mobile app. You’ll be able to monitor one of your credit scores, pay your bill, and check your spending. It’ll even keep track of your subscription services and tell you which ones you might be able to shed to save yourself some cash.

Insider tip

If you’re new to credit, Petal also offers the Petal® 2 Cash Back, No Fees Visa® Card (Review), for people with limited or no credit. It earns a flat reward rate that can be increased with on-time payments.

Insider Advice: Getting the Most Out of Your Card

  • Commit to being a responsible credit card user: The Petal 1 card is one of the relatively few unsecured cards for people with bad credit, meaning you don’t have to put down a security deposit to get approved and start establishing credit. Use it responsibly — pay your statement balance on time and in full each month — and you may see a boost to your credit scores.
  • Get the app: The Petal card is designed to be used with the Petal app, where you can see everything you’ll need to know about your card. That includes your balance and upcoming payments, how much you’ll pay in interest if you carry a balance, and where you can earn cash back, along with budgeting and credit-monitoring tools.
  • Check your Petal Offers to see where you can save: Use the Petal app to see your Petal Offers — local merchants where you can earn 2%–10% cash back. You don’t need to do anything to activate or enroll in the offers; they’ll be loaded onto your card automatically when they’re available. Just make purchases as normal, paying with your Petal card, to claim your offers.

The Rewards

The Petal 1 doesn’t have traditional rewards, but it does come with the Petal Offers program. You’ll need to check the Petal app to see which local merchants you can earn cash back with.

These merchants are automatically loaded to your account as long as it’s in good standing. Reward rates vary from 2%–10% cash back.

Redeeming

The cash back you earn will automatically be added to your Cash Back Wallet, found in the Petal app or online. You can then redeem your cash back rewards in the form of statement credits at any time, provided your account is in good standing. It’ll show up as “Cash Back Credit” on your statement.

If the cash back you want to redeem is over $20, you can call Petal at 1-855-697-3825 to request a check or an ACH transfer to your bank account.

The Benefits

  • Petal Offers: Earn 2%–10% cash back at select local merchants. Current offers are automatically added to the card and can be checked in the Petal app. Use the card for purchases as normal to claim Petal Offers.
  • Free credit score: See one of your credit scores, based on your Experian credit report.
  • Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver: Decline the rental agency’s insurance to get coverage for damage and theft of eligible rental cars.
  • Roadside Dispatch: Call 1-800-847-2869 anytime for help on the road, including tows, jumpstarts, and tire changes. Third-party fees apply.

The Terms & Fees

Purchase APR Balance Transfer APR Cash Advance APR
19.99%–29.49% Variable None None
Annual Fee Foreign Transaction Fee
$0 None
Balance Transfer Fee Cash Advance Fee
None None
Penalty APR Late Fee Returned Payment Fee
None Up to $40 $29

The Bottom Line

The Petal® 1 No Annual Fee Visa® Card could be a great way to establish credit. The rewards program is interesting, requiring you to check the app to find out which local merchants are eligible. But for a card with these credit requirements and no annual fee, the range of 2%–10% cash back is really good.

The Petal app lets you redeem rewards, analyze spending, keep track of subscriptions, and monitor one of your VantageScore 3.0 credit scores, among other things.

However, the card has few benefits, so if you’re able to improve your credit, consider moving on to a better card. Take a look at some of our best reward credit card picks for when you’re ready to make the move.

How Do I Apply for the Petal 1 Card?

Follow the link below to begin the pre-approval process, which won’t affect your credit scores. You’ll only be allowed to apply if you’re pre-approved. If you do apply, that will require a hard inquiry on your credit reports (normal for credit applications), which can negatively affect your scores slightly.

Petal will typically provide an instant decision, but in some cases, it may ask for more information.

What Credit Scores Do You Need to Get the Petal 1 Card?

The Petal 1 Card is designed for people with poor credit, so it’s relatively accessible even if you’ve struggled with creditworthiness in the past.

If you have a credit history, Petal will check it when you apply (just like most credit card issuers). But if you haven’t established any credit or don’t have enough history to calculate credit scores, Petal will need to connect to your bank account to check your banking history.

In this case, Petal will determine a “Cash Score” based on how you earn and spend money. Your Cash Score will be used for the application decision.

