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Citi® Secured MasterCard®

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3.8 out of 5 stars
69 Reviews

From Cardholders in the last year

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Application Process

3.5 out of 5 stars

Customer Service

3.5 out of 5 stars

4 5

Card Details

  • Balance Transfer Intro APR Not Applicable
  • Balance Transfer Regular APR 22.99%* Variable
  • Annual Fee $0
  • Purchase Intro APR Not Applicable
  • Purchase Regular APR 22.99%* 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

Apr 09, 2016
My score shot up by 32 points
johniskewldude Cardholder

So I've only had this card for over three weeks. Back in college, I abused my credit cards, so I had a very poor score of 585 when I applied, and was turned down by Wells Fargo for their Secured Credit Card. Wells Fargo used to be my main brick and mortar until that happened--I felt betrayed. When I found out about that, I applied for a secured card with Citibank, my backup brick and mortar. I used to LOATHE Citibank, and actually referred to them as "Sh**tybank"! Oddly enough, my checking account there only had a penny--again it was only my backup bank, so I instructed them to take the deposit from my FMA account. Well, after a long wait of over a week, with a daily e-mail stating that they hadn't made a decision yet, I finally got the e-mail that I was approved. Well, that took a month to complete.

When my card arrived in the mail, I used it within a few days for dining, shopping, paying bills, but I constantly paid it off after each charge has settled onto the credit card account. Their web interface is AWESOME for a secured card! Unlike other credit cards, they seem to accept payments and count the credit score increase immediately, even when I use an "external account". If you have a Citibank account, paying for this card is basically just like a transfer from checking to savings, but when I found out that I could use my FMA account to just pay for it online, I felt like I didn't even need to make an ATM cash deposit every day. So that's what I've been doing since the first week.

WELL, I logged into my Credit Karma and saw that my score went up to 617 last weekend! For both TransUnion and Equifax! I was so happy that I went to my local Citibank and decided to switch my debit card to a chip card so that I can stop using my Wells Fargo and start using Citibank as my main brick and mortar bank again! AND, btdubs, the banker found that she could--and then offered me--to switch my card to unsecured right then and there... although I said no because I was scared. haha

Other benefits of the card include a very detailed but colourful and easy to read credit card agreement packet, which show exactly when my card is supposed to graduate (1.5 years from opening), and even explains travel insurance, purchased goods insurance, etc. The card's interest rate (i.e., "APR") is pretty low too, and the $25 annual fee seems pretty sensible for someone who had sh***y credit upon applying. They also have a discount site, and I love how they give me a pie chart of my spending, which turns out to better predict the type of transactions I made with my card.

They also appear to have a very hyperactive credit alerting system that self-fixes obvious account charge discrepancies; Shell charged me twice--one in California and another in Texas, but Citi found that and automatically credited the account for the Texas charge such that when I called them to ask what happened, they were like "OH we already took care of it!" BUT HERE'S MY FAVOURITE BENEFIT OF ALL: VIRTUAL ACCOUNT NUMBERS!!! Citibank Online Banking's Account Management tab offers that feature, which you can use to mask your real credit card account number behind a virtual one when making card-not-present purchases (e.g., online, by phone), which you can revoke/cancel any time! It even tracks which virtual number was used, when, and for how much! So purchasing at Amazon or even sketchy websites, aHem Pr0n lol, will be much easier to trace, and you can totally block recurring charges that you might have accidentally missed when authorizing--y'know because people don't read! lol and if someone hacks into an online retailer and decides to replicate your card, they'll totally be caught red-handed! 

However, there is no interest rate (i.e., "APY") on the security deposit. Bad call, Citi! But also, thanks for giving me a chance, Citi! I can't wait until you graduate my card! And I can't wait to see how my credit score will look like when that finally happens! Oh, and the whole denying bad credit discourse is a myth--they totally approved me with my bad credit history! (JUST BE PREPARED TO WAIT A LONG A** TIME)

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Most Helpful Negative Review

Dec 08, 2016
Says no annual fee but it has $25 annual
MoriahL Cardholder

Card is ok. When you make a payment, the balance automatically goes down and gives you credit to use right then. Late fee is $35. Annual fee is $25, i don't know why credit karma advertises it as no fee. That's why i originally applied for the card. APR is pretty high as well. Need at least $200 deposit to get a $200 credit line.

