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Discover it Secured Credit Card
Consumer Reviews, Credit Score and Income Needed, Credit Limits

Picture of Discover it® Secured
28 Reviews
Consumer Rating:
star ratingstar ratingstar ratingstar ratingno star rating

Apply Here apply here 4.3
Lowest:
478
Average Score:
571
Highest:
720

Introduction

It's great when you can find a secured credit card with no annual fee. It is even better if it has a rewards program. And what can we say when you can graduate to an unsecured credit card as early as 8 months! And what would you say if this secured card is issued by one of the most well-known credit issuers? Well, the Discover It Secured is all of these and more. Let's dig a little deeper into this card.


Fees and Rates

Annual Fee $0
Minimum Deposit $200
Maximum Deposit $2,500
Regular APR 22.99%*V
Balance Transfer APR 10.99%
Balance Transfer Fee 3% of BT Amount for Intro Period
After That 5%
Foreign Transaction Fee 0%
Penalty APR None
Late Payment None for 1st late payment
Then $40


There are a few highlights with regards to the rates and fees of the Discover Secured Card.

  • No Annual Fee - This is one of the rare secured credit cards that has no annual fee.

  • No Late Payment Fee For First Late Payment - You will not be charged a late payment fee if you pay late for the first time.

  • No Increase in APR for late payment

  • No Foreign Transaction Fee - While it is great that Discover does not charge any foreign transaction fee, the reality is that Discover cards are not as widely accepted abroad compared to a Visa or Mastercard. Furthermore, I doubt you rebuilders are too concerned about this.

  • Balance Transfer for SIX months - Many credit cards targeted at rebuilders do not allow you to transfer a balance. Discover allows that and the balance transfer rate is pretty good at 10.99%. You are allowed a certain time period to transfer your balance (this will be given in the terms and conditions).


Earn and Redeem Cash Rewards

The Discover secured credit card is one of the rare secured cards that offers cash back rewards. Specifically, you can earn:

  • 2% Cash Back at gas stations and restaurants for up to $1,000 in purchases each quarter

  • 1% on other regular purchases

  • 1st Year Cash Back Match - Discover will match the amount of cash back you earn during your first year as a card member. For example, if you earn $300 in cash back, Discover will match that and you will have earned a total of $600 in cash back during your first year as a card members.

  • Cash Back Rewards Do NOT Expire - The cash back rewards do not expire at all so you can accumulate as much as you want before you redeem them.

This cash back rewards are similar to the regular unsecured Discover It Chrome card. You can redeem your cash back in the following ways:

  • Electronic Deposit Into Any Account - You can deposit your cash back into any bank account that you designate. The minimum amount you can deposit is $0.01.

  • Statement Credit - You can use the cash back you have earned as a statement credit to offset your balance.

  • Gift Cards - You can redeem cash back for gift cards starting at $20.

  • Pay with CashBackBonus at Select Merchants - Discover has partnered with Merchants and you can use your cash back when you shop through these merchants from Discover's portal.

  • Redeem At Amazon.com - You can also redeem your cash back when you shop at amazon.com.


Security Deposit Information

As with all secured credit cards, you need to fund a security deposit. Here are the details of Discover's deposit policy.

  • Minimum Deposit of $200 - You have to deposit a minimum of $200 to fund your security deposit. The amount that you deposit becomes your credit limit.

  • Maximum Deposit of $2,500 - The maximum amount you can deposit with Discover is more or less in line with most secured credit cards. The upper end tends to be $5,000.

  • Pays No Interest On Deposit - Discover does not pay any interest on your deposit amount.

  • Increase Deposit Amount By Calling CSR - You can increase your security deposit amount. However, you could have to call customer service at 1-800-347-3085 and do it over the phone. You would need your checking account number and routing number. You can only increase your deposit after 31 days of your first initial deposit.


Other Features

Discover has other features that makes this card really attractive. Most of these features can be found in regular unsecured Discover credit cards. This is what makes the Discover secured card so attractive.

