Citi Secured MasterCard November 2021 Review

By | November 4, 2021

Initiating your Credit journey can be an energy-draining procedure, especially if you have no credit score. Similarly, the initiation of your credit journey is a tough task to do, even with a bad credit score. If you apply for a credit card requiring a good credit score, but you have an average or a bad credit, then your credit score is likely to fall in case of rejection.

This is when and where Credit Rebuilding Cards come to your aid since they act as your credit card and help you increase your Credit Score. Secured Cards have a deposit of a certain amount (usually $200 or so). In most cases, Credit Card issuers pay back the security deposit amount deposited by you upon diligent usage of your allotted card.

CitiBank offers you a good option for Secured Credit in the form of a Citi Secured MasterCard. Citi Secured MasterCard helps you improve your credit score while charging low fees as compared to many Credit Card issuers. It offers you the ability to improve your credit score, thereby making you more creditworthy for lenders. Hence, you can switch to a better credit card that offers you enhanced perks.

Like many credit cards, the Citi Secured MasterCard offers you no fraud liability for fraudulent transactions made by you. It also offers you account alerts. Cardholders can conveniently use the card by adding it to the digital wallet for quick and easy transactions. Although the security deposit doesn’t earn you any interest, cardholders may be upgraded for an unsecured card and have the deposit refunded within 18 Months of Account Opening.

This refund and up-gradation of this card will depend upon your demonstration of responsible usage of this card usage by paying off your debts on time as well as strengthening your credit.


What’s Ahead

  1. Quick Highlights
  2. Pros & Cons
  3. Rates & Fees
  4. Why might you want to go for Citi Secured MasterCard?
  5. Why might you want to go for some other card in the same segment?
  6. Citi Secured MasterCard Vs. Secured MasterCard by Capital One.
  7. Citi Secured MasterCard Vs. Petal 1 “No Annual Fee” Visa Credit Card.
  8. Bottom line.

Citi Secured MasterCard
Citi Secured MasterCard

Quick Highlights

  • Your Odds of Approval for this card are high since no credit score is needed for your Approval of this card.
  • No Hidden Fees are Applicable on this card.
  • No Annual Fees is Chargeable on this card.
  • Using the Citi Secured MasterCard with due diligence can be helpful for you in building or rebuilding your credit history.
  • You can put down a security deposit of $200 to avail an initial credit line of $200.
  • Maximum credit line limit available for you is $2,500.
  • You can even earn your security deposit in the form of a statement credit when you are using your card responsibly and making payments timely.
  • Balance Transfer Fee of $5 or 3% of the Balance Transfer Amount is Applicable on all Balance Transfers done by you (whichever is higher is Applicable).
  • No Foreign Transaction Fee is Applicable.
  • The Regular APR of 22.49% is applicable on purchases and balance transfers made by you.

PROS & CONS

Pros👆

  • Low Cost of Maintenance.
  • Lack of Cashback Rewards.
  • Ease of Building Credit.
  • Ease of Upgradation to Unsecured Card.
  • Relatively Lower Maintenance Cost Cards Available in the same category.
  • Ease of Account Management.

Cons👎

  • Lack of Cashback Rewards.
  • Lower Maximum Credit Limit.

Full Review

Here is the full review of the Citi Secured MasterCard.

Rates & Fees

TYPESRATES ($)
Joining FeesNone
Annual FeesNone
Balance Transfer Fees$5 or 3% Balance Transfer Fee is applicable on all Balance Transfers done by you (whichever is higher is applicable).
Foreign Transaction Fees3%
Introductory APRNone
Regular APRA regular APR of 22.49% is applicable on all purchases and Balance Transfers made by you.
Cash Advances Fees
Overdraft Protection Advances
Late Payment
Fees Table

Why might you want to go for Citi Secured MasterCard?

# 1. Low Cost of Maintenance.

Citi Secured MasterCard is a Low Maintenance Cost Credit Building Card that does not charge you any Annual Fee. However, it charges you a number of Fees like Balance Transfer Fees, Foreign Transaction Fees. It charges you a Balance Transfer Fee of $5 or 3% of the Balance Transfer Amount (whichever is higher is Applicable). It charges you a Foreign Transfer Fee of 3%.

As a Secured Credit Card, Citi Secured MasterCard makes the process of Credit building easier for many people since you can get approved for this card even with no credit. In addition to that, Citi Secured MasterCard reports to all the major Credit Bureaus in the US. This fast tracks the process of Credit Building for you, thereby increasing your creditworthiness by improving your Credit Score.

Moreover, responsible usage of this card is rewarded in the form of refunded security deposits.

# 2. Ease of Upgradation to Unsecured Card:

If you use this card with due diligence, then after 18 Months of Account Opening, Citi might upgrade your card to an unsecured card by refunding your security deposits at that time.

