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4.07% 18-Month CD ($25K Max) Continues at Citibank via its Secured MasterCard Program


Update 2/22/2010: Citi's website now states the maximum CD deposit is $5,000.

Citibank continues to offer a 4.07% APY 18-month CD as part of its Citi Secured MasterCard program. I first posted on this deal in early August. Since then several readers have reported success in opening this CD. One reader in particular has emailed me many details of his success with opening two of these CDs. He has very good credit, so he has proven that Citibank won't reject you if your credit is too good. Below is a new summary of this CD and application process based on Citibank documentation and the info I received from the reader.

CD Details

  • 4.07% APY 18-month term as of 9/18/09 (You can see the rate online by clicking the disclosure link at the bottom of the Citi Secured MasterCard page)
  • Minimum deposit is $200, Maximum deposit is $25,000
  • Must also apply for secured credit card which has an annual fee of $29 (Will likely require two $29 charges during life of CD)
  • Multiple CDs can be opened ($25K maximum for each). They allow you to only submit 2 applications each 60 days. This was told to him by a Citibank CSR.
  • Interest rate in effect on the day your account is opened is guaranteed until maturity
  • Interest is accrued daily and credited monthly
  • You will earn interest beginning on the day your check is deposited in your account
  • 30 day penalty of simple interest if you close the CD early
  • CD will not renew automatically, and interest will not be paid after maturity.
  • CD is opened under Citibank, South Dakota (FDIC Cert. # 23360) and not Citibank, Las Vegas (FDIC Cert. # 7213). Both are under the bank holding company of Citigroup.

Application Details as Reported by the Reader

  • From the day application was mailed it took about 7 calendar days for the check to be cashed. This was verified by a phone call.
  • Confirmation in the mail stating the 4.07% APY came about 18 days after the application was mailed. The documentation stated the CD open date as the date the check was cashed.
  • Reader confirmed that they did a hard credit inquiry in the application.

Readers have reported receiving wrong or conflicting information from Citibank CSRs. So keep that in mind if you call. There is still uncertainty regarding what happens if you close the secured MasterCard early. Documentation only states that Citi will close your MasterCard account early if you close your CD before maturity.

Why is the CD rate so high? As I mentioned in my previous post, it's possible that the credit card division didn't give much thought about CD rates. It may be an example of an oversight by the bureaucracy of a large company.

To read comments from readers who have applied for this CD, refer to my previous Citi Secured MasterCard CD post.

Citibank's Online and Branch CD Rates

Citibank recently cut its online CD rates. The only competitive one now is the 60-month CD with a 3.50% APY. You may be able to get 3.75% APY at branches or by phone in some states (see post).

Other Competitive Certificate of Deposit Rates

Related Pages: Citibank, CD rates

Related Posts

Doug (anonymous)   |     |   Comment #1
The only big concern with this CD is the potential 21-day "pend close" at maturity.

I'm hoping either my card becomes unsecured before then, or that Citi continues to pay interest during the 21-day hold period.
Bill (anonymous)   |     |   Comment #2
Doug is correct about their poor service closing CDs. You could probably avoid that by going to a branch on the maturity date. I had a regular CD opened online at Citi that matured a few months ago. It took them about 7-8 days to close the CD and transfer to my savings account. During that time I got no interest. I complained to but they never gave me the lost interest.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #3
I just opened a regular CD by phone. Wanted to make itPOD Its like pulling teeth. THey date their letters wrong- then say I have 15 days from letter to get in Paper work. Also, they demand IDs and signatures on the benneficiaries-who does that? CSR's are in India and speak from a script-won't continue until you answer how you ARe! I hate them!
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #4
I called Citibank and was told this CD was only for people with little or bad credit. The CSR made it sound like they would not open it for me
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #5
Anon Said: I called Citibank and was told this CD was only for people with little or bad credit. The CSR made it sound like they would not open it for me

Unless this has recently changed, i understood they would NOT open an account for someone with bad credit.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #6
This CD is for people WITHOUT CREDIT ONLY, people with good or bad credit may be denied opening this CD.
The CSR was very knowledgeable about it.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #7
I was told same thing as per poster at 5:58 PM, September 18, 2009.
teaboy (anonymous)   |     |   Comment #8
is this rate still good of 4.07%? if we mail application tomorrow are we guranteed the rate?
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #9
There's 2 toll-free numbers for Citibank Banking... citi banking, and citigold. Does Citigold customers (when they call) speak to a Citi CSR from India or from USA? Is there any way we can speak to a USA-based CSR for Citibank? Has anyone done so with the EZ Checking or Citibank Account relationships? Citibank have any USA-based CSR???
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #10
Citi's CSRs are based in America during the weekday. They switch to India on weekends and late at night. I've been a longtime Citi customer for both cards & loans, this is what I've observed over the years. Wait till the weekday working hours to make your calls.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #11
To those who have successfully opened this, can you please confirm whether you have a very good credit history? I have a score of 770 and don't know whether my application will be rejected.

