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An In-Depth Review of Discover’s Banking Products

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It has not been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any of our network partners.


Discover Online Savings account

A completely fee-free online savings account, with no minimum balance requirements, and competitive interest rates.

APY

Minimum Balance Amount

1.90%

$0

  • Minimum opening deposit: $0
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $0
  • ATM fee: None as long you use an ATM within Discover’s network.
  • ATM fee refund: None.
  • Overdraft fee: None.

There is no minimum balance to open a Discover Online Savings account, nor do they charge any monthly maintenance fees. While account holders do not have the ability to withdraw money from their savings account via an ATM, they are able to access and manage their savings account via Discover’s online banking and mobile app. The online banking and mobile app lets users deposit and transfer money to both Discover Bank and non-Discover bank accounts. This account doesn’t come with any fees. Even if you exceed the Federal Reserve’s Regulation D limitation of six withdrawals or transfers in one calendar month, Discover will not charge an excessive withdrawal fee. If you exceed six certain transactions more than once, your account may be closed. Discover will only do this if you exceed the limit “more than on an occasional basis”. Be sure to read the Deposit Account Agreement for specifics around this limit.

Currently, you can earn a competitive interest rate of 1.90% APY on a Discover Online Savings account. This is compounded daily and deposited into your savings account every month. As soon as you deposit money in your account, you’ll begin earning interest.

This is a solid savings account for anyone who already has a checking account with Discover, has a substantial amount of savings, or wants to earn a competitive interest rate on their savings account. It stands out for being fee-free and requiring no minimum balance or deposit, but falls short when compared with all the current interest rates out there.

There are no eligibility requirements to open a Discover Online Savings account since they do not require an initial minimum deposit or any minimum balance. There is currently a bonus being offered if you apply for the savings account for the very first time by 10/21/19. If you meet qualifications by 10/07/19, you could receive the $150 or $200 bonus. Click the button below for full details.

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How Discover Bank’s savings account compares

Compared with other online savings accounts, Discover Bank does not have the best offerings. That’s not to say it’s bad. Next to what major banks are currently offering, this account is a major win. However, with a little research, you can find better interest rates out there that also don’t have minimum balance requirements.

To see what other rates and offers are out there that fit your savings goals check out our Best Online Savings Account Guide.

Discover Bank’s CD Rates

A minimum deposit of $2,500 gives you competitive CD rates among online banks, but higher rates can be found.

CD term

Annual Percentage Yield (APY)

3 months

0.35%

6 months

0.65%

9 months

0.70%

12 months

2.40%

18 months

2.40%

24 months

2.45%

30 months

2.45%

3 years

2.45%

4 years

2.45%

5 years

2.50%

7 years

2.55%

10 years

2.60%

  • Minimum opening deposit: $2,500
  • Early withdrawal penalty:
    • For CDs that are less than one year, the penalty will be worth 3 months of simple interest.
    • For 1-3 year CDs, the penalty is 6 months of simple interest.
    • For a 4 year CD, the penalty is 9 months of simple interest.
    • For a 5 year CD, the penalty is 18 months of simple interest.
    • For 7-10 year CDs, the penalty is 24 months of simple interest.

Discover Bank offers certificates of deposits with terms ranging from three months to 10 years. Interest is compounded daily and is deposited every month. As with most CD rates, the longer the term of the CD, the higher the rate you will receive. To make sure you lock in the highest possible rate for your CD, make sure you fund your account within ten days of application.

There are early withdrawal penalties for taking your money out before the end of the term. The penalty amount varies depending on how far you are into your CDs term.

While there are penalties for withdrawing your money early, you do have the option to withdraw any interest earned on your CD to a Discover bank account without penalty. This money can also be left in your CD to compound throughout the life of your CD. Account holders receive notice of CD maturity 30 days prior to the end of the term. Once a term has ended, account holders have a 9-day grace period to make a change to their CD before incurring penalties. If no action is taken, Discover CDs will automatically renew at the same rate and term.

You can open a Discover CD online or by phone. The only eligibility requirements come in the form the $2,500 minimum deposit, which can be paid via phone, check or an online transfer from your bank. Discover provides the option of opening your CD in the form of a Trust, Guardian, Estate or Custodial account, but in order to do so, you must call one of their Banking Specialists.

