Review of the Discover it® Secured Credit Card

Brendan Harkness

Brendan Harkness | Reviews

May 23, 2016

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This is a review of one of the best secured credit cards on the market, the Discover it Secured Credit Card. Secured cards require a security deposit and are meant for people with poor or bad credit, meaning a FICO® Credit Score of around 660 or below.

This card is designed to help you improve or rebuild your credit, and it reports to all 3 of the major credit bureaus. So as long as you use it responsibly, you’ll be adding more positive activity to your credit reports.

The Discover it Secured is one of the better secured cards because it offers a relatively high amount of cash back, especially because Discover will double what you earn after 1 year. You’ll also get a number of benefits from Discover, including the ability to check your credit score, and a 0% intro APR on balance transfers – all for no annual fee.

Is this card right to help you improve your credit? Read our review to find out.

Discover it® Secured Credit Card

For People with
Bad Credit

  • Annual Fee: $0
  • Interest Rate: 23.24% *Variable
Quick Card Facts
  • Double all the cash back you've earned at the end of your first year automatically - only for new cardmembers*
  • 2% cash back at restaurants and on gas - up to $1,000 per quarter.* 1% cash back on all other purchases.
  • New Freeze ItSM on/off switch lets you prevent new purchases, cash advances & balance transfers on misplaced cards in seconds by mobile app & online.*
  • Free FICO® Credit Score on statements, online & by mobile app.* And 100% U.S.-based service any time.
  • No annual fee. No overlimit fee. No foreign transaction fee. No late fee on first late payment & paying late won't raise your APR.*
  • Each Discover purchase is monitored. If it's unusual, you're alerted by e-mail, phone or text and never responsible for unauthorized purchases on your Discover card.
  • *See rates, rewards, free FICO® Credit Score terms & other info by clicking “Apply.”

The Rewards

You’ll get:

  • 2% cash back at restaurants and on gas (up to $1,000 per quarter, then 1% cash back)
  • 1% cash back on all other purchases
  • 5 – 20% cash back at a variety of retailers through the Discover Deals shopping portal
  • Double your cash back after your first year

The cash back you earn won’t expire, and you can redeem any amount at any time you’d like. You can also use your rewards to pay for purchases directly at

The fact that Discover will double what you earn is a great deal, meaning you’ll get 4% cash back at restaurants and on gas, and 2% cash back for all other purchases for that first year. The amount of cash back you can earn, along with access to Discover Deals, makes this one of the most rewarding secured credit cards available.

The Benefits

You’ll get a great set of extra benefits and features with this card, which is good even when compared to many non-secured cards (all Discover cards get the same set of benefits).

The free FICO credit score is especially useful if you’re building or rebuilding your credit, letting you check your progress any time you’d like and track it over time.


  • Free FICO® Credit Score

    View your FICO score any time you’d like at no cost and without hurting your credit score. Based on your TransUnion credit report.

Brendan's FICO Score

Oh student loans, what will I do without you?

Account Management

  • Personalize Your Card

    Choose from a number of different designs to personalize your card, including several chrome colors, a variety of designs, and a wide selection of NHL team logos.

  • Pay up until Midnight

    You have up until midnight of the due date to pay your bill, online or by phone.

  • Temporarily Freeze Your Account

    Freeze your account when you lose your card, and unfreeze it when you find it. Use the Freeze button on the Discover website or mobile app, or call customer service.

  • Card Replacement

    Free overnight shipping in the U.S. if you need your card replaced.

  • Spend Analyzer Financial Tool

    Use the Spend Analyzer tool to view your purchases by category and get insights into your spending habits.

Discover Freeze feature

Discover Freeze feature


  • $0 Fraud Liability Guarantee

    Cardholders are not held responsible for unauthorized purchases on this card.


  • Purchase Protection

    Provides coverage against damage or theft, up to $500 per eligible item.

  • Price Protection

    If you find an item you bought being advertised for a lesser price within 90 days of purchase, you can be reimbursed for the difference.

  • Extended Product Warranty

    Adds up to 1 year to a manufacturer’s warranty of 3 years or less.

  • Return Guarantee

    Items can be returned even if the manufacturer won’t take them back, up to $500 and for up to 90 days after the date of purchase.

  • Cash At Checkout

    When shopping at participating locations, you can get cash back immediately by charging an additional amount over your purchase.


  • Auto Rental Insurance

    Covers rented vehicles against collision damage when the car rental company’s insurance is declined.

  • Flight Accident Insurance

    You and your family are automatically covered on airline flights, up to $500,000.

The Spend Analyzer

Discover's Spend Analyzer tool

Discover’s Spend Analyzer tool

The Costs & Fees

Annual Fee Intro APR for Balance Transfers Regular APR for Purchases and Balance Transfers Cash Advance APR Foreign Transaction Fee
$0 10.99% *Variable for 6 months 23.24% *Variable 25.24% *Variable 0%
Penalty APR Late Fee Returned Payment Fee
None $0 the first time; up to $35 after that Up to $35

This is a secured credit card, which means you’re going to need to put down a security deposit when you’re approved. Your credit limit will be equal to the amount of your deposit.

A minimum deposit of $250 is required. Your maximum credit limit will be determined by your credit history, along with your income and ability to pay. The maximum credit limit possible is $2,500.

When or if you close out the card, you’ll receive your security deposit back.

Take note that this card is pretty forgiving – there’s no penalty APR for paying late, and no late fee for the first late payment. These are great features to find on a secured card.

The Bottom Line: 5 Out Of 5 Stars

The Discover it Secured Credit Card is one of the best secured cards available today. While most secured cards tend to come with penalties for having poor credit, this card actually has a number of benefits with no real penalties.

The cash back and benefits you’ll have are actually very good, even compared to non-secured cards. The fact that Discover will double the cash back you earn after a year really puts this card over the top when it comes to the rewards, and the benefits cover a wide range of situations.

You’ll even get an introductory 0% interest rate on balance transfers, a rare find on cards like this. The regular purchase interest rate may seem high, but this is expected for secured credit cards. And, you can avoid paying interest if you simply pay off your entire balance every month by the due date.

As long as you use this card responsibly, you’ll be adding a positive account to your credit reports, improving your credit score. Eventually you’ll be able to qualify for an even better reward card.

We gave this card 5 out of 5 Stars because it’s one of the best secured credit cards on the market. With most secured cards, you’ll be lucky to get 1% cash back while paying an annual fee; with this card, you get much more than that for no annual fee. Instead of dealing with penalties like most secured cards, this card actually provides quite a few rewards and benefits. All for free, as long as you avoid paying interest. All these features, along with the quality customer service provided by Discover, make this a great choice for building up your credit.

Do you use this card? How do you like it? Click here to leave your own review of the Discover it Secured Credit Card, we’d love to hear from you!

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