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Citi Secured MasterCard

Picture of Citi Secured MasterCard
25 Reviews
Consumer Rating:


Apply Here 4
Lowest:
460
Average Score:
536
Highest:
630

Card Details
Card Details

Annual Fee: $0
Deposit: $200 to $2,500
APR: 23.74%

Our Take
Our Take

The Citi Secured Mastercard is one of the better secured credit cards for rebuilders because there is no annual fee and you can graduate to an unsecured Citicard. You have to be aware of a few quirks like being aware that you have to hold the card for 18 months, that you cannot add further deposits and that if you have been through BK, you need to be discharged for 2 years before you can apply. But otherwise, it is a pretty decent secured credit card to build or rebuild your credit.

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5 Star
40%
4 Star
36%
3 Star
16%
2 Star
4%
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Credit Score: 630 Credit Limit: 200 Age: 35-44
Income On Application: $81600
Posted 10/04 2018
Overall Rating:
I got this card after I got a Capital One secured and I noticed how much of a positive impact having a credit card helped my credit score. However, I rushed it, and opened with the minimum security deposit of $200, which I regret a lot, as the low balance makes the card practically useless since my Capital One gave me a $300 bump in my CL to $500. Since I opened the Capital One card about a year ago, I got a CLI, graduation to unsecured status, and a product upgrade to a Quicksilver card with cash rewards. Meanwhile, the Citi card plugs along, still secured with no possibility of a CLI. If I were to get this card again now, I'd put at least $1000 on it. As it stands, I pretty much have to pay it off after every use to use it more than once or twice a month.

I gave three stars across the board because while the card was definitely helpful in repairing my credit, I've actually put it in the safe and only have one recurring $16 charge going on it per month to keep it active. I'm patiently waiting to graduate and to see what happens with my relationship with Citi after graduation before I decide whether or not to keep it. Overall, while this card has been helpful, it would be my third recommendation to others seeking secured cards to improve their credit records, Discover It Secured being my first choice because of the cash rewards (ironically, it was my third card), then Capital One Platinum secured (because of the automatic CLI after 5 billing cycles, and product upgrade less than a month after graduation at 11 months), and then this Citi card.

Credit scores at approval time were in the 550-580 range, currently sitting at 633-667, 9 months later.
 
Credit Score: 538 Credit Limit: 300 Age: 35-44
Posted 02/26 2018
Overall Rating:
I had previously applied for the Citi Secured once but was denied. A year later, I tried again. This time, I got the "thank you for applying, we are processing your application and will be in touch within 1 week". 2 days later, I saw that Citi had taken funds out of my bank account. Later during that same afternoon, I got an email asking me to call a number to "continue processing my application". I called the number and was asked to verify my income and my mortgage. After answering all the questions, I asked if I was approved and the rep said "not yet". She said if I was not approved the funds will be returned. Five days later, I got the following email :

"Congratulations, you've been approved!

We're delighted to let you know you've been approved for the Citi® card, with a credit limit of $300. Your account is considered open as of today, 03/15/17.

Your card should be arriving in 7-10 days in a plain white envelope. To start enjoying the many benefits of your card, activate it as soon as it arrives.

You can always find a full list of your card benefits here. Once you have your new card in hand, you'll be able to log in and experience the full site.

Thank you for choosing Citi for your financial needs!"


I have had the card for almost a year now and so far there has been no hiccups. The only thing that pissed me off a little was that I could not add to my deposit. I wanted to rent a car for a one week vacation and needed a larger amount than my deposit (factoring the hold that rental companies will place on your card). However, I was told that was not possible.
 
Credit Score: 496 Credit Limit: 200 Age: 25-34
Posted 11/07 2017
Overall Rating:
After I applied for the card, I got the "further processing required". 2 days later, funds were withdrawn from my bank account. I called Citi and was told that the funds will take about 3-4 days to clear. I was also told that I was still not approved and would be informed via email. A week later, I got the approval email.
 