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How Discover Bank’s CD rates compare

Overall, Discover Bank CD rates are competitive. They certainly beat out most of the major banks by far when it comes to APY. However, if you do some digging, there are better rates out there for CDs, both in terms of minimum deposit and interest rate earned.

Discover’s minimum deposit of $2,500 is the biggest downside to this product. While it’s not common for banks to offer no-fee withdrawals on CDs, there are some out there. To find the most competitive CD rates on the market right now, check out our Best CD Rates page.

Discover CashBack Debit account

Discover CashBack Debit offers no monthly fees and pays decent cashback rewards.
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None.
  • ATM fee: None as long as the ATM is within Discover’s network.
  • ATM fee refund: None.
  • Overdraft fee: None.

The Discover CashBack Debit account is appealing because it doesn’t carry any fees — that means no monthly maintenance fee, no minimum balance requirements and no fees for check ordering or debit card replacement.

They offer free online and mobile banking options like bill-pay, wire transfers and account management.

One of the account’s main selling points is the cashback reward, which pays 1.00% on debit card transactions up to $3,000 on purchases each month. In other words, if you spend up to $3,000 in a month you receive $30 cash back. This 1.00% return is not an interest rate, but rather a cashback reward. There are no qualifications to earn the cashback rewards — when you spend with your debit card, you’re earning rewards. These rewards can be redeemed as a credit to your checking account or transferred to a Discover CashBack Bonus card account.

Discover recently partnered with AllPoint and MoneyPass to increase their in-network ATM locations by 60,000+. While Discover does not charge ATM fees for going out-of-network, they do not reimburse ATM fees incurred by third-party ATMs.

Since Discover Bank is considered an online bank, you must open your account online via their website or by phone. There are no minimum deposit requirements, nor do they require account holders to keep a minimum balance. Once you open your account, you’ll receive your debit card within 10 business days. Discover offers free checks for their CashBack Debit account, although you must request them.

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How Discover Bank’s checking account compares

The Discover CashBack Debit account stacks up against other banks when it comes to offering a no-fee checking account. While they do boast a large ATM network, in part to their partnerships, they still do not reimburse out-of-network ATM fees. When it comes to rewards, their cashback reward is decent.

There are better cashback rewards programs out there, as well as, accounts that don’t require you to spend money to make money. If you spend a significant amount money via your debit card every month, this rewards program might make sense. If not, there are other banks that currently offer better rates on checking accounts for less effort on your end.

Discover Bank’s Money Market Account

Good withdrawal options, but with a high minimum balance requirement and interest rates that don’t stack up.

APY

Minimum Balance Amount

1.75%

Less than $100,000

1.80%

Greater than $100,000

  • Minimum opening deposit: $2,500
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • ATM fee: None, but only if you use an ATM within Discover Bank’s network.
  • ATM fee refund: None.
  • Overdraft fee: None.

Opening a money market account with Discover Bank requires a minimum initial deposit of $2,500. They don’t even beat out Discover’s saving account rates.

There are a few account features worth noting, starting with the withdrawal options. Unlike the Discover Online Savings account, account holders will receive checks and a free debit card. Your debit card can be used to withdraw money via ATMs and at stores.

Discover Bank does not charge ATM fees, however if you use an out-of-network ATM they will not reimburse the fee. It’s important to note, that your money market account is subject to the same Federal Reserve regulations limiting transfer and withdrawals to six per month. If you exceed the six transfers or withdrawals more than on an occasional basis, Discover might just close your account. Luckily, this does not apply to withdrawals from ATMs or via official check that is mailed to you. Discover Money Market accounts also give you the ability to sign up for online bill pay, as well as, overdraft protection.

The only eligibility requirements to open a Discover Money Market account is an initial minimum deposit of $2,500. You can open an account either online or by calling one of their Banking Specialists. To fund your account, you have the option of an online transfer, direct deposit or check, which can be mailed or deposited via Discover Bank’s Mobile Check Deposit app.

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How Discover Bank’s money market account compares

Looking at the overall market offerings, Discover Bank Money Market accounts do not stack up. Their competitive account features like a large ATM network, free checks and a debit card are nice, but their rates do not compete.

You can find other banks offering lower deposit requirements, as well as better rates. To see how this account compares, check out MagnifyMoney’s Best Money Market Rates guide.