A time period of 18 months is more than enough to demonstrate responsible use and boost your credit score by making payments timely.

# 3. Ease of Account Management.

Citi offers you ease of Account Management. It offers you a number of features like Automated Account Alerts, AutoPay, Choice of Payment of due dates and Citi Identity Theft Protection, Free Access to your FICO Score. All these things enable you to monitor your progress online.


Why might you want to go for some other card in the same segment?

# 1. Lack of Cashback Rewards

Like many secured cards, the Citi Secured MasterCard does not offer you any Cashback Reward. Very few credit cards in this segment offer you some Cashback Rewards. Some of these exceptional credit cards include Citi Secured MasterCard and Petal 1 “No Annual Fee” Visa Card.

Discover It Secured Card offers you a Cashback Reward of 2% on all purchases you make (with a quarterly spending cap of $1,000, once you reach the threshold of $1,000, you can still earn a Cashback Reward of 1%). Similarly, Petal 1 “No Annual Fee” Visa card offers you a variable Cashback Reward of 2%-10% on all purchases you made at Select Merchants.

# 2. Lower Maximum Credit Limit.

Discover It as a Secured Card requires you to deposit a minimum amount of $200 for a security deposit, which serves as a credit limit for you. This amount is refunded when you upgrade the card or close your Discover Account. The maximum deposit for this card can be $2,500, which is your maximum credit limit. Other Card issuers offer you a maximum credit limit of $3,000-$5,000, which is relatively higher.

As a Secured Card, Citi Secured MasterCard requires you to deposit a minimum amount of $200 for your security deposit, which serves as a credit limit for you. The security deposit can be refunded when you upgrade to an unsecured card. The maximum security deposit for this card is $2,500, which is your credit limit.

On the other hand, Petal 1 “No Annual Fee” Visa Card offers you a maximum limit of %5,000, which is just double of this card.

# 3. Relatively Lower Maintenance Cost Cards Available.

Citi Secured MasterCard is a low maintenance cost card that charges you mediocre fees. But there are certain cards that charge you a relatively lower maintenance cost by charging you a lower fee. These include Petal 1 “No Annual Fee” Visa Card and Capital One Secured MasterCard. Both do not charge you any Annual Fee, Balance Transfer Fee and Foreign Transfer Fee.


Quick Comparison

What are the better alternatives of Citi Secured MasterCard?

We have analyzed a variety of credit cards that may provide you with a better value for your money spent. These include the following:

  • Secured MasterCard by Capital One.
  • Petal 1 No annual fee visa credit card

1. Citi Secured MasterCard Vs. Secured MasterCard by Capital One

TYPES Citi Secured MasterCard Secured MasterCard by Capital One
Welcome Bonus/Sign-up BonusNoneNone
Cashback RewardsNoneNone
Intro APRNoneNone
Regular APR22.99%26.99%
Annual FeeNoneNone
Foreign Transaction Fees3%None
Balance Transfer Fee$5 or 3% of the Balance Transfer (whichever is higher is Applicable).None

Cashback Reward Rate.

Both Citi Secured MasterCard and Secured MasterCard by Capital One do not offer you any Cashback Rewards.

Sign-up Bonus

Both Citi Secured MasterCard and Secured MasterCard by Capital One do not offer you any Sign-up Bonus.

Annual Fee

Both Citi Secured MasterCard and Secured MasterCard from Capital One do not charge you any Annual Fee.

Foreign Transaction Fees.

Citi Secured MasterCard charges you a Foreign Transaction Fee of 3%. On the other hand, Secured MasterCard by Capital One does not charge you any Foreign Transaction Fee.

Balance Transfer Fee.

Citi Secured MasterCard charges you a Balance Transfer Fee of $5 or 3% of the Balance Transfer (whichever is higher is applicable). On the other hand, Secured MasterCard by Capital One does not charge you any Balance Transfer Fee.

Introductory APR

Both Citi Secured MasterCard and Secured MasterCard by Capital One do not offer you any Introductory APR.

Regular APR

Citi Secured MasterCard charges you a Regular APR of 22.49%. On the other hand, Secured MasterCard by Capital One charges you a Regular APR of 26.99%.

2. Citi Secured MasterCard vs. Petal 1 “No Annual Fee” Visa Credit Card.

TYPES Citi Secured MasterCard Petal 1 “No Annual Fee” Visa Credit Card
Welcome Bonus/Sign-up BonusNoneNone
Cashback RewardsNone2-10% on purchases made at Select Merchants.
Intro APRNoneNone
Regular APR22.49%Variable 19.99%-29.49%
Annual FeeNoneNone
Foreign Transaction Fees3%None
Balance Transfer Fee$5 or 3% of the Balance Transfer (whichever is higher is Applicable).None

Cashback Reward Rate

Citi Secured MasterCard does not coffer you any Cashback Reward. On the other hand, Petal 1 “No Annual Fee” Visa Card offers you a Cashback Reward of 2%-10% on purchases made at select merchants.

