Banking » Compare Banks » Discover Bank Vs American Express: Full Comparison (2024)
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Discover Bank Vs American Express: Full Comparison (2024)

If you are looking for a brand that offers a conventional checking account, along with savings, CDs and credit card options, you’ll enjoy Discover. However, the sheer number of credit card options from American Express makes it hard to overlook.
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.

Table Of Content

Discover is a strictly online bank, and there are no local branches where customers can visit for banking needs. Customers can reach Discovery through customer service, which is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. You can access your account in a variety of ways. All accounts can be accessed online.

Discover makes use of a mobile app that is available for both iOS and Android devices. You can use this app to access all of your Discover accounts and use their mobile check deposit by taking a photo with your phone or tablet.

American Express is one of the most well-known credit card brand names in the world. With their online savings, checking and CD options, American Express National Bank provides a personal banking solution for customers. The new rewards checking account launched recently put Amex on the same line with other big banks.

American Express National Bank is a good, safe banking option that does not provide any additional features but does provide the most important feature. American Express is a safe and dependable online money storage service that promotes financial growth over long or short time periods.

Banking Options

Discover Bank is both a full-service online bank and a payment services provider. Individuals can use Discover for banking and retirement planning. Discover is best known for its rewards credit cards, but it also offers personal, student, and home equity loans.

American Express is one of the most well-known credit card brand names in the world. With their online savings and CD options, American Express National Bank provides a personal banking solution for customers. Personal savings accounts have a high yield potential. However, they don't offer a variety of products like Discover bank offers.

Discover
American Express
Savings Accounts
Checking Accounts
CDs
Money Market Account
Debit Card
Credit Cards
Personal Loans
Mortgage
Government Mortgage
Business Loans
Investing Capabilities

Savings Account

In regards to savings accounts, both Discover and American Express offer a similar product. The APY rate is quite similar and both accounts are some of the best no-monthly fees savings accounts. Even the account features are similar with access to 24/7 customer service, and no minimum deposits.

However, there is a key difference. The American Express savings account limits the number of withdrawals or transfers out of the account you can make each month to 9, while Discover savings allows 6 withdrawals. It is also nice that American Express allows you to opt for paper statements if you are a little old school.

Discover
American Express
APY
4.25%
4.25%
Fees
$0
$0
Minimum Deposit
$0
$0
Checking Needed?
No
No
Main Benefits
  • Easy to use app
  • No fees for maintenance, insufficient funds, stop payments or account closure.
  • Up to 9 transfers or withdrawals per month
  • Option for paper monthly statements

Checking Account

The Amex Rewards Checking account aims to deliver more value for Amex members with the “powerful and trusted” backing of the American Express brand.  You'll earn 1.00% APY on your balance, there are no monthly fees and you can manage your account using an app and your debit card.  However, unlike other online checking accounts, you can earn American Express rewards that you can redeem for travel, gift cards or experiences.

The Rewards Checking account is not currently available to everyone. To qualify, you need to hold an American Express personal credit card for at least three months.

Discover Checking Account provides one-of-a-kind services for your banking needs. Discover checking account offers cashback rewards. You can earn 1% cash back on up to $3,000 in monthly debit card purchases.

Similar to Amex checking, there are no fees for account maintenance, ordering checks, using in-network ATMs, paying bills online, or replacing debit cards. Discover checking accounts do not have any minimum balance or activity requirements. This primarily benefits the customer by removing unnecessary fees and incorporating incentives to open an account.

Discover
Amex
APY
0% (1% cash back on up to $3,000 in debit card purchases each month)
1.00%
Fees
$0
$0
Minimum Deposit
$0
$0
Main Benefits
  • Earn 1% cashback on your account debit card
  • No overdraft fees
  • ATM network with 60,000+ machines with no fees
  • Discover Zelle allows you to quickly move money or send or receive money with no fees
  • Combine Rewards Points
  • Mobile Check Deposit
  • Transfer Points to Travel Partners
  • Purchase Protection, Large ATM Network

CDs

The stats are quite similar in comparing CD products, while Discover CDs offer a bit higher rate than Amex. 

However, Amex CDs may be a less ideal choice due to the limited terms it offers. For those who want to use CD investment strategies such as CD ladder, Discover offers better options.