Credit Score: 519 Credit Limit: 300 Age: 35-44
Posted 10/18 2017
Overall Rating:
I have actually graduated from this card and my experience has been ok. Like some folks here, my application process took about 2 weeks. I actually was told to call Citi where they verified my income and mortgage. Like many have said here, they withdraw money from your bank account and it took 4 days to clear. Then you get your approval email a couple of days later. Then you get your card about a week later. I checked and verified that Citi pulled EX.

The most useful feature is their app. You can activate your card, check your balances and pay your bills via the app. The only thing I regret is that I put in only $300 as my deposit. After a few months, I realized I need to book a hotel for several nights and rent a car. My limit turned out to be too low and I called to see if I could increase my deposit. I was told that I could not so I ended up having to apply for the Discover it secured and capital one.

About 3 months before the 18 month period (ie 15 months), I got an alert that citi has pulled TU. I called them but they denied! Call TU and they said it was Citi! Then not long after that, I got an email stating that I had been graduated to the Citi Diamond Preferred card with 0% for 21 months! My check for the deposit was also being returned. My credit line remained the same and I was told there would be another hard pull if I wanted it increased. I decided to hold off for now and am thinking of applying for a couple of other non-citi cards.
 
Credit Score: 496 Credit Limit: 200 Age: 35-44
Posted 09/21 2017
Overall Rating:
I am very happy that I was approved for this card. I have about 5 collections (couple of Capital One which I why I am not apply for their card at the moment). The collections were due to my job loss and income situation. However, I am back on my fee with a new job and I have resolved about 3 of those collections. My score has increased 60 points since. I love the card and the app is so easy to use.
 
Credit Score: 522 Credit Limit: 500 Age: 35-44
Posted 06/06 2017
Overall Rating:
This is my adventure with Citi secured card from application to graduation. I applied for the card and chose to deposit $500. I did not get any instant approval but two days later, the deposit was withdrawn from my checking account. I heard from Citi a week later telling me that I was approved and got the card another week later.

My experience with the card has been good. Their app is very useful. You can activate your card, check your activity and pay your bills.

After 18 months (which is the time you have to have the card is it is held in a 18 month CD), I got a mail telling me that I had graduated to the Citi Diamond Preferred card and that a check has been sent to me returning my initial deposit. I also got an alert from creditkarma that there was a hard pull on my TU report. After I got the card, I called customer service and asked about my credit limit. They told me it was still $500 and that there would be another hard pull for a potential increase. I held off and did some research and decided to use the Diamond Preferred for a few months before trying to PC to another card. After six months, I decided to request for a PC to the Citi double cash and I bit the bullet with the hard pull (on TU again). I got approved with a limit of $12,000! So the hard pull was well worth it. At this time, my credit score was about 700.

I would give this card a 4 star because of the following reasons. It has been good to me but while I had this card, I also had the Discover it secured and Capital One secured. Capital One only required that I put up $99 for a $200 limit and it was increased to $500 after six months without having me to add an additional deposit. Discover actually graduated me after 10 months! So in certain aspects, I think Discover and Cap One are slightly better but Citi is still a good card. For some of you 18 months might be too long a wait and that is entirely your call.
 
Credit Score: 566 Credit Limit: 500 Age: 35-44
Income On Application: $45000
Posted 04/11 2017
Overall Rating:
When I applied for this card, my score was in the mid 500s. I deposited $500 and the whole application process took about 2 weeks. It has been four months now and I have had no problems with the card. Like many folks here say, the app is very useful. I checked my credit reports and Citi reports as secured. I have paid in full always and have actually set up autopay. I hope to graduate because at the end of the day, my target is to get a American Airlines citicard.
 
Credit Score: 610 Credit Limit: 300 Age: 25-34
Posted 02/23 2017
Overall Rating:
I did not have any credit history but had a citi checking account. So I decided to get the Citi Secured to build my credit history. I applied and deposited $300. The whole process took about 2 weeks. I have been using card for about a year now. My credit score has gone up about 80 points. I recently called customer service to ask about graduating to an unsecured card. I was told that I need to hold on to this card for about 18 months and if I am approved then, my deposit will be returned and I will graduate. So it looks like I have a few more months to go. But I decided not to wait and applied to Discover it and Cap One Venture and I was approved for both ($7000 and $5000).
 
