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Fortiva® Mastercard® Credit Card

Fortiva® Mastercard® Credit Card

Unsecured Card Option for Bad Credit

Fortiva® Mastercard® Credit Card
  • Regular Purchase APR 22.74% to 36% variable based on creditworthiness
  • Balance Transfer APR 25.74% to 36% variable based on creditworthiness
  • Cash Advance APR 25.74% to 36% variable based on creditworthiness
  • Annual Fee $49 to $175 the first year; up to $49 thereafter
  • Credit Needed Poor
  • Processing Network Mastercard
Best Benefits
  • Free VantageScore 3.0 (provided by Equifax)
  • Reports to all three major credit bureaus
  • Mobile app available in Apple Store and Google Play
  • $0 fraud liability
  • Must receive mail offer in order to apply
Rates & Fees
  • Regular Purchase APR: 22.74% to 36% variable based on creditworthiness
  • Balance Transfer APR: 25.74% to 36% variable based on creditworthiness
  • Balance Transfer Transaction Fee: 3% of the amount of each transfer after the first year
  • Cash Advance APR: 25.74% to 36% variable based on creditworthiness
  • Cash Advance Transaction Fee: Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each cash advance, whichever is greater
  • Annual Fee: $49 to $175 the first year; up to $49 thereafter
  • Foreign Transaction Fee: 3% of the transaction amount in U.S. dollars.
  • Late Payment Penalty Fee: Up to $40
  • Return Payment Penalty Fee: Up to $40

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At a Glance

The Fortiva® Mastercard® Credit Card fees and APR are very high, but for those who cannot afford the upfront cost of a security deposit, this card can serve as a short-term solution for beginning the journey of rebuilding credit.

Ideal for Those Who:

  • Have been denied for secured cards from both major and local card issuers
  • Have less than $100 disposable income
  • Cannot spare cash to use as a secured card security deposit
  • Will pay their balance in full every month
  • Are looking for a short-term credit card to use to increase their overall credit limit

Fortiva® Mastercard® Credit Card Review

The Fortiva® Mastercard® is a rare find: an unsecured credit card for bad credit. It carries all the functionalities of a typical credit card (can conduct balance transfers and cash advances) in addition to the protections from Mastercard – but could cause more financial harm than good if cardholders aren’t careful.

The card is a credit rebuilding product from the Bank of Missouri. As the card is geared towards building a good credit score with on-time payments, the card is ideal for people with bad credit or fair credit score ranges.

It has an understandable appeal to those who don’t have the cash on hand to secure a credit line, but potential applicants should be wary of the high costs. In lieu of a security deposit, the Fortiva credit card has high annual and maintenance fees that will cost users upwards of $100 a year. Besides having considerably higher costs, the Fortiva card has a high APR and virtually no credit building perks.

Related Article: What Are the Easiest Credit Cards for Bad Credit to Get?

Rebuilding Bad Credit: A Secured Credit Card Alternative

The traditional route for individuals wanting to rebuild credit and fix a bad credit score is usually a secured card. Secured cards are a specific type of credit card that require collateral in order to secure a credit line. These collaterals are aptly called ‘security deposits’ and ranges can start at a few hundred dollars to several thousand. Available credit is then directly correlated with the amount of money used for the security deposit.

Minimum deposits are typically around $300, and it is this upfront cost can be a major deterrent, preventing those with poor credit to begin the credit repair process. For this reason, credit options like the Fortiva® Mastercard® can be a useful alternative to a secured card to those lacking the cash on hand to use for a minimum deposit. For this privilege, however, Fortiva charges many fees and other costs that could be almost as much as what one would’ve spent on a security deposit in the first place.

Related Article: What Are the Best Secured Cards for Rebuilding Credit?

High Cost of Ownership

One major drawback of the Fortiva® Mastercard® card is the multiple fees associated with ownership. While it’s not uncommon that cards for bad credit have higher than average costs (and interest rates), the Fortiva fees have both a high upfront cost (annual fee) and ongoing monthly cost (maintenance).

Strangely, whereas most credit cards waive their annual fee the first year and charge it thereafter, the Fortiva card functions in reverse. New cardholders will be charged between $49 and $175 (although all user accounts of this card report having the full $175 indicated as their starting annual fee) and “up to” $49 every year thereafter.

Fortiva also charges its users an account maintenance fee which starts at $60 and goes up to $159 (surprisingly, this fee is waived during the first year of card ownership). These charges are billed on a monthly basis and come out to either $5 or $12.50 every billing cycle.

The exact amounts for both fee types will be stated on the disclosures following an approved application. However, based on Fortiva’s track record from user experiences, potential applicants should expect to pay the maximum fee amounts—resulting in a whopping $187.50 due at signup.

Credit Building Card Features

Despite being touted as a card for those with bad credit, the Fortiva® Mastercard® has nothing in place to help improve cardholder situations. There are no built-in credit limit increases after a certain number of on-time payments, no automatic considerations for having the security deposit refunded.

In fact, the Fortiva does not offer credit limit increases at all – which is easily the most concerning aspect card, card fees, and all. The only benefit the card can boast is that it reports to all three credit bureaus: Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion.

Depending on the state of your credit at the time of your application, you may be locked into an insignificant credit limit that can’t handle medium-sized purchases—much less add a significant enough credit line to impact your FICO score (a factor that could raise your credit score).

