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The Recommended Minimum Requirements of Citi Credit Cards [2023]

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Christine Krzyszton
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Christine Krzyszton

Senior Finance Contributor

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Christine ran her own business developing and managing insurance and financial services. This stoked a passion for points and miles and she now has over 2 dozen credit cards and creates in-depth, deta...
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Juan Ruiz

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Citibank is a financial institution that has been around for a long time, dating back to the 1800s. While the bank has offered a wide variety of financial products since that time, it wasn’t until the 1960s that the bank started issuing credit cards.

You won’t find a lot of premium credit cards with high annual fees and luxury travel perks in Citibank’s portfolio, but you will find solid everyday cards that can serve a valuable purpose.

Selecting the card that’s right for your situation may be the easy part, but applying for a card can make one a little anxious. In fact, applying for any credit card can be a leap of faith. We complete the application, hit submit, then hold our breath anticipating a positive outcome.

While it’s not always possible to know for sure if you’ll be approved for a card, you can take steps to increase the probability.

Below, we’ll take a look at what we know about applying for Citi credit cards and how you can increase your chances of approval.

Here are the recommended minimum application requirements for Citibank credit cards and tips for applying.

The Value of a Citibank Credit Card

We’ll talk about applying for Citi cards shortly, but first, let’s look at the potential value of Citi credit cards and establishing a relationship with the Citibank financial institution.

Access to a Variety of Credit Cards

Whether you’re looking for a travel rewards card or a cash-back earning card, you’ll find several choices with Citi. While the best Citi credit cards require fair to excellent credit, those applicants with no credit or poor credit will also have options.

Earning Rewards

Citi credit cards may earn cash-back or 1 of 2 types of ThankYou Rewards Points, which are flexible points that can be transferred to hotel and airline partners or which can be redeemed for a fixed value. Every purchase you make with a Citi credit card, with the exception of a secured credit card, will earn rewards.

Citi also allows you the opportunity to earn ThankYou Points as interest on the funds in your bank accounts.

Multiple Redemption Options

There are many Citi credit card reward redemption options: some cards earn ThankYou Points that can be redeemed for a fixed value for cash-back, travel, gift cards, merchandise, charitable donations, loan payments, and statement credits. Some cards, such as the Citi Premier® Card, also earn ThankYou Points that offer greater redemption options, including the ability to transfer Citi ThankYou Points to hotel and airline partners.

Citi also offers the option to redeem ThankYou Points for payments on student loans and mortgages.

Shopping Protections and Benefits

While coverage varies by card, you’ll find several shopping protections and benefits on Citi credit cards, including damage and theft protection, purchase protection, extended warranty, and Citi Merchant Offers that can save you hundreds of dollars each year.

Citibank Additional Services

In addition to credit cards, a relationship with Citibank could include access to savings and checking accounts, auto loans, home loans, student loans, wealth management, and more.

If you have a current relationship with Citi, a Citi credit card could be even more rewarding. Some Citi credit cards allow you to pay specific loans with rewards earned on the card.

Bottom Line: You’ll have several options when selecting a Citi credit card, including cash-back cards, travel rewards cards, or a secured credit card. Cards offer several rewards redemption options including travel, gift cards, merchandise, and the option to redeem for loan payments. You’ll also find several shopping protections and benefits on select cards. Additionally, establishing a relationship with Citibank can provide greater access to its additional financial products. 

Knowledge is power when it comes to applying for a credit card. Let’s face it, applying for a card you’re not quite qualified for can mean a denial, a hard inquiry on your credit report, and disappointment. Knowing the requirements upfront can help you minimize your chances of being denied.

Here’s what you need to know before applying for a Citi credit card:

What We Know for Sure

You will need a fair to excellent credit score to qualify for the best Citi credit cards. A fair score is generally considered 580 to 669, a good credit score ranges from  670 to 739 and an excellent score is 740 and above.

In addition to general requirements, each Citi credit card has its unique creditworthiness requirements. Most Citi credit cards need at least a fair credit score for approval, although there are choices for a wider range of credit scores.