  • Free FICO Score - Discover offers every card holder a free FICO score from TransUnion. Many cards offer "free credit score" but they are usually Vantage scores and not FICO score. The scores that you get from Discover are actual TransUnion FICO scores.

  • Identity Alerts - Identity Alert is a free service offered by Discover. It monitors your Experian Report and will alert you to any new credit inquiries on your Experian credit report. The dark web is also monitored for any of your personal information.

  • Freeze It - Freeze It is a feature of Discover cards where you can "freeze" our accounts either via your mobile app or from your website account. You would want to do this when you lose your card or cannot find it. However, a really neat feature is that even if you freeze your account, your auto-payments that you have set up with other services (like your Netflix payment) will still work.

  • 24 hour Card Replacement - If you lose your card in the US, Discover will send you a replacement within 24 hours.

  • US-based Customer Service Reps - All of Discover's customer service reps are from the US. That means you will not get funny accents from overseas reps when you call them.


Competition

There are many secured credit cards in the market because every bank (including credit unions) issue their own version of secured credit cards. Aside from banks and credit unions, there is another group of issuers who target folks with really bad credit. These cards have slightly different characteristics from mainstream banks and credit unions.

Comparison with Mainstream Bank Secured Credit Cards

Compared to other mainstream bank issuers, the Discover It Secured compares favorably. There is no annual fee. It has a cash back rewards program. And more importantly, the card becomes with all the bells and whistles that you get with a regular unsecured credit card from a mainstream bank. For example, you get a great mobile app, free FICO scores and great customer service. The key defining feature of the Discover Secured Card is that you will be evaluated for a graduation to their unsecured version after 8 months. While other issuers will graduate you, none will potentially graduate you as fast as 8 months.

Comparison with Specialist Secured Credit Card Issuers

There is another group of secured credit card issuers that specializes in those with really bad credit. Examples include Opensky credit card and First Progress. These cards have annual fees and do not graduate to an unsecured credit cards. However, these cards have one thing going for them. And that is that they do not perform any credit checks and you will definitely be approved. That means even if you have just emerged from bankruptcy, or have recent late payments, you will can get approved. In contrast, it is difficult to get approved for the Discover Secured Card if you have just emerged from bankruptcy and have recent late payments. Hence, for those with really bad credit, Discover is probably not the most appropriate secured credit card.


Pros and Cons

Pros

  • No Annual Fee - Most secured credit cards charge an annual fee. Even mainstream issuers like Citi and Wells Fargo charge annual fees for their secured credit cards. The fact that they do not charge any annual fee is quite rare (though getting common) in the world of secured cards.

  • Cash Back Rewards - Most secured cards do not offer any rewards on their card. However, Discover offers card holders a cash back reward program that is similar to their Chrome card.

  • Free FICO Score - You get a FREE FICO score from TransUnion.

  • Can Graduate To Unsecured Credit Card In As Little As 8 Months - One of the best feature of this card is that you can graduate to the unsecured version of the Discover Chrome It. You can graduate in as little as 8 months.

  • Can Increase Deposit Amount - You can increase your deposit amount after your initial deposit. However, you do have to ask "permission" to do so.

  • Has Mobile App - Discover has a great mobile app where you can manage your account just from there.


Cons

  • Deposit Does Not Earn Interest - While I list this as a "con", the reality is that interest rates are so low that I think this does not really matter.

  • Have To Inform Discover If You Want To Increase Deposit Amount - While you can increase your deposit

  • Discover Not Accepted Widely Outside the US - Discover is not widely accepted as a credit card outside the US. However, I suspect this is not an issuer for most of you rebuilders.

  • Need to Have a bank Account - You do need a bank account to fund your deposit so for those of you who do not have a checking account (due to CHEX problems), this card is not for you.


Our Take

The Discover It Secured Credit Card is perhaps one of the best secured credit cards. It has no annual fee, has a cash back rewards program and will check if you can graduate to the unsecured version after just 8 months. Discover as a company also ranks as having one of the best customer service among credit card issuers. You also get the standard features like mobile app, free FICO scores from a big credit card bank issuer.

