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Discover it® Secured


Rated 5/5 stars by our editorial team

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Your Rating:

4.3/5.0 from 60 Offer Ratings
Over the Past 60 Days!

(60 ) Over the Past 60 Days!

  • Regular Purchase APR 24.49% Variable
  • Intro Purchase APR N/A
  • Intro BT APR 10.99% APR for 6 Months
  • Annual Fee $0
  • Credit Needed

    Poor/New to Credit

  • Card Brand Discover


Card Fees

Expert Review of the Discover it® Secured

  • 4.0

    Regular APR

  • 3.0

    Intro APR

  • 5.0


  • 5.0


  • star rating 5.0 /5

    Overall Rating

Who the card is best for

The Discover it® Secured is a standout card for anyone looking to build credit while also taking advantage of exceptional cardholder benefits like a cashback program and no foreign transaction fees. Those who are classified as poor/new to credit can work on establishing a good credit score with the tools Discover provides — free FICO® Credit Score and a Credit Resource Center.

You may not want to have a secured card that earns rewards if you have trouble managing credit or don’t want to be tempted to overspend, so check out other secured cards — many without rewards. On the other hand, if you have good or excellent credit, you’ll want to check out unsecured cards (which are just regular credit cards) because they provide more benefits and rewards and don’t require deposits (though some may require annual fees).

Where this card stands out in its category

It’s uncommon to find a secured card with a cashback program, and that’s what makes the Discover it® Secured a front-runner in its category. Cardholders 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. This rate is an added benefit that allows you to earn cash back while you work toward building good credit. Discover also waives the late fee on your first missed payment, a great feature for those who may be new to credit. However, you’ll want to avoid taking advantage of this perk if at all possible, because missing payments can hurt your credit score. Take this as a reminder to pay your bill on time and possibly set up autopay.

Where this card falls short in its category

Overall, this card is pretty solid and we don’t see any major cons with this card except the 24.49% Variable APR. This is a high APR and although it’s typical of other major issuers, you can find secured cards with lower APRs — just know that they most often have annual fees.

Additional card benefits

The Discover it® Secured has numerous additional benefits:

  • Account reviews starting at month eight: Discover will automatically review your account starting at the eighth month your account is open to see if you qualify for an unsecured card and can receive your security deposit back. This takes the guesswork out of wondering when you’re ready for an unsecured card.
  • No foreign transaction fee: Purchases you make overseas won’t incur a fee, which many other cards charge.
  • No late fee on your first late payment: Discover gives you a free pass on your first late payment. While that’s a nice break from a negative consequence, avoid taking advantage of it by setting up autopay or bill pay reminders.
  • Paying late won’t raise your APR: This means that your interest rate won’t increase when you pay late. Although this is a good feature for forgetful cardholders, try to make it a point to pay on time.
  • 100% U.S.-based customer service and live chat feature available 24/7: You can contact customer service representatives anytime and receive help with any account questions that may arise.
  • Freeze it®: If you misplace your card, simply freeze it with the click of a button on Discover’s mobile app or website, then unfreeze it if you find it. Freezing your card prevents new purchases, cash advances or balance transfers from occuring.
  • Free FICO® Credit Score: With Discover Credit Scorecard, you can receive your free FICO® Score 8, as well as an explanation of what’s affecting your score.
  • Discover® Identity Alerts: Each day, Discover will monitor your Experian® credit report for new accounts and risky websites for your Social Security number. Discover will send you alerts as needed.

How to use it most effectively

You’ll benefit the most by using the Discover it® Secured for everyday purchases, because you earn cash back and can build credit when you practice responsible credit behavior. The latter — building credit — is your main goal with this card, and you can establish a good score by following some key credit rules. A major rule is to make sure you pay all your bills on time and in full so you avoid late fees and have good payment history reported to the credit bureaus.

Also, an important factor of your credit score is utilization. This is the amount of your credit you use compared to your total available credit. You should use as little of your available credit as possible, so keep that in mind if you’re making a lot of purchases as a way to earn cash back — when you have a secured card, it’s more important to improve your credit by keeping your balance low, rather than earn a lot of cash back. A good goal is to keep your utilization around 20%, therefore if you have a $500 credit limit, spend around $100. By following these rules, you may see your credit rise over several months. Check out Discover’s Credit Resource Center for helpful articles and tips on building good credit.

Rewards breakdown

You 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. This rate benefits all cardholders because it’s hard to find a secured card with rewards, but it especially benefits people who spend at restaurants and gas stations. In addition, there is a great new cardmember offer with Cashback Match™ where Discover will automatically match all the cash back you earn at the end of your first year. There are no requirements to earn the Cashback Match™ and there is no cap to the amount of cash back matched.

Compare it with the Capital One® Secured Mastercard®

Comparing secured cards from major issuers, two lead the pack: Discover it® Secured and Capital One® Secured Mastercard®. While they both offer cardholders the opportunity to build credit, they differ in two key ways — security deposit and rewards. While the Discover it® Secured has a $200 minimum security deposit (typical of secured cards), the Capital One® Secured Mastercard® offers the chance of a $49, $99 or $200 deposit, based on your creditworthiness. Although the $49 and $99 deposits aren’t guaranteed, you may qualify for them, and that can be enough of a reason for someone to apply for the Capital One® Secured Mastercard®, especially if they don’t have the money for a $200 deposit.

Regarding rewards, the Capital One® Secured Mastercard® doesn’t provide any, making the Discover it® Secured the best choice for those looking to earn cash back. This is a standout feature provided by the Discover it® Secured and adds significant value to the credit card.

Here’s a breakdown of the key features of each card:

  Discover it® Secured Capital One® Secured Mastercard®
Annual Fee $0 $0
Minimum Security Deposit $200 $49, $99 or $200, based on your creditworthiness
Purchase Intro Rate N/A N/A
Balance Transfer Intro Rate 10.99% APR for 6 Months N/A
Balance Transfer Fee 3% $0
Regular Purchase APR 24.49% Variable 24.99% (Variable)
Rewards 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 Non-rewards card
Sign Up Bonus Discover will automatically match all the cash back you earn at the end of your first year. No bonus
Foreign Transaction Fee None None

Bottom line

The Discover it® Secured is our top pick for secured cards. It provides cardholders with a robust array of benefits, from the ability to build credit and a cashback program to an easy transition to an unsecured card and more.

Ongoing Information

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+57 users submitted a rating without a full review

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4 Found this review helpful

By: | Dec 21, 2017

I like Discover better than most prepaid cards.

56 Found this review helpful

By: | Apr 5, 2017

Pretty good card

148 Found this review helpful

By: | Jun 7, 2016

So far so good. I realize that Discover is considered the "poor man's" prime card and the secured card has even less credit requirements than their unsecured products but that doesn't matter- I'm finally in! I haven't had any remotely negative experiences yet other than having to wait three days or more for any of my transactions to post, which makes it harder to keep my balance down. It's also sad that I will have to wait until my first statement* to see my cashback bonus, but it's going to be nice since most of my spend is in restaurants and gas (aka the bonus categories)... looking forward to bumping my line up too and graduating the card after that year period is up. In brief this is definitely a good card to consider if you are looking for a secured card. However, be prepared to wait for transactions and your cash back to post. This is geared towards the more patient consumer that can wait for their account to update. If you're not so patient having another rewards card with more frequent updates would be ideal. * this is not listed on the website anywhere. I asked my dad about the cashback policy (who has the unsecured rotating) yet this is likely a question easily answered by Discover's reps... have not found the need to call since everything goes smoothly so far!

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