Citi Secured Credit Card

Citi Secured Credit Card

 3.4/5 (100 reviews)

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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.

Pros & Cons


  • 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: May 24, 2023

Stay far away from these scammers! I got a card Diamond preferred so I can do some quick balance transfers! I have credit score of 830 and business cards from BOA, Amex and Wells Fargo. I wanted to get something fast as one of the 0% rates was about to expire on my existing BOA card! Never again will I get Citi card - their customer service are absolute trash on steroids!

I had to wait for a card for 12 days - before I could make balance transfers (because apparently citi card is so special I needed a physical card for BT) - after getting the card I proceeded to login and verified my card in the app! Then nightmare began - I couldn’t transfer as they have some password which I didn’t even know about! Yet I logged in without it just fine on the iPhone app! So I had to call the mentally feeble representatives who gave me a run around for 7 hours straight!

You see, citi card is so damn special they won’t verify your identity - apparently social security, adress, phone number, date of birth isn’t good enough for them! They wouldn’t verify me by text to my cell phone because apparently my phone number wasn’t valid for some reason - the phone number I use for work: my cell - is not good enough for citi card representatives but was good enough to log into the app! And was good enough for all other credit cards I applied for and used for 30 years until citi.

After literally hours of them not being able to verify me they said they will send a letter - (seriously a Letter by snail mail) to verify me! After I waited 12 business days for their speedy delivery credit card to arrive! After I told them to go and blank themselves as I never in my life had to deal with such insanity with any card I ever applied for, they told me I can’t even cancel this card without getting verified! I wonder if the mental midgets running the lunatic asylum aka citi have ever read catch 22. I will make sure other users know about this fiasco and stay the hell away from these frozen vegetables in the customer service citi department. I shredded the new citi card with pleasure and got a discover card seconds later!

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Rated with 1 star
Verified Reviewer
Original review: March 27, 2023

I joined the executive advantage club with admirals club tied to it. The card has been a problem to use for the two weeks that I have had it. Often declining regular purchases. For the last three days the number on the back of the card states that it may be a nonworking number And doesn’t put you through to customer service.

When I got back from my travel I found another contact number in my literature and had to use a false account number in order to get the automated system to send me to a representative. They would not call or verify the operation of the number on the back of the card. And provided zero assistance, to the point they would not even forward me to the department that would allow me to cancel the card. They said they needed to send a letter in the mail, and I would need to respond to that letter. Absolutely not worth the headache to get $100 off an admirals club membership and accrue points. I have never had an issue with Chase on my Southwest Airlines card.

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    Rated with 1 star
    Verified Reviewer
    Original review: March 25, 2023

    I have never been given a late charge until I got this card. In addition the reward system is difficult to figure out online. I have never been rewards as specified for paying a bill, nor for using my card. I will close my account shortly and never use this card again.

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    Rated with 1 star
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    Verified Reviewer
    Original review: March 24, 2023

    I tried opening up a Citi Secured Mastercard with a $500 security deposit. I got denied 4 days later and now coming up on 2 weeks after I submitted my application AND transferred funds from my bank for the deposit, no $500 refund yet. I called 6 different numbers and finally got someone on the phone to tell me it could take anywhere from 60-120 business days for a security deposit to be returned to you. THAT'S INSANE. Nowhere on the application did it say any of those security deposit details. 0 STARS.

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    Rated with 1 star
    Verified Reviewer
    Original review: March 17, 2023

    I called Citi Premier Card customer service to see when my card would arrive. I was approved and received an email confirming acceptance and was given an expected delivery date. I waited 2 days passed that delivery day to inquire of my card's whereabouts and when I should expect to receive my card. The service rep said that she had no idea when it would arrive. But, she advised that it was in a FedEx warehouse waiting to be delivered despite Citi not putting a FedEx label for pickup and tracking. She said that FedEx had in fact picked up my envelope with my credit card in it without a FedEx tracking label on it, so to call the FedEx 1-800 number and simply give them my name and address so they will be able to advise of my card's delivery date.

