No credit history? Try the Citi® Secured Mastercard® |

Review: Citi® Secured Mastercard® — April 2018

A basic credit card from a reputable provider that you can apply for even with zero or poor credit.

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If you’ve shied away from applying for a credit card due to having poor or no credit, the Citi Secured Mastercard could be the right card for you. You’re welcome to apply even with no credit history, as you’ll need to submit a security deposit of at least $200 as collateral.
The Citi Secured Mastercard may not come with travel or cash-back rewards, but it offers an attractive reward in its own right: the opportunity to build reliable credit with timely payments and responsible spending.

Product NameCiti® Secured Mastercard®
Balance Transfer Rate (not intro)23.74% variable
Balance Transfer Request Time2 months from date of account opening
APR for Purchases ( Purchase Rate )23.74% variable
Annual fee$0
Cash Advance Rate26.49% variable
Card TypeMastercard
Interest Free Period
The interest-free period on purchases is the period or number of days you do not have to pay interest on your card purchases. You will be charged interest either from the day you make a purchase or from the statement date, unless you pay the closing balance in full by the due date (or within the interest-free period) on your statement.
Up to 23 days
Returned Payment Fee$35
Foreign Currency Conversion Fee (MC)
Foreign currency conversion fees are charged when you make a transaction that is converted by a credit card network, such as MasterCard, Visa or American Express, from Australian dollars to a foreign currency. You’ll also incur a currency conversion fee if you make a purchase or obtain a cash advance in Australian dollars while overseas or shopping online with a foreign merchant or financial institution.
3% of transaction value
Minimum Interest$0.50
Minimum Age18 years of age
Min credit limit
This is the lowest credit card limit that you can request. It is possible to apply for a higher credit card limit but not a lower one than this figure.
Max credit limit
This credit limit may not be issued to you immediately on application. This is the maximum credit limit for this card which must be applied for or offered to you after you are approved and have already opened the account.
Annual fee$0
Returned Payment Fee$35
Late Payment Fee$35
Cash Advance Fee$10 or 5% of the amount of each cash advance, whichever is greater

The Basics

Applying for a credit card can be tough if you have zero or poor credit. In that case, consider applying for a card like the Citi Secured Mastercard. Because it’s a secured card, it requires an initial deposit of $200-$2,500, which will act as your credit limit. Your deposit will not accrue interest.

You won’t receive rewards like cash back or travel miles with the card; instead, the value of the card comes from the opportunity to build credit without having to worry about an annual fee. Each month, your payment history will be reported to various credit bureaus. By keeping up with payments, you’ll steadily build solid credit that you can later leverage for better rates on home and car loans and applications for more value-packed credit cards.

Though the Citi Secured Mastercard doesn’t come with rewards, it’s backed by several helpful services by Citi. Citi Identity Theft Solutions will protect you from fraud; travel services offer accident insurance, trip cancellation protection, and more; purchase protection gives you perks like extended warranties on purchases; and the Roadside Assistance Dispatch Service can help you if you ever have car problems on the road.

Benefits of the Citi Secured Mastercard

  • Apply even with no credit history. Because it’s a secured credit card, the Citi card allows those with little or no credit history to apply.
  • Build your credit. A secured credit card is a great way for you to build your credit with timely monthly payments.
  • No annual fee. You can use your Citi Secured Mastercard without worrying about paying annual fees.
  • Citi Identity Theft Solutions. If you are a victim of identity theft, Citi will assist you with identifying stolen accounts, filing police reports, and repairing your credit.
  • Travel protection. With the Citi card, you’ll receive travel services like accident insurance, car rental insurance, and trip cancellation protection.
  • Purchase protection. With Citi’s purchase protection, you’ll receive extended warranties on your purchases, damage and theft protection on purchases, and no liability for unauthorized charges to your card.
  • Roadside Assistance Dispatch Service. If you need assistance with your car while in the United States, Citi can dispatch roadside assistance to you. (You will need to pay for roadside-assistance services.)

What to watch out for

  • Not available to those with bankruptcies within the previous two years. If you’ve had a bankruptcy within the previous two years, you will be ineligible to obtain the Citi Secured Mastercard.
  • 23.49% variable APR. The purchase APR is a higher-than-average 23.74% variable. That said, strongly consider paying off your balance each month to avoid accruing interest on your balance.
  • Higher APR for cash advances. Keep in mind that cash advances come with a higher APR of 26.49% variable (versus the card’s purchase APR of 23.74% variable). You will also need to pay a fee of $10 or 5% of the amount of each cash advance, whichever is greater.

How to apply for the Citi Secured Mastercard

Always consider your options and your financial situation before you apply for a credit card.

