At first glance, when you first open a www.fortivacreditcard.com offer, it seems like a humane alternative to other credit card offers marketed to people with poor credit. However, if you look under the hood, you may find that the terms or the credit card agreement post year-one are less favorable.
The Fortiva MasterCard is one of those cards meant to help you rebuild your credit. However, due to annual fees stacked with monthly fees, penalty fees, and everyday fees as well as a low credit limit, this card doesn't make that easy.
If you happen to have credit over 550, the www.fortivacreditcard.com invitation is just not worth responding to. With perfect credit, the card becomes a liability unless you have a lot of disposable income. For those this card is marketed to, with the lowest credit, you can pay this card to improve your score in a minor way, but waiting for a few things to fall off, or applying for a less expensive card is a better option.
The Fortiva credit card has an APR range of 22.74% to 36% for purchases, depending on your creditworthiness. What this means is that if you have less-than-perfect credit or one of the types of low scores that leads to an onslaught of emails from Fortiva, you can expect to pay well above 30% APR.
However, one of the few good things about the Fortiva credit card is that they offer a 25 day grace period for new purchases if you continue to pay off your balance every month. If you can do this, you can help mitigate how much it costs you just to have this Fortiva card. They also won't charge you any penalty interest or a penalty rate if you make a mistake.
Both balance transfers and cash advances have a higher APR than purchases. At a minimum of 25.74% and a maximum of 36%, this APR is higher at the start than the maximum APR on many other cards. There is still no penalty APR.
Credit limits on this Fortiva card will range with your credit score. Most people can expect to open an account and receive a credit limit of around $100 to $300. Eventually, this may be raised to as much as $3000 for those with good to great credit.
The Fortiva MasterCard has a lot of fees, to begin with, and even more after your first year of having the card. Below is a non-exhaustive list of fees that come with this card.
- Annual Fee – The annual fee for the Fortiva credit card is not the only fee you have to pay to have the card, though it is the most expensive of the two. If you have poor credit, expect to pay $175 upfront the first year and $49 each year after. The best rate is $49 on setup and zero after the first year.
- Cash Advance – The minimum fee for a cash advance is $5 unless your cash advance is more than $100. If greater than $100, your cash advance fee would be 5% of the cash advance total.
- Foreign Transaction – 3% of the total of each transaction in USD.
- Late Payment – The maximum fee, as permitted by federal law. As of the beginning of 2020, this fee is $40.
- Return Payment - The maximum fee, as permitted by federal law. As of the beginning of 2020, this fee is $40.
- Authorized User Fees – $25 per authorized user, charged annually.
- Balance Transfer – 3% of the amount of each balance transfer after the first year.
- Maintenance Fee – This is the fee you pay for simply having the Fortiva MasterCard. To have this fee on top of an annual fee is very unusual. The maintenance fee for this credit card is $5.00 to $12.50 each month, for a total of up to $159 per year. This fee kicks in after your first year.
The Fortiva credit card may eventually implement a rewards program. They also state that they do offer some rewards to select, qualifying members. These specific details are shared only with these card members.
Pros – Advantages of the First Access Credit Card
With all of the additional charges and rules included in the Fortiva credit card agreement, there are still a few things they offer that qualify as advantages.
- A Grace Period for Purchases – Unlike many similarly structured credit cards, the Fortiva credit card has a 25 day grace period for new purchases. As long as you have paid your balance in full during the previous billing cycle.
- Zero Fees for Balance Transfers for the First Year – Zero fees for balance transfers, but you will immediately start drawing interest on the balance. There is no grace period for balance transfers or cash advances.
- MasterCard Fraud Protection – As a MasterCard, you will receive $0 liability for unauthorized transactions as long as you let the card issuer know that your card was lost, stolen, or unauthorized transactions were made within 48 hours of any of these things happening. This is true of every card that is a MasterCard.
- No Penalty APR – With interest rates that are higher than most penalty rates already baked in, there is no need for penalty APR.
Cons – Disadvantages of the First Access Credit Card
Many of the disadvantages of having the Fortiva credit card come in the form of fees you have to pay just to keep the card around, even if you don't use it.
- High Fees Overall – Even if you don't do anything to earn yourself a late fee, a returned payment fee, or other penalties, you will still be charged an annual fee and a maintenance fee.
- Annual and Maintenance Fees – The biggest disadvantage of this credit card is easily the maintenance fee you would be charged every single month after the first year in addition to the annual fee.
- High Interest – Interest rates for the Fortiva card start unreasonably high and stay there.
- No Credit Limit Increase Requests Accepted – If you call and request a credit limit increase, the request will be denied. Fortiva may periodically review your account and see if you qualify for an increase.
The Fortiva credit card isn't as bad as some, but it's still worse than most even as far as “credit rebuilder” cards go. Your first year, you can expect to pay as much as $175 just to have the card (this is all outlined in your www.fortivacreditcard.com letter). Every year after that, if they do not deem your creditworthiness to be “good” or higher, you can expect to pay even more, up to $208. That's without making a single purchase, balance transfer, or cash advance request.
If you are seriously considering this card as a financial tool to improve your credit, start looking at secured credit cards and don't respond to a fortivacreditcard.com offer. They will cost you less in the short and long term and several lenders will allow you to upgrade to an unsecured version as your credit improves.