Citibank Offers Secured Citi(R) MasterCard(R)
Provides Easier Access to Credit, Creates Opportunity to Build Credit History
NEW YORK, March 9 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Now, individuals with little or no credit history will have the opportunity to start building one while gaining access to credit. Citibank, the No. 1 credit card provider in the world, is offering a Citi(R) MasterCard(R), which is secured by an interest-earning 18-month certificate of deposit (CD). The credit card will make it easier for those who have not previously been eligible for credit, including new immigrants in Hispanic and Chinese communities, to now enjoy the benefits and convenience of credit card membership. Citi Cards will also provide bilingual applications in Chinese/English and Spanish/English for the secured card. "Credit is a necessary part of life, and having a good credit history is not only essential for nearly every American consumer activity, but it also helps open doors to bigger financial opportunities, like purchasing a car or home," Dina Weitzman, Vice President, Hispanic Markets, Citi Cards. "However, underserved consumers are missing out on the chance to gain and build credit, as well as the basic money management skills that come from dealing with bank accounts, monthly statements, and budgeting. Citi makes it easier than ever for new users of credit to have the right tools to spend responsibly and achieve their financial goals." A deposit, which is placed in an 18-month CD, with a minimum of $200 and a maximum of $5,000, secures the Citi MasterCard and becomes the amount of the customer's credit line. Unlike some secured cards, the deposit will earn interest. If payments are made on time, and the account is kept in good standing for a full 18 months, the customer may be eligible for an unsecured Citi credit card as well as other financial products. Credit is a major responsibility and therefore educating new secured cardholders about smart money management and responsible spending is vital. Citi will provide support through its credit education program, Use Credit Wisely, accessible at www.UseCreditWisely.com. Use Credit Wisely provides free financial tools and advice to help people of all ages, backgrounds and economic levels to develop healthy credit habits, protect themselves against credit card and identity fraud, and to dispel common credit myths. The comprehensive Use Credit Wisely credit education initiative also features the Spanish-language Hablando de Credito program for the Hispanic Community, accessible at www.CuidaTuCredito.com. Additionally, the secured card includes all the benefits of a Citi MasterCard such as: - Worldwide acceptance at over 30 million establishments - Cash access at over 820,000 ATMs worldwide - Multilingual customer service - Photocard, putting the customer's signature and photo on the card so only they can use it - Fraud Early Warning gives 24-hour protection from fraud - Lost Wallet Service, which quickly replaces a customer's card if it's lost or stolen, and also provides the customer with emergency cash (subject to available cash advance limit) - Buyer's Security, which protects most purchases against theft or accidental damage for up to 90 days from the date of purchase Residents and non-residents, who are at least 18 years of age, have an annual income of at least $8,000 and a valid Social Security Number or Taxpayer ID Number (TIN) are eligible to apply. Non-residents can apply by completing a W-8BEN Form and by providing a copy of a government issued ID, such as an I/94 Immigration form, passport or national identification card as well as proof of an existing banking relationship. The Citi secured card has an Annual Percentage Rate of Prime + 9.99%, currently 13.99%, and a $29.00 Annual Fee. To apply or for more information, consumers can visit their local Citibank branch or call 1-800-980-2484. About Citi Cards Citigroup (NYSE: C), the preeminent global financial services company has some 200 million customer accounts and does business in more than 100 countries, providing consumers, corporations, governments and institutions with a broad range of financial products and services, including consumer banking and credit, corporate and investment banking, insurance, securities brokerage, and asset management. Major brand names under Citigroup's trademark red umbrella include Citibank, CitiFinancial, Primerica, Smith Barney, Banamex, and Travelers Life and Annuity. Additional information may be found at www.citigroup.com
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