Citi Secured Credit Card Review Summary
The Citi® Secured Mastercard® is an inexpensive credit-building tool for people with limited credit. The Citi Secured Card has a $0 annual fee, reports account info to the major credit bureaus each month, and offers nearly guaranteed approval to applicants who can pay the card’s $200 refundable security deposit.
So if a low-cost means of credit improvement is what you’re looking for, the Citi Secured Credit Card might be for you. The only stipulation is that you can’t have gone through bankruptcy in the past two years. You can learn everything else you need to know below.
Citi Secured Credit Card Highlights
Relatively Low $200 Minimum Deposit
This secured Citicard’s required security deposit is fairly unobtrusive, at least compared to other offers that ask you to part with $500 or $600. This, in other words, makes credit-improvement more affordable in the short term.You’ll get your deposit back (minus any outstanding balance) when you close your account, after all. You can also add to your available credit with subsequent deposits up to a maximum of $2,500, which should help to speed up the improvement process. Just make sure to keep your credit utilization low.
No Annual Fee
Some of the best secured cards don't charge an annual fee, so it's a good thing that the Citi® Secured Mastercard® doesn't have the additional initial cost which some people with a low credit score would consider a barrier to entry. Thus you would avoid the roughly $35 annual fee charged by the average secured card, according to WalletHub data.
Citi Secured Credit Card Lowlights
This should be a moot point, as secured-card financing is ill-advised, but this card’s 22.49% (V) APR is well above the secured-card average, according to WalletHub’s latest Credit Card Landscape Report. Perhaps that will provide a bit of extra discouragement the next time you think about carrying a balance from month to month. The 3% fee for transferring a balance should dispel you of the desire to perform that type of transaction, too.
Your Deposit Won’t Accrue Interest
It’s not common, but some secured-card issuers place cardholder deposits in an interest-accruing savings vehicle so that funds can at least try to keep pace with inflation. But that’s not the case with this secured Citicard, as your deposit will be stowed in a “Collateral Holding Account” that yields nothing.
Recent Bankruptcy Disqualifies You
Check your credit report. If it shows a bankruptcy from the past two years, you’ll have to take your credit-building business elsewhere. You can find out which issuers will approve applicants despite a recent bankruptcy in our annual Secured Card Report.
Other Things To Consider
- 3% Foreign-Transaction Fee: If you’re planning to travel abroad or purchase something from an international merchant, this isn’t the card for you. After all, there’s no sense in paying 3% more than you have to.
- Pricey Cash Advances: Although cash advances are never cheap, those done with the Citi® Secured Mastercard® will be especially expensive, thanks to a 25%+ APR and a fee equal to $10 or 5% of the amount advanced, whichever is higher. The average cash-advance rate is 20.32% and the average fee is 3.31%.
Citi Secured Credit Card vs. The Competition
Citi® Secured Mastercard®
Discover it® Secured Credit Card
Secured Mastercard® from Capital One
|Rewards Rate||N/A||1 - 2% Cash Back||N/A|
|Purchase Intro APR||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|Transfer Intro APR||N/A||10.99% for 6 months|
Transfer Fee: 3% intro balance transfer fee, up to 5% fee on future balance transfers (see terms)*
|Regular APR||22.49% (V)||22.99% (V)||26.99% (V)|
|Editors' Rating||4.6 / 5||5.0 / 5||5.0 / 5|
|Details, Rates & Fees||Learn More||Learn More||Learn More|