By Marcy Bialeschki


5 Min. To Read

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As far as ‘starter credit cards’ go, you’ll find the Visa Petal card hard to beat. Launching in 2018, the Petal card is relatively new in the market, and many people may not be aware of all it has to offer.

The Petal card allows people with no credit to obtain a credit card with a rewards program and no fees with a few conditions. While the Petal card is an excellent fit for a starter card, it’s not such a good pick for people with a long-standing poor credit history or bankruptcy. The Petal card focuses on doing one thing well, and that’s get new credit cardholders off on a tremendous financial credit journey.

It’s worth mentioning again that the Petal card has no fees. This includes no annual fee, no late fees, no sign-up fees, no monthly fees, no foreign transaction fees -- well, you get the picture. NO fees! This feature is an outstanding advantage for any credit card owner but especially advantageous for the credit card newbie. While some starter cards try to trick those new to the credit game into paying outlandish fees, the Petal card focuses on eliminating fees and getting the cardholder to develop good credit habits.

Rather than punishing cardholders for late payments, the Petal card rewards its customers for making payments on time. Petal card owners receive 1% cash back on all purchases; however, that cash back reward increases to 1.5% cash back after 12 months of on-time payments.

Petal 1 vs Petal 2

The Visa Petal card has two options that have subtle differences. Both cards give cash back rewards, and both cards have no fees. So, let’s look at the actual differences between the Petal 1 and Petal 2 cards.

Petal 1

The Petal 1 card is the best card to improve a credit score. People with no credit or just barely average credit can usually obtain the Petal 1 Visa. Let’s rundown its features:

Requires no previous credit score

Requires ‘average’ credit from those with a credit history

No security deposit

$500 - $5000 credit limit

19.99 - 29.49% APR

1% cash back initially and 1,5% cash back after 12 ‘on-time’ payments

2% - 10% cash back on merchandise from selected merchants

Petal 2

The Petal 2 has slightly better features that require slightly better credentials. True, you can obtain both the Petal 1 and 2 with no credit score, but if you have a credit history, your ‘history’ needs to be slightly better to get a Petal 2 card. Here’s the rundown:

Require no previous credit score

Requires ‘good’ credit from those with a credit history

No security deposit

$500 - $10,000 credit limit

12.99% - 29.49% APR

1% cash back initially; 1.25% cash back after 6 months of ‘on-time’ payments; 1.5% cash back after 12 months of ‘on-time- payments.

Up to 10% cash back on merchandise from select merchants

Now that the differences are out in the open, let’s look at what both cards have in common. The Petal 1 and Petal 2 can both help you grow your credit score with reporting to all three major credit bureaus. And for those just curious about whether they qualify for a Petal card, using the pre-qualification tool will not hurt your credit score.

The Visa Petal card mobile app also offers a host of useful tools. Since the Petal card is designed for people new to credit, an interest calculator helps figure the interest on their balance with a sliding scale. This scale determines how much they need to pay to avoid high interest rates.

The mobile app also has a budget setting tool and a credit tracking tool. These features allow new credit cardholders to become more aware of their spending and more diligent about their payment plans.

Finally, the Petal card is one of the only starter credit cards with a cash back rewards plan for all purchases. This rewards plan also encourages a steadfast payment routine by increasing the cash back after months of on-time payments.

People new to credit cannot go wrong with a Petal card. As long as you do your part by making on-time monthly payments -- preferably for the entire balance -- the Petal card will serve you well.

If you want to grow your existing credit, the Petal card is also the way to go. You can earn cash back, have no added fees, and have credit reports sent to all three credit bureaus.

The bottom line is this -- the Petal Visa is an obvious first choice as a first credit card.

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