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.
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.
- Refundable deposit
- Automatic credit review
- No annual fee
- No rewards
- Longer approval process
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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.
|Cash advance fee||5% (10 min.)|
|Foreign transaction fee||3%|
|Late payment fee||Up to $39|
|Returned payment fee||Up 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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Have been CITI card holder (American Advantage) for 27 years. Without my permission, they have “locked” my old A/C number and transferred me to a new number. The reps said new card was a consolidation directed by American, and nothing they can do. I requested that my old card be retained and rep said they cannot. I needed to make a payment on my account. When I logged in, my old account number was inaccessible and only the new number was accessible. I made payment. Now this morning I received an e-mail telling me to update all the businesses that have my old number to change to the new number. They listed several accounts with dates and numbers. Not very secure way to provide data. Now I’m waiting to see if any hacker gets info from their data.
I have made several calls to CITI customer service with no satisfaction. I requested to talk to next level of manager 2x and each time was given no acceptable response or alternative. Each time all I hear is that the “upgraded” account was because American dictated it and nothing they can do. I do not understand how any company can arbitrarily cancel an account and dictate changing personal business transactions as a result. I think the Attorney Generals of states should look into CITI business practices. This morning I received an email.
I am taking step to fix my credit so in the past 6 months I opened 4 credits in order to hopefully fix my credit. So far so good with all my payments and seen good results on my credit score. The last card I opened is with Citibank. I opened a secured credit with them. 1st off it took almost a month to get my card after they already took my $500 out my bank account. I called them after a few weeks asking why I haven't received my card. Customer rep told me the card was sent. I should have received it within 10 days. I said well I didn't and it's been 2 weeks so she said ok they will send another 1 and I have to wait another 10 days. Smh.
Finally got the card. Use it and month later I sent in my first payment. Mind you I paid the full balance of $485.25 a couple days before the due date to make sure I get no penalties and so I can look good for my credit. 4 days later I checked account on app. It says they received payment and that I have 0 balance but state I have only $14.75 available. I'm like what the hell. I'm like ok well maybe it's because it's the weekend right now cause it was Saturday so maybe Monday it would update. Nooooppe. Monday come. I check and it says the same. I'm like this is ridiculous.
I called them and customers rep told me oh my fund will be available on the 20th like **. I made payment on the 6th. Today is the wait and you telling me I still need to wait for my money to available. Wow. Like I said I have 3 other credit card besides this Citibank card and I have not have any problems with them. This bank is a nightmare. Avoid at all cost. If I could close this account right now without hurting my credit I would asap but trust soon I get my credit where it needs to be this bank will not see my money. Shame shame. Oh god. Btw this is not even worth a 1 star. I wish I could give them negative stars.
I had points saved up I wanted to used towards either my flight or a hotel for a trip I was taking in a few months. I checked every airline and hotel on every website and even called Citi customer support. I wanted to use my points to make my trip cheaper because that's what points are for, right? Welp, it turns out that if I used my points I would pay $80 more out of pocket on top of using all my points no matter what flight or hotel I choose. So a room booked through the hotels website or through Expedia or Kayak would be $300 per night.
If I booked with Citi and used all my points it would cost me $380 per night after I used all my points. So my options are to give all the points I saved back to Citi and then pay $80 more or book the room literally any other way and save $80 and keep my seemingly useless points. Customer support informed me it is the airlines and hotels that get to set the pricing for Citi and there is nothing they can do about it. I guess I'll look for a new credit card that applies real value to their point system.
I’ve had this card since Oct 2018. My card was lost/stolen so I cancelled it and asked for a new card to be mailed to me at my new address. I had the same mail address only a different apt at the same complex. After 5 attempts to get this resolved, I am still waiting on my card. I waited forever to get a rep who I can hardly understand, but reassures me it’s been taken care of and mailed with express delivery. Lol. Again, months later, I’m still waiting. I am just going to close this account. It’s not worth my time and frustration. I would not recommend this card. I have a Discover card and they are BEST IN CLASS. Chose that card if you’re shopping for options.
I had it secured credit card with Citibank. They took the money out of my bank account. That would be my proof in court. They say they put it in the mail my check and it was returned to them with no explanation. That was a lie. Now they said he's recent get back out in the mail and I should receive and my refund check in 7 to 10 days. I'm going to take them to small claims court, give me attorney and sue for more than my deposit that is taking so long to come to me, for stress every time I talk to Citibank. I record the message and I will bring it back to court. Citibank is the worst bank in the world. My family have a business account with Citibank that will be cancelled soon.
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