Discover Bank Review

Earn high-interest savings and make use of a rare cashback debit card

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Discover Bank

Discover Bank began with a credit card that officially launched in 1985 and, 15 years later, Discover opened its first banking branch. The company now offers loans, credit cards, and online banking, with more than $57 billion in deposits. This in-depth Discover Bank review can help you make sense of the products and whether or not the bank is right for you.

  • Pros and Cons
  • Company Overview
Pros and Cons
Pros
  • Cash-back rewards from a debit card

  • No monthly fees for checking, savings, or money market accounts

  • Credit cards with no annual fees

Cons
  • No branch access (for most people)

  • $2,500 minimum for money market and CDs

  • Some online banks pay better rates for savings accounts with similar requirements

Company Overview
  • Official Website www.discover.com
  • Bank Product Offerings Checking, savings, money market accounts, certificates of deposit, and credit cards
  • Customer Service Available by phone 24/7 (800-347-2683 inside U.S., 801-902-3100 outside U.S.), and through the chat system on the website.
  • Year Founded 2000

Who Is Discover Bank Best For?

Discover Bank offers an online-only experience, making it ideal for people who are comfortable banking online and want the advantages that come with online banking. Discover may be especially attractive to those who want:

  • No fee online checking and savings accounts with no minimums
  • A balance transfer card with no annual fee and a promotional 0% APR
  • Official bank checks at no cost (with free expedited delivery)
  • Highly-rated credit cards and a well-regarded app to track them with
  • A money market account with a decent APY that is easy to spend from
  • One-stop shopping for deposit accounts
  • Bank accounts with no fees (other than outgoing wire transfer fees)

What Does Discover Bank Offer?

Online Savings Account

The Discover Bank online savings account helps you earn more than you can typically get at brick-and-mortar banks. Plus, it’s easy to avoid paying fees in this account.

  • 0.50% APY
  • No minimum deposit to open
  • No ongoing minimum
  • No monthly fees
  • Free official bank checks (with expedited delivery)
  • No charge for returned deposits or insufficient funds

Requesting a check payable to you (the account owner) won’t count against Discover’s monthly withdrawal limit, but other transactions might. Discover bank does not charge an excess transaction fee if you go over the six-item limit, but the bank may refuse transactions or even close your account if you make a habit of breaking this rule.

The savings account at Discover Bank is accessible to almost anybody, and it pays a competitive rate compared to other banks that don’t require a minimum deposit or balance to earn the stated APY. You may be able to earn a better APY elsewhere, but you may prefer banking with a household name that has a forgiving fee structure.

Cashback Debit

The Discover Cashback Debit account is an online checking account that rewards you for spending. As the name suggests, you earn cash back when you use your debit card, helping to replenish some of the cash you spend.

  • 1% cash back on up to $3,000 per month of debit card spending
  • No monthly maintenance charge
  • No minimum balance required to open
  • Free official bank checks (with expedited delivery)
  • No insufficient funds fees
  • Freeze your debit card to reduce fraud
  • More than 60,000 fee-free ATMs
  • No fee from Discover for using out-of-network ATMs
  • Online bill pay

This is a truly no fee checking account, and it’s hard to pay fees on the account—even if you overdraw. The only fee Discover Bank charges for this account is a $30 outgoing wire transfer fee. But you can easily avoid that by ordering an official bank check or just moving money with a bank-to-bank transfer.

The cash-back reward is notable, but it might not be significant if you’re the type of person who spends over $3,000 each month with your debit card. The maximum reward you can earn is $30 per month, and Discover Bank prevents you from earning rewards on cash withdrawals and some other transactions.

Discover Bank ATMs are part of the Allpoint and MoneyPass networks. You can find them at convenience stores, pharmacies, banks, supermarkets, and more.

Money Market Account

The Money Market Account combines the interest earnings of a savings account with the liquidity of a checking account. As a result, it’s easy to spend money from an account that pays a competitive rate. You’ll earn a bit more in Discover Bank’s savings account, but the money market account could be useful for large bills and other situations.

