The Discover it® Secured Credit Card is a great option if you’d like to build your credit at the same time as earning cash back credit card rewards, but it won’t do much for those who already have good or excellent credit.
In this review, we’ll look at the factors that make the Discover it® Secured Credit Card a good choice, and point out some potential drawbacks depending on your financial situation.
- New! Cardholders can now redeem the cash back rewards they earn on qualified purchases via Apple Pay
- No annual fee
- No minimum credit requirement (good for those with no credit or poor credit)
- Cash back on all purchases: 2% on purchases from restaurants and gas stations (excluding from warehouse clubs, wholesale distributors, and discount stores) on up to $1,000 in combined purchases per quarter, and 1% on everything else
- Discover matches the cash back you’ve earned in your first year, as long as you’re a new cardmember
- New! Receive FREE Social Security number alerts—Discover will monitor thousands of risky websites when you sign up
At a glance
Discover it® Secured Card - No Annual Fee
on Discover Card's website
- No Annual Fee, cash back on every purchase, and helps you build your credit with responsible use.
- Your Secured Credit Card requires a refundable security deposit up to the amount we can approve of at least $200 which will establish your credit line. You will need to provide your bank information when submitting your security deposit.
- We will automatically begin reviewing your account starting at 8 months to see if we can transition you to an unsecured line of credit.
- Earn 2% cash back at restaurants & gas stations on up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter. Plus, 1% cash back on all your other purchases.
- Get a dollar-for-dollar match of all the cash back you've earned at the end of your first year, automatically.
- New! Receive FREE Social Security number alerts-Discover will monitor thousands of risky websites when you sign up.
- Click "APPLY NOW" to see rates, rewards, FICO® Credit Score terms, Cashback Match™ details & other information.
1% Cash Back
Discover it® Secured Credit Card deep dive
Those looking to build their credit may find their answer with the Discover it® Secured Credit Card, which allows cardholders to establish a solid credit history while earning rewards. But others may find better rewards elsewhere, so read on to see if this is the right card for you.
Get it: If you have no credit history or a score below 670, and would like a chance to build your credit while earning cash back rewards
The Discover it® Secured Credit Card is a great way to build or rebuild your credit. If you’re new to credit or have somehow damaged your score, this secured card will allow you to earn cash back on purchases without having to worry about spending above your means, all while building your credit.
Some of the benefits of the Discover it® Secured Credit Card include:
- No annual fee: The Discover it® Secured Credit Card allows you to build your credit without paying an annual fee.
- No or low credit welcome: The Discover it® Secured Credit Card is meant to help you build your credit, so those with no credit or a score below 670 can get approved for the card to start building or rebuilding their credit
- Spending beyond your means isn’t an option: Your Discover Secured Credit Card requires a refundable security deposit of at least $200, which will establish your credit line. You will need to provide your bank information when submitting your security deposit. Unlike with most other credit cards, this secured card doesn’t allow you to spend more money than you have—and unlike debit and prepaid cards, it allows you to build your credit with the three major credit bureaus. Discover will automatically begin reviewing your account starting at 8 months to see if they can transition you to an unsecured line of credit.
- Cash back on all your purchases: Earn 2% cash back for restaurant and gas station purchases (excluding from warehouse clubs, wholesale distributors, and discount stores) up to a maximum of $1,000 in combined purchases per quarter, plus 1% cash back on all other purchases
- Cash back match for year one: At the end of your first year with the Discover it® Secured Credit Card, Discover will match 100% of the cash back you’ve received over the year. Cash back match is only available to new cardmembers
- Get your deposit back after responsible spending: Seven months from when you open your Discover it® Secured Credit Card account, Discover will review your credit management across all credit cards and loans to evaluate whether to return your security deposit. Once it’s been returned, you can continue to use the card and earn cash back on purchases
- Peace of mind: You’re automatically protected against fraudulent charges on your Discover card. Discover will monitor your Social Security Number and alert you if your SSN is found on any of thousands of risky websites.
- A respite from high-interest debt: If high-interest debt on other cards is part of what’s affecting your credit score, you may be looking for a card that can give you a break with a balance transfer offer. The Discover it® Secured Credit Card offers an introductory APR of 10.99% for six months from the date of your first transfer (for transfers that post to your account by December 10, 2017), after which your APR for balance transfers will be 23.99%. If you take advantage of this introductory offer, pay off as much of your balance as possible before six months is up in order to avoid high APR interest charges
- Redeem cash back with Apple Pay: Discover cardholders can now redeem the cash-back they earn on qualified purchases via Apple Pay. This is a great feature for cardholders looking for a quicker and easier way to redeem their cash back rewards
Skip it: If your credit is above 670, you plan to carry a balance, or you’re not willing to put down a deposit to open a new card
If your credit score is above 670, your chances of being approved for a card with a higher rewards rate are good, meaning you won’t have to put down a deposit and you’ll earn more cash back, points, or miles for the money you spend on the card.
Additionally, if you tend to carry a balance on your credit card(s), the 23.99% purchase APR on the Discover it® Secured Credit Card can cost you a lot of money, quickly—so a lower-APR card may be more in line with your spending habits.
Further, if you’re unable or unwilling to provide a deposit in order to open a credit card, the Discover it® Secured Credit Card won’t be an option for you.
Consider these drawbacks of the Discover it® Secured Credit Card:
- Requires a deposit: In order to provide a line of credit to those with no credit or a low credit score, Discover requires a refundable deposit that determines your credit limit. If your credit is above 670, you can probably get approved for a card that doesn’t require a deposit
- Meant for building credit, not for maximizing rewards: While cash back rewards of any flavor can be exciting for someone with poor credit history, the rewards rate on this card is low compared to many other cash back cards. If your credit is good or excellent, you may be better off with a card that offers higher rewards rates
- Not a card for carrying a balance: With a variable APR of 23.99% for purchases, carrying any type of balance on the Discover it® Secured Credit Card can get expensive quickly. If you’re looking for a card to finance a large purchase with or you tend to carry a balance on your card, consider looking for a card with a 0% APR introductory offer and a lower APR thereafter
- A limited limit: Your credit limit on the Discover it® Secured Credit Card is determined by how big of a deposit you put down upon opening the card (which must be between $200 and $2,500), so this isn’t the card to use if you’re looking to make a big purchase and pay it off over time
The Discover it® Secured Credit Card allows no credit and poor credit customers to start building or rebuilding their credit without an annual fee at the same time as earning cash back rewards. Those with average or better credit, on the other hand, may find a card with higher rewards rates to be more valuable.