Updated January 8, 2020

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
Member FDIC

Online Checking Account - Earn Cash Back

  • 1% cash back on up to $3,000 in debit card purchases each month
  • No fees
  • Access to over 60,000 no-fee ATMs in the U.S.

With Discover Checking, you can earn up to $360 per year. Here's how: spend $3,000 in debit card purchases each month to earn $30 monthly cash back. That's as much as $360 cash back a year. And you can save even more since Discover doesn't charge monthly fees or require a minimum balance.

Discover Cashback Debit is a checking account that offers a feature usually reserved for popular credit cards—cashback on purchases made with your card.

It's offered through Discover Bank, member FDIC, an online bank owned by Discover Financial, the company behind the popular credit card.

Discover offers the same types of accounts you'd find at traditional institutions such as:

It also offers a variety of loans such as student loans, personal loans, and home equity. Keep reading to see how much money you can earn with the Cashback Debit account.

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

Account Features

Monthly Cashback
You'll get 1% back on debit card purchases, up to $3,000 each month. That's as much as $30 every month for everyday items you're already spending money on. Redeem your cashback as a credit to your Discover savings, checking, or money market account OR transfer it to your Discover credit card.

Note: Some debit card transactions are not eligible for the cashback bonus. 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™, who 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.

No Minimums or Monthly Fees
Discover Cashback Debit account has no monthly balance requirement. That means you won't waste time worrying if you have enough money in your account. And you won't pay a maintenance fee no matter how much (or little) you keep in your account. If you have ever been charged a fee from a bank, you know how irritating this can be.

Discover customers also won't pay a charge 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
  • Stop payment order
  • Insufficient funds
  • Account closure

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 payment for bills, and ACH transfers from external banks. ATM withdrawals and purchases by debit card are not protected.

Nationwide ATM network
You'll have access to 60,000 fee-free ATMs nationwide through the Allpoint and MoneyPass networks. Save time by finding the closest one online using their ATM Locators feature.

Do you need to speak to a live person?
Discover Bank representatives are available 24 hours/7 days a week to assist with your account by calling 1-800-347-7000.

Mobile Banking App

Since Discover is an online bank, you'll manage your account without ever visiting a branch. The Discover mobile app lets you handle most tasks right wherever you go. (The app is available for Android and Apple devices.)

Use the app to:

  • Track balances and track recent activity
  • Make online payments or schedule auto payments
  • Transfer funds or set up automatic transfers
  • Send money using Zelle
  • Deposit a check using your cell phone camera
  • Freeze debit card (in case of loss or theft)
  • Find a nearby ATM

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

Does Discover Checking Use Zelle?

Discover now offers account holders access to Zelle, a peer-to-peer (P2P) payment platform. With Zelle, you can send or get money directly to (or from) nearly any U.S. bank account. Use it to quickly transfer funds with friends, family, and other people you trust.

Unlike other platforms that provide P2P payments (such as Venmo and Paypal), Zelle withdraws and deposits money directly into your Discover Cashback Debit account.

All you need is the other account holder's e-mail address or phone number. That means your bank account information will never be shared. Best of all, you won't be charged any fee for using Zelle though daily limits apply to the amount you can send.

Can I Link My Cashback Debit Card to Apple Pay?

Customers can now connect your Discover Cashback debit card to Apple Pay to make purchases using your iPhone or iPad. Simply visit your Wallet app and press Add a Card to enter your debit card information.

You can then make purchases anywhere that accepts Apple Pay, including supermarkets, stores and online retailers, gas stations and restaurants (just look for the Apple logo).

Using your Discover debit card through Apple Pay will still earn you cashback rewards for spending on qualifying purchases.

Will I earn cash back with Apple Pay Cash?
Like Venmo and Zelle, Apple Pay Cash is a P2P platform that allows you to send and get money. But any funds you send are not eligible for cashback through Discover.

Why We Like the Discover 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. The cashback bonus is credit to your Discover checking, savings or money market account.

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 fees for withdrawing cash by using the 60,000 ATMs (Allpoint and MoneyPass) across the U.S.

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

Convenient online options
The user-friendly website and Discover mobile app make it easy to handle your everyday transactions. That includes online bill pay (requires program enrollment), depositing funds using the mobile check deposit service, or withdrawing money from their extensive fee-free ATM network.

