Citi Secured Credit Card

Citi Secured Credit Card

 3.8/5 (103 ratings)
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About Citi Secured Credit Card

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Citi Secured credit cards can be a valuable financial tool for those with limited or no credit history. Citi Secured minimum deposits are refundable and can range from $200–$2,500. There’s no annual fee and Citi reports secured credit cardholders’ activities to all three major credit bureaus. Citi Secured credit card benefits include flexible payments, free FICO scores and a user-friendly mobile app.

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  • Refundable deposit
  • Automatic credit review
  • No annual fee


  • No rewards
  • Longer approval process

Bottom Line

Ideal for those with limited credit history, Citi Secured Mastercards don’t earn rewards but the minimum security deposit is relatively low and there’s no annual fee.

Citi Secured credit card review

The Citi Secured Mastercard is a smart choice to build credit, but those who need to rebuild their credit after past financial mistakes might find better options elsewhere. The application process is relatively simple, but applicants with a recent or pending bankruptcy will be disqualified. There’s no annual fee and cardholders have some flexibility in their payments. The minimum security deposit is $200, but cardholders can secure credit lines up to $2,500. Citi reports to all three major credit bureaus, and you can set up auto pay and account alerts to help stay on top of payments. Plus, you can avoid paying any interest if you settle your balance in full each month.

Citi Secured Mastercard benefits

What this secured credit card lacks in perks it makes up for in simplicity. Cardholders don’t earn rewards on purchase or interest on their deposit, but Citi Secured Mastercard benefits do include global acceptance, flexible payment schedules and Citi Identity Theft Solutions, which includes $0 liability purchase protection.

  • Global acceptance: Use your Citi Secured Mastercards anywhere Mastercard is accepted. Cardholders enjoy access to millions of ATMs and financial institutions worldwide.
  • Flexible payment schedules: Cardholders can select if they would like payments due at the beginning, middle or end of the month. Cardholders can also keep up with payments through auto pay. Plus, get account alerts and efficiently manage the account online or through Citi’s mobile app.
  • Citi Identity Theft Solutions: If your account is ever compromised, Citi will help you file police reports and take the steps necessary to get your life back. Citi Secured Mastercard also comes with $0 liability on authorized charges, so you’ll be protected against fraud if your card is ever lost or stolen.

Citi Secured Mastercard rates and fees

Although a major plus about having a Citi Secured Mastercard is the lack of an annual fee, there are other fees to consider before you apply: late payments and returned payments fees cost up to $39 each, and a 3% foreign transaction fee will apply if you use the card with overseas merchants and retailers.

To use a Citi Secured Mastercard more effectively, make sure to pay off your balance in full each month or you’ll be charged interest. Citi Secured APR for purchases and cash advances is variable and will fluctuate based on the prime rate. It’s possible to take out a cash advance with this card, but doing so will incur a 5% fee ($10 minimum). Keep in mind, taking out a cash advance with a Citi Secured Mastercard isn’t advised because the APR will be even higher than it is for regular purchases — this could make your credit even worse if you get behind on payment.

Annual fee$0
Cash advance fee5% (10 min.)
Foreign transaction fee3%
Late payment feeUp to $39
Returned payment feeUp to $39

How to apply for a Citi Secured Mastercard credit card

Citi doesn’t require a minimum credit score on Citi Secured Mastercard applications, but approvals are still not guaranteed. Applicants must meet some basic requirements, complete an application and fund their initial security deposit before they can get their Citi Secured Mastercard in the mail.

  1. Meet all the requirements: Like most secured credit cards, applicants must be at least 18 years old and have a U.S. mailing address and Social Security number to be approved for a Citi Secured credit card. Applicants who have filed for bankruptcy in the last two years will have their application for a Citi Secured credit card denied.
  2. Fill out the application: Citi Secured Mastercard applications can be completed online or in a physical branch location. You must also provide your bank routing and account numbers on the application, and Citi will verify your relative income.
  3. Make the initial security deposit: Any approved secured credit card application will be contingent upon completing the initial security deposit. Whatever your Citi Secured Mastercard deposit it, that will be your credit limit on the account once the initial transaction is complete. Citi Secured Mastercard security deposits are held in a Collateral Holding Account for at least 18 months without earning interest. After 18 months, CitiCIti will evaluate your credit activity to determine if you are eligible to upgrade and receive your deposit back.
  4. Get the card in the mail: Once you fund the initial deposit, Citi will mail your Citi Secured cerdit card within 10 days.

