Fortiva Mastercard Review: Is It Worth It?

Fortiva Credit Card Review
The Fortiva Credit Card is a great option for those with bad credit, but it comes with a steep annual fee and a high interest rate.
  • Annual Fee:
    $49 to $175 the first year; up to $49 thereafter
  • Regular APR:
    See Terms
  • Recommended Credit Score:
    Poor, Bad

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Credit cards for bad credit have a reputation for high fees and APRs, and the Fortiva credit card is no exception. Its fees are sky-high, and its APR is nothing to ignore.

If you have bad credit, you may wonder if it’s right for you. Learn more about it in our Fortiva Mastercard Review.

Fortiva® Credit Card Pros and Cons


  • Easy to get approved
  • Reports to all three credit bureaus
  • Provides access to your credit score


  • Excessive fees
  • High APRs
  • No rewards
  • Hard to get a credit line increase

What is the Fortiva® Credit Card?

The Fortiva credit card is for applicants with bad credit who can’t get any other credit cards. While it’s a nice option for applicants with bad credit, it does come with some hefty fees that make it easy to get in over your head in debt before you even use the card.

The Fortiva credit card is unsecured, which means you don’t have to put down a deposit to use it, like a secured credit card, but the benefits often end there.

How Does the Fortiva® Mastercard Work?

Before you get any further, you should know the Fortiva Mastercard APRs because they are staggering. They start at 22.74% and go up to 36%.

Most applicants who get the card end up at the 36% side because most people looking at this card have bad credit.

The Fortiva credit card does report to all three credit bureaus, which is nice. If you have bad credit, you need all the help you can get to bring it back up.

With timely payments and not exceeding 30% of your credit limit, it may help your credit scores, but other cards do that too.

Fortiva® Credit Card Review

  • Annual Fee: $49 – $175 the first year and down to $0 – $49 after the first year
  • Regular APR: 22.74% – 36%
  • Rewards: None
  • Credit Limit: Up to $1,000
  • Foreign Transaction Fee: 3% of the purchase amount
  • Balance Transfer Fee: 3% of the amount transferred

Fortiva® Mastercard Features and Benefits

No Security Deposit Required

Since the Fortiva credit card is unsecured, you don’t need to make a deposit. This is nice because you get a credit limit without having to empty your bank account to get it.

Get Free Credit Score Access

Fortiva provides free access to your Equifax Vantage Score. While this won’t match the score lenders see, it’s a good estimate so you can see where you stand and if you need to improve your credit.

Period Review for Credit Limit Increases

Fortiva may periodically review your account to determine your eligibility for credit line increases. They don’t accept requests from consumers, but they may check your eligibility themselves.

Integrated with Apply Pay, Samsung Pay, & Google Pay

You can set up your card on your phone, watch, or tablet for contactless payments if you prefer to pay that way.

Easy Approval

The approval process is easy. You don’t even need fair credit to get approved. Some consumers claim they’ve gotten approved with credit scores below 500, which most credit card companies and lenders will not touch.

Reports to All Three Credit Bureaus

If your point in securing the credit card is to build credit, Fortiva may help. They report your payments to all three credit bureaus, which is good if you make your payments on time and bad if you default.

Why You Might Not Want the Fortiva® Credit Card

High Fees

Credit cards have fees – it’s how credit card companies stay in business, but sometimes the fees are so high that it’s unaffordable.

The Fortiva card charges an excessive annual fee in the first year and fees for just about any transactions, balance transfer, foreign transaction, etc., making it an expensive credit card.

No Rewards

Even credit cards for people with bad credit usually offer rewards, but Fortiva does not offer any rewards to offset its high fees.

Better Options Available

If you look around for a credit card with bad credit, you’ll find many other options, some of which even pay rewards or have lower fees, making it more affordable.

Additionally, you can consider working with a credit repair company. They will review your credit report, identify inaccurately reported items on it, and will file disputes with all three credit bureaus.

