The Fortiva Unsecured Mastercard is a credit card that is designed for those of you with bad credit scores and looking to rebuild your credit. It is issued by Bank of Missouri and it is quite similar to other cards that are targeting those with poor credit scores. Let’s find out more about this card.
Fortiva Mastercard Card Details
|Annual Fee||$49-$175 1st Year|
|Monthly Maintenance Fee||$0 for 1st Year|
Then $5-$12.50 per month
|Cash Advance APR||25.74%-36%|
|Balance Transfer APR||25.74%-36%|
|Cash Advance Fee||Greater of $5 or 5%|
|Balance Transfer Fee||3%|
|Foreign Transaction Fee||3%|
|Late Payment Fee||Up to $40|
|Returned Payment Fee||Up to $40|
Fortiva Mastercard Pros
- 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.
Fortiva Mastercard Cons
- 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.
- 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.
Who Should Apply for the Fortiva Mastercard?
There are a couple reasons why it might make sense to apply for the Fortiva Mastercard. Here are two to consider.
1. Repairing Your Credit
The Fortiva Mastercard reports to all three credit bureaus, which can help you quickly boost your credit score. Once your score improves, you may be able to qualify for a better card with lower fees and a more manageable APR.
However, it’s important to remember that a credit card will only help you improve your score if you pay your bill on time every month. Even one late payment can damage your score.
If you decide to open a Fortiva Mastercard, make sure you understand the fees and that you can handle the interest. In fact, you can avoid interest altogether if you pay off your full balance every month.
2. Easy Approval Even with Low Credit Scores
People with very low credit scores often find it difficult to get approved for a credit card. If your credit score is poor, this is a red flag to creditors that you’ve likely mismanaged your finances in the past.
The Fortiva Mastercard is a relatively rare unsecured credit card that takes on borrowers with scores on the low end of the credit spectrum. However, there are several secured credit cards that also accept people with lower scores — without the Fortiva card’s high fees.
How to Apply for the Fortiva Mastercard
You can apply for the Fortiva Mastercard online, but only if you’ve received an offer in the mail. If you’ve received an offer, filling out the online application is easy.
1. Go to the Fortiva website – You can find it at myfortiva.com.
2. Click the mail offer section – Select “respond to your mail offer” to enter the code from the mailer.
3. Enter your offer acceptance code – Enter your acceptance code in the appropriate box to access the online application
4. Fill out the application – Once you click “submit code” you’ll get access to the online application. You’ll need to provide some personal information, including your full contact details as well as your income.
Fortiva Mastercard VS Competitors
|Card||Annual Fee||Upfront Fee||Monthly Fee||APR||Free Credit Score|
|Fortiva||$49-$175 1st Year|
|N.A.||1st Year = $0|
Then $5-$12.50 a month
|22.74% – 36%||Yes|
|First Digital||$75 1st Year|
|Total Visa||$75 1st Year|
|$89||$0 1st Year|
|Surge Mastercard||$135 1st Year|
|Credit One Bank||$0-$99||N.A.||N.A.||19.49% to 25.49%||Yes|
|Indigo Mastercard||$0 to $99||N.A.||N.A.||24.90%||N.A.|
Fortiva Mastercard Reviews
The Fortiva Mastercard gets some positive reviews online. For example, one reviewer from Credit Karma said they received a $2,500 credit limit and that Atlanticus reported their on-time payments to the three credit bureaus.
They charge a high interest rate. You have to pay a maintenance fee. While making payments cause I fell under 1 month they closed my account after 1 month. Never notified me and after I still was making payments to catch up. It was reported on my credit. Worst experience of my life. If you are trying to fix your credit this is not the card. Even tried to make arrangements and was turned down and told the fee would still be applied even if I paid what I had.Sherri Pinkerton
Fees are extremely high. Sending higher payment than due but even without using card the balance creeps higher with payment. Too many hidden feesJanice Marie
Fortiva Credit Card Alternatives
If the Fortiva Mastercard’s high fees make you wary, the good news is you probably still have other options — even if your credit score is low.
One of the drawbacks of the Fortiva card is that it markets itself to those with dismal credit scores, and then charges high fees that can make it difficult to use the card without incurring more debt. For people already struggling with their finances, exorbitant fees can make it tough to get much value out of the card.
If you want to improve your credit and avoid paying high fees and interest, here are three alternatives to consider.
1. Capital One Secured MasterCard
The Capital One Secured Mastercard is a secured credit card, but it gives borrowers the flexibility to pick how much they want to put down as a security deposit. If you apply, you can choose to put down $49, $99, or $200.
Unlike the Fortiva Mastercard, the Capital One Secured Mastercard comes with no annual fee. Borrowers are also eligible to receive a credit limit increase after five months of responsible use.
