Citi® Secured Mastercard®

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  • No Annual Fee, and unlike a prepaid card, it helps build credit history with monthly notifications to the credit bureaus
  • A security deposit is required for this product (minimum $200)
  • Pay your bill on time every month to avoid damaging your credit. Citi can help keep you on track with Auto Pay, online Bill Pay and alerts. 
  • Use the card anywhere Mastercard® is accepted — worldwide
Annual Fee:
$0*
Purchase Intro APR:
N/A
Purchase Regular APR:
23.49%*
Variable
Balance Transfer Intro APR:
N/A
Balance Transfer Regular APR:
23.49%*
Variable

Details, Rates & Fees

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* See the online Provider's credit card application for details about terms and conditions. Reasonable efforts are made to maintain accurate information. However all credit card information is presented without warranty. When you click on the 'Apply Now' button, you can review the credit card terms and conditions on the provider's website.

Cash Advance Rate 26.24%* Variable
Cash Advance Fee 5%, Min: $10
Late Fee Up to $35
Penalty APR Up to 29.99%* Variable
Balance Transfer Fee 3%, Min: $5
Foreign Transaction Fee 3%
Return Payment Fee Up to $35

Cardholders' Reviews

The following information and reviews are brought to you by Credit Karma and/or its users. Banks, issuers, and credit card companies do not endorse or guarantee, and are not responsible for this content.
Most Helpful Positive Review
georgeyy
My step-by-step process.
by georgeyy
Helpful to 2740 out of 2795

As 2017 started, my credit score was 490. I know...it's a disaster! I ruined my credit at age 18-20. Now I am 25 and I decide to rebuild my credit back up and fix this mess. I currently have about 3 open collections and 7 hard inquiries. I'll work on removing them eventually. In the mean time, I checked the approval odds of Citi Secured MasterCard and CK deemed it "FAIR". I took a chance.

On Jan. 17, I applied online through their website. I set up a $200 deposit from my Wells Fargo checking account for them to withdraw. At the end the system stated that my application needed further review. They'll let me know the result within 1 week. I'm already thinking to myself...ahh that probably means I didn't get approved. 

On Jan. 19, Citi withdrew $200 from my Wells Fargo checking account and the status of my application was still pending. I'm getting anxious.

On Jan. 24, I received a surprising email stating that I've been approved and my credit limit is $200! YES, they gave me a chance! But my credit score dropped to 459. I think that's how the system calculates the score when you open a new line of credit.

On Feb. 3, I received my new Citi Secured Mastercard! It took about 8 business days for me to receive it here in California. I activated it right away and stuffed it in my wallet. 

Now from experience, I've learned to control my spending and limit myself from utilizing too much credit from this card. I read on CK forums to keep your utilization below 30%. Which means I must not spend over $60 out of my $200 credit limit. So all I did was I allow Apple Music ($14.99/month) to automatically charge my Citi card every month. 

Feb. 6, Apple deducted $14.99 from my card. In the next few days a balance of $14.99 appeared on my online account. I paid it off immediately using my checking account.

Feb. 13, my score shot up to 518. Nothing massive, but it was a huge step into building up my credit again. I repeated the same step this month for March.

March 6, My credit score shot up to a whopping 563. My credit utilization is 9% and my payments are 100% on time. 2 of my 7 inquiries dropped this month as well. 

SO FAR SO GOOD. I am very satisfied with this card. I will come back within 6-12 months and give it a second review to see how my progress is! Thank you Citi for taking a chance on a peasant like me. LOL! 

The following information and reviews are brought to you by Credit Karma and/or its users. Banks, issuers, and credit card companies do not endorse or guarantee, and are not responsible for this content.
Most Helpful Negative Review
Anonymous
Worked for what I needed
by Anonymous
Helpful to 876 out of 939

Got the card with a 602 credit score, I had already got a secured card through capital one and discover. High interest but it is what it is. Put $500 and got a $500 limit. After 9 months, never missed or was late with a payment, used it only for gas here and there, I requested a credit limit increase. I had the discover card for 7 months and got my deposit of $300 back and had my credit limit raised to $1500 unsecured, so I figured they might bump it to unsecured and raise my limit since I had the card longer. They wouldn't make it unsecured, wouldn't raise my limit, and wouldn't allow me to put more $ on the card to raise my overall credit, said I would have to cancel it and get another card with a bigger deposit, which makes total sense when your trying to establish credit history right? So make sure to take that into consideration. Anyways for what it's worth the app comes in handy, and it will help rebuild your credit. I'd get the discover or capital one card before this one but in truth I have all 3 and they've all helped. Just takes time. Make your payments on time, don't use much of your credit and be patient. 


Our Take

The Citi® Secured Mastercard® is a great option for consumers looking for a starter card to help build their credit through responsible use and on-time payments.

What to Like

The Citi® Secured Mastercard® is available to people with little or no credit, and reports monthly to the major credit bureaus. There are also no application fees associated with this card, though note the required security deposit.

Look Out For

It’s a secured credit card, meaning you’ll have to put down a security deposit equal to the size of your credit limit. There’s also a relatively high APR.

Similar Offers

† Credit Karma looks at how your credit profile compares to other Credit Karma members who were approved for this product. Of course, there's no such thing as a sure thing, but knowing whether your Approval Odds are Very Good, Good, Fair or Poor may help you narrow down your choices.

‡ Average score refers to the arithmetic mean, typical low score to the 5th percentile and typical high score to the 95th percentile of, in each case, available VantageScore 3.0 credit scores provided by TransUnion of Credit Karma members who were approved for this product from March 2017 through August 2017. Average and typical approved scores are provided as guidelines only and approval is not guaranteed. You can learn more about credit card approval through our in-depth article.

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