Citibank Offers Secured Citi(R) MasterCard(R)

Provides Easier Access to Credit, Creates Opportunity to Build Credit History

Mar 09, 2004, 00:00 ET from Citigroup

    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  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
     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

SOURCE Citigroup