Petal 2 Visa Card Review

The Petal Visa card is not one of our top-rated cash back credit cards. You can review our list of the best cash back credit cards for what we think are better options.

Full Review of Petal Visa Card


  • High credit limits for a starter card

  • No fees

  • Earn up to 1.5% cash back


  • High APR

  • Limited eligibility

Pros Explained

  • High Credit Limits for a Starter Card: Even if they’re not secured by a security deposit, most credit cards designed for people with little to no credit have very low credit limits, sometimes as low as $300. If you’re approved for the Petal 2 Visa, by contrast, you’ll receive a credit limit of between $500 and $10,000. That upper limit even exceeds those of the secured cards with the highest limits, which usually require you to put down that sum as a security deposit, which the Petal Visa does not require. Of course, you’re far from guaranteed to get that maximum, or to receive the card at all. Your approval and spending limit will be determined by your credit score, if you have one, and what Petal describes as your Cash Score, which is “an alternative measure of your creditworthiness based on income, savings, and spending history.”
  • No Fees: Credit cards, including some starter ones, come with extensive fees, including those for late payment, foreign transactions, and adding authorized users. By contrast, the Petal 2 card doesn’t charge any fees at all, a distinction that could be worth hundreds of dollars a year compared with fee-laden competitors such as the First Premier Mastercard. 
  • Cash Back Rewards: The Petal 2 Visa is one of the few starter credit cards that offers rewards. The rate you earn evolves. When you first start out, you earn 1% cash back on every purchase. Once you make six on-time monthly payments, your rewards rate increases to 1.25%. After making 12 on-time payments, you begin to earn 1.5%. There’s no limit to how much you can earn in cash back rewards, and your rewards will never expire as long as your account remains in good standing. 

Cons Explained

  • Less Easy To Get Approved Than a Secured Card: Unlike the cards secured by a cash deposit that serve people with deeply damaged credit, the Petal 2 Visa could be a stretch to gain approval for those who have declared bankruptcy or with a history of missed payments. Also, even decent credit may not assure that you receive the card. That’s because Petal says it decides on approval by using algorithms that draw on a range of personal data items. 

The Petal 2 Visa card is a fine first credit card for recent college graduates, young adults, and anyone else who hasn’t yet fully established a positive credit history—but does not have a damaged record, which could potentially interfere with approval for the card. 

It’s also a fine option for those who want a credit limit that’s on the higher side for cards in this category. Unlike a secured card, which limits you (at least initially) to the amount you can deposit, Petal 2 will allow you a limit, without a deposit, of at least $500, which is higher than the minimum limits with many secured cards or even some competing starter credit cards. That potentially higher credit limit could make the Petal Visa more valuable than most starter credit cards in creating a positive credit history. That’s because a higher limit can allow you to spend without cutting as much into what’s known as your “credit utilization.” A measure of the proportion of your limit you’re using, credit bureaus—including the three major ones to which Petal reports—reward lower utilization with higher credit scores, all other factors being equal.

Rewards Earning Details

The Petal 2 Visa allows you to earn cash back rewards at a flat rate on all your regular purchases, from gas to groceries, clothing to dining out. 

You’ll earn: 

  • 1% cash back on every purchase during your first six months as a cardmember
  • 1.25% cash back after you make six on-time monthly payments
  • 1.5% cash back after you make 12 on-time monthly payments

You can earn extra cash back through Petal Offers. In this program, merchants partner with Petal to provide time-limited discounts and other specials. All offers are linked to your card, so when you pay for your purchase with your Petal card at those retailers, you’ll automatically get up to 10% in cash back. 

Rewards Redemption Details

You can redeem your cash back rewards for statement credits. Or, if you have accrued at least $20 in cash back, you can redeem those rewards for a check. In most cases, though, redeeming your rewards for statement credits will be the easiest and quickest redemption method. You can cash out your rewards online for statement credits, after earning any amount of cashback. You can redeem all or only some of your cash back as you prefer. 

You may also redeem your cash back for a check, but that requires a call to 1-855-697-3825 and a talk with a representative. After that, Petal will mail a check to the address associated with your account. 

How to Maximize Your Rewards

Since there are no annual fees or monthly maintenance fees, you can get the most value from the Petal 2 Visa card by simply using it for all of your everyday purchases. By doing so, you’ll earn up to 1.5% cash back on every purchase. 

To show you how your rewards can add up, let’s look at a typical person’s spending. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average consumer spends the following amounts in a year: 

  • Food for home: $4,643
  • Dining out: $3,526
  • Clothing and accessories: $1,883
  • Fuel: $2,094
  • Entertainment: $3,090
  • Personal care products: $786

Spending these amounts in these categories would result in a total of $16,022 per year. If you were eligible for the 1.5% cash back rate and used your card to pay for that amount, you’d earn $240.33 in cash-back rewards.  

Petal 2 Visa Card’s Outstanding Benefits

For a starter credit card, the Petal 2 Visa card does have two outstanding benefits: 

  • Auto-rental damage collision waiver: If you use your card to pay for your car rental and decline the rental company’s coverage, you’ll receive complimentary secondary auto rental insurance (that is, coverage that kicks in to cover what the insurance on your own vehicle will not cover for a rental car). 
  • Roadside dispatch: If you get a flat tire or need a jump for your battery, the Petal Visa card gives you access to emergency roadside dispatch. You can call 1-800-847-2869 to get help 24 hours a day, seven days a week. You’ll have to pay for any services provided, but there’s no annual fee and you don’t need to pre-enroll in the program. 