A Bad Option for Carrying a Balance

When it comes to actually using this card, potential applicants will want to ensure they can pay their card balance in full each and every month. Some credit cards are specifically designed to help their owners handle large purchases but the Fortiva credit card is not one of them. Having an APR that’s more than double the national average, this card is not shopper-friendly and could significantly add to the already steep list of fees.

These rates are also mirrored in the balance transfer and cash advance rates – which should not be undertaken lightly.

Should You Apply for the Fortiva® Mastercard® Credit Card?

Technically, the Fortiva® Mastercard® cannot be applied for directly. Applications are only open to those who received a mailed offer and an acceptance code. But for those who have received a mailer and are wondering whether it’s worth responding to the offer, in most cases the answer will be “no”.

Improving one’s credit score comes at a price—that’s to be expected—but the Fortiva credit card probably brings a higher price than most would probably expect. The high upfront and ongoing costs (annual fee, monthly maintenance fees, and well-above-average APR) will likely result in an overall cost that’s just as much (if not more) as what one might have paid as collateral for a traditional secured card.

Fees aside, sacrificing the potential for a credit limit increase is not worth trying to avoid paying a security deposit.

However, for those who are running low on potential card options, don’t have the funds for a secured card security deposit, or have already accepted the offer, treat the Fortiva Mastercard as a temporary resort. This card is not meant to be long-term credit rebuilding option (due to the lack of credit increase opportunities) and will not grow as your credit file improves.

For more information on bad credit and bad credit cards, visit our Comprehensive Credit Cards for Card Reference Page, featuring the best current credit card offers, detailed advice, and tips to help you build your credit history.

Don’t Have a Mail-In Offer? Other Cards to Consider:

Fortunately, there are a wide variety of good credit cards for average credit scores. If you have a credit score of 600 or higher, also consider:

Read the Total Visa® Unsecured Credit Card Review

Total Visa® Unsecured Credit Card

Reports Monthly to All Three Major Credit Bureaus

Total Visa® Unsecured Credit Card
  • Regular Purchase APR See Terms*
  • Cash Advance APR See Terms*
  • Annual Fee See Terms*
  • Credit Needed Fair , Poor
  • Processing Network Visa
Best Benefits
  • Fast and easy application process; response provided in seconds
  • A genuine Visa® card accepted by merchants nationwide across the USA and online
  • Manageable monthly payments
  • $300 credit limit (Subject to available credit)
  • Select your favorite card design from our gallery, for free!
Rates & Fees
  • Regular Purchase APR: See Terms*
  • Cash Advance APR: See Terms*
  • Cash Advance Transaction Fee: See Terms*
  • Annual Fee: See Terms*
  • Late Payment Penalty Fee: See Terms*
  • Return Payment Penalty Fee: See Terms*
Credit Card Deals
  • Complimentary EZ Mini Crunchies (60g) when you spend S$120 - Offer Expires on December 31, 2020 - See Details
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  • View All Deals -

The Total Visa is ideal for those with poor-to-fair credit. The application process is very quick and you can get a decision in as little as a minute. Plus, you can use it to make purchases at any physical and online retailer in the U.S. that accepts Visa cards.

Read the Indigo® Platinum Mastercard® Review

Indigo® Platinum Mastercard®

Choose Your Own Card Design

Indigo® Platinum Mastercard®
  • Regular Purchase APR 24.9%
  • Cash Advance APR 29.9%
  • Annual Fee $0 to $99 depending on the card issued
  • Credit Needed Poor
  • Processing Network Mastercard
Best Benefits
  • Great for demonstrating responsible use of credit
  • Short and easy-to-complete pre-qualification form
  • 24/7 mobile account access
  • Choose your card design free of charge
Rates & Fees
  • Regular Purchase APR: 24.9%
  • Cash Advance APR: 29.9%
  • Cash Advance Transaction Fee: $0 during the first year; after first year, either $5 or 5% of the amount of transaction
  • Penalty APR: 29.9%
  • Annual Fee: $0 to $99 depending on the card issued
  • Foreign Transaction Fee: 1% of the transaction amount in U.S. dollars
  • Late Payment Penalty Fee: Up to $40
  • Return Payment Penalty Fee: Up to $40
  • Over Limit Penalty Fee: Up to $40

The Indigo Mastercard is a great option for rebuilding credit. The card features an interest rate similar to that of the Fortiva and Ollo Cards.

Read the Milestone® Gold Mastercard® Review

Milestone® Gold Mastercard®

No Credit Score Impact When You Apply

Milestone® Gold Mastercard®
  • Regular Purchase APR 24.9%
  • Cash Advance APR 29.9%
  • Annual Fee $35 to $99
  • Credit Needed Poor
  • Processing Network Mastercard
Best Benefits
  • Choose your custom card design
  • Free 24/7 online account access
  • Quick pre-qualification with no impact to credit score
  • Mastercard® Gold Benefits
Rates & Fees
  • Regular Purchase APR: 24.9%
  • Cash Advance APR: 29.9%
  • Cash Advance Transaction Fee: $0 during the first year; after first year, either $5 or 5% of the amount of transaction
  • Penalty APR: 29.9%
  • Annual Fee: $35 to $99
  • Foreign Transaction Fee: 1% of the transaction amount in U.S. dollars
  • Late Payment Penalty Fee: Up to $40
  • Return Payment Penalty Fee: Up to $40
  • Over Limit Penalty Fee: Up to $40

The Milestone Gold is similar to the Indigo, with the same APR and annual fee structure. A true Mastercard, it can be used to make payments anywhere in the world Mastercard is accepted – over 210 countries and counting.