American Express
Discover
Minimum Deposit
$0
$2,500
APY Range
Up to 4.50%
3.75% – 4.30%
APY 6 months
/
4.25%
APY 12 months
4.35%
4.70%
APY 24 months
4.00%
4.00%
APY 36 months
3.00%
3.75%
No Penalty CD
/
/

Credit Cards

Discover is a leading credit card provider, so as expected, there is a great selection of options. All the cards offer rewards and Discover has an Unlimited Cashback Match feature, where Discover will match your first year’s cash back dollar for dollar automatically, with no minimum spends or maximum reward caps.

The most popular Discover card is the Discover Cash Back which provides 5% cash back and a 0% introductory rate. However, you can also opt for the Travel card offering miles, the Gas & Restaurant card with 2% cash back in this spending category, and the NHL card for all 31 teams.

Three are also student card options including the Student Chrome card which offers higher cashback rates on gas station and restaurant purchases, and the Student Cash Back card, which offers similar benefits to the main Discover Cash Back card. If you have less-than-perfect credit, Discover also has a secured card that allows you to earn cash back and build your credit.

American Express also has an impressive choice of credit card options. The Amex popular cards are the Platinum, Gold, and Green cards. These cards offer up to 5x, 4x, and 3x membership reward points with an introductory reward points bonus. However, an annual membership fee of $695, $250, and $150, respectively, exists. The other reward card options are the Amex EveryDay, Amex EveryDay Preferred, and Blue card.

The next category of American Express credit cards is cash-back cards. There are three cards in this category: Blue Cash Preferred, Blue Cash EveryDay, and Cash Magnet. Except for the Blue Cash Preferred, which is only free for the first year, these cards have no annual fee, yet you can earn up to 6% cash back, depending on your card choice.

There are also SkyMiles, and Hotel card options or if you prefer a card with no credit check or hidden fees, you may like the Serve card, which is a prepaid card that has a $6.95 per month fee that is waived if you receive a direct deposit of $500+ during the statement period.

Personal Loans

Only preapproved AmEx cardholders can apply for American Express personal loans. There are no origination or prepayment fees on these loans, and the majority of them are funded in only two days of signing the loan agreement. Many borrower requirements are not made public by American Express. You must be a preapproved cardholder to be eligible for a personal loan. For the most creditworthy borrowers,

 Though the lender lacks some consumer-friendly features, such as a discount for setting up automated payments, it will pay off your creditors directly, making these loans suitable for debt consolidation if you qualify for a low rate. Furthermore, during the preapproval or application process, American Express does not conduct a hard credit inquiry.

Unlike the other lenders on this list, Discover is one of the few that lend to people in all 50 states. They also do not charge an origination fee and have a loan calculator on their website to assist you in getting started. They offer flexible repayment terms, fixed rates, and a staff of 100% US-based loan specialists to assist you.

Discover only conducts a soft pull inquiry when you apply for a personal loan, but you must have a minimum yearly income of $25,000. In order to be accepted, your credit score cannot be lower than 660. Discover is a good option because their rates are competitive, and borrowing from them means you're making payments directly to the creditor.

The only issue with Discover is that the application process is more time consuming than others, and they charge a hefty late payment fee. They also do not permit joint borrowers, and the maximum amount that can be borrowed is lower than in many other places. Discover also offers student loans and student loan refinancing.

Discover
American Express
APR
7.99% – 24.99%
6.98% – 19.99%
Loan Amount
$2,500 – $40,000
$3,500 – $40,000
Terms
36 to 84 months
12-36 months

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Customer Service

Both Discover and American Express offer 24/7 customer support via phone or online. This means that whether you have a query or need urgent help with your account, you can access support from a member of the customer service team.

This is becoming more common with banking institutions, but it is still a nice feature.

Online/Digital Experience

Both Discover and American Express have an app. Discover’s app is rated 4.9/5 and 4.5/5 on the Apple Store and Google Play respectively. This is an intuitive and easy to use app that allows you to manage your account, move money around and even put a hold on your debit card if necessary.

