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Citi® Secured Mastercard®

Cory Santos

| Last updated on February 21st, 2024

Citi® Secured Mastercard®

Citi® Secured Mastercard®
No Credit Required
BestCards refers to a variation of FICO Score 9, which is one of many different types of credit scores. A financial institution may use a different score when deciding whether to approve you for a credit card. Please note that the range shown here is our own estimation and not a guarantee of credit needed to be approved for any given card. Recommended Credit: No Credit Required
Mastercard Processing Network
None Annual Fee

Citi® Secured Mastercard®

  • 27.24% (Variable) Regular Purchase APR
  • 27.24% (Variable) Balance Transfer APR
  • 29.99% (Variable) Cash Advance APR

At a Glance

The Citi® Secured Mastercard® is a basic secured credit card that provides all the benefits of a Mastercard credit card but with the credit building security of a cash deposit. The card features no annual fee or maintenance fees.

  • Best Benefits
  • Rates & Fees
  • Why Should You Apply?
  • The Citi® Secured Mastercard® is a no annual fee credit card that helps you build your credit when used responsibly
  • Unlike a debit card, it helps build your credit history with monthly reporting to all 3 major credit bureaus. Once available, you will also have free access to your FICO score online
  • Use your card anywhere Mastercard® is accepted - worldwide
  • A security deposit is required. Once approved, your credit limit will be equal to your security deposit (minimum of $200)
  • Get help staying on track with Auto Pay and account alerts
  • With Flexible Payment Due Dates, you can choose any available due date in the beginning, middle or end of the month
  • Manage your account 24/7 online, by phone, or in our mobile app
  • Regular Purchase APR: 27.24% (Variable)
  • Balance Transfer APR: 27.24% (Variable)
  • Balance Transfer Transaction Fee: Either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater
  • Cash Advance APR: 29.99% (Variable)
  • Cash Advance Transaction Fee: Either $10 or 5% of the amount of each cash advance, whichever is greater
  • Penalty APR: Up to 29.99% variable based on your creditworthiness and the Prime Rate
  • Foreign Transaction Fee: 3% of the transaction amount in U.S. dollars
  • Late Payment Penalty Fee: Up to $41
  • Return Payment Penalty Fee: Up to $41
  • Minimum Deposit Required: $200
  • You have no credit history and want to start building up your credit score
  • You want free fraud monitoring and the ability to track your expenses online 24/7
  • You do not want to pay an annual fee
  • You want a card that reports to the major credit bureaus

In-Depth Review: Citi® Secured Mastercard®

As critical as it is to have decent credit when buying big-ticket items such as vehicles and real estate, it’s good to know that there are cards like the Citi® Secured Mastercard® to help you get on the right path to your goals.

This no annual fee secured credit card is designed for individuals who are new to credit or have a less-than-perfect credit history. By using this secured credit card responsibly, you can unlock a world of financial opportunities and improve your credit score over time.

Who Can Benefit from the Citi Secured Credit Card?

The Citi® Secured Mastercard® is ideal for individuals who are starting their credit journey or trying to repair their credit history. If you have limited credit history, a low credit score, or have experienced financial setbacks in the past, this card can provide you with a fresh start. It’s also a great option for students who are looking to establish credit while in school.

How to Apply

Citi welcome applicants with all credit histories to apply for the Citi Secured credit card. That’s because there is no credit history required to apply. No credit history To open a Citi Secured account, applicants must meet the following requirements:

  • Age: Applicants must be at least 18 years old.
  • Identification: A valid Social Security Number or Individual Taxpayer Identification number (ITIN) is required.
  • Security Deposit: Before opening the account, applicants must agree to put down a security deposit of $200 or more.

In addition to the above requirements, applicants must also have a physical U.S. address (P.O. boxes are not accepted), provide proof of income to meet the monthly minimum payment, and have a checking or savings account.

Citi® Secured Mastercard® Benefits

The Citibank secured card foregoes the convoluted category selection prevalent in the majority of credit cards in favor of a streamlined approach that helps new cardholders build up their credit history and learn the responsible behaviors that will benefit them in their financial future.

Set Your Own Credit Limit

Upon approval, simply make a deposit between $200 and $2,500 to secure your credit line. Your credit limit will be equal to your deposit amount, meaning a $1,000 deposit gives you a $1,000 credit line.

Build Credit with Responsible Use

Unlike a debit card, the Citi® Secured Mastercard® is a genuine credit card that assists in building your credit history. Citi reports monthly to all three major credit bureaus – Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion.

Payment history accounts for a third of your FICO Score, the scoring model preferred by more than 90% of lenders.  By keeping your payment history pristine and keeping your overall credit use low, you may see your score climb in as little as a few months.

Potential to Graduate to Unsecured Credit

A great feature of the Citi® Secured Mastercard® is the potential for graduation to unsecured credit and the return of your security deposit. Citi conducts regular account reviews to see if cardmembers can graduate from a secured card to an unsecured Citi Platinum Card. To qualify for an upgrade to an unsecured credit card, Citi Secured Mastercard holders must have their account open, active, and in good standing for at least 18 months.

Citi Benefits

Cardholders also gain access to Citi Entertainment. This program provides exclusive access to entertainment, concerts, sporting events, and dining purchase opportunities. Through this benefit, cardholders can buy concert pre-sale tickets before they go on sale to the general public, VIP packages that are exclusive to Citi®, and they can even earn complimentary movie screening passes.

