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Discover Bank Review 2021

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

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Discover Bank

Discover Bank is probably better known for its credit cards, which comprise about 4% of all credit card purchase volume in the U.S. But while it may have gotten its start with credit cards back in 1985, today Discover has a much wider range of offerings, including student loans, personal loans and deposit accounts.

Discover Bank offers a limited lineup of savings accounts and CDs, plus a checking account. However, the accounts it does offer stand out for their competitive rates and minimal fees. Read on to learn more about Discover’s accounts to determine if they’re right for you.

Discover Bank savings account 5 out of 5

Online Savings Account
  • APY: 0.40%
  • Minimum opening balance: $0
  • Monthly fee: $0

Discover Bank’s Online Savings Account offers a smooth banking experience. There’s a lot to like about it: It’s got a high rate, almost no fees, no minimum balance requirements and a handy app that lets you do just about all of your banking right from the palm of your hand. Plus, if you’re already using any of Discover’s other products, like credit cards or loans, you’ll probably find its interface especially easy to use.

The bank does charge a $30 fee for outgoing wire transfers. However, most people generally rely on ACH transfers, so it’s unlikely you’ll come across this fee often.

Money Market Account
  • APY: 0.30% on balances under $100,000; 0.35% on balances $100,000 and over
  • Minimum opening balance: $2,500
  • Monthly fee: None

Unlike the Online Savings Account, Discover Bank’s Money Market Account requires a $2,500 minimum opening balance. Practically speaking, however, there’s not really much of a difference between the two accounts. The only major difference is that the money market account offers a lower rate in return for the ability to write checks from the account, similar to a checking account.

You are still limited to six withdrawals per month from money market accounts because of Federal Regulation D, however, so you can’t really use it as a de facto way to earn interest on your checking account. And although that limit isn’t being enforced right now due to COVID-19 relief provisions, it is still better to plan for how things will operate over the long run rather than just right now.

IRA Savings Account
  • APY: 0.40%
  • Minimum opening balance: $0
  • Monthly fee: $0

Keep in mind that financial experts recommend that most people invest their money where it will earn a higher rate over time. That way, you won’t miss out on better earnings than this IRA Savings Account can provide.

But if you’re still interested in this IRA Savings Account, it offers a decent rate — though it doesn’t compete when compared to the best IRA savings account rates currently offered. It also provides the ability to choose which type of IRA to use, a traditional IRA or a Roth IRA.


Compare Discover Banks savings accounts to the highest savings rates out there today.

Discover Bank checking account 5 out of 5

Checking Account
  • APY: None
  • Minimum opening balance: $0
  • Monthly fee: $0
  • ATM access: 60,000+ no-fee Allpoint and MoneyPass ATMs around the country

Discover Bank’s Checking Account doesn’t offer interest, but it does offer another carrot. You can receive 1% cash back on all of your purchases made with the debit card that comes with the account, up to $3,000 per month — that means you could earn up to $360 a year. Keep in mind, though, that unlike a true interest-bearing checking account, you’ll need to spend that money to earn the rewards, rather than save it in your account to earn interest.

There are no fees associated with this account aside from a $30 wire transfer fee, which you probably won’t encounter often. You can also easily manage your account right from the app, including depositing checks by photo or finding one of 60,000-plus fee-free ATMs around the country through the Allpoint and MoneyPass networks. Note that while Discover won’t charge a fee for using ATMs that are out-of-network, you may still incur third-party charges from that ATM.


See how Discover Bank stacks up when compared to the best checking accounts currently offered.

Discover Bank CDs 2 out of 5

TermAPYMinimum Deposit to Open & Earn APY
1 year0.50%$2,500
3 years0.55%$2,500
5 years0.60%$2,500

Discover Bank offers an impressive amount of CD term lengths to choose from — 12 in all — ranging from three months to 10 years. Aside from IRA CDs, though, Discover Bank doesn’t offer any special CD options, like no-penalty CDs or jumbo CDs.

However, you will earn a rate that’s on par with some of the best CD rates currently offered. The only thing that could be better about these CDs is if they had a lower minimum deposit requirement — setting aside $2,500 may be a high barrier for some.

If you withdraw your money from your CD before your term is up, you’ll face an early withdrawal penalty. Penalties range from 3 months’ simple interest for terms of less than one year to as much as 24 months’ simple interest for terms of 7 to 10 years.