Standard Benefits

  • Emergency card replacement
  • Emergency cash advance
  • Zero liability protection

Cardholder Experience

Unlike national card issuers like Chase or Discover, Petal is more recent to the credit card market, with its Petal 2 Visa card launched in Oct. 2018.

However, Petal has an extensive FAQ and help center on its website to help you find answers to your questions about managing your account and credit cards in general. If you need additional help, you can email customer service at [email protected] or you can call 1-855-697-3825. Petal’s customer service team is available Monday to Friday, 8 am to 10 pm Eastern time and Saturdays from 9 am – 6 pm Eastern time. 

Security Features

The Petal 2 card has basic security features that are standard for most credit cards. Those include benefits such as zero-liability protection and fraud alerts.  

Our Verdict

If you have a limited credit history or no credit history, the Petal 2 Visa card is an outstanding starter credit card. It requires no security deposit and doesn’t charge fees, and you can earn up to 1.5% cash back on your purchases. There are no fees associated with carrying the card, so the rewards you earn on spending are not offset by anything other than the interest charges involved should you decide to carry a balance. And the card offers some useful benefits like secondary auto rental insurance. 

It isn’t assured that you’ll be approved for the Petal Visa, though, especially if you have a credit history that’s less than positive. If you can’t qualify for the Petal Visa card, you may want to consider applying for the Discover it Secured, a top pick in secured cards, or the Self Visa, another recommended card that stands for the innovative way it helps you to build a credit history.

Investopedia Credit Card Rating Methodology

Investopedia is committed to delivering the best credit card recommendations in the industry. We’ll tell you when a card is good, we’ll tell you when a card is bad, and we’ll only call a card the best if we would recommend it to our friends or family members.

Overall Star Rating Explained

To rate credit cards we objectively assess, score and weight nearly 100 individual card features which roll up into five major feature sets: fees, interest, rewards, benefits and security/customer service. Here’s how we weighted those feature sets for the overall star rating of a card:

We have applied our proprietary rating methodology to every generally-accepted credit card in the U.S. domestic market to allow consumers to make fully informed choices. It’s important to note that for our overall score that we make a number of assumptions about how you would be using your credit card:

  1. While we make no assumption as to whether balances are carried on a given card we do assign varying weights to all credit cards’ introductory APR (if present) in addition to the regular, long term purchase and balance transfer interest rates.
  2. We utilize BLS (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics) income and average category spending data to calculate annual earnings rates for rewards cards that offer cash back, points or miles rewards at a set rate on all spending or in consideration of bonus rewards for certain spending categories, like gasoline, groceries, restaurants or travel.
  3. We determine the maximum points value of rewards cards by dividing the points, cash back or miles required to exchange for the retail price of the most valuable redemption option (for example, in the case of a card that offers a domestic roundtrip airline ticket as a redemption option vs. another redemption option of lesser value that requires the same amount of points or miles to acquire, we would base the rewards value on the airline ticket).

  • Cards that are selected best overall in their respective categories generally feature most if not all of the following attributes:

  • Low or Reasonable Fees

    Credit card fees come in many forms but the primary ones involve those for annual card membership and balance transfer. There are a myriad of reward and non-reward card options that charge no annual fee but for the many that do assess an annual fee the cost is often justified by their lucrative ongoing rewards and initial signup bonuses. Balance transfer fees are occasionally waived during introductory periods with certain cards, a factor which is heavily and positively weighted in our scoring model for cards offering this benefit. When charged, balance transfer fees range between 3% – 5%, which we grade accordingly. Other standard fees can generally be avoided, such as those for paying late or taking cash advances but we rate those relative to other cards in the market for reference, though with less weight assigned

  • Competitive Interest

    Many cards offer 0% introductory APR on purchases and balance transfers for varying lengths and then revert to a permanent or regular APR (based on a variable rate tied to the prime rate) that applies to any balances not paid in full. We rate both introductory APR percentage and length (in months) along with the midpoint of the variable regular APR interest rate range.

  • Valuable Rewards

    Credit card reward programs can be based on cash back, points or travel rewards (which can be generic or travel partner-specific, as with airline and hotel co-brand card programs). For cards that offer rewards we determine the value per dollar spent along with average redemption values and assign more favorable ratings to cards that offer superior consumer value. We also assign value to sign-up bonus offers and their initial spending requirements, when present.

  • Excellent Benefits

    Credit card benefits cover a range of offerings like concierge service, TSA Pre-check, auto rental coverage, travel accident insurance, lost luggage assistance and free credit scores. We rate cards on the number and level of over a dozen standard and upscale benefits and provide extra weighting emphasis for those travel-related perks that apply to premium travel cards when present.

  • Solid Security/Customer Service

    Security and customer service features like lost or stolen card replacement, being able to lock one’s card from an issuer app and 24 hour customer support are becoming more standard across the card market and we provide a significant amount of weighting to features in this area.

  • You can also read the full version of our methodology for a more in-depth look at how we assess cards and award them the best in various categories.

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