Banking » Reviews » Discover Bank Online Savings Account: 2024 Review
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Discover Bank Online Savings Account: 2024 Review

The Discover Bank online savings account offers competitive rates with no monthly fee, but lack ATM card, physical branches and cash deposit
Author: Baruch Mann (Silvermann)
Baruch Mann (Silvermann)

Writer, Contributor

Experience

Baruch Silvermann is a financial expert, experienced analyst, and founder of The Smart Investor.  Silvermann has contributed to Yahoo Finance and cited as an authoritative source in financial outlets like Forbes, Business Insider, CNBC Select, CNET, Bankrate, Fox Business, The Street, and more.
Interest Rates Last Update: June 3, 2024
The banking product interest rates, including savings, CDs, and money market, are accurate as of this date.
Author: Baruch Mann (Silvermann)
Baruch Mann (Silvermann)

Writer, Contributor

Experience

Baruch Silvermann is a financial expert, experienced analyst, and founder of The Smart Investor.  Silvermann has contributed to Yahoo Finance and cited as an authoritative source in financial outlets like Forbes, Business Insider, CNBC Select, CNET, Bankrate, Fox Business, The Street, and more.
Interest Rates Last Update: June 3, 2024

The banking product interest rates, including savings, CDs, and money market, are accurate as of this date.

We earn a commission from our partner links on this page. It doesn't affect the integrity of our unbiased, independent editorial staff. Transparency is a core value for us, read our advertiser disclosure and how we make money.

Discover Online Savings Account

APY Savings

4.25%

Minimum Deposit

$0

Promotion

$150 – $200 Minimum deposit of $15,000 / $25,000, expired on 03/14/2024

Our Rating

4.5
4.5/5

Discover Online Savings Account

APY Savings

4.25%

Minimum Deposit

$0

Promotion

$150 – $200 Minimum deposit of $15,000 / $25,000, expired on 03/14/2024

Our Rating

4.5
4.5/5

The Discover Bank Online Savings account is a solid choice for those who are looking for a decent return on their balance and are happy without access to branch support. Interest is compounded daily and added to your account each month and you can enjoy an account with no maintenance charges and minimal fees.

However, the account does lack some of the finer features offered as standard with some other online savings accounts. For example, there is no ATM card and minimal tools. While the app is great and easy to use, allowing mobile check deposit, other financial institutions may offer savings tools and budgeting calculators to help you to maximize your savings fund.

So, if you’re happy with a more basic savings account offering solid returns, consider the Discover online savings, but if you want more from your savings account, you’ll need to look elsewhere at other online high-yield account options.

Pros
Cons
High Rates
No ATM Card
No Balance Requirements
No Physical Branches
No Maintenance Fees
No Cash Deposit
Access to 24/7 Customer Support
Excellent Mobile App
Automatic Saver Options

What Does The Discover Online Savings Account Offer?

Here are the main features you can expect when opening a Discover online savings account:

  • High Rates: The Discover Bank online savings account is classified as a high yield savings account, offering over five times the national savings rate. This is a great way to maximize your savings without needing to tie up your funds in an investment product. Discover CD rates are even more impressive, but you'll need to look your money for a period.
  • No Balance Requirements: Unlike many high interest savings accounts, the Discover Bank online savings account has no initial deposit or balance requirements. This means that you can earn this APY regardless of whether you have $1 or $10,000 in the account.
  • No Maintenance Fees: The account has no fees to maintain your account each month. While it may be possible to have monthly maintenance fees waived with various accounts, it can be a real hassle to monitor if you’re meeting the waiver criteria. However, this is not a problem with the Discover Bank online savings account.
  • Minimal Fees: In addition to no monthly annual fee, with this account, you’ll not pay any fees for incoming wire transfers, stop payment orders, insufficient funds, excessive withdrawals, expedited delivery or official bank checks.
  • Access to 24/7 Customer Support: Discover has a 24/7 phone helpline. This is a toll free number and the customer service department is 100% US based, so the team is ready to help you with queries or questions at any time of the day or night.
  • Excellent Mobile App: The Discover Bank app is a great resource for managing your account, so you don’t need to be tied to your computer. You can use the app on Android or Apple devices to transfer funds, check your balance, track your recent account activity or deposit checks.
  • Automatic Saver Options: You can schedule regular transfers from your Discover checking account to maximize the returns and build your savings fund.

