If you are looking to find a card that will let you earn rewards and get cashback while still having the convenience of getting approved for it, then this Discover it Secured card could be the one for you. The card was designed for people who have poor credit histories or are struggling with their payments. However, there are some drawbacks to this card and it may not be the best option for everyone.
Go for secured credit cards only if you are just starting out your credit journey. Or, if you have a bad credit and you want to rebuild your credit profile.
If you are new to building credit or have to rebuild credit score, Discover Secured card helps you in the best way to achieve this goal. With one of the best rewards program in secured cards and being a no fee credit card, Discover it Secured card packs a punch and holds ground against its competitors.
Do you have no credit history or bad credit? There are a plenty of secured credit cards and unsecured credit cards. Discover it Secured card may be the one you are looking to solve your credit issue with.
Let’s look at the highlights, features, pros, and cons of the Discover It Secured card in detail.
Discover It Secured Card Highlights
This card is popular with consumers for various reasons. It’s design helps people rebuild credit to re-establish themselves and their credit profile. On top of it, there is no annual fee. Also, they don’t punish people having bad credit with outrageous fees or terms and conditions. And, that is exactly why it is famous among other Secured Credit Cards in the market.
Discover it Secured has zero annual fee, zero maintenance fee every month, and there are no other nasty surprises waiting to hit you with additional fees. This is a total no-nonsense simple product that differentiates itself from other cards in the credit builder category. All terms and conditions and policies are clearly shown to you before you sign the dotted line.
Discover is so much upfront that they let card holders know when they will be eligible for a security deposit refund. Also, they show you clearly when you are eligible to upgrade to an unsecured card.
You need to hold the Secured card for a minimum of 8 months, after which Discover reviews your account to see if you qualify for credit line increase or to convert to an unsecured credit card.
It is a rarity to have both credit card rewards program and secured card and no annual fee together. So, it is definitely a powerful combination amongst credit builder credit cards. Discover card offers generous cash back on some category purchases. Also, it matches all cashback rewards you earn in the first twelve months.
Here are some main highlights of Discover it secured credit card.
No Annual Fee
There is no annual fee with this Discover It Secured card. This means that you will get no surprise fees in your statements as long as you pay the balance in full each month. This can save you money in interest as well as having the debt paid off in a shorter time.
This is a great combination of rewards, credit building and not paying a dime to own the card. That is why Discover Secured Credit Card is popular.
Free FICO Credit Score
You get to see your FICO credit score free online on monthly statements. Discover offers it for free on their website too. It is a Transunion FICO credit score that you see on the report. It may vary from the Experian and Equifax credit scores. So, don’t worry if they are all not the same.
There is 2% cash back on purchases at Gas stations and restaurants. And, 1% cashback on all other purchases quarterly. Discover It secured cashback for the gas station and the restaurant is up to the first $1000 you will spend. Also, they will match your credit card bonus.
Security Deposit (Refundable)
Discover It secured card offer refundable deposit when you spend with responsibility and pay the credit card bill on time. You will lose your security deposit, if you try to go rogue with your new credit. Remember, don’t buy anything greater than you can afford.
Build Or Rebuild Credit History
Discover It secured card helps in building a good credit history or helps replace bad credit history with good credit history. Rebuilding credit history is important if you want a Mortgage or an auto loan in the future. Make sure you turn good to potential lender eyes as soon as possible.
Pros of Discover It Secured Card
Discover It secure card comes with amazing pros that are mentioned as follows.
Secured Card To Unsecured Card
The best thing about Discover It secured card is that they will evaluate your monthly credit activity. They will check if you are a responsible credit card user. If you fall on certain criteria to qualify for an unsecured credit card, then they will automatically convert your secured credit card to an unsecured credit card. This process will be done after 8 months of usage.
First Late Fees Exempted
Another best thing about Discover It secured credit card is that they will not charge you if you do not pay on due time for the first time. In my personal opinion, this will teach the person who is using a credit card for the first time to use a credit card with responsibility. But if you want to build a good credit score, do not make payment after the due date since it will leave a bad impact.
