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Discover® Online Savings Account review

A high-yield savings account is an important part of any personal finance toolkit — a place to stash your emergency fund, save for a down payment on a house, or collect your pennies for a new car or vacation. I use my high-yield savings account for my rainy day fund, as well as to save up for Christmas travel and other predictable but non-standard expenses.

If you’ve been putting off opening a savings account — or it’s time to trade in your current savings account for a better one — consider the Discover® Online Savings Account, where you can earn 4.30% APY.

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Discover® Online Savings Account

Discover is a large, nationwide financial services company offering savings accounts, checking and credit card products. Discover is a member, FDIC.

The high-yield Discover® Online Savings Account offers a generous 4.30% APY, no account fees, and a pleasant banking experience backed by award-winning customer service.

Pros:
  • 4.30% APY
  • No minimum balance requirement
  • No fees for most transactions
Cons:
  • Service charge for outgoing wire transfers
Open an Account

Discover® Online Savings Account overview

Banking online has gone from a convenience to practically a necessity. I can’t remember the last time I actually crossed the threshold of a brick-and-mortar bank. There’s rarely a need any longer.

Discover Bank knows this — and it offers a completely digital experience. In fact, Discover doesn’t even have physical branches. There’s no need for them with such a customer-friendly platform via both its mobile app and its website.

Here are some important elements of a Discover® Online Savings Account:

  • 4.30% interest is compounded daily and applied monthly
  • May offer a savings account bonus
  • No monthly fees
  • No insufficient funds fees
  • No minimum balance required to open account
  • 6 qualified withdrawals per month
  • The award-winning customer service you would expect from Discover

Pros & cons of Discover® Online Savings

Pros

  • Extremely generous APY — Discover will give you 4.30% annual percentage yield of your savings account balance. Other popular banks offer as little as 0.01% APY.
  • No fees — You won’t be charged monthly fees for things like a low balance or operational costs. Discover won’t ding you for insufficient funds, either. And there’s no minimum deposit when first opening your account.
  • Backed by FDIC — You’re covered for up to $250,000 per depositor.

Cons

  • No physical locations — Discover doesn’t have bank branches, but it offers you hundreds of thousands of ATM locations (60,000 of which are surcharge-free). If you prefer to deposit your money by handing it to a teller, this isn’t the bank for you.
  • No cash or check deposits — You can’t deposit cash or checks into a Discover-compatible ATM. You can only withdraw cash — and deposit checks via the mobile app.

In-depth review

Annual percentage yield

Annual percentage yield (APY) is what the bank pays you for keeping your money with them.

Per the FDIC, the average savings account APY is around 0.13%. The Discover® Online Savings Account offers a significantly higher 4.30% APY. This feature alone is one of the biggest reasons to open a savings account with Discover.

However, just because Discover’s APY trounces competitors, you can still find better rates with a bit of searching.

Free ATM withdrawals

When you open a Discover® Cashback Debit card with your savings account, you’ll have access to more than 415,000 ATMs. That’s an absurd amount — though not all of them are free to use. You’ll have access to 60,000 ATMs that won’t slap a fee onto your transaction.

No fees

Discover prides itself on its lack of fees that other banks often charge. For example, you won’t be charged for:

  • Monthly maintenance (sometimes incurred when you’ve got only a small amount of money in your savings account)
  • Official bank checks, including expedited delivery
  • Deposited item returned
  • Excessive withdrawal fee (up to six per calendar month)
  • Stop payment orders
  • Insufficient funds
  • Account closure

In other words, Discover won’t nickel-and-dime you just for the privilege of letting them store your money for you. This is an important attribute of a bank.

Mobile app

The Discover mobile app is simple to use and has a couple nifty features worth mentioning:

  • Ease of use — You can set up the app to require a password each time you log in, or you can enable face recognition or touch ID. You can even activate “Quick View,” which allows you to check your balance without logging in.
  • Mobile check deposits — You can deposit checks by taking a picture of them and submitting the pictures through the app.

24/7 customer service

One reason you may be disenchanted with other banks is the fact that many have strict operating hours. If you need to talk to a human being, you may have to wait until the next morning. Discover has customer service around the clock at 800-347-7000.

How to open a Discover® Online Savings Account

To open a Discover® Online Savings Account, you can click on the orange “Open Account” button at the top of this page.

Before you begin your application, Discover will ask you if you’re already a Discover customer. If you’ve already got a credit card, Discover® Cashback Debit Checking account, or other affiliation with Discover, it will expedite the process for you by automatically entering the information it’s already got on you. If you’re new to Discover, you’ll have to enter details such as your name, date of birth, Social Security number, mother’s maiden name, etc.

Who should use a Discover® Online Savings Account?

If you feel comfortable doing the entirety of your banking online, the Discover® Online Savings Account is one of your better options.

Some people still feel that banking online is more susceptible to hackers, but the truth of the matter is your information is online whether you yourself bank online or not.

Also, if you plan to park a large dollar amount in a savings account, you’ll benefit from Discover’s sky-high APY.

Who shouldn’t use a Discover® Online Savings Account?

If you’d prefer to visit bank branches to do your business, this is not the bank for you.

Also, if you don’t have much savings to speak of, don’t get too distracted by Discover’s high APY. It may be better to choose an account with features that appeal to you.

The competition

Discover® Online Savings Account vs CIT Bank Bank Platinum Savings Account

  • APY: Up to 5.05%
  • Monthly fees: None
  • Minimum opening deposit: $100

With the CIT Bank Platinum Savings, you won’t find any account opening or maintenance fees (though you must have a minimum deposit of $100 to open an account).

Best for $5,000 or more
CIT Bank Platinum Savings Account

With no account opening or monthly service fees, the CIT Platinum Savings Account offers a high interest rate of up to 5.05% APY on balances of $5,000.

With an initial deposit minimum of just $100 to open an account and no minimum balance required after, this is an easy high-yield savings account to open. See site for details.

Pros:
  • Earn up to 5.05% APY
  • No monthly service fees
  • Unlimited transfers and withdrawals
  • Fast, easy account opening
Cons:
  • Balance requirement for max APY
  • Lack of ATM access
Open an Account
CIT Bank. Member FDIC.

The CIT Bank Platinum Savings offers one of the nation’s top rates of up to 5.05% APY on balances of $5,000 or more. Balances less than $5,000 earn a much lower 0.25% APY, so this account is highly recommended for those that can meet that minimum balance to earn the highest APY. See site for details.

Open a CIT Bank Platinum Savings account.

Summary

The Discover® Online Savings Account is hard (but not impossible) to beat when it comes to the annual percentage yield you’ll receive for your money. That is to say, letting your savings sit in this account is one of the best ways to make your money work for you — provided you haven’t got ample stock market savvy.

Discover is very customer-friendly, and won’t charge you for little things like monthly account maintenance fees and overdraft fees. It’s one of the best savings accounts on the market.

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