Citi does not limit how many of its credit cards you can have, but it does limit the number of cards you can apply for (and be approved) within a specific period of time. For personal credit cards, you cannot apply for more than 1 Citi card every 8 days and no more than 2 within a 65-day window.

You cannot apply for more than 1 business credit card every 95 days.

Hot Tip: Unlike some card issuers, Citi allows you to earn a welcome bonus more than once on a specific credit card. You must wait 24 to 48 months since you’ve previously earned the welcome bonus, but you can earn it again. Terms differ by card and whether your card is still open or if you’ve closed it.

Optional, but Potentially Helpful

There is no requirement to have an existing Citibank relationship in order to be approved for a Citi credit card, but if this is your first credit card or your first credit card with Citi, opening a bank account could help with approval.

Carrying a balance on your credit card from statement to statement will incur interest charges and negate any rewards you may have earned on your purchases. However, credit card issuers earn money on those customers who do carry a balance.

For this reason, when completing the application, you may want to consider that in the future you may need to carry a balance and indicate this when completing the application.

Bottom Line: You will need to have a fair to excellent credit score to qualify for the best Citi credit cards. You can only apply for 1 Citi credit card every 8 days, with no more than 2 cards applied for within a 65-day time period. If you have poor or no credit, you may still qualify for a secured Citi card. Having an existing account with Citi and indicating you’ll carry a balance from statement to statement can help with approval.

Before You Apply for a Citibank Credit Card

Don’t apply for a Citi credit card, especially your first Citi credit card, without some preparation.

Here are a few tips for increasing your chances of getting approved for a Citi credit card:

Check To See if You Have Offers

Before you apply for a Citi credit card, you’ll want to check to see if you have any existing credit card offers available to you. It’s easy to do and does not affect your credit score.

One option for finding out if you have card offers is through the CardMatch tool. You’ll need to provide minimal information to receive a list of available offers from several different card issuers, including Citi. Your credit will not get a hard pull when using CardMatch.

CardMatch
Find out if you have offers waiting with the CardMatch tool. Image Credit: CardMatch

There is also a Citi pre-selection tool that you can use to see whether you are eligible for any offers, using the same no-risk procedure that does not impact your credit.

Citi Pre Select
Image Credit: Citi

Either pre-selection tool may help you uncover offers for the cards you’re most likely to be approved for. Keep in mind that these offers do not guarantee you’ll be approved or that you aren’t qualified for more premium cards, just that your profile matches the card’s general requirements.

Once you submit a card application, Citi will run a hard pull on your credit report to determine your actual creditworthiness.

Know Your Credit History and Score

It makes sense to check your credit report periodically and/or prior to applying for a credit card, to determine if the report is current and accurate. If you find any errors, you’ll be able to initiate a correction and resolve any discrepancies prior to any credit card issuer accessing your report.

Since the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act of 2003 was enacted, you can request a copy of your free credit report from each of the 3 major credit bureaus once each year. And, if you’ve had adverse action such as being denied a credit card, you are eligible to receive a free report from the bureau that was used to make that decision.

Consider Opening a Citi Bank Account

It is not necessary to have an existing Citi bank account to get approved for a Citi credit card, although it may assist, particularly if this is your first credit card or your first credit card with Citi. You may even want to stop by a branch location first, open an account, then apply for a card.

What if You Have Poor Credit or No Credit

Even if you have less-than-perfect credit or no credit, Citi has credit cards that work for just about any credit situation. A real plus is that once you’ve proven your creditworthiness with Citi, you may qualify for a better card with greater rewards and more benefits.

Bottom Line: Before applying for a Citi credit card, order a copy of your credit card to check for errors, know your credit score, and consider opening a Citi bank account. 

Best Citi Credit Cards for Fair (580 to 669) to Excellent (740+) Credit

Amerikalinjen standard bed
Transferrable ThankYou Points can be used to book free hotel nights with Choice Privileges. Image Credit: Strawberry Hotels

The best Citi credit cards have robust earning structures and earn flexible rewards that have multiple redemption options.

