Discover® Cashback Checking Review 2024

Find out about the Discover checking account's fees, cash back rates, and features. Compare to other online bank checking accounts.
Editor's Rating
Editor's Rating
4.5
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Written by Rebecca Lake
Financial Expert
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Managing Editor
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Discover Bank offers a variety of banking products, including online checking accounts.

If you’re looking for a checking account option that allows you to earn cash-back rewards on purchases with no fees, then Discover is worth a look.

Before opening a new checking account, it helps to take a closer look at the features and benefits, so you know what to expect.

Discover Bank Checking Account At-A-Glance

Discover Bank's online checking account has unique features you won't always find at other banks. Here's a quick rundown of the main highlights.

Overall Impression

There’s much to like about Discover Cashback Checking, particularly if you want to avoid paying steep banking fees. Other than a $30 fee for outgoing wire transfers, the account is fee-free. Earning 1% cash back on debit card purchases is another nice perk traditional banks typically don’t offer. The only real drawback to this account is that it’s online-only, which may not be appealing for people who prefer having branch banking access.

Compare the Best Checking Accounts Online

How does Discover Cashback Checking stack up to its competitors? Compare rates, fees, accessibility, customer service, and more. Find the best checking account for your needs.

Discover Cashback Checking Pros and Cons

No checking account is perfect, and it’s always helpful to consider the pros and cons before opening one. Here are some ways Discover stands out and a few areas where it falls short.

Pros

  • Earn cash back on eligible purchases with your Discover debit card
  • Withdraw cash fee-free at more than 60,000 ATMs
  • Deposits are FDIC-insured up to $250,000 per depositor
  • Fee-free overdraft protection is included as an account benefit
  • Robust mobile app makes it easy to do all of your banking in one place

Cons

  • Cash-back is not unlimited, and you could earn more in rewards with a Discover credit card instead
  • While you can withdraw cash at ATMs, Discover doesn’t allow you to deposit cash the same way
  • You’ll have to be comfortable with online-online banking

Compare to Others

Discover is just one of many banks that offer online checking accounts.

If you’re looking for a new checking account, shopping around to see which bank might best fit your needs is a good idea. Here are four other online checking options.

American Express®

American Express National Bank, member FDIC, offers an online checking account with no monthly maintenance fee and no minimum balance requirements. This account earns interest, which you don’t get with most checking accounts. You can also earn membership rewards with debit card purchases and combine them with rewards you earn with a credit card from American Express.

Since this is an online-only account, you’re limited to mobile and online banking options. You can also withdraw cash at 37,000+ MoneyPass ATMs fee-free.

Read our full American Express checking account review.

Chime

Chime offers an online checking account with no monthly or overdraft fees. You won’t earn rewards with this checking account but can deposit cash. Chime members can add cash to their accounts at over 75,000 retail partner locations and withdraw cash fee-free at 60,000+ ATMs.

You can also get paid up to two days early with direct deposit and earn interest with a linked Chime savings account. Chime accounts are FDIC-insured.

Read our full Chime online checking and savings review.

Varo Bank

Varo’s online checking account comes with a variety of features, including the option to get paid early with direct deposit, access to 40,000+ fee-free ATMs, cash-back rewards, and no hidden fees. You can deposit cash at 90,000+ retail locations using Green Dot Reload at the Register with no fees from Varo. Retail locations may charge a fee to process your deposit.

You can send and receive money through Zelle for convenience. There are no monthly fees and no overdraft fees associated with this account.

Read our full Varo Bank checking review.

Who Is Discover Bank Checking Account For?

Discover’s online checking account could be a good fit for people who:

  • Want to avoid high fees
  • Don’t mind forgoing branch banking access
  • Are interested in earning cash-back rewards on purchases
  • Already have a credit card or high-yield savings account with Discover

This account may not be suitable for people who like being able to pop into a branch to deposit cash or get help in person. Consider a different online checking account if you’re specifically looking for one that pays interest on balances.

Rating the Features

The best checking account is the one that offers the kinds of features that you need and want most. Understanding what’s included can help you decide how valuable a checking account might be.

Mobile Banking

Discover’s mobile banking app includes all the features you’d expect to find to stay on top of your money. You can check balances, schedule transfers, pay bills, and review transaction history with just a few taps. You can also use the remote deposit capture feature to deposit checks from your mobile device.

You can also log in to your account online through the Discover Bank website if you’d prefer. The app and the online banking site are user-friendly and easy to navigate.

Fees

Discover’s checking account is exceptionally fee-friendly, with no monthly maintenance fees or minimum balance fees. There are no overdraft fees either. You’ll only pay a $30 fee for outgoing wire transfers. But with Zelle and ACH transfers available, you may not need to use wire transfers.

Customer Service and Experience

Customer service is available by phone if you need help with your account or have questions. You can also contact Discover by regular mail. There is no online chat feature, which may be a con if you prefer to get help via live chat versus over the phone.

Rates

Discover doesn’t pay interest on its checking account, so there are no rates. However, you could earn interest with a Discover High-Yield Savings Account. Rates are competitive and typical of savings accounts offered by online banks. There are minimal fees, which could be a great incentive to open a checking and savings account with Discover.

Tools, Extras

Discover doesn’t offer a lot of extras in the way of things like calculators or savings buckets. A library of educational articles is available that you can use to learn about different money topics. Again, the main feature or benefit of the checking account is the ability to earn cash-back rewards on eligible debit card purchases.

Access

You can access your Discover bank account online or through the Discover mobile app. You can also withdraw cash at more than 60,000 ATMs nationwide. There are no branches to speak of, and if you need customer service help, you can get in touch by phone.

Safety and Security

Discover implements standard banking security practices to protect customer accounts. That includes using encrypted data to keep your personal and financial information secure. Discover is a member FDIC bank, meaning your deposits are covered up to $250,000 in the unlikely event of a bank failure.

Minimum Deposit or Balance Requirement

Discover doesn’t impose any minimum deposit or balance requirements. You can open your account with just a little money or a lot, so there are no high barriers to entry you’ll need to meet. There are no ongoing minimum balance requirements to avoid a monthly maintenance fee.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Is Discover checking cash-back unlimited?

No, you’re limited to earning 1% cash back on the first $3,000 debit card purchases you make monthly. Consider one of Discover’s cash-back credit card options to achieve a higher cash-back rewards rate.

What do I need to open a Discover checking account?

You can open a Discover checking account online, and to do so, you’ll need to have a valid, government-issued ID. You’ll also need to share some personal information, including your name, date of birth, and Social Security number. If you’re transferring funds from another bank to make your opening deposit, you must also provide your bank routing and account numbers.

Is a Discover checking account worth it?

Opening a Discover checking account could be worth it if you’re interested in fee-free banking and want to earn cash back when you spend. It’s important to remember that this is an online-only account, so if you’d like to visit a branch, you may need to consider a different bank.

About Author
Rebecca Lake
Rebecca Lake, a valued contributor at MoneyRates, unravels the intricacies of personal finance with her expertise in areas spanning from banking to homebuying and investing to small business strategies. Rebecca seamlessly bridges the gap between complex financial concepts and readers, demystifying them with her clear and insightful narratives. She has contributed to U.S. News and World Report, among numerous other publications. With Rebecca’s guidance, financial clarity is just an article away.
Our reviews are unbiased and thorough, focusing on consumer needs. For details, see our Editorial Policy & Methodology.