Cashback Matched Rewards
Discover It secured card’s most popular offer is that they will match all cashback rewards that you have earned for the first 12 billing cycle and will add to your account after 2 billing periods.
No Maintenance Fee
Discover it Secured card never charges you any monthly service fee or maintenance fee to hold the card and use it. This is a great peace of mind that not all credit builder cards will give you.
Major Credit Bureaus Notified Of Your Credit Usage
Discover credit services will report your credit usage (responsibly or irresponsibly) to the major three credit bureaus. This helps you to rebuild credit gradually, if you use it responsibly.
Late Fee Waiver For The First Time
If you suddenly miss to pay your credit card for the first time due to an emergency or your other technical issues or just if you forget, Discover is happy to give you a late fee waiver if it is the first time payment is missing. This is only for the first time, so if you repeat again, it will reflect in your credit report and harm your credit.
Quick Upgrade To Unsecured Credit Card
Discover Credit Issuer will check your account on their own after eight months of usage, to see if you qualify to upgrade and break your security deposit. You will get an unsecured credit card if you used the secured card with responsibility for the first 8 months. In that case, you will get back the security deposit in full and enjoy extra benefits and privileges of Discover unsecured card.
Cons of Discover It Secured Card
Discover It secured card comes with many good features but it has some cons too as compared to competing cards.
Low Credit Limit
Discover It secured card’s limit is $200-$2500 which is low as compared to competing cards. And your card limit is set by the security amount you will deposit. For example, if you deposit $500 then your card’s credit limit will be $500. The lowest amount you can deposit as security is $200 and the maximum amount is $2500. The security deposit is returned if your card has been upgraded to an unsecured card or if you want to cancel the card.
Discover It Secured APR is 22.99% on purchases which is relatively higher than other competing cards. With low or bad credit history, usually, APR is higher but as compared to other cards Discover It secured card’s APR is way too higher. If these two flaws get better in the future then this card would be flawless.
Bank Account Requirement
You need to have a bank account to fund your security deposit to open a Discover it Secured card. Don’t have bank account now? Then, open one and apply for the card next month. Remember, the bank account doesn’t have to be with Discover. It can be with anyone.
Difficulty In Getting Approval
Discover just doesn’t approve anyone that applies for the card. They hold themselves to high standards unlike other credit cards primarily marketed to folks with poor credit. Also, it is fair because they have good rewards and no annual fee.
Discover will put a hard inquiry on your credit report if you apply for the card, before they make the decision to approve or deny for the card. Even if you have a credit score above 600, you may get a rejection. You can ask Discover to send their reason of rejection on the mail.
Bonus Features of Discover Secured Card
Intro Bonus 2x Cashback
This cashback reward is for the first time cardholders of Discover. They will match all rewards you have earned in your first year and will add to your account after one or two billing periods. For example, if you have earned $300 cashback in your first year, Discover will match this and will add another $300 cash back reward to your account.
Restaurants & Gas Stations Cashbacks
You will get straight 2% cashback when you will use your Discover It secured card at any dining in any restaurant in the USA. You will get a straight 2% cashback when you will use your card at any gas station in the USA. Note that this offer is for the first 1000 dollars you spend.
Foreign Transaction Fees
You won’t be charged with any transaction fees you make outside the USA. This means you can use this card without paying any extra fees if you are traveling. Getting this perk on a no fee credit card is a rarity.
How To Earn Discover Cash Back Rewards?
When you make purchases at any store, shopping mall, grocery store, restaurant, and gas station using Discover It secured card, you earn cashback. Earning Discover Cash Back Rewards is as easy as swiping the credit card at a POS terminal or using it online or use it in a virtual wallet like Google Pay.
The following is the amount of cash back rewards you can expect if you use the Discover It Secured Card
- 2% cash back you earn on purchases made at gas stations and restaurants.
- 1% cash back you earn on all other purchases you will make.
- Cashback rewards are added to your cashback bonus account at end of the billing period.
- At the end of 12 months, Discover will match your existing rewards in your account. That means, you get the 2X the number of cash back rewards.