Discover IRA CD rates

Competitive rates with a higher-than-average minimum deposit for both traditional and Roth options.

Term

APY

3 Months

0.35%

6 Months

0.65%

9 Months

0.70%

12 Months

2.40%

18 Months

2.40%

24 Months

2.45%

30 Months

2.45%

3 Years

2.45%

4 Years

2.45%

5 Years

2.50%

7 Years

2.55%

10 Years

2.60%

  • Minimum opening deposit: $2,500
  • Early withdrawal penalty:
    • For CDs that are less than one year, the penalty will be worth 3 months of simple interest.
    • For 1-3 year CDs, the penalty is 6 months of simple interest.
    • For a 4 year CD, the penalty is 9 months of simple interest.
    • For a 5 year CD, the penalty is 18 months of simple interest.
    • For 7-10 year CDs, the penalty is 24 months of simple interest.

Similar to other Discover Bank CD products, the minimum deposit to open an IRA CD is $2,500. This is also the minimum balance required to earn your interest rate. They offer both Traditional and Roth IRA CD options, with interest rates that vary depending on the CD term you choose. Terms can be as short as 3 months to up to 10 years. Their early withdrawal penalties remain the same for both IRA and non-IRA CDs.

An IRA CD is a worthwhile investment if you aren’t touching your savings and want to earn a higher APY than what’s being offered for your savings account. IRA CDs make the most sense if you’re looking for a long-term investment. While they don’t pay crazy high returns, if you have extra capital, it’s a good investment vehicle to have in your portfolio.

Opening an IRA CD account with Discover Bank can be done by phone or online, and requires an initial minimum deposit of $2,500. Funding your account can be done by phone, via check or via a bank-to-bank transfer from an existing IRA. Discover also allows account holders to initiate a direct or indirect rollover from an existing IRA.

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How Discover Bank’s IRA CD compares

Compared with other IRA CD’s out there, Discover Bank’s rates fall somewhere in the middle. The minimum deposit is higher than other offerings out there and the rates are competitive, but not high enough to be the best on the market.

Overall review of Discover Bank’s deposit products

Discover has created a suite of banking products that can compete in today’s market. Their online and mobile banking has all the necessary features to access and manage your account, and they boast a large ATM network that limits, but does not completely remove, ATM fees from your life.

Compared with the traditional big banks, Discover Bank has them beat when it comes to rates and offerings. However, if you take the entire market into consideration, adding in online banks, community banks and credit unions, Discover banking products fall somewhere in the middle.

Based on the fact that all of the reviewed products above do not have monthly maintenance fees attached to them and pay some form of interest or cash back, means you aren’t going to be wrong by opening an account. However, if you’re looking for the best of the best, Discover Bank is not quite there yet.

Advertiser Disclosure: The products that appear on this site may be from companies from which MagnifyMoney receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). MagnifyMoney does not include all financial institutions or all products offered available in the marketplace.

Jackson Wise
Jackson Wise |

Jackson Wise is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Jackson here

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Reviews

Sallie Mae Bank Reviews: Money Market, Savings and CD Rates

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It has not been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any of our network partners.

Sallie Mae Money Market Account

Sallie Mae Bank’s Money Market Account offers a competitive interest rate, no fees or minimums balances.

APY

Minimum deposit amount

2.15%

$0

  • Minimum opening deposit: None
  • Monthly maintenance fees: None
  • ATM fee: N/A
  • ATM fee refund: N/A
  • Overdraft fee: $19 insufficient funds fee

This is a competitive account. While the interest rate is not the highest out there, there is no minimum balance or deposit, which is hard to find for such a competitive rate. Since Sallie Mae Bank operates as an online bank and account holders don’t receive an ATM card, this account would be best suited for someone who doesn’t plan on touching their money very often. Sallie Mae offers online and mobile banking with e-deposit for daily account management. The account comes with free checks when you open an account, but checks cost $5 to order more later.

Account holders are limited to six withdrawals or transfers in one calendar month, per the Federal Reserve’s Regulation D. Exceeding this limit results in a $10 fee per transaction. Transfers into and between Sallie Mae accounts are free, but a $20 fee is charged on transfers to another bank. Sallie Mae does not initiate international wire transfers.

