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OneMain Financial BrightWay℠ Card: An Intriguing Credit Journey

Cory Santos

| Last updated on October 17th, 2023

OneMain Financial BrightWay℠

OneMain Financial BrightWay℠
BestCards refers to a variation of FICO Score 9, which is one of many different types of credit scores. A financial institution may use a different score when deciding whether to approve you for a credit card. Please note that the range shown here is our own estimation and not a guarantee of credit needed to be approved for any given card. Recommended Credit: Fair
Mastercard Processing Network
See Terms Annual Fee

OneMain Financial BrightWay℠

  • 29.74% or 30.49% variable based on the Prime Rate Regular Purchase APR
  • 29.74% or 30.49% variable based on the Prime Rate Balance Transfer APR
  • 29.74% or 30.49% variable based on the Prime Rate Cash Advance APR

At a Glance

The OneMain Financial BrightWay℠ credit card can help you build credit, lower your APR, and graduate to no annual fee - all from one card. The Mastercard from WebBank offers the chance of a credit limit increase or lower APR in as little as six months, but requires an invite to apply.

  • Best Benefits
  • Rates & Fees
  • Why Should You Apply?
  • Build your credit with no-time payments and graduate to the $0 annual fee Brightway+ credit card
  • Lower APR or higher credit limit with 6 on-time payments
  • 24/7 zero liability fraud protection
  • Stay on top of your account with the Brightway mobile app
  • Regular Purchase APR: 29.74% or 30.49% variable based on the Prime Rate
  • Balance Transfer APR: 29.74% or 30.49% variable based on the Prime Rate
  • Balance Transfer Transaction Fee: Once available, either $10 or 3% of the amount of each balance transfer, whichever is greater
  • Cash Advance APR: 29.74% or 30.49% variable based on the Prime Rate
  • Cash Advance Transaction Fee: Either $10 or 3% of the amount of each cash advance, whichever is greater
  • Annual Fee: See Terms
  • Foreign Transaction Fee: 1% of the transaction amount in U.S. dollars
  • Late Payment Penalty Fee: Up to $40
  • You have average credit and want to repair it with responsible use
  • You don't want a confusing reward scheme
  • You don’t plan on using the card to carry a balance
  • You recieved a reservation code from OneMain

OneMain Financial BrightWay℠ Credit Card Review

The OneMain Financial BrightWay℠ credit card is a tool designed to help you manage your credit and financial needs. The card is one of two Brightway card offers from the financial services company, with both cards geared toward building credit without a security deposit.

Invite Offer Needed to Apply

Building credit without a secured credit card is great; it can save you money up-front. But some unsecured credit cards for fair credit require a reservation code or a mail offer to apply – and OneMain’s Brightway cards are examples of this practice. These pre-sorted mail offers provide a slightly higher chance of approval versus a basic, cold application, but you can’t just request an invite -you need to wait for the issuer to provide one.

There are plenty of credit builders and second-chance credit cards out there that don’t require an invite offer or code. These include reward options like the Aspire® Cashback Rewards Credit Card, options that provide credit limit increases (like Surge® Platinum Mastercard®), and other options from larger banks like Credit One, Capital One, and more.

Related Article: Credit Cards That Don’t Require a Preapproval Mail Offer

Variable Starting Credit Limits

Because the Brightway Card is designed for near-prime and average credit scores, it features a wide range of potential starting credit limits. Starting credit can be as low as $300 for some applicants or as high as $3,000 for those with exceptional credit. But if you want to boost your credit score, expect a starting limit towards the lower end.

That starting limit is on par with most competitors in the market, many of which start all new accounts at the $300 limit. Milestone and Indigo, for example, feature a $300 limit to begin. Here are a few more examples of similar card offers without the need for a reservation code or invite:

Revvi Card Destiny® Mastercard® Reflex Mastercard®
Annual fee $75 1st year, $48 after See terms See terms
Card type Unsecured Unsecured Unsecured
Pre-qualify? Yes Yes Yes
Starting limit $300 $500 Up to $1,000
Rewards 1% cash back on Revvi payments 1.5% cash back (for targeted applicants) N/A
Network Visa Mastercard Mastercard

Lower Your APR or Raise Your Credit Limit with Milestones

While the invite-only aspect of the Brightway Card is frustrating, the program does offer a well-defined graduation route for your credit journey. Brightway tracks what it calls “Milestones,” which are benefits you earn as you grow with the Brightway Card. A Milestone event occurs when you make six consecutive qualifying payments during qualifying billing cycles.  

