The Fortiva Credit Card is not one of our top-rated credit cards for bad credit. You can review our list of the best credit cards for bad credit for what we think are better options.
Full Review of Fortiva Credit Card
No security deposit required
Access to credit score
Extremely high fees, even for a subprime credit card
No rewards program
Won’t raise credit limit on request
- No Security Deposit Required: If you have poor credit, qualifying for a credit card can be difficult. Often, you’re limited to secured credit cards, which can require you to put down hundreds of dollars as a security deposit. The money you deposit serves as your credit line. The Fortiva credit card, by contrast, is an unsecured credit credit—meaning you don’t need to make a security deposit—even if you have less-than-perfect credit. You’ll have a revolving line of credit that you can use for regular transactions, as needed.
- Access to Credit Score: Once approved for the Fortiva credit card, you can create an online account. After your account has been open for 60 days, you can view your VantageScore 3.0 at no charge. The VantageScore 3.0 is slightly different from the FICO score. It's frequently used by companies to determine your credit, but variables are weighed slightly differently when calculating your score. Your score will be between 300 and 850 with the VantageScore 3.0; anything over 700 is generally considered good credit. Being able to view your credit score is a common feature for a credit card. However, for a card for people with bad credit, it’s an especially useful tool. You can monitor your progress over time and see how your credit score is improving.
- Extremely High Fees: While the Fortiva card doesn’t require a security deposit, you’ll still need to pay hundreds of dollars—it’s just in the form of fees, which you’ll never get back. Even for a card for people with less-than-stellar credit, the fees of the Fortiva credit card are quite high. With this card, you’ll pay the following:
- Annual fee: Your annual fee depends on various qualification factors. During your first year as a cardholder, it could be $49 to $175. After that, it could be $0 to $49.
- Annual maintenance fee: Depending on your creditworthiness, you’ll be charged $60 to $159 per year in account maintenance fees.
- Authorized user fee: If you add someone to your account, such as a partner or child, you’ll have to pay a $25 annual fee for each person.
- Penalty fees: If you miss a payment or a payment is returned to you, Fortiva will charge you the maximum fee permitted by law. As of May 1, 2020, that is $40.
- Foreign transaction fees: If you use your card outside of the United States, you’ll be charged 3% of each transaction amount.
So, simply to get the card and use it for the first year, you could have to pay up to $334 in annual and account maintenance fees. What’s more, unlike a secured card, where you can eventually get the security deposit back, the fees you pay with the Fortiva credit card are not refundable. With so many fees, you may be better off with a low-cost secured card. For example, the Secured Mastercard from Capital One has no annual fee, monthly maintenance fees, foreign transaction fees, or authorized user fees. You can put down a refundable security deposit of $49, $99, or $200, and you may qualify for a higher credit limit after making your first six monthly payments on time.
- No Rewards Program: The Fortiva card doesn’t have a rewards program, so there’s no way to earn points, miles, or cash back on any of your purchases. While that’s not unusual for a card for subprime users, it’s disappointing considering that it has such high fees. If you have poor credit, the Discover it Secured card might be a good option if you’re looking to earn rewards.You’ll earn 2% cash back on up to $1,000 spent at gas stations and restaurants each quarter, as well as unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases. After your first year as a cardholder, Discover will match all of the cash back you earned, effectively doubling your rewards. Plus, there are no annual fees, account maintenance fees, or authorized user fees.
- Won’t Raise Credit Limit on Request: With most credit cards, you can request a credit limit increase after several months of responsibly managing your account. If you pay off your statement balance in full and never miss a payment, you will often be approved for an increase, giving you more spending power and improving your credit utilization ratio. However, Fortiva explicitly states in the cardmember agreement that it does not accept credit limit increase requests. Fortiva may decide to adjust your credit limit—increase, decrease, or remove it—at any time, but customers cannot initiate an increase on their own. If you’re looking for a card that gives you more flexibility, consider the Blaze Mastercard. Like the Fortiva card, the Blaze Mastercard is unsecured. While it does have an annual fee, you may qualify for a credit limit increase in as little as six months.
This Card is Best For
Motivated to create positive credit history
The Fortiva card is designed for people with poor credit. If you’re in that category and want a credit card without having to put down hundreds of dollars as a deposit, this could be an option for you. Unlike secured cards, the Fortiva card allows you to get a revolving line of credit without a security deposit.
The Fortiva credit card has several basic benefits that are common in the credit card industry:
- Zero fraud liability
- Payment history reported to the three major credit bureaus: Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion
The Fortiva credit card is issued by The Bank of Missouri. As a smaller card issuer, The Bank of Missouri is not rated in the J.D. Power Credit Card Satisfaction Study.
The card provides access to your VantageScore 3.0 once your account has been open for 60 days.
If you need to reach customer service, you can call 800-245-7741, or submit a message online.
This card has basic features that are standard with many credit cards, including fraud alerts and zero liability protection. It also has EMV chip technology to make transactions more secure.
Fees to Watch Out For
This card charges an annual fee of up to $175 for the first year and up to $49 a year after that, while some competing cards have no annual fee. It also has a 3% foreign transaction fee, which you can avoid with some other cards. That may not matter, of course, unless you expect to travel outside of the U.S.
If you have poor credit and want access to an unsecured line of credit, you can potentially qualify for the Fortiva credit card without making a security deposit. Because Fortiva will report your payment history to the three major credit bureaus, using your card responsibly can help establish a good credit history and improve your credit score.
However, the card has very costly fees, and it doesn’t have a rewards program. If you want a cheaper option and don’t mind paying a security deposit, the Discover it Secured card is a smart alternative. It has no annual fee, and you can earn rewards on your routine purchases. And, if you keep up with payments and maintain a low balance, Discover may refund your security deposit once they begin to review your account after eight months of on-time payments and approve you for an unsecured card.