Eligibility criteria

  • You are at least 18 years of age
  • You must not have had any bankruptcies within the past two years

Required documents & information

  • Your name, residential status, and residential address
  • Your Social Security number
  • Your email address, phone number, and date of birth
  • Financial information like your annual salary, wages, bank routing number, and bank account number

Steps to apply

  1. Hop over to Citi’s secured credit card landing page.
  2. Click Apply Now.
  3. Fill out your personal and financial info, including how much money you will be putting down for your security deposit.
  4. Carefully review the terms and conditions and then check the two boxes if you agree.
  5. Click Submit.

I got the card, now what?

  • How to make payments. You can make your monthly payment online, over the phone or by mailing a check or money order.
  • How to avoid interest. To avoid paying interest, pay your balance in full each month.
  • How to avoid fees. Avoid the late payment fee by making your monthly payment on time.
  • Customer service. You can reach customer support by calling 1-800-374-9700 or by logging into your account and initiating a chat.

What customers say

The Citi Secured Mastercard gets great reviews online, with cardholders praising the ability to get approved with poor credit. Some mediocre reviews call the card “just average.”

Bottom line

With responsible spending and on-time payments, the Citi Secured Mastercard can help you get your credit score back on track. Its no annual fee is a plus, but watch out for the the high APR on purchases. Pay your balance in full each month if possible to avoid racking up new debt.

Compare other Citi credit cards

Rates last updated April 25th, 2018
Name Product APR for Purchases ( Purchase Rate ) Intro APR for Balance Transfer Annual fee Product Description
Citi® Double Cash Card
14.74% to 24.74% variable
0% Intro APR for 18 months (with the amount of each transfer, $5 or 3% balance transfer fee)
Earn 1% cash back for payments on purchases, on top of the 1% cash back on purchases. No annual fee.
Citi ThankYou® Preferred Card
14.74% to 24.74% variable
0% Intro APR for 15 months (with whichever is greater, $5 or 3% balance transfer fee)
$0 annual fee for the first year ($0 thereafter)
Enjoy our low intro APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers.
Citi® Secured Mastercard®
23.74% variable
Start building credit for tomorrow with a secured credit card.
AT&T Access Card from Citi
15.24% to 24.24% variable
Get rewarded for purchases you're already making with the AT&T Access Card, a top rewards credit card from Citi. Apply for the AT&T credit card today and start earning ThankYou® Points redeemable for gift cards, travel rewards electronics and much more.
Citi Simplicity® Card
15.24% to 25.24% variable
0% Intro APR for 18 months from date of first transfer; completed within 4 months (with whichever is greater, $5 or 3% balance transfer fee)
This is the only card with No Late Fees, No Penalty Rate and No Annual Fee - Ever. Give it a try and apply to find out what the Citi Simplicity® Card can do for you.
Citi Prestige® Card
16.99% to 24.99% variable
$450 for the primary cardmember
Complimentary 4th night stay at any hotel of your choice after a minimum 4-consecutive night booking through
Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi
16.49% variable
Earn Costco cash rewards everywhere Visa® is accepted.
Citi® Diamond Preferred®
14.24% to 24.24% variable
0% Intro APR for 21 months (with whichever is greater, $5 or 5% balance transfer fee)
Lowest intro APR for 21 months plus VIP Access.
Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard®
16.99% to 24.99% variable
Earn 50000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after making $5,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening.
Citi® / AAdvantage®  Platinum Select®  World Elite™ Mastercard®
17.24% to 25.24% variable
$0 annual fee for the first year ($95 thereafter)
Earn 60000 AAdvantage® bonus miles after you spend $3,000 in the first 3 months.
Citibank AT&T Universal Savings and Rewards Card
13.99% to 23.99% variable
0% Intro APR for 12 months (with whichever is greater, $5 or 3% balance transfer fee)
Earn 10000 bonus ThankYou Points after spending $500 in your first 3 months.
Citibank AT&T Universal Savings Platinum Card
13.99% to 23.99% variable
0% Intro APR for 15 months (with whichever is greater, $5 or 3% balance transfer fee)
Citi ThankYou® Preferred Card for College Students
15.74% to 25.74% variable
Earn 2500 bonus points after spending $500 within the first 3 months of account opening.
Citi Gold / AAdvantage World Mastercard
16.99% to 24.99% variable
0% Intro APR for 15 months (with whichever is greater, $5 or 3% balance transfer fee)
$0 annual fee for the first year ($50 thereafter)
Earn 25000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after you spend $750 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening.
Citi ThankYou® Premier Card
15.74% to 24.74% variable
$0 annual fee for the first year ($95 thereafter)
Enjoy Great Rewards and Earn ThankYou® Points on Dining, Entertainment, Travel and more

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