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If your goal is to establish or rebuild your credit, a comparison of the Discover it® Secured Credit Card and the Capital One Platinum Secured Credit Card is worth your time. Both cards offer noteworthy benefits for being secured credit cards, plus a few added perks you won’t typically find with similar cards on the market.
A secured credit card requires you to put down a cash deposit to establish a line of credit. In return, you have the benefits and conveniences from a credit card and the chance to improve your credit.
Not all secured cards are created equal, though. Below, we compare the major card details and earning potential of the Discover it Secured and Capital One Platinum, as well as highlight further information to help you determine which card is right for your wallet.
|Details||Discover it Secured||Capital One Platinum Secured|
|Welcome bonus offer||Discover’s Cashback Match program doubles all the cash back you earn in your first year||None|
|Intro APR||10.99 percent intro APR for 6 months on balance transfers||None|
|Regular APR||27.24 percent variable||29.74 percent variable|
|Minimum security deposit||$200||$49|
Capital One Platinum Secured vs. Discover it Secured highlights
Welcome bonus winner: Discover it Secured
The Discover it Secured wins big in this category compared to the Capital One Platinum Secured, which offers no welcome bonus at all. The Discover it Secured includes access to Discover’s Cashback Match program for your first year of card ownership, meaning Discover will match whatever cash back you earn in year one — essentially doubling your rewards. And with no minimum or maximum spending requirements, this is a chance to earn significant rewards.
Rewards rate winner: Discover it Secured
With the Discover it Secured, you’ll earn 2 percent cash back at gas stations and restaurants on up to $1,000 in combined spending per quarter (then 1 percent), plus an unlimited 1 percent cash back on everything else. Not only is this a decent cash back opportunity for any credit card, it is virtually unheard of for a secured credit card to include a rewards program like this.
The Capital One Platinum Secured, on the other hand, does not feature any ongoing rewards.
Annual fee winner: Tie
Both cards offer a $0 annual fee, making them affordable options for those looking to keep down costs.
Minimum security deposit winner: Capital One Platinum Secured
The Capital One Platinum Secured comes out far ahead in this category by only requiring a $49 security deposit for a $200 minimum credit line. This is on the lower side not only between these two cards, but for secured credit cards in general. The Discover it Secured card requires a $200 minimum deposit, making it tougher for those who are on a tighter budget.
Intro APR winner: Discover it Secured
Neither card offers an introductory APR on purchases, but the Discover it Secured has an introductory balance transfer offer of 10.99 percent for the first six months of card ownership (followed by a 27.24 percent variable APR), making it the winner in this category. This could prove beneficial if you have high-interest balances from other credit cards, giving you a chance to pay less in interest while knocking out debt.
It is also important to compare the ongoing regular interest rates, or variable APRs, charged by these cards, should you wind up carrying a balance at any point. The Capital One Platinum Secured comes with a 29.74 percent variable APR, while the Discover card’s rate is 27.24 percent variable.
Why should you get the Capital One Platinum Secured?
The Capital One Platinum Secured is worth it for those looking for a low security deposit threshold, putting it within reach for more potential users and giving you the chance to start building credit with a secured card. Paying off the card each month not only helps you avoid substantial interest rate fees, but it also gives you a solid chance at rebuilding or establishing credit.
- Automatic credit line reviews: Capital One automatically reevaluates your account after six months to see if you qualify for a higher credit limit. Plus, if you use your card responsibly by making on-time payments, you could earn back your security deposit as a statement credit.
- Personalized payment options: You can pick your own credit card payment due date, making it easier to fit your budget.
- Credit score alerts: Keep track of your credit score through CreditWise from Capital One — an advantageous perk for those trying to improve their credit scores.
- Travel benefits: Enjoy no foreign transaction fees and emergency card replacement.
- Extended warranties: Receive extended warranty coverage beyond the manufacturer’s warranty for items purchased with this card.
Currently, the Capital One Platinum Secured does not have any rewards program in place for redemption opportunities.
Recommended credit score
It is possible to get approved for the Capital One Platinum Secured if you have no credit history or if your FICO score is less than 600.
Why should you get the Discover it Secured?
The Discover it Secured is easily worth it thanks to its welcome bonus and cash back rewards program. It’s a strong secured option for someone who wants to test their responsibilities, improve their credit profile and eventually move on to an unsecured card as soon as possible. The key is to pay the balance off each month to avoid high interest rate charges.
- Automatic account reviews: After seven months, Discover will determine if an upgrade to an unsecured option is possible. This is ideal for those who want to build a stronger credit profile by adding an unsecured credit card with a higher credit limit.
- Free FICO score access: Users receive free access to their FICO credit score through the Discover app. This makes it both easy and convenient for those monitoring their scores closely.
- Card freeze: The FreezeIt feature allows users to instantly turn their card usage off or on if their card has gone missing or is stolen.
If you earn any cash back, you have the option to redeem at any time. There is no minimum redemption amount or an expiration date on rewards either.
Recommended credit score
Like the Capital One Platinum Secured, it’s possible to get approved for the Discover it Secured if you have no credit history or your FICO score is less than 600.
The bottom line
The Capital One Platinum Secured is an excellent choice for someone who has a limited budget for establishing a secured line of credit, since only $49 is required. And it’s a Mastercard, which is accepted almost everywhere in the world.
Meanwhile, the Discover it Secured offers an impressive welcome bonus where your cash back rewards are matched within the first year. Having a cash back rewards program tied to a secured credit card is unusual, and if you envision using your card for multiple purposes and can pay the balance in full each month, the cash back could be an enticing perk. Keep in mind, though, it will cost $200 to establish a credit line with this card.
Before you apply, be sure to review Bankrate’s list of the best secured credit cards, should there be another option that better suits your needs.