*Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer. This site may be compensated through a credit card issuer partnership.
This article was last updated May 08, 2020. Terms and conditions may have changed. For the most accurate information, please consult the issuer website.
Whether you’ve struggled with credit in the past or you’re completely new to credit and want to get off to a great start, the Discover it® Secured Credit Card can help you on your journey.
It’s a secured credit card, meaning you must submit a security deposit (a minimum of $200 up to $2,500) equal to the amount of your credit line. In the event you don’t pay off what you charge to the card, Discover will use the deposit to recoup that loss. In other respects, secured cards function just like regular credit cards (also known as unsecured cards).
A great feature of the Discover it® Secured Credit Card is that it earns cash back. Unlike some unsecured cards for bad credit, the Discover it® Secured Credit Card doesn’t hit applicants with expensive fees and confusing terms. It’s consistently one of our top credit card choices for building credit.
2% cash back at Gas Stations and Restaurants on up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter, 1% unlimited cash back on all other purchases - automatically
Credit line will equal your security deposit of $200 or more*
No annual fee, no late fee on your first late payment. No penalty APR*
- No Annual Fee, earn cash back, and build your credit with responsible use.
- Using your secured credit card helps build a credit history with the three major credit bureaus. Generally, prepaid and debit cards can’t do that.
- Establish your credit line with your tax return by providing a refundable security deposit of at least $200 after being approved. Bank information must be provided when submitting your deposit.
- Automatic reviews starting at 8 months to see if we can transition you to an unsecured line of credit and return your deposit.
- Earn 2% cash back at Gas Stations and Restaurants on up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter. Plus, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases – automatically.
- Discover is accepted nationwide by 99% of the places that take credit cards.
- Get 100% U.S. based customer service & get your free Credit Scorecard with your FICO® Credit Score
- INTRO OFFER: Unlimited Cashback Match – only from Discover. Discover will automatically match all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year! There’s no minimum spending or maximum rewards. Just a dollar-for-dollar match.
- Get an alert if we find your Social Security number on any of thousands of Dark Web sites.* Activate for free.
- See Rates & Fees
See additional details for Discover it® Secured Credit Card
- Discover it® Secured Credit Card pros
- Discover it® Secured Credit Card cons
- Alternative credit cards for bad credit
- FAQs about the Discover it® Secured Credit Card
- Is the Discover it® Secured Credit Card a good credit card?
Discover it® Secured Credit Card pros
Rewards. Earn 2% cash back at gas stations and restaurants on up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter, 1% unlimited cash back on all other purchases - automatically.
It’s rare to find a secured credit card that offers rewards, so this is one of many reasons the Discover it® Secured Credit Card stands out from the competition. But cardholders should be careful not to let cash back tempt them into overspending. The best way to build credit with a secured card is to use less than 30% of the card’s credit limit and pay it off on time and in full every month.
Chance to graduate to an unsecured card. After you’ve had the card for eight months, Discover will begin conducting monthly account reviews to see if you’re eligible to graduate to an unsecured card and get your deposit refunded. If this happens, your card will transition to a Discover it® chrome. Note that you’re not guaranteed to get your deposit refunded, and Discover evaluates your behavior across your credit cards and loans from Discover and other issuers as well.
You can also get your deposit back if you choose to close your account and pay any balance remaining.
Reports to all three credit bureaus. Account and payment history with the Discover it® Secured Credit Card is reported to Equifax, Experian and TransUnion, so if you handle the card responsibly, that behavior will help build a good credit score.
No annual fee. This card has an annual fee of $0.
No foreign transaction fee. If you travel outside the country, you won’t have to worry about paying a foreign transaction fee on each purchase you make with the card outside the United States, there is none.
No penalty APR and no late fee on your first late payment. Most credit cards will increase your interest rate if you pay late — that’s called a penalty APR. The Discover it® Secured Credit Card won’t do that. And the first time you pay late, there won’t be a late fee, however, after that the late fee will be up to $40.
Paying on time makes up 35% of your credit score, which means it’s the most important factor contributing to your credit score. So, even though you may not be charged a fee, late payments will be reported to the credit bureaus, which will damage your credit score.
To avoid late payments and fees, consider setting up autopay either through your card’s online portal or through your bank.
Free FICO Score with your Discover credit card. Your FICO Score is the credit score most commonly used by lenders when you apply for credit cards and other credit products. With your Discover credit card, see your FICO Score 8 along with an explanation of factors affecting it. Note that even if you don’t have a Discover credit card, you can get your FICO Score for free by signing up for the Discover Credit Scorecard.
Discover Identity Alerts. When you activate these free alerts, Discover will monitor your Experian credit report for new accounts and risky websites for your Social Security number.
Freeze and unfreeze your card online. Misplaced your card? Discover lets you prevent new purchases with an on/off switch on both the website and mobile app.
Customer support that’s based in the U.S. and is available 24/7. You can contact customer service representatives anytime by live chat and get help with questions about your account.
Discover it® Secured Credit Card cons
High APR. The Discover it® Secured Credit Card card’s interest rate is 22.99% variable apr. Though this is on par with other cards aimed at applicants with limited, bad or poor credit, it’s still high. To avoid interest charges, make it a point to pay off the card in full each month.
