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Discover it® Secured Credit Card Review

A secured credit card that offers rewards is tough to come by, but that's what you find with this card. Build your credit score through responsible payment and use while earning some cash-back rewards along the way.
By Brooklyn Lowery  CardRatings Senior Manager  | Updated

Discover it® Secured Credit Card

Discover it® Secured Credit Card
Our Rating:   
New, Rebuilding

CardRatings Editor's Analysis: Pros & Cons

  • This is a unique secured credit card that offers cash-back rewards. Earn 2% back on the first $1,000 spent each quarter at gas stations and restaurants (then, 1%) and 1% on all your other purchases.
  • Discover will MATCH all the cash back you've earned at the end of your first year.
  • After seven months of responsible use, Discover will automatically review your account monthly to determine whether you're eligible to be transitioned to an unsecured card.
  • While there's no annual fee, the minimum security deposit amount could be a stretch for some people at $200. If you can't see coming up with that deposit, there are additional secured credit cards with lower security deposit requirements.

What Discover Says About This Card

  • 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. Bank information must be provided when submitting your deposit.
  • Automatic reviews starting at 7 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.
  • Click "APPLY NOW" to see rewards, FICO® Credit Score terms, Cashback Match™ details & other information.
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Top Features

 Cash Back on Gas
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.
 Cash Back on Groceries
Earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases - automatically.
 Cash Back on Other
Earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases - automatically.

Discover it® Secured Credit Card Essentials

Just as life doesn't always go as planned, your credit score doesn't either. But don't fret; credit card issuers like Discover won't leave you out in the cold. For those with less-than-stellar credit, there are secured credit cards and one of the top options is the Discover it® Secured Credit Card card.

The Discover it® Secured Credit Card looks the same as any other credit card, but functions a bit differently. Instead of qualifying for a credit limit based on your credit profile and income, this card requires a security deposit of at least $200, which, if you're approved based on your credit profile, will determine your credit limit. You can establish your credit line with your tax return by providing a refundable security deposit of at least $200. Bank information must be provided when submitting your deposit. Like a traditional credit card, as you use your credit card, you will need to make payments each month. This credit activity is then reported to the three major credit bureaus so on-time payments and responsible use will help build your credit score up over time. In fact, after seven months your account will be automatically reviewed monthly to see if your security deposit can be returned and the card transitioned to a traditional unsecured card.

To apply, you need to be at least 18 years old, have a Social Security number, U.S. address and U.S. bank account. A minimum security deposit of $200 is required to establish your line of credit with this card, but there's no annual fee. Your maximum credit limit (up to $2,500) will be determined by your income and ability to pay.

Perhaps most exciting about the Discover it® Secured Credit Card is that this is a rewards card – fairly unheard of in the secured credit card market.

What Our Editors Like Most About the Discover it® Secured Credit Card

The best part about the Discover it® Secured Credit Card card is that, despite a credit rating in the less-than-perfect range, with approval and your security deposit you're still given access to many of the same benefits as someone with good credit. For instance, you'll earn 2% on the first $1,000 you spend at gas stations and restaurants each quarter and 1% on all your other purchases. Better still, Discover will MATCH all the cash back you earn at the end of your first year as a card member; that means that earning $100 in cash back is actually worth $200 thanks to the match.

Looking ahead, you could also have the opportunity to transition from a secured credit card to an unsecured line of credit as long as you show a pattern of responsible spending and paying over an seven-month period.

Also an excellent feature is the fact the Discover it® Secured Credit Card does not charge an annual fee – its not unusual for secured credit cards to require both a security deposit and an annual fee to carry the card.

Discover boasts all U.S.-based support centers that don't just handle questions about missed payments and lost cards. They also form the backbone of an identity theft detection and resolution system that has earned Discover top marks from some of the industry's toughest critics.

Potential Downsides of the Discover it® Secured Credit Card

Although the cash-back rewards associated with the Discover it® Secured Credit Card card entice potential cardholders, the downside is that not every applicant is approved. Approval depends on credit history and other financial variables. If you're uncertain that you will be approved and don't want a hard credit inquiry on your report, a different secured credit card might be a better fit for you.

Furthermore, you'll need at least a $200 security deposit to get started with this card. That's a substantial amount of money that you'll need to come up with.

How the Discover it® Secured Credit Card Compares to Other Secured Credit Cards

Discover it® Secured Credit Card vs. Capital One Platinum Secured Credit Card

Both cards report to all three major credit bureaus, but Discover requires at least a $200 security deposit to establish your line of credit, while the Capital One Platinum Secured Credit Card offers the opportunity, depending on your creditworthiness of opening an account with a security deposit as low as $49 (your security deposit will be $49, $99 or $200 and will secure an initial credit line of $200). You must have access to an authorized bank account is required to make your $49, $99 or $200 refundable security deposit. Neither card requires an annual fee.

Because of the cashback perks, the Discover it® Secured Credit Card could be the better pick for you if you can get the higher initial security deposit together. However, the Capital One card can give you access to a higher line of credit in as little as six months.

Discover it® Secured Credit Card vs. Citi® Secured Mastercard®

(Citi is a CardRatings.com advertiser)

Neither the Discover it® Secured Credit Card nor the Citi® Secured Mastercard® charges an annual fee. Like Discover, Citi® asks applicants to make a refundable security deposit that will be equal to their credit limit. The two share a minimum security deposit of $200. The cards have similar perks, but only the Discover it® Secured Credit Card offers that dollar-for-dollar cashback match after the first year.

Additionally, the Citi® Secured Mastercard® is not available to individuals who have had a bankruptcy within the past two years.

Discover it® Secured Credit Card vs. OpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit Card

The OpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit Card is a secured credit card option that comes with an annual fee of $35. Pay your security deposit of at least $200 and enjoy a credit limit of $200-$3,000 (depending upon your deposit amount) with the opportunity to raise that limit to $5,000 within the first year with responsible use and payment. Once again, you're dealing with an annual fee, but if you foresee wanting a higher credit limit soon, this could be a better option for you. You can also open an OpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit Card without a credit check or even a checking account, so this could be a great option for individuals starting from the ground up with their credit history.

Who Should Get This Card?

If you're truly trying to rebuild your credit and expect to be able to increase your spending in the next year, the Discover it® Secured Credit Card card is for you. The opportunity to earn rewards is impressive for a secured credit card, but the match that Discover offers after your first year is truly exceptional. With no annual fee and reporting to all three major credit bureaus, this card is perfect for those starting out or starting over.

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