May 21, 2019 12:00 PM PT

Discover Checking Account Review

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With Discover Bank's Cashback Debit account, you'll pay no fees and earn money for purchases. Learn more about these benefits—and some downsides—in our guide.

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Discover Bank is owned by Discover Financial, the company behind the popular credit card. It's an online bank offering the same types of accounts available at traditional institutions, including:

Discover's checking account offers a feature usually reserved for popular credit cards—cashback on purchases made with your card. Keep reading to see how much money you can save with the Cashback Debit account.

Discover is FDIC insured, just like a traditional bank. In the unlikely event that the bank closes, the money in your accounts is insured up to $250,000.

Account Features

Monthly Cashback
You'll get 1% back on debit card purchases, up to $3,000 each month. Redeem your cashback as a credit to your Discover savings, checking, or money market account OR transfer it to your Discover credit card.

ATM withdrawals, money orders, and peer-to-peer transactions using apps like Venmo or Apple Pay will not earn cashback.

No Minimums or Monthly Fees
Discover's Cashback Debit account has no monthly balance requirement. You won't pay a maintenance fee no matter how much (or little) you keep in your account. And there's no minimum required to open an account.

You'll also pay no fees for:

  • Online bill pay.
  • Debit card freezes.
  • Replacement debit cards.
  • Ordering checks.
  • Official bank check (or delivery).
  • Expedited delivery for official bank checks.
  • Incoming wire transfers .
  • Outbound ACH transfers to another bank.
  • Paper copies of checks and other deposits.
  • Stop payment order
  • Insufficient funds
  • Account closure

The Cashback Debit account also offers Overdraft Protection. Link to another Discover bank account—money will be withdrawn from the backup in the event you overdraw your account.

This feature covers checks, online bill payments, and ACH transfers from external banks. ATM withdrawals and purchases by debit card are not protected.

Nationwide ATM network
You'll pay no fees for cash withdrawals at more than 60,000 Allpoint and MoneyPass ATMs across the U.S. Find the closest one online using their ATM Locators feature.

Mobile Banking App

Since Discover is an online bank, you'll manage your account without ever visiting a branch. Its user-friendly mobile app lets you handle most everyday banking needs right from your phone. (The app is available for Android and Apple devices.)

Use it to:

  • Check balances and track recent activity.
  • Make online payments or schedule autopayments.
  • Transfer funds or set up automatic transfers.
  • Deposit a check using your cell phone camera.
  • Find a nearby ATM.

Keep reading to learn the benefits and drawbacks of Discover's Cashback Debit account.

Prefer to speak to a live person?

Discover Bank representatives are available by phone 24/7 to assist with your account.
Phone: 1-800-347-7000.

Why We Like Discover's Cashback Debit Account

Money back on purchases
You'll earn cash by paying with your debit card. The more you use it, the more you make (up to $30 a month). Usually, this benefit is limited to reward credit cards.

No monthly minimums or random fees
Unlike with some banks, you won't see your balance shrink due to monthly maintenance charges or other charges. You can even avoid ATM fees by using the extensive Allpoint network to withdraw money.

Simple signup
The online application only takes a few minutes and some basic personal information (more on that below.)

Is Discover Bank Safe?
Discover uses state-of-the-art encryption to protect your transactions and data. When banking on your mobile device, you can set up a passcode or fingerprint scan to protect your account.

Additionally, Discover will require you to enter an identification code sent via text, email, or phone call for actions like:

  • Accessing your account from an unfamiliar device.
  • Changing basic profile information.

Reasons to Look Elsewhere

No Interest
Unlike some checking accounts, the cashback debit doesn't offer any APY. Depending on how often you use your debit card, however, you may offset the loss with the cashback feature.

No Cash Deposits
Allpoint's ATM network doesn't allow for cash deposits at its ATMs. You'll need to deposit cash using another bank (or just hold onto it).

No In-Person Banking
Discover is an online-only bank. If you like visiting your local branch to handle your banking, the Cashback Debit probably isn't the checking account for you.

Read on for a step-by-step guide to open an account today.

Who Cashback Debit Is Right For

Everyday debit card users
If a debit card is your go-to payment method, this account is a great way to make some extra money.

People with minimal savings
Unlike some banks, Discover doesn't penalize you for only having a few dollars in your account. And you won't get gouged with fees for normal account activity like ordering checks, either.

Young Adults
If you're used to doing everything on your phone, Discover's mobile app is a lot more convenient than having to visit an actual bank.

How to Open an Account

To open a Cashback Debit account with Discover, follow these steps:

  1. Visit Discover's website

  2. Choose the Checking Account option.

  3. Enter basic information including:
    • Name
    • Address
    • Birth date
    • Social Security number
    • Employment status

  4. Select an individual or joint account.

  5. Fund your account now (if you wish). You can make a:
    • Automatic (ACH) or wire transfer from a different bank.
    • Deposit a check through the mobile app.
    • Mail a physical check.

    Additionally, you can choose to fund your account at a later date.

  6. Verify your account information and e-sign your application.

Discover Bank will email a confirmation and send an introduction packet within several business days. Be sure to read it to learn more about your account features.

How it Compares

    Chase

    Chase Total Checking® + Chase Savings℠

    • Enjoy up to $350 when you open a new Chase Total Checking® account with Direct Deposit and/or open a new Chase Savings℠ account, deposit $10,000 or more in new money and maintain a $10,000 balance for 90 days
    • Enjoy a $200 bonus when you open a new Chase Total Checking® account and set up direct deposit
    • Enjoy a $150 bonus when you open a new Chase Savings℠ account, deposit a total of $10,000 or more in new money within 20 days, and maintain a $10,000 balance for 90 days
    • Access to 16,000 Chase ATMs and nearly 5,000 branches
    • Apply online in minutes. Open your account online now.
    • Chase QuickPay® with Zelle® - Take the drama out of splitting a check.
    • Real-time fraud monitoring - We watch your debit-card to help your money stay your money.
    • Available online nationwide except in Alaska, Hawaii and Puerto Rico. For branch locations, visit locator.chase.com.
    HSBC Bank

    HSBC Advance Checking - $350 Bonus

      Get $350 when you open an Advance checking account, fund account with at least $5,000 in New Money in combined checking and savings accounts within 30 calendar days of account opening and maintain balance for 90 days AND set-up monthly direct deposits from a third party into the checking account for 3 consecutive months
    • Offer expires July 31, 2019
    • Deposit products are offered in the U.S. by HSBC Bank USA, N.A. Member FDIC.
    Expires 7/31/2019
    Huntington Bank

    Asterisk-Free Checking Account - $150 Bonus

    Open a Huntington Asterisk-Free Checking account online. Make total deposits of at least $1,000 within 60 days of account opening. Your bonus of $150 will be deposited in your Asterisk-Free checking account after all requirements are met and your account is open for 90 days. This offer is available to applicants residing in Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia.

    Expires 8/30/2019

Bottom Line

Discover Bank's Cashback Debit account lets you make money on everyday purchases with your debit card. You'll also save money with no maintenance fees.

Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are author's alone. Please support CreditDonkey on our mission to help you make savvy decisions. Our free online service is made possible through financial relationships with some of the products and services mentioned on this site. We may receive compensation if you shop through links in our content.

Disclaimer: This content was first published on May 21, 2019. Information including rates, fees, terms and benefits may vary, be out of date, or not applicable to you. Information is provided without warranty. Please check the bank's website for updated information.

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