How to Apply for the Fortiva® Credit Card

To apply for the Fortiva credit card, you must have received an offer. You’d receive the offer in the mail. On the offer, there is an offer code that you must enter to reach the application. If you received an offer, do the following:

  • Visit
  • Click ‘respond to offer.’
  • Enter the acceptance code found in your letter
  • Complete the application

Fortiva® Credit Card Fees Explained

Fortiva has a long list of fees they charge to secure their credit card, including:

  • 3% balance transfer fee on the amount transferred
  • 3% of the amount charged outside of the United States (foreign transaction fee)
  • Cash advance fee of 5% of the amount taken or $5, whichever is greater
  • Annual fee (activation fee) of $49 – $175 in the first year, depending on your credit
  • Ongoing annual fee of $49
  • Late payment fee of $40

How Does the Fortiva® Credit Card Compare?

#1. Fortiva® Credit Card vs. Open Sky Secured Visa

The OpenSky® Secured Credit Cardis a secured credit card. Your credit line is equal to your deposit which is usually between $200 – $3,000.

The OpenSky® Secured Credit Card charges a flat annual fee of $35 and has all the standard credit card fees, but nothing excessive.

They do charge $10 if you don’t use your card for a year, though, so if you outgrow the secured card, make sure you close it.

The OpenSky® Secured Credit Card doesn’t offer rewards, just like the Fortiva card doesn’t, but its other benefits outweigh this downside.

#2. Discover It Secured Credit Card vs. Fortiva Credit Card

The Discover It Secured Credit Card is another secured card with a credit limit equal to your deposit. You get the deposit back when you close or upgrade the card, though.

The Discover It Secured card is affordable. It doesn’t have an annual fee, and it reports your account to all three credit bureaus like Fortiva.

Discover also offers cashback bonuses which is a great use of the card. In the first year, Discover matches your cash back bonuses earned.

Additionally, you can earn 2% on gas station and restaurant purchases and 1% on all other purchases.

#3. Capital One Secured Mastercard vs. Fortiva MasterCard

The Capital One Secured Mastercardis another secured credit card option. With no annual fee, it’s an affordable option.

All applicants start with a $200 credit line, but you may earn more in 6 months or so. The APR on the Capital One Secured card is high at 26.99%, but if you use it wisely and don’t accrue interest, it won’t matter.

This card doesn’t pay rewards, but it’s a good way to affordably build credit and then upgrade your credit card choices later.

Frequently Asked Questions

Where Can I Use My Fortiva Credit Card?

You can use your Fortiva card anywhere Mastercard is accepted. It’s a traditional credit card, but it’s aimed at applicants with bad credit.

Is the Fortiva Credit Card Worth It?

You have other options for credit cards with bad credit. The Fortiva card has excessive fees and doesn’t offer rewards.

If you have rock bottom credit and can’t get any other card, it’s an option, but one you should only keep temporarily.

What Credit Score Is Needed for the Fortiva Credit Card?

Fortiva doesn’t have high credit score standards. Some people have gotten the card with scores lower than 500.

Is It Safe to Use the Fortiva® Credit Card?

The Fortiva card is safe but expensive. Exhaust all other options before choosing it because its annual fee alone makes it an expensive card to carry.

What Is the Fortiva Mastercard APR?

Most applicants get a 36% APR on the Fortiva card even though they advertise rates as low as 25.74%.

Bottom Line: Fortiva® Credit Card Review

The Fortiva credit card should be your last option if you have bad credit. Look at your other options, including those that pay rewards.

A secured credit card is often the best option when you have bad credit because you’ll get better terms and a chance to build your credit back up again.

Kim Pinnelli
Kim Pinnelli

Kim Pinnelli is a Senior Writer, Editor, & Product Analyst with a Bachelor’s Degree in Finance from the University of Illinois at Chicago. She has been a professional financial writer for over 15 years, and has appeared in a myriad of industry leading financial media outlets. Leveraging her personal experience, Kim is committed to helping people take charge of their personal finances and make simple financial decisions.