Discover it Secured Credit Card review: Build your credit history and earn up to 2% cash back

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This page includes information about the Discover it® Secured product, which is currently not available on Insider and may be out of date.

Discover it® Secured

Discover Discover it® SecuredAverage 401(k) balance

Unlike most other secured credit cards — which typically don’t earn rewards — the Discover it® Secured offers up to 2% cash back and other benefits like no foreign transaction fees.

Bottom line: The Discover it® Secured is worth considering if you’re new to credit or are working on rebuilding your score, and it’s unique because it earns rewards when most secured credit cards do not.

We’re focused here on the rewards and perks that come with each card. These cards won’t be worth it if you’re paying interest or late fees. When using a credit card, it’s important to pay your balance in full each month, make payments on time, and only spend what you can afford to pay.

Comparison: Discover it Secured vs other secured credit cards

 

Discover it® Secured

Capital One® Secured Mastercard®

OpenSky Secured Visa Credit Card

Annual fee

$0

$0

$35

Approval process

Your credit report is reviewed and a refundable deposit equivalent to the credit line amount is collected

The minimum credit line is $200

Your credit report is reviewed and a refundable deposit is collected

The credit line may exceed your deposit

The minimum credit line is $200

No credit check

A refundable deposit equivalent to the credit line amount is collected

The minimum credit line is $200

Minimum deposit

$200

$49, $99, or $200

$200

Deposit refund

After eight months, Discover will review your account and credit history monthly and may refund your security deposit

Deposit is refunded when the account is closed and paid

Capital One periodically reviews account history to determine if they will refund your security deposit

Deposit is refunded when the account is closed

Deposit is only refunded when the account is closed

Rewards rate

2% cash back at gas stations and restaurants on up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter (then 1%)

1% cash-back on all other purchases with no limit

N/A

N/A

Welcome bonus

Discover will match the cash back you’ve earned after the first year

N/A

N/A

Intro APR offer

10.99% intro APR on balance transfers for the first six months, then 22.99%

N/A

N/A

Foreign transaction fee

No

No

Yes

Comparison: Discover it Secured vs other starter credit cards

 

Discover it® Secured

Petal® 2 “Cash Back, No Fees” Visa® Credit Card

Capital One Platinum Card

Annual fee

$0

$0

$0

Approval process

Your credit report is reviewed and a refundable deposit equivalent to the credit line amount is collected

The minimum credit line is $200

Credit report and banking history is reviewed, helping those with little credit history

No security deposit

Credit report is reviewed

No security deposit

Minimum deposit

$200

N/A

N/A

Deposit refund

After eight months, Discover will review your account and credit history monthly and may refund your security deposit

Deposit is refunded when the account is closed and paid

N/A

N/A

Rewards rate

2% cash back at standalone gas stations and restaurants on up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter (then 1%)

1% cash-back on all other purchases with no limit

1% cash back on all eligible purchases

Earn up to 1.5% back after making on-time payments

2 to 10% cash back at select merchants

N/A

Welcome bonus

Discover will match the cash back you’ve earned after the first year

N/A

N/A

Intro APR offer

10.99% intro APR on balance transfers for the first six months, then 22.99%

N/A

N/A

Foreign transaction fee

No

No

No

Who should consider the Discover it Secured credit card

The Discover it® Secured is a good option for those with little to no credit history, like new US residents or students. Those with poor credit history who want to increase their credit score can also benefit from using a credit card and making all payments on time.

All three credit bureaus receive payment reports from Discover, and on-time payments with the Discover it® Secured will help build a positive credit history.

Even if you don’t have a credit history or have a low credit score, you might qualify for a non-secured starter credit card. Students may also qualify for cards targeted to them, so you should see if you can qualify for a non-secured credit card before looking at the Discover it® Secured. 

Opening a new credit card isn’t the only way to develop a positive credit history. If you have a parent with a good credit history they can help by adding you as an authorized user, and you can improve your chances of credit card approval in other ways, too.

How to apply for the Discover it Secured card

When you apply for the Discover it® Secured, your credit report will be reviewed. If approved, you will immediately provide your banking information to pay the security deposit, which will be automatically withdrawn from your bank account. 

Your credit line is equal to your security deposit — so if you deposit $500, your credit line will be $500. The minimum amount is $200, and the maximum is $2,500, and you can pay in $100 increments. 

The security deposit is refundable. After eight months, Discover will evaluate your account monthly to determine whether to “graduate” your card away from secured status and refund your security deposit. Your security deposit is also refunded if you close the card and pay the balance in full. If the balance is not paid in full, your security deposit will be used to pay the balance, and the remainder refunded. 

How to use rewards from the Discover it Secured card

The Discover it® Secured earns 2% cash back on the first $1,000 in combined purchases (then 1%) at gas stations and restaurants each quarter (January to March, April to June, July to September, October to December). All other purchases earn 1% cash back with no limit. 

At the end of your first year, Discover will match all the cash back you earned in the first year. So if you earned $200 in your first year, Discover would deposit an additional $200 within two billing cycles after your 12th bill. 

You can redeem cash-back rewards any time for a statement credit, or use them instantly at checkout at Amazon or through PayPal. Rewards never expire and are automatically redeemed as a statement credit if you close your card or if your don’t use your card for 18 months. 

If you’re looking for a card that earns cash-back rewards and you have a good credit score, check out our guide to the best cash-back credit cards for more options.

Discover it Secured card benefits and features

For a secured credit card, the Discover it® Secured has a decent list of benefits.

Complimentary credit score and security monitoring

When you’re building your credit history, it’s useful to keep track of how your score changes. The Discover it® Secured gives you complimentary access to your FICO credit score and reports information with TransUnion. 

Discover also searches for unauthorized uses of your Social Security Number and will alert you to suspicious activity. Further, they will alert you if any new account, such as a credit card, mortgage, or car loan shows up on your credit report. These tools will help protect you against identity theft. 

Freeze your card instantly 

You can temporarily freeze/unfreeze your credit card using the Discover mobile app or on their website. This is helpful if you misplaced your credit card somewhere in your home.

Pay your bill up to midnight on the due date

Most credit cards need to be paid a day or two before the due date to make sure the payment posts in time. With Discover, you can pay your bill by phone or online up to midnight (Eastern Time) on the due date.

Late payment protection

If you pay your bill late, your APR won’t increase and one late fee is also waived for your first late payment — but you should always pay your bill on time to help build a positive credit history. 

Additional late payments will incur a $40 fee.

Complimentary overnight shipping for card replacements in the US

If you lose your card, Discover will ship a new card overnight to anywhere in the US for free. 

No foreign transaction fees

You won’t pay an additional fee when making purchases outside the US with the Discover it® Secured, so it’s a good card to take along on international trips.

Zero fraud liability

You will not be liable for unauthorized transactions made to your Discover it® Secured if you immediately contact Discover if your card is lost or stolen, if your credentials are compromised, or if your account has been accessed without your permission. 

Discover it® Secured

Discover Discover it® SecuredCiti Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite Mastercard®Chase Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit CardChase Chase Freedom Unlimited®

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