Citi® Secured Mastercard® Reviews

Approval Odds

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3.7 out of 5 stars
74 Reviews

From Cardholders in the last year

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Application Process

3 out of 5 stars

Customer Service

3 out of 5 stars

3.5 5

Card Details

  • Balance Transfer Intro APR Not Applicable
  • Balance Transfer Regular APR 23.49%* Variable
  • Annual Fee $0*
  • Purchase Intro APR Not Applicable
  • Purchase Regular APR 23.49%* Variable

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.


Most Helpful Positive Review

Mar 06, 2017
My step-by-step process.
georgeyy Cardholder

As 2017 started, my credit score was 490. I'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! 

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Most Helpful Negative Review

Dec 19, 2016
Worked for what I needed
Anonymous Cardholder

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. 

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These reviews were written by current and former cardholders in the last year.

Jul 12, 2017
Lawgirl17 Cardholder

My Experian score jumped 30 points after the first reporting. I'm still waiting for TU and EQ. It seems my Experian is getting better quicker than the others. Is that common? 

I like the card a lot, have had great customer service and I like price rewind. Can't wait to see how much more it improves my score!

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1 Reply
Jul 16, 2017

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Jul 10, 2017
Need more benefits
Anonymous Cardholder

I've had this card for almost a year. There is no "extra" benefits. You do not get a credit increase and it didn't make my credit score go up either. When I called customer service for an increase they said " they don't do increase they have a maturity date and that s when it becomes a regular Citi credit card but still with no new credit limit. Bummer!

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Jul 06, 2017
Great for fixing Credit!
moogie94 Cardholder

I went with this card because the capital one card wouldn't approve me (collections from capital one 4 years ago) and the beginning was rough. They said my application will take further review and they will have an answer for me in 1 week. By day 4 the 200$ was taken out of my account. Still no word on if I was approved or not. 2 weeks went by, still no update. I called at 2 1/2 weeks and they said my application is still pending. I stated the deposit has already been pulled and I don't understand why they would pull and not approve the application. The customer service was very friendly. Few days later I was approved. Took just over a week after that to receive the card. Two weeks after that I get an email from Credit Karma saying my score changed. I looked and this card jumped me up 35 points. I have 2 things in collections and a judgement of 3,000. My score started at 451. I have not paid anything (yet) and my score after one month of opening the card is 532. This card has jumped me over 80 points in a month. Pretty happy.

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Jul 06, 2017
Nice in phone App and costumer support!
Saitama Cardholder

I has multiple services besides credit card like price rewind and it finds deals near you so you always save! And auto pay can be set with days of anticipation it is a good honest card!

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Jul 01, 2017
Anonymous Cardholder

Why would you want to pay 23 1/2 percent interest on YOUR OWN MONEY????

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Jul 17, 2017

Cause if ur rebuiding ur credit and only use 10% or less and $300 credit is 1 dollar a month or $12 a years.. Yes max the card it crazy.. its be 12 dollars a month

Jun 30, 2017
Crazy Application Process
JSLA13 Cardholder

I applied for this card 2 years ago when I was low 500's and was declined, which always upset me because I do my business and personal banking with Citibank and have combined deposits/investments between the two of around $500,000. After that I switched all my personal banking away from Citibank. Come to 3 months ago and I opened a new Citi Priority Package because they had a good bonus offer. About 30 days ago I decided to apply again. Currently 645 EQ / 635 EX. I got an online message saying futher review was requied and they'd let me know in 10 days. About 10 days later the application status page said I was declined. About 10 days after that I received a letter saying further review was required but they needed a copy of the bank statement from which I initated the security deposit to prove ownership and prove funds, which was weird, as it's from my Citi Priority account. So I emailed them a copy of my statement. 3 days later the deposit money ($1,000) has been withdrawn from my Citi account. I wouldn't even bother except Citi is the only company that I can do my personal and business banking with and also has the investment products I like. I currently have an HSBC Premier CC with $5,000 limit, a Cap1 Quicksilver with $1750 limit and Cap1 Spark Business Cash with $8,200 limit. Don't know why Citi is such a pain.

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Jul 07, 2017

Why would you need a secured card if your income is high enough to invest $500,000? It seems like you're doing very well for yourself overall. So why waste money that you won't get back until the account is closed for a secured card, when you could just save that money for the deposit and interest and other fees that Citibank will charge you?

Jun 30, 2017
Can't even use it
Anonymous Cardholder

I received my card in the mail but after the first time using it I was locked from my own account. Customer service wanted my banks information but said that they were not provided with enough information to verify my identity. Horrible experience, now I have a card that I can't even use.

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Jun 22, 2017
So far so good.
Anonymous Cardholder

Have to wait a while to get approved but other than that I was extremely happy to get this card after getting denied on my first application. Ex - Wife had destroyed my credit without me knowing it and now im stuck cleaning up her mess. Happy to say i got all of the collections accounts taken care of and a secured Citi card that has already bumped my score up from low 400s to mid level 500s I know thats pretty terrible anyways but i'm slowly rebuilding my credit. This is my first credit card and after all the hard work so far just to get it I literally almost cried when I was approved for it!

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Jun 21, 2017
'Awesome card with Benefits"
ALBSURE4U Cardholder

I got the CITI Diamond CC last year and after 14 mo I got a letter the other day from CITI telling my I will be graduating to a CITI Diamond Preferred CC with 0% Interest for 21 mo. In the letter CITI states since I keep my account in good standing they will reward me, also they will be returning my Security Deposit. I am one happy customer.

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Jul 13, 2017

So how did you manage that?
What were your habits with the card?

Jul 19, 2017


Jun 08, 2017
Helps when needed
Anonymous Cardholder

Watch it

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† 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 and typical low score to the 5th 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 June 2014 through November 2014. 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.

Citi® Secured Mastercard®