Here are some of the best Citi credit cards requiring a fair to excellent credit score:

Citi Premier Card

Citi Premier® Card

Citi Premier® Card

U.P. Rating
The rating for this card has been determined by our own industry experts who know the in's and out's of credit card products. Bonuses, rewards as well as rates and fees are all taken into account. Compensation from the issuer does not affect our rating. We only recommend products we either use ourselves or endorse.

Frequent flyers will enjoy 3x ThankYou Points at restaurants, gas stations, supermarkets, air travel, and hotels.

Learn More(at our partner's secure site)

Citi Premier® Card

Frequent flyers will enjoy 3x ThankYou Points at restaurants, gas stations, supermarkets, air travel, and hotels.
Earn 60,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening. Plus, for a limited time, earn a total of 10 ThankYou® Points per $1 spent on hotel, car rentals, and attractions (excluding air travel) booked on the Citi Travel℠ portal through June 30, 2024.
60,000 points
$960
$95
21.24% - 29.24% Variable
Upgraded Points credit ranges are a variation of FICO®Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit cardapplication.
Good to Excellent (670-850)

The Citi Premier® Card is an excellent option for anyone looking for an all-around travel rewards credit card. The card helps you earn points fast with great 3x bonus categories such as restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations, airfare, and hotels. Plus, it offers access to airline and hotel transfer partners, doesn’t charge foreign transaction fees, and has a reasonable annual fee!

Pros

  • 3x points at restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations, airfare, and hotel purchases
  • Access to Citi transfer partners
  • Annual hotel credit
  • No foreign transaction fees

Cons

  • $95 annual fee
  • Earn 60,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening. Plus, for a limited time, earn a total of 10 ThankYou® Points per $1 spent on hotel, car rentals, and attractions (excluding air travel) booked on the Citi Travel℠ portal through June 30, 2024.
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Other Hotels
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
  • Earn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Annual Hotel Savings Benefit
  • 60,000 ThankYou® Points are redeemable for $600 in gift cards redeemable for $600 in gift cards or travel rewards at thankyou.com
  • No expiration and no limit to the amount of points you can earn with this card
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases

Financial Snapshot

  • APR: 21.24% - 29.24% Variable
  • Foreign Transaction Fees: None

Card Categories

Rewards Center

Citi ThankYou Rewards

The Citi Premier card comes with a generous welcome offer and elevated earnings on everyday spending. We like that the card earns Citi ThankYou Points that offer flexible options at redemption time, including redeeming for travel via the Citi ThankYou travel portal for 1.25 cents per point. We also like that points can be transferred to airline and hotel partners for potentially even greater value.

Citi Double Cash® Card

Citi Double Cash® Card

Citi Double Cash® Card

U.P. Rating
The rating for this card has been determined by our own industry experts who know the in's and out's of credit card products. Bonuses, rewards as well as rates and fees are all taken into account. Compensation from the issuer does not affect our rating. We only recommend products we either use ourselves or endorse.

Great card for the average spender with no specific focus category; worry-free cash-back earning on everything!

Learn More(at our partner's secure site)

Citi Double Cash® Card

Great card for the average spender with no specific focus category; worry-free cash-back earning on everything!
Earn $200 cash back after spending $1,500 on purchases in the first 6 months of account opening.
$200 cash back
$0
0% Intro APR for 18 months on balance transfers, then 19.24% - 29.24% Variable
Upgraded Points credit ranges are a variation of FICO®Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit cardapplication.
Fair to Excellent (580-850)

The Citi Double Cash® Card has long been one of the top cash-back credit cards on the market, and the card now has the ability to earn Citi ThankYou Points!

This means that cardholders of the Double Cash card will now earn 2% on every purchase with unlimited 1% cash back when you buy, plus an additional 1% as you pay for those purchases. Cash back is earned in the form of ThankYou Points. This means each billing cycle, you will earn 1 ThankYou point per $1 spent on purchases and an additional ThankYou point for every $1 paid on your purchase balance as long as there is a corresponding balance in your Purchase Tracker.

Citi has turned the Double Cash card into a top choice for those who are looking for an everyday, no-fuss credit card.

