What Is WebBank and Are Its Credit Cards Right for You?

Cards issued by WebBank aren't for everybody, but the bank is legitimate and safe to consider doing business with.
Gregory Karp
By Gregory Karp 

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WebBank is a financial institution that issues credit cards and other financial products largely for brands that aren’t directly in the banking business. It’s similar to Synchrony Bank or Comenity Bank, issuers behind many co-branded credit cards for retail store chains.

WebBank was chartered in 1997 in Utah. In terms of credit cards, it issues multiple products aimed at people with short credit histories, also called "thin" credit files. Indeed, NerdWallet recommends some offerings from WebBank for people looking for starter cards or alternative cards.

So WebBank is a legit bank and is safe to consider doing business with. That doesn’t mean all its products — or those of its partners — will be right for you or that you’ll have a good experience. But like other banks, it has extensive legal requirements at the federal and state levels. Its bank deposits, for example, are insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.

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Are WebBank credit cards good?

For the most part, credit cards issued by WebBank aren’t mainstream cards. Generally, they're for people with credit challenges, especially those who don’t have enough credit to qualify for other credit cards. NerdWallet recommends several of these cards for people in that situation. Here’s a sampling of the marketing partners WebBank issues cards for:

Petal® 2 "Cash Back, No Fees" Visa® Credit Card

The Petal® 2 "Cash Back, No Fees" Visa® Credit Card has no security deposit requirement or annual fee, nor will you be charged late fees or foreign transaction fees. It also earns rewards.

To determine eligibility for the card, WebBank can opt to not rely solely on credit scores and instead use a proprietary underwriting system that takes into account things like income, expenses, savings and debts. The card reports payments to the three major credit bureaus.

For those who don't have strong enough cash flow or credit history to qualify, Petal offers the Petal® 1 Rise Visa® Credit Card, as well as the Petal® 1 "No Annual Fee" Visa® Credit Card, both also issued by WebBank.

AvantCard Credit Card

AvantCard Credit Card
NerdWallet rating 

To get the AvantCard Credit Card, you will need some established credit history, even if it's limited or fair credit (FICO scores of at least 630). And while there's no security deposit, the card does have an annual fee of $39, and it doesn't earn rewards.

WebBank can consider factors aside from just your credit scores — including your income and debt — to weigh your creditworthiness, and the card reports to all three credit bureaus. But credit limits might start at only $300, which is low compared to other cards in this category.

In short, it's an OK option for those with limited credit, but anyone with fair credit or higher can do better. Plus, as of this writing, there were a handful of states where this card isn't available.

Oportun Visa Credit Card

The Oportun Visa Credit Card is aimed at people with little or no credit history. It doesn't require a Social Security number or bank account to qualify, although depending on your creditworthiness you might be charged an annual fee of up to $29.

If you have a credit history, your credit scores are taken into consideration. But if you don’t, Oportun’s proprietary technology can evaluate things like your income, your job and field, your rent payments, your references and more.

Initial credit limits range up to $1,000, although the company will regularly review your account to see whether you qualify for an increase.

You won't earn rewards, but the card does report to all three major credit bureaus.

Gemini Credit Card

The Gemini Credit Card takes aim at a whole new market for WebBank: crypto enthusiasts.

The card's regular offer includes rewards of up to 3% back on purchases. Rewards are earned instantly at the time of purchase, and cardholders can choose from more than 60 cryptocurrencies in which to claim their rewards, including Bitcoin, Ethereum and Dogecoin.

The Gemini Credit Card itself has no annual fee. However, it's worth noting that crypto rewards earned from the card are issued through the Gemini Exchange, and cardholders must also maintain an account there to access their earnings. The exchange charges a variety of fees depending on level of usage.

For that reason, the Gemini Credit Card is probably most useful to crypto enthusiasts who already trade on the Gemini Exchange and want to apply earnings from credit card purchases to their portfolio. Otherwise, the extra complications and cost of maintaining an exchange account probably wouldn't be worth it for the rewards earned.

More on WebBank

Beyond credit cards, WebBank, based in Salt Lake City, offers traditional banking services and retail financing and loans via other brands. For example, WebBank also partners with well-known brands such as Dell Financial Services, PayPal, Fingerhut and Yamaha.

WebBank’s parent company is Steel Partners Holdings L.P., principally based in New York. In addition to banking, Steel Partners is involved in industrial products, energy, defense, direct marketing, logistics and more.

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