Credit Score: 460 Credit Limit: 700 Age: 35-44
Posted 12/10 2016
Overall Rating:
My ex-wife ruined my credit and this was one of the secured cards I decided to get (the other one was Capital One). After a long approval process, I was finally approved. In the meantime, I had taken the time to settle my 5 collection accounts and even got one removed. My score improve about 90 points immediately after that.

The thing I like about this card is that the app is really easy to use. But one thing I found out was that I could not increase my credit limit by putting in another deposit. This was quite disappointing as Capital One actually increased by credit after 5 months without requiring me to put any more deposit. I also found out that I had to wait 18 months before I could be considered for graduation and if I did, the credit line will be the same as it is now.

This card is ok but if I had my way again, I would have tried for the Discover it secured first.
 
Credit Score: 548 Credit Limit: 300 Age: 35-44
Posted 10/07 2016
Overall Rating:
When I got this card, I deposited $300. Card arrived about a week after I was approved. After six months, I wanted to increase my deposit and credit limit because I wanted to use the card to book a hotel and rent a car. $300 was obviously not enough. However, I found out that I could not increase my limit even if I had the money to increase my deposit. I had to open another secured card instead and I got the Discover secured and deposited $1500.
 
Credit Score: 537 Credit Limit: 500 Age: 35-44
Income On Application: $55000
Posted 09/24 2016
Overall Rating:
After I applied for the card, I was not sure if I was approved or not. 3 days later, money was taken out of the checking account but I did not get an approval email. In fact I got it 7 days after I applied and it said something like 'congratulations, you have been approved'. The card took about another week to show up.

Once I got the card, I activated via the app. I started to use the card and the app tracked everything. When I made a purchase, it showed up on the app pretty quickly. I also used it to pay my bills. After I paid my bills, it usually only takes a day for the payment to clear. After a month with the card, I checked my score and they were up. My creditkarma score went up 70 points while my actual EX score went up 30 points. I started at about 537 in EX when I got the card, FYI
 
Credit Score: 546 Credit Limit: 200 Age: 25-34
Posted 07/17 2016
Overall Rating:
I really did not expect to get this card. I had a few collections including the Citi Double Cash! The approval process took at least 3 weeks but they finally approved me.

Since getting the card, the experience has been good. The app is awesome and after 5 months, my score has gone up 80 points.
 
Credit Score: 528 Credit Limit: 300 Age: 25-34
Posted 06/29 2016
Overall Rating:
When I applied for the card, I deposited $300 as my collateral. Seven months later, I wanted to increase it to $1000 because I had to rent a car. I called CSR and think I reached someone from India who did not understand what a secured card was. I tried calling another day and was told it cannot be done and that that I had to go to a branch and speak to the manager. But there is no branch close by and I am really quite surprised that Citi will not allow you to increase your deposit and credit limit. After 5 months, I got an increase (without deposit) for my Capital One secured!

I went back to Citi's website and read the terms and conditions again. So it appears that we need to keep the deposit with them for 18 months and they do not pay interest and it looks like we cannot add to the deposit! Quite ridiculous if you asked me.
 
Credit Score: 538 Credit Limit: 300 Age: 35-44
Posted 06/18 2016
Overall Rating:
I just want to share my story of how Citi graduated me to an unsecured card. Most of you will know that you have to keep your deposit for at least 18 months. Once I reached the 18 months mark, I got an alert that there was a hard pull on my TU report. I did not apply for any credit so that came as a surprise to me. I did some investigation and found out that it was a hard pull by Citi. Then I got a letter from them telling me that I had graduated and that my check for the initial deposit will be returned to me. I was also told that I will be graduating to the Citi Diamond Preferred. But the letter did not say what the new credit limit will be. I was told I could continue using the secured card until the new card arrived.

