Citi® Secured Mastercard® Reviews

Approval Odds

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3.7 out of 5 stars
75 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.

Sep 02, 2017
Simple Secured Credit Card.
Anonymous Cardholder

I was 24 when I got this secured credit card. I never had a credit card before and when I apply for one I got denied from multiple credit card companies. So I went on doing my research "How to build credit score"  and found a Reddit post explaining how a secured credit card could help build score. I looked up for secured credit cards and finally settled on this one. It's only been eight months I have this card active and already built a solid 703 credit score which is nice that I was also able to make payments online directly. 

Like all credit cards use it wisely I mostly use it for STEAM Games and Amazon purchases. 

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Sep 05, 2017

What was your score before you had this card?

Sep 11, 2017

702 lol

Sep 02, 2017
It's ok fair
Anonymous Cardholder

capital one help u get u score up but u got be patience

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Aug 29, 2017
ChrisG1223 Cardholder

Oblivious customer service and the worst turnaround times I have ever heard of in the business. I applied for the card 8/7 got the same "needs further review" message as everyone else this must just be their standard procedure. I applied and put down for a $500 card, they took the money out of my account the next day 8/8 but still had no update on my account and the rep that i spoke to had no update either when you call their customer support they put you on hold and trasfer you to 3 people just to get to cards services evenw han you call card services...... Anyway they told me the charge was just a hold and does not mean im approved and would be refunded if not approved. So i continued to wait. Finally 8/11 i get the email that i was approved and i would received the card in 7-10 business days and  confirmed my adress. after already waiting this long I was taken back. 7-10 days for a card? Whatever i thought nature of the beats no big deal. WELLLL 7-10 days later NO CARD. I call them to see whats up and the idiots sent it to the WRONG in the world they could have done that i have no idea, so i was IRATE and i told the guy it was unnaceptable i confirm my adress everytime I call in and again BEFORE you sent it how could you ship it to the WRONG ADRESS... i was baffled. So he confirmed my adress again and requested for priority mail and said i should get it within 24 hours this was on the 25th fast forward to monday Aug 28th GUESS WHAT...STILL NO CARD. I call them to find out WTF happened now....guess what they said???? WRONG ****ING ADRESS can a company be so stupid. they confirm your adress every single time you call and again before they ship your card and still screwed my adress up... once is fine but TWICE..... and on top of tat they couldnt send the 3rd card our priority because the last card was still out and hasnt beenr eturned yet.... so i just told her to forget it and refund my money, this was ridiculous and if they cant even do something as simple as litening to me and getting my adress right WHEN ITS THE SAME ADRESS I APPLIED WITH AND I CONFIRM EVERYTIME I CALL IN AND I CONFIRMED TWICE BEFORE YOU SENT MY CARD i have no interest trusting this company with anything else. If they cant do the simple things how can i trust them to their own rules. End of the day she offered me 2000 reward points and said it would be another 7-10 days to get my card. screw this compaqny it should never be this hard just to get approved and get your card. 

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Sep 05, 2017

update: its September 5th and i still dont have my card... avoid this company like the plague. There are much better secured card services out there than this one. They had no issue taking the money right out of my account but for some reason when it comes to something as simple as sending you a "secured" card on your OWN money the seem to take thier good sweet time. I got my clear sky secured credit card approved and received in 7 days.. its been 32 and i still dont have my Citi Card

Sep 05, 2017

Sorry you're having such bad luck. I applied for this card Aug. 18th and received it on Sept. 2nd.

Sep 18, 2017

This happened with my first credit card with except it was with capital one and it wasn't a secured card. I had to call like once a week about a month before I finally got my card

Aug 09, 2017
Anonymous Cardholder

I like it

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Aug 07, 2017
Easy process got approved with a 575 CS
Peacemomma420 Cardholder

Easy App process got approved when I was denied but Capt1. Started with a 575 trying to rebuild my credjt. Deposites $200 spent 30% and paid online on time . Looking forward to my score going up. Took about 2 weeks from start to receiving my card.

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Sep 03, 2017

Spell correctly

Sep 17, 2017

Has it home up yet

Sep 17, 2017

Gone up yet lol

Aug 06, 2017
Awesome for repairing credit!
VicReynald Cardholder

this card is fantastic immediatley after I recieved it i saw a 71 point increase in my credit score. I got approved with collections and past late payments I am on the road to recoving my credit. I will say this I was getting a little impatient waiting for this card to arrive because I wasnt sure if I had even been approved because I got the normal needs further processing response so I thought I might not have gotten approved than a week later got a letter saying i was approved 5 days after i got the card in the mail! sure it was a long wait to know if you were approved or not most likely you will as long as you dont have any bankruptcies so just be patient. As for increasing your credit limit with with a bigger deposit after you already put your original deposit, I have good news friends as of 8/5/21017 i called the number on the back of my citi debit card and i was able to increase my credit limit from the original 200 I deposited to 1000 and plan to increase it again to the max!

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Aug 15, 2017

What was your credit score when applying

Aug 18, 2017

when you apply for these secured cards, does it show up as a hard inquiry on your report? I have an open chapter 13 on my report right it useless to try and apply?

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‡ 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®