Thanks a lot.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #12
I have excellent credit (over 750) and was able to open the CD.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #13
I shipped application on 09/21 and it was cashed today (i.e. 09/25). I had to mail in application but I noticed they have now changed and its possible to apply online for this card now.

I still stay cynical about 4.07% CD. Credit card companies are notorious and can close credit cards without reason. If they close credit card, CD will close too. All of you may want to use unsecured credit card for paying small bills. Atleast it gives them on less reason to close your credit card account.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #14
I tried to open this account on line today. I was denied by TeleCheck. I called them and they could not say why they would not accept my "check" (electronic transfer). I looked on line and saw many complaints regarding TeleCheck. I have no idea why this happened nor what to do about it.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #15
I haven't checked my credit score, but other than the pulls for CD purchases, mine should be outstanding.

I sent in my check to Citi on 9-19, and it just cleared today, 9-29.

Here is a pretty good article on secured cards from bankrate.com, and it made me a bit more comfortable about this whole process, which was totally foreign to me before it was posted here on the blog:

"10 questions before getting a secured credit card"

Anonymous   |     |   Comment #16
Tried applying online. Kept getting this message: "We have encountered an unknown error. Please verify your information and resubmit your application." Never worked. Guess I'll try again later.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #17
I mailed my application paper together with the check on 9/20. Check was cashed on 9/23. Has not yet received any updates since then, not even an e mail acknowledgment. Anyone has similar experience? Is this typical?
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #18
I don't know if this is typical, but my check and paperwork were mailed out on the 18th, and the check wasn't cashed until the 29th.

I haven't heard a word yet either.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #19
Did this last month (Sept). Was about 2 weeks from when the check cleared till I received an e-mail. All documents and card showed up pretty quick after that. I suspect the real hard part will be going the other way 18 months from now.
larkin (anonymous)   |     |   Comment #20
I would think you could sign up for on-line banking to track your CD and credit card accounts. Sometime over the next 18 months open a checking account (check for one of their $100 bonus offers) and transfer the CD money there when it matures (either on-line or in person at a branch).
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #21
With the investment money being used to secure a credit card, is money used to secure a credit card FDIC protected?
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #22
Denied by Telecheck.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #23
Per the CITI application form: "Your CD is fully insured by the FDIC."
Badmart (anonymous)   |     |   Comment #24
I have excellent credit and my application was accepted last week. I went in to my local branch, and my banker helped me fill out the form, draw a check and mail in the app. I was told that the CD could not be linked to my online banking, but when redeemed I would be able to transfer the balance into my savings account
larkin (anonymous)   |     |   Comment #25
Will the credit card be linked to on-line banking?
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #26
I tried to open this account but was denied for the following reason: Exisitng Citibank cardmembers are not eligible to receive an additional account secured by a Certificate of Deposit :-(
I have 800+ FICOs and I tried for the $25,000 maximum.
Citi cashed my check on 9/18/2009, but did not return my check until 10/13.

By Anonymous, at 6:16 PM, October 13, 2009
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #27
CSR had no info on opening multiple
CD's ("4.07% 18-Month CD ($25K Max)) but blog post says it's possible. What am I missing? How do I go about it?
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #28
I opened this CD without hassle last month. Now I applied again and was denied because of "Telecheck" report.
What's Telecheck ?
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #29
Just received approval of this 4.07% CD with excellent credit history. It is unclear the time frame Citi will hold the funds after maturity. Various customer service representative indicated its 4-6 weeks with no interest paid. This may be on top of 21 days for the account to "pend". It unfortunate that Citi does not provide the terms of the CD as complete as they do the terms of the credit card to enable us to make an informed decision. Citi's customer service is among the worst I've encountered. I'm not sure its worth it. They are clueless. If anyone has confirmed the amount of time Citi will hold the funds please post.
larkin (anonymous)   |     |   Comment #30
This deal seems more about the Credit Card than the CD. I was told it takes up to two weeks to open the account. At maturity, 4-6 weeks to get the CD money mailed back (not able to transfer CD into your checking account). There is no access to the CD through online banking.

I was also told that at the end of the 18 months, Citi could opt to hold the money for another term if you do not qualify for an unsecured card.