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

Feb 22, 2017
Bumped score 75 points
Gentleman123 Cardholder

Easy to apply online. I had credit score of 518. Was approved for $200 secured limit. Was approved in a few days. Received card in 10 days. Charged 30% ($60), paid it off when bill arrived, and my credit score jumped up 75 points to 593 first month. I have no current debt or credit, except several mortgage companies bad marks from foreclosure last year. Note, do not exceed 29% of credit limit. If you hit 30% it will knock your score down a few points.

Highly recommend to improve your score if you have $200 for the deposit.

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Feb 22, 2017
Anonymous Cardholder


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Feb 13, 2017
So far so good.
bbrown0814 Cardholder

Applied very nervous for a hard hit because I was denied for capital one's secured card with a score in the 560's. applied with a $200 deposit and about 3 days in the money was withdrawn from my bank account. I was checking the status line and it was still saying "further processing needed at this time." 9 days after I applied I finally got the email stating that I was accepted and my card should be arriving within a week. That was yesterday, so now I'm waiting again. I am excited to see how much this helps my score, as of right now I'm just happy something gave me a chance!

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Feb 10, 2017
Nice to start
JDunsmoor Cardholder

This is a decent card to start but it's not worth it if when you can get 1) Capital One: Secured or 2) Discover It: Secured.

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Jan 27, 2017
Takes forever but worh it
hallows3 Cardholder

The security deposit was taken from my bank account the next morning after I applied. Fit the next 6 days I checked the online status of my application to get the she old message of further processing needed I called in a few times and was told the same thing. On day 7 I received an email saying I was approved. If your application doesn't get denied immediately and if they take the security deposit then you almost always get approved on the 7th or 8th day after your deposit was taken. Great card to use for rebuilding every one says it's tough to get approved but my FICO was a 478 when I applied.

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Jan 28, 2017

How much was your deposit?

Jan 29, 2017


Feb 13, 2017

Thank u for reporting that low score. Mine was exactly the same til I got Fingerhut Freshstart. My CK score jumped to 544 from 494 TU. Have u tried them?

Jan 25, 2017

Been with this card company for a year with the Secure Card.. garbage... Poor Customer Service... they don't have any answers since its a secure card.  Bills paid on time, no credit score difference... not even to convert to an unsecure card or anything!

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Feb 19, 2017

"Your security deposit will be held in a Collateral Holding Account for 18 months and will not earn interest. If your credit card account is in default, we may apply your security deposit to the outstanding credit card balance and close your account".-- CITI

Jan 19, 2017
Helping me fight my way back up.
Jaijai9 Cardholder

This card is helping me try and get back on my feet with my credit. I'm in my thirties and had family abuse my name without my knowledge. Now I'm left holding the proverbial bag. It this secured card has given me a start where I thought none was available. Thank you Citi card. 

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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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Dec 16, 2016
great card!
plasmodesmata Cardholder

I love this card. I've had it for over a year and had no problems. I had some suspicious charges pop up and they got me a new card and deleted the fraudulent charges. Very professional and efficient company. It's helped my credit rating increase over 100 points this past year. If you are trying to fix your credit this is a good card, they didnt even do a 'hard pull' inquiry.

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Feb 23, 2017

Hi did you get an increase

Dec 16, 2016
henrym26 Cardholder

$0 annual fee, pay it on time and your credit will obviously go up.. In order to see a slight change,I recomment opening with $500 because it shows a bit more responsibility than $200. Plus thats only like one pair of shoes or a night out drinking.

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Jan 21, 2017

You own a Secured C.C. and $200 to you is "only like one pair of shoes or a night out drinking"? None of my C.C.'s are secured and I $200 goes a lot further for me. HERE'S A TIP: Stop buying $200 shoes and going to the bar, and maybe you won't have to get Secured C.C.'s anymore since you'll have more money to pay off your cards and increase your FICO score! ^_~

Feb 02, 2017

My thoughts exactly. Who drops 200 bucks on shoes or drinks in one night? Just sick

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Citi® Secured MasterCard®