Citi® Secured Mastercard® Reviews

Approval Odds

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3.7 out of 5 stars
71 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 23.24%* Variable
  • Annual Fee $0
  • Purchase Intro APR Not Applicable
  • Purchase Regular APR 23.24%* 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.

May 14, 2017
Reported before I got it
markus44 Cardholder

Update... on May 10th.. today is May 14. I didnt get the card just yet but thin morning I got Experian notification new account reported..CITI secured card. And 5 points drop FICO score..
All this 60 points increase is just Credit Karma score for people that have no other card. I had 60 points increase when I opened my first card 3 months ago. But anyway.. Ctedit carma or Credit Sesam is not what your real score is. My transunion score 624 on CK and 566 FICO according to Discover it FICO score. so here it is. Dont believe in miracles, but with a little bit of work and responsible use your score will go up. lower your ballance to few % before closing day. Pay of total ballance after closing day and your score will slowly go up. takes some time but you can do it.

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May 12, 2017
markus44 Cardholder

I applyed on monday  5-01  at 5pm.. they took my money 5-04 i got aproved on may 10th.

Looks like they checking Experian FICO score. My is just 615,, 3 collections 4 years old, not paid yet total of 2,500$. 2 from capital one charge offs and 1 Comcast.. 1 charge off from credit one 450$ from 3 years ago... I have 2 open accounts First progress ( 2 months old account ) and discover it 1 month old..this are secured cards.. so my credit is not that pretty.. I start working on it in february.. thats when I got my first progres card aproved for.. first card in long years. My credit Karma score was 539.. its not fisco.. fisco must of been much lower. right now credit carma score is 624 and experian fico 615. having just few cards helped me already.. at this point I have 6 cards.. DISCOVER IT (SECURED) , FIRST PROGRES (SECURED) TOTAL VISA (UNSECURED) ,CITI ( SECURED) Iin the mail, OpenSky ( secured)  in the mail and Capital one (secured) ..Im supprised I got capital one secured , i burned 2 cards I had from them in 2013.. never paid , in collection.. so , Everything is possible, there is hope, My credit going up and Im just about to pay off collections and in less then 3 years I will have clean credit , and this 6 credit cards I have will help me out so much.. just pay it before closing day , leave around 5% it all after closind day and you good to go. 

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May 02, 2017
Decent Card to establish credit.
neville0513 Cardholder

I applied for this Card November 2016, roughly a week later the $200 deposit was withdrawn from my account and a week later my card arrived.

When i applied i was under the impression i could add more funds to the deposit and increase my limit. This is not accurate, Citi will NOT allow you to add funds. dissapointing.

I have now used this card for a little over 6 months, kept my utilization under 30% and paid in full every month, and am not eligible for an increase.

I would reccomend this card if you simply just want to establish credit, but the Capital One card is a much better option.

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May 02, 2017
Anonymous Cardholder

They're customer service is pretty terrible.  I noticed an increase on my score from having it.  Unfortunately it was closed by the bank but I didn't find out the exact reason why it was closed until someone from their social media team called me 3 weeks after being on the phone with 6 different representatives including a manager.  They don't fully disclose to their customers about their policies which is pretty in my eyes is unethical.  

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Mar 29, 2017
Secured citi card
DyParker65 Cardholder

Very quick turn around time from application to approval.  However, be aware that credit karma says that you can open with the minimum deposit and then increase your security deposit later.  This is absolutely not true.  It's eady to monitor your Citi card account online and through the app.  I'm very pleased with the citi card customer service.  Credit score jumped at least 40 pin at when I opened this account.  

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Apr 18, 2017

Is this a credit card that can be used for car rentals

Mar 20, 2017
Best card ever
Anonymous Cardholder

Me and my husband had terrible credit but he decided that we need to do something about our credit so he started paying a few collections that we had then he apply for That card he was approved but my application was denied. So he put my name name on his application Citi send us two cards one for each of us. This morning he check credit karma he was chock my score goes up 105  on TU . He haven't check ÉQ & EP yet wooooooh whooooooo . Oh by the way he's score only go up 2 point on Experian 😂😂 and he's score went down on TU by 12

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Apr 07, 2017

How long did you have the card for, if you don't mind me asking?

May 05, 2017

Are you serious? About this. Because a lot of people always check this out.. So, when I or other look at a comment be truly about what you say..

May 17, 2017

This happened to me and my husband. I added him to my capital one platinum card and his score went up 133 points and mine went down 11. I also have 13 credit cards including store cards, loans and student loans all paid on time. I also have three things in collections from five years ago. He and he didn't have any credit cards in his name, just a small loan from the bank. His score is now 720tu, 714ef and 699exp and mine is 593. Go figure!

Mar 16, 2017
Expect ALOT of waiting
Gummyybearx3 Cardholder

I also have the capital one secured card which they increased the limit not too long ago. I applied for this card a long wait to see if you been approved then take your deposit within a week but then take like a month to give you the card. Would've called for a refund but didn't wanna wait another 2 weeks. This banking experience is horrible try something else !!!!!

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Mar 16, 2017

True! I applied for this card last Feb 3rd but until now I havent received the card. I was approved just last Thursday and it said to wait for another 7-10 days to receive it. Very loooong process. Discover and CapOne are really better to build/rebuild score.

Mar 13, 2017

I applied for this along with the Discover secured card right after my 18th birthday. They took a couple days to decide, but the deposit was withdrawn from my account this morning so I guess I'm approved!! I'll update once I use it for a while.

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Mar 16, 2017

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Apr 19, 2017

How's it been so far ??

Mar 13, 2017
Excellent for helping your score.
Anonymous Cardholder

So far so good. I've had this card for only 2 months and my score has improved by over 100 points! No annual fee as well. I put in a $200 deposit and only use it for gas and other minor purchases. I keep my utilization below 30%. I plan on seeing my scores in the 7s soon.

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Apr 17, 2017

100 points... Come on!!

Mar 11, 2017
Anonymous Cardholder

After almost 2 weeks of having card my credit score is up 50 points I just use for gas and lunch for work and pay my balance in full never the minimum balance due 

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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®