You won’t earn any cash back bonus on balance transfer. Cashback bonuses are added to your bonus account in form of cents and dollar. There will also be promotional offers with certain criteria and limits. If you are eligible for that offer then you will receive that promotional offer cashback too.
How To Redeem Discover Cash Back Rewards?
You can redeem the Discover cashback reward by visiting their official website. Take the following steps to redeem your cash back rewards successfully
- You can get statement credit directly to your account.
- An option to avail different gift cards by redeeming your rewards for those gift cards.
- You may choose to donate your cashback bonus to charity.
- There is an option to transfer cash back bonus credit to any account with the same last name.
- You can also pay at any merchant with your cashback bonus. Example : Amazon
- If any of the above doesn’t work, call them at 1-800-347-3085. They are available 24/7 with mostly US based customer support service.
One good thing is that the rewards never expire, so there is no rush to redeem cash back. Also, there is no minimum reward redemption limit in Discover which is amazing. For example, Bank of America has a $25 minimum reward redemption limit which is difficult to reach after the sign up bonus, unless you don’t use the card for all purchases.
In case of Discover, you can redeem as little or as much as you wish to. Also, you can redeem Discover rewards whenever you like. There are no black out dates or anything with redemption.
You have various options to redeem rewards that includes cash redemption. You can choose between cash reward as statement credit or bank account direct deposit.
What Is The Best Discover Cash Back Rewards Redemption?
In my opinion, the best way to redeem rewards is to Shop Amazon with Discover Points. Why? Because there are multiple promotions like $15 off on $50 purchase by using Discover points for at least $1 worth of transaction amount.
I have used this thrice so far and have benefited from not spending all my Discover rewards and using it for Amazon. To take advantage of this redemption method, you need to connect Amazon account to the Discover account and redeem Discover points at checkout.
Also, don’t use all your point in one transaction. Just pay $1 through Discover rewards and pay the rest with your Discover Credit Card so you can save rewards to take advantage of further Amazon Promotions.
Unfortunately, if you are looking for travel reward opportunity, you will be in for a dejection. Discover doesn’t have it. But, you can redeem Discover points against gift card or charitable donations.
Discover It Credit Card Fees
|Fees Type||Amount Charged|
|Foreign Transaction fees||$0|
|Minimum Security Deposit||$200|
|Maximum Security Deposit||$2500|
|Balance Transfers APR||10.99% ( for first 6 month ) after that 22.99%|
|Cash Advance APR||24.99%|
|Minimum Interest Charged||$0.50|
|Late fees||No fees for first time late and after that up to $40 fees would be charged.|
Terms & Conditions of Discover Secured Card
- You can transfer the balance to any other accounts 14 days after your account has been opened. There are no rewards rewards on balance transfer. You can transfer the balance up to your credit limit.
- Agree to provide your personal information and authorizes Discover to get your information from your bank, employer, credit bureaus, and others to verify your provided information and identity. You also agree to let Discover staff send you e-mails, call you, or may send you messages.
- Also, you agree that rates and fees can be changed allowed by law. You also agree that you can’t resolve any dispute by judge or jury and can’t participate in a class action that might be held in court during binding arbitration.
- You won’t receive cash back rewards on balance transfers, illegal transfers or transactions, and cash advances. Cashback will be added to your cashback account after 2 billing periods.
- The security deposit will be held in a security deposit account that will be under control by Discover. You can not use that security deposit for other purposes. You can’t withdraw from the security account.
- Discover It secured card limit is the amount you will deposit as security.
These are some of the top terms and conditions, but if you are looking for the complete list of terms, head over here.
Is Discover It Secured Card The Best Credit Card For Students Or People With Bad Credit?
Secured credit cards are among the most effective ways for a person to rebuild their credit rating, which is why they are so beneficial. They also act as a “gatekeeper” card for those who are having a hard time getting approved for a traditional credit card due to poor credit or simply because they have too much debt.
The basic idea behind a secured card is that provider takes a security deposit in case if you don’t make payment. The Discover It Secured is one of our top picks for anyone who needs to boost or build their credit soon.
Discover It secured credit card is best for students because
- It will allow them to build a good credit history for future use or purchases.
