I pay my bills on time, have a cushion in my savings account, and don’t spend-and-burn. I’ve also worked with Card Hub since the beginning of time. So, I can honestly tell you I know that secured credit cards can be a super way to build or repair your credit history, and that I never imagined having one in my wallet, given that I have excellent credit.
This goes to show that one should never say “never.” Citibank has a cute little offer going, one that rewards account holders with a 4.07% annual rate of return, and rewards itself with a new base of no-risk credit card holders.
Citbank is marketing a 4.07% APY 18-month CD (max deposit $25,000), but to qualify you have to apply for the Citi® Secured MasterCard®, which has a $29 annual fee. According to the Web page, “Your credit card limit then becomes equal to the amount of money in your CD.” Citi reports your performance to the credit bureaus, and you earn a tidy yield on your balance. At the end of your 18-month term, you can apply for an unsecured Citi Platinum Select credit card.
The card’s appeal lies not only in its high-yield on a deposit, but the knowledge that if you have to make a transaction with the card, it’s with money you have already set aside.
If you want to close your CD before the end of 18 months, your interest to that point is posted to your account, but “your credit card account will be canceled and your CD will be applied against your outstanding credit balance” (courtesy Citibank).
Minimum deposit is $200 and this offer is available nationwide. I’m going to prognosticate that we’ll see every bank with a credit card division following in Citi’s footsteps, to gain a hold on it’s own base of won’t-run-out-on-us customers.
Disclosure: Some links point to CardHub.com, which is owned by the same parent company as this blog.