Discover Online Savings Account Review: 4.25% APY

If you’re in the market for a high-yield online savings account, the Discover® Online Savings Account is worth considering. It has many of the benefits and perks that Discover is known for, including an excellent website and mobile app experience, a competitive annual percentage yield, and no account-related fees.

In this review, I’ll take a closer look at the pros and cons of the Discover Online Savings Account so you can decide if it’s worth it.

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Discover Online Savings Account

9.3
Rate 8.0
Fees 10.0
Customer Service 10.0

Pros

  • High transfer limits
  • No monthly fees
  • 24/7 customer support

Cons

  • No branch access
  • No ATM access
  • Higher APYs offered elsewhere

Discover® Bank Online Savings Account Review

Discover® Bank is a well-known online bank and the 29th largest in the United States by asset size[1]. While it offers a number of financial products and services, today’s focus is on Discover’s impressive online savings account.

The Discover Online Savings Account is a high-yield savings account that offers a competitive rate of 4.25% APY, over 9.2x the national average[2]. This savings account is a great choice for someone who is looking to grow an emergency fund or save for a big ticket item such as a down payment on a house or a car.

Discover is a legitimate bank with a stellar reputation, but is this account right for you? In my review below, I’ll go over what I believe are the best features of this online savings bank as well as what could be improved.

Pros

High APY

One of the most attractive features of the Discover Online Savings Account is its high interest rate.

As I mentioned earlier, the account currently offers a 4.25% APY, which is well above the national average for savings accounts. Interest is compounded daily and credited monthly.

This high interest rate means that your money will grow faster over time, helping you reach your financial goals sooner.

For example, let’s say you have $10,000 available to save for 12 months. You’d earn $379 more in interest with Discover Bank than you would with the average national bank[3].

BankAPY RateEarned Interest
Discover Bank4.25%$425
National Bank0.46%$46

That’s a big difference that only gets bigger with time due to compound interest.

FDIC Insurance

The most critical factor in choosing a savings account is to ensure that the bank is FDIC-insured. FDIC insurance provides protection to customer deposits in case the bank fails or goes bankrupt.

The good news here is that Discover Bank is insured by the FDIC (FDIC Cert #5649). This means that your deposits are insured up to $250,000 per depositor, per account ownership category, in the event that the bank fails.

The collapse of Silicon Valley Bank provided a wake-up call for everyone to double-check whether the financial institution they bank with is FDIC-insured and that your deposits are not exposed to a potential loss (if you’re in a fortunate position to have more than $250,000 in a savings account).

Easy Access to Your Money

A savings account that’s straightforward, user-friendly, and easy to access is often underappreciated until you come across a bank account that isn’t. Discover Online Savings Account earns top marks for me in this department.

Opening an account is a breeze, and you can do it online in a matter of minutes. If you’re already a Discover customer, the process is even more streamlined as you can login using your existing Discover username and password.

Discover Online Savings application
(Image from Discover Bank)

Once your account is open, you can manage your money online or through the Discover mobile app, both of which offer a seamless experience. The website and mobile app have intuitive designs that make it easy to navigate and perform tasks.

A feature that I particularly appreciate is the high transfer limits offered by Discover Bank. You can have up to $250,000 in incoming transfers and $250,000 in outgoing transfers in a rolling 30-day period.

This is a generous amount compared to other banks that have much lower limits. For example, Santander limits customers to $5,000 per day and a total of $20,000 per month, while Bank of America recently lowered outgoing ACH transfers to a paltry $1,000 per day.

These high transfer limits are beneficial for common banking activities such as transferring money to your other savings and checking accounts at other banks. You won’t have any concerns about hitting any low limits that hinder your financial activities.

It also makes the Discover Online Savings Account the ideal bank hub account. A hub account is an informal name for a bank account in your name, which can be used to move cash in and out of your other savings accounts (to chase the best interest rates, for example).

And although Discover doesn’t have physical bank branches, there are a number of deposit and withdrawal options that make accessing your money easy:

Deposit Options:

  • Mobile deposit
  • Online transfer
  • Wire transfer
  • Direct deposit
  • Mailing in a check

Withdrawal Options:

  • Wire transfer
  • Official bank checks
  • Online transfers to external banks
  • Transfer to other Discover accounts

No Monthly Fees

Another benefit of the Discover Online Savings Account is that there are no monthly fees and no minimum balance requirements. You don’t have to worry about paying any fees just to keep your account open and you can have as much or as little money in your account as you’d like.

Additionally, there are no insufficient funds fees, excessive withdrawals fees, or stop payment order fees.

In fact, the only fee I could find is a $30 service charge for an outgoing wire transfer. This isn’t something to fret over as most of us transfer money electronically via an ACH bank transfer (which is free).

Cons

No Branch Access

A potential drawback of the Discover Online Savings Account is that it doesn’t offer branch access.

If you prefer to do your banking in person, this account may not be the best fit for you. However, if you’re comfortable banking online or through the mobile app, this may not be a major concern.

No ATM Access

Another potential drawback of the Discover Online Savings Account is that it has no ATM access because the account doesn’t provide an ATM or debit card for withdrawals.

However, you can open a Discover® Checking Account to pair with the savings account, which will give you the ability to transfer funds between accounts for ATM and debit transactions

A major benefit of the checking account is that it also earns 1% cash back on debit purchases, up to a maximum of $360 a year.

The Discover® Cashback Debit account was just relaunched in May 2023 and is now accepting applications nationwide. Check out my Discover Bank Promotions page for more details.

The Bottom Line

Overall, I think the Discover Bank Online Savings Account is a solid choice for anyone looking for a high-yield online savings account with the familiarity of banking with a big-name financial institution.

The account offers a very competitive APY, no monthly account fees you may see with other banks, access to your money from almost anywhere, and a top-rated online/mobile app experience that’s hard to beat.

Discover’s product compares favorably with other popular high-yield savings accounts, like the American Express® High Yield Savings Account.

References:

1. MX. Biggest U.S. Banks by Asset Size (2023), Retrieved 12/31/2023

2. FDIC. National Savings Rates Index, Retrieved 4/14/2023

3. U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Investor.gov Compound Interest Calculator, Retrieved 1/4/2024

About John Pham

John Pham is a personal finance expert, serial entrepreneur, and founder of The Money Ninja. He has also been fortunate enough to have appeared in the New York Times, Boston Globe, and U.S. News & World Report. John has a B.S. in Entrepreneurship and a Masters in Business Administration, both from the University of New Hampshire.

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