Pros

  • Uncapped 2% for every $1 spent (1% when you buy and another 1% when you pay)
  • Flexible redemption options
  • No annual fee

Cons

  • No bonus categories
  • 3% foreign transaction fees
  • Lack of premium travel benefits
  • Earn 2% on every purchase with unlimited 1% cash back when you buy, plus an additional 1% as you pay for those purchases.
  • To earn cash back, pay at least the minimum due on time.
  • Balance Transfer Only Offer: 0% intro APR on Balance Transfers for 18 months. After that, the variable APR will be 19.24% – 29.24%, based on your creditworthiness.
  • Balance Transfers do not earn cash back. Intro APR does not apply to purchases.
  • If you transfer a balance, interest will be charged on your purchases unless you pay your entire balance (including balance transfers) by the due date each month.
  • There is an intro balance transfer fee of 3% of each transfer (minimum $5) completed within the first 4 months of account opening. After that, your fee will be 5% of each transfer (minimum $5).

Financial Snapshot

  • APR: 0% Intro APR for 18 months on balance transfers, then 19.24% - 29.24% Variable
  • Foreign Transaction Fees: 3% of the U.S. dollar amount of each purchase

Card Categories

Rewards Center

Citi ThankYou Rewards

The Double Cash card could be your go-to card if you’d prefer a card with no annual fee. You won’t be bothered with learning complicated earning structures as each purchase earns 1% cash-back when you make the purchase and another 1% when you pay your bill. That’s a total of 2% cash-back on every purchase.

Citi Custom Cash® Card

Citi Custom Cash® Card

Citi Custom Cash® Card

U.P. Rating
The rating for this card has been determined by our own industry experts who know the in's and out's of credit card products. Bonuses, rewards as well as rates and fees are all taken into account. Compensation from the issuer does not affect our rating. We only recommend products we either use ourselves or endorse.

Earn big on purchases in your top eligible spend category, up to the first $500 each billing cycle, with no annual fee!

Learn More(at our partner's secure site)

Citi Custom Cash® Card

Earn big on purchases in your top eligible spend category, up to the first $500 each billing cycle, with no annual fee!
Earn $200 cash back after you spend $1,500 on purchases in the first 6 months of account opening. This bonus offer will be fulfilled as 20,000 ThankYou® Points, which can be redeemed for $200 cash back.
$200
$0
0% Intro APR on balance transfers and purchases for 15 months. After that, the variable APR will be 19.24% - 29.24%.
Upgraded Points credit ranges are a variation of FICO®Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit cardapplication.
Fair to Excellent (580-850)

The Citi Custom Cash® Card is inventive when it comes to cash-back credit cards. Instead of earning a set amount of cash-back on predetermined bonus categories, the Citi Custom Cash card earns 5% cash-back on your highest eligible spend category each billing cycle, without an annual fee.

Thanks to that unique perk, you’ll never need to worry about whether you’re using the right card for the right purchase, as your Citi Custom Cash card will always pay you 5% back on whichever category you end up spending the most on each month.

Pros

  • 5% cash-back (on up to $500 each billing cycle) from your largest purchase category, including restaurants, gas stations, grocery stores, select travel, select transit, select streaming services, drugstores, home improvement stores, fitness clubs, and live entertainment
  • No annual fee
  • Multiple redemption options
  • No redemption minimums

Cons

  • Your 5% category is limited to $500 in spend ($25 in cash-back) each month
  • Not particularly rewarding for any purchases outside of your top 5% cash-back category
  • Earn $200 cash back after you spend $1,500 on purchases in the first 6 months of account opening. This bonus offer will be fulfilled as 20,000 ThankYou® Points, which can be redeemed for $200 cash back.
  • 0% Intro APR on balance transfers and purchases for 15 months. After that, the variable APR will be 19.24% – 29.24%, based on your creditworthiness.
  • Earn 5% cash back on purchases in your top eligible spend category each billing cycle, up to the first $500 spent, 1% cash back thereafter. Also, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases.
  • No rotating bonus categories to sign up for – as your spending changes each billing cycle, your earn adjusts automatically when you spend in any of the eligible categories.
  • No Annual Fee
  • Citi will only issue one Citi Custom Cash® Card account per person.