  • Pays 0.35% APY on balances up to $100,000
  • Pays 0.40% APY when you have $100,000 or more
  • No monthly maintenance charge
  • Requires $2,500 to open
  • No ongoing balance requirement
  • Debit card for spending and cash withdrawals
  • Online bill pay
  • Check writing
  • Free official bank checks (including expedited delivery)
  • More than 60,000 fee-free ATMs
  • No insufficient funds fees

Like the savings account, this account limits certain types of withdrawals to six per month. As a result, this account could be useful for one or two large monthly bills, such as a mortgage payment. But the savings account pays even more than the money market account. If you know when your payment is due, it might be better to keep cash in a Discover savings account and transfer it to checking when you need to make a payment.

Certificates of Deposit

Discover Bank’s high-yield CDs have no fees, and they allow you to lock in a guaranteed rate for an extended period. To open a CD, you must deposit at least $2,500. Discover Bank’s CD rates are current as of Oct. 30, 2020:

CD Accounts
3 Months 0.20% APY
6 Months 0.25% APY
9 Months 0.30% APY
12 Months 0.60% APY
18 Months 0.60% APY
24 Months 0.60% APY
30 Months 0.65% APY
3 Years 0.65% APY
4 Years 0.65% APY
5 Years 0.70% APY
7 Years 0.70% APY
10 Years 0.70% APY

All of Discover’s CDs come with an early withdrawal penalty:

  • 3- to 9-month CDs: 3 months of interest
  • 12 to 36-month CDs: 6 months of interest
  • 4-year CDs: 9 months
  • 5-year CDs: 18 months
  • 7- and 10-year CDs: 24 months

Credit Cards

Discover offers a lineup of credit cards for different needs. All of them offer rewards, and none of them charge an annual fee.

Cash-Back and Travel Cards

Credit-Building Cards

Business

Other Financial Products From Discover Bank

Discover Bank offers several other critical products for consumers, making it possible to handle a variety of financial needs with one institution.

  • Home equity loans
  • Personal loans
  • Student loans
  • IRAs 

Discover Bank Customer Service

Discover Bank’s customer service ratings are quite good, with Discover taking third place out of seven banks in the J.D. Power 2019 Direct Banking Satisfaction Study.

Credit card users also seem to like Discover. The issuer took first place in both the J.D. Power 2019 Credit Card Satisfaction Study and the J.D. Power U.S. Credit Card Mobile App Satisfaction Study.

Customers can contact Discover by phone 24 hours a day, seven days a week at 1-800-347-2683 (inside the U.S.) or 1-801-902-3100 (outside the U.S.). Agents are also available on the website via a chat system.

How to Bank With Discover Bank

To open an account, visit Discover.com or call 1-800-347-7000. As with any bank operating in the U.S., you’ll need to provide personal information when opening an account. Discover Bank is completely online, so you won’t be able to visit a branch to open an account.

Final Verdict

BENEFITS

Discover Bank offers competitive online banking products with decent rates. With no-fee bank accounts and a massive ATM network, Discover is worth a look. Plus, credit cards from Discover have no annual fees, and you can choose cards that provide cash back, help you build credit, or earn travel rewards. Discover Bank may be a good option for all of your deposit accounts, including checking, savings, and CDs, as long as you’re comfortable banking completely online.

DRAWBACKS

Like most online banks, one of the main challenges of working with Discover Bank might be a lack of branches. It’s super easy to bank online, but you may prefer to walk into a branch for help. Also, Discover Bank adds a hurdle that some online banks don’t: You need at least $2,500 to open a CD or money market account, which might be too much for some people.

Article Sources

The Balance requires writers to use primary sources to support their work. These include white papers, government data, original reporting, and interviews with industry experts. We also reference original research from other reputable publishers where appropriate. You can learn more about the standards we follow in producing accurate, unbiased content in our editorial policy .
  1. Discover Financial Services. "Discover - Our Company." Accessed Aug. 18 2020.

  2. Discover Financial Services. "Investor Relations." Accessed Aug. 18 2020.

  3. Discover Bank. "Online Savings Account." Accessed Nov. 25 2020.

  4. Discover Bank. "Discover Cashback Debit." Accessed Aug. 18 2020.

  5. Discover. "Online Banking FAQ." Accessed Aug. 18 2020.

  6. Discover Bank. "Money Market Account with High Interest Rates." Accessed Nov. 25 2020.

  7. Discover Bank. "CD Rates." Accessed Sept. 21, 2020.

  8. J.D. Power. "2019 Direct Banking Satisfaction Study." Accessed Aug. 18 2020.

  9. J.D. Power. "2019 U.S. Credit Card Mobile App Satisfaction Study." Accessed Aug. 18 2020.