How to get the Sallie Mae Bank Money Market Account

You can apply for a Sallie Mae money market account online. You’ll be prompted to enter and verify your information, and in some cases, you may need to verify your identity by submitting your driver’s license. It should also be noted that if an account sits dormant with a balance of less than $100 for 12 months, Sallie Mae can close the account.

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How Sallie Mae’s money market account compares

Sallie Mae’s money market account is competitive compared to other current money market accounts. The rate isn’t the highest on the market, but no other money markets accounts offer as high a rate without a minimum deposit or minimum balance requirement.

Sallie Mae Bank’s savings account options

High-Yield Savings Account

Good, competitive interest rate with no fees or minimum balance requirements on this savings account.

APY

Minimum deposit amount

2.00%

$0

  • Minimum opening deposit: None
  • Monthly maintenance fees: None
  • ATM fee: N/A
  • ATM fee refund: N/A
  • Overdraft fee: $19 insufficient funds fee

Sallie Mae’s High-Yield Savings Account stands out by offering a competitive savings rate, without any monthly fees or balance requirements. But while there are better savings rates in the market currently, this account would work well for anyone looking for a hands-off way to put their savings to work.

Sallie Mae’s High-Yield Savings Account does not come with a debit or ATM card, making the account less accessible to those who want to access money frequently. Account holders are also limited to six transfers or withdrawals from the account every month, per Regulation D (this regulation applies to all savings accounts). One important thing to note is that this account can only be funded via ACH deposit or check. Sallie Mae does not accept cash or money order deposits.

How to get the Sallie Mae Bank High-Yield Savings Account

To open the account, you’ll need to visit Sallie Mae’s website, fill out an application form and provide some personal information like name, date of birth, etc. In some cases, you may have to verify your identity further by submitting documents like your driver’s license. Once approved, you can fund your account via ACH transfer, check or an existing Sallie Mae account. New accounts are subject to a 10-day hold if money is deposited via ACH or check.

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SmartyPig Account

This free savings account helps you set (and achieve) savings goals, pays a decent rate and has no minimum balance requirement.

APY

Minimum deposit amount

1.80%

$0

  • Minimum opening deposit: None
  • Monthly maintenance fees: None
  • ATM fee: N/A
  • ATM fee refund: N/A
  • Overdraft fee: N/A

Sallie Mae Bank’s SmartyPig account is meant to help you save for specific goals and would be a good fit for someone who wants to organize their savings goals, while earning a decent rate and not paying fees. The account is advertised as having multiple APY tiers based on the savings account balance; however, all tiers currently offer the same rate.

With a SmartyPig account, account holders have a primary account, which holds all deposits. From there, you have the ability to set up multiple savings goals under the primary account. Each savings goal goes into a sub account, letting you track the progress you’ve made towards your goals. Account holders have the ability to set up automatic deposits into the account. The account does not come with a debit or ATM card and is subject to the Reg D limits of a maximum of six withdrawals/transfers a month.

How to get the Sallie Mae Bank SmartyPig Account

To open a SmartyPig account, you must be 18 years of age. Once you complete the application process (which requires some basic personal information), you can fund your account. Funds will be on hold for five days from the date of deposit.

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How Sallie Mae’s savings accounts compare

Sallie Mae offers a variety of interest-bearing savings accounts. While none of them are currently offering the best savings account rate in the market, they all offer competitive rates and have noteworthy features that emphasize the importance of creating smart savings habits. The fact that all of Sallie Mae’s savings accounts have no fees or minimum balances or deposits places these accounts on par with some of the best offerings currently on the market. However, one important factor to take into consideration is that none of Sallie Mae Bank’s savings account offer ATM access.

Sallie Mae Bank’s CD Rates

Earn competitive rates on a certificate of deposit with a higher-than-average minimum deposit.

Term

APY

6 months

1.30%

9 months

1.85%

11 months

2.40%

12 months

2.45%

13 months

2.45%

15 months

2.45%

18 months

2.45%

24 months

2.45%

30 months

2.50%

36 months

2.50%

60 months

2.50%

  • Minimum opening deposit: $2,500
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: $2,500
  • Early withdrawal penalty:
    • CD term is less than 12 months: 90 days’ of simple interest
    • CD term is greater than 12 months: 180 days’ of simple interest

Note: if there is not enough interest, Sallie Mae will deduct the above early withdrawal penalties from the principal balance.