Apply Now

securely on the issuer's website

Petal® 1 No Annual Fee Visa® Card
Apply Now

securely on the issuer's website

  • Min. credit levelBad
  • Annual Fee$0
  • Regular APR19.99%–29.49% Variable

Frequently Asked Questions

What benefits come with the Petal 1 credit card?

The Petal 1 No Annual Fee Visa offers cardholders the ability to monitor their VantageScore 3.0 credit score based on their Experian credit report, rental car insurance, and roadside dispatch.

Take a look at all the benefits for more information.

What’s the difference between the Petal 1 and Petal 2 credit cards?

There are a few differences between the Petal 1 card and the Petal® 2 Cash Back, No Fees Visa® Card (Review). While the Petal 1 is designed for people with bad credit, the Petal 2 is geared towards people with limited or no credit. The Petal 2 also features a flat rewards rate that can be increased with on-time payments.

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Alternatives to the Petal 1 No Annual Fee Visa Card

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securely on the issuer's website

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securely on the issuer's website

  • Min. credit levelLimited Credit History
  • Annual Fee$0
  • Regular APR12.99 - 26.99% Variable
  • No fees whatsoever. No late fee, international fee, annual fee, or any-other-kind-of-fee, fee.
  • Up to 1.5% cash back after making 12 on-time monthly payments
  • 1% cash back on eligible purchases right away
  • 2% – 10% cash back from select merchants
  • $500 – $10,000 credit limits
  • Variable APRs 12.99% – 26.99%
  • Build credit alongside tens of thousands of Petal Card members
  • Cash flow technology may help applicants without credit history get approved
  • Petal’s mobile app makes it easy to manage your money, track your spending, and automate payments
  • See if you’re pre-approved within minutes without impacting your credit score
  • Petal reports to all 3 major credit bureaus
  • No deposits required
  • Card issued by WebBank, Member FDIC
Why We Picked It

The Petal® 2 Cash Back, No Fees Visa® Card (Review) is the other card from Petal. It requires limited or no credit to qualify (meaning if you have any negative marks, you may not be approved), but features greater rewards.

In addition to Petal Offers, you’ll earn a flat cash back rate for every purchase. That rate will increase as you pay off the card responsibly, up to 1.5% after 12 monthly on-time payments. Aside from that, it’s the same card, so if you have the credit for it, this would be a more rewarding choice.

Rewards
Spending Rewards
  • 1% cash back on purchases initially
  • 1.25% cash back on purchases after 6 on-time payments
  • 1.5% cash back on purchases after 12 on-time payments
Key Features
  • Petal Offers: Earn 2%–10% cash back at select local merchants. Current offers are automatically added to the card, and can be checked in the Petal app. Use the card for purchases as normal to claim Petal Offers.
  • Free credit score: See one of your credit scores, based on your Experian credit report.
  • Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver: Decline the rental agency’s insurance to get coverage for damage and theft of eligible rental cars.
  • Roadside Dispatch: Call 1-800-847-2869 anytime for help on the road, including tows, jumpstarts, and tire changes. Third-party fees apply.
  • No foreign transaction fee
  • Annual fee: $0
  • Min. credit levelLimited Credit History
  • Annual Fee$0
  • Regular APR26.99% Variable
  • Pay no annual fee
  • Be automatically considered for a higher credit line in as little as 6 months
  • Fraud coverage if your card is lost or stolen
  • Use online banking to access your account, even from your smartphone, with our mobile app
  • Check out quickly and securely with a contactless card, without touching a terminal or handing your card to a cashier. Just hover your card over a contactless reader, wait for the confirmation, and you’re all set
  • Pay by check, online or at a local branch, all with no fee – and pick the monthly due date that works best for you
  • Get access to your account 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
  • Help build your credit through responsible use of a card like this
Why We Picked It

The Capital One Platinum Credit Card (Review) is designed for people with limited credit.

It doesn’t feature any rewards like the Petal 1, and it might prove a little more difficult to get depending on your credit level, as it asks for at least some established credit (i.e., at least a credit account or two).

It’s about as plain as a credit card can get. There are no introductory offers or impressive benefits. Instead, it’s a simple unsecured option for people looking to build credit through responsible use.

Key Features
  • Higher credit line: You may be automatically considered for a higher credit line after six months.
  • Capital One CreditWise: The CreditWise service provides free access to one of your VantageScore 3.0 credit scores, based on your TransUnion credit report. You can monitor your score over time and get alerts about any changes. Anyone can enroll in the CreditWise service, cardholder or not.
  • No foreign transaction fee
  • Annual fee: $0
  • Min. credit levelBad
  • Annual Fee$0
  • Regular APRSee Terms
Why We Picked It

The Discover it® Secured (Review) requires a one-time deposit when you’re approved. The initial deposit will form your starting credit limit. Secured credit cards like these are a good way to start building a positive credit history or repair a damaged history, as they’re relatively easy to get but build credit like any other credit card.

Unlike most secured cards, the Discover it Secured offers rewards. And even more uniquely, Discover will double the rewards you earn during the first year with the card.

The Discover card does have a quarterly spending limit, and has a max earning of 2% cash back. There aren’t any travel protections like the two that come with the Petal card.

Rewards
Spending Rewards
  • 2% cash back on up to $1,000 in purchases per quarter (then 1%), at:
    • Restaurants
    • Gas Stations
  • 1% cash back on all other purchases
Introductory Bonus
  • Cashback Match: Double all cash back earned in the first year; awarded at the end of the first year
Key Features
  • FICO Credit Scorecard: Access your FICO Score 8 whenever you’d like for free, based on your TransUnion credit report.
  • Free Social Security number alerts: Discover searches for your Social Security number on thousands of risky dark web sites and will alert you if your information was compromised.
  • New account alerts: Get notified of credit inquiries and new accounts on your Experian credit report.
  • Cash at Checkout: At eligible retailers you can get cash at checkout. The extra cash will be counted as part of your purchase.
  • Refer a Friend bonus: Earn a $50 statement credit bonus for every friend you refer who’s approved, up to 10 friends per year. If your friend makes a purchase within three months of opening the account, he or she will earn a $50 bonus too.
  • Security deposit: $200–$2,500
  • Balance Transfer APR: See Terms for See Terms, then See Terms
  • No foreign transaction fee
  • Annual fee: $0
Apply Now

securely on the issuer's website

Apply Now

securely on the issuer's website

  • Min. credit levelBad
  • Annual Fee$0
  • Regular APR23.99% Variable
  • 3% cash back in the category of your choice: gas, online shopping, dining, travel, drug stores, home improvement/furnishings
  • 2% cash back at grocery stores and wholesale clubs
  • After you spend $2,500 in the 3% and 2% categories, you’ll earn 1% cash back until the quarter ends
  • Security deposit between $300-$4,900 is required to open your account upon approval
  • Bank of America will periodically review your account and return your security deposit if you qualify
  • 3% foreign transaction fee
  • No annual fee
Why We Picked It

The Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards Secured Card offers a pretty impressive array of rewards.

You’re able to choose one 3% cash back bonus category in addition to its 2% categories. Those rates are good even by unsecured credit card standards. The rewards will be more constant than the Petal card’s, considering Petal only gives 2%–10% back at certain merchants.

Because it’s a secured card, you’ll need to make an initial deposit that’ll form your starting credit limit. But once that’s done, you’ll have a rewarding option to begin building a positive credit history.

Rewards
Spending Rewards
  • 3% cash back in one category of your choice:
    • Gas
    • Online shopping
    • Dining
    • Travel
    • Drug stores
    • Home improvement/furnishings
  • 2% cash back at:
    • Grocery stores
    • Wholesale clubs
  • 1% cash back on all other purchases
  • 3% and 2% rewards only up to $2,500 spent per quarter, then 1% cash back
Key Features
  • Free credit score: Check your FICO Score 8 for free, based on your TransUnion credit report.
  • Security deposit: $300–$4,900
  • Annual fee: $0
Apply Now

securely on the issuer's website

Petal® 1 No Annual Fee Visa® Card
Apply Now

securely on the issuer's website

  • Min. credit levelBad
  • Annual Fee$0
  • Regular APR19.99%–29.49% Variable

Do you use the Petal 1 No Annual Fee Visa Credit Card? Has it helped improve your credit? Let us know how the card has worked for you!

Written by

Evan Zimmer

Evan graduated from SUNY Oswego with a degree in journalism and creative writing. In his professional writing career, he strives for precision and comprehension in his work. He’s written news articles, blog posts, and copy, working across a slew of different mediums. With in-depth research and great care for accuracy and detail, he now works to bring you the most up-to-date credit information.

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