Editorial Review

Discover Bank Review: Checking, Savings and CDs

Discover Bank offers excellent accounts, a massive free ATM network and does not charge fees.

Margarette BurnetteOctober 8, 2019

At NerdWallet, we strive to help you make financial decisions with confidence. To do this, many or all of the products featured here are from our partners. However, this doesn’t influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own.

Overall bank rating

Discover Bank

at Discover Bank,

Member, FDIC

  • Savings

    Savings

  • Checking

    Checking

  • CD rates

    CD rates

  • Banking experience

    Banking experience

  • Overdraft fees

    Overdraft fees

4.5

NerdWallet rating 

The bottom line: Discover Bank® checking lets you earn cash back on qualifying debit card purchases each month and offers free access to a broad ATM network. The online bank also has a high-yield savings account that offers a $150 and $200 bonus for folks who meet certain requirements. But customers who prefer to bank in person won’t like that Discover® has only one physical branch.

Pros

  • No fees.

  • $150 and $200 bonus for savings.

  • 1% cash-back rewards checking account.

  • Competitive savings rates.

  • Large ATM network.

Cons

  • Only one physical branch location.

Full review

Best Savings Account

Discover Bank Online Savings

at Discover Bank,

Member, FDIC

5.0

NerdWallet rating 

at Discover Bank,

Member, FDIC

APY

1.50%

With $0 minimum balance

Bonus

$200

Requirements to qualify

The Discover online savings account earns a strong annual percentage yield that compares favorably to the national average of 0.07%, and you won’t have to pay maintenance charges for this account. There are also no minimum balance requirements to earn interest.

What's more, first-time savings customers are eligible for a bonus of $150 or $200. However, to be eligible for the $150 or $200 bonus, the deposit requirement is a fairly hefty $15,000 or $25,000, respectively

Discover says: “To get your $150 or $200 bonus offer: What to do: Apply for your first Discover Online Savings Account by 4/6/20, 11:59 p.m. ET, online or by phone. Enter Offer Code NW320 when applying. Deposit into your account a total of at least $15,000 to earn a $150 Bonus or deposit a total of at least $25,000 to earn a $200 Bonus. Deposit must be posted by 4/20/20, 11:59 p.m. ET. Maximum bonus eligibility is $200.

What to know: Offer not valid for existing or prior Discover savings customers or existing or prior customers with savings accounts that are co-branded or affinity accounts provided by Discover. Account must be open when bonus is credited. Bonus will be credited to the account by 5/4/20. Bonus is considered interest and will be reported on IRS Form 1099-INT. Offer may be modified/withdrawn without notice."

Online Savings Account details from Discover: “Annual Percentage Yield (APY). Advertised Online Savings Account APY is accurate as of 3/12/2020. Applies to personal accounts only. APY may change before or after the account is opened. No minimum deposit to open."

Best Checking Account Overall, Best Checking Account With No Monthly Fee, Best Bank for Overdraft Fee Avoidance

Discover Bank Cashback Debit

Discover Bank Cashback Debit

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
Monthly Fee

$0

Discover’s Cashback Debit is a rewards checking account that lets you earn 1% cash back for certain debit card transactions, on up to $3,000 in purchases each month. It’s rare to find a rewards checking account with no monthly service charge. Discover Cashback Debit offers this benefit, along with no monthly balance requirement and access to over 60,000 fee-free ATMs.

There is a downside for those unwilling to let go of face-to-face banking: Unless you live near Greenwood, Delaware — where Discover Bank has its only branch — you’ll need to do your banking online.

Cashback Debit details from Discover: "ATM transactions, the purchase of money orders or other cash equivalents, cash over portions of point-of-sale transactions, peer-to-peer (P2P) payments (such as Apple Pay Cash), and loan payments or account funding made with your debit card are not eligible for cash back rewards. In addition, purchases made using third-party payment accounts (services such as Venmo® and PayPal™, which also provide P2P payments) may not be eligible for cash back rewards. Apple, the Apple logo and Apple Pay are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries."

See Discover's website for more details.

Discover Bank CD

at Discover Bank,

Member, FDIC

4.5

NerdWallet rating 

at Discover Bank,

Member, FDIC

1-year APY

1.75%

3-year APY

1.80%

5-year APY

1.80%

Minimum Deposit

$2,500

Discover Bank offers competitive terms on CDs, but you’ll need at least $2,500 to open a CD. Many other banks with competitive rates have lower minimums.

CD details from Discover: “Annual Percentage Yield (APY) is accurate as of 3/12/2020, is subject to change without notice, and will be determined and fixed for the term at funding. Applies to personal accounts only. A penalty may be charged for early withdrawal. Minimum deposit to open is $2,500."

Banking experience

4.5

NerdWallet rating 

Discover’s mobile banking apps receive high ratings from customers, and representatives are available by phone every day. You also can reach the bank through mail and social media.

Overdraft fees

4.5

NerdWallet rating 

Discover Bank doesn’t charge a fee for overdrafts. If you don’t have enough money in your account to cover a purchase, and you’ve enabled overdraft protection, Discover will pull the money from your designated funding account. If you don’t have enough in your funding account or you haven’t enabled overdraft protection, the transaction will be declined, and you won’t be charged a fee.

The largest U.S, banks charge an average overdraft fee of $35, according to a recent NerdWallet analysis — sometimes multiple times per day. If you don’t have enough money to make a purchase, Discover won’t penalize you for it.

Transfers from a linked account that cover your overdrafts are free. Other banks may charge for this service.

