Citi® Secured Mastercard® Reviews

Approval Odds

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3.7 out of 5 stars
81 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.

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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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?

Jul 29, 2017
Great card to build credit
DSS4Free Cardholder

So, I have had this card since Feb 2016. Really a no frills card, but I wanted to get my 525 score up. Deposited $500 with them and had the card a couple weeks later. Never really carried a balance on it (maybe 1 month I did), and I noticed they did a hard pull on my credit May 31 2017. I called right away and asked them why. They said they didn't pull it and it would be removed. What is funny is the card expires on 8-31, so just 3 months away. Well a week or so later I got a letter saying they could not find where they did a pull and another letter the same day saying I would get my deposit back soon and be upgraded to a Preferred Diamond card. The deposit came last week and the new card shipped a couple days ago. Overall I am very happy and just in this time my score has gone up 100 points.

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Jul 28, 2017
sleak87 Cardholder

This card is very basic no benefits besides the fact that it will help raise your score. Don't expect anymore than that. Be responsible and pay, or auto pay like I do. The process takes about 10 to 14 days from start to finish depending on your bank. I just use it for a $21 gym membership. I paid my membership directly through my bank account for 2 years knowing it wouldn't help my credit. Now I pay it with my citi card, then auto pay and now I'm building. I just added citi as the middle man. My credit score jumped up 68 points in 2 months.

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Jul 27, 2017
Poor customer service.
Anonymous Cardholder

I never received a consistent answer between two representatives 

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1 Reply
Aug 14, 2017

Thats why I went with AMEX, one of my cards from them has a 30K limit, great customer service and the rewards are unbeatable. My scores are 750+ across the board.

Jul 25, 2017
Anonymous Cardholder

I don't like Capital one whatsoever.!! I had Money stolen from my account and it took me at-least 16 hours to try to get my money back. That 16 hours were the daytime hours that were my days off which I coulda spent with my family the card sucks don't ever get It. Get American Express pay your bills on time so much more worth it when you have fraud this happened which I have it only takes 20 minutes to give you money back. Never ever ever go to capital 1.

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Aug 04, 2017

You are posting about hating Capital One but this review was supposed to be for Citi Secured Mastercard???

Aug 05, 2017

Capitol one? I thought this was Citi bank review

Aug 14, 2017

BS, It seems there is more to this story. Capital One has very good customer support. I've had fraudulent charges and have had the funds credited quick while they investigate, if credit card companies didn't investigate fraudulent charges they would have be out of business a long time ago.
Source: I have a Quicksilver World Elite and 2 AMEX cards all with well over 10K limits.

Aug 16, 2017

Same here! Granted my limits are only 5k but never had a problem with Capital One besides this is a Citi bank card right?!

Aug 22, 2017

This is for citibank review buddy

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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®