Citi secured credit card FAQ

Are Citi Secured Mastercard approvals guaranteed?
Approvals for Citi Secured Mastercard are relatively simple, but not guaranteed. Applicants with pending or recent bankruptcies will have their application for a Citi secured credit card denied.
Is Citi Secured Mastercard a good first card?
Yes, Citi Secured Mastercard is a good way for those who have never had a credit card before to establish their credit profiles. The issuer reports to all three major credit bureaus, so responsible use of a Citi Secured Mastercard will help the cardholder establish their credit history.
Where can I use my Citi Secured Mastercard?
Citi Secured Mastercards can be used anywhere Mastercard is accepted.
How can I pay my Citi Secured deposit?
Cardholders can pay their initial Citi Secured deposit and ongoing deposits through Citi’s secured website or at a physical CitiBank branch location.

Is Citi secured credit card worth it?

If you need a credit card to build credit, Citi Secured Mastercard is a smart choice. There's not much in the way of perks or rewards, but this card can help you establish a credit line and — if used responsibly — signal to issuers that you're ready for an unsecured line of credit.

Citi Secured Credit Card Reviews

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Page 1 Reviews 0 - 10
Rated with 1 star
Verified Reviewer
Original review: Aug. 30, 2022

Seems like there's always some drama with this app, can take days to check my balance or make my payment. They're a big company and I expect more from them. They charge nice fees and I hope they will begin to devote some of their revenues to their tech team.

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Rated with 1 star
Verified Reviewer
Original review: Aug. 23, 2022

I have had a few CitiBank Credit Cards for about twenty (20) years. I had an incident where I was fraudulently charged about $10,000+ and even though US Bank sided with me and protected me like a decent credit card company should…CITIBANK SAID TOUGH FOR ME, they were not going to remove the clearly fraudulent charges. Upset, I advised CitiBank I would cancel my accounts if that was the protection they offered. CitiBank could care less. They did not advise me I would LOSE ALL ACCUMULATED POINTS FOR THE THREE CARDS which were really abundant. CitiBank Credit Cards should be YOUR VERY LAST CHOICE, when it comes to card selection. They basically stole all of my accumulated points without warning. BEWARE! Regards, ** Principal Hawkins Pirkle Design Group, LLC 2213 Southwick Drive Lewisville, Texas 75067 **

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    Rated with 1 star
    Verified Reviewer
    Original review: July 11, 2022

    Horrible experience. I received this new Citi Simplicity card 2 months ago with a $5,600 credit line. I started using it June 8th for a family road trip. On July 10th it was declined. Balance was $3,800. I called. They said was limited was decreased. I asked why. They couldn't give me a good reason. I had only used the card for one month and had already made the first payment early. I spoke to a supervisor and he was zero help so I closed the account. Bad business. Here I am on vacation and this happens. Thank goodness I have other cards.

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    Rated with 1 star
    Verified Reviewer
    Original review: June 14, 2022

    Do not use their credit service. Citi bank will rob you. They randomly drained my account, it took 2 days to get my money back and then they hit me for a missed payment. They just randomly added over 4k to one of my card balanced. I don't know how the hell they get away with this. STAY AWAY. In less than 3 months they managed to drag my credit score from a 740 to a 590. STAY AWAY. Do not finance anything through them.

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    Rated with 5 stars
    Verified Reviewer
    Original review: Feb. 1, 2022

    Eight months ago I applied for a Citi Secured card as I didn't have any credit cards. That is worse than having bad credit these days. I paid the balance every month. Within 8 months, Citi is returning my security deposit and issuing a non-secured MasterCard. What's not to like about that? I used less than 10% of the credit limit each month, too. Significantly increased my credit score.

