Citi® Secured Mastercard® Review

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Our Detailed Review of This Card

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The Citi® Secured Mastercard® (a NextAdvisor advertiser) is a good choice for anyone with a limited (or no) credit history. That’s because it includes 3-bureau reporting, so positive actions like paying your bill on time each month will be reported to all 3 credit bureaus and quickly build up your credit history. You’ll also have access to a variety of tools to help you stay on top of your payments, like AutoPay, Online Bill Pay, account alerts and access to a free FICO® credit score (updated monthly).

While the Citi® Secured Mastercard® looks and functions like a regular credit card, it does require a security deposit between $200 and $2,500 to “secure” your purchases. The amount you deposit will also set your credit limit. With $2,500 as the maximum, you could potentially have a high credit limit for a secured credit card. Note, however, that you can’t add to your security deposit after the card has opened, so you’ll need to decide what credit limit you need ahead of time.

On top of that, you’ll benefit from some great security features. Citi will monitor your account for fraudulent activity and send alerts if it identifies anything suspicious. If there are unauthorized purchases, you’ll have $0 liability. Plus, you can immediately lock your account if your card is lost or stolen using Citi’s Quick Lock feature. Last but not least, there is no annual fee and with responsible account management, you could get upgraded to an unsecured credit card within 18 months. After you upgrade, you’ll receive your full security deposit back.

Secured Credit Card

  • Guaranteed by your funds, which act as a “security deposit” in case you default on the loan extended by the credit card company.
  • Security deposit will be refunded in full if your account is up-to-date and paid on time when you close out your card.
  • Looks and works like any other credit card, so it won’t be apparent to others that this is a secured card.
  • You fund the card by depositing between $200 and $2,500 into a FDIC-insured account. The deposit amount is based on your credit history.

Helps Credit History

  • Helps boost your credit history by reporting to all three credit bureaus every month so you can establish or build your credit.
  • Looks like any other credit card on the credit reports — there is no indication that you have a secured card.
  • If you make your payments on time, you can help improve your credit score with good payment behavior.

Fees and APR

  • Annual Fee: $0
  • Purchase APR: 24.74%* (Variable)
  • Balance Transfer APR: 24.74%* (Variable)
  • Balance Transfer Fee: 3% of each balance transfer; $5 minimum.
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Disclaimer: This content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuer. Opinions expressed here are author's alone, not those of the credit card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer. This site may be compensated through the credit card issuer Affiliate Program.