Updated Jun 08, 2021 | Published Apr 09, 2021 • 7 min read
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The Petal 2 Card is a rare unsecured card designed for people with limited or no credit. It has no annual fee and features cash back rewards, and approval is possible even if you don’t yet have a credit score.
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There might not be a better option than the Petal 2 card if you have a limited credit history. Not only does it offer a way to better your credit, but it also provides rewards and a few perks. Many cards designed for limited credit provide neither.
The Petal 2 card can even help instill responsible financial habits that’ll have a lasting effect: Your cash back rate will increase as you make on-time monthly payments.
Petal also offers a mobile app to keep track of your payments (including how much interest you’ll be responsible for), your spending, and your rewards, which makes it all pretty convenient.
Establish a credit history: The Petal 2 Card gives you a chance to build credit, even if you’re starting with nothing. Petal reports activity to all the major credit bureaus. If you don’t yet have credit you often have to go with a secured credit card to get started, but Petal doesn’t require a security deposit; it’ll check your bank account records to determine your eligibility instead.
Pay on time to bump up your cash back: Of course you’ll be paying on time — you’re trying to improve your credit, right? But you’ll have an extra incentive with this card. You start with 1% cash back, and after six on-time monthly payments that goes up to 1.25%; and after 12 on-time monthly payments, you’ll earn 1.5% cash back on every purchase.
The Petal app is here to help: Use the Petal app to check your balance, see upcoming payments, and access a variety of budgeting and saving tools. You can even see how much interest you’ll have to pay if you carry a balance, another nice incentive to always pay your statement balance in full.
Earn more cash back at select merchants: Along with your basic cash back rewards, you’ll also get 2%–10% cash back at local merchants. Check your Petal app to see where you’ll earn; no activation is necessary, just spend as normal.
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
In addition to earning a flat rate for all of your purchases, you can also earn rewards through Petal Offers, which we describe below.
Redeeming is pretty simple with the Petal card. The cash back you earn will accumulate in your Cash Back Wallet, visible in the Petal app or your online Petal account page. From there, you can redeem your cash back in the form of statement credits as long as your account is in good standing. It’ll show up as “Cash Back Credit” on your statement.
If you want to redeem over $20 in cash back, you can also call Petal at 1-855-697-3825 to request a check or an ACH transfer to your bank account.
The cash back earned through Petal Offers isn’t separate from the cash back you earn from Petal Rewards, so you won’t have to worry about redeeming two different reward pools.
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.
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The Terms & Fees
Balance Transfer APR
Cash Advance APR
12.99 - 26.99% Variable
Foreign Transaction Fee
Balance Transfer Fee
Cash Advance Fee
Returned Payment Fee
The Bottom Line
If you have limited credit, the Petal® 2 Cash Back, No Fees Visa® Card would be a great choice. It’ll encourage responsible habits that can help you qualify for more advanced credit cards, and earn rewards along the way.
You’ll get a pretty high reward rate for a card like this, especially once you have 12 monthly on-time payments under your belt. You can even monitor one of your credit scores, and access two travel protections.
Although most people will get an instant decision, in some cases Petal may require more information.
What Credit Scores Do I Need to Qualify for the Petal 2 Card?
The Petal 2 card is made to be an entry point for people with limited or no credit, so you won’t need a robust credit history to qualify.
If you don’t yet have enough credit to calculate a credit score, Petal will check your bank account records instead of doing a typical credit check to determine your creditworthiness. Petal will establish a “Cash Score” for you based on those records, and this score will be used to help approve or deny you.
But if you’ve built up enough credit, Petal will check it just like a normal credit card application. If you have many negative marks on your credit reports, you may not be approved; if you’re dealing with bad credit, check out the Petal® 1 No Annual Fee Visa® Card (Review).
If you have limited or no credit, yes. It offers a respectable reward rate and a few perks, which is pretty rare for a card like this. And it supports and rewards responsible habits while building your credit.
The Petal 2 is made for people with limited or no credit, while the Petal 1 is designed for people with bad credit.
The Petal 1 also doesn’t feature a basic reward program (aside from Petal Offers) like the Petal 2 does. Instead, the only way to earn rewards is through Petal Offers, which includes select local merchants.
Secured credit cards are specifically designed to be easier to obtain than unsecured cards, and thus provide you an opportunity to build a positive credit history. More often than not, they don’t offer any rewards. But that’s not the case here. The Bank of America secured card not only provides good rewards (even by unsecured card standards) but even lets you choose one 3% cash back category. That gives it an edge over the Petal 2, which provides a lower reward rate for categories you can’t choose.
Overall, we usually recommend going with an unsecured card if you can get it; but if you need a secured card, this would be a great pick.
The Discover it® Secured (Review) provides rewards and a way to build credit in exchange for a one-time initial security deposit. That deposit will form your starting credit limit.
2% cash back on up to $1,000 in purchases per quarter (then 1%), at:
1% cash back on all other purchases
Cashback Match: Double all cash back earned in the first year; awarded at the end of the first year
There’s a spending limit here, but the goal of secured cards isn’t really to earn rewards. The Petal card doesn’t have a spending limit, so the rewards could outpace what you’d earn with the Discover card after the first year.
The Discover card will typically be easier to get because it’s secured.
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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
The biggest draw for this card is that it doesn’t require a credit check, making it easier to obtain than the Petal 2 credit card (and most other credit cards). However, it requires an annual fee, doesn’t offer any rewards, and likely provides few benefits, so if you can qualify for the Petal 2, that would be the better choice.
Because it’s designed for limited credit, the starting credit limit might be on the low side. However, you could be automatically considered for a higher credit line after six months, a nice feature for any card but particularly those at this credit level.
Access a higher credit line: You may be automatically considered for a higher credit line after six months.
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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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