Fortiva Credit Card Review 2022: Is It the Right Card To Help You Build Your Credit?

GOBankingRates Score

4.0
Quick Take: The Fortiva credit card is suitable for people who want to rebuild their credit or have low credit scores that do not allow them to qualify for secured credit cards. However, it is an expensive credit card for credit-building, considering you have to pay a plethora of fees.
  • Fees
    4.5
  • Customer Service
    3.5
  • Security
    4.5
  • Interest Rate
    3.5
How did we calculate this?

Pros

  • It facilitates credit-building
  • It does not require a security deposit
  • It gives free access to your credit score
  • $0 fraud liability is available

Cons

  • High fees, including a $49 to $175 annual fee for the first year -- and a $49 fee each year afterward
  • No rewards or bonus points options

Overview of Fortiva Credit Card

The Fortiva Mastercard credit card is an unsecured card that allows you to improve your credit. Since it is a strictly credit-building card, it does not offer any welcome bonus, cashback or other types of rewards. Here are some features of this card you should know about:

Fortiva Credit Card Fees

The Fortiva credit card has extremely high fees, which is one of the reasons you may be put off by this card. Although you do not have to pay a security deposit, many other fees amount to hundreds of dollars.

Even when compared to other unsecured credit cards, Fortiva’s fees are much higher. You have to pay the following fees:

Fortiva’s Expected Fees

  • Annual Fee: The annual fee differs for each cardholder, depending on different factors. The annual fee for your first year could be anywhere from $49 to $175. After the initial year, the fee will be around $49.
  • Balance Transfer APR: Cardholders have to pay 25.74% to 36% variable APR on balance transfers.
  • Penalty Fee: The penalty fee is charged for a missed payment. The fee depends on whatever the law permits at the time. You can expect the fee to be up to $40.
  • Foreign Transaction Fee: Cardholders pay a 3% transaction fee for every transaction outside the United States.

When you add all these fees, it amounts to a few hundred dollars for your first year of holding the card. Also, all these fees are non-refundable. On the other hand, if you get a secured credit card, especially a low-cost one, you will get a refund on your security deposit.

The security deposit for most cards is around $200, which is much lower than what you have to pay for the Fortiva credit card in the first year. Plus, as with most credit cards, you can request a higher credit limit if you make your initial monthly payments on time.

Fortiva conducts periodic reviews on accounts for eligbility on credit limit increases. However, customers would not be able to request an increase in their credit limit.

Customer Service

According to the reviews on Fortiva’s website, users are quite happy with the customer service. Since Fortiva’s app lets you keep track of your credit card, it is much easier to manage transactions and block your card if required.

However, many third-party reviews, such as Yelp, show that Fortiva’s customer service has been less than satisfactory.

Security

The security features of the Fortiva credit card are quite similar to what you would expect to get from any other Mastercard since it is registered on the network. Cardholders get transaction alerts to notify them every time the card is used.

Plus, Fortiva offers liability protection, which means you will not be liable for the purchases made on your misplaced or stolen card.

The Fortiva credit card also has an EMV chip that ensures secure transactions.

Interest Rate

The Fortiva unsecured credit card has a high APR. The interest rate you pay will depend on your creditworthiness. Although the card aims to facilitate credit-building, it can be hard to pay off your debt with such a high APR.

How Does Fortiva Credit Card Compare to Competition?

The higher fees associated with Fortiva’s unsecured credit card make it an unattractive option for most people. A good alternative is Discover it Secured Card. Although it requires you to put in a security deposit of at least $200, this is refundable.

The security deposit also lets you request a higher credit limit in the future, which is a feature Fortiva does not offer. Discover it does not charge an annual fee. Plus, you get 2% cashback on your restaurant and gas station purchases.

If you are consistent with your payments, Discover could potentially graduate the card to an unsecured credit card, after some time — anywhere between few months to several years, depending on your credit factors. The APR for Discover It is % variable, but you can be eligible for a less costly balance transfer APR for the first six months.

How To Apply

You can apply for the credit card on Fortiva’s website. Since the card helps people build credit, your application will likely be approved even if you have a poor or fair credit score.

Who Is It Best For?

The Fortiva credit card is best for people who want to build their credit score and that is strictly what they need from their credit card. As Fortiva’s credit card does not come with additional perks and reward options, it will not serve other purposes as most unsecured credit cards do.

The card is not ideal for people who intend to use it while traveling since there is a high foreign transaction fee.

Final Take

While it is true that you can build your credit score with Fortiva, the high fees cannot be ignored. On top of that, Fortiva does not offer any incentives, such as cashback rewards or welcome bonuses.

You cannot request to increase your credit limit — though Fortiva will review accounts from time to time. Thus, you should only apply for this card if you are ready to deal with these limitations.

Advice

If you want to build your credit and do not mind paying a refundable security deposit, it is better to opt for a secured card. These cards mostly have no annual fees and also offer cashback rewards. Plus, you could be considered for an unsecured card if you make your payments on time.

Cynthia Measom contributed to the reporting for this article.

Editorial Note: This content is not provided by Fortiva. Any opinions, analyses, reviews, ratings or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author alone and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by Fortiva.

Rates are subject to change; unless otherwise noted, rates are updated periodically. All other information on accounts is accurate as of July 1, 2022.

Our in-house research team and on-site financial experts work together to create content that’s accurate, impartial, and up to date. We fact-check every single statistic, quote and fact using trusted primary resources to make sure the information we provide is correct. You can learn more about GOBankingRates’ processes and standards in our editorial policy.

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About the Author

Scott Jeffries is a seasoned technology professional based in Florida. He writes on the topics of business, technology, digital marketing and personal finance. After earning his bachelor’s in Management Information Systems with a minor in Business, Scott spent 15 years working in technology. He's helped startups to Fortune 100 companies bring software products to life. When he's not writing or building software, Scott can be found reading or spending time outside with his kids.

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