Citi® Secured Mastercard®

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Annual Fee:
$0
Purchase Intro APR:
N/A
Regular APR:
23.99% (Variable)
Terms and Restrictions Apply

Bankrate Rating

Commonly used for: EMV, Free Credit Score, Mobile Pay Ready, No Credit History, Presale Tickets, Secured credit card, Zero Fraud Liability.

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Citi® Secured Mastercard®: Details and benefits

When it comes to building credit, you need to walk before you can run. If you need credit, but don’t have the history to qualify for an unsecured card, a no annual fee Citi Secured Mastercard can help you boost your credit ratings with regular on-time payments.

Your credit limit with this card is determined by the amount of collateral you put down as your secured payment. Determine how much credit you want, from $200 and $2,500, as long as you have the cash to back it up.

Although this card doesn’t charge a lot of extra fees for things like ownership or account maintenance, it may not a good choice for someone looking to rebuild their finances. Applications for this card are not accepted from anyone who has declared bankruptcy within two years prior to applying.

Advantages
  • The credit limit range is between $200 to $2,500. If you have the cash to put down, this is a higher credit limit option than some other secured cards offer.
  • There’s no annual or monthly maintenance fees -- charges levied by several other secured card issuers.
  • Flexible payment due dates.
Disadvantages
  • The security deposit will be held in a non-interest bearing account for 18 months.
  • If you’ve declared bankruptcy within the past two years, you’ll be automatically declined.
  • Citi does not offer to graduate you to an unsecured card after proving your creditworthiness.

Is it worth it for you?

If you’re in the market for a secured card with no annual fee and you want the included auto and travel protections, you may want to consider Citi Secured.

Others fees can make this card less appealing, though. You’ll pay a 3% foreign transaction fee on all purchases made outside the U.S. The balance transfer fee is either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater. If you make a late payment, a penalty APR of up to 29.99% may apply indefinitely, and the regular APR is a variable of 23.99%.

Get the most value from Citi Secured Mastercard

This card is designed to help you get your credit started on the right foot, so the best way to get the most value is by practicing good habits to improve your credit score. Make timely payments in full and keep from taking on any of the card’s penalty fees, so you can earn a good score and cultivate a healthy relationship with credit that won’t end in debt.