DISCOVER IT SECURED CREDIT CARD REVIEW [UPDATED 2019]
People looking to build or rebuild their credit, should consider getting the Discover It Secured credit card.
The Discover It Secured card’s aim is to help people establish credit for the first time or improve their bad credit. However, the Discover It Secured card has the added bonus of offering rewards points to cardholders in the form of cash back, which is an added bonus and one that sets this credit card apart.
Did we mention that there’s no annual fee with the Discover It Secured card? Any way you look at it, this is a credit card that has a lot of benefits and few downside risks.
- No annual fee ever
- No transaction fees
- You earn 2% cash back at restaurants and gas stations
- There’s a set annual percentage rate (APR) of 25.24%
- The APR on cash advances is high at 27.24%
- Few additional features come with this credit card
A GENUINE CREDIT CARD
Discover likes to point out that this card is legitimate and not a prepaid credit card or debit card. As such, you’ll be able to build a credit history and improve your credit score with the three major credit bureaus in the United States – Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion.
Prepaid credit cards and debit cards do not allow people to build a credit history as there is no debt involved with their use.
With the Discover It Secured credit card, you’ll be able to legitimately build a credit history and improve your credit score over time by using the card.
Note though that this credit card does require a security deposit. The good news is that the security deposit is refundable and you get to choose the deposit amount up to the credit line approved.
CASH BACK REWARDS
The other nice feature of this credit card is that it provides rewards to cardholders in the form of cash back. With this card, you’ll earn 2% cash back at restaurants or gas stations on up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter throughout the year. Plus 1% cash back on all other credit card purchases.
Discover then matches all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year. You can redeem the cash back rewards in any amount at any time and the rewards never expire. This is a nice incentive and unusual for a credit card that’s focused on building or repairing a person’s credit history. With the ability to improve your credit and earn cash back, it’s clear that this is an attractive credit card to own.
ANNUAL FEES / TRANSACTION FEES
In addition to putting money back in your pocket, the Discover It Secured card is inexpensive to own due to the fact that there is no annual fee. None – ever.
That’s great considering most credit cards on the market today charge an annual fee of at least $100, and many cards have annual fees above $400. Also, the $0 annual fee is not an introductory offer that eventually expires.
Also, there is a 3% fee on balance transfers and 5% fee on cash advances on the Discover It Secured credit card, but there are no penalty fees and no foreign transaction fees.
No fees are charged for the first late payment – though subsequent offences will cost you a fee of $37. But all-in-all, the Discover It Secured is an inexpensive credit card to own – one that will not cost you much over and above the interest rates that are applied.
If there’s a knock on the Discover It Secured credit card, it concerns the annual percentage rate (APR), or interest rate. There’s no APR range for cardholders.
While many credit cards charge APR from anywhere between 13% and 25% depending on the cardholders’ credit history, the Discover It Secured card charges all cardholders the same APR of 25.24%. That’s a firm interest rate, applies to all cardholders and is not negotiable. Of course, the set APR is due to the fact that this credit card is for people with bad credit or no credit at all.
You can’t set an APR range based on a cardholders’ creditworthiness if the cardholders have no real credit history or an inferior one. Be sure and use the set APR as motivation to pay off the balance on this card each and every month.
Worth remembering too is that the interest rate charged on cash advances is 27.24%, and the APR on the Discover It Secured credit card varies with the market based on the prime interest rate. There’s a nice introductory APR rate of just 10.99% on balance transfers to the Discover It Secured card for the first six months from date of first transfer, which is nice for people looking to consolidate debt.
But any and all transfers must be posted to your account within the first 3 months of opening your account or the introductory APR on balance transfers expires. After the introductory APR, the regular interest rate charged on balance transfers is the set 25.24%.
There are not a lot of additional features on the Discover It Secured card. As mentioned, it already provides cash back rewards, helps people build a positive credit history, and has few fees attached to it.
The extra features attached to this credit card include monitoring for fraud and alerting you if your Social Security number is detected on any of thousands of risky websites, and the ability to view your FICO credit score on monthly statements, mobile devices and online free of charge. As we said, not a lot of other features but the rewards and lack of fees more than make up for it.
WHO SHOULD NOT GET THIS CARD
People with established credit or a positive credit history need not apply for the Discover It Secured credit card. This really is a credit card for people who want to build or rebuild their credit. There are other credit cards on the market with more favourable interest rates and superior rewards – including richer cash back rewards.
But for people starting from zero or looking to start over, the Discover It Secured card is a positive step in the right direction. Also keep in mind that Discover credit cards are not as widely accepted as Visa and Mastercard.
ALTERNATIVE CARD: VISA OPENSKY SECURED CREDIT CARD
A comparable credit card that you might want to consider instead of the Discover It Secured is the Visa OpenSky Secured card. It too helps people with no credit or bad credit build a positive credit report. And the Visa OpenSky Secured credit card has a lower APR at 19.39% than the Discover It Secured card’s 25.24% APR.
However, the Visa OpenSky Secured card does have an annual fee of $35 (a modest amount compared to other credit cards) and it does not offer any rewards the way the Discover It Secured card provides cardholders with cash back earnings. The Visa OpenSky Secured credit card also charges 3% on each foreign transaction and hits customers with penalty fees on late payments and returned payments.
If you’re just starting out and looking to establish a credit history or recovering after some bad credit decisions, then you can’t really do better than to use the Discover It Secured credit card.
The fact that this is a real credit card that will enable you to build up goodwill with credit bureaus, there are no annual or transaction fees, and you also get cash back rewards that never expire should entice people to use the Discover It Secured credit card. Similar credit cards do not offer as many perks to cardholders.