Discover Savings Review

Christy Bieber is a personal finance and legal writer with more than a decade of experience. Her work has been featured on major outlets including MSN Money, CNBC, and USA Today.

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Discover high-yield savings account is among the best in its online class. Its combination of a big bonus, high annual percentage yield (APY), focus on cutting fees, and ease of use are some factors we consider a must-have for online savings accounts. For these reasons, Discover Savings landed a spot as one of the best online savings accounts.

What I like about Discover Savings

Earn up to a $200 bonus -- Account holders can earn one of two bonuses when using offer code FOOL1019, applying by 11/4/19, and making a deposit by 11/18/19: Earn a $150 bonus when depositing at least $15,000 or earn a $200 bonus when depositing at least $25,000.

High APY -- The flat APY is among the highest yields for online savings accounts. It's worth mentioning that all balances qualify for the same interest rate, whereas some competing online savings accounts offer tiered rates based on account balances.

No monthly balance requirement -- Discover's high-yield savings account is broadly accessible to different account holders, including savers who aren't maintaining large ongoing monthly balances.

No monthly maintenance fees -- Discover doesn't have any fees.

No Fees -- There are zero fees for a stop payment order, excessive withdrawal, or insufficient funds.

Mobile app -- Discover has one of the best mobile apps of the savings-account providers I cover: The iOS app is currently rated 4.8 out of 5 stars, and the Android version has 4.5 out of 5 stars. Mobile apps are crucial for an online savings account, where customers must rely upon technology to facilitate transactions normally handled face to face at a bank. Savers can access details for all their Discover accounts, view account activity, electronically deposit checks, and transfer money.

To get your $150 or $200 Bonus offer: What to do: Apply for your first Discover Online Savings Account by 11/4/19, 11:59 PM ET, online or by phone. Enter Offer Code FOOL1019 when applying. Deposit into your account a total of at least $15,000 to earn a $150 Bonus or deposit a total of at least $25,000 to earn a $200 Bonus. Deposit must be posted by 11/18/19, 11:59 PM ET. Maximum bonus eligibility is $200.

What to know: Offer not valid for existing or prior Discover savings customers or existing or prior customers with savings accounts that are co-branded or affinity accounts provided by Discover. Account must be open when bonus is credited. Bonus will be credited to the account by 12/2/19. Bonus is considered interest and will be reported on IRS Form 1099-INT. Offer may be modified/withdrawn without notice.

See advertiser website for full details.

Why you can trust me

I’ve been writing about personal finance for more than 10 years. I’ve written thousands of articles on a variety of financial topics and my work has been published by major news outlets. I spend a lot of time comparing financial products so I can find the best savings accounts, credit cards, and other accounts. I use most of these myself, as well as sharing them with others.

What could be improved

ATM card -- One limiting aspect of the account applies to withdrawals. Discover's savings account doesn't provide an ATM or convenience card for withdrawals. However, Discover does offer a cash-back debit account that allows you to transfer funds between accounts for easy ATM and debit transactions. Plus, the account earns 1% cash back on up to $3,000 of debit purchases each month.

No bank branches -- If you have a savings account with a local bank or credit union, you have a branch to visit for help. With Discover and other online savings account providers, there’s no local support. While the mobile app is full-featured and customer service is available online and via phone, the absence of in-person support is a big downside for some customers.

Funding options

Funding your Discover savings account is simple and you have a number of options:

  • Mobile deposit -- Use your smartphone or tablet to take a picture of a check and deposit it directly into your account.
  • Online transfer -- Move money from another Discover account or by providing your routing and account number from an external bank.
  • Wire transfer -- Transfers received by 4 p.m. EST will post to your account on the same business day. If the transfer is received after 4 p.m., the funds will post the next business day. But they'll still have an effective day of the date the funds were received.
  • Direct deposit -- Provide your Discover savings account and routing number to your employers to have paychecks deposited into your Discover savings account.
  • Mailing in a check -- Send checks via mail to be deposited into your Discover savings account.

Withdrawal options

You have several options for transferring money out of your Discover savings account:

  • Outgoing wire transfer (for a $30 fee).
  • Official bank checks.
  • Online transfers to external banks.
  • Transfer to other Discover accounts.

If you transfer funds electronically to other Discover accounts, such as a Discover checking account, you can quickly and easily access the cash at any ATM.

How well does the Discover app work?

The Discover app receives high marks from iOS and Android users. The app offers a full array of features, including

  • initiating withdrawals or transfers;
  • mobile check deposit;
  • checking on pending deposits; and
  • reviewing account balances, including for Discover savings accounts, checking accounts, and credit cards.

This is just the start of what you can do with the Discover mobile apps.

Discover savings vs. a traditional savings account

Discover provides a higher APY than many traditional savings accounts. In fact, Discover says its interest rate is five times the national average. Discover also charges fewer fees than many traditional banks and doesn’t have minimum balance requirements.

And, like most traditional banks, Discover has FDIC insurance coverage for its savings account. So your money is protected in the unlikely event of a bank failure.

However, when you choose a Discover savings account, you’re subject to the same downsides as with many other online accounts. These include a lack of in-person customer service and no bank branches. Discover’s 24/7 customer service and mobile app make up for these drawbacks for most tech-savvy customers.

How to apply

Simply click on our "Apply Now" button to get started. If you're already a Discover customer, much of your information can be imported when you sign into your Discover account. If you’re a new customer, you’ll have to provide some basic information. Have your contact information, Social Security number, mother’s maiden name, and address ready.

Discover will verify your identity and eligibility and you can have your account opened within a few minutes. You can fund your account right away by linking to another Discover account or an external bank account. Fortunately, there’s no minimum deposit required.

Online savings account comparison

While the Discover Savings account is a good option for many, it's not right for everyone. Here are a couple of other online savings account options from our partners.

Rates as of Oct. 4, 2019
Offer
Discover Online Savings
 
Member, FDIC
Marcus Savings by Goldman Sachs
Goldman Sachs Bank USA
Member, FDIC
American Express® Personal Savings
 
Member, FDIC
Rating
Rating image, 5.0 out of 5 stars.
Rating image, 5.0 out of 5 stars.
Rating image, 5.0 out of 5 stars.
APY

APY: 1.85%

APY: 1.90%

APY: 1.90%

Best For…

Best For: High APY and bonus

Best For: High APY and no fees

Best For: High APY and no fees

Min. for APY

Min. for APY: $1

Min. for APY: $0

Min. for APY: $1

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Final take

Beating your financial goals often comes down to generating a decent return while minimizing fees. Add in the fact that Discover offers both a big cash bonus and one of the better mobile apps on the market, and you can understand why I rank this high-yield savings account favorably. Discover Savings nails both, offering savers a competitive return on their funds and no fees.

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