Discover it® Secured review: Build your credit and earn rewards

Man using a phone to check his Discover it Secured Credit Card balance Image: Man using a phone to check his Discover it Secured Credit Card balance

In a Nutshell

Secured credit cards are often no-frills utility players for those who are working on building their credit. The Discover it® Secured stands out for its cash back opportunities.

Editorial Note: Credit Karma receives compensation from third-party advertisers, but that doesn’t affect our editors’ opinions. Our marketing partners don’t review, approve or endorse our editorial content. It’s accurate to the best of our knowledge when posted. Availability of products, features and discounts may vary by state or territory. Read our Editorial Guidelines to learn more about our team.
Advertiser Disclosure

We think it's important for you to understand how we make money. It's pretty simple, actually. The offers for financial products you see on our platform come from companies who pay us. The money we make helps us give you access to free credit scores and reports and helps us create our other great tools and educational materials.

Compensation may factor into how and where products appear on our platform (and in what order). But since we generally make money when you find an offer you like and get, we try to show you offers we think are a good match for you. That's why we provide features like your Approval Odds and savings estimates.

Of course, the offers on our platform don't represent all financial products out there, but our goal is to show you as many great options as we can.

These offers are no longer available on our site: Citi® Secured Mastercard®, Capital One® Secured Mastercard®

This offer is no longer available on our site: Discover it® Secured.

The Discover it® Secured credit card is one of the rare secured cards that offers cash back.

Secured credit cards, which require a deposit and often have lower credit limits than regular credit cards, can be effective tools to help you build your credit if you use them responsibly. If you’re working on strengthening your credit and don’t qualify yet for traditional, unsecured cards, a secured credit card like the Discover it® Secured might be a good option for you.


  1. The rundown: Everything we like about the Discover it® Secured
  2. Heads up: What you should consider before applying
  3. Do the math: How to get the most out of the Discover it® Secured
  4. The competition: How the Discover it® Secured stacks up against similar cards.
  5. Bottom line: Is the Discover it® Secured right for you?

The rundown: Everything we like about the Discover it® Secured

If you’re approved for the Discover it® Secured, you’ll have to make a minimum security deposit of $200. How much you deposit will be your credit limit for the card. But paying that deposit may be worth it for several reasons.

Earn cash back

With the Discover it® Secured, you can earn 2% cash back on up to $1,000 in combined purchases at restaurants and gas stations each quarter (then 1%). You’ll get 1% cash back on everything else.

As an added bonus, Discover will match all the cash back you earn on your card the first year.

Pay no annual fee

The card has no annual fee, which is great if you want to build your credit without adding additional costs.

Build your credit with responsible use

Starting eight months after your account is opened, Discover will review your account each month and determine if you qualify to have your deposit returned. On-time payments and paying off your balance in full reflects good credit card behavior and could boost the chance your deposit will be returned.

Discover also provides your FICO® credit score for free on each of your monthly statements. You can also access it on Discover’s mobile app and your online account.

How does a secured credit card work?

Heads up: What you should consider before applying

The variable purchase APR on this card is high — 22.99% — which means you’ll have to be careful about how you use the card. Consider paying off your balance on time and in full each month — or as much of it as possible — to help you avoid interest charges.

The card has a maximum credit limit of $2,500. Discover will determine your credit limit based on your income and ability to pay.

Do the math: How to get the most out of the Discover it® Secured

Be careful about the variable APR for purchases. With potential for a credit limit as high as $2,500, maxing out your card could lead to ongoing interest fees and a higher credit utilization rate that could hurt your credit scores.

The best strategy for this card is to use it wisely: Pay off your balances and avoid late payments.

Learn more about credit card utilization and your credit scores

The competition: How the Discover it® Secured stacks up against similar cards

Here’s how the Discover it® Secured compares to other secured cards.

  • Citi® Secured Mastercard®: Minimum security deposit of $200; max $2,500.
  • Capital One® Secured Mastercard®: Get access to a higher credit line after making your first five monthly payments on time, with no additional deposit required.

Bottom line: Is the Discover it® Secured right for you?

The Discover it® Secured reports your information to the three major credit bureaus. This can make it a useful tool to help you build your credit, as long as you use it responsibly. Earning cash back on top of that is icing on the cake.