Is Discover Bank Safe?
Discover uses state-of-the-art encryption to protect customer transactions and data. From your mobile device, you can set up a passcode or fingerprint scan to protect your account login. Additionally, Discover will require you to verify an identification code sent via text, email, or call for some account actions.

Online Checking Account - Earn Cash Back

  • 1% cash back on up to $3,000 in debit card purchases each month
  • No fees
  • Access to over 60,000 no-fee ATMs in the U.S.

Discover Cashback Checking – Up to $30/Month Cashback

Earn 1% cash back on up to $3,000 in debit card purchases each month, for a total of up to $30 cashback per month. Discover Cashback Checking has no minimum balance requirement, no fees, and free online bill pay.

Reasons to Look Elsewhere

No Interest
Unlike some checking accounts, the cashback debit doesn't offer any APY (annual percentage yield). 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. If you are a mostly cash user, 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, the Cashback Debit probably isn't the right 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 a service charge or fee for normal account activity like ordering checks, either.

How to Open an Account

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

  1. Visit Discover's website

  2. Choose the Checking Account option.

  3. Enter basic information:

  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.

Will opening a Discover checking account hurt your credit score?
Discover Bank will do a soft credit pull to verify information when you apply for a bank account. Unlike a hard pull, this has no impact on your credit score.

Closing Your Discover Checking Account

You can call the 24-7 customer service line to close your Discover Cashback Debit account: 1-800-347-7000. A customer representative will handle your request and order a check for any remaining funds. You could also transfer funds out before closing the account since Discover has no minimum balance requirements.

But be sure to wait until any outgoing payments have cleared. Otherwise, you risk bouncing a check or missing a payment if you close the account.

How it Compares

CIT Bank
Member FDIC

CIT Bank Savings Connect - 0.50% APY

  • Earn a competitive high yield savings rate with access and convenience features of an eChecking account.
  • Earn up to 0.50% APY on Savings Connect and 0.25% APY on eChecking.
  • Savings Connect is a tiered interest rate account dependent on the account holder opening a linked qualifying eChecking concurrently and makes periodic qualifying deposits.
    • Base Tier: (0.42% APY, 0.399% Interest Rate) A minimum qualifying deposit of $200 is not deposited each month into the linked eChecking or the eChecking account is closed.
    • Upper Tier: (0.50% APY, 0.499% Interest Rate) A qualifying deposit of $200 or more is deposited into the linked eChecking account each month.
    • APY assumes a qualifying deposit of $200 or more is made to the linked eChecking account each month.
  • Minimum of $100 for both the Savings Connect and eChecking to open ($200 total).
Member FDIC

HSBC Premier Checking - $450 Welcome Deposit

Expires 8/31/2021
  • Get a $450 Welcome Deposit for eligible new customers who open a new HSBC Premier checking account and complete the following qualifying activities.
  • Open your new HSBC Premier checking account online by August 31, 2021; and
  • Make recurring monthly Qualifying Direct Deposits totaling at least $5,000 from a third party to your HSBC Premier checking account(s) for 3 consecutive calendar months from the second full calendar month after account opening.
  • You will automatically receive the $450 Welcome Deposit in your new HSBC Premier checking account approximately eight weeks after completing all qualifying activities. It's that simple.
  • Deposit products are offered in the U.S. by HSBC Bank USA, N.A. Member FDIC.

Acorns Spend: $75 Bonus

Expires in 3 days
  • Setup Acorns Spend as your direct deposit method with your employer
  • Receive 2 direct deposits of at least $250 / deposit
  • $75 bonus will be deposited into your Acorns account within 45 days

Bottom Line

Discover Bank's Cashback Debit account has a good rate of return. It lets you make money on everyday purchases with your debit card. You'll also save money by avoiding maintenance fees.

Write to Kevin L at feedback@creditdonkey.com. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook for our latest posts.

Note: This website 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. You do not have to use our links, but you help support CreditDonkey if you do.

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About Discover Bank

Discover Bank offers some of the highest interest rates for its savings account. In addition, Discover offers cashback checking. There are no fees for checking and savings accounts.

About CreditDonkey
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