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Arvest Bank Review: Checking, Savings, CD and Money Market Accounts

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.

Arvest Bank’s checking account options

Free Blue

A checking account that earns no interest, but keeps fees to minimum.
  • Minimum opening deposit: $50
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • ATM fee: $2 at all non-Arvest ATMs
  • ATM fee refund: Arvest returns the ATM fees it charges you at the end of the month.
  • Overdraft fee: $17

Arvest Bank’s Free Blue checking account doesn’t earn any interest, but it also has very few fees. Examples? There is no monthly account maintenance fee. The ATM fees that are charged when you use a non-Arvest ATM are returned to you at the end of the month. However, if the outside ATM charges you an additional fee, though, that specific fee will not be returned by Arvest Bank.

For this account, you will receive electronic statements; if you’re over age 62, you’ll also be get free checks with your account.

How to get Arvest Bank’s Free Blue Checking Account

Arvest Bank prefers that you open all accounts in person — however, your first account must be opened in person. When you go in, you’ll need your Social Security number and be sure to bring your picture ID.

After your first account is open, you may be permitted to open subsequent accounts over the phone at the bank’s discretion. You can also open subsequent accounts online, but the process can take over a month.

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Basic Blue

The same basic checking account with paper statements and a monthly maintenance fee.
  • Minimum opening deposit: $50
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $3
  • ATM fee: $2 at all non-Arvest ATMs
  • ATM fee refund: Arvest returns the ATM fees it charges you at the end of the month.
  • Overdraft fee: $17

Just like Free Blue checking, the Basic Blue checking account won’t earn you any interest. In fact, these accounts are virtually identical save one key difference: Basic Blue comes with paper statements. However, for the privilege of those, you will have to pay a small monthly maintenance fee — you just have to decide if having a physical paper trail rather than an electronic one is worth the added cost.

How to get Arvest Bank’s Basic Blue Checking Account

Ideally, you will open this account in person; if this is your first Arvest account, opening it in person is mandatory. If you have other accounts, you may be able to open this checking account via phone or online, though the process takes longer. However you choose to open your account, come prepared with your Social Security number and a photo ID.

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myBlue

Pick between electronic or paper statements, and get an added accident insurance policy.
  • Minimum opening deposit: $50
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $6
  • ATM fee: $2 at all non-Arvest ATMs
  • ATM fee refund: Arvest returns the ATM fees it charges you at the end of the month.
  • Overdraft fee: $17

Arvest Bank’s checking accounts build on each other. The myBlue checking is very similar to Free Blue and Basic Blue, but it comes with a higher monthly maintenance fee. This fee gives you a choice of paper or electronic statements, and comes with access to a $10,000 personal Accidental Death & Dismemberment (AD&D) insurance policy.

How to get Arvest Bank’s myBlue Checking Account

Your first Arvest account must be opened in person. Each subsequent account may be opened via phone or in person depending on your individual circumstances. You can also open an account online, but the process for this modality can take over a month. Whichever way you apply, you will need a photo ID and a social security number.

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Arvest Club

Higher maintenance fees give your more benefits — but still no interest.
  • Minimum opening deposit: $50
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $12
  • ATM fee: $2 at all non-Arvest ATMs
  • ATM fee refund: Arvest returns the ATM fees it charges you at the end of the month.
  • Overdraft fee: $17

The Arvest Club checking account attempts to sweeten the deal even further. The monthly maintenance fee is higher, but so is the AD&D policy coverage. The benefit is increased to $30,000 and extends to your family. On top of that, this is one of the checking accounts in the Arvest Bank roster that offers free checks to everyone — not just those age 62 or older.

You’ll also be able to use two free cashier’s checks or money orders per day, which would normally cost $3 each. With an Arvest Club checking account, you’ll have access to a discount on a safe deposit box and the ability to stop payment on one check per year with no charge. Typically, stopping a payment costs $25.

How to get Arvest Bank’s Arvest Club Account

You’ll need to open your first account in person. After that, it is still preferred that you open your account in person, but opening one over the phone is an option that may become available to you. You are also able to apply online, but the process can take more than a month.