The rates on Sallie Mae Bank’s CDs are overall pretty competitive compared to current market offerings. But these accounts fall short when it comes to minimum deposits, as there are rates on par or higher than Sallie Mae’s that don’t require a minimum deposit or balance to maintain an account.

It should be noted that this account automatically renews when your CD matures. Upon maturity, account holders have a 10-day grace period to withdraw funds from the account before it renews. Withdrawing interest earned on your CD can be done at any point throughout a CD’s term without penalty.

How to get Sallie Mae Bank’s CDs

To open a CD with Sallie Mae Bank, you’ll need to apply for an account online. You’ll be required to enter some personal information, and in some cases, take extra steps to verify your identity. Currently, the only way to put money in an account is through ACH transfer or by check.

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How Sallie Mae’s CD rates compare

While you can find slightly higher rates, Sallie Mae offers solid CD rates. The biggest downside is the $2,500 minimum balance and deposit requirement, which is not the case for other offers paying the same — or better — CD rates.

 

Overall review of Sallie Mae’s banking products

Sallie Mae’s account offerings are competitive, though they are not the best of the best. However, its online and mobile banking has all the features you’d need to save and manage your money on a day-to-day basis.

None of the above accounts come with a debit or ATM card. While limited account accessibility may be a big downside to some, this could be looked at as a positive, if you’re prone to dipping into your savings frequently.

What makes Sallie Mae products stand out is the emphasis they take on the importance of creating smart savings habits. The fact that all of their accounts don’t charge any monthly fees and earn some form of interest means you won’t do yourself a disservice by opening an account. Still, Sallie Mae’s rates aren’t quite high enough to give them the title of “the best.”

Advertiser Disclosure: The products that appear on this site may be from companies from which MagnifyMoney receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). MagnifyMoney does not include all financial institutions or all products offered available in the marketplace.

Jackson Wise
Jackson Wise |

Jackson Wise is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Jackson here

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Review of Limelight Bank’s CD Rates

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It has not been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any of our network partners.

Limelight Bank’s CD rates

Limelight Bank’s CD rates are competitive, come with no monthly fees, and have a slightly higher than average minimum deposit requirement.

Term

APY

6 months

2.10%

12 months

2.35%

18 months

2.40%

  • Minimum opening deposit: $1,000
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: $1,000
  • Early withdrawal penalty: 90 days interest on the amount withdrawn

Limelight Bank’s CDs would be a good option for anyone looking to put their savings to work via a short-term CD. While its minimum deposit and minimum balance requirements are a bit higher than other offers, its rates stand out as competitive and the accounts come with no monthly fees. You can also deposit up to $500,000 on your CD. Interest on your CD will compound daily and be deposited to your account every month.

How to get Limelight Bank’s CDs

Opening a CD with Limelight Bank is relatively simple and can be done online or by phone. You’ll need to be 18 years or older and provide your social security number, government-issued ID, and information on how you’ll be funding your CD account, including your bank routing and account numbers. Funds can take 2-3 business days to post to your account once you initiate your money transfer.

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How Limelight Bank’s CD rates compare

Limelight Bank’s 6 month CD is by far its most competitive offering. It stands out as one of the best rates for a 6 month CD across the board. The bank’s 12 month and 18 month CD options are also competitive; however, you may be able to find comparable rates with a smaller minimum deposit at an online bank or smaller financial institution.

To see how Limelight Bank’s rates compare and to find the best CD for your needs, please visit our recently updated Best CD Rates blog.

Overall review of Limelight Bank’s CDs

Limelight Bank stands out as a unique financial institution with good rates and a strong commitment to the environment. Overall, it offers some highly competitive rates. Its shorter-term CDs (6 month and 12 month) will give you the best bang for your buck. The biggest drawback of Limelight Bank’s CDs is its $1,000 minimum deposit; however, compared to what larger financial institutions are offering, this is still a great option.

Advertiser Disclosure: The products that appear on this site may be from companies from which MagnifyMoney receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). MagnifyMoney does not include all financial institutions or all products offered available in the marketplace.

Jackson Wise
Jackson Wise |

Jackson Wise is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Jackson here