- Allows them to spend with a specific limit of their secured card.
- It will teach them how to use a credit card with responsibility.
- With responsible use, they can be automatically upgraded for an unsecured credit card.
Discover It secured credit card is best for people with bad credit because
- They can apply for this card with bad credit and chances are they will get approved.
- This card is designed for people having bad credit history to rebuild credit.
- Since this card comes with no annual or monthly fees, and exempt the first late fee so they are likely to build good credit without worrying about annual or monthly fees.
- Their credit activity will be reviewed on monthly basis and if they become a responsible user then they are likely to get upgraded for an unsecured card.
How To Rebuild Credit With Discover It Secured Card?
You can rebuild credit with Discover It secured credit card by making monthly payments and how much credit you utilize on monthly basis. Following are some major factor that builds credit using Discover It secured card.
The primary benefit of Discover it Secured card is it reports your credit information to all major credit bureaus in the US. TransUnion, Experian and Equifax. This will accelerate your credit rebuilding process, if you use the card responsibly.
Don’t be on the hook to score more cash back. Just make sure to put on your credit card and earn rewards for what’s already in your bank account to cover. Yes, it’s a great rewards program with Discover but that should not tempt you. Don’t even get into a situation where you are carrying balance.
By carrying credit card balance every month, you just don’t end up paying more money but it also costs a lot on your credit strength in your credit report.
When you make monthly payments, it builds your payment history. And if you are paying your bills on time, then you are automatically building a good payment history. 35% of the FICO credit score is built by on-time monthly payments.
30% of FICO credit score depends on how much credit you utilize on monthly basis. It is said that 30% or less than 30% usage of the total credit line is good for your credit utilization. For instance, if you have total credit limit of $6,000 then you may want to keep the outstanding balance below $2,000.
My personal opinion for others is to keep it under 10% utilization always. What I do personally is generally keep it between 1% to 2% utilization ratio.
Credit History Length
15% of the FICO score depends on your credit history length. When you use your card and make payments from time to time, then your credit history length is increased.
How To Apply for Discover It Secured Credit Card?
Here is a short guide on how to apply for Discover It secured credit card.
- Visit the official webpage
- Click on “apply now” button.
- You will see an application form that you will have to fill.
- You can choose between 5 card designs as well.
- Then fill out personal and financial information correctly. An example is attached below
- Then you will have to checkmark terms and agreement boxes which I have explained above. Note that you should have the routing number of the bank and account number of your bank for a security deposit.
- After submitting your information, you will get your result if it is an approval or denial. In case of denial, you can call their reconsideration analyst and understand what is missing in your application.
Discover It Card Public Reviews
Discover It secured credit cards have an overall rating of 4.8/5 on their official website. It is the best card because it gives amazing terms and offers. You can also read Discover It secured credit card reviews on their official website. Some of Discover It secured card reviews are mentioned below.
★★★★★ Triple | California
Great card | Great card for “credit redemption” if you had credit problems in the past , the secured Discover gives you a chance to graduate to a unsecured card.
★★★★★ Soonerdave | Illinois
Amazing card | Cash on demand is the purpose of having a good credit card Provider.
★★★★★ Kay2 | Michigan
Overall good card | I’m so happy Discover finally gave me a chance and I’m so pleased with their card. I just wish my card transitioned to an unsecured card already.
★★★★★ Michael31 | Alabama
Definitely recommended | Extremely satisfied with card and customer service. Credit score increase drastically and given credit line increases without requesting Love it
What Is The Credit Score Needed For Discover It Secured Card?
Discover It Secured card is for people who are new to the credit card or for people who have a low credit score. So low credit score won’t be a problem. You can apply even if you have a bad score around 660 or below. Because that is the main idea behind this card. However, with a bad credit score, you need to assure them that you can pay your dues on time. For that, you have to show them your income source.
Discover It secured minimum credit score is not an issue unless you don’t have an income source. Discover It secured card credit score requirement is not high as this card is for people with low or bad credit.
How To Request Higher Credit Limit For Discover Secured Credit Card?
To request a higher credit limit for a discover secured credit card, follow the steps mentioned below.