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Preferred Club

The bank’s only checking account to earn interest comes with a waivable maintenance fee.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.20%None
  • Minimum opening deposit: $50
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $18, though the fee can be waived
  • ATM fee: $2 at all non-Arvest ATMs
  • ATM fee refund: Arvest returns the ATM fees it charges you at the end of the month.
  • Overdraft fee: $17

Here’s Arvest Bank only checking account that earns interest. The rate isn’t incredibly high, but as with its other accounts, the Preferred Club checking account comes with extra perks. Those extras are the same as what you get with an Arvest Club account, plus interest and a waiver on your monthly maintenance fee if you meet any of the following conditions:

  • Keep $20,000 in your combined deposit accounts with Arvest Bank.
  • Hold $20,000 in consumer loans with Arvest Bank.
  • Have a combined $25,000 in deposit accounts and consumer loans with Arvest Bank.
  • Hold a mortgage of more than $100,000 with Arvest Bank.
  • Keep $50,000 in brokerage assets with Arvest Bank.
  • Have a qualified trust with Arvest Bank.

If you do not meet one of these requirements, the monthly maintenance fee is quite steep and has the real potential to eat away any earnings from the little bit of APY this account earns.

How to get Arvest Bank’s Preferred Club Checking Account

You must open your first Arvest Bank account in person, but after that you may be able to do so over the phone at the bank’s discretion. You can also open subsequent accounts online, but you will be waiting quite some time to have your application processed.

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How Arvest Bank’s checking accounts compare

Considering just APY and maintenance fees, Arvest Bank’s checking accounts simply don’t compare to the best checking accounts on the market. Four of the five options don’t pay any interest, and the one that does only offers a relatively low rate. As perks increase, so does each account’s maintenance fee, unless you open a Preferred Club checking account and do a lot of banking with Arvest Bank.

However, what these checking accounts lack in yield, they attempt to make up for in unique perks. Access to AD&D policies, waived fees for cashier’s checks and money orders, discounts on a safe deposit box and the waived fee for a stop payment on a check you’ve written do have value. How much value is going to depend on if you were already going to use or seek out these services. If you weren’t, you may be better off doing your checking elsewhere.

Arvest Bank’s savings account options

Savings Account

An unexciting, basic savings account with rate bumps for those with certain checking accounts.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.35% $100
  • Minimum opening deposit: $100
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $100
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $2 but the fee can be waived
  • ATM fee: $2 at all non-Arvest ATMs
  • ATM fee refund: Arvest returns the ATM fees it charges you at the end of the month.
  • Overdraft fee: $17

Arvest Bank’s Savings Account is basic — its rates aren’t competitive, and while its minimum opening deposit and minimum balance high for an account offering this type of APY, it also assesses a monthly maintenance fee.

However, you can get that maintenance fee waived if you keep at least $100 in your account at all times throughout the month, or if you have an average daily balance of $500. You’re also eligible for a 0.05% APY increase if you have an Arvest Club or Preferred Club checking account.

Savings accounts at all financial institutions are subject to federal Regulation D. This rule says that you are allowed to make up to six certain withdrawals from a savings account per month. If you go over this magic number, you will be charged a $5 fee for each subsequent withdrawal by the bank. You may also see your savings account shut down or converted to a checking account.

How to get Arvest Bank’s Savings Account

Is this your first account with Arvest Bank? If so, you have to open it in person. If this won’t be the first time you’re paying patronage to Arvest, you may be able to open your account on the phone or via the month-long process of applying online.

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Cool Blue Savings

A youth savings account with fewer fees to allow for some wiggle room.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
Call Arvest for current rates. $0.01
  • Minimum opening deposit: $50
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $0.01
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • ATM fee: $2 at all non-Arvest ATMs
  • ATM fee refund: Arvest returns the ATM fees it charges you at the end of the month.
  • Overdraft fee: $17

Arvest Bank’s Cool Blue Savings account is open to those under the age of 18. It is nice that the bank does not charge monthly maintenance fees or require a minimum balance to earn the APY. This gives younger account holders more wiggle room as they begin learning about basic banking concepts.

Cool Blue Savings also comes with a $5 fee for each withdrawal you make after the sixth in any given month, Arvest Bank’s policy in line with federal regulations on transaction limits.

How to get Arvest Bank’s Cool Blue Saving Account

You and your child will have to come in to open this account. You as the adult will need a photo ID, and you will need to bring both of your social security numbers.

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Health Savings Account

Arvest Bank’s option to help you pay medical expenses now and in the future.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
Call Arvest for current rates.Varies
  • Minimum opening deposit: None
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: Varies depending on desired APY
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $3 but the fee can be waived
  • ATM fee: $2 at all non-Arvest ATMs
  • ATM fee refund: Arvest returns the ATM fees it charges you at the end of the month.
  • Overdraft fee: $17

A Health Savings Account (HSA) is a place to let your money grow tax-free, as long as you ultimately spend it on medical expenses. You’re only eligible for this type of savings account if you have a high-deductible healthcare plan (HDHP) and no access to any other health insurance. You can save up to $3,450 a year as an individual, or $6,900 if you have a family policy.

