Citicorp expanded its test marketing of secured cards to Spanish-speaking communities in the New York area last week with print, television, and subway advertisements.

The largest U.S. credit card issuer began similar tests this summer in San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Houston.

A Citicorp spokeswoman said the company is working with the New York-based newspaper El Diario to run an eight-week column educating readers on establishing good credit.

"It's common knowledge that there are large Hispanic communities in Los Angeles and New York," she said. "This is a way to reach deeper into this community, particularly with people who don't have credit."

CD Secures Card

Citibank will run ads in El Diario and on Spanish-language television stations in New York and Los Angeles, and it will make brochures available.

Citibank's secured product, called Citibank Classic, is a MasterCard or Visa credit card with a 19.8% interest rate.

Customers secure it with an 18-month certificate of deposit, which currently pays 4.5%. Consumers can carry a $300 to $5,000 balance, equaling their credit line.

Citicorp's spokeswoman said the company wants to graduate secured card customers to standard cards.

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