2017 Comparison Review: Discover it® Secured Credit Card vs. Citi® Secured MasterCard® vs. Wells Fargo Secured Card vs. BankAmericard® Secured Credit Card
We all know that your credit score is an important number to keep track of. However, what happens when you let that important little number go unchecked and suddenly find yourself being denied for a loan, mortgage or credit card due to a poor score?
It’s a catch-22 trying to rebuild your credit if you can’t qualify for a credit card with your poor credit score. Where do you even begin improving your credit score if no one will even give you a credit card?
Thankfully, there are secured credit cards like the Bank of America secured credit card and Wells Fargo secured credit card, among others. You are able to qualify for a secured credit card even with poor or no credit which makes them a great first step to rebuilding credit.
A quick Internet search will reveal that there are many secured credit cards out there, especially Discover credit cards for bad credit. With so many offers, how do you choose just one?
The answer to that question may just lie in this article, where we break down four different secured credit card options for you. We will look at important features of each card, like the secured Discover card, and see how they stack up against one another.
By looking into the features that each of these four credit cards offer, you can decide what secured credit card would make the best addition to your wallet: the secured Discover card, Citi® Secured MasterCard®, Wells Fargo secure card or BoA secured credit card.
Why Open a Secured Credit Card?
You know how important it is to have a good credit score. Throughout your life, you might encounter many situations where a poor credit score will prohibit you from doing the things that you want to do.
If you want to buy a car, your credit score will be checked. If you want to get a mortgage for a house, your credit score will be checked. If you apply for a credit card or loan, your credit score will be checked.
Having poor credit will keep you from achieving these things which is why you should take advantage of a card like the Wells Fargo secured card or secured Discover card.
Discover secured credit cards to rebuild credit have more benefits than just helping you rebuild your credit score. First, credit cards will allow you to partake in the world of e-commerce, which means you can take advantage of discounts and deals that aren’t normally available in the store.
A card like the Discover secured credit card also has other benefits. Some have no foreign transaction fees so you can use them throughout the world. Others have rewards that allow you to earn cash back which you can redeem for merchandise, gift cards, and even statement credits.
Though the main goal of getting a secured credit card, like the Wells Fargo Secured Credit Card, is improving your credit score, there are other benefits as well.
How Is a Secured Credit Card Different?
Credit card companies need some assurance that they will recoup the money they lend you. When you have good credit, they trust you more and offer unsecured credit cards. If you have poor credit, this means that you will need to apply for a secured credit card like the Bank of America secured credit card.
Image source: MintLife
You can get a secured credit card, like the Wells Fargo Secured Credit Card, with poor or even no credit. However, this benefit does not come free.
You will need to put up a security deposit to get a secured credit card like the Discover it® Secured Credit Card. A security deposit is an amount of money that you deposit with the credit card company, and when you either close your account or upgrade to an unsecured card, it will refund this money as long as your account is in good standing.
Some credit card issuers set your credit limit to what your security deposit is while others gamble a bit more. This depends on the issuer and how low your credit score actually is.
The difference between an unsecured credit card and a secured credit card, like the Discover secured credit card, is that you must put down a security deposit. The security deposit on a secure card, such as the Citibank secured credit card, will vary by the issuer as well. Some have set amounts while others have a range.
Comparison Review List
The list below is sorted alphabetically:
- BankAmericard® Secured Credit Card
- Citi® Secured MasterCard®
- Discover it® Secured Credit Card
- Wells Fargo Secured Credit Card
High Level Comparison Table
Credit Card Name
Annual Percentage Rate (APR)
Cash Advance Fee
Cash Back Rewards
|BankAmericard® Secured Credit Card|
|Citi® Secured MasterCard®|
|Discover it® Secured Credit Card|
|Wells Fargo Secured Credit Card|
Comparison Table: Above list is sorted alphabetically
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Discover it® Secured Credit Card vs. Citi® Secured MasterCard® vs. Wells Fargo Secured Card vs. BankAmericard® Secured Credit Card
Secured credit cards are all unique, so it is important to look at how they stack up overall in regard to several key card characteristics.
When you are doing a review of Discover credit cards for bad credit and other secured credit cards, it is important to consider these key features:
- APRs & introductory offers
- Security deposit
- Cashback rewards
As we go through our review of each of these features, it is important to see how these secured credit cards stack up against each other.
Does the Discover secured credit card have the lowest annual fee? Is the Citibank secured credit card APR the lowest? Does the Bank of America secured credit card have cashback rewards?
These are all questions that you need to ask yourself when comparing secured credit cards. Decide what features matter most to you, and base your final selection off that.
Credit card companies make money off fees that they charge you for using their card – like the Bank of America secured credit card. There are foreign transaction fees, annual fees, balance transfer fees, cash advance fees, and even late payment fees. It is important to know what fees certain credit cards have and understand how these fees will affect you.
Though most fees are associated with some action that you take, if your card has an annual fee, you will be charged this fee annually, no matter what. When it comes to annual fees, the Discover it® Secured Credit Card and Citi® Secured MasterCard® both have none. The Wells Fargo Secured Credit Card has a $25 annual fee while the BankAmericard® Secured Credit Card has the highest annual fee, at $39.