If it is too good to be true...
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #31
A "senior" Citi CSR indicated the funds should be available within two weeks of CD maturity. Citi will also send out a notice 30 days in advance of maturity. She is sending me the documentation for this. I don't expect to ever receive it. If I do and if the 2 weeks is confirmed I will post. I find Citibank not only unethical for not providing complete, clear and concise terms of conditions but has the worst customer service I've encountered.
Gabriele (anonymous)   |     |   Comment #32
I have a credit score of 750 and no debts at all or any negative records. I was immediately denied after applying online, referred to "Telecheck" which I called and after a representative asked me for every confidential information ( SSN, drivers license, bank account numbers etc.) they simply told me that I do not exist. And they deny because I don't have anything negative record on my accounts. Which is in my opinion a contradiction since I don't exist, right? So, is this whole thing a scam or what?
I mean come on, asking for all these information over the phone is weird enough and then telling me I don't exists. What is Citibank doing about that?
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #33
I have excellent credit, but my application was denied because of TeleCheck. I wonder why???
larkin (anonymous)   |     |   Comment #34
The on-line application is a bit new and, apparently, quite clunky. I spoke to a CSR who did not have a lot of information (shock). Perhaps applying old school snail mail is still the way to go.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #35
Be aware folks that receiving your funds timely will be challenging. I talked to the "presidential office" to find out the details which are not published. It appears there is a half dozen scenarios when the CD matures. The worst could be in excess of six weeks or longer. The best scenario is the following. Citi sends out notice 30 days prior to maturity. At least 60 days prior to maturity stop charging. When you receive maturity notice notify Citi you do not want to renew. This gives 4-6 weeks without charge card activity. The check will be mailed 7-14 days later. You need to start the clock prior to maturity date. Also it was recommended to use the card at least once every 6 months otherwise Citi may cancel the card.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #36
I heartily concur with all who have remarked on CitiBank/CitiCard's disgraceful customer service.
It is as inept, dishonest & often unintelligible as possible.
That said, I was able to open an 18 mo $25K CD @ 4.07% APY with the approved application for "Secured Mastercard".
Please note this CD is not regarded by Citi like any other CD you've ever had.
Apparently there is no actual account #, no way to link it to any other existing account or view it online.
It's existence is only acknowledged by Citi in a welcome letter outlining the terms.
A reference # is provided, but no account #.
At great length I inquired only to be given the run around about where this CD actually exists, and what the true account # is.
Apparently, it is a virtual agreement you have with CitiCards, not an actual bank account.
My conclusion is that Citi is grossly negligent at best, and intentionally fraudulent at worst.
Not sure it's worth it, but will find out in 18 months.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #37
Open first CD without any issue. Funded through a Wells account.

A week later, tried open second account but was denied with "Telecheck" message. This time I was funding through a Chase account. Went back on the same application and changed the funding source to Wells and it went through with no issue.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #38
I opened the secured credit card account in August for the full amount. No trouble opening account even with excellent credit.
Since then I have tried to find out if the CD would be cancelled if I cancel credit card. No response to a letter. By phone one CSR said CD would continue to draw interest - another said CD would be cancelled if card cancelled. Branch no help at all.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #39
some conflicting terms in the CD agreement:

"If you do not want to reinvest, you must withdraw your funds within 30 days PRIOR to the maturity date without being assessed a penalty. If you withdraw your funds your credit card account will be closed according to the Account Closure provisions of this agreement"

"You may withdraw the full amount of your deposit and terminate teh agreement at any time by notifying us in writing. If you elect to close your Certificate Account:

- We will close your Credit Card account, and pend closing your CD account for 21 days to allow for any outstanding transaction to post to your Credit Card account.
- We will assess a penalty of 30 days simple interest if the Account is closed before maturity. This penalty will be first applied against any interest that you have earned then against principal.
-We will deduct the amount owed your Credit Card account from the remaining balance in your CD account.
-We will return any remaining balance to you."

Hmmm. The conflict is the following: so if I do not want to reinvest, I must withdraw my funds within 30 days PRIOR to the maturity date without being assessed a penalty.... but if I withdraw funds prior to maturity, CITI will assess a penalty of 30 days simple interest.

What are people's interpretations?
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #40
If this account only exists, as indicated by another poster, as a "virtual agreement" between the account holder and Citi (and there is no account number per se, except as linked to the credit card), is it still covered under FDIC insurance rules?
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #41
I have read all the fine print and come back to the same interpretations as Poster #39.  Sounds like this process could cost us 30 days interest by closing before maturity or waiting out the pending period.

Anonymous2 (anonymous)   |     |   Comment #42
Any thoughts to Poster #39? Perhaps you can get away with withdrawing within the 30 days without being assessed a penalty. That is the caveat to early withdrawals clause under "Account Closure" section.


Any thoughts?
Anonymously (anonymous)   |     |   Comment #43
I intend to notify CITI in writing 30 days before maturity date  to close account and cancel card ON maturity date.   UNLESS they will renew at the current rate. ?????                                                            I have two cd's / max amt. Opened last summer /fall about a month apart.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #44
I recently applied for this secured card and was denied. I currently have two Citibank rewards cards.


Dear Anonymous,

Thank you for your interest in the Citi(R) MasterCard(R) credit card account secured by a Certificate of Deposit (CD).

We are unable to process you application because of the following:

* At the time of our review you were already a cardmember. Cardmembers are not eligible to receive an additional account secured by a Certificate of Deposit. We are enclosing any deposit that you sent to us.

We appreciate your interest and hope to have the opportunity to fulfill your request in the future.



R. M. Pick

Mgr., Consumer Credit Services
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #45
Sending in my request today to cash out cd at maturity (feb.2011) and close account connected with it.  I have not yet received THEIR maturity notice.


I will keep you posted.   

please pray for me
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #46
#45: Let us know how it went! Thanks!