Financial Snapshot

  • APR: 0% Intro APR on balance transfers and purchases for 15 months. After that, the variable APR will be 19.24% - 29.24%.
  • Foreign Transaction Fees: 3%

Card Categories

With no annual fee and the opportunity to earn up to 5% cash-back on your highest bonus-earning category expenses each statement period (up to $500 in purchases each statement period), you’ll find the Citi Custom Cash card is a great everyday spending card.

Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi

Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi

Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi

U.P. Rating
The rating for this card has been determined by our own industry experts who know the in's and out's of credit card products. Bonuses, rewards as well as rates and fees are all taken into account. Compensation from the issuer does not affect our rating. We only recommend products we either use ourselves or endorse.

Learn More(at our partner's secure site)
None
$0
20.49% Variable

The Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi is a great Citi’s cash-back rewards card designed specifically for Costco Members.

  • Discover one of Citi’s best cash back rewards cards designed exclusively for Costco members
  • 4% cash back on eligible gas and EV charging purchases for the first $7,000 per year and then 1% thereafter
  • 3% cash back on restaurants and eligible travel purchases
  • 2% cash back on all other purchases from Costco and Costco.com
  • 1% cash back on all other purchases
  • No annual fee with your paid Costco membership and enjoy no foreign transaction fees on purchases
  • Receive an annual credit card reward certificate, which is redeemable for cash or merchandise at U.S. Costco warehouses, including Puerto Rico

Financial Snapshot

  • APR: 20.49% Variable
  • Foreign Transaction Fees: None

Card Categories

If you’re a frequent Costco shopper, you’ll love the Costo Anywhere card, especially if you purchase a lot of gas. The card earns 4% cash-back at any gas station, as well as bonus earnings on EV charging, dining, travel, and at Costco. Plus, the card does not charge an annual fee.

Bottom Line: You will need a fair to excellent credit score to qualify for Citi’s best rewards-earning credit cards.

Best Citi Business Credit Cards

Catering employees with customer
Image Credit: Paul Efe via Pexels

There aren’t many business credit cards offered by Citibank, and the ones we single out as being among the best, are actually co-branded cards.

Here are our choices for the best Citi business credit cards and the benefits of each one:

Costco Anywhere Visa® Business Card by Citi

Costco Anywhere Visa® Business Card by Citi

Costco Anywhere Visa® Business Card by Citi

U.P. Rating
The rating for this card has been determined by our own industry experts who know the in's and out's of credit card products. Bonuses, rewards as well as rates and fees are all taken into account. Compensation from the issuer does not affect our rating. We only recommend products we either use ourselves or endorse.

Earn 4% cash-back on gas/EV charging purchases, 3% cash-back at restaurants and travel, 2% cash-back at Costco, and 1% on all other purchases.

Learn More(at our partner's secure site)

Costco Anywhere Visa® Business Card by Citi

Earn 4% cash-back on gas/EV charging purchases, 3% cash-back at restaurants and travel, 2% cash-back at Costco, and 1% on all other purchases.
None
$0
20.49% Variable
  • Discover the only business credit card designed exclusively for Costco members
  • 4% cash back on eligible gas and EV charging purchases for the first $7,000 per year and then 1% thereafter
  • 3% cash back on restaurants and eligible travel purchases
  • 2% cash back on all other purchases from Costco and Costco.com
  • 1% cash back on all other purchases
  • No annual fee with your paid Costco membership and enjoy no foreign transaction fees on purchases
  • Whether you’re traveling for business or pleasure, enjoy no foreign transaction fees on purchases
  • Receive an annual credit card reward certificate, which is redeemable for cash or merchandise at U.S. Costco warehouses, including Puerto Rico

Financial Snapshot

  • APR: 20.49% Variable
  • Foreign Transaction Fees: None

Card Categories

Businesses that spend considerably on gas will benefit from receiving 4% cash-back at any gas station and at EV charging stations, up to $7,000 in purchases each year.

Also, if you’re a business that shops regularly at Costco or Costco.com, cash-back earned on the Costco Anywhere Business card could add up quickly.

With additional bonus earnings on travel and dining, the card is worth considering.

CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® Mastercard®

CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® Mastercard®

CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® Mastercard®

U.P. Rating
The rating for this card has been determined by our own industry experts who know the in's and out's of credit card products. Bonuses, rewards as well as rates and fees are all taken into account. Compensation from the issuer does not affect our rating. We only recommend products we either use ourselves or endorse.

A low annual fee, a free checked bag, and tons of perks and discounts make this card valuable for business owners who travel.

Learn More(at Citi's secure site)

CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® Mastercard®

A low annual fee, a free checked bag, and tons of perks and discounts make this card valuable for business owners who travel.
Earn 65,000 American Airlines AAdvantage bonus miles after spending $4,000 in purchases within the first 4 months of account opening.
65,000 miles
$910
$0 intro annual fee for the first year, then $99
21.24% - 29.99% Variable
Upgraded Points credit ranges are a variation of FICO®Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit cardapplication.
Excellent (740-850)

With the CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® Mastercard®, you get a card that gives you perks like boarding privileges, free checked bags, and discounts on inflight purchases, while also earning more miles for your next award redemption.

Pros

  • 2x miles per $1 spent on American Airlines purchases
  • 2x miles per $1 spent on cable and satellite providers, at gas stations, on car rentals, and on select telecommunications merchants
  • 1x mile per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Free checked bag for you and up to 4 traveling companions
  • Priority boarding
  • 25% off inflight purchases including food, beverages, and Wi-Fi
  • Companion Certificate for domestic travel after you spend $30,000 or more in purchases in a cardmember year
  • No foreign transaction fees

Cons

  • $99 annual fee
  • Does not earn transferable rewards
  • Designed for businesses
  • Earn 65,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after spending $4,000 in purchases within the first 4 months of account opening.
  • First checked bag is free on domestic American Airlines itineraries to reduce travel costs and boost your bottom line.
  • 25% savings on American Airlines inflight Wi-Fi when you use your card
  • Enjoy preferred boarding on American Airlines flights
  • Earn 2 AAdvantage® miles per $1 spent on eligible American Airlines purchases, and on purchases at telecommunications merchants, cable and satellite providers, car rental merchants and at gas stations
  • Earn 1 AAdvantage® mile per $1 spent on other purchases
  • Earn 1 Loyalty Point for every 1 eligible AAdvantage® mile earned from purchases
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees

Financial Snapshot

  • APR: 21.24% - 29.99% Variable
  • Foreign Transaction Fees: None

Card Categories

Rewards Center

American Airlines AAdvantage Frequent Flyer Program

If your business involves travel on American Airlines, you’ll appreciate accumulating 2x AAdvantage miles earned on everyday business purchases such as telecommunications, satellite and cable providers, car rentals, and at gas stations.

Miles earned on the CitiBusiness Platinum Select card can be used to secure award flights that can help offset the cost of business travel.

Plus, if you’re traveling with companions, you, and up to 4 additional travelers, will enjoy flight benefits such as preferred boarding, a free checked bag, and statement credits for inflight purchases.

Bottom Line: If your business shops often at Costco or you or your employees frequently fly American Airlines, Citi’s co-branded business credit cards could be logical choices for a business credit card. 

Best Citi Credit Card for No Credit or Poor Credit

If your credit could use some improvement or you have limited or no credit history, you might want to start your relationship with Citi by selecting its secured card.

Citi® Secured Mastercard®

Citi® Secured Mastercard®

Citi® Secured Mastercard®

U.P. Rating
The rating for this card has been determined by our own industry experts who know the in's and out's of credit card products. Bonuses, rewards as well as rates and fees are all taken into account. Compensation from the issuer does not affect our rating. We only recommend products we either use ourselves or endorse.

A great option for those with little or no credit history and can help you build your credit.

Citi® Secured Mastercard®

A great option for those with little or no credit history and can help you build your credit.
None
$0
26.74% Variable
  • The Citi® Secured Mastercard® is a no annual fee credit card that helps you build your credit when used responsibly.
  • Unlike a debit card, it helps build your credit history with monthly reporting to all 3 major credit bureaus. Once available, you will also have free access to your FICO score online.
  • Use your card anywhere Mastercard® is accepted – worldwide.
  • A security deposit is required. Once approved, your credit limit will be equal to your security deposit (minimum of $200).
  • Get help staying on track with Auto Pay and account alerts.
  • With Flexible Payment Due Dates, you can choose any available due date in the beginning, middle or end of the month.
  • Manage your account 24/7 online, by phone, or in our mobile app.