Who Is Most Likely To Be Approved?

You should apply for the Discover Secured Card if you have little or no credit history. You can also apply if you are a rebuilder and have no recent late payments on your other accounts.

Who Is Most Likely To Be Denied?

Discover (on their website) has stated that if you are in the middle of or have just emerged from a bankruptcy, you will most likely be denied. If you have recent late payments, you will also likely be denied. Discover also requires that you have a bank and checking account (to fund your deposit). If you do not have a bank account (perhaps due to CHEX problems), then this is not the card for you. We would suggest a card like the Opensky Secured Visa instead if you are in such a situation.
 


How To Increase Your Chance of Early Graduation

To increase your chance of graduating after 8 months, I would do the following. Firstly, make sure that you have enough security deposit in your account so that you have enough credit limit. Having enough credit limit allows you to have a lower credit utilization rate. You should also ideally pay in full and on time. It is best to set up autopay through your app or through you online account. If you use your secured credit card wisely, you will greatly increase your chances of early graduation.


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Credit Score: 595 Credit Limit: 500 Age: 35-44
Income On Application: $60000
Posted 02/21 2018
Overall Rating: star ratingstar ratingstar ratingstar ratingno star rating
I really like this card though I have to say that I went through a really inconvenient application process. After I applied, I was taken to a page that required me to upload my W2, DL and SSN (to confirm my identity). I was told that someone would contact me but nobody did. After 2 days, I noticed that they withdraw my $500 deposit from my checking account. So I guess that I was finally approved and "my identity verified"! Got my card 2 weeks later. It seems like Discover kind of leaves you in a limbo if you have to go through this and I'm sure not everyone has to go through this "verify your identity" process.

But once I got the card, everything has gone on smoothly. I set up autopay so I would never be late. I earn rewards and also found out that Discover reports very quickly (checked just before I got my first statement). Payment also clears in about one or two days. After 4 months, my TU score has gone up by 40 points.
 
Credit Score: 568 Credit Limit: 500 Age: 35-44
Posted 10/09 2017
Overall Rating: star ratingstar ratingstar ratingstar ratingno star rating
I have had this card for 11 months and have not been offered to graduate yet. In the meantime, I have already gotten offers from Capital One, Amex and Citi. In fact, I just applied and was approved for the Cap One QuickSilver. I'll probably for the Amex as well. Discover has helped me improved my credit score. It was about 568 when I applied and it is now 660 after 11 months.
 
Credit Score: 597 Credit Limit: 1000 Age: 25-34
Posted 08/18 2016
Overall Rating: star ratingstar ratingstar ratingstar ratingno star rating
Getting this card was kind of a pain initially cos I was asked to provide "proof of income" I had to give copies of my W2 and a utility statement. But I got approved and deposited $1000 into my account. I set up autopay and made sure I paid in full every month. I seldom spend more than $200 on the card.

The 7 months later, I got the good new in the email: "Because you’ve shown responsible account management, you’re getting your security deposit back. You should receive the check in the mail in 5-7 business days". Woohoo! I had graduated rather early to an unsecured credit card.

I would have given card a 5 star rating if not for the inconvenience if having to product pay stubs during the application!
 
Credit Score: 590 Credit Limit: 500 Age: 25-34
Posted 03/11 2016
Overall Rating: star ratingstar ratingstar ratingstar ratingno star rating
I deposited $500 when I got approved for this card. I gave them my banking details and the amount was taken out of my checking account within a couple of days. I got my card a week later. After 3 months, I needed to travel and realized that I would need to rent a car and possibly book a hotel. However, my credit limit was too low. So I called the rep and was told that I could not add to my deposit to increase my limit and that I could only do so after a year. So here is a piece of advice for those of you thinking about this card. Put enough deposit based on how much you think you need for credit and in fact over provision.

Aside from this, I also noticed that report as secured to the credit bureaus. Otherwise, I love this card. I mean, what is there not to like about it. There are no annual fees. You earn rewards and they will consider you for a switch to an unsecured card after 12 months. App is super easy to use too.