– Citi Secured Mastercard –
Citi Secured Mastercard: The Citi Secured Mastercard is a Citi solution for low or non-existent payments. It provides few advantages and no incentives, but the key aim is to keep your credit in shape so that you can qualify for better credit cards with more comprehensive features.
About The Citi Secured Mastercard
The Citi Secured Mastercard is designed for a single purpose: to help you boost your reputation, whether this means for the first time having a good background or restoring it from bad scores.
If you’re new to credit or have poor credit, it may be right for you. It is a secured credit card, so a security deposit is expected when you are accepted. Your credit limit will be equal to the amount of the deposit you make up to a maximum of $2,500.
You’re not going to have to pay an annual charge, so it doesn’t have to cost you much at all. However, if you have been bankrupt for the last two years, you will be ineligible for this card. If you are a responsible Card owner, Citi can return your deposit and/or upgrade to an unsecured card as well.
There are no bonuses for spending money on this card either. It offers no points or cashback but you can build credit. By setting a record of on-time payments and maintaining good financial habits in general, you can eventually qualify for a better Card with a valuable rewards program.
- The Citi Secured Mastercard helps you build a credit history for your financial future with no annual fee.
- 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. Tracking your score is a great first step to managing your credit history and taking control of your financial future.
- Citi Identity Theft Solutions.
- Zero Liability on Unauthorized Charges.
- 24/7 Customer Service.
- Automatic Account Alerts.
Rates and Fees
- Issuer Name – Citi
- Credit Needed – New to Credit
- Annual Fee – $0
- APR – 22.49% (Variable)
- Penalty APR – Up to 29.99% (Variable)
- Balance Transfer Fee – $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater
- Cash Advance Fee – Either $10 or 5% of the amount of each cash advance, whichever is greater
- Foreign Transaction Fee – 3% of each purchase transaction after its conversion into US dollars
- Purchase Protection: This is one benefit that Citi does state that it will provide. If an eligible item you buy with your Citi card is damaged or stolen, Purchase Protection will repair the item or reimburse you for the loss.
- Citi Identity Theft Solutions: If you think you’ve become a victim of identity theft or fraud, Citi is there to help. You can use this service in any case where you think your personal information has been stolen, it doesn’t have to be specific to your Citi card.
- Free FICO Score 8: Check and monitor a credit score from your Equifax credit report.
- $0 Fraud Liability: You won’t be held responsible for unauthorized charges to your card account.
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What we like about Citi® Secured Mastercard®
- This Citi® Secured Mastercard® reports to the top three credit bureaus every month, which is the fastest way to build credit.
- There is no annual fee, which helps you save cash.
- Unlike some unsecured cards for people with limited credit histories, there are no fees to set up the card and no monthly fees.
- The amount of the secured deposit matches your credit line and ranges from $200 to $2,500.
- Your account is protected through Citi Identity Theft Solutions and features 0% liability on unauthorized purchases.
- You can manage the account online 24/7 with free online and mobile banking tools that let you make payments and view transactions and balances.
- If you don’t have a bank account, you can apply for this card in person at a Citibank location
- Upgrade path to an unsecured card
Things to Consider
- The security deposit won’t earn any interest while it’s being held in a collateral holding account.
- Unlike some other secured cards, this Citi® Secured Mastercard® doesn’t specify exactly what cardholders have to do to get their security back early and transition to an unsecured credit card.
- You’ll have to pay the full security of $200 within 14 days of opening the account.
- The card is not available to people with poor credit.
- You can’t apply for the card if you have declared bankruptcy in the past two years.
- It can take you up to 18 months to get your security deposit back.
- No rewards, like points or cashback
- You can’t increase the credit limit after the initial deposit.
Getting the Most Out of Your Card
- Practice responsible habits: Pay your bills on time every month to establish a positive credit history.
- Utilize automatic payments: Set up automatic payments for the full statement balance.
- Be aware of the deposit: The minimum deposit is $200, and the maximum deposit is $2,500.
- You can apply in person: If you don’t have a bank account you can visit a physical Citibank to apply for this card.
- Put down as much as you are able: We recommend making as large of a security deposit as you can, to help your credit utilization. This will also make spending with the card easier, but remember that your deposit will be unavailable to you until you close out the card.
- Earn your deposit back: If you use the Citi Secured Mastercard responsibly, you may be given your security deposit back and offered an upgrade to the Citi Diamond Preferred Card.
- Check for cards you might pre-qualify for: You can check to see if you qualify for a better card by looking into any pre-qualification offers you might have waiting.
- Continue your credit journey with a better card: When your credit scores have improved and you can qualify for a better card, pay off the balance on the Citi Secured Mastercard completely. Then you can close it out and get your security deposit back.
How to Apply for the Citi Secured Mastercard
- You can apply for this card by visiting the website and clicking the Apply Now button
- If you don’t have a bank account, you can apply for this card in person at a Citibank location.
Qualifications and Requirements
- Must be 18 to apply
- Personal information: Name, date of birth, SSN, email address, and phone number
- Financial Information: Total annual income, source of income, monthly mortgage payment/rent, bank account information for the security deposit, name on the account, account number, and routing number
The Citi Secured Mastercard is a secured credit card. Secured cards like this provide a road to better credit scores — as long as you commit to using them responsibly. The annual fee is $0. The Citi Secured Mastercard comes with identity theft support and free monthly FICO credit score access.
The only reason to get the Citi Secured Mastercard is to improve your credit. If you have bad or limited credit, you’ll have a hard time qualifying for most credit cards, especially those with rewards programs.
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