Fortiva Credit Card Review
You have probably received a Fortiva pre approval letter in the mail. Having less than perfect credit doesn’t necessarily mean you have to get a secured card. The Fortiva card is a lesser-known unsecured option to help you build your credit. However, there are both benefits and drawbacks with the Fortiva credit card. We want you to be able to make informed decisions, so we’re going to highlight them both below. Decide if the Fortiva MasterCard is the right credit card to build credit.
Fortiva Credit Card Benefits
1. EMV Chip
Keeping your identity secure in today’s digital world can be a challenge. However, the Fortiva card works to prevent fraud and identity theft. It comes with an EMV chip built into the card. This adds an extra layer of security to every transaction you make. It’s great if you do a lot of in-store shopping. You’ll be able to shop without worrying as much about potential risks and disadvantages of using store credit cards.
2. Poor Credit Availability
People who have poor credit are severely limited in which credit cards they can and can’t receive. You’re usually tied to a secured credit card that’s very limiting. However, the Fortiva MasterCard is different. It’s specially marketed to help people with poor credit rebuild without a secured card’s traditional restrictions. This can help jump your score a few points once the lender approves you.
3. Reports Payment History
As long as you pay your bill on time each month, this card can help build your credit. It reports to all three credit bureaus each month. The monthly reporting will help you start to build a solid payment history. It helps to show lenders that you can be responsible with your finances. Also, it makes them more prone to approve you for other cards or loans.
4. Free Credit Score Access
You can’t fix your credit score if you’re not sure what’s wrong. The Fortiva credit card gives you access to your credit score. You can monitor it each month to watch your payment history build. Also, it’s a great way to check for fraud or report errors. Resolving these things can also give your credit score a needed boost.
5. $0 Fraud Liability
Did someone get their hands on your Fortiva MasterCard and make unauthorized purchases? As long as you report it quickly, you’ll get a $0 fraud liability. Your lender will wipe out the purchases and restore your card’s balance. In cases of identity theft, this is a huge benefit. It is subject to MasterCard’s liability rules and regulations though. You may want to take a look at them if you’re not sure.
6. Lower Minimum Payments
The Fortiva credit card comes with very low minimum monthly payments. You’ll pay just 1% of your balance of $10. You’ll pay whichever out of the two is greater. However, this does mean that you pay interest every month. If it’s possible, don’t use over 33% of your total balance and pay it in full each month. Keep your credit utilization low. This can help you get into good financial habits.
7. Wide Acceptance Rate With the Fortiva MasterCard
Despite not being widely known, the Fortiva credit card is a MasterCard. MasterCard is one of the most widely accepted credit card lenders in the world. You’ll be able to use your Fortiva MasterCard anywhere that accepts MasterCard. This reduces your need to carry a backup credit card in case something doesn’t work on your Fortiva Card.
8. No Security Deposit Required
You’d assume that you would need a security deposit to open this card since it’s for poor credit. However, it doesn’t require one since it isn’t an unsecured card. This can potentially save you a little money over a secured option. However, there may be other fees to consider with the Fortiva MasterCard.
Fortiva Credit Card Drawbacks
1. Higher First Year Fees
You’ll pay a one-time program fee and an annual fee in your first year of opening this card. This could amount to around $200, and this is just for the privilege of having the card. There are also account maintenance fees added in for keeping your account open. This applies even if you’re in good standing.
2. No Credit Increases
Even if you make every payment on time, you’re not able to get a credit line increase. Your credit line amount looks at your credit score, and this means that it could be on the low end. There’s nothing you can do about it either. You have to build your credit and close it out when you get another card.
3. APR Range of the Fortiva MasterCard
You’ve probably guessed that this card comes with a higher APR. You’ll pay between 21.99% to 36%. The total you pay each month will depend on your credit score when you apply for the card. If you don’t carry a balance, this won’t be a big deal. However, it really adds up fast over the span of two to three months.
4. Fortiva Card Fees
We briefly touched on the fees that the Fortiva credit card has. However, they have a huge spectrum. You’ll pay an annual fee that ranges between $49 to $175 per year. There’s also account maintenance fees that range between $60 to $159. You’ll pay a one-time program fee for opening the card of $25. All of these small fees really start to add up each year. It may not be possible to have your annual fee waived later.
5. No Rewards With the Fortiva Card
There are no rewards to try and justify the higher fees with this card. So you could argue that increasing your credit score is enough of a reward. However, this theory will struggle to hold water once you start paying for everything. There are also no perks or special discounts attached to the card. You can try applying for the Discover secured credit card that offers cash back rewards from day one.
Bottom Line – Fortiva Credit Card Issued by MasterCard
The Fortiva credit card is strictly for helping you rebuild your credit. For some people, the Fortiva card could be a good unsecured alternative. However, more people will be better off getting a secured card instead. It costs less, has rewards and perks options, and they don’t charge over $200 in fees for having it. Finally, take a look and decide if the benefits outweigh the drawbacks.
Latest posts by Monica Kowollik (see all)
- Best Credit Cards for Young Adults to Build Credit - May 17, 2019
- Fortiva Credit Card Review – Fortiva MasterCard - May 7, 2019
- Express Credit Card Review – Express Next Rewards - April 29, 2019