February 28, 2024

Petal credit cards comparison

If you want to build credit but don’t want to go the secured credit card…

Petal credit cards comparison

If you want to build credit but don’t want to go the secured credit card route, Petal offers three different credit card options, one of which might work for you. 

Those with a low credit score and limited cash flow may be able to qualify for either the Petal® 1 “No Annual Fee” Visa® Credit Card
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The information for the Petal® 1 “No Annual Fee” Visa® Credit Card has been collected independently by Blueprint. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

(issued by WebBank) or the Petal® 1 Rise Visa® Credit Card
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The information for the Petal® 1 Rise Visa® Credit Card has been collected independently by Blueprint. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

(issued by WebBank). Petal 1 Rise is the easiest one to qualify for, but it charges an annual membership fee. 

If your credit is slightly better, in the fair to good range, then the Petal® 2 “Cash Back, No Fees” Visa® Credit Card
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The information for the Petal® 2 “Cash Back, No Fees” Visa® Credit Card has been collected independently by Blueprint. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

(issued by WebBank) might be a fit. This card has a higher credit limit and also a cash-back rewards program and no fees.

Want to build up your credit but aren’t sure how? Our beginner’s guide to credit is a great place to start.

What makes Petal cards appealing is that, although they are geared toward those who need some credit-building help, there is no security deposit requirement. There are a couple of other unique features as well, including its “Cash Score,” which uses your bank account activity to help evaluate your credit application and to make credit limit increase decisions.

There are some key differences between each of the three Petal cards which we’ll outline below.

Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card

Earn unlimited 2% cash rewards on purchases.


Petal 2 vs. Petal 1 vs. Petal 1 Rise

*Note: A subset of existing Petal members may pay an $8 monthly membership fee; this does not apply to new applicants.

Which Petal credit card is best?

While it’s good to know the specifics of each Petal card, you actually don’t get to choose which one you’ll get. Petal will let you know which card you qualify for based on your credit and income information.

To get started, you’ll fill out a preapproval request. That means there is no hard credit check done, but you can see which card you should be eligible for based on your responses. From there, Petal will determine which of its three cards is best for you, and you can decide if you wish to move forward with the official application. Though pre-qualification is not a guarantee that you’ll be approved, it indicates a strong likelihood that you will.

The Petal credit card with the best terms is the Petal 2 card. It offers 1% cash back right away and up to 1.5% cash back on eligible purchases after making 12 on-time monthly payments. Plus, earn 2% to 10% cash back at select merchants — as well as a higher credit limit potential and a lower APR range than the other Petal cards. The middle-tier card is the Petal 1, which is a no-annual fee card. Last is the Petal 1 Rise card, which has a $59 annual fee and the lowest credit limit cap of the three cards. 

Who is the Petal 2 best for?

For those who want to build credit without having to pay fees, if you’re able to qualify for the Petal 2 card, there are a few attractive features. 

For starters, it’s light on fees — there’s no annual fee, late fee, returned payment fee or foreign transaction fee. The starting APR (if you qualify) is also lower than that of other credit-building cards on the market, and you have a credit limit potential of up to $10,000.

On top of that, you’ll earn 1% cash back right away and up to 1.5% cash back on eligible purchases after making 12 on-time monthly payments. Plus, earn 2% to 10% cash back at select merchants.

Who is the Petal 1 best for?

If you don’t qualify for the Petal 2 card, the next card level is the Petal 1 card. Though it has a higher APR range and a lower credit limit (from $300 – $5,000), it’s still a viable option for building credit without having to leave a deposit or pay an annual fee. 

You’ll get a little added value, too, you could earn between 2% to 10% cash back at select merchants. Offers are customized for you and vary throughout the year. 

Who is the Petal 1 Rise best for?

Even if you aren’t eligible for the Petal 2 or Petal 1 cards, you may still be able to qualify for the Petal 1 Rise card. There is an annual fee, but consumers who are eager to build their credit may feel it’s worth the investment. The Petal 1 Rise does have the smallest credit limit range of the three card options ($500 – $3,500) and the highest APR range. 