Want to see more options? These are the best CDs out there today.

Customer experience at Discover Bank

As an online bank, you won’t find any branches with Discover Bank. Instead, you’ll access your account through Discover Bank’s robust mobile app or its website. You’ll also have access to over 60,000 fee-free ATMs through Discover’s network. If you run into any problems, you can call a live customer support rep at any time — 24/7/365. There is also the option to reach out via live chat once you log into your account.

These factors have helped to rank Discover Bank as the third-best online bank in the country, according to a 2020 survey from J.D. Power. So if good customer service, competitive rates and a well-rated app are important to you, Discover Bank could be an option worth exploring.

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Barclays Review 2021

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

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Barclays Bank

Barclays Online Bank might seem like a new institution, but it’s an offshoot of one of the oldest banks in the world, established by two goldsmith bankers in London in 1690. The bank’s online business is based out of Wilmington, Del., and offers a limited roster of online-only savings accounts and CDs.

It’s important for customers to distinguish between the online-only, U.S. branch of Barclays and the version founded in 1690 in the U.K. In the U.S., you don’t have access to venerable British bankers, a broad array of accounts or even bank branches. However, in return, the U.S. version of Barclays offers no-fee accounts, high APYs and solid customer service hours.

Barclays savings accounts 3.5 out of 5

  • APY: 0.40%
  • Minimum balance: $0
  • Monthly fee: $0

The Barclays Online Savings account is an entirely online account, and while that has many benefits, it also carries a few drawbacks. The highlights of the account are its relatively high APY, lack of monthly fees and $0 minimum balance. This means that nearly anyone can access a good-yielding savings account without any hassles or requirements.As an online-only account, however, you won’t have the ability to discuss your savings needs in person with a banker. You also can’t get cash out of a branch, or even deposit cash to a branch. Even more restrictive, the account doesn’t offer any ATM access, so if you want to access your money, you’ll have to make an electronic transfer or ask for a physical check.

Although the account has no monthly fees, it’s not entirely fee-free — though most fees are avoidable unless you engage in certain behaviors. If you overdraw your account, for example, you’ll face a non-sufficient funds (NSF) fee. You may also encounter fees for transactions above the six-transaction limit set by federal Regulation D, as well as for cashier’s checks.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on Barclays’s secure website

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If you would like to explore other options, you can find our top picks for savings accounts here.

Barclays checking accounts 0 out of 5

Barclays doesn’t offer any checking accounts, so there are no comparisons to be made in this area.

If you’re interested in opening a checking account, here are our top picks for checking accounts.

Barclays CDs 3 out of 5

TermAPYMinimum Deposit
1 year0.25%$0
3 years 0.25%$0
5 years0.25%$0

Barclays Online CDs are simple and straightforward. There are nine maturity options — ranging from three months up to 60 months — and all have zero minimum deposit. However, there are no special types of CDs available, such as no-penalty CDs or jumbo CDs.

Interest is compounded daily and deposited monthly. You can have your interest payments automatically transferred out of the account and deposited in another account, either internal or external.

Early withdrawal penalties of 90 days’ or 180 days’ interest apply to maturities of less than 24 months or greater than 24 months, respectively. At maturity, your Barclays CD will automatically renew into a CD with the same term, unless you choose to withdraw the funds within the 14-day grace period.


For more options, check out our top picks for CDs here.

Customer experience at Barclays

Barclays offers an excellent banking experience, as long as you’re prepared to deal with an online-only bank. Customer service hours are good, as you can view your account online 24/7, or reach customer service at 888-710-8756 seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. EST.Barclays also has a mobile app that you can use to view your account balance and transactions, statements, interest payments and other account information. You can also use the app to transfer money or to make mobile check deposits.

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Ally Bank Review 2021

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

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Ally Bank

Ally Bank opened in 1919 as GMAC, a division of the auto manufacturing company General Motors (GM), but spun off into an online-only bank in 2009. Ally’s key features are its lack of monthly fees and minimum balances on its banking accounts, in addition to APYs that generally exceed national averages.

Ally Bank also excels with its 24/7 customer service and broad, fee-free ATM access offered with its checking and savings accounts. The main drawbacks to banking with Ally are the inability to deposit cash or access its savings account with an ATM card, and the lack of branch access.

