Discover it Secured Card

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The best secured credit card we've reviewed. And you'll earn rewards!

Advertiser Disclosure: This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertising partners.

If you have a bank account but limited or poor credit history, the Discover it Secured Credit Card is a terrific choice to help build your credit and earn cash-back rewards, too.

We also like that you can quickly graduate to an unsecured Discover card with just eight months of good payment behavior.

Review

This is the only unsecured credit card on the market that offers cash-back rewards — and generous ones at that. Not only does this card earn 2% back on dining and gas up to $1,000 in spending per quarter, and 1% on everything else, but Discover will match dollar-for-dollar all those rewards at the end of the first year.

Like other secured cards, the Discover it requires you to put down a refundable security deposit. That deposit becomes your credit line. Minimum deposit is $200. The maximum credit limit is $2,500.

Also like other secured cards, the annual percentage rate on the Discover it is quite high. Make sure to pay your balance off entirely each month – or else you’ll be paying big finance charges and losing the value of the rewards you earn.

Unlike some secured cards, you won’t pay any annual fee. Watch out for fee-heavy secured credit cards.

Who should get this card

The Discover it Secured Credit Card is ideal if you’re just starting to build a credit profile or if you’re trying to rebuild you’re credit. Discover reports your payments to all three major credit bureaus – Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. On-time payments will help to improve your credit score.

Advantages
  • This is one of the rare secured cards that offers rewards.
  • Discover will give a dollar-for-dollar match of all the cash back you've earned at the end of your first year.
  • You'll pay no annual fee.
  • Discover will begin reviewing your account after eight months to see if you qualify for an unsecured card.
Disadvantages
  • You must have a bank account to qualify.
  • Discover is not as widely accepted as some other issuer's cards.
  • This card has a high APR, but that’s typical of secured credit cards.

Fees and APR

  • This card charges no annual fee.
  • If you transfer a balance from another card, you’ll pay a 3% fee, but keep in mind that eats into your credit limit, which is determined by your deposit.
  • Balance transfer APR is 10.99% for six months from the date of the first transfer. After the intro APR expires, you’ll pay a variable 23.99%.
  • The annual percentage rate for purchases is 23.99% variable. This is a high interest rate, although its in line — or better — with other secured credit cards.

Extras, perks and using rewards

After eight months Discover will automatically review your payment history and let you know if you qualify to graduate to an unsecured credit card, which means you don’t need a security deposit as collateral.

Discover also supplies a free FICO credit score on your monthly statements. This can help you track your progress toward improving your credit.

You can redeem your cash-back rewards in any denomination at any time.

How this card compares

Capital One® Secured MasterCard®
Card Details
  • No annual fee, and all the credit building benefits with responsible card use
  • Unlike a prepaid card, it builds credit when used responsibly, with regular reporting to the 3 major credit bureaus
  • You will get an initial $200 credit line after making a security deposit of $49, $99, or $200, determined based on your creditworthiness
  • Get access to a higher credit line after making your first 5 monthly payments on time with no additional deposit needed
  • Easily manage your account 24/7 with online access, by phone or using our mobile app
  • It's a credit card accepted at millions of locations worldwide
Credit Needed No Credit
Regular APR 24.99% (Variable)
Annual Fee $0
Purchase Intro APR N/A
Balance Transfers Intro APR N/A

The Capital One Secured MasterCard charges no annual fee, and if you qualify, you can put down as little as $49 to get a credit limit of $200. Or, if you have to put down $200 to get a limit of $200, this card lets you pay that amount in installments.

OpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit Card
Card Details
  • No credit check necessary to apply. OpenSky believes in giving an opportunity to everyone.
  • The refundable* deposit you provide becomes your credit line limit on your Visa card. Choose it yourself, from as low as $200.
  • Build credit quickly. OpenSky reports to all 3 major credit bureaus.
  • 99% of our customers who started without a credit score earned a credit score record with the credit bureaus in as little as 6 months.
  • We have a Facebook community of people just like you; there is a forum for shared experiences, and insights from others on our Facebook Fan page. (Search "OpenSky Card" in Facebook.)
  • OpenSky provides credit tips and a dedicated credit education page on our website to support you along the way.
  • *View our Cardholder Agreement located at the bottom of the application page for details of the card.
Credit Needed No Credit
Regular APR 18.39% (Variable)
Annual Fee $35
Purchase Intro APR N/A
Balance Transfers Intro APR N/A

The two reasons you may want to apply for the OpenSky Secured Visa Credit Card is if you don’t own a checking account, but still want access to a credit card, or if you’re looking for a secured card with a decent annual percentage rate.

There’s a very narrow band of consumers this applies to, we imagine.

If you are among the unbanked, an OpenSky secured credit card may be a good choice to help you build credit as there’s no credit check and no bank account required.

EDITORIAL NOTE

Opinions expressed here are author's alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines, or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.