Like the other Petal cards, this is not a secured card. So even though there is a low annual fee, there is no security deposit required. 

This card also features the select merchant cash-back rewards offers, and you may be able to earn a credit line increase in as little as six months with on-time payments. 

Should I get a Petal credit card?

If your aim is to improve your credit or begin building it for the first time, Petal cards are worth exploring. Each card reports account activity to the three major credit bureaus (Experian, Equifax and TransUnion), which means that your positive behavior will be counted.

While some credit issuers rely on a security deposit to qualify borrowers with limited or poor credit, Petal uses other methods like Cash Score, which looks at bank account activity to evaluate creditworthiness. 

Since it won’t hurt your score to go through pre-qualification, it’s worth seeing which of the cards you might be eligible for. If you don’t qualify for a Petal card, or you just want to see what else is out there, here are some alternatives.

Petal cards vs. Discover it® Secured Credit Card
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The information for the Discover it® Secured Credit Card has been collected independently by Blueprint. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

Unsecured cards typically have tougher qualifications than secured cards, so if you’re struggling to get approved for the Petal card you want, the Discover it Secured Credit Card is one of the better secured cards available today. 

There’s no annual fee, and with strong payment behavior, you can potentially get your security deposit back in as little as seven months and upgrade to the unsecured version of the card.

The Discover it Secured Credit Card also earns 2% cash back at gas stations and restaurants on up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter and 1% cash back on all other purchases. Plus an unbeatable welcome offer for a secured card: Discover will automatically match all the cash back earned at the end of the first cardmember year. That makes it a more lucrative choice than the Petal cards.

Petal cards vs. Chase Freedom Rise℠
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The information for the Chase Freedom Rise℠ has been collected independently by Blueprint. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

For first-time credit seekers, the Chase Freedom Rise merits consideration. The card is geared toward students and those who have never had a credit card before — and, if you have a Chase checking account with at least a $250 balance, it can improve your chances of getting approved. The card earns a flat-rate of 1.5% cash back on all purchases and there’s no annual fee. Plus, you’ll automatically be considered for a higher credit line in as little as six months.

Although having a Chase checking account and meeting the minimum balance requirement to increase your approval odds may initially seem cumbersome, it’s also a great way to learn how to responsibly manage credit and pay your credit card bill. The Chase Freedom Rise also comes with some valuable protections including purchase protection, extended warranty and trip cancellation/interruption insurance. Choosing between a Petal card and the Chase Freedom Rise comes down to which Petal card you qualify for. 

Petal cards vs. Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card

If you have good or better credit, look to a card offering higher rewards than the Petal cards, like the Wells Fargo Active Cash card. The card earns 2% cash rewards on purchases.

In addition, the Active Cash Card has a 0% intro APR for the first 15 months on purchases and qualifying balance transfers, then a 20.24%, 25.24%, or 29.99% variable APR applies thereafter. Balance transfers made within 120 days qualify for the intro rate and fee of 3%. After that a fee of up to 5%, with a minimum of $5 applies. It also offers cellphone protection and Visa Signature perks. There’s no reason to choose a Petal card over this one if your credit is strong enough.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

The Petal 2 card has the best terms and benefits out of the three Petal cards.

Petal does not disclose its minimum credit score requirements to qualify for the Petal 1 or its other cards. In fact, in some cases, Petal might rely on other information, including its proprietary Cash Score, which looks at your bank account activity to determine your creditworthiness.

The maximum credit limit for the Petal 1 card is $5,000.

In June 2023, some existing Petal 2 account holders were informed that their accounts were being downgraded to the Petal 1 Rise, and they would begin incurring a monthly membership fee of $8.

This was not an across-the-board decision — it only impacted some cardholders, and new applicants will not be impacted with a monthly membership fee.

The Petal 1 Rise has an annual fee of $59. Select Petal 1 Rise and Petal 1 account holders may also have an $8 monthly membership fee. As the Petal website notes: “Card fees and terms may vary for members acquired prior to 5/16/23.”