Citi® Secured Mastercard® Review
If you’re trying to establish a good history of credit from scratch, then the Citi® Secured Mastercard® from Citi, a Credit Cards House advertiser, is a great choice. It’s perfect for anyone with a limited history of credit or no credit, while offering many of the same benefits of a traditional credit card.
Citi® Secured Mastercard®
The Citi® Secured Mastercard® is designed to help you build good credit so you can transition to a regular credit card with cashback, points or other perks. It’s a pretty straightforward process. After you apply for the Citi® Secured Mastercard® you will be required to pay a deposit of at least $200 .
This is the difference between a secured credit card and a traditional one; your personal deposit is securing the line of credit in the event you can’t pay back your balance in full. It’s a way to build credit history and prove your creditworthiness by demonstrating good credit habits. If you pay off your balance in full every month, and don’t go over your credit limit, your credit history will hopefully improve to the point where you can then apply for an unsecured credit card.
To receive a Citi® Secured Mastercard®, you will have to meet the credit qualifications by subjecting your income and debt information to a review. Once approved, you can begin making purchases with the card just like with any regular Mastercard and work towards establishing a good history of credit. This card comes with no annual fee and minimum security deposit of just $200.
Some other features include:
- Helps build a solid history of credit
- Comes with no annual fee
- $200 security deposit required
- Sends monthly updates of credit activity to all three credit bureaus
- Use anywhere Mastercard is accepted
As a Citi® Secured Mastercard® cardmember, you’ll receive additional perks that are offered by unsecured credit cards. Some member benefits include:
- Never miss a payment with Auto Pay
- Flexibility to make purchases with a credit card
In addition, you’ll receive monthly reporting of your card activity to Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax to help build credit, as well as online bill pay from Citi to avoid missing payments that will damage your credit.
Unlike traditional credit cards, the Citi® Secured Mastercard® operates a bit differently in order to help you establish, or rebuild, your credit history. Doing so means you must pay a security deposit of at least $200, which then becomes your purchase credit limit. This deposit does not earn any interest, and is held as collateral for up to 18 months in the event your account goes into default. If this happens, your deposit may be used towards any outstanding credit card balance.
In addition, this card does not offer any rewards or cash back earnings, but your monthly purchases and on-time payments will go towards establishing a solid history of credit, which can eventually help you apply for an unsecured card with rewards and cash back bonuses.
Here are a few other drawbacks:
- Interest rate of 22.49% (Variable)
- Offers no rewards or cash back
- Must pay deposit of at least $200
If you’re a new college grad or have zero credit history, the Citi® Secured Mastercard® will be especially beneficial for you. In order to qualify for this card, you must not have filed for bankruptcy within the last two years, which makes the Citi® Secured Mastercard® best for students, college grads, or other individuals with no history of credit.
As a cardmember, you’ll also get access to perks like travel insurance and car rental insurance, while proving your creditworthiness. Overall, this secured credit card is a great choice due to its no annual fee, $200 minimum deposit, and its reporting of your credit activity to all three major credit bureaus.
First published , last updated
Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer.