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, chartered in 1997 in Utah, is involved in traditional banking business. In terms of credit cards, it issues multiple products aimed at people with short credit histories, also called "thin" credit files. Indeed, NerdWallet recommends several offerings from its brand partners 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.
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
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 "No Annual Fee" Visa® Credit Card, also issued by WebBank.
The $0*-annual-fee Jasper Mastercard® once was designed for working professionals who were new to credit.
Hence, it used to be possible to get the card without a credit score or history, or — in some cases — even without a Social Security number. But in mid-2021, the card's underwriting changed, and it now requires both a Social Security number and a traditional hard credit inquiry.
But there's still no security deposit, and it's still possible to qualify for a credit limit of up to $5,000.
The card also earns rewards of up to 6% back, though its baseline rewards rate is 1% back on all purchases.
AvantCard Credit Card
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.
But 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. And even though the maximum credit limit of $1,000 is low compared with other cards in this category, the company can evaluate your account from time to time and potentially offer you a higher limit.
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.
In addition, WebBank issues the Oportun Visa Credit Card, also aimed at people with little or no credit history.
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 also is an issuer of unsecured personal loans, small-business loans and auto refinance loans through LendingClub.
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.