Banking » Compare Banks » Discover Bank Vs American Express: Full Comparison (2023)
Advertiser Disclosure

This website is an independent, advertising-supported comparison service. The product offers that appear on this site are from companies from which this website receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). This website does not include all card companies or all card offers available in the marketplace. This website may use other proprietary factors to impact card offer listings on the website such as consumer selection or the likelihood of the applicant’s credit approval.

This allows us to maintain a full-time, editorial staff and work with finance experts you know and trust. The compensation we receive from advertisers does not influence the recommendations or advice our editorial team provides in our articles or otherwise impacts any of the editorial content on The Smart Investor. While we work hard to provide accurate and up to date information that we think you will find relevant, The Smart Investor does not and cannot guarantee that any information provided is complete and makes no representations or warranties in connection thereto, nor to the accuracy or applicability thereof.

Learn more about how we review products and read our advertiser disclosure for how we make money. All products are presented without warranty.

Discover Bank Vs American Express: Full Comparison (2023)

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, which helps consumers make better financial decisions.  Silvermann’s areas of expertise include investing, banking, and credit cards. 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. Aside from being a finance expert, his background includes working as a business and financial analyst. Above all, he is passionate about teaching people how to manage their money and helping millions on their journey to a better financial future.

Review & Fact Check: Baruch Mann (Silvermann)

Baruch Mann (Silvermann)

Financial Expert, The Smart Investor CEO

Experience

Baruch Mann (Silvermann) is a financial expert and founder of The Smart Investor. Above all, he is passionate about teaching people how to manage their money and helping millions on their journey to a better financial future.
Author: Baruch Mann (Silvermann)
Baruch Mann (Silvermann)

Writer, Contributor

Experience

Baruch Silvermann is a financial expert, experienced analyst, and founder of The Smart Investor, which helps consumers make better financial decisions.  Silvermann’s areas of expertise include investing, banking, and credit cards. 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. Aside from being a finance expert, his background includes working as a business and financial analyst. Above all, he is passionate about teaching people how to manage their money and helping millions on their journey to a better financial future.

Review & Fact Check: Baruch Mann (Silvermann)

Baruch Mann (Silvermann)

Financial Expert, The Smart Investor CEO

Experience

Baruch Mann (Silvermann) is a financial expert and founder of The Smart Investor. Above all, he is passionate about teaching people how to manage their money and helping millions on their journey to a better financial future.

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 the same and both accounts have no monthly fees. 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 is a high yield account and therefore limits the number of withdrawals or transfers out of the account you can make each month to 9. It is also a nice touch that American Express allows you to opt for paper statements if you are a little old school.

Discover
American Express
APY
3.50%
3.50%
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 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 have held an American Express personal credit card for a minimum of three months.

Discover Checking Accounts provide one-of-a-kind services for your banking needs. Discover checking accounts offer cashback rewards. You can earn 1% cash back on up to $3,000 in debit card purchases per month.

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

In the comparison between CD products, the stats are quite similar. 

Naturally, in order to access a higher rate –  you need to commit for a longer time such as 3/5 years.

American Express
Discover
Minimum Deposit
$0
$2,500
APY Range
1.00% – 4.50%
2.00% – 4.75%
APY 6 months
/
3.40%
APY 12 months
4.50%
4.50%
APY 24 months
4.25%
4.30%
APY 36 months
1.15%
4.30%
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 that 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 offering higher cash back 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 which allows you to earn cash back and build your credit.

American Express also has an impressive choice of credit card options. The most popular cards are the Platinum, Gold and Green cards. These cards offer up to 5x, 4x and 3x membership reward points respectively, with an introductory reward points bonus. However, there is an annual membership fee of $695, $250 and $150 respectively. 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. With the exception of 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
6.99% – 24.99%
6.98% – 19.99%
Loan Amount
$2,500 – $35,000
$3,500 – $40,000
Terms
36 to 84 months
12-36 months

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

discover logo
The Smart Investor Logo
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.
3.50%
3.50%
Up to 5.02%
Checking Fee The monthly fee on checking account
$0
$0
Compare Banking
Mobile App Rating
4.9/5 on iOS
4.1/5 on Android
4.9/5 on iOS
4.7/5 on Android
Various Banks
Open Account
Open Account
Compare

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 More

Discover Bank is a full-service online bank as well as a provider of payment services. Discover can be used for banking and retirement planning by individuals. Discover is best known for its credit cards with rewards, but it also provides personal, student, and home equity loans.

