Citi® Secured MasterCard® Review – Build or Improve Your Credit

The Citi® Secured MasterCard® is a secured credit card that charges a $25 annual fee and requires a security deposit of at least $200 when you open your account, prior to card activation. If you have poor credit, or lack much of a credit history at all, this is a great card for building or rebuilding your credit. Although a recent bankruptcy filing is likely to disqualify your application, most other major credit blemishes are acceptable.

The Citi Secured MasterCard is comparable to other secured credit cards designed for people who wish to improve their credit scores, as well as certain unsecured cards for people with fair credit, such as Capital One QuicksilverOne and Capital One Platinum. However, those unsecured cards generally require stronger credit histories and a demonstrated ability to use credit responsibly.

Like other secured credit cards, the Citi® Secured MasterCard® is a means to an end: better credit. It’s not a card to aspire to hold in your wallet for the long term. Rather, it’s a card that’s meant to be used as a stepping stone to a higher credit score.

Following many consecutive months of responsible use and timely payments, your Citi Secured MasterCard will hopefully have served its purpose. You then have a green light to apply (and receive approval) for better credit cards: cash back credit cards, low-APR credit cards, and cards with attractive sign-up bonus opportunities. As long as you use those cards responsibly, you’ll have no further use for your Citi Secured MasterCard.

If you don’t have a recent bankruptcy, can afford at least $200 for the initial deposit, and want more benefits than a typical secured credit card offers, the Citi® Secured MasterCard® is great for building or improving credit. However, it’s not ideal for people with very poor credit, nor those who want to earn rewards.

This card’s reasonable APR and annual fee, relatively high credit limit, and great fringe benefits are all attractive. However, its inflexible credit limit, penalty APR, credit check requirement, and lack of rewards all count against it. Overall, this is a great card for building credit, but not for people at the very bottom of the credit barrel.

Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided by any bank, credit card issuer, airline, or hotel chain, and has not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of the bank, credit card issuer, airline, or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Categories: Citi, Credit and Debt, Credit Cards, Reviews

Brian Martucci writes about frugal living, entrepreneurship, and innovative ideas. When he’s not interviewing small business owners or investigating time- and money-saving strategies for Money Crashers readers, he’s probably out exploring a new trail or sampling a novel cuisine. Find him on Twitter @Brian_Martucci.

Comments Disclosure: The below responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

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Citi® Secured MasterCard® Review – Build or Improve Your Credit

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