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Petal® 1 “No Annual Fee” Visa® Credit Card review: A safe choice for newcomers

An unsecured credit card option for people with limited credit history.

 /  11 min
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At Bankrate we strive to help you make smarter financial decisions. While we adhere to strict , this post may contain references to products from our partners. Here's an explanation for and how we rate our cards . The content on this page is accurate as of the posting date; however, some of the offers mentioned may have expired. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer.

Snapshot

4.4

Bankrate rating
Info
Rating: 4.4 stars out of 5

Bottom line

It can be tough figuring out where to start on a credit-building journey, especially for people with limited credit history. If you’re not a student, but you’re ready for an unsecured card, the Petal 1 is a low-cost, low-risk option.

Best for unsecured credit-building
Image of Petal® 1 "No Annual Fee" Visa® Credit Card

Petal® 1 "No Annual Fee" Visa® Credit Card

  • Cost of membership
    Rating: 5 stars out of 5
    5 / 5
    Ease of building credit
    Rating: 4 stars out of 5
    4 / 5
    APR
    Rating: 2 stars out of 5
    2 / 5
    Features
    Rating: 2.5 stars out of 5
    2.5 / 5
Fair to Good (580 – 740)
Info
Recommended Credit

N/A

Intro offer

Info

2% - 10% cash back

Rewards rate

Info

Annual fee

Regular APR

Petal® 1 “No Annual Fee” Visa® Credit Card Overview

If you’re new to the world of credit scores but secured credit cards carry too many upfront costs, the Petal 1 “No Annual Fee” Visa Credit Card (issued by WebBank) can help. Instead of just looking at your credit score, the Petal 1 Card evaluates other financial factors like your income and bill payment behavior. In fact, if you're eligible, it creates an alternative Cash Score for those with no credit history.

The Petal 1 Card’s easy-to-use experience makes it a solid unsecured option until you build your credit to the next level. It’s even available to people who may not have a Social Security number, since you can use an International Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) instead to apply. Still, you might find more consistent rewards and better benefits with other starter cards — even with limited credit history — if you’re willing to consider some of the best secured cards or if you qualify for a student card.

Outside of student cards, the Petal 1 card could be a terrific unsecured option if your financial history can’t bump you up to the Petal® 2 “Cash Back, No Fees” Visa® Credit Card.

  • Credit Card Cash Back

    Rewards

    • This card does not offer rewards, which is common for credit-building cards

    Expert Appraisal: Typical
    See our expert analysis

  • Credit Card Search

    Rates and fees

    • Annual fee: None
    • Foreign transaction fee: None
    • Security deposit: None
    • Penalty APR: None
    • Late payment fee: Up to $29 for first late payment; $40 thereafter
    • Ongoing APR: 25.24 percent to 34.74 percent (variable)

    Expert Appraisal: Good
    See our expert analysis

  • Credit Fair

    Credit-building features

    • Reports to all three major credit bureaus
    • Potentially high starting credit limit
    • Can earn a credit limit increase in as little as six months (terms apply)

    Expert Appraisal: Good
    See our expert analysis

  • Congrats

    Other cardholder perks

    • Petal Perks program
    • Card protection benefits

    Expert Appraisal: Unimpressive
    See our expert analysis

Petal 1 pros and cons

Pros

  • Checkmark

    This card's minimal rates and fees can make it easier to learn the credit-building ropes.

  • Checkmark

    You can still apply even if you have no credit history.

  • Checkmark

    The $300 to $5,000 credit limit is higher than some rival cards.

Cons

  • You won't enjoy consistent ongoing rewards, unlike some competing cards that offer full cash back programs.

  • This card poses a higher APR and more late payment fees than its sibling card, the Petal® 2 “Cash Back, No Fees” Visa® Credit Card.

  • No added benefits other than what’s standard for Visa and credit-building cards, reducing its long-term value.

Why you might want the Petal 1

The Petal 1 card boasts no annual fee and no foreign transaction fees, making it a great option even when you travel abroad. And its credit-building features can help newcomers build toward a more positive credit history.

Rates and fees: Carrying this card comes with low costs

The Petal 1 Card is an overall low-fee card compared to other credit cards for limited or no credit history. This credit card carries no annual fee, no foreign transaction fees and a respectable APR that can be lower than competing cards’ rates.

No annual fee means no recurring cost for cardholders, and you can more affordably take the card abroad since it doesn’t charge any foreign transaction fees. Plus, your first late payment fee is a bit forgiving — you'll only pay up to $29 the first time you miss a payment ($40 after).

