Discover Bank Review: Rewards Checking and High-Yield Savings

discover bank

Finding the right bank can make it easier to manage your money. But your quest to find the perfect bank won’t be an easy one, especially if you’re looking for features such as checking rewards and high-yield savings.

That’s why we want to highlight Discover Bank. It has some of the best features of any bank we’ve seen, both online and traditional. Read on to learn more about Discover Bank and how it can help you achieve your financial goals.

Discover online banking review

Here’s a bird’s-eye view of Discover Bank’s pros and cons:

Pros Cons
Offers a checking rewards program Has only one physical branch
High-yield savings Doesn’t offer cash deposits
Low fees

There isn’t a lot to dislike if you’re fine using an online-only bank. But if you need physical branches, you might be better off with a bank that has a brick-and-mortar location in your area.

Discover Bank products

Discover Bank offers a handful of basic banking products to its customers, including:

  • Cash-back checking
  • Online savings
  • Money market
  • Certificate of deposit (CD)
  • Individual retirement account (IRA) CD

To help you decide if Discover Bank is right for you, here’s a breakdown of each banking product it offers.

Cash-back checking

Discover’s checking account doesn’t let you earn interest on any money you keep in it. However, depending on how often you use your debit card, it offers something better: cash back on your debit card spending.

discover bank

Image credit: Discover Bank

Rewards

You’ll earn 1 percent cash back on up to $3,000 in debit card purchases every month. That’s up to $30 per month in cash rewards, and you don’t have to sign up for a credit card to get it.

Keep in mind, however, that the following won’t generate rewards:

  • ATM transactions
  • Purchase of money orders or cash equivalents, such as gift cards
  • Cash-over portions of point-of-sale transactions (think cash back at the cash register)
  • Peer-to-peer payments

Additionally, purchases made using third-party payment accounts, such as Venmo or PayPal, might not generate rewards.

Depositing funds

You can deposit money into your cash-back checking account in the following ways:

  • Online transfer from another bank account
  • Direct deposit
  • Mobile check deposit
  • Check deposit by mail

Note that cash deposits aren’t an option. The only exception is if you live near the bank’s sole physical branch, which is located in Delaware.

Fees

As far as fees go, Discover Bank is remarkably generous. Here’s what you can expect:

Fee Cost
Monthly maintenance $0
ATM withdrawal $0
Check orders $0
Official bank check $0
Online bill pay $0
Wire transfers $0 for incoming transfers; $30 for outgoing transfers
Insufficient funds (overdraft) $30 per item; maximum of one per day

To avoid the bank’s overdraft fee, you can set up an automatic transfer from your online savings account.

Also, although Discover Bank will never charge you for an ATM withdrawal, out-of-network ATM operators might charge you a fee. The good news is Discover has a network of 60,000 ATMs nationwide, so you won’t have a hard time finding one nearby.

Online savings

In addition to launching a cash rewards program for its checking account, Discover Bank also offers one of the highest savings yields on the market.

As of December 2017, you’ll earn 1.30% APY with no minimum balance requirement and no phaseout on higher balances. The account also charges no monthly fee. However, if you make more than six withdrawals from your account in a month, there’s a $15 fee per withdrawal after your sixth withdrawal.

What’s more, Discover Bank allows you to open as many savings accounts as you want. So, if you have multiple savings goals, you can separate them into different accounts to stay organized.

Other Discover Bank accounts

You also can open a money market account, a certificate of deposit (CD) account, and an IRA CD account with Discover. Here are some quick facts about each.

Money market

  • As of December 2017, you’ll earn 1.05% APY if your balance is under $100,000 and 1.10% APY on balances of $100,000 or more.
  • Certain types of transfers and withdrawals are limited to a total of six per month, after which you’ll get hit with a $15 fee per withdrawal. There’s no limit on withdrawals by ATM or official check, however.
  • You’ll pay a $10 fee if you don’t have an average daily balance of at least $2,500 each month.

CD

  • As of December 2017, you’ll earn 1.50% APY for a 12-month term. You can choose a term between three months and 10 years.
  • The minimum opening balance is $2,500.
  • You’ll pay a penalty if you make a withdrawal before the CD matures.

CD IRA

  • The terms of the regular CD account apply to the CD IRA as well.
  • You can choose between a Roth or traditional IRA.
  • Withdrawals made from an IRA before the age of 59 and a half might be subject to income taxes and a 10 percent penalty.

Using the Discover online banking platform

To open an online savings account, visit the bank’s main account page and click on “open an account.”

discover online banking

Image credit: Discover Bank

Discover allows you to open up to five accounts with just one application. When you choose which account type you want, you’ll enter how much you want to deposit into it and click “add account.”

Once you’ve added all the accounts you want, you can move on to the next step.

discover online banking review

Image credit: Discover Bank

After you’ve determined which accounts you want, you’ll share the following information about yourself:

  • Full name
  • Address
  • Phone number
  • Email address
  • Social Security or Taxpayer ID number
  • Date of birth
  • Mother’s maiden name
  • Citizenship status
  • Employment and income information

If you already have an account with Discover, you can log in, and the bank will use the information it already has on file.

Once you’ve filled out this information, you can add a joint owner or beneficiary to your accounts. Then, you’ll fill out your bank information to complete the opening deposit — or opt to fund the account later — and agree to Discover’s disclosures.

After submitting the application, you’ll get a response within a minute. You might need to answer some extra questions to verify your identity. Then, you’ll be ready to go.

Once you’ve been approved, you can set up an online account. Since the bank has just one brick-and-mortar branch, everything you need can be found through online banking.

Discover online banking review: Customer service

Discover Bank is well-known for its stellar customer service. The bank was second-highest in customer satisfaction by a recent J.D. Power survey.

Discover boasts a U.S.-based customer service team, and you can contact a banking specialist anytime at 1-800-347-7000. You also can reach the company’s social media team on Facebook and Twitter.

Is Discover Bank right for you?

If you have no issue with doing all your banking online, Discover Bank is one of the best options out there.

With a high savings yield and cash-back rewards on debit card purchases, you stand to get a lot of value out of your bank accounts, especially considering the low fees.

That said, it’s wise to shop around before making a decision on a bank account. Compare several bank accounts to make sure you’re getting the best one for your needs. Be mindful of fees, interest, and special features that can help you as you work toward your financial goals.

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