What Are The Limitations?

No financial product is perfect and there are some potential drawbacks associated with this account. These include:

  • No ATM Card: Unlike many savings accounts, the Discover Bank online savings account does not come with an ATM card. This means that you cannot simply go to a local machine and take some cash out of your account.
  • No Physical Branches: Discover does not have any physical branches, so if you prefer face to face customer support, this is not the right banking choice for you.
  • No Cash Deposit: Since Discover does not have branches and you don’t have an ATM card, it is not possible to deposit cash into your online savings account. If you do have cash, you will need to pay it into another account and then initiate a transfer to your online savings account.

Discover Savings vs Synchrony Savings

Synchrony is another online bank, so it is easy to assume that the Synchrony savings account is the same as Discover savings. However, while there are similarities, there are some crucial differences.

The Similarities
The Differences
No Branches
APY
No Monthly Fees
ATM Access
No Deposit or Balance Requirements
`ATM Fee Reimbursement

Neither account has a monthly maintenance fee to worry about. Both included in our best free savings accounts.

Neither Discover or Synchrony imposes a minimum initial deposit or minimum balance to receive the high APY.

As we just touched on, both banks are online only, so neither offers in person customer support.

Synchrony offers a slightly higher APY on its savings account, but this is subject to change.

While not automatically issued, you can request an ATM card for your Synchrony savings account. This makes it easy to access the funds in your account, if you need quick cash.

Synchrony will reimburse account holders for up to $5 per month for domestic ATM fees.

Discover Savings vs Marcus Savings

The Discover Bank online savings account has a number of things in common with Marcus savings including:

The Similarities
The Differences
APY
Free Same Day Transfers
No Monthly Fees
Immediate Interest
No Minimum Deposit
24/7 Phone Support
No ATM Card

The APY for both accounts is quite similar.

Both accounts have no maintenance fees or similar charges that could eat into your savings balance. 

You can earn the high APY on both accounts regardless of whether you have just $1 in the account or a large balance.

Both financial institutions have a toll free customer support phone line that is available 24/7.

Neither account offers an ATM card to make it easier to access your funds.

Marcus offers same day transfers for up to $100,000 with no fee.

Marcus begins paying interest on your funds from the moment you initiate a transfer into the account.

How to Deposit and Withdraw Money With Discover Savings

Since Discover does not have physical branches, you cannot simply drop into a location to deposit or withdraw funds. However, there are still a few options.

Deposit
Withdrawl
Mobile Check Deposit
Wire transfer
Online Transfers
Online transfer
Direct Deposit
Internal transfer
Wire Transfers
Official bank check
  • Online transfer: You can arrange an online transfer from either your Discover checking or another bank account.
  • Wire transfer: Discover allows wire transfers into its savings accounts, but you may incur a fee from the sending bank.
  • Mobile check deposit: If you have a check, you can use the app and your phone camera to deposit it via your mobile device.
  • Direct deposit: You can arrange to have your salary or pension direct deposited into your account.
  • Mail: If you have a check and don’t want to use the app, you can mail it to Discover and it will be applied to your account.

If you need to withdraw funds from your account, there are several options:

  • Wire transfer: You can arrange a wire transfer into another account, but fees will apply.
  • Online transfer: You can initiate an online transfer to an external account via the online platform or app.
  • Internal transfer: You can also move funds into one of your other Discover accounts.
  • Official bank checks: Finally, you can request an official bank check. Discover does not impose a fee for this or charge a delivery fee.

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Should I Open a Discover Savings Account?

If you are unsure about whether a Discover savings account is the right option for you, there are several questions you will need to ask yourself.

  • Are you comfortable with online banking? Since Discover is an online bank, you’ll need to be comfortable with completing all of your banking online or via the phone helpline.
  • Do you deal in cash? If you tend to have multiple cash deposits regularly, this is not the right account for you, since you would need to deposit the cash into a third party account and then transfer it.
  • Do you need additional savings features? While the high APY is attractive, the Discover account does not have a lot of savings features. So, if you are looking for additional tools to help you, you may be better suited to another financial institution.
  • Do you need an ATM card? This is perhaps the most obvious deal breaker, but if you need an ATM card to withdraw cash or perform transactions at a local machine, this is not the account for you.

