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Citi credit cards for bad or fair credit

Citi has one secured option to help you rebuild credit.


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Rebuilding your credit can take some time, but learning about cards that’ll best serve your needs is a great first step. To start rebuilding your credit, you have two types of credit card options: secured and unsecured cards. Citi — a advertising partner — only offers the first option, meaning you need to make a cash deposit to use Citi’s credit-building card.

Citi card for bad or fair credit

Unlike other card providers that specialize in cards for building credit, Citi doesn’t offer a credit card specifically for those with bad credit.

Instead, Citi offers a secured card for those who are new to credit or have fair credit. It’s an excellent card with a $0 annual fee, free access to your FICO score and it reports to all three major credit bureaus — Experian, Equifax and TransUnion. With timely payments, you can boost your credit score.

If your credit is severely damaged, you might have a better chance of qualifying for a secured card from a different bank.

Is Citi® Secured Mastercard® right for me?

To find out whether the Citi® Secured Mastercard® is the right call, consider the following:

  • Do you want to build credit? In general, secured cards are the cheaper credit-building options compared with unsecured cards because they come with fewer fees. This can help you minimize your credit card cost and focus on building your credit.
  • Do you want a no-annual-fee card? The Citi® Secured Mastercard® is one of the rare credit-building cards with no annual fee. Most other secured cards come with an annual fee of up to $49. On the other hand, unsecured cards for building credit can cost you up to $300 annually.
  • Can you put up a cash deposit? This is the only drawback of secured credit cards. However, you can deposit as low as $200 and as high as $2,500 with the Citi® Secured Mastercard®, which should be enough to start rebuilding your credit.

Pros and Cons

The Citi® Secured Mastercard® comes with benefits, but there are some drawbacks to consider.


  • No annual fee
  • Reports to all three major credit bureaus
  • $200 minimum secured deposit
  • You can apply with bad or fair credit


  • No rewards
  • $2,500 maximum secured deposit
  • Must keep your account open for 18 months
  • High penalty APR of up to 29.99% if you make a late or returned payment

Compare credit cards for bad or fair credit

While Citi has a secured card, you may want a card for bad credit. If that’s the case, compare similar cards for building credit so you can chose the right card for your financial situation.

Name Product Filter values Rewards Purchase APR Annual fee
OpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit Card
17.39% variable
Apply for this card with no credit check if you're new to credit or have bad credit.
Assent Platinum 0% Intro Rate Mastercard® Secured Credit Card
0% intro for the first 6 months (then 12.99% variable)
A rare secured card with a 0% intro APR on purchases for 6 months, followed by 12.99% variable.
Credit One Bank® Unsecured Visa® with Cash Back Rewards
1% cash back on all purchases or in categories based on Credit One Bank’s discretion
17.99% to 23.99% variable
$0 to $99
Earn 1% cash back on all purchases or in categories based on Credit One Bank’s discretion.
Self Visa® Credit Card
21.74% variable
Build your credit with a low minimum security deposit of $100 and no credit score required.
Applied Bank® Secured Visa® Gold Preferred® Credit Card
9.99% fixed
No credit check is required for this secured card. Make a deposit of at least $200 to open this card and get a low 9.99% fixed APR on purchases.

Compare up to 4 providers

Bottom line

While Citi doesn’t offer a credit card for bad credit, they do offer a secured credit card — the Citi® Secured Mastercard®. This is a solid credit-building option with no annual fee, but you need to make a secured deposit of between $200 and $2,500 that will act as your credit line.

However, if you don’t think this card is worth it, compare other credit cards for bad credit until you find the right fit for your wallet.

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