The Petal Visa Credit Card is an unsecured credit card that offers a credit limit anywhere from $500 up to $10,000. Its upper limit is especially attractive because it is usually associated with more high-end secured credit cards.
Credit cards have since become a fact of life, in the United States, North America, and increasingly so in other parts of the world. People own credit cards for different reasons and also have different credit card categories to choose from depending on their financial needs.
Still, there is no argument about the love affair between people in the first world and their favourite piece of plastic.
According to Shift, there are about 1.06 billion credit cards in use in the United States alone. World wide, that’s about 2.8 billion credit cards in use worldwide.
It’s one thing to own a credit card though, and quite another to discuss how Americans spend with the card.
According to NerdWallet, credit card debt in the United States stood at $1.04 trillion as of December 2019. To put that in context, this figure is almost four times the combined defence budgets of Russia and China.
Okay, enough about credit card stats. You get the point by now: Americans love their credit cards. But all credit cards are not the same. And Americans are at different stages in their financial journey, so this makes sense for everyone.
What category of people does the Petal Visa Credit Card serve? This card is ideal for those who are still at the beginning of their financial journey and as a result, have not built up any credit history whatsoever.
Petal Credit Card
Petal’s success seemed to happen quickly, especially given that the credit card space has really steep competition. But this success is all down to their targeting.
Established in the United States in 2018, the fin-tech company was able to raise $34 million in October of that year.
According to the company, they now have over 50,000 cardholders in just a year-and-half of their existence (as of March 2020).
Petal’s Visa Card specifically targets consumers looking to build their credit history. Note, build not rebuild. If you have a damaged credit history and are seeking an opportunity to rebuild it, Petal’s Visa card is not for you.
This card also has an enviable credit limit and rewards responsible spending as well as offering cashback rewards of up to 1.5 percent.
There’s other stuff that comes with being a Petal Visa Credit Cardholder. One of such is an accompanying smartphone app, complete with a spending planner.
Cardholders input their budget in the app and it helps to keep an eye on their spending relative to their budget.
Petal Credit Card – Features & Benefits
A rundown of the benefits of getting a Petal Visa Card:
1. Petal Visa has attractive credit limits for an unsecured card
Petal Visa card’s high credit limit is not typical of cards for people with little to no credit.
The $10,000 upper limit mirrors that of secured cards with the highest limits which usually state that amount as a security deposit prerequisite.
Other unsecured cards in this same category as Petal’s offering usually have their credit limit start at around $300 and top out at $1000.
But Petal’s high credit limit, coupled with the fact that no security deposit is required makes it a mouth-watering option.
Of course, this doesn’t mean that you’re guaranteed to get that maximum limit when you apply for the card or to even get the card at all.
Petal says they use “clever algorithms” that analyze a range of personal data beyond the credit score to determine who they qualify for the card.
2. Petal Visa has no fees whatsoever
One of the biggest ways that credit card providers make money is via credit card fees. And there are many fee types to go around: annual fees, foreign transaction fees, late payment fees, fees for adding an authorized user and more.
The Petal Visa credit card is a truly no-fee credit card as it has absolutely no charges. This can save you hundreds of dollars yearly compared to using any other credit card.
3. Petal Visa offers you cashback rewards
This is not common with many starter cards, but Petal goes against the tide by offering cashback rewards, albeit in a tiered structure.
So when you first get your credit card, you get 1% cash back rewards on all your credit card purchases. That rate goes up to 1.25% if you make your card payments on time for the first 6 months.
Maintain on-time payments for another six months and your rewards rate becomes 1.5%, which is the maximum rate. Your rewards have no expiry date so long as you keep making your payments on time.
4. It is harder to get approved for a Petal Visa card than for a secured card
Some secured cards will approve people with damaged credit as long as they can provide the cash for the security deposit.
Since the Petal Visa credit card doesn’t require a security deposit, it’s a lot harder to gain approval for this card, even if you’ve got decent credit.
Having a good credit score is just one tiny part of the personal data that Petal assesses before approving or disapproving a potential cardholder. Consequently, the entry bar is relatively high.
5. The Annual Percentage Rate (APR) isn’t the lowest
On their website, Petal is quick to reference a report from Credit Karma that compares their credit card APR against that from Capital One Platinum and Discover It.
Petal was shown to have the lowest APR of the three: 12.99% to 23.99%.
While this is a good start, there are a few other starter cards on the market that have smaller APRs.
Also, you will find credit card providers that are open to APR adjustment if you call and ask for it. Petal does not accept adjustments at the moment.
You must remember the trade-off here though: a lot of these cards will require decent to excellent credit while Petal couldn’t care less about your small or non-existent credit score.
6. The spending planner could be better
While the spending planner app that comes with Petal’s credit card is a nice touch, it could be better. The app is built to help you keep an eye on your spending in light of your budget.
However, not everyone has the time or patience to constantly check the app to know how far into the budget you have spent.
Petal’s spending planner cannot set a spending limit, a feature that would have come in handy. And with their high-than-most credit limits, cardholders can easily tear past their budget and not even know it.
Petal Visa Card – Additional Benefits
You can earn Uber credits when you make purchases with this card at any of the more than 1000 restaurants, coffee shops, and retailers listed by Visa Local Offers. Your credit card must already be listed in your Uber account for you to qualify for Uber credits
The Petal Visa credit card is also compatible for transactions on ApplePay
If you pay for a car rental with your card and refuse the rental company’s insurance coverage, Petal has a complimentary auto rental insurance coverage for you
With a Petal Visa card, you don’t have to pay an annual fee or pre-enrol in emergency roadside dispatch services. When you’re stuck on the road, make sure to call up dispatch services on 1-800-847-2869 at any time of the day and pay for their services using your Petal Visa card
It is clear to see immediately that Petal’s Visa card offering is as unique as they come. To build a robust customer base made up mostly of people with little to no credit history is an impressive feat. And they do well to answer critical questions about their company and service comprehensively on their FAQ page, so there’s that.
All its benefits — cashback rewards, high credit limits, roadside dispatch, auto rental insurance — certainly make it a great starter card. Still, you must remember that it is just that — a starter card.
You will eventually want to move up in the world and when you have built a solid enough credit score and history — keeping your credit utilization in mind of course — you may want to consider transitioning to a more conventional and robust credit card.
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Sagar Sridhar is a personal finance blogger from Canada. His genuine passion for personal finance coupled with his unique style of writing is what stands out. Professionally, he is a computer engineer, agile certified and has a master’s degree in Project Management. His writing has been featured or quoted in the leading Canadian publications such as Credit Canada and many other personal finance publications. While he is juggling between his day job and blogging, he is the main author on this blog and has miles to go before making the final pit stop.