After the new card arrived, I called customer service to ask about my credit limit. I was told that I will graduate with the same limit on the card ($300 only!!!). I asked about a credit limit increase and was told that it would result in a hard pull. I decided not to pursue that and look to PC the card into perhaps the citi double cash and take the hit on the hard pull then. As a reference, my score went from 538 when I applied to 680 when I graduated.
 
Credit Score: 526 Credit Limit: 200 Age: 25-34
Posted 03/23 2016
Overall Rating:
When I was rebuilding my credit, I had a few secured cards including Citi, Capital One and Opensky and Discover it. So I think I am well qualified to comment on Citi. But first, all the secured credit cards I had were good and gave me no problems at all. I was able to rebuild my credit and now I have closed most of them or they have graduated.

Since I had a few cards, I only put the minimum deposit required for each. In Citi's case, it was $200. The thing that really impressed me with Citi was their app. It was very user friendly. I could check my activity with it and pay my bills with the app too. What was most impressive however was the the fact that the moment I paid my bills, my available credit adjusts immediately. For my other cards, it will adjust only after the payment has cleared, which normally takes a couple of business days.
 
Credit Score: 585 Credit Limit: 500 Age: 25-34
Posted 03/04 2016
Overall Rating:
I got this card to build my credit. I did not get any credit cards in college and also used cash only for years. But I decided to build a history so that I could eventually get a mortgage. I deposited $500 to start off. I used my card like most would. I charge my netflix and cell phone bills on the card. I also use their app a lot and pay from the app. It is quick and easy and your credit becomes available after you pay from the app. I got upgraded to an unsecured citi diamond card with 0% intro ap as well after two and a half years.
 
Credit Score: 605 Credit Limit: 500 Age: 25-34
Posted 01/14 2016
Overall Rating:
After a job loss and a divorce, my credit score tanked and I got this card as part of an effort to rebuild. Though I eventually got approved, I was quite puzzled with the whole process. I was told the application was pending but the deposit was taken out of my account after two days. I assumed that I was approved and called customer service but was told that I was not approved yet and that the deposit will be returned if I was declined. Then I got the approval email about 10 days later and the card in the mail about a week later.

I have been using the card for about a year now. Unlike some folks here, I have not graduated to an unsecured card. But my scores have improved. When I first got this card, they were like 605 EQ. They are now about 680. As long as you use the card carefully and responsibly, having a credit card will help your credit score.
 
Credit Score: 575 Credit Limit: 1000 Age: 25-34
Posted 12/16 2015
Overall Rating:
I have an account with my local Citi branch and when I decided to apply, I approached the branch manager. I was told that what I put down as the initial deposit will be my credit limit as long as I have the card. I cannot add to my credit limit later. So I decided to start with $1000 rather than the minimum of $200.

The card is good and the app is absolutely fantastic. I could check my account and pay my balance with it. Super easy to use.
 
Credit Score: 480 Credit Limit: 300 Age: 25-34
Posted 10/01 2015
Overall Rating:
Before I applied for this card, I had been rejected my Wells and USB. My score was below 500 and I had collections, charges and whatever you can think of on my credit report. I thought I would be rejected. I applied and got the "pending" message. I thought I was going to be denied. Then 2 days later, I got an alert from my bank app that $300 had been withdrawn! When I checked, it was from Citi for the secured credit card deposit. I called but they said that approval was still pending! Then I got an email notifying me of the approval and 7 days later, I got the card.
 
Credit Score: 560 Credit Limit: 500 Age: 25-34
Posted 08/30 2015
Overall Rating:
I put down a $500 deposit when I got approved for this card. My EX score was around 560. After using the card for about 18 months, I graduated to the Citi Diamond Preferred card. My score is now about 660 with EX. I know some folks here and elsewhere complain that they have graduated. I can't help much because my card activity was pretty normal. I spend about $150 each month. I pay in full most months though there have been a couple of months where I run a balance (I would advice you not too cos the rates aren't the lowest). I was also late once (2 days) but Citi waived the late fee and they did not report it. I found the app easy to use that was one of the things Citi does well.
 
