Citi Secured MasterCard Credit Card Review

A Secured Credit Card With a Low Interest Rate But a High Annual Fee

Citi Secured MasterCard Credit Card Review
Credit: https://citi.com/credit-cards/credit-card-details/citi.action?ID=citi-secured-credit-card

The Citi Secured MasterCard Credit Card has one of the lowest interest rates in the secured card area but a high annual fee. Secured cards, in general, have either a high annual fee or high interest rates (although some have both). 

A secured card is an option for people with little or no credit history, offering them the opportunity to help build a credit history as they make everyday purchases on their card and pay their bill on time every month.

Unlike traditional credit cards, a secured credit card requires a security deposit.

The Citi Secured MasterCard Basics

The Citi Secured MasterCard was designed for people who don't have a credit history, have been turned down for credit card, or are rebuilding their credit. As a result, the card is available to people even with poor or bad credit (below 660).

This card offers a 22.24 percent APR on purchases and balance transfers, but also has a hefty penalty interest rate of up to 29.99. This secured MasterCard also comes with several fees to be aware of:

Citi Secured MasterCard Fees 
Annual Fee$25
Balance Transfer Fee3 percent of balance
Late Payment Fee$15 to $39
Over-the-Limit Fee$39

Pros and Cons of This Secured Card

Pros

  • No minimum income required
  • No co-signer required

Cons

  • High annual fee
  • Security deposit required (minimum $200)
  • No rewards

Citi Secured MasterCard Credit Card Review

At $25, the Citi Secured MasterCard card has one of the higher annual fees among secured cards.

Whether this card is the right one for you, really depends on your behavior - whether you pay your balances in full each month or not.

With the Citi Secured MasterCard your security deposit is invested in a certificate of deposit (CD) and earns interest. With today's low interest rate on savings, your CD probably won't earn a lot of money.

Still, something is better than nothing. And not all banks pay interest on credit card security deposits - make sure yours does.

The required security deposit is a minimum of $200 and you can deposit up to $5,000.

As with any other secured card, it's important to remember that your security deposit doesn't cover your credit card purchases. You're still responsible for making at least the minimum monthly payment (although you should always pay more than that). It will be critical for you to make this payment on time to build or re-build your credit.

Recommendation

Since this card carries a high annual fee but a low interest rate, I would recommend this card if you're more inclined to carry a balance rather than pay your card in full each month. If you're going to use your card for purchases and don't expect to carry a balance, you're better off getting a card with a lower annual fee but higher interest rates.

Credit card pricing, terms, and rewards are subject to change. Check the card issuer's website for the latest credit card deals.