The Discover It Secured Credit Card is known in the credit world for both helping people build a good credit score and paving them a clear path to an unsecured credit card.
Perhaps you’ve heard of Discover It Secured Credit Card but shrugged it off because of its deposit requirement. However, the card offers you several benefits that outweigh this initial deposit.
Read on to find more about the advantages of Discover It Secured Credit Card, as well as its drawbacks.
Discover It Secured Credit Card: At a Glance
The Discover It Secured Credit Card is an excellent option for those looking to rebuild their less-than-ideal credit scores. It offers a fantastic reward program that’s rarely found in secured credit cards and comes with no annual fee.
However, if you think you’ll end up with an additional balance over the months, be aware of the relatively high 22.99% APR.
- No annual or monthly fees
- Relatively easy to rebuild your credit score if it’s damaged
- You get a clear path to an unsecured credit card in as little as eight months
- A nifty rewards program
- No penalty APR for any reason
- APR is 22.99%, which is somewhat high compared to other credit cards
- The initial security deposit (minimum $200) can be difficult for some people
Fees are the lingering hassle we deal with in many of our monetary endeavors. Many people are against fees in principle, especially if there’s no service being provided in return.
Fortunately, the Discover It Secured Credit Card is quite forgiving with fees. Most notably, there’s absolutely no annual fee. Additionally, there’s no monthly fee for maintenance or services and no fee on foreign transactions, so it works anywhere in the world.
On the other hand, there’s a balance transfer fee. For the first six months, it’s only 3%, but it increases to 5% after that.
Regarding late payment fees, Discover waives your very first. Just don’t make it a habit as this waiver is only on your first late repayment. There’s a fee of up to $40 for late payments past the first.
Annual Percentage Rate
If you think you might be keeping some balance over the months, you’ll want to consider the annual percentage rate (APR).
As of 2021, the Discover It Secured Credit Card has a 22.99% APR for purchases and 24.99% for cash advances. For balance transfers, the APR is only 10.99% for the first six months after your first transfer, then it’s increased to 22.99% after that.
This relatively high APR is one of the main drawbacks of the Discover It Secured Credit Card, and it’ll stack up on you if you’re unable to pay off your balance by the end of the month.
Note that most secured credit cards have an APR of around 18-20%, so the Discover It Secured Credit Card isn’t that far from them. However, Discover puts no penalty APR, so you’re not being reprimanded by an increased interest for missing payments.
When you apply for a Discover it Secured Credit Card, you have to make an initial deposit of at least $200, which also determines your credit limit.
This initial deposit may not be ideal or even possible for many, but remember that it acts as a “collateral” payment if you’re not able to pay back your balance. Also, this applies to all secured credit cards by definition, though the amount may vary.
Depending on your income and ability to pay, you may deposit up to $2,500 to increase your credit limit.
Ease of Building Credit
The Discover It Secured Credit Card is what we call a credit-builder card. It works just like a regular credit card but has a lower credit limit (as we’ve discussed above) and stricter regulations on late payments to force you to pay your balance as promptly as possible.
Discover reports your account history to the three major credit bureaus: Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. These reports can go a long way in establishing your credit history.
Neatly enough, Discover also lets you view your FICO credit score once a month for free. Even if you’re not a cardholder, you can sign up through their website or mobile app to view it!
A Path to Unsecured Credit
One of the best points to discuss here, which also sets the Discover It Secured Credit Card from other ones, is that you have an opportunity to switch to an unsecured credit card and get back your initial deposit in as little as eight months!
After eight months, Discover checks your account for eligibility for an unsecured card. If you’re not eligible, they keep checking every month.
Once you’re eligible, your security deposit is returned to your bank account, and you can enjoy the benefits and privileges of an unsecured credit card.
Discover doesn’t directly disclose how they decide whether a cardholder is eligible for graduation or not. Still, they give a few hints on their website: maintaining a good FICO score, staying within your deposit limit, paying your other financial accounts on time, and making at least the monthly minimum payments on time.
This one is quite a treat as it’s so rare to find a reward program in a secured or credit-builder card, but Discover has managed to include it in theirs.
First, let’s talk about the cashback program. For purchases made in gas stations and restaurants, you get back 2% of the amount you spent with a limit of $1,000 spent per quarter. If you do the math, it sums up to $20 per quarter or $80 per year. For all other purchases, you get back 1% of the spent amount with no limit.
Second, the cashback match program, which is a wonderful one for new cardholders. However much you earn in rewards in your first year (and only the first year), Discover will double it for you. So, if you make $100 in rewards in your first year, you get $200.
Another neat bonus is that rewards don’t have an expiration date. You can redeem any quantity you want of it at any time. You can even choose to redeem them either as deposits in your bank account or credit towards your statement.
Discover gives you some excellent options for security over your secured credit card. You have a switch to freeze and unfreeze your card at any time. They also give you a monitoring tab on their site and their mobile app to view your credit report.
If Discover detects any suspicious activity through your card, they notify you immediately so you can take action.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Credit Score Do You Need For a Discover It Secured Card?
Security cards and credit-builder cards are made for people with a low credit score that needs to be re-established, so the requirements are often lenient.
Discover It may be a bit tougher on credit requirements than other secured cards, but anything around 600 should be fine.
How Do You Qualify For a Discover It Secured Card?
You can get approved even with a poor credit score, but you must be at least 18 years old, have a Social Security number, be a resident in the United States, and have a U.S. bank account. The bank account is used to make the initial security deposit.
Can You Be Denied For a Discover Secured Card?
Yes. Although it’s a credit-builder card, Discover still often declines people for bankruptcy, a tax lien on their credit report, insufficient income to meet their monthly payments, or just an extremely poor credit score.
How Long Does It Take to Get Approved For a Discover Secured Card?
You should receive your Discover it Secured Credit Card within 14 days of making the initial deposit.
Bottom Line: Is the Discover It Secured Credit Card Worth It?
If your credit score needs some repair, then the Discover It Secured Credit Card can help you rebuild it. It’s what we call a credit-builder card, meaning it has some stringent limitations put in place to prevent you from overspending and damaging your credit score, and it’ll be worth it for you to repair your credit score.
The card offers some neat benefits such as a rewards program, no penalty APR, and the ability to graduate to an unsecured card. However, it comes at the cost of an initial $200 security deposit, so if you’re new to credit, you may want to look at some unsecured options before you pick.