Sign-up Bonus

Both Citi Secured MasterCard and Petal 1 “No Annual Fee” Visa Card do not offer you any Sign-up Bonus.

Annual Fee

Both the Citi Secured MasterCard and Petal 1 “No Annual Fee” Visa Credit Card do not charge you any Annual Fee.

Foreign Transaction Fee

Citi Secured MasterCard charges you a Foreign Transaction Fee of 3% on all Foreign Transactions made by you. On the other hand, Petal 1 “No Annual Fee” Visa Credit Card does not charge you any Foreign Transaction Fee.

Balance Transfer Fee

Citi Secured MasterCard charges you a Balance Transfer Fee of $5 or 3% of the Balance Transfer (whichever is higher is applicable). On the other hand, Petal 1 “No Annual Fee” Visa Credit Card does not charge you any Balance Transfer Fee.

Introductory APR

Both Citi Secured MasterCard and Petal 1 “No Annual Fee” Visa Card do not offer you any Introductory APR.

Regular APR

Citi Secured MasterCard charges you a Regular APR of 22.49%.On the other hand, Petal 1 “No Annual Fee” Visa Credit Card charges you the Regular APR of 19.99%-29.49%.


Bottom-line:

Citi Secured MasterCard November 2021 Review

Citi Secured MasterCard is a fine card that helps you build your credit. Its diligent usage can improve your credit, thereby increasing your creditworthiness. It reports to all the major credit bureaus in the US, which fast tracks the process of Credit Building. It offers you a Digital Wallet and a Credit Card with a chip embedded that can help you make payment at a tap.

Editor's Rating:
4.5

In addition to it, you get a number of Account Management Perks like Automated Account Alerts, Citi Identity Theft Protection, $0 Fraud Liability. Moreover, you get a decent credit line ranging from $200-$2,500.

It charges you a number of mediocre Fees, which makes it a Low Maintenance Cost Card. It does not charge you an Annual Fee. It charges you a Balance Transfer Fee of $5 or 3% of the Balance Transfer Amount (whichever is higher is charged). It also charges you a Foreign Transaction Fee of 3%. Citi Secured MasterCard charges you a Regular APR of 22.49%, which is relatively lower than many cards in the same segment.

There are a number of downsides to consider before choosing this card. These downsides include a Lack of Cashback Rewards, Cards that require a lower maintenance cost and a Lower Maximum Credit Limit.
Citi Secured MasterCard has a major downside in the form of a Lack of Cashback Rewards. Very few cars in the same segment offer you Cashback Rewards for making purchases while using them. These include Petal 1 “No Annual Fee” Visa Card and Discover It, Secured Card.
Petal 1 “No Annual Fee” Visa Card offers you a Cashback Reward ranging from 2%-10% on making purchases at Select Merchants.

Similarly, Discover It Secured Card offers you a Cashback Reward of 2% on all your everyday purchases (with a quarterly spending cap of $1,000, once you reach that threshold, you can still earn a Cashback Reward of 1% on all your purchases).

Citi Secured MasterCard is a low maintenance cost credit card that charges you a number of fees, in mediocre amount, which makes it a low maintenance cost card. But there are certain credit building cards in the same segment with negligible maintenance costs. These include Secured MasterCard and Petal 1 “No Annual Fee” Visa Card, which does not charge you any Annual Fee, Foreign Transaction Fee and Balance Transfer Fee.

Citi Secured MasterCard has a Credit Line ranging from $200-$2,500. However, the maximum Credit Line of Petal 1 “No Annual Fee” Visa Card is $5,000 (which is just double of Citi Secured MasterCard, which offers you a Maximum Credit Line of $2,500).

But if you make most of your purchases at select merchants, then you might be better off with the Petal 1 “No Annual Fee” Visas Card since it offers you a lucrative range of Cashback Reward Offers ranging from 2%-10%. In addition, you also get Visa Perks like Travel Accident Insurance, Automobile Insurance, etc.

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Author: Dhiraj Jha

Hi, I am Dhiraj Jha— the founder of a leading personal blog website. I’m an experienced financial expert pursuing my main in personal finance. I have completed my graduation from the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI). I always wanted to do something big and better, and today I’m here with my passion for helping people utilize their resources wisely. I love to acquire, review and earn reward points/cashback from credit cards, which help me travel worldwide and stay in luxurious hotels. 

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