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Secured credit cards can be a smart way to build good credit, and get access to cheaper financing in the future.
This guide covers everything you need to know about the Discover® It Secured credit card, including eligibility, fees and how it compares to other secured card options.
We’ll also touch on the Wise debit card as a great alternative for international spending.
The Discover It secured credit card¹ is a good way to build or rebuild your credit history, so you can transition to an unsecured card or get easier access to finance in the future.
Put down a deposit of 200 USD, and earn cashback and rewards on your spending.
Here are the key features of the Discover It secured card²:
|Interest rate (APR)
27.49% standard variable purchase APR
2% cash back at gas stations and restaurants on up to 1,000 USD of combined purchases per quarter
1% cash back rewards on all other eligible spend
2x cash back match reward at the end of your first year
|From 200 USD
No annual fee¹ — getting a secured credit card with no annual fee makes it cheaper to build your credit score. Apply for your Discover secured card, put down your returnable deposit, and manage your money responsibly to avoid interest or late payment fees. If all goes well, you could build your credit history in a pretty short space of time, and at no cost to you.
Great cashback potential — especially in the first year — the rewards on offer in the first year in particular are worth having — with a minimum of 1% cashback on spend, rising to 2% for gas and restaurant bills¹. Then, at the end of the year, Discover will automatically reward you with their cashback match, doubling your rewards.
Automatic card reviews to move you faster to a standard credit card product — Discover will review your card use on an ongoing basis, and you may be offered a standard unsecured card in under a year. All the while, your credit history will be being shared with major credit bureaus, so you’re building a solid track record for future financing applications, too.
You’ll need to lock away a security deposit of 200 USD¹ — the Discover It secured credit card requires a security deposit of 200 dollars, which you won’t be able to access until you close the account or transition to an unsecured product with Discover.
You’ll also need a bank account to pay this deposit — making this card tricky for people without access to a bank or credit union account.
The deposit amount is also how much credit you have available — so if you're looking to have a higher credit card balance, you'll need to put a bit more money into it to begin with.
APR might be on the higher side — if you don’t pay off your bill every period, there are interest fees to pay, and they might not be the very cheapest out there.
The ongoing variable APR is on the high side, and even the lower introductory APR for balance transfers only lasts for 6 months.
Even though there’s no annual fee, charges and penalties do apply — finally, don't forget there are other fees associated with having a credit card.
Late payments attract penalty fees of 40 USD after the first instance, getting a cash advance will set you back at least 10 USD plus a higher APR, and any balance transfers have an upfront fee of 3% - 5%.¹
Now that we covered some of the main highlights, as well as pros and cons of the Discover It secured credit card, let's dig deeper into fees, limits and what you need to get your card.
|APR for purchases
|Minimum is 0.50 USD
|None for the first time, up to 41 USD after that
The maximum limit you can have for the Discover It credit card is 2,500 USD¹. How much you have available will depend on two factors:
a) the amount of your initial security deposit
b) your income and your ability to pay your balance off
So make sure you see what you can afford when putting down the deposit and requesting your secured credit card.
In order to apply for a Discover It secured credit card you'll need to fit the following criteria:
- Be at least 18 years old
- Have a SSN
- Have a US address
- Have a US bank account
- Fill the online application form
You can apply for it online and, as a financial institution, additional information or documentation might be required — so make sure to read all the steps carefully.
If you love to travel, or shop online with retailers based overseas, you could save money with the Wise debit card. Open a Wise account online or in the Wise app to hold and exchange 50+ currencies, and spend with your card in 170+ countries.
All you need to do is add money in USD — or the currency of your choice — to Wise, and then you can spend and withdraw around the world.
If you don’t hold funds in the currency you need for any purchase, your card will automatically convert the balance you hold to the currency you need, with the lowest possible fee, and the mid-market exchange rate.
And the best? Since it's not a credit card, you won't have to worry about interest and APR charges!
We mentioned earlier that many card issuers have their own secured credit cards. Let’s dive into how they stack up against the Discover It secured card now.
The Capital One Secured Mastercard³ credit card has several different security deposit options — which may make it more accessible if the 200 USD deposit for Discover is too high.
However, the APR from Capital One is higher than the Discover equivalent — worth looking out for in case you can’t repay your bills in full every month.
|Here are the headlines³:
Citi’s secured credit card⁴ option offers a lower APR compared to the Discover It secured Card — but without the possibility to earn rewards and cashback.
Although Citi also passes your credit information to all 3 major credit bureaus, this card doesn’t come with any mention of working towards a fast transition to an unsecured Citi card product.
If that’s your ultimate aim, you’ll want to check the likely time line for this based on your personal credit score when you apply.
|Here’s what you need to know about the Citi Secured Mastercard⁴:
|Not sure if a secured credit card is the right choice for you? Our guide can help
If you’re sure a secured credit card is the right option for you, the Discover Secured Card can be a good choice.
However, credit cards aren’t always the best choice — particularly if you’ll be spending overseas, shopping online with international retailers, or making ATM withdrawals. If you need to spend in foreign currencies, you could be better off with a Wise debit card instead.
Open a Wise account online — the world’s most international account — to hold and manage 50+ currencies, and spend all over the world with your international debit card. You’ll always get the real exchange rate no matter what currency you’re spending, no interest costs and no penalties.
See how much you could save with Wise today.
The Discover It secured credit card is intended for people with limited credit histories. Your application will be assessed based on the information you provide which includes your employment status, income, and housing costs, as well as your credit score¹.
If you’re approved for an account, you’ll need to pay a security deposit, which is the equivalent of your credit line. If you are not approved, Discover will tell you the credit score they received for you, and which bureau the report was provided by, so you can understand why your application was rejected.
The Discover It secured credit card can be a good tool to build your credit score and move onto an unsecured Discover card at a later stage.
To make the most of the card, you’ll need to manage your money responsibly, paying back your debts every period and avoiding late fees and penalties.
- Discover It secured credit card
- Discover Secured Card - Rates
- Capital One Platinum Secured Card
- Citi Secured Mastercard
Sources checked on 03.23.2023
This publication is provided for general information purposes and does not constitute legal, tax or other professional advice from Wise Payments Limited or its subsidiaries and its affiliates, and it is not intended as a substitute for obtaining advice from a financial advisor or any other professional.
We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether expressed or implied, that the content in the publication is accurate, complete or up to date.
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