The Fortiva Credit Card is marketed to individuals trying to rebuild their poor credit. What the card issuer doesn’t tell you is that you’ll pay hundreds of dollars just for the privilege of adding this card to your wallet. Unless you have no other options, you’re better off avoiding the Fortiva Credit Card and going with a secured credit card instead. Use the CardCruncher tool to find the credit card that’ll give you the most rewards—and read on to learn all about the Fortiva Credit Card.

ALSO READ: CardCruncher’s Complete Guide to Improving Your Credit Score

Fortiva Credit Card Highlights

Here’s a snapshot of the Fortiva MasterCard.

Annual Fee:

  • $49 to $175 for the first year, then $0 to $49 every year thereafter


  • Purchases: 21.99% to 36%, depending on creditworthiness
  • Cash Advances: 24.99% to 36%
  • Balance Transfers: 24.99% to 36%
  • Sign-Up Bonus: None


  • Available to those with poor credit with no security deposit required
  • Payment history reported to all three credit bureaus
  • Free VantageScore 3.0
  • $0 fraud liability
  • Minimum Payment: 1% of your total balance or $10, whichever is greater

Other Fees:

  • $60 to $159 annual maintenance fee after the first year (billed at $5.00 to $12.50 per month)
  • $25 one-time program fee when you open an account
  • 3% balance transfer fee
    $5 or 5% cash advance fee, whichever is greater
  • 3% foreign transaction fee
  • $25 one-time authorized user fee
  • Up to $38 for late payments
  • Up to $38 for returned payments

Why Apply for the Fortiva Credit Card

Here are a few reasons you may want to consider applying for the Fortiva Credit Card.

It’s available to those with low credit scores

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.

You can use it to help rebuild your credit

The Fortiva Credit Card reports your monthly payments to the credit bureaus, and making full, on-time payments can help to boost your credit score. You also get a free VantageScore 3.0 when you sign up. This is similar to the score that lenders see when you apply for a new loan or line of credit, and it can give you some idea of where you’re at.

Fortiva Credit Card: Drawbacks and Downsides

While the Fortiva Credit Card has some appeal for those with poor credit, there are some significant drawbacks.

It’s an expensive card to have in your wallet

You’ll pay for the privilege of having the Fortiva Credit Card in your wallet. This could amount to as much as $200 for your first year, when you add up the annual fee and the one-time program fee. After the first year, you could pay as much as $208 in annual and account maintenance fees. The card’s APR is also extremely high, maxing out at 36%. If you carry a balance or take a cash advance, the interest rate could make it difficult to pay back what you owe.

You can’t earn any rewards

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. If you are interested in earning rewards at the same time, you may have better luck with a secured credit card.

You can’t apply for a credit limit increase

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.

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Fortiva Credit Card Alternatives

If you aren’t impressed with what the Fortiva Credit Card has to offer, try one of these cards instead.

Capital One Secured MasterCard

The Capital One Secured MasterCard is another option for those with poor credit. But unlike the Fortiva Credit Card, there’s no annual fee.

You do have to put a small security deposit of either $49, $99 or $200 down to get your initial $200 line of credit, but if you close the account, this money will be refunded to you. After five months of on-time payments, you’ll automatically be considered for a credit limit increase with no additional deposit needed.

At 26.99% Variable, the card’s APR is still high, but it is more affordable than the Fortiva Credit Card’s.

Discover it Secured Card

The Discover it Secured Card requires a security deposit of at least $200, but you can put down more if you’d like a higher credit limit.

There’s no annual fee and you’ll earn 2% cash back on gas stations and restaurants, up to $1,000 each quarter. Plus, Discover will match all the cash back you earn in your first year.

If you make all of your payments in full and on time, Discover will start considering you for an upgrade to an unsecured card after eight months. The card’s APR is 24.74%, which is not unusual for a card designed for bad credit, but you still don’t want to carry a balance if you can help it.

Fortiva Credit Card FAQs

Here are answers to some of the most common questions people have about the Fortiva Credit Card.

Where can I use my Fortiva Credit Card?

You can use your Fortiva Credit Card anywhere where MasterCard is accepted.

Does the Fortiva Credit Card report to the credit bureaus?

Yes, the card issuer will report all of your Fortiva Credit Card payments to the three credit bureaus. Making regular, on-time payments can help to increase your credit score over time. However, missing payments and paying late will likely hurt your score.

Bottom Line: Should You Apply for the Fortiva Credit Card?

The Fortiva Credit Card is one way to rebuild bad credit, but there are plenty of better ways to do so without spending hundreds of dollars on fees each year. Consider a top-rated secured credit card instead or look for an unsecured credit card that offers lower fees and interest rates. Try out the CardCruncher tool, too, to find the card that’ll get you the best rewards.

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4 Comments on "Fortiva Credit Card Review: Help Rebuild Credit Without a Security Deposit"

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I applied for the fortiva card to transfer a higher interest card to, but when I called to do the transfer I was told I am not able to transfer a balance FROM another credit card company. I was told that I could only transfer from this card TO another card company and still be charged the 3% transfer fee. PLEASE do yourself a favor and avoid this card like the plague!

Tammie Patrick

I have a fortiva account trying to get a credit card

Tammie Patrick

Hello I have a account with fortiva already just trying to get a credit card

Dawn Martin

This card is exactly like First Premier. High interest rates and annual fees. They also have horrible customer service. It’s ok if you are trying to rebuild your credit, but you will never pay the balance if you charge too much. And even when you have a zero balance, they charge you a service fee. If you can stay away. Don’t apply for this card. Its legalized loan sharking.