Credit-building: Solid features can help manage your credit

One of the Petal 1 Card’s biggest draws is that it reports to all three major credit bureaus — Equifax, TransUnion and Experian. You should start seeing the new account on your credit reports one to two months after you open it. This contributes to your credit mix and allows you to establish a positive payment history when paying your bill on time. Further, with Petal’s mobile app you can track spending and automate bill payments to avoid missing payments.

The Petal 1 Card also provides a $300 to $5,000 initial credit limit, which is great for an unsecured card in this class. If you have access to up to $5,000 for your credit limit, it can help keep your credit utilization ratio below 30 percent and boost your credit score — but only if you keep a low balance.

On top of that, though the Petal 1 Card's Leap Program is by invitation only, it gives eligible cardholders a chance for a credit line increase when they meet certain goals and requirements, such as not letting your credit score drop by 50 or more points for six consecutive months.

Why you might want a different credit-building card

With no security deposit required and low fees, the Petal 1 Card is a low-hassle starter card. But its lack of a consistent rewards structure and other perks greatly lowers its long-term value.

Rewards: No standard earnings to take advantage of

Other than Petal Perks, the Petal 1 credit card doesn’t have its own consistent cash back program. If you like earning consistent rewards, you should switch to a more effective cash back card once you’ve built credit with your card

However, for a full rewards experience before upgrading cards, you can also look for a secured card with a cash back program. For example, the Capital One Quicksilver Secured Cash Rewards Credit Card earns unlimited 1.5 percent cash back on every purchase.

Perks: Little to no added benefits

The Petal 1 Card doesn’t carry many additional benefits, which is common for starter cards. Its main feature is its Petal Perks program where you may occasionally earn cash back at select merchants. It works like Amex Offers and other card-linked offer programs, except you’re automatically enrolled. You can earn anywhere from 2 percent to 10 percent rewards on eligible purchases at participating retailers in the form of “cash back points.”

But this can be hit-or-miss since each offer with a merchant has its own terms and time frame to earn rewards, lacking the consistency of a typical rewards card.

Other than the Petal Perks program, the Petal 1 Card offers standard card protection features like easily freezing your account if it's lost or stolen through your app and fraud detection. As a Visa card, it may also feature Visa Traditional benefits but those vary from card to card, so contact your issuer to make sure your card qualifies.

How the Petal 1 compares to other credit-building cards

Jumping into the world of credit can be nerve-racking. For beginners learning the basics, the Petal 1 Visa is a relatively low-cost option. However, you may want to consider different starter credit cards if you want more substantial value.

Image of Petal® 1 "No Annual Fee" Visa® Credit Card

Petal® 1 "No Annual Fee" Visa® Credit Card

Annual fee

$0

Intro offer

N/A

Rewards rate

2% - 10% cash back
Info

Recommended Credit Score

Fair to Good (580 – 740)
Info
Image of Petal® 2 "Cash Back, No Fees" Visa® Credit Card

Petal® 2 "Cash Back, No Fees" Visa® Credit Card

Annual fee

$0

Intro offer

N/A

Rewards rate

1% - 1.5%
Info

Recommended Credit Score

No Credit History
Info
Image of Discover it® Secured Credit Card
Bankrate Score
See Rates & Fees , Terms Apply
Apply now Lock
on Discover's secure site

Annual fee

$0

Intro offer

Cashback Match™
Info

Rewards rate

1% - 2%
Info

Recommended Credit Score

No Credit History
Info

Who is the Petal 1 right for?

As a solid credit-building credit card, the Petal 1 could work well for people looking to improve their credit as well as anyone who may not have a Social Security number, typically required for many credit card applications.

Bankrate’s Take — Is the Petal 1 worth it?

The Petal 1 “No Annual Fee” Visa Credit Card is a decent low-cost choice if you’re committed to an unsecured card and your credit score can be boosted. However, the Petal 2 Card might be the superior no annual fee card, if you’re eligible.

You also have a few better options if you qualify for a student credit card or if you can afford a deposit for a secured card. 

How we rated this card

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Data points analyzed
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Perks evaluated

Our proprietary card rating system takes into account a mix of factors when scoring credit cards for students and people building credit, including each card’s cost, APR, credit-building tools and more.

We analyzed over 50 of the most popular cards designed for students and people with no credit history, bad credit or a fair credit score and scored each based on where its key features stood in relation to others in its category. 

Here are some of the key factors that gave this card its score: 

Frequently asked questions

* See the online application for details about terms and conditions for these offers. Every reasonable effort has been made to maintain accurate information. However all credit card information is presented without warranty. After you click on the offer you desire you will be directed to the credit card issuer's web site where you can review the terms and conditions for your selected offer.

Editorial Disclosure: Opinions expressed here are the author's alone, and have not been reviewed or approved by any advertiser. The information, including card rates and fees, is accurate as of the publish date. All products or services are presented without warranty. Check the bank’s website for the most current information.