The Petal® 2 "Cash Back, No Fees" Visa® Credit Card is the rare card that offers a rewards program to people with a lower credit score, providing an opportunity towhile you -- even if you have a limited credit history.
Also unusual: it requires no security deposit, charges no annual fees,or even late fees. Instead, it incentivizes cardholders to make payments on time by offering extra cash back opportunities. As long as you make your payments in full and on time, it won't cost you to use this card -- even for purchases made while traveling abroad. As such, it's a solid option for a , a credit card for students or a card for people with a lower credit score.
The Petal 2 Visa is a flat-rate rewards card that gives you the opportunity to earn the same rewards amount on all of your eligible purchases, regardless of the spending category (for context, some credit cards specialize in certain types of purchases, likeor .) But, there's a twist built in to incentivize good credit-building behavior.
You'll earn 1% on all of your eligible purchases up front. When you make 12 on-time monthly payments, you'll earn an extra 0.5% cash back for a total of 1.5% -- in lieu of penalizing late fees. And some local small businesses and select merchants offer an additional 2% to 10% back on purchases, which you can find through Petal's app.
The Petal 2 Visa offers no welcome bonus -- a common practice among cards designed for people with lower credit scores. Check out CNET's list of theto see the options for applicants with stronger credit.
Petal 2's credit limit
The Petal 2's-- that is, the limit you can spend on the card -- ranges from $300 to $10,000, based on creditworthiness. Your credit score, income, housing payment and other factors will help determine your initial credit limit, but you can request an increase after demonstrating responsible use over time.
Mostare ; you must deposit money into your account before you spend it. Even among these types of cards, it's tough to find one with a $10,000 credit limit. Though a larger credit line comes with the risk of overspending, it can help you build your credit score by minimizing your .
While the Petal 2 Visa stands out among the crowd, there are some alternatives that may better suit students or applicants with particularly poor credit.
Discover it® Student Cash Back
Enrolled students are eligible for student credit cards, which typically offer more modest rewards. The Discover it® Student Cash Back* is CNET's pick for theon the strength of its rewards-earning potential, which is even better than the Petal 2 Visa.
You'll earn 5% cash back on a rotating quarterly category when you activate (on up to $1,500 in spending per quarter, then 1%) and 1% on all other purchases. And with Discover's Unlimited Cashback Match welcome bonus, you can essentially double your annual cash back earned at the end of your first year.
For more information about the rotating quarterly category and other perks, see our full review of the.
Credit One Bank® Platinum Visa® for Rebuilding Credit
The Credit One Bank® Platinum Visa® for Rebuilding Credit* has a less compelling rewards structure than the Petal 2 Visa -- but thishas less stringent eligibility requirements, as applicants with a credit score of less than 580 may be approved.
There's a $75 annual fee for the first year, which increases to $99 thereafter. You'll earn 1% cash back on eligible gas and grocery purchases, and on monthly bills for your mobile phone, internet, cable, and satellite TV services. That's not as good as the Petal 2's rewards, but it's better than most other cards for bad credit.
What if my credit score is lower than 580?
If your credit score is lower than 580, your chances of approval are significantly lower. There are credit cards designed for people with bad credit, however, including secured credit cards that require you to put down a security deposit.
How do I improve my credit?
Using the Petal 2 Visa, or any other credit card, responsibly will help build your credit. For the most part, this means making payments on time and in full, while keeping your balance at or below 30% of your total credit limit (your credit utilization ratio). Credit card issuers will report your spending and payment activity to the major credit bureaus automatically.
How does the Petal 2's APR compare?
The Petal 2 has a standard variable APR of 15.24% to 29.24%, though your particular APR depends on your creditworthiness. Typically, the lower your credit score, the higher you can expect your APR to be within that range.
*All information about the Discover it Student Cash Back and the Credit One Bank Platinum Visa for Rebuilding Credit has been collected independently by CNET and has not been reviewed by the issuer.