The American Express app is a little more interesting. You can not only receive notifications to monitor your account activity with payment, purchase and fraud alerts, but also access offers. You can tap the rewards for places where you enjoy shopping to take advantage of the offer. This is an interesting feature that allows you to get a little extra on your typical purchases, in addition to your regular cash back or rewards.

However, the American Express website is a little basic. Although you can compare card options and log in to perform account functions, there is little in the way of additional resources. While Discover has a help section that features articles about loans, banking and credit resources, this is lacking on the American Express site.

Which Bank is The Winner?

Both Discover and American Express began as credit card companies and both have expanded their services over the years. This allows you to access some great products that can fit your specific needs.

Whether Discover or American Express is better will depend on your needs and preferences. If you are looking for a brand that offers a conventional banking account, along with mortgage options, you’ll enjoy Discover. However, the sheer number of credit card options from American Express makes it hard to overlook. The savings account options from both Discover and American Express offer similar rate of return with no fees and similar terms.

So, if you are more concerned about rates and keeping most of your financial products under one roof, Discover is a better bank. On the other hand, existing Amex customers can have much more benefits by adding a checking account, as well as high savings rate.

American_Express

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APY Savings The annual percentage yield (APY) is a percentage that represents the amount of money or interest earned on your savings account over the course of a year. The APY factored in compound interest. A savings calculator can help you quickly determine how much you'll earn with a given APY.
4.25%
4.25%
Up to 5.02%
Checking Fee The monthly fee on checking account
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4.1/5 on Android
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FAQs

As of now, Discover offers $150 or $200 bonus offer on its personal savings account. There is a minimum deposit of $15,000 or $25,000 within 30 days.

Amex promotions are mainly relevant to Amex credit cards. The main benefit of Amex savings and checking is the high rate you can get on your balance.


Despite the fact that Discover does not provide a specific student checking account, the bank is actually very accommodating to students. You won't have to worry about a monthly maintenance fee or a minimum balance requirement because the bank offers fee-free checking accounts.

The bank specializes in offering two student credit card alternatives in addition to student loan possibilities. The Student Cash Back credit card provides up to 5% cash back at your preferred merchants and 1% cash back on all other transactions.

While the Chrome for Students card guarantees 2% unlimited cash back on dining and fuel expenditures, it only offers 1% unlimited cash back. Discover should be taken into account if you're a student because of this.

Discover and Chime both provide fee-free banking with a wide range of products. Chime, on the other hand, has daily spending and withdrawal limits and no overdraft protection. Chime's main selling point is its Pay Friends feature. This enables you to send money to others immediately. To transfer up to $2,000 per month, all you need is your name, phone number, or email address. So, if you frequently send money to family or friends, Chime may be a better option.

Customers can use Discover loans for almost any purpose. Discover's application process is entirely digital, which expedites approval. You should expect to receive the funds within one business day.

However, in order to qualify, you must have an excellent credit score, so it may not be the best option for many consumers.

American Express National Bank is an online bank that has no minimum balance requirements or monthly fees. Furthermore, the online platform is simple to use and provides access to account management functionality.

So, if you're looking for a reliable online banking platform, American Express is a viable option.

Capital One 360 provides a wide range of banking services, such as checking accounts and accounts for teens and children. This makes it more accessible than American Express, which only provides savings and a limited number of investment accounts.

However, larger fund amounts are required to access the highest rates with Capital One 360, whereas American Express offers competitive rates across the board. Just keep in mind that you must link another bank account to American Express, and transfers are a little slow.

Compare American Express Bank

Capital One is a premium online banking service that offers convenient, dependable service and physical locations to anyone looking for them. Capitol One 360, in addition to providing a trustworthy and dependable service, has no hidden fees or minimums, allowing you to continue earning interest on your daily money. There are over 38,000 fee-free ATMs and over 2,000 Capital One ATMs to meet your money access needs.

American Express is one of the world's most well-known credit card brand names. Customers can get a personal banking solution from American Express National Bank, which offers online savings and CD options. Personal savings accounts have a high potential yield. American Express National Bank is a respectable, secure banking option that does not offer any extra features but does offer the most important one.

Read Full Comparison: American Express vs Capital One: Which Bank Is Better For You?

