Discover Bank Review 2022

Free Online Checking and Savings Accounts

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Discover Bank Brick-and-mortar banks are expensive to operate, which is why online-only banks can offer accounts with better interest rates and lower fees than a traditional bank. Discover Bank is one such bank and offers a full suite of checking, savings, money market and CD accounts with competitive rates and no monthly fees. If that sounds good to you, follow along with this review to find out if Discover is the right fit for your banking needs.
Commissions & Fees - 9
Customer Service - 6
Ease of Use - 8
Locations - 3
Savings Options - 8
Rates - 8.5

7

While we like Discover Bank’s no-fee accounts and large network of participating ATMs, there are some limitations to having an account -- chiefly, the inability to use a Discover debit card with many retailers.

Open an Online Savings Account

What Is Discover Bank?

Discover Bank is an online bank owned and operated by Discover Financial, the institution behind the popular line of Discover credit cards with nearly 50 million cardholders in the United States. Discover is a diversified financial institution offering an array of financial products including private student loans, personal loans, home equity loans, Diner’s Club and its own ATM network, PULSE.

The bank’s primary checking and savings accounts offer the exact features you would expect from a modern online bank. And with some other banks getting publicity for ending their free checking products, a truly free online checking account is a great alternative to a traditional bank account, if an online-only bank meets your needs.

I have banked exclusively online for about two years, and the only thing I can’t do is deposit cash. If you are happy managing your bank accounts from your web browser and your smartphone and rarely need to deposit cash, online banks offer a great product at a very low cost.

Discover Bank Features

AccountsSavings, Checking, Money Market, CDs
AccessWeb Based, iPhone App, Android App, Blackberry App
Amount of Branches0
ATM Reimbursement
Online Deposits
FDIC Insurance
Customer ServicePhone: 24/7; Live Chat: 24/7; Email

How Discover Bank Works

Discover Bank offers everything you would expect from an online bank. Features include a cash-back debit card, high-yield savings and a large network of no-fee ATMs.

Cashback Checking

The flagship account of Discover Bank is the Cashback Checking account. This account has no monthly fee. Nor does it have a minimum balance or direct deposit requirement. And the included debit card offers 1% cash back on purchases up to $3,000 per month. This is better than most debit cards you’ll find in banking today. Logging in to the Discover website or app gives users access to free online bill pay. In addition, users can reorder checks or a replacement debit card at no fee.

Some activity does incur a fee, however, though these are not very common activities for responsible bank customers. For example, you don’t pay any fees for incoming or outgoing ACH transfers or incoming wire transfers, but outgoing wires have a $30 fee.

Discover Bank Savings Account

Discover Savings

Discover’s savings account pays a 1.10% APY as of May 27, 2022. This is in the upper tier of interest rates and comparable to many other online banks. However, when compared to the big banks like Chase, Citi and Bank of America, Discover’s savings account pays far better. This makes the Discover Online Savings account a great choice for an emergency fund.

Like the checking account, there are no minimum balances to avoid fees. So this no-frills savings account is a great place to park a chunk of cash that you don’t expect to need for a long while, such as for a home down payment. This savings account is Discover’s standout product and my favorite account offered by Discover Bank.

Available For Taxable, IRA
Account Fees None
Custodial No
Savings Rates
Minimum Deposit1.10%

Discover Bank Money Market

Discover Money Market

Available For Taxable,IRA
Account Fees None
Savings Rates

Minimum Deposit250  1.00%

Minimum Deposit10000  1.05%

Discover Bank CD Rates

Discover Bank CDs

Discover Bank offers two types of CD accounts: a traditional CD and an IRA CD. As of May 27, 2022.  APYs range from 0.30% for a 3-month CD, up to 2.90% for a 10-year CD. In the current interest rate and investment environment, however, CDs have fallen in popularity. The IRA CD works as either a traditional or Roth IRA.

Term Minimum Deposit APY
3 2500 0.30
6 2500 0.60
9 2500 0.65
12 2500 1.90%
18 2500 1.65
24 2500 2.00
30 2500 2.00
36 2500 2.20
48 2500 2.20
60 2500 2.90%
84 2500 2.75
120 2500 2.90%
HighlightsChimeCIT BankDiscover Bank
Rating8.5/108.5/107/10
AccountsSavings, Checking, Money Market, CDsSavings, Checking, Money Market, CDsSavings, Checking, Money Market, CDs
Online Deposits
Physical Branches
FDIC Insurance
ATM Reimbursement

Discover Bank Pros & Cons

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Summary

For individuals looking for a truly free checking and savings account with better-than-average interest rates plus debit card cashback, Discover Bank has you covered. However, with limited card acceptance, reports of longer-than-average times before an incoming deposit clears your account, and many unflattering reviews, it is far from perfect. But if you have simple needs that an online-only bank can handle, Discover Bank can handle it just fine.

Eric Rosenberg

Eric Rosenberg is a finance, travel and technology writer in Ventura, California. He is a former bank manager and corporate finance and accounting professional who left his day job in 2016 to take his online side hustle full time. He has in-depth experience writing about banking, credit cards, investing and other financial topics and is an avid travel hacker. When away from the keyboard, Eric enjoys exploring the world, flying small airplanes, discovering new craft beers and spending time with his wife and little girls.

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One Comment

  1. It looks like Discover Bank still has the 12 month CD for 2.0% APY even after the FED’s 50 basis point rate cut on Monday, March 1, 2020.

    Curious, do you know how much longer these rates will hold. What is the typical lag time between the FED lowering rates and banks and credit unions lowering theirs? Thanks!

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