Ally Bank savings accounts 5 out of 5

Online Savings account
  • APY: 0.50%
  • Minimum balance: $0
  • Monthly fee: $0

The Ally Bank Online Savings account pays well above the current national average of 0.04% APY, and its 0.50% APY ranks among the best available online savings account APYs. The account also has no monthly fees or minimum balance requirements.

While there are no monthly maintenance fees, the Ally Bank Online Savings account does have a $10 excess transaction fee for every withdrawal or transfer in excess of six per statement cycle. The account also carries an overdraft fee of $25.

Additionally, there is no ATM card access to the account. To make a withdrawal, you’ll have to request a check, perform an online funds transfer, set up a wire transfer or make a telephone transfer. You also can’t deposit cash into the account, though there are workarounds.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on Ally Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

Ally Bank Money Market account
  • APY: 0.50%
  • Minimum balance: $0
  • Monthly fee: $0

The Ally Bank Money Market account has some of the same basic features as the Ally Online Savings account — namely no monthly fees, no minimum balance requirements and the same 0.50% APY. However, the money market account offers much greater access to your funds.

The Ally Bank Money Market account comes with ATM access, meaning you can withdraw funds without paying a fee at over 43,000 U.S.-based Allpoint® ATMs. Plus, you’ll receive up to $10 per month in out-of-network ATM fee rebates. You can also deposit checks remotely with the mobile app.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on Ally Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC


For more savings options, check out our high-yield online savings page.

Ally Bank checking accounts 5 out of 5

Ally Bank Interest Checking account
  • APY: 0.10% ; 0.25% for balances of $15,000 or more
  • Minimum balance: $0
  • Monthly fee: $0
  • ATM access: Free access to 43,000+ AllPoint ATMs, plus up to $10 per statement cycle in fee reimbursements

Ally Bank’s Interest Checking account has no minimum balance requirements or monthly fees. It also offers free ATM access via the Allpoint ATM network and provides $10 per statement cycle in domestic non-Allpoint ATM withdrawals.

The account pays a modest interest rate for deposits below $15,000, but it jumps to 0.25% APY for deposits of $15,000 or more. This is higher than the national average but below current available rates from some other online banks and credit unions.

If you link the Interest Checking account to a savings account at Ally, you can get free overdraft protection. Money transfer is available via Zelle®, or with the Ally Skill™ on Amazon Alexa.


For more options, check out our roundup of the best checking accounts available.

Ally Bank CDs 4 out of 5

TermAPYMinimum deposit
1 year0.55%$0
3 years0.65% $0
5 years0.80%$0

Ally Bank’s primary CD product is its High-Yield CD line, with rates posted above and term lengths ranging from three months to five years. Ally also offers two additional CD products: the Raise-Your-Rate CD and the No-Penalty CD. Jumbo CDs are not currently offered.

All Ally Bank CDs have the following features:

  • Interest compounded daily
  • 10-day, best-rate guarantee
  • Automatic renewal at maturity

Ally Bank CD rates range from 0.20% to 0.80% . Rates are the same regardless of how much you deposit, but the earnings change depending on which term length you choose. All Ally Bank CDs have no minimum.

The Raise-Your-Rate CD offers two- and four-year maturities and allows you to raise the rate once or twice per term, respectively, if rates rise after purchase. The No-Penalty CD offers a single 11-month term and allows penalty-free withdrawals of all deposits and interest any time after the first six days of funding the CD.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on Ally Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC


For more account options, see our top picks for CDs.

Customer experience at Ally Bank

Although Ally Bank is a completely online institution, it brings together some of the best features of both online and brick-and-mortar banks. Ally Bank’s checking, savings and money market APYs are currently well above national averages, and far above those offered by most traditional banks. Ally also has no minimums or fees for any of its basic banking products.

Yet, Ally Bank also offers the convenience of a wide-ranging ATM network, currently over 43,000 Allpoint machines strong, along with $10 in monthly out-of-network fee rebates. Customer service is tough to beat as well. Although you can’t visit a branch to speak with a representative, phone reps are available 24/7. You can also reach the bank via live online chat, secure email and regular mail. In addition, Ally has a highly rated mobile app that allows everything from mobile deposit to money transfers and complete account management.