- You can call on 1-800-347-2683 to request an increase in credit limit.
- Also, you can do this online by going to the Discover official website.
- Then log in to your account or register a new account if you don’t have an account already.
- Go to the account center and request an increase in credit limit.
When Can You Convert Discover Secured Credit Card To Unsecured Credit Card?
As you use your Discover It secured card over time until you get approval for an unsecured credit card. So how do you get approval or how do you graduate for an unsecured credit card? Some factors make you qualify for an unsecured credit card. Sometimes they automatically graduate you from Discover it secured to unsecured card.
FICO Score matters
FICO scores play a very important role in graduating you from secured to an unsecured card. Keep your FICO score on top by
- Making a payment on time. This will make your payment history and contributes 35% to the FICO score.
- Using less than 30% of the credit line allowed. This contributes 30% to the FICO score.
- Using card over time. This makes your credit length of how long you have been using the card and making payments. This contributes 15% to the FICO score.
- How many types of debt you currently have such as car loan, home mortgage, an installment loan, etc. This contributes 10% to the FICO score.
Don’t exceed your deposit limit
Don’t exceed your deposit limit by putting on extra late fees. For example, your deposit limit is $200 which is also your credit line limit. Now if you utilize $200 and miss your payment, then $40 would be added due as late fees which will make $240 debt. That is a really bad idea and will minimize your chances of graduating to an unsecured card.
How To Get Discover Secured Card Pre Approval?
If you meet certain criteria set for Discover It secured pre-approval, then you have chances for getting pre-approval. There are two ways for getting Discover Secured credit card pre-approval.
You will receive an offer for a credit card that has been pre-approved for you via mail. You will have to apply for that credit card and wait for their decision. If you get approval, you can expect the card in the mail in 1 to 2 weeks of time.
You can simply go to the Discover official website. They have a tool that lets you add your personal and financial information. After that, they will let you know if you meet their requirement of getting pre-approval. Chances are that you will get pre-approved.
Discover It Secured Card Alternatives
As always, you want to look around for your options before signing up with a credit card. Understand and analyze various credit cards and the benefits they bring to the table, before choosing one.
Secured Credit cards are one of the easiest credit cards to get approved for. You need to make sure you get the best deal out of your decisions. Every hard inquiry on your credit report matters. So, use it wisely.
The Secured Capital One Mastercard is a great alternative for folks planning for credit rebuilding or establishing credit profile. The major advantage of Capital One Secured card is they may give you higher credit line than what you pay them as security deposit. Not many cards do that.
You may choose from pre-existing security deposit options like $200, $99 or $49. After making the deposit, you get a maximum of $200 credit limit initially and there is no annual card holder fee.
The interest rate for this credit card is 26.99%. It is higher than Discover it secured card interest rate of 22.99%. However, Capital One will increase your credit limit after six months of usage. This is faster than Discover in credit line increase factor.
The Secured Citi Mastercard does not have rewards program. Instead, they boast of a higher acceptability rate in the US and around the world because it’s Mastercard and not Discovercard. If you are a perpetual traveler, then Secured Citi Mastercard is worth checking out for easy access to shopping.
You can pay a security deposit from $200 to $2500. You get the same credit line as your security deposit. So, if you want a higher credit limit, then this card may be for you. Remember, you need to pay a higher security deposit too. There is no way to avoid that. The interest rate of 22.49% APR is slightly better than Discover it Secured card.
FirstNationalBankCC gives out Legacy Credit Card to potential cardholders. This is actually an unsecured credit card that you may qualify with no credit. If you have poor credit, then this maybe for you. I have people who are applying and getting this credit card with 500s credit score.
As a result, you understand that this product is catered to folks with bad credit. There are some benefits and some disadvantages in owning this credit card. So, please make sure you do your full research and then apply for it.
In my opinion, you may want to go for this credit card only if you can’t get any other card. There is not a good rewards program and you need to pay to be a part of it. There are other downsides in fees. But, it can be a good first card for easy approval and maintaining credit history.
Discover it Secured Card Frequently Asked Questions
Let us quickly go through some of the general questions everyone will have in their mind
Is The Discover Secured Card A Good Card?