Alternative credit cards for bad credit
The Discover it® Secured Credit Card is an excellent tool to rebuild from bad credit, or to start building credit history if you have none. If you don’t have $200 on hand for the security deposit, there are two other cards worth considering: the Secured Mastercard® from Capital One and the AvantCard Credit Card. Here’s how they compare to the Discover it® Secured Credit Card:
Discover it® Secured Credit Card vs. Secured Mastercard® from Capital One and AvantCard Credit Card
|Discover it® Secured Credit Card||Secured Mastercard® from Capital One||AvantCard Credit Card|
|Minimum deposit||$200||$49, $99 or $200||No deposit|
|Rewards||2% cash back at gas stations and restaurants on up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter, 1% unlimited cash back on all other purchases - automatically.||non-rewards card||Non-rewards card|
|Sign-up bonus||For new cardmembers, Unlimited Cashback Match – only from Discover. Discover will automatically match all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year! There’s no minimum spending or maximum rewards. Just a dollar-for-dollar match.||No bonus||No bonus|
|Regular purchase APR||22.99% variable apr||26.99% (variable)||25.99% variable apr|
The Discover it® Secured Credit Card is the best choice of these three if you can afford $200 for the security deposit. It charges no annual fee and offers a cashback program and a guaranteed timeline as to when you’ll be considered for graduation to an unsecured card.
However, the Secured Mastercard® from Capital One and the AvantCard Credit Card are both good cards for building credit that may require a smaller or no security deposit.
With the Secured Mastercard® from Capital One, Capital One determines your minimum deposit after you apply. It could be $49, $99 or $200, all of which come with a $200 starting credit limit.
The AvantCard Credit Card does not require a security deposit. This is a no-frills unsecured card designed for fair/limited/bad/poor credit. There is an annual fee, but it’s a reasonable $39. Just be aware the AvantCard Credit Card isn’t available to residents of Colorado, Iowa, Vermont, West Virginia or Wisconsin.
Fast and easy application process
No deposit required and no penalty APR
25.99% Variable APR
- Fast and easy application process
- No deposit required
- No hidden fees
- No penalty APR
- Report to all three major credit bureaus
- Zero fraud liability for unauthorized charges
- Avant branded credit products are issued by WebBank, member FDIC
- Disclosure: If you are charged interest, the charge will be no less than $1.00
- Late Fee up to $39
See additional details for AvantCard Credit Card
FAQs about the Discover it® Secured Credit Card
Can you check if you’re preapproved for a Discover credit card? Discover has an online form where you can check if you’re preapproved for any Discover cards. This is a soft pull, which doesn’t hurt your credit score like a hard pull does. Note that there will still be a hard pull if you decide to actually apply for a card, which can knock a few points off your credit score for a year. And be aware that while preapproval indicates you’re more likely to be approved, it does not guarantee approval when you apply.
Is the Discover it® Secured Credit Card easy to get? The Discover it® Secured Credit Card is designed for applicants with limited/bad/poor credit. Secured cards tend to be easier for applicants with bad credit or no credit to get than unsecured cards. However, you can be turned down for a secured credit card just as you can be denied on any credit card application.
What’s the lowest credit limit for the Discover it® Secured Credit Card? If you’re approved for the Discover it® Secured Credit Card, your credit limit will be equal to the amount of your security deposit. The Discover it® Secured Credit Card requires a minimum deposit of $200.
How do you increase your Discover it® Secured Credit Card credit limit? Once your Discover it® Secured Credit Card account has been open for at least 31 days, you can call Discover at 1-800-347-3085 and apply to increase your credit limit. Note that you’ll need to add the additional amount to your deposit.
The maximum security deposit with the Discover it® Secured Credit Card is $2,500.
Is the Discover it® Secured Credit Card a good credit card?
Yes. The Discover it® Secured Credit Card allows cardholders to earn cash back while building credit, and the monthly reviews (after eight months) to see if you qualify to get your deposit refunded make this a more transparent product than many competing cards.
Whether you’ve got bad credit and want to repair it, or you’re new to credit and need a card that can help you establish a good payment history, the Discover it® Secured Credit Card is a solid choice.
However, if you’re worried that your credit could be bad enough to make qualifying for even a secured card difficult, another option to consider is the OpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit Card. This is a secured card that doesn’t require a credit check when you apply (though financial information such as income and housing payment is considered). There’s an annual fee of $35. Read our review of the OpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit Card for more details.
Build credit quickly. OpenSky reports to all 3 major credit bureaus.
$200 - $3,000 Credit Line*
- No credit check necessary to apply. OpenSky believes in giving an opportunity to everyone.
- The refundable* deposit you provide becomes your credit line limit on your Visa card. Choose it yourself, from as low as $200.
- Build credit quickly. OpenSky reports to all 3 major credit bureaus.
- 99% of our customers who started without a credit score earned a credit score record with the credit bureaus in as little as 6 months.
- We have a Facebook community of people just like you; there is a forum for shared experiences, and insights from others on our Facebook Fan page. (Search “OpenSky Card” in Facebook.)
- *View our Cardholder Agreement located at the bottom of the application page for details of the card
See additional details for OpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit Card