Citi Secured MasterCard Pros and Cons
The Citi Secured MasterCard is a simple card for people who have poor credit. It doesn’t come with a lot of extras, but it’s a solid card. If you have poor credit, it’s a good way to start rebuilding your credit score. We’ll go over the pros and cons of the Citibank Secured Card, so you know if it’s an option you want to consider. If not, there are other secured cards available.
Citi Secured MasterCard Pros
No Annual Fee
The CitiBank Secured Credit Card doesn’t have an annual fee. This is great because you have a lower credit limit with this card. Justifying an annual fee with this card would be hard. Citi understands this, and they don’t charge one with this card. You can use the card sparingly and not have to worry about getting money to pay extra fees.
Flexible Starting Deposit
Unlike a lot of secured cards, the Citi Secured Credit Card has a flexible starting deposit. The minimum amount is $200 to open a card. But, this deposit amount goes up to $2,500 depending on your credit. This is huge for a secured card because a lot of them max out at $500 to $1,000 for a maximum deposit. It gives you more freedom and a higher spending limit.
Reports to Three Credit Bureaus
You need a card that reports to all three major credit bureaus. With the Citi Secured MasterCard, you’ll get it. Each month, Citi will report your credit card activity. As long as you’re using the card responsibly, your FICO score can improve. It may take a few months of on-time payments, but it will start to go up. Because it reports to all three credit bureaus, you’ll get consistent improvement.
If you travel, you want to take the Citi Secured Credit Card with you. It’ll help you get a few perks while you’re traveling. These perks include things like travel accident insurance and rental car insurance. You won’t have to pay extra for these perks either. Citi gives them to you for having and using this card. So this allows you to free up a little more of your travel budget for recreational spending.
Citi Concierge Service Access
Another great perk you get with this card is access to Citi Concierge service. This free service will help you as you travel. It gives you access to 24 hours a day, 7 days a week hotel booking help. Citi will help you find a hotel at the best rate available and book it for you for free. It also helps you book tickets to events.
Another great perk is the Citi Secured MasterCard Price Rewind program. You make your purchases and register them with Citi online. For the next 60 days, Citi will look for lower prices. If it finds them, you’ll get the difference. This can appear as a statement credit on your account.
Another thing that sets the Citibank Secured Card apart is the introductory APR offer. For the first 12 months, you’ll pay a zero percent APR on every purchase you make. It also applies to balance transfers. So, if you have a small amount of debt you can transfer and pay it off. This is great for people who want to make purchases and make sure they can pay them off without interest.
Free FICO Score
The Citi Secured MasterCard gives you free access to your FICO credit score. This allows you to monitor your credit as your build it. It also gives you a chance to monitor your credit history and look for fraud. You’ll be able to watch your score rise as Citi reports your card usage habits.
As a MasterCard, a lot of vendors accept the Citibank Secured Credit Card. Vendors all over the world accept MasterCard. You can use it online or in-person. It’s good for entertainment, dining, transportation, shopping, and much more. This stops you from having to carry two different cards around. It also gives you more opportunity to use it and build your credit.
Citi Secured MasterCard Cons
Once the introductory offer ends, you’re subject to a high APR. This rate will vary between 14.49 percent and 23.99 percent. The rate depends on your credit score. It can add up quickly if you carry a balance. There is also a penalty APR if you miss a payment of 29.99 percent. You can avoid this by not carrying a balance from month to month.
This is a secured card, and it doesn’t have any rewards. So, you won’t enjoy anything like cash back for spending. This is typical of a secured card because you’re trying to build your credit. Once your credit is good enough, you can apply for various rewards cards. It might take a while, but it’s worth it.
Secured credit cards come with quite a few restrictions. You’ll have a very restricted spending limit. So you only want to use 30 percent of your card’s available balance. If your credit line is $200, you should only spend $60 at the most. This limits how useful the card is to you. It won’t be very useful in emergencies.
Cash Advance Fee
This card also comes with a very large cash advance fee. If you decide to take out a cash advance, you’ll pay a 26.74 percent fee. This goes for each time you take out a cash advance. This fee means that you’ll have to pay it back as well as the amount you took out for the advance. It can add up very quickly. This is also a fast way to slide into debt and have trouble getting back out.
Bottom Line on the Citi® Secured Mastercard®
The Citi Secured MasterCard is a no-frills option for people who need to rebuild their credit. It gives several perks that are unusual for secured cards. There are a few drawbacks, but every card has drawbacks. So if you’re considering rebuilding your credit, check out the Citi Secured MasterCard. It can help you get your credit back on track.
CreditFast has reviewed the best secured credit cards on the market. Some of the credit card offers are from our advertising partners. CreditFast has objectively reviewed the features and benefits of each secured credit card. We have chosen credit card offers based on our editor’s recommendations.