Citi Secured Review: Good for Building Credit and Moving On

This card is designed for those with no credit or limited credit, rather than folks with bad credit. There's no annual fee, but you must put down a deposit of at least $200.
Jan 27, 2020

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Our Take


NerdWallet rating 
The bottom line:

If you have no credit or limited credit, this card is a good choice: It reports to all three major credit bureaus and comes with no annual fee.

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Citibank Citi® Secured Mastercard® Credit Card
Citi® Secured Mastercard®
Annual fee
Regular APR
22.49% Variable APR
Intro APR
Rec. credit score
630-689 (Average)


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Frequently asked questions
How long will it take for the Citi Secured card to improve my credit? 

Exactly how long it takes to improve credit varies, but significant improvements can be visible after six months. The Citi® Secured Mastercard® reports account activity to all three credit bureaus (Equifax, TransUnion and Experian). Pay your bill on time and keep your balances fairly low, and you'll build your credit.

Can I get the Citi Secured card if I have bad credit? 

Probably not. This card is designed primarily for people with no credit or limited credit, rather than those with damaged credit because of past missteps or certain negative marks, like a bankruptcy in the past two years.

How much of a deposit do I need to open a Citi Secured card account? 

You can put down as little as $200 for the deposit, or as much as $2,500. Your credit limit will match your deposit.

How soon do I have to pay the deposit on the Citi secured card? 

You must pay your deposit (of at least $200) within 14 days of opening the account.

How quickly can I upgrade the Citi Secured card to an unsecured card? 

After 18 months, your account will be reviewed, and Citi may decide you’re eligible to get your deposit back. If you are, you can continue using the card as an unsecured card.