Balance transfer fees are another thing to keep in mind. The Bank of America secured credit card, Discover secured credit card, and Citibank secured credit card all have a 3% balance transfer fee. The Wells Fargo Secured Credit Card has the highest balance transfer fee, at 5%.
When it comes to foreign transaction fees, the Discover secured credit card really shines here. The Discover secured credit card has no foreign transaction fee. The Citibank secured credit card, Bank of America secured credit card, and Wells Fargo Secured Credit Card all fall in second place with a 3% foreign transaction fee.
Looking at cash advance fees, the Wells Fargo Secured Credit Card, Discover secured credit card, and Citibank secured credit card all charge 5% of the total cash withdrawal. The Bank of America secured credit card shines here, with a variable fee between 3% and 5%.
It is important to take a moment to look at how these cards stack up, especially in terms of the fees that matter most to you.
APRs & Introductory Offers
An annual percentage rate (APR) is the rate that credit companies charge on the balances that you carry on your credit card. It is the interest rate charged on your credit card balance.
Especially if you are one of the 42.1% of Americans carrying credit card debt, you will want a credit card with a lower interest rate, or APR. This means that you will accrue lower interest if you carry a balance on your credit card.
Though most unsecured credit cards have variable APRs, a majority of secured cards have a set APR. This is the case for the four cards in our comparison.
If you are looking for the lowest APR, the Wells Fargo Secured Credit Card is the go-to card with an APR of 19.24%. The Bank of America secured credit card comes in second, with a 20.49% APR. The Citibank secured credit card and Discover secured credit card fall at the bottom, with APRs of 22.24% and 23.24%, respectively.
Though some credit card companies offer introductory APR periods, where you will accrue no interest during that time, none of the cards on our list offers that. This is a benefit you won’t get with a secured credit card like the Citibank secured credit card.
If you are planning to carry a balance on your card or planning for large purchases, pay close attention to the APR offers of each credit card.
A security deposit is the money that you deposit with the credit card company in exchange for obtaining a secured credit card. Some credit companies tie your security deposit to your maximum credit limit, but it depends on the card.
The Bank of America secured credit card does not offer this feature. Your credit limit will be set to your security deposit. Your security deposit can range from $300 to $4,900, depending on your desired credit limit.
The Citibank secured credit card maintains the same concept. Your maximum credit limit will be set to the amount of security deposit that you submit. This can range from $200 to $2,500.
For the Discover secured credit card, your credit limit will also be tied to your security deposit. You will need a minimum of $200 for a security deposit.
The Wells Fargo Secured Credit Card can be secured with a security deposit of $300. Similar to the other cards, your credit limit will be set at your deposit amount.
All of these cards let you choose your security deposit amount and will match your credit limit to it. The real difference is the minimum amounts required. The Citibank secured credit card and Discover secured credit card have the lowest minimum security deposits, so if you are low on cash, those may be a better option.
Many companies offer cashback rewards to entice you to use their credit card over their competitors. However, secured credit cards are usually obtained by people with poor credit who cannot qualify for other credit cards. This is why few secured credit cards offer cashback rewards.
Image source: Credit Repair Resources
The Bank of America secured credit card does not offer cash back, but there are other benefits. After 12 months, your credit card will be reviewed, and if your credit history is good enough, your deposit may be returned to you. This is a nice reward for forming good credit habits.
The Citibank secured credit card does not offer cash back either. However, you will get purchase protection as well as travel protection. With trip cancellation protection and worldwide car rental insurance, the Citibank secured credit card could be a good card to take on the road with you.
The Wells Fargo Secured Credit Card also does not offer cashback rewards. There are other benefits, such as auto rental collision damage waiver, emergency card replacement, roadside dispatch, travel assistance, and cell phone protection coverage. Though they are not equivalent to cash back, these benefits can come in handy.
Thankfully, the Discover secured credit card offers cash back. You will earn 1% cash back on all purchases and 2% on gas and groceries on up to $1,000 in purchases each quarter. As a bonus, Discover will also match the cash back you earn in the first year. This is where the Discover secured credit card really shines.
If you are looking for a cash back secured credit card, the Discover secured credit card is likely your best option. However, it is important to look at all of the other features associated with the other secured credit cards on our list.
Conclusion: Secured Discover Card vs. Citibank Secured Credit Card vs. Wells Fargo Secure Card vs. BOA Secured Credit Card
When comparing secured credit cards to each other, you need to do a thorough analysis. It doesn’t matter if the Wells Fargo Secured Credit Card is the card that your friend or relative has because it might not be the best fit for you.
Be sure to keep your own interests and financial situation in mind when applying for a credit card of any kind.
Be sure to consider these key features when analyzing secured credit card offerings:
- APRs & introductory offers
- Security deposit
- Cashback rewards
It is important to do your research and not just choose the first secured card that you find. When you are looking for a card to help rebuild your credit, you want to make sure that it is the right fit for you and will help you in the long run.
Whether you chose the Discover secured credit card, Bank of America secured credit card or one of the others in our comparison, make sure that you choose the card that fits your individual needs.
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