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    Rated with 1 star
    Verified Reviewer
    Original review: Dec. 21, 2021

    My dad called because he wanted clarification on the daily transfer limit for his bank account, but unfortunately he got an absolutely terrible customer service rep. The connection itself was bad and he kept on mumbling too fast for even me (a native English speaker) to hear. The rep then had the audacity to yell at my dad when he repeatedly asked him to speak slower, saying "How slow do you need me to speak? Are you even able to speak English?" in the most condescending and aggressive way. After my dad asked the rep his questions, the rep hung up the phone on mid-call. I highly recommend you to use any other banking service than Citi--absolutely atrocious that people can get away with that kind of racism in 2021.

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    Rated with 1 star
    Verified Reviewer
    Original review: Nov. 16, 2021

    I've been a Citi mastercard customer for 40 years, never had an issue until now. We received our bill, noted a fraudulent charge, called CS, asked for fraud dept., and (for the first time in 40 years) were dumped into an outsourced generic call center. The rep, who barely spoke English, said she'd flag the charge but refused to issue new numbers. A week later, the VERY SAME FRAUDSTER charged hundreds of dollars more to our account. Got dumped into the same generic foreign call center, had to escalate and wait for a "supervisor", took literally ten minutes of insisting on getting new numbers issued to get them to say they'd do it.

    Two weeks later (in the past, they were overnighted ASAP) we receive the cards, call the activation number, which goes to SOMEONE'S HOME!!! The "representative's" mother answered in Spanish (she'd obviously been woken up was still half asleep), I had to wait for the rep who had little English herself. Then, she insisted she could not activate our new cards unless I gave her the checking account number (from another bank altogether) from the account we usually paid the bill with. This cannot be legal, is insanely dangerous, and is a brand new practice from Citibank. I've now had to transfer all my accounts and my card to a brand new local bank. What I don't understand is how Citi is allowed to do this.

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    Rated with 1 star
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    Verified Reviewer
    Original review: Oct. 27, 2021

    My unsecured Quicksilver is history thanks to me applying for a Discover I was matched with. I was approved for the unsecured Discover It card and notified to wait for my card 5-7 business days. The message indicated I would have $1000 credit limit. As I'm waiting I learned I must sign an IRS 4506-T which is a release of tax transcript to the Credit Bureaus as per Discovers "business policy ". I will flunk the tax verification which disqualifies me for the Discover. I learned my Quicksilver card, which I've had 22 months is also subject to IRS verification by the credit bureau as well.

    I had almost 2 years of 10-20% credit utilization with paid in full on time payments. This fine report I put together this past 2 years went down the toilet in a wink thanks to me applying for a second card which I didn't need. I have no more active credit cards. I have no other lines of credit nor have I declared any bankruptcy. There are no collection agencies after me or any other derogatory reports to my name.

    I took the prequalification for a Citi Secured MC. I was informed it was unlikely I'd be approved. It's really strange that I'd be turned away from a secured card but there you have it. With 2 credit cards closed administratively, one having an unpaid balance of $13. I am worse off than I started 2 years ago when I thought to improve my score with a credit builder card. The thing is I am over 60 and just now working on my credit score because I never needed to borrow money in my life nor do I need these credit cards as another source of income. I'm guessing the credit card companies are worried I'm going to catch Covid and kick off carrying an unpaid credit card balance.

    2 people found this review helpful
    Rated with 1 star
    Verified Reviewer
    Original review: Sept. 27, 2021

    I got this card 4 years ago when my credit score was 580. Paid the 200 dollar deposit, got approved. Here I am 4 years later. My card has been through two renewals, and at least 3 account evaluations for the card to graduate to unsecured. It is still secured. Meanwhile my fico score is now 721. I have never missed a payment with them. I never carry a balance. Also I now have 6 cards and an auto loan all with the same track record. I'm still at less than 25% debt to income ratio. Yet miraculously I still don't meet their requirements for my card to graduate. They also aren't informing me as to why the card graduation keeps getting denied.

    7 people found this review helpful
    Rated with 1 star
    Verified Reviewer
    Original review: Aug. 26, 2021

    So I recently applied for a card and after a week have received twice daily automated spam calls and voicemails to call them to review stats of my account. Annoy but what you have to expect from corps then when I called and and was transferred to a representative they hung up after 10 seconds of communicating after I gave them my name. This happened twice in a row. Be advised if you need help they are unlikely to help you, in my experience.

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