So, what do these Milestones get you? Currently, there are two Milestone benefits:

  • Purchase APR reduction, or
  • Credit limit increase

The APR reduction is a great feature if you plan to carry a balance with the card. The BrightWay Card is primarily designed for individuals with limited or damaged credit. Because of that, the card with a fixed APR is very high, meaning carrying a balance with the card normally is strongly encouraged. It’s worth noting that the purchase APR cannot be lower than 19.99%.

Credit limit increases are another great option, as the card’s basic rewards mean it is something you can really use every day. The credit limit can be increased to no greater than $15,000. Credit Limit increases are also subject to meeting income affordability requirements.

Graduate to Brightway+

If you reach four Milestones with your Brightway Mastercard, you get another great benefit: graduation to the even more rewarding OneMain Financial BrightWay℠+ Credit Card. That card is designed for more established credit profiles and features no annual fee –a welcome benefit.

Here’s how the two Brightway Cards compare:

BrightWay BrightWay+
Annual fee Up to $65 $0
Credit limit Up to $3,000 Up to $15,000
Rewards 1% back 1% back
Milestone access Yes Yes

Earn Basic Cash Back Rewards

The Brightway Card provides basic cash back rewards. Cardholders earn 1% cash back on all eligible purchases, minus any returns or credits. That total is then applied directly to your card balance each month. The addition of rewards is nice and a great way to help offset some of the monthly bill. That said, even graduating from Brightway+ does not provide greater rewards or redemption options, and that is rather frustrating.

Here are two other card offers that provide more robust rewards for the same credit profile:

Aspire® Cashback Credit One® Platinum
Bonus categories Gas, groceries, utilities Gas, groceries, utilities
Bonus cash back rate 3% back 1% back
All other purchases 1% back N/A
Pre-qualify Yes Yes
Initial credit $350 $300
Network Mastercard Visa
Annual fee $49 to $175 the first year; up to $49 thereafter $75 for the first year. After that, $99 annually (Billed at $8.25 per month)

Tips for Building Credit with Brightway

Building credit with the BrightWay℠ card requires patience, practice, and responsible credit use. Here are a few helpful tips to help you boost your credit score:

① Check and review your credit reports Ⓐ Check your credit reports from all three of the nationwide consumer reporting agencies: Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion.
Ⓑ Check for negative credit information, like potential fraud or ID theft, accounts in collection, or unpaid balances.
② Pay your bills on time Ⓐ Automatic payments are a great way to avoid accidentally missing a payment.
Ⓑ Splitting monthly payments into two smaller payments can help stretch budgets while ensuring you pay on time.
③ Keep credit use low Ⓐ Credit utilization accounts for roughly 30% of your credit score, so aim to keep credit use as low as possible.
Ⓑ Consider a balance transfer credit card if your credit use is creeping up and you want to consolidate that debt into one new account, typically at 0% Intro APR.
④ Limit new applications Limit any new credit applications to only what is essential (i.e. if applying for a balance transfer credit card).
⑤ Keep old accounts open Don’t close any old, unused accounts. Closing accounts can lower your average credit utilization.

Other Card Features

Lime many credit cards, Brightway features a helpful mobile app, currently available in both the Apple App Store and Google Play Stores. The app provides a streamlined place to activate your card, track spending, monitor payment progress, and view rewards.

The Brightway credit card also features essential Mastercard protections and benefits, including:

Zero Liability Protection Mastercard Global Services ID Theft Protection

WebBank Ratings

What is WebBank, the issuing bank of the Brightway credit cards, like to live with day-to-day? Here is a selection of ratings for the bank:

Should You Apply for the OneMain Financial BrightWay℠ Credit Card?

The OneMain Financial BrightWay℠ credit card offers several benefits, making it a viable choice for individuals looking to build or rebuild their credit without needing to get a secured card. The addition of a consistent, easy-to-follow graduation path (with several rest stops along the way with additional benefits) is great, but the final card product, the Brightway+, doesn’t offer enough rewards or features to make it good competition from other fair credit options – and especially cards like the Upgrade Cash Rewards Visa® or Upgrade Triple Cash Rewards Visa®, both of which provide more lucrative rewards.

The card also comes with a relatively high APR, which can be expensive if you carry a balance. Fortunately, you can reduce that APR up to four (4) times thanks to Milestones. Just make sure not to miss a payment, as those remove Milestones and harm your credit.Overall, while the BrightWay℠ card serves its purpose in credit building, applicants with better credit scores may find more favorable options with lower APRs and rewards programs as they progress on their financial journey.

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