Capital One began as a credit card company, but it has grown to offer a diverse range of traditional banking services over the years. In addition to credit cards, it offers checking and savings accounts, loan refinancing, auto finance, and children's accounts. As a result, Capital One is more appealing to those seeking a traditional banking experience.

Read Full Comparison: Discover vs Capital One: Which Bank Account Wins?

The Discover checking account is more traditional. While the account does not pay interest, you can earn 1% cash back on debit card purchases. There are also no fees if you require a replacement debit card, have a deposit item returned, or have insufficient funds in your account.

Chase offers a wide range of banking products, including savings accounts, checking accounts, home loans, home equity options, auto loans, and a wide range of credit cards. In addition, Chase's customer service system is quite extensive.

Read Full Comparison: Discover vs Chase: Which Bank Account Suits You Best?

Discover began as a credit card company and has since expanded into banking services. As a result, it stands to reason that Discover would offer a diverse range of credit cards. Discover offers a simpler checking account. There are no account fees or minimum deposits, and you can earn 0.40 percent.

Citi offers home loans, personal loans, lines of credit, wealth management options, and investments, as well as everyday and premium banking services. This exemplifies Citi's viability as a viable alternative to the traditional high-street bank.

Read Full Comparison: Discover vs Citi: Compare Banking Options

The CIT Bank eChecking account pays 0.10 percent to 0.25 percent interest. The account also has almost no fees. Only if you have a stopped payment, a returned item, or want to make a wire transfer will you be charged a fee. There is also free ATM access, with up to $30 in ATM fee reimbursements per month if you incur fees when using another bank's machine.

While Discover's checking account does not pay interest, you can earn 1% cash back on debit card purchases. There are no fees, as with eChecking. If you need a replacement debit card, have insufficient funds, or have a deposit returned, you will not be charged a fee.

Read Full Comparison: CIT Bank vs Discover: Which Bank Account Wins?

Since its inception as a credit card provider, Discover has come a long way.Of course, credit cards are available, but you can also get home loans, personal loans, and a variety of checking and savings products such as retirement accounts, CDs, and money market accounts.

Bank of America offers a far more comprehensive range of banking services. There are numerous credit card options, as well as various savings and checking accounts.

Bank of America also provides mortgages, auto loans, and investments. This makes switching from a traditional bank much easier because you won't have to compromise on your banking products.

Read Full Comparison: Discover vs Bank of America: Compare Bank

Chase and Wells Fargo appear to offer very similar products at first glance, so we need to dig a little deeper. There is little to distinguish the savings accounts, and both banks provide a variety of checking accounts.

While Chase's account maintenance fee is slightly higher, it does have some more interesting features. Chase also has an advantage in terms of CDs, but Wells Fargo is a better option for loans and mortgages.

Read Full Comparison: Chase vs Wells Fargo: Where to Save Your Money?

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

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?

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?

CIT Bank is similar to a traditional high street bank in that it offers a variety of savings accounts, an eChecking account, CDs, mortgages, and home loans. The only obvious gaps in the product line are the absence of a credit card or personal loan option.

American Express began as a credit card company, but in recent years, it has expanded into a broader range of banking products. You can access savings accounts and personal loans in addition to its numerous credit card options. However, if you're looking for a full-service bank, American Express doesn't offer a checking account or mortgage options.

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

Baruch Mann (Silvermann)

Baruch Mann (Silvermann)

Baruch Silvermann is a financial expert, experienced analyst, and founder of The Smart Investor, which helps consumers make better financial decisions.  Silvermann's areas of expertise include investing, banking, and credit cards. 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. Aside from being a finance expert, his background includes working as a business and financial analyst. Above all, he is passionate about teaching people how to manage their money and helping millions on their journey to a better financial future.