You are supposed to spend this money on medical expenses, but if you hold onto it long enough, you can avoid taxes regardless of what you spend the money on. These penalty-free withdrawals only apply if you’re age 65 or older or if you’re disabled.

There is a small monthly maintenance fee on this account, but it will be waived if you maintain a minimum daily balance of $500.

How to get Arvest Bank’s Health Savings Account

Your first Arvest account must be opened at a branch, but after that you may be allowed to open your next account over the phone or online. Just be aware that online applications can take up to a month to process.

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How Arvest Bank’s savings accounts compare

Arvest Bank’s savings rates aren’t competitive. Even with the modest APY bump for having both specific types of checking and savings accounts, there’s very little reason to keep your liquid savings with Arvest when there are so many more lucrative savings account offers out there.

Arvest Bank’s HSA could be advantageous to some customers and it’s not so widely offered.

Arvest Bank’s CD rates

Certificate of Deposit

A disappointing combination of limited term options and mediocre rates.
TermAPYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
6 Months0.85%$9,999 or less
6 Months1.00%$10,000-$49,999
6 Months1.05%$50,000-$94,999
6 Months1.10%$95,000+
12 Months1.05%$9,999 or less
12 Months1.21%$10,000-$49,999
12 Months1.26%$50,000-$94,999
12 Months1.31%$95,000+
24 Months1.10%$9,999 or less
24 Months1.26%$10,000-$49,999
24 Months1.31%$50,000-$94,999
24 Months1.36%$95,000+
  • Minimum opening deposit: $1,000
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: $0.01
  • Early withdrawal penalty: This penalty is calculated in-house by Arvest’s team. It will vary depending on the amount of money you have in your account and how far into the term you have made it.

With only three term lengths, Arvest Bank’s CD offerings are limited — and the interest rates on these limited offerings are low to mediocre. The rates start to get more competitive as your opening deposit goes up, but you can still find higher rates with dramatically lower minimum deposit requirements elsewhere. On top of limited term offerings and ho-hum rates, the bank’s formula for early withdrawal penalties is more complicated than most other financial institutions.

While regular CD rates are less than desirable, it’s always a good idea to keep an eye out for promotional rates, as these are often higher with shorter terms than are offered on everyday certificates.

How to get Arvest Bank’s CDs

Your first account must be opened in person. If this certificate is not your first account, you may be able to set it up via phone. You cannot open a CD online.

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How Arvest Bank’s CD rates compare

Arvest Bank’s certificate of deposit rates don’t even come close to the best CD offers on the market. Its highest rate is barely half of what it would need to be to make the cut. If you’re going to lock your money away for a set term, shop around to make sure you’re getting the best rates possible.

Arvest Bank’s money market account options

Money Market Accounts

A run-of-the-mill money market account with lackluster rates.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.50% $0.01
0.50%$2,500
0.60%$10,000
0.75%$100,000
0.90%$250,000
  • Minimum opening deposit: $100
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: Varies depending on desired rate
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $10 but this fee can be waived
  • ATM fee: $2 at all non-Arvest ATMs
  • ATM fee refund: Arvest returns the ATM fees it charges you at the end of the month.
  • Overdraft fee: $17

Arvest Bank’s Money Market Account fails to impress, what with its low rates and monthly maintenance fee. Sure, this fee can be waived if you keep a minimum of $2,500 in your account, but if you fall below that number your earnings from interest fade as you start shelling out the monthly fee.

A money market account is technically a type of savings account, though it does typically offer higher rates. Because it is a savings account, it’s subject to the regulator six withdrawals per month limit, without being subject to the bank’s penalty fees and/or account closure.

How to get Arvest Bank’s Money Market Account

If this is your first Arvest account, you will need to make a trip to your local branch. If it isn’t, you may be given the option to open your account over the phone or online. Be mindful that online applications can take an entire month to process.

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How Arvest Bank’s money market accounts compare

If you’re thinking about opening a money market account with Arvest Bank, you need to do more shopping. There are far better money market rates out there, and many of them come with less potential fees.

Arvest Bank’s IRA account options

IRA CD rates

18-Month Variable-Rate IRA CD

Middle-of-the-road rates that could change at the drop of a hat.
TermAPYMinimum Opening Deposit
18 MonthsCall Arvest for current rates.$1,000
  • Minimum opening deposit: $1,000
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: $1,000
  • Early withdrawal penalty: Varies depending on how much you have saved

Another thing to note on this IRA CD is that the rate is variable. That means that it could change even during the course of your term. While it could go up, it could also go down. That’s a risk you have to be okay with if you’re going to open up one of these 18-month CDs.

