Credit Cards Cards for Bad Credit

Fortiva Credit Card Review

overall rating

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If you have bad credit or don’t have an established credit history, secured credit cards—which require a security deposit—are a common option. But with the Fortiva credit card, you can potentially qualify for an unsecured card without a security deposit, even if you have less-than-perfect credit. There are annual fees and account maintenance fees, but your payment history is reported to the major credit bureaus, which can help build your credit, and you can review your credit score online.

Fortiva Credit Card

Overall Rating
Fortiva Credit Card
On The Bank of Missouri's Secured Site.
Recommended Credit
Score Our recommended ranges are based off of the FICO® Score 8 credit-scoring model. Credit score is one of the many factors lenders review in considering your application.
350 579
580 669
670 739
740 799
800 850
Fair - Excellent
Regular APR (%) 22.74% - 36% variable
Annual Fee $175 for the first year, then $49
Rewards Earning Rate This card does not offer a rewards program.
Balance Transfer Fee 3.0% of the amount of each transfer after the first year.
Foreign transaction fee (%) 3%
how this card stacks up
When compared among all low cost cards in our database:
Low Fees
Security/Customer Experience
Low Interest
worst best

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

Pros Explained

  • 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 card—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. 

Cons Explained

  • 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 June 6, 2021, 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

  • Avatar for Credit Builder Persona
    Motivated to create positive credit history
    Credit Builder

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. 

Standard Benefits

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

Cardholder Experience

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. 

Security Features

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.

Our Verdict

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.

Next Steps
For Fortiva Credit Card
on The Bank of Missouri's Secured Site.
Compare This Card
See how this card compares to similar cards
Fortiva Credit Card
overall rating
Recommended Credit
Score Our recommended ranges are based off of the FICO® Score 8 credit-scoring model. Credit score is one of the many factors lenders review in considering your application.
350 579
580 669
670 739
740 799
800 850
Fair - Excellent
Regular APR (%) 22.74% - 36% variable
Annual Fee $175 for the first year, then $49
Investopedia Credit Card Rating Methodology
Investopedia is committed to delivering the best credit card recommendations in the industry. We’ll tell you when a card is good, we’ll tell you when a card is bad, and we’ll only call a card the best if we would recommend it to our friends or family members.
Overall Star Rating Explained
To rate credit cards we objectively assess, score and weight nearly 100 individual card features which roll up into five major feature sets: fees, interest, rewards, benefits and security/customer service. Here’s how we weighted those feature sets for the overall star rating of a card:
We have applied our proprietary rating methodology to every generally-accepted credit card in the U.S. domestic market to allow consumers to make fully informed choices. It’s important to note that for our overall score that we make a number of assumptions about how you would be using your credit card:
  1. While we make no assumption as to whether balances are carried on a given card we do assign varying weights to all credit cards’ introductory APR (if present) in addition to the regular, long term purchase and balance transfer interest rates.
  2. We utilize BLS (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics) income and average category spending data to calculate annual earnings rates for rewards cards that offer cash back, points or miles rewards at a set rate on all spending or in consideration of bonus rewards for certain spending categories, like gasoline, groceries, restaurants or travel.
  3. We determine the maximum points value of rewards cards by dividing the points, cash back or miles required to exchange for the retail price of the most valuable redemption option (for example, in the case of a card that offers a domestic roundtrip airline ticket as a redemption option vs. another redemption option of lesser value that requires the same amount of points or miles to acquire, we would base the rewards value on the airline ticket).
  • Cards that are selected best overall in their respective categories generally feature most if not all of the following attributes:
  • Low or Reasonable Fees Credit card fees come in many forms but the primary ones involve those for annual card membership and balance transfer. There are a myriad of reward and non-reward card options that charge no annual fee but for the many that do assess an annual fee the cost is often justified by their lucrative ongoing rewards and initial signup bonuses. Balance transfer fees are occasionally waived during introductory periods with certain cards, a factor which is heavily and positively weighted in our scoring model for cards offering this benefit. When charged, balance transfer fees range between 3% - 5%, which we grade accordingly. Other standard fees can generally be avoided, such as those for paying late or taking cash advances but we rate those relative to other cards in the market for reference, though with less weight assigned
  • Competitive Interest Many cards offer 0% introductory APR on purchases and balance transfers for varying lengths and then revert to a permanent or regular APR (based on a variable rate tied to the prime rate) that applies to any balances not paid in full. We rate both introductory APR percentage and length (in months) along with the midpoint of the variable regular APR interest rate range.
  • Valuable Rewards Credit card reward programs can be based on cash back, points or travel rewards (which can be generic or travel partner-specific, as with airline and hotel co-brand card programs). For cards that offer rewards we determine the value per dollar spent along with average redemption values and assign more favorable ratings to cards that offer superior consumer value. We also assign value to sign-up bonus offers and their initial spending requirements, when present.
  • Excellent Benefits Credit card benefits cover a range of offerings like concierge service, TSA Pre-check, auto rental coverage, travel accident insurance, lost luggage assistance and free credit scores. We rate cards on the number and level of over a dozen standard and upscale benefits and provide extra weighting emphasis for those travel-related perks that apply to premium travel cards when present.
  • Solid Security/Customer Service Security and customer service features like lost or stolen card replacement, being able to lock one’s card from an issuer app and 24 hour customer support are becoming more standard across the card market and we provide a significant amount of weighting to features in this area.
  • You can also read the full version of our methodology for a more in-depth look at how we assess cards and award them the best in various categories.