The credit card industry is massive: roughly 183 million Americans have credit cards, and general purpose cards such as Visa, MasterCard and Discover can be found in 70.2% of all American households, according to 2010 Census Bureau data.
However, that hasn’t stopped startups from shaking things up.
These four credit card startups all market themselves as a better alternative for consumers, particularly Millennials and Gen Z, by eliminating extra fees that traditionally come with a credit card and offering easy-to-use apps.
Petal’s technology takes your full financial picture into account even if you don’t have a credit score — it’s what allows Petal to provide access to a high limit, cash back credit card with no fees whatsoever, even as your first card.
“We attract a lot of first time credit users, as well as many others establishing credit that are seeking a better experience,” Petal CEO Jason Gross said. “Many people just like the fact that we treat them like a human being and not a number.”
In addition, Petal’s mobile app comes with features designed to help you manage your money and build credit history responsibly.
“The cool thing about a technology company designing a credit card (not a traditional bank), is that the product keeps getting better and better,” Gross said. “Most recently, we’ve launched budgeting, money insights, and subscription management tools.”
As one of the largest, most innovative companies in the world, it’s no surprise that Apple wiggled its way into the credit card space. The Apple Card set the tone for innovators in the industry, as it was a truly unprecedented move. Within a year of launch, Forbes reports roughly 3.1 million Americans — nearly 2% of the U.S. population with a credit card — have the Apple Card, according to Cornerstone Advisors’ research. Despite criticism of the card’s cash back rates, the low-cost card has seen some early success and incentivizes its customers with better rewards through Apple Pay.