Discover Bank Review: Why it pays to Discover

Discover Bank, widely known for its popular credit cards, has taken an innovative approach to banking since the mid ’80s, but lesser known are the range of banking services it offers.

The usual online accounts, only better

Discover Bank offers all the online financial products you’d expect from the big institutions: checking, savings, money markets, CDs, and IRAs. (And all accounts are FDIC-insured up to the maximum amount allowed by law.) In addition, other Discover products include credit cards and loans, specifically home, home equity, student, and personal.

Checking accounts

My brick-and-mortar bank does not offer cash back on my checking account AND I get charged if my balance falls under $500. Discover Bank wins on both counts.

Savings accounts

Discover Bank’s savings accounts offer higher interest rates than the national average; and again, there is no monthly maintenance fee or monthly balance requirement.

Click here to open a Discover Bank online savings account

Certificates of Deposit

When it comes to certificates of deposit, Discover Bank offers terms from 3 months to 10 years. In other words, if you are interested in a CD, you’ll find a flexible term. Drawback: The minimum opening account balance is $2,500.

What’s good about Discover Bank?

Discover offers annual percentage yields that can earn you 5x the national average in interest. If you want to access that money you’ve been saving, you have a network of 60,000 ATMs from which to choose. And you can earn cash back with your checking account.

Account features

  • Deposit and withdrawal by electronic transfer
  • Mobile app that offers check deposit, transfers, bill pay, and the ability to check your balances on the go
  • No account fees or minimums (except for money market accounts)
  • Online bill pay is available for checking and money market accounts
  • Some account types offer unlimited monthly transfers

Discover Bank history

Back in 1986, the Discover Card launched. While this may not seem like a newsworthy event, what was unusual — at least for that time — was that the Discover Card didn’t have an annual fee. And you know what else? The Discover Card offered a cashback bonus, the first card to do so, according to the company.

Back in the ’80s, Mastercard and Visa reigned supreme as the credit card kings. The Discover Card was the first competing card to significantly challenge their monarchy. Why? In addition to the reasons I’ve already mentioned, it offered lower merchant fees. Today, it’s the third-largest credit card brand in the United States.

Discover Card, as you might imagine, is part of Discover Bank. The birth of the Discover Card and Bank began with Sears, before Sears sold off its financial services in the ’90s. Through mergers and acquisitions, Discover Bank wasn’t called “Discover Bank” until 2000.

J.D. Power and Associates has ranked Discover as the “highest in customer satisfaction with credit card companies.”

Take the plunge?

Discover Bank offers competitive interest rates and a focus on customer service.

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