BrightWay+ credit card review: A solid credit-builder card with no annual fee

A smiling man looks out the window while holding his smartphone and Brightway+ card.Image: A smiling man looks out the window while holding his smartphone and Brightway+ card.
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  • No annual fee
  • No security deposit
  • Ability to unlock better terms
  • Cash back rewards


  • Only available via invite
  • High APR

What you need to know about the BrightWay+ card

With no annual fee, the BrightWay+ could be a strong option for people who are building or rebuilding credit. And since it’s an unsecured credit card, you won’t have to put down a security deposit.

Only available by invite

But to get this credit card, you’ll have to be invited to apply — unless you already have the entry-level BrightWay card, in which case you might qualify for an upgrade to the BrightWay+ after six months of on-time payments.

Ability to unlock higher credit limit and lower APR

This card starts with high APR of 35.99% (you may see different rates on Credit Karma), which can add up to significant interest fees if you carry debt on the card. But you keep up with your payments, you may be able to get better terms.

To be eligible for credit limit increases and lower APRs, you’ll have to make qualifying payments over six consecutive months. Your credit limit won’t be super high, though — the max is $2,000.

Cash back rewards

While the main point of a card like this is to build credit, having a simple 1% cash back rate on all purchases is a nice perk. And these rewards dollars are applied directly to your account every month.

Just be careful not to overspend in order to rack up the rewards.

What else you need to know

Here’s a few other additional things to consider if you’re thinking about the BrightWay+ credit card.

  • Quick application decision — OneMain promises a credit decision within seconds, so you’ll know right away if you qualify.
  • Late payment fees — Any late payments will trigger a fine of up to $40. We recommend setting up autopay to ensure every bill is paid on time because late fees can really add up.
  • Foreign transaction fees — A foreign transaction fee of 1% of transaction value will be applied to any transaction made outside of the United States. So keep this in mind if you’re planning to use the card in another country.

Who the BrightWay+ card is good for

If you’re looking to build your credit with a simple cash back card, the BrightWay+ card could be a good fit — but that’s only if you’re invited to apply or if you already have the entry-level BrightWay card. If not, you’ll need to look elsewhere.

Not sure this is the card for you? Consider these alternatives.

Here are some other cards to think about if you don’t score an invite for the BrightWay+.

About the author: Sean McQuay is a long-time personal finance nerd. He’s passionate about budgets, credit cards, and earning useful rewards with minimal effort. He lives in the San Francisco Bay Area and is a father to three rambunctious kids. Read more.