Financial Snapshot

  • APR: 26.74% Variable
  • Foreign Transaction Fees:

Card Categories

With no annual fee and monthly reporting to the 3 major credit bureaus, the Citi Secured card is accepted anywhere Mastercard is accepted. A minimum required security deposit of $200 is required, but you’ll be able to manage your account online and via mobile, have free access to your FICO score, and select flexible payment due dates that work for you.

There is no minimum credit score required for the Citi Secured card, but if you have had a recent bankruptcy you could be denied.

Hot Tip: If you are reluctant to apply for a secured card, don’t forget to use the CardMatch tool or Citi’s pre-selection tool to see if any secured card offers await you. 

Everything Else You Need To Know

Lack of Travel Benefits

While you will find several shopping protections and benefits on various Citi credit cards, you will not find travel insurance protections or benefits. If these protections and benefits are important to you, you may want to consider travel rewards credit cards.

Card Limits and Application Frequency

As we mentioned previously, there is no stated limit for how many Citi credit cards you can have at one time. However, the total amount of credit you already have open with Citi could affect your approval odds. Plus, it’s wise to spread out your applications if you’re applying for more than 1 card with Citi, as you can only apply for 2 cards every 65 days and the applications must be more than 8 days apart.

Reconsideration Line

If you are denied when applying for a Citi credit card, you may want to contact the reconsideration line. It is possible that the denial you received could have been an automated response based on how you completed the application and additional information could change the decision — not always, of course, but it’s worth a phone call to have a real person look at your application.

You can contact the Citi reconsideration line for personal cards at 800-695-5171 or 866-541-7657 for business cards. These numbers were current at the time of writing. If either does not work and you need immediate access, you can easily find these numbers online.

If you need to check the status of your Citi application, you can do so on Citi’s website.

Final Thoughts

Although Citibank gets far less media attention than rivals American Express, Chase, or Capital One, doing business with Citi offers advantages. We particularly like the Citi Premier card for earning flexible ThankYou Points and the Double Cash card for earning 2% cash-back on every purchase ( 1% cash-back when you make the purchase and another 1% when you pay your bill) — a good choice for non-bonus spending categories and supplementing travel rewards cards.

And, if your credit score could use some improvement, there’s nothing wrong with starting out with the Citi Secured card and working your way up.

Most Citi credit cards don’t have the bells and whistles of the best premium travel rewards cards, but you can find value in several of their card offerings.

The information regarding the CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® Mastercard® was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.
The information regarding the Citi® Secured Mastercard® was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the requirements for a Citi credit card?

You will need a fair to excellent credit score to qualify for the best Citi credit cards. A fair score is generally considered 580 to 669, a good credit score ranges from  670 to 739 and an excellent score is 740 and above.

Citi offers a wide variety of credit cards for nearly every credit situation, including a secured credit card that can be secured with a credit score as low as 300.

In addition to your credit score, credit history, income, number of hard inquiries on your credit report, and how much credit you have with Citi will also be considered when applying for a Citi card.

Does Citi give instant approval for credit cards?

Yes, it is possible to be instantly approved for a Citi credit card.

Why did I get denied for a Citi credit card?

One of the most common reasons for denial is too many recent inquiries on your credit report. You could also be denied if your credit score is lower than the requirements for the specific card for which you’re applying, or if your income is not sufficient.

You may also receive a denial if the application was not completed correctly or if you have applied for too many Citi cards in too short a time.

Which is the easiest Citi card to get?

The Citi Secured card is the easiest to obtain as it requires no minimum credit score and can be secured with poor credit or no credit.

However, if you have good credit or better, the card would not be a fit for you.

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About Christine Krzyszton

Christine ran her own business developing and managing insurance and financial services. This stoked a passion for points and miles and she now has over 2 dozen credit cards and creates in-depth, detailed content for UP.

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