Although Chase Bank has a modern, trendy image, it is one of the oldest banks in the United States. JP Morgan Chase's consumer division, Chase Bank, is one of the largest banks in the United States. Even though its interest rates aren't particularly competitive when compared to online banks and credit unions, loyal Chase customers who keep a significant amount of money with the bank can earn slightly better rates.

American Express is best known for its credit card business. The financial services firm, on the other hand, has a banking subsidiary that offers high-yield savings and CD accounts. For those looking to save money with a well-known financial institution, the American Express High Yield Savings Account is a popular option.

Read Full Comparison: American Express vs Chase Bank

The Citi checking account is a fairly standard product. The account does have a $12 monthly fee, but it is waived if you make a qualifying deposit or make a qualifying bill payment. Overdraft protection is also available, which automatically transfers funds from your savings account to avoid overdraft fees.

Because the American Express savings account has a high yield, the number of withdrawals or transfers you can make each month is limited to nine. It's also a nice touch that American Express allows you to choose paper statements if you prefer the old-fashioned way.

Read Full Comparison: American Express vs Citi: Where to Save Your Money?

While CIT Bank lacks a credit card option, it does have a decent eChecking account, mortgages, and home loans. However, American Express has personal loans and an impressive choice of credit card options.

CIT Bank vs American Express: Which Bank Account Is Better For You?

While Amex has a decent checking account and better credit card options, Ally's CD and lending options are superior. Here's our comparison: American Express Bank vs. Ally Bank

For most consumers, Bank of America may be a better option. American Express is a solid option for customers with higher wealth. Here's why.

American Express Bank vs. Bank of America: Which Bank Account Is Better?

Chase Bank is our winner, while Amex and Chase offer great banking services and credit card portfolios. Here's our side-by-side comparison: American Express Bank vs. Chase Bank

While PNC Bank is a brick-and-mortar bank, American Express Bank's is an online bank. Let's compare their banking products side by side: American Express Bank vs. PNC Bank

U.S. Bank is one of the largest brick-and-mortar banks in the US, while Amex Bank is among the best online banks. Let's compare them: U.S. Bank vs. American Express Bank

Our preferred choice is American Express, which provides a comprehensive banking package that outshines Truist Bank. Here's how they compare: Truist Bank vs. American Express Bank

While TD offers a better selection of checking accounts and lending options, Amex is a great option for online banking. How do they compare? American Express Bank vs. TD Bank

American Express and HSBC focus on serving wealthier customers by providing services and features beyond the standard. How do they compare? American Express Bank vs. HSBC Bank (USA)

Amex comes out on top with a solid checking option (which Barclays doesn't have), an excellent savings account, and great credit cards.

Barclays Bank vs. American Express Bank: Which Bank Account Is Better?

American Express is our winner with a decent checking account, an impressive savings account, and a great selection of credit cards.

Synchrony Bank vs. American Express Bank: Which Bank Account Is Better?

How We Compared Discover Bank and American Express: Methodology

In our comprehensive banking comparison, The Smart Investor team thoroughly assessed American Express and Discover Bank across five main categories:

  • Checking Accounts (30%): We scrutinized essential features like direct deposit, debit card availability, monthly maintenance fees, ATM and branch access, check deposit, bill pay options, and account alerts. Additionally, we considered any special checking account options and promotions offered to customers.
  • Savings Accounts including CDs (20%): Our evaluation focused on critical factors such as APY (Annual Percentage Yield), minimum deposit requirements, Terms and Flexibility of accounts, and the assurance of FDIC insurance. We also examined special savings options, variety of CDs, automatic renewal options, and early withdrawal penalties.
  • Credit Cards (15%): We analyzed the rewards program, annual fees, intro bonuses, travel benefits, APR, and balance transfer options offered by each bank's credit cards, ensuring a comprehensive comparison of available features.
  • Lending Options (15%): We assessed the variety of lending options available, including personal loans, student loans, mortgages, secured loans, HELOCs, and Home Equity Loans, providing consumers with insights into the bank's lending capabilities.
  • Customer Experience And Bank Reputation (20%): Our evaluation included an analysis of online banking and mobile app usability and ratings, customer support accessibility, online reviews, JD Power research, Trustpilot ratings, and the overall Financial Stability of each bank, ensuring a holistic view of customer experience and reputation.
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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