The Petal Credit Card, by New York based fintech startup Petal, is looking to revolutionize the credit card industry by granting credit cards to applicants who have little-to-no credit history.
To many in the banking and finance this may sound like a recipe for disaster, however the fact that Petal has managed to raise $13 million in funding could mean that the startup is onto something.
How Does it Work?
Petal grants credit cards to applicants based on other factors such as income and saving and spending patterns in order to analyze the candidate’s risk profile and repayment ability.
Hence, this has granted Petal access to a much wider pool of candidates than more traditional credit card providers.
Looking Past Your Credit Score
Traditionally, anyone looking to apply for a credit card would be assessed based upon their credit score which would then determine if the applicant i.e. you would be suitable for a credit card.
An applicant’s credit score is dependent on factors such as payment history, debt burden and length of credit history.
This information is then used to calculate the applicants credit score which will then be used by the lender to determine if said applicant qualifies for a credit card.
This antiquated system has been used by lenders in the United States for nearly three decades and has been subjected to its fair share of criticisms.
For example, this method of determining credit risk is ironically a poor predictor of risk as it fails to take into consideration the applicant's ability to repay his/her debt.
Consequently, unqualified applicants may be able to receive a credit card whereas applicants with high liquidity but no credit history will likely be rejected.
Rather than looking at factors like credit and payment history, Petal looks into factors like income and spending and saving patterns when determining an applicant’s suitability.
This ensures that younger audiences and people who have had limited access to financial services do not have to apply for subprime credit cards - i.e. starter cards with high interest rates and low credit limits.
Credit card fees or annual fees are one of the most common credit card fees.
They range from $25 to $500 and are totally unavoidable. In many cases, your credit card provider is banking on the fact that you will be unaware of this hence resulting in you incurring a needless additional expense every year.
First-time credit card applicants, will most likely be forced to settle for subprime credit cards which charge significantly higher fees with exceedingly low credit limits as a form of security due to their unproven credit histories.
Rather than charging its users a credit card annual fee, Petal has opted to waive all annual fees which means that applicants will not be charged an annual fee for their credit cards thus helping them cut down on their expenses.
Higher Credit Limits
Credit limit refers to the maximum amount of credit that a financial institution has extended to a client. In many situations, exceeding one’s credit limit will incur penalties such as overlimit or overdraft charges.
Often, many entry-level credit cards have very low credit limits that can range from $300 to $500 which significantly limits their usefulness.
In contrast, not only does Petal credit waive all fees including overlimit charges, but it also offers applicants with a significantly higher credit limit that can range from $500 to a whopping $10,000.
When used responsibly, not only does this allow for you to build up your credit rating, but it also allows for you to have access to extra funding whenever you need it.
This makes the Petal credit card very ideal for small business owners or those who have just entered the workforce.
Cost and Price Plans:
- Fees- As mentioned previously, Petal credit cards do not have any associated fees of any kind.
- Repayment - Along with this, cardholders have a 22 day grace period to repay their balances without any interest charges.
- Interest Rates - The interest rates charged are based on the APR and can range from 13.99% to 24.99%.
You can contact them at: [email protected] or visit their website here.
Overall, Petal credit card has been universally praised for their innovative approach to financial management.
For example, the company has received much commendation for removing the credit score requirement for applicants while waiving all fees.
Along with this, many users have cited the higher credit limit provided and transparent approach taken as a strong point.
While not exactly a pain point, some users have noted that Petal does not offer much in terms of benefits and there is the fact that many applicants are on a waiting list.
However, these points have little grounding in the larger scheme of things as most reviews have agreed that the pros definitely outweigh any cons.
Competitors and Alternatives
Perhaps the wait list is too long or Petal may not be available where you are, consider taking a look at these alternatives.
Discover.com - Requires a FICO credit score. Discover offers cash back rewards and other benefits.
Deserve.com - Does not require a FICO credit score. Also offers cash back rewards and many other benefits. Viable alternative if you can’t wait for Petal or if it’s not available in your area.
Getfinal.com - Requires FICO credit score. Known as Final credit card. Offers greater control over your finances and also offers cash back rewards.
Other no/low fee banking and credit options include Green Dot and Comenity.
Where to Apply?
At the moment, applicants for a Petal credit card are put on a waiting list. Visit their website to apply for an invitation.
The Bottom Line
Applying for a Petal credit card is a great solution for those stuck in a catch-22 position where they are unable to build up their score thanks to their innovative approach to assessing candidates.
If you're looking for a no-frills credit card to help you get started, Petal may be the choice for you.
If you have any experience with the Petal Credit Card or their services, please leave your reviews below.
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