Discover it® Secured review
This rare secured card comes with cash back rewards and the chance to upgrade to an unsecured card.
- Get this card if you want to build your credit while earning rewards.
- Pick something else if you can’t put down a $200 security deposit.
- Apply with a minimum credit score of 300 or higher.
Up to 2%
Purchase APR (variable)
Intro Balance Transfer
for the first 6 months (then 24.74% variable)
|Product Name||Discover it® Secured|
|Purchase APR||24.74% variable|
|Balance transfer APR||10.99% intro for the first 6 months (then 24.74% variable)|
|Balance transfer fee||3%|
|Cash advance rate||26.74% variable|
|Cash advance fee||$10 or 5% of the cash advance amount, whichever is greater|
|Foreign transaction fee||None|
|Interest free period||Up to 25 days|
|Late payment fee||Up to $39|
|Returned payment fee||Up to $39|
|Additional cardholder fee||$0|
Leah Fallon is an editor for finder.com. With 10 years of teaching English under her belt, it was a natural progression to move into editorial. She's written feature pieces for regional print and digital media and today helps fix annoying apostrophes, elusive infinitives and the muddled em and en dash. When she's not helping people with their finances, you can find her exploring the trails of Loudoun County, Virginia and wrangling her two sprightly girls.
It’s the extras you receive, however, that set the card apart. You’ll get 2% cash back at gas stations and restaurants up to $1,000 each quarter, and 1% on all other purchases — a generous rewards rate for a secured card. Discover will also match all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year.
Perhaps best of all, you have the opportunity to graduate to an unsecured card. After eight months, Discover will review your account. If they see you’ve been a responsible borrower, they’ll return your security deposit while you continue using your card. That’s an excellent offer you won’t find with other secured cards.
Average approval rate for Discover it® Secured
|Credit Range||Approval Rate|
Credit Card Insights: Discover it® Secured
We’ve polled hundreds of Discover it® Secured users. Here’s what we’ve found.
|Application process rating: 74%.|
|Customer service rating: 80%.|
|Approval rate for 300–619 credit range: 29%.|
|No. 1 reason people apply: $0 annual fee.|
|47% pay monthly balance in full.|
SIGNUP BONUS: Cash back match at the end of the first year.
At the end of your first year, Discover will match all of the cash back you’ve earned.
INTRO APR: For balance transfers.
Enjoy a 10.99% variable intro APR for 6 months on balance transfers, starting from the date of your first transfer. After your intro APR expires, it’ll revert to 24.74% variable.
CASH BACK: More at restaurants and gas stations.
Earn 2% cash back at gas stations and restaurants on the first $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter (1% thereafter). Earn 1% cash back on everything else.
Credit reporting to the three major bureaus.
Discover will report your payment history to the three major credit bureaus (TransUnion, Equifax and Experian). With consistent on-time payments, you’ll build your credit score.
Possible security deposit return after eight months.
After eight months, Discover will review your account every month. If they deem you’ve been a responsible cardholder, they may return your security deposit while you continue using your card. This effectively turns your secured card into an unsecured card.
No annual fee.
You won’t pay an annual fee for the life of the card.
How much cashback rewards can I earn with Discover it® Secured?
|Where you spend:||The amount you spend:||Cash back earned:|
For an annual spending similar to our example, you would earn $140 from the second year. For the first, you would earn $280 with the Discover cashback match.
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Discover will alert you if they find your Social Security number on a risky website. They’ll also alert you if any new accounts (credit cards, loans, etc.) are opened on your Experian credit report.
Use cash back at Amazon.com.
You can use your cash back directly at Amazon.com without having to redeem it first. Just link your Discover card account to your Amazon.com account.
With Freeze It, you can prevent new purchases, balance transfers or cash advances on your credit card. This is helpful if your card is lost or stolen.
Free overnight shipping for card replacements.
If you lose your card, you can get a replacement the next day.
No penalty APR.
Your interest rate won’t go up if you pay late.
First late fee waived.
The first time you pay late, you won’t have to pay a fee. (On subsequent late payments, you may be assessed fees up to $39.)
No over-limit fee.
If you exceed your credit limit, you won’t be charged a fee.
No foreign transaction fees.
Use your card internationally without incurring fees.
Get your FICO score for free.
View your FICO score on each of your monthly credit card statements.
What to watch out for
Before you can open the card, you must put down a security deposit of at least $200.
It hurts to pay late.
Your first late fee is waived, but making subsequent late or returned payments could result in fees as high as $39.
Expiration on intro balance transfer.
Your 10.99% variable balance transfer APR expires 6 months after your first transfer.
Time limit for balance transfers.
If you want to take advantage of the intro balance transfer APR, your transfers must post to your account within the first months.
Higher APR for cash advances.
Cash advances are subject to a high APR of 26.74% variable.
Fees for balance transfers and cash advances.
You’ll pay a fee of 3% of the balance transfer for each transfer. For each cash advance, you’ll pay the greater of $10 or 5% of the cash advance, whichever is greater.
How can I make this card’s high APR worth it?
Even though Discover it® Secured is a good way to build credit if you use it responsibly, it does have a 24.74% Variable APR. To avoid paying this high APR on your purchases, try to pay off your monthly balance on time. After eight months of card ownership, your account will be reviewed by Discover to see if you can get your deposit back and upgrade to an unsecured version of this card.
What to know before applying for the Discover it® Secured
To apply for the Discover it Secured Card, you must be at least 18 years old and a US resident.
Information you’ll need
- Full name, address and contact information.
- Total annual gross income, monthly housing payment and total available assets.
- Social Security number and mother’s maiden name.
A secured card requires a security deposit
To open the Discover it Secured Card, you must deposit a minimum of $200. The maximum deposit is $2,500.
How to apply for Discover it® Secured
- Go to the Discover website and click Apply Now.
- Complete the application form with your name and contact information. Then click Next.
- Continue filling out the application form with financial information like your employment status, total annual gross income, total assets and monthly rent or mortgage payment.
- Finish the form with information like your Social Security number and mother’s maiden name. Then click the Next button. Review your application and submit it.
I got the card. Now what?
- Download the Discover Mobile app. With the Discover app, you can pay your balance, check your FICO® score, find ATMs nearby and more.
- Avoid fees. Your first late payment fee is waived. From the second late payment onward, you’ll pay up to $39 for each late payment.
- Customer service. If you have questions, call 800-347-2683 or chat with a representative online.
How do I redeem rewards from Discover it® Secured?
Log in to your online Discover Card account and choose a redemption option. Your options include:
- Gift cards with a $5 bonus on each card
- Pay at Amazon.com checkout with your cash back
- Donate to charity
- Deposit into your bank account or use toward your Discover card bill
You don’t need to access your online account to redeem your cash back. Call 800-347-2683 to redeem your rewards by phone.
The main purpose of Discover it® Secured is to help those who are trying to improve or build credit, so it is essential that you pay your monthly bill on time. Remember that your payments make up 35% of your credit score, so missing payments will have additional consequences.
Discover will review your account after eight months to see if you are eligible to have your deposit refunded and upgraded to an unsecured cards. It remains one of the best secured cards you’ll find on the market.