Citi allows cardholders to choose a monthly payment due date that works for them. This feature lets you tailor your payments to your schedule, not the bank.

Other Citi features include:

$0 Fraud Liability Virtual Account #s FICO Score Access
Citi Quick Lock Citi ID Theft Protection Fraud Alerts

Mastercard Benefits

The Citi Secured Mastercard might require a security deposit – but don’t mistake this card for anything other than a full-fledged Mastercard credit card. This means cardholders can use it anywhere the Mastercard logo is accepted. Mastercard can be used in over 212 countries worldwide – more than American Express, Visa, or Discover.

Users can anticipate a full suite of Mastercard safety protections, including:

Zero Liability Protection Mastercard Global Services ID Theft Protection

Other Card Benefits

Cardholders also have free access to their FICO® score and a suite of online money management tools to help keep tabs on expenses.

Other notable features of the Citi® Secured Mastercard® include:

  • Shop safely with an EMV contactless-chip enabled card
  • Mobile wallet compatibility with Apple Pay, Google Pay, PayPal, and more


OpenSky® Plus Secured Visa® Capital One Platinum Secured Citi® Secured Mastercard®
Annual fee $0 $0 $0
Deposit required $300 to $3,000 $49, $99 or $200 $200 to $2,500
Credit limit increases Yes, in as little as 6 months Yes, in as little as 6 months Yes
Credit reporting Experian, Equifax, TransUnion Experian, Equifax, TransUnion Experian, Equifax, TransUnion

Tips to Get the Most Out of the Citi Secured Card

Secured cards offer many of the same features. As such, there are some basic rules for getting the absolute most out of cards like the Citibank Secured Mastercard. These rules include:

  • Pay on Time: Make your payments on or before the due date to avoid late fees and negative marks on your credit report. Consider setting up automatic payments to ensure you never miss a payment.
  • Keep Your Balance Low: Aim to keep your credit utilization ratio below 30%. This means using only a portion of your available credit. Keeping your balance low shows lenders that you are responsible and can manage credit wisely.
  • Monitor Your Credit: Regularly check your credit reports and scores to track your progress. You can request a free copy of your credit report from each of the three major credit bureaus once a year. Use this information to identify any errors or discrepancies that may be impacting your credit.

Following these tips, your credit score can rise quickly, allowing you to graduate to other credit card offers from Citi – or even another card issuer.

What We Like About the Citi Secured Card

No Annual Fee

The Citi Secured Mastercard does not charge an annual fee for cardholders. Unlike many other secured credit cards that typically have an annual fee ranging from $25 to $75, this card offers the great benefit of no annual fee. This feature not only saves you money but also significantly reduces the cost of building credit.

Graduation Route Well-Defined

The Citi Secured Mastercard provides a clear path to graduation for cardholders who demonstrate financial responsibility. Once you’ve established a positive credit history with the Citi Secured Mastercard, you may be eligible for an upgrade to an unsecured card. This can open up even more opportunities for credit-building and financial growth. Keep up the responsible credit usage and continue to monitor your progress towards achieving your credit goals.

Things to Consider

No Rewards

The main drawback of the Citi Secured Mastercard is its lack of rewards. While some may argue that building a strong credit history is rewarding enough, and that there is also the opportunity to upgrade to the Citi Platinum Mastercard, it is worth considering that other banks, such as Discover, offer robust reward cards for individuals with poor credit (including rewards checking).

No Pre-Approval Before Applying

Online pre-qualification and preapproval are useful tools for assessing your eligibility for a specific credit card before applying. These tools evaluate basic information to determine suitability without performing a hard credit check. Unfortunately, Citi does not offer pre-qualification, which can be frustrating. However, since there is no actual harm in applying without a credit check, this is more of a minor issue.


Here are some of the most commonly asked questions regarding the Citi Secured credit card:

  • Yes – sort of. The Citi Secured Mastercard is a secured credit card, meaning it requires a security deposit to open. That security deposit also acts as the credit line. 
  • Secured card credit lines are not the same as prepaid, as the minimum due on the  credit limit must be repaid each month. Prepaid cards, on the other hand, are replenishable and don’t require repaying.
  • Citi helps build credit history with monthly reporting to all 3 major credit bureaus – Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion.
    • Yes. With responsible use a Citi Secured Mastercard may be upgraded to another Citi personal credit card. Keep in mind that upgrading from secured to unsecured will result in a refund of your initial deposit (minus any outstanding payments). Additionally, you will not be eligible for any sign-up or welcome offers with your new card.
  • Citi issues credit cards upon approval, meaning successful applicants can expect their new Citi credit card to arrive within 14 business days, but more realistically, between 7 and 10 days. 

Card Availability

Citibank credit, debit, and banking products are available in all 50 U.S. states plus the District of Columbia.

Citibank Ratings

How does the Citi Secured Card stack up? Here are a selection of expert reviews for the card, as well as an overview of Citi as a bank:

Should You Apply for the Citi® Secured Mastercard®?

Overall the Citi® Secured Mastercard® is a solid choice for those looking to either establish their credit for the first time or repair a less-than-stellar credit score.

Other cards to consider include options from First Progress, OpenSky, Discover, and Capital One. The First Progress Platinum Prestige Mastercard® features an exceptional 9.99% APR and requires a minimum deposit of $200. Popular options from major banks include the Citi Secured Mastercard and the Capital One Platinum Secured Card.

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