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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.
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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I made a payment, and got a schedule to pay. Then I received a call that I was late a payment. So I called them and they said "no everything is ok, you don't owe us anything right now." This happened 5 times. Then my credit score dropped nearly 100 points. I have called them 5 times today, I keep getting transferred or hung up on. I will speak to an English speaking person who will assure me that everything is being corrected, and then they will transfer me to someone with a hard to understand accent who is incapable of assisting me, and then I will get hung up on as they are "fixing" the issue. This has cost me $8,000 in closing costs buying my new house. I am still trying to call customer service to get help. It is 2 pm I have been on the phone since 8 am my time.
Outrageous wait times to speak to a banker. 26 minutes plus. Automated system is difficult to navigate, with long lag times between actual debits or credits showing up. Service reps have a very difficult time thinking outside the box, and most recite what sounds like canned responses to any question.
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I open my best buy Citi visa card late last year at Best buy store. I purchase few appliances, one of the appliance I bought from best was faulty and I have long returned it. So recently I notice that they've been charging my account interest since January this year. Technically I was told prior to opening the account that I'll not pay interest until my promotional period expired, I call citi to see why they are charging me interest.
I spoke with the manger, she told me that I should have known that whenever I purchase from outside best that it accrue interest. I explain to her that I was not given that information when I open the account, meaning that I am responsible to know information of the card. Meanwhile they deliberately will don't give you that information, so you only find out when they start charging you. I am going to pay off my balance and close the account. This company is the MOST FRAUDULENT INEXPERIENCE card company I have ever seen in my life. I won't suggest anyone take them serious. They're point blank SCAM.
Customer service experience: I called Citi credit card about pending transactions. That had been pending for over 10 business days. Representatives told me to call another bank about pending charges on citi credit card?
I opened this secured card at the same time I opened one that was not secured. My first payment was not due until the end of May. I paid over the balance due on both credit cards on April 30th. My unsecured card posted my payment within 3 days. CitiCard's automated system states they received my payment of 200.00 on April 30th but no funds are available to me even though I have credit of more than the 200.00 on the account. They have a hold on those funds for 14 days. They are blaming it on COVID-19. I advised I work at a hospital so I know the challenges but this is a financial institution and they are telling me the posting department is closed??? There is no way they are turning down payments. This is the same thing that happened when I sent in my original 200.00 deposit before COVID hit.
I pay my bills early since my divorce and trying to rebuild my credit. That is the sole purpose of this card, yet they are going to put a hold on my payment for 14 days when they already admitted they received the payment on April 30th. Do yourself a huge favor and DO NOT USE THIS COMPANY!!! This is not how I want my financial future handled. No excuse for this. Also when I tried to use the chat feature, they stopped allowing me to talk to them when I advised at the beginning of the call it said they received my money on April 30th but they have a hold on it. They cannot release and the only ones who can are not available due to the office being shut down to COVID-19. I call BS. My money being held and I am lied to over and over.
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Please do not make the mistake of getting a Citi card! Go with Capital One, they actually let you use your money when you want. Every other payment I make to CITI gets put on a "verification hold" for 2 weeks until it's available to use. It takes a 30-50 minute phone call to have your money released to your account, in which they have to get your bank on the phone also. This card/company is so much more trouble than it's worth, especially now during the virus. They're still issuing "verification holds" but have no one in the office to help you get it released. Go with anyone else besides Citi!!! Worse financial decision I've ever made.
I have been a Citi Secure card customer for 18 months, and I have always paid my bill with them before the due date. Over the past three months I would make a payment early as usual and feel comfortable knowing that it has been paid and can take that bill off my mind until the next billing cycle, I would (out curiosity) go and look at my account online maybe 2 or 3 days later and discover that I have a return check fee and a late payment on my account.
I called Citi and asked what was the return check fee for since I made the payment early, there was more than enough to cover the bill and the return check fee came the same day that they took the money from my account. They told me that when there is no money in the account (or not enough) that a return check fee would be charged as well as a late fee.
They blamed my bank and told me to call and talk to them as to why the money was not being released to Citi. I called and found that there was no error on the part of my bank and that Citi should have no problem getting my payment. The same day three months in a row the would first charge me the return check fee and then take the money from the account that I intended to pay and then attach a late fee to my account.
I have paid off the account and closed it because I only got the card to help my credit, but they are only in the business of taking advantage of people and not to assist them with improving credit scores. I also had all those return check fees refunded by reporting this company to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and the Better Business Bureau.
I first reached out on November 9th for help in submitting a USERRA memo, and did not receive a response. I tried calling, with the same results. I tried again through the app two days ago and I got a response this morning asking me to rate my experience. I have yet to talk to anyone from Citi. I would say that they have poor customer service, but I have yet to actually talk to them.
My husband and I decided to pay off the full balance of our Citi Credit Card on Monday, but before I did so, I made sure to ask the agent that I spoke with, when the full credit limit would again be available for us to use. Since I was paying with a debit card over the phone, he assured me that the funds would be released within 24-48 hours, at the LATEST! I confirmed this with him THREE times! I had my debit card out to give him the number, but he said he had it on file from last time, so I just went with it.
Here we are MORE than 48 hours later and while my credit card balance shows $0, so does my available credit... So I decided to give Citibank a call. After spending nearly 2 hours on the phone, speaking to 1 agent, 1 supervisor, and 1 senior supervisor, I am now awaiting a phone call from the "presidential office" of the bank because I've been told that my funds cannot be released until April 17th!!!! YES, you ARE reading that correctly! That's NINE more days! As I spoke to each person with Citibank, I reiterated that I made that payment on the stipulation that my full credit limit would be made available to me within 48 hours, instead, here we are with $0 to our name, during a freaking pandemic, and each one of Citi's "customer service" representatives says, "there's nothing we can do."
Meanwhile, their home page specifically states that "during this unprecedented time, that the well-being of their customers is their top priority!" Well apparently, MY well-being was NOT their top priority today, because even AFTER supervisor #1 called MY BANK to verify that the funds had, in fact, already been released to Citi, they STILL would not release my funds to ME, because again, "there's nothing we can do." I am so far beyond disappointed in the customer service that I received from Citibank this evening that I will NEVER recommend them to ANYONE in this lifetime. It's bad enough that you have to wait on hold for an hour to talk to someone, but then to receive ZERO compassion or assistance at that? NO THANK YOU!!!!
Customer service up to this point is pointless. 1 month and 5 days into my application No card, no email or regular mail. Out $1000.00. I want to cancel at this point, but am scared they will never give me back my $1000.00. I have different options but thought Citi would be best since I have a branch nearby. The Branch was no help whatsoever - just referred me to the 800 customer service phone number. Can anyone share their experience with how long did the application process take? When did you finally receive your card?
Citi Secured Credit Card Company Information
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