    I explained that FedEx doesn't pick up envelopes and packages without an official FedEx label with a FedEx tracking number. She insisted that they do and to call them for further delivery advice. She confirmed that FedEx had my credit card in their warehouse without a tracking label and that they would be able to locate it if I gave them my name and address. This is not how FedEx functions. I realized that she knows nothing about the shipping industry and that she was wasting my time.

    I called back and talked to another service rep, Shirley who confirmed that I was approved for a new Premier credit card, but had no information in her computer regarding the delivery date. I explained that I received an email confirming delivery 2 days prior to calling and that the former service rep advised that my card was unlabeled in an unnamed FedEx warehouse and that FedEx could tell me where my card was at and when it would be delivered if I provided my name and address. I advised that I would be leaving for Europe and was looking forward to using my new card while on vacation. Shirley said that she will place a notice of urgency on my file (I don't have confidence that the note will be seen, nor acted upon, but it was a kind gesture on her part). She also advised that I will be given email and text message updates on my card and that it will arrive before I leave for my trip. Who knows if my card will arrive in time to use in Europe.

    I don't have any confidence in the least with Citibank and their credit cards. Nobody seems to know anything, cannot provide basic information on customer accounts, nothing is recorded in the computer records, emails with false information had been sent to me regarding my card's arrival date and was given bogus information on how to track my card at FedEx. Do not do business with this company unless you are used to frustration from receiving either no information or false information regarding your account and poor customer service from the Philippines.

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    Rated with 1 star
    Verified Reviewer
    Original review: March 8, 2023

    Open a secured credit card account 2 years ago. Previously had an issue with the credit card company. But when Citi froze my account for over a week for $11.73 over credit card over the limit. It was time to close my account. Now Citi is slow walking my security deposit refund. It's been 38 days since I closed my account on 01/30/2023. I will probably have to file a lawsuit under The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in 30 days if this is NOT resolved.

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    Rated with 1 star
    Verified Reviewer
    Original review: March 2, 2023

    I was a Citi card holder since 2019. I paid my account on time faithfully. I recently opened my app to find they had closed my account. When I called to find out why they refused to tell me or reinstate the account and when I asked to speak with a manager after a 30 min wait time the AGENT TOLD ME I'D GET A LETTER AND SHE HUNG UP ON ME. Unacceptable. I never had issues and I wasn’t late. I often paid more than was due to get my balance down or keep the balance low. I just made an 80.00 payment then they closed my account and they say I owe 293.00. I don’t understand how I owe 293 and the balance was 163.00 and I paid 80.00 before the due date.

    Not one time did they raise my limit or change my secure card to a unsecured card. I was a great customer and hardly had to call them for anything and they never had to contact me for being late or not paying. I’m completely upset about how this is being handled and how I was treated on the phone. Citi needs to get it together. Awful service. I’ve never encountered something like this from a Bank. I worked hard to maintain my account and now with a closed account this will surely hurt my credit I’ve worked hard on.

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    Rated with 1 star
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    Verified Reviewer
    Original review: Jan. 28, 2023

    I had this card for a few years. No late payments until my payment for January of 2023. It was 4 days late. They cut my credit limit in half. Now my credit is considered maxed out. They are the worst credit card that I have ever had. I had an authorized user on my account. Had to remove my user. No need for the both of us to take a it. So disgusted with them.

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    Rated with 1 star
    Verified Reviewer
    Original review: Jan. 13, 2023

    I have been a Citi credit card holder for over 5 years. Out of the blue they close my account. Do not mention closing it at all. I spoke with three different reps, was on hold for over 30 minutes to hang up and callback the next day. I finally speak with one who informs me CITI decided to close my card on its own and I would get a letter in 5-7 business days regarding this decision. Never in my life have I had any company do such a thing. Mind you I had lots of available credit. Terrible terrible credit card company. I would not recommend them to anyone.

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    Rated with 1 star
    Verified Reviewer
    Original review: Jan. 8, 2023

    I'm many years with Citi Bank, but lately, I just want to warn anyone to apply for a credit card card from this bank. They declined a flight payment for no reason, and therefore, I had to book with another credit card. I missed out on a big amount of points. I called citi and complained about the declined amount, and I was told it's taken care of. 2 days later, they declined another flight, which is absolutely ridiculous. Stay away from Citi credit cards!!

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