Discover It Secured card is definitely one of the best cards you can find for people who haven’t established credit or people with poor credit. If you plan to turn around your life and improve credit after an unfortunate financial situation, Discover Secure card shows you the way to do it. It, for sure, is a good add to your wallet.
It is rare to scout a secured card that provides good rewards with no annual fee. Don’t forget, they even match your cash back reward at the end of the first year. There are also introductory APR for balance transfers occasionally, with 10.99% interest in the first 6 months.
You need to know not to go crazy after approval. Credit card purchase needs to happen only if there is enough money to cover those purchases when the due date comes. Pay off in full each month and avoid to pay any interest. In this case, you will maintain optimal credit utilization ratio and naturally get a good credit score in no time.
What Credit Score Do You Need for a Discover it Card?
Discover does not give you any guideline with a specific minimum credit score for Secure card approval. But, the bar shall be low because you pay a security deposit and only get what you pay for. So, Discover is not taking any risk on your credit.
On the other hand, Discover scrutinizes the information applicant provides. This includes credit history, annual income, bankruptcy info and other info Discover finds useful to influence their decision.
Online Public reviews may give you an idea into what score you need to have before applying for this secure card. For instance, check major credit forums like MyFico or Quora or Reddit for general questions. Some people who left their experience say they were not given the credit card even with a 600 credit score. Also, there are some other reviews where people with 550 to 580 credit score have an approval for the card.
However, there are many conditions apart from the credit score that goes into the credit issuer decision about the applicant. If someone with a current high credit score having past bankruptcy or low income may raise red flag and block approval. So, you can’t just go by the credit score alone.
What Factors Make Up Credit Score?
There are 5 factors that influence credit score. And, even one can sink your credit score and card applications.
Just take your one free credit report per year and check for these factors.
Credit Score Influence Weight
New credit approvals
Mix of Credit
Utilization of Credit
History of Payments
When there is a review on your credit report, you now know how much each factor contributes.
If something goes wrong, you now know if it is a poor mix of credit or credit history or payment history or your credit utilization rate needs some work. If you struggle in one area, it is easy to improve them.
But, if there is an improvement work going on with your credit, you will see that reflect in your credit report in a few months. You may want to re-apply for the card later when the credit score is improved.
When Discover Allows You To Convert Secured Card to Unsecured Card?
They allow you to product change the secured card to unsecured card after you have used and paid back in full for the first 8 months. They are just testing your responsibility levels and will eventually approve your unsecured credit card upgrade.
You will get your security deposit back, if you use the credit card responsibly and successfully upgrade to normal credit card that earns even more rewards.
Can I Get Higher Credit Line For Secured Discover It Card?
From what I see on Discover website, you can request to increase credit line after adding funds to your security deposit. For instance, if you have a $250 credit line after making initial security deposit of $250. After some time, if you add another $250 to the security deposit, now you can request them to increase your credit line to $500. Remember, you cannot use this additional dollars to pay credit card balance.
A point to note, your credit account needs to be 31 days old to use this option. Once you qualify, you can call Discover at 1-800-347-3085 and request for a credit line increase.
Discover It secured rewards are the reason why so many people want to have this card. Public reviews say everything about their quality and benefits. Discover It secured upgrades you to an unsecured credit card automatically when you qualify with responsible use. Your security deposit refund is available if you decline the card.
Discover it secured deposit return policy comes in to act when you upgrade to an unsecured card. There is no specific credit score needed for Discover It secured card. Discover It secured Annual Percentage Rate is comparable to other competing cards. You can check your Discover It secured card status on their website.
Just put down a $200 security deposit for eight months and use your credit card responsibly, to get it back after that. Keep continuing on this responsible path and you’ll eventually get an excellent credit score. Finally, Discover it Secured card is the best stepping stone for an unsecured credit card and also a great financial future.
I am a data analyst by profession who loves to crunch numbers at daytime and come home wondering how my passive income numbers for the day look like. I believe in being rich rather than looking rich. Follow me for Cryptocurrency, FIRE, Personal Finance, Credit Cards and Digital Nomad updates