- Certificates of deposit
- Money market
- Customer experience
- Overdraft fees
Overall institution rating
Discover Bank® checking lets you earn cash back when you make qualifying debit card purchases each month, and it provides free access to a broad ATM network. The online bank also offers a strong high-yield savings account. But customers who prefer to bank in person won’t like that Discover® has only one physical branch.
Best for: Customers who value competitive rates, checking perks and ATM access over branches, and might overdraft from time to time.
- No overdraft fees.
- No monthly fees.
- Competitive rate on savings accounts and CDs.
- Large, free, nationwide ATM network.
- No minimum opening deposits.
- Limited branch access.
The Discover online savings account’s annual percentage yield compares favorably with the national average of 0.45%, and you won’t have to pay maintenance fees for this account. There are also no minimum balance requirements to earn interest.
Discover offers a $150 or $200 bonus for opening your first Discover Online Savings Account (expires 12/14/2023). See below for more details, or see it on our list of best bonuses.
Online Savings Account details from Discover: "Annual Percentage Yield (APY). Annual Percentage Yield (APY) is accurate as of 07/27/2023. Applies to personal accounts only. APY may change before or after the account is opened. No minimum deposit to open."
Bonus offer details from Discover: "To get your $150 or $200 Bonus: What to do: Apply for your first Discover Online Savings Account, online, in the Discover App or by phone. Enter Offer Code NW923 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 to account within 30 days of account open date. 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. Eligibility is based on primary account owner. Account must be open when bonus is credited. Bonus will be credited to the account within 60 days of the account qualifying for the bonus. Bonus is interest and subject to reporting on Form 1099-INT. Offer ends 12/14/2023, 11:59 PM ET. Offer may be modified or withdrawn without notice."
Certificates of deposit
Discover Bank offers strong CDs with a broad range of term lengths, up to 10 years. The minimum required deposit of $2,500 is higher than what’s required at some other banks.
» COMPARE: Best CD rates
CD details from Discover: “Annual Percentage Yield (APY) is accurate as of 09/21/2023, 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."
» Learn more details about Discover CD rates
Discover’s Cashback Debit is a rewards checking account that lets you earn 1% cash back on up to $3,000 in debit card purchases each month. Plus, there’s no monthly service charge and no monthly balance requirement. Discover Cashback Debit offers access to over 60,000 fee-free ATMs and paychecks are available up to two days early with direct deposit.
Account holders can fund their account in a few ways: online transfer from a different bank, mobile check deposit, mailing a check to the bank or making a free cash deposit at Walmart.
» Looking for more checking account options? Check out NerdWallet's best checking accounts
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.
The Discover Money Market Account earns a 4.20% APY for balances below $100,000 and a 4.25% APY for balances at that amount and higher. The MMA is a type of savings account, but it has a $2,500 minimum opening balance requirement (unlike the regular savings account at this bank, which has no minimum deposit to open). After you open an account, there are no monthly service fees or minimum balance requirements. This MMA also offers check-writing privileges.
We did not factor this account into our rating of Discover bank because the savings account has a lower minimum balance requirement, so we considered the savings account instead. However, if you are in the market for an MMA — say, you want a savings account that also has check-writing privileges — and can cover the minimum opening requirement, this account is worth a look. Learn more in our primer on money market accounts.
Discover offers a high-quality web experience and its mobile banking apps receive high ratings from customers, and representatives are available by phone all day, every day. You also can reach the bank through mail and social media.
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.
MORE » Check out NerdWallet's Discover it Cash Back Credit Card Review
Like an increasing number of banks, 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.
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 line of credit.
How does Discover Bank compare?
Discover Bank Online Savings
SoFi Checking and Savings
CIT Bank Platinum Savings
Citizens Access Savings
With $0 min. balance for APY
With $0 min. balance for APY
With $5,000 min. balance for APY
With $0.01 min. balance for APY
Requirements to qualify
Earn up to $250 with direct deposit. Terms apply.
at SoFi Bank, N.A.
at CIT Bank
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.