How to Open a Discover Savings Account

If you’ve decided it is the right choice for you, you can open a Discover savings account in a few simple steps.

  1. Visit the Discover Bank website: The first thing that you’ll need to do is visit the Discover Bank website. Browse the home page to find the savings tab and click on “savings account.”
  2. Click the Orange Button: You’ll be redirected to the product page for the online savings account, so you can read through the product details. If you’re happy to proceed, click on the “Open Account” orange button.
  3. Confirm Your Customer Status: Once you click the button, you’ll be asked if you’re an existing Discover customer. Whether you have a Discover credit card, checking account or any other Discover product, you can expedite the account opening procedure with your customer credentials.
  4. Complete the Application: If you’re already a customer, Discover will automatically enter many of the fields, but new customers will need to complete all of the mandatory fields. This includes your full name, Social Security Number and date of birth.
add your personal info when open Discover online savings account
(Screenshot from discover.com)

In the next step, you'll need to review the agreement and approve

approve terms and conditions

Now, it's time to make an initial deposit. While it's not mandatory (see the button where you can skip), if your money doesn't earn interest, Discover provides you with the option to make the deposit as soon as possible.

initial deposit to Discover savings

FAQs

Yes, Discover offers IRA savings accounts and IRA CDs.

Yes, if you have a salary or pension, it is possible to have it direct deposited into your Discover savings account. You’ll have a roll number to give to your employer or pension provider and complete the appropriate forms.

Discover does not currently allow you to close your account online, so you’ll need to call the customer support line. The Discover team can guide you through the process.

Alternatively, you can submit a request in writing, but this tends to be quite slow, so calling in is typically a better option.

 

There are currently no limits to how much you can withdraw from your Discover savings account, but since it is a high yield account, you are restricted to a maximum of six withdrawals per calendar month.

Yes, you can transfer your IRA to a Discover savings account, but it is important to assess the tax implications before you initiate a transfer.

How We Rate And Review Savings Account: Methodology

The Smart Investor team has conducted an in-depth analysis of savings accounts offered by banks and credit unions tailored to the needs of savers. Our review focused on four key categories, with specific considerations for savers, and here's how we rated them:

  • Savings Rates and Terms (40%): We thoroughly examined the interest rates provided by financial institutions, along with any unique terms and conditions attached to their savings accounts. Higher scores were awarded to banks and credit unions, offering competitive rates, reasonable minimum deposit requirements, and minimal fees, ensuring savers get the best value for their money.
  • Savings Account Features (30%): This category assessed the array of features designed to cater to savers' needs, including fees, minimum deposit requirements, mobile app functionality, ATM access, and withdrawal options. Financial institutions providing a diverse range of features and convenient banking solutions received higher ratings in this category, reflecting their commitment to meeting the specific needs savers.
  • Customer Experience (20%): The ease of account opening, the responsiveness of customer service, the usability of mobile apps (thoroughly tested by our team), and the bank's policies for assisting customers were evaluated in this category. Banks and credit unions offering seamless account opening processes, efficient customer service, and user-friendly digital platforms were rated higher, ensuring a positive banking experience for  savers.
  • Bank Reputation (10%): We considered the reputation of each financial institution, incorporating ratings from trusted sources such as JD Power, TrustPilot, and local Better Business Bureau reviews. Higher scores were awarded to banks and credit unions with positive reputations and satisfied customers, reflecting their reliability and trustworthiness.

By weighing these categories appropriately and focusing on factors relevant to savers, our review provides valuable insights to help residents of the state make informed decisions when selecting a savings account.

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Picture of Baruch Mann (Silvermann)

Baruch Mann (Silvermann)

Baruch Silvermann is a financial expert, experienced analyst, and founder of The Smart Investor.  Silvermann has contributed to Yahoo Finance and cited as an authoritative source in financial outlets like Forbes, Business Insider, CNBC Select, CNET, Bankrate, Fox Business, The Street, and more.
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