Note that there is no option to have an overdraft covered for a fee. Now and then, you might prefer to pay an overdraft fee in exchange for having an important transaction covered. Discover doesn’t offer this option.

Here's a look at how Discover's savings account compares to other savings options.

Best Savings Account

Discover Bank Online Savings

at Discover Bank,

Member, FDIC

5.0

NerdWallet rating 

at Discover Bank,

Member, FDIC

APY

1.50%

With $0 minimum balance

Bonus

$200

Requirements to qualify

The Discover online savings account earns a strong annual percentage yield that compares favorably to the national average of 0.07%, and you won’t have to pay maintenance charges for this account. There are also no minimum balance requirements to earn interest.

What's more, first-time savings customers are eligible for a bonus of $150 or $200. However, to be eligible for the $150 or $200 bonus, the deposit requirement is a fairly hefty $15,000 or $25,000, respectively

Discover says: “To get your $150 or $200 bonus offer: What to do: Apply for your first Discover Online Savings Account by 4/6/20, 11:59 p.m. ET, online or by phone. Enter Offer Code NW320 when applying. Deposit into your account a total of at least $15,000 to earn a $150 Bonus or deposit a total of at least $25,000 to earn a $200 Bonus. Deposit must be posted by 4/20/20, 11:59 p.m. ET. Maximum bonus eligibility is $200.

What to know: Offer not valid for existing or prior Discover savings customers or existing or prior customers with savings accounts that are co-branded or affinity accounts provided by Discover. Account must be open when bonus is credited. Bonus will be credited to the account by 5/4/20. Bonus is considered interest and will be reported on IRS Form 1099-INT. Offer may be modified/withdrawn without notice."

Online Savings Account details from Discover: “Annual Percentage Yield (APY). Advertised Online Savings Account APY is accurate as of 3/12/2020. Applies to personal accounts only. APY may change before or after the account is opened. No minimum deposit to open."

Best Checking Account Overall, Best Checking Account With No Monthly Fee, Best Bank for Overdraft Fee Avoidance

Discover Bank Cashback Debit

Discover Bank Cashback Debit

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
Monthly Fee

$0

Discover’s Cashback Debit is a rewards checking account that lets you earn 1% cash back for certain debit card transactions, on up to $3,000 in purchases each month. It’s rare to find a rewards checking account with no monthly service charge. Discover Cashback Debit offers this benefit, along with no monthly balance requirement and access to over 60,000 fee-free ATMs.

There is a downside for those unwilling to let go of face-to-face banking: Unless you live near Greenwood, Delaware — where Discover Bank has its only branch — you’ll need to do your banking online.

Cashback Debit details from Discover: "ATM transactions, the purchase of money orders or other cash equivalents, cash over portions of point-of-sale transactions, peer-to-peer (P2P) payments (such as Apple Pay Cash), and loan payments or account funding made with your debit card are not eligible for cash back rewards. In addition, purchases made using third-party payment accounts (services such as Venmo® and PayPal™, which also provide P2P payments) may not be eligible for cash back rewards. Apple, the Apple logo and Apple Pay are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries."

See Discover's website for more details.

Discover Bank CD

at Discover Bank,

Member, FDIC

4.5

NerdWallet rating 

at Discover Bank,

Member, FDIC

1-year APY

1.75%

3-year APY

1.80%

5-year APY

1.80%

Minimum Deposit

$2,500

Discover Bank offers competitive terms on CDs, but you’ll need at least $2,500 to open a CD. Many other banks with competitive rates have lower minimums.

CD details from Discover: “Annual Percentage Yield (APY) is accurate as of 3/12/2020, is subject to change without notice, and will be determined and fixed for the term at funding. Applies to personal accounts only. A penalty may be charged for early withdrawal. Minimum deposit to open is $2,500."

4.5

NerdWallet rating 

Discover’s mobile banking apps receive high ratings from customers, and representatives are available by phone every day. You also can reach the bank through mail and social media.

4.5

NerdWallet rating 

Discover Bank doesn’t charge a fee for overdrafts. If you don’t have enough money in your account to cover a purchase, and you’ve enabled overdraft protection, Discover will pull the money from your designated funding account. If you don’t have enough in your funding account or you haven’t enabled overdraft protection, the transaction will be declined, and you won’t be charged a fee.

The largest U.S, banks charge an average overdraft fee of $35, according to a recent NerdWallet analysis — sometimes multiple times per day. If you don’t have enough money to make a purchase, Discover won’t penalize you for it.

Transfers from a linked account that cover your overdrafts are free. Other banks may charge for this service.

Note that there is no option to have an overdraft covered for a fee. Now and then, you might prefer to pay an overdraft fee in exchange for having an important transaction covered. Discover doesn’t offer this option.

Here's a look at how Discover's savings account compares to other savings options.

How does Discover Bank compare?

APY

1.50%

With $0 minimum balance

APY

1.70%

With $0 minimum balance

APY

1.60%

With $0 minimum balance

Bonus

$200

Requirements to qualify

Bonus

N/A

Bonus

N/A

RATING METHODOLOGY

NerdWallet’s overall ratings for banks and credit unions are weighted averages of several categories: checking, savings, certificates of deposit or credit union share certificates, banking experience and overdraft fees. Factors we consider, depending on the category, include rates and fees, ATM and branch access, account features and limits, user-facing technology, customer service and innovation. The stars represent ratings from poor (one star) to excellent (five stars). Ratings are rounded to the nearest half-star.