2. Discover it Secured Card
The Discover it Secured Card comes with no annual fee, and it’s a rare secured credit card that lets borrowers earn rewards on purchases. The minimum security deposit is $200, but cardholders have the option of putting down more if they would like a higher credit limit.
The card offers users 2% cash back on fuel and dining and 1% on all other purchases. Discover will also match your cash back rewards for the first year you have the card.
After eight months of responsible use, Discover generally gives borrowers the option to upgrade to an unsecured credit card.
3. Open Sky Secured Visa
With no credit check required, the Open Sky Secured Visa is available to just about every borrower. It requires a $200 security deposit, with the option to get a higher credit limit with responsible use.
The Open Sky card does come with a $35 annual fee, but there is no monthly maintenance fee. With an 18.89% variable APR, its interest rate is also lower than that of other cards marketed toward those with bad credit scores.
Fortiva Mastercard FAQs
Here are some of the most frequently asked questions and answers regarding the Fortiva Mastercard.
Where Can I Use My Fortiva Credit Card?
You can use the Fortiva Mastercard anywhere the Mastercard brand is accepted. This shouldn’t be a problem, as Mastercard is accepted throughout the United States and in over 200 countries and territories around the world.
Does the Fortiva Mastercard Earn Rewards?
No, the Fortiva Mastercard doesn’t offer any rewards, which means you can’t get cash back or other perks on the purchases you make.
What Credit Score Is Needed for a Fortiva Credit Card?
Neither Atlanticus nor the Fortiva card website specify a particular credit score necessary to qualify for the card. However, the card is marketed toward those with very low scores, which means even applicants with poor credit scores should qualify.
Some online reviewers say they received an offer for a Fortiva card despite having credit scores as low as 400. In fact, given that Fortiva explicitly markets itself as a card for those with poor scores, you might only receive an offer letter if your score is quite low.
What Are the Fortiva Mastercard Fees?
Unfortunately, the Fortiva Mastercard comes packed with just about every kind of fee a credit card can have. While some of the fees vary based on your creditworthiness, this can end up being an expensive card if your credit score is very low.
- Annual Fee – The annual fee varies from $49 to $175 for the first year you have the card, then it drops to anywhere between $0 and $49.
- Maintenance Fee – Borrowers will also pay an “account maintenance fee” ranging between $60 and $159. This fee is billed annually for the first year and then assessed monthly (between $5 and $12.50) for subsequent years.
- Account Activation Fee – It will cost you $25 just to open an account.
- Authorized User Fee – Fortiva charges $25 for every authorized user you add to your account.
- Late Payment Fee – The maximum amount allowed under federal law, which is $40 as of January 1, 2020.
- Returned Payment Fee – The maximum amount allowed under federal law, which is $40 as of January 1, 2020.
- Balance Transfer Fee – 3% of the amount transferred.
- Cash Advance Fee – $5 or 5% of the amount advanced, whichever is more. Borrowers will also pay interest on cash advances at a variable rate between 25.74% and 36% depending on their creditworthiness.
- Foreign Transaction Fee – 3% of the purchase amount.
With such a long list of high fees, you might wonder if the Fortiva card is worth it. Before you apply, it’s important to shop around to make sure you find the best card for your needs.
What Is the Fortiva Mastercard APR?
The Fortiva Mastercard’s APR is a variable rate between 22.74% and 36% depending on your creditworthiness.
Does the Fortiva Mastercard Offer an Introductory APR for Balance Transfers?
No, the Fortiva Mastercard doesn’t offer any kind of introductory rates. The interest rate for balance transfers is anywhere between 25.74% and 36% based on your credit score.
Does the Fortiva Mastercard Offer an Introductory APR for New Purchases?
No, the Fortiva Mastercard doesn’t come with an introductory APR for new purchases. The interest rate for purchases varies between 22.74% and 36% depending on your creditworthiness.
Can I apply for a Fortiva credit card anytime?
Unfortunately, you can’t simply apply for a Fortiva credit card. If you are pre-approved, you will receive an invitation in the mail. Then, you can go to the website and respond to the offer.
Can I get Fortiva credit card if my credit score is low?
The Fortiva Credit Card accepts borrowers with poor credit, and unlike secured cards, it doesn’t require you to put down a security deposit in order to get approved. This makes it a viable option for those who are looking to build credit, but are having trouble getting approved for other credit cards because they are short on cash.
Does Fortiva offer any cashback programs?
The Fortiva Credit Card doesn’t offer cardholders any rewards, special discounts or other perks to help make up for all of the money you’re losing in annual fees. The card is strictly meant for rebuilding your credit.
Can I increase my credit limit for Fortiva card?
Unfortunately no. The cardholder agreement specifically states that the card issuer will not accept Fortiva Credit Card limit increase requests. If you aren’t happy with the credit limit you’re given when you sign up, your only choices are to wait until your credit score improves to apply for a different card or avoid the Fortiva Credit Card altogether.