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Discover it® Secured Credit Card

Discover it<sup>®</sup> Secured Credit Card

Discover it® Secured Credit Card

Cash Back 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
Credit Limit
Credit line will equal your security deposit of $200 or more*
Rates and Fees
No annual fee, no late fee on your first late payment. No penalty APR*
Edited by
Julie Sherrier
Reviewed by
Glen Luke Flanagan
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.

Who is the Discover it® Secured Credit Card card best for?

Whether you’ve struggled with credit in the past or are 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.

Discover it® Secured Credit Card overview

    • 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.
  • Credit needed:
    300 659
    Limited/Bad/Poor
  • Free FICO Score access
  • Discover Identity Alerts (free upon activation)
  • Freeze and unfreeze your card online
  • U.S.-based 24/7 customer support

Intro Purchase APR

N/A

Intro BT APR

10.99% for 6 months

Annual Fee

$0

Regular Purchase APR

22.99% Variable APR

Cash Advance Fee

see terms

Foreign Transaction Fee

None

Balance Transfer Fee

3% intro balance transfer fee, up to 5% fee on future balance transfers (see terms)*

Pros and cons

Pros

  • Rewards program
  • Chance to graduate to an unsecured card
  • Reports to all three credit bureaus
  • $0 annual fee
  • No penalty APR
  • No late fee on your first late payment

Cons

  • High APR
  • Requires a security deposit
  • Low credit limit

What we like about the Discover it® Secured Credit Card

  • 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  Discover will evaluate your behavior across your credit cards and loans from Discover as well as other issuers or lenders. You can also get your deposit back if you choose to close your account and pay any remaining balance.

  • 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.

What to watch out for with the Discover it® Secured Credit Card

  • High APR

    The Discover it® Secured Credit Card has a 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.

  • Requires a security deposit

    Because this is a secured card, you must submit a deposit in the amount of your desired credit limit. You can get the money back if you pay off the card and close the account, or if Discover graduates you to an unsecured card, but the deposit might be a con if you don’t want to tie up $200.

  • Low credit limit

    You must contribute a minimum security deposit of $200 to open the card, which will give you a $200 credit limit. To keep your utilization low and build a good credit score, you never want to spend more than 30% of your card’s credit limit — or $30 on a card with a $200 limit. This is fine for credit-building purposes, but for cardholders who wish to make larger purchases, it could be limiting.

Alternate 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. But if you don’t have $200 on hand for the security deposit, there are two other cards worth considering: the Capital One Platinum Secured Credit Card and the AvantCard Credit Card.

Capital One Platinum Secured Credit Card

Disclosures |
Capital One Platinum Secured Credit Card
Capital One Platinum Secured Credit Card
on Capital One's secure site
N/A
26.99% (Variable)
$0
Non-rewards Card
  • No annual or hidden fees. See if you're approved in seconds
  • Building your credit? Using the Capital One Platinum Secured card responsibly could help
  • Put down a refundable security deposit starting at $49 to get a $200 initial credit line
  • You could earn back your security deposit as a statement credit when you use your card responsibly, like making payments on time
  • Be automatically considered for a higher credit line in as little as 6 months with no additional deposit needed
  • Enjoy peace of mind with $0 Fraud Liability so that you won't be responsible for unauthorized charges
  • Monitor your credit with CreditWise from Capital One. It's free for everyone and checking your credit does not hurt your credit score
300 599

How Does LendingTree Get Paid?

LendingTree is compensated by companies on this site and this compensation may impact how and where offers appear on this site (such as the order). LendingTree does not include all lenders, savings products, or loan options available in the marketplace.

With the Capital One Platinum Secured Credit Card, 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.

AvantCard Credit Card

Disclosures |
AvantCard Credit Card
AvantCard Credit Card
on Avant's secure site
N/A
24.99%* Variable APR
$59
Non-rewards card
  • 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
550 700

How Does LendingTree Get Paid?

LendingTree is compensated by companies on this site and this compensation may impact how and where offers appear on this site (such as the order). LendingTree does not include all lenders, savings products, or loan options available in the marketplace.


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 $59. Just be aware the AvantCard Credit Card isn’t available to residents of Colorado, Iowa, Vermont, West Virginia or Wisconsin.

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 other two are good options for building credit if you’re looking for a card with a smaller deposit or no security deposit at all.

Compare the Discover it® Secured Credit Card to similar cards

Comparison of four different credit cards
Discover it<sup>®</sup> Secured Credit Card Capital One Platinum Secured Credit Card AvantCard Credit Card OpenSky<sup>®</sup> Secured Visa<sup>®</sup> Credit Card
Discover it® Secured Credit Card Capital One Platinum Secured Credit Card AvantCard Credit Card OpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit Card
Apply Now
on Discover's secure site
Apply Now
on Capital One's secure site
Apply Now
on Avant's secure site
Apply Now
on OpenSky's secure site
Annual Fee
$0 $0 $59 $35
Welcome 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. No bonus None N/A
Rewards Rate
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 None
Intro Purchase APR
N/A N/A N/A N/A
Regular APR
22.99% Variable APR 26.99% (Variable) 24.99%* Variable APR 17.39% (variable)
Intro Balance Transfer Rate
10.99% for 6 months N/A N/A N/A
Regular Balance Transfer Rate
22.99% Variable APR 26.99% (Variable) N/A N/A
Balance Transfer Fee
3% intro balance transfer fee, up to 5% fee on future balance transfers (see terms)* $0 at this Transfer APR N/A N/A
Recommended Credit
Limited/Bad/Poor Limited/Bad Fair/Limited/Bad/Poor Limited/Bad/Poor
Card Details
Discover it® Secured Credit Card Capital One Platinum Secured Credit Card AvantCard Credit Card OpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit Card

Is the Discover it® Secured Credit Card right for you?

The Discover it® Secured Credit Card is a good card that 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.

FAQs

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.

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.

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.

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.

Apply Now
on Discover's secure site