Credit Score: 470 Credit Limit: 1000 Age: 18-24
Posted 07/26 2015
Overall Rating:
My credit score was below 500 when I got the Citi secured card. I had many collections and derogs on my report. I myself am surprised that I have managed to pull out of my mess and not file BK. I deposited $500 and started using the card as most folks in my situation would do. I simply charged my hulu account and t-mobile to it and set my account to autopay.

One thing I noticed is that my scores improve the moment I got my card and about six months after using it. But it depends on which score you are using. For example, my credit karma score went up 100 points almost immediately after a billing cycle or two. However, my actuall FICO TU score went up just 30 points initially. After I got this card, I also applied and was approved of the Cap One secured and Opensky card. After about a year with the card, my TU scores have gone up like 70 points. Since I got other cards, I cannot attribute all of this to Citi's card but a combination of having credit and using it responsibly. My credit karma score went up an additonal 30 points.

The reason I wanted to highlight all this is because you read in many places (including here) that someone's score went up 100 points after using a secured card. But many times, those are not the real FICO scores. They are kind of FAKO scores like creditkarma and others. Your real FICO scores take longer to increase but these are the real scores that lenders use.
 
Credit Score: 490 Credit Limit: 500 Age: 25-34
Posted 07/11 2015
Overall Rating:
After losing my job 3 years ago, I ran into cash flow problems and my credit score tanked. I finally decided to pick my self up and start to rebuild my credit. Citi was one of the several secured credit cards I got that I was approved for. When I applied, my score was 490 with EX. I have one charge off and four collections and was surprised I was still approved. It was not instant approval though. I received the 7-10 days "we will review your application" reply. But 3 days later, money was taken out of my checking account but when I called, they said it was still pending! About 10 days later, I received my card.

The app is easy to use and very helpful. I could monitor the card activity and pay it from the app as well. The only thing that bugged me a bit was that Citi does not allow you to increase your deposit and limit. Other than that, this is a pretty good card to get for rebuilders.
 
Credit Score: 530 Credit Limit: 300 Age: 35-44
Posted 05/13 2015
Overall Rating:
I applied for the Citi Secured Card and was told that they are reviewing my application. 2 days later, $300 was taken from my checking account. I called them to confirm that I was approved and they said I was not and it will take a few more days. In the event that I was not approved, the deposit will be returned. After a week, I called them again and I was told that I was approved for the card and that they would send one to me.

Two weeks later I still had not gotten the card. I called them and found out that they have the wrong address. So I gave them the right address and they told me they will overnight one to me. But a week later and still nothing. I called them again and it turned out that they got the address wrong again. I decided to cancel the card. If they cannot get it right, then i only foresee problems with it. I have since gotten a Capital One and Opensky. So far, no problems with those.
 
Credit Score: 560 Credit Limit: 500 Age: 25-34
Posted 03/19 2015
Overall Rating:
This is one of four secured credit cards I have. The other being Capital One, Discover IT and Opensky. So I have a basis for comparing this with the others that I have. I would say that Citi is ok. It is a very vanilla card. Cap One has no annual fee and I got it as partially secured ($99 deposit for $200 limit). Discover has a reward program. Opensky did not do any hard pull. Capital One increased my limit after 6 months. I have not been offered any credit limit increase from Citi. In fact, I called them up and wanted to increase my deposit but they said that was not allowed.
 
Credit Score: 496 Credit Limit: 200 Age: 25-34
Posted 01/21 2015
Overall Rating:
When I applied for this card, I decided to start with the minimum deposit of $200. For everyone else applying, this was how the application process went. Deposit was withdrawn from my bank account after one week. Got the card a week later. I have been using my card very carefully. I only spend about $20 on the card a month and pay it off in full. 9 months later, I decided that I wanted to increase my deposit and called them. I was told that I was unable to do that. Frankly speaking, this is quite ridiculous for a secured credit card.