How to get Arvest Bank’s 18-Month Variable-Rate IRA CD

You can open this account online, in person or via phone. When you apply, be sure to come prepared with a government-issued ID.

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How Arvest Bank’s IRA CD rates compare

Because Arvest’s rates are middle-of-the-road when compared to the competition, you’ll want to shop around before opening this IRA CD. You’ll also want to take into consideration that the APY on this certificate is variable, while many other financial institution offer fixed-rate CDs where the APY will stay consistent throughout the course of your term.

IRA Builder Savings

Middle-of-the-road rates with a fairly standard minimum balance requirement.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
Contact Arvest for current rates.$100
  • Minimum opening deposit: $100
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $100
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • Overdraft fee: N/A

The minimum balance requirement is fairly standard. It’s important to note that while some competitors offer higher rates, many of them do so only for IRA savings accounts with balances in the thousands or tens of thousands. Whether or not Arvest’s option is a good one for you will depend on how much you’re planning on using to initially fund the account.

How to get Arvest Bank’s IRA Builder Savings

You can open this account online, over the phone or in person at your local branch. You will need a government-issued ID to get the process started.

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Overall review of Arvest Bank’s banking products

Arvest Bank’s deposit accounts are not competitive. Many of these accounts offer no interest whatsoever, and the ones that do pay interest offer a low APY. While there are many ways to waive monthly maintenance fees, they are complex and change from account to account.

Although its products aren’t the best from an APY standpoint, MagnifyMoney has had consistently positive experiences with helpful and friendly customer service throughout the researching of this review. On top of that, many of Arvest’s accounts come with unique perks that may make opening an account the right decision for you if you are currently paying extra for these services and live in Arvest Bank’s geographic area of service.

But when you compare the numbers — whether that be APY or fees — Arvest Bank objectively doesn’t make the cut.

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.

Brynne Conroy
Brynne Conroy |

Brynne Conroy is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Brynne here

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Credit Cards, Reviews

American Express Gold Card: Good Travel Rewards for a Fee

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. This site may be compensated through a credit card partnership.

pay credit card_lg

The American Express® Gold Card is an upgraded American Express charge card without a pre-set spending limit. It’s also a card that rewards cardholders with American Express Membership Rewards® Points for airfare, dining, gas, and grocery spending.

A charge card is one that you need to pay off completely each billing cycle, so there’s no interest. However, since there’s no pre-set spending limit either, you need to keep an eagle eye on spending activity to make sure you can pay off the statement in full at month’s end. Making a late payment can cause you to forfeit Membership Reward points earned during that billing cycle.

In this post, we’ll discuss the American Express® Gold Card terms and how to redeem points. Keep reading for an overview on:

  • American Express® Gold Card basics
  • How to redeem Membership Rewards points earned
  • The fine print details
  • The benefits and protections
  • The pros and cons

The basics of the American Express® Gold Card

3X Membership Rewards® points for flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com and 4X points at restaurants worldwide and U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per year in purchases, then 1X).

$100 airline fee credit.

You can get up to $100 airline fee credit on your statement each calendar year to cover incidentals charged by an airline of your choosing. Qualifying incidentals are charges separate from your airline ticket like baggage fees and not ticket upgrades.

American Express® Gold Card

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American Express® Gold Card

Annual fee
$250
Rewards Rate
3X Membership Rewards® points for flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com and 4X points at restaurants worldwide and U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per year in purchases, then 1X).
Credit required
good-credit
Excellent/Good

How to redeem Membership Rewards® Points earned

Through Membership Rewards®, cardholders can transfer points to participating travel and lodging loyalty programs or redeem points for travel bookings, gift cards, statement credits, and other rewards. The value of your points varies depending on how you choose to use them.

Flights, hotels, and vacations

You can pay with points for flights, hotels, and vacations on the American Express Travel site. Using points for flights offers excellent value.

Here’s the point value breakdown on travel and accommodations:

  • Flights: $10 per 1,000 points
  • Hotels, cruises, and vacation packages: $7 per 1,000 points

Transferring your Membership Rewards® Points

If you choose to transfer your points to another program, generally, 1,000 Membership Rewards® Points will transfer as 1,000 miles, points, or credits.

However, transfers that have a different value include (as of the publication date of this article):

  • British Airways and Iberia: 250 Membership Rewards points = 200 Avios
  • El AL Israel Airlines: 1,000 Membership Rewards points = 20 Matmid points
  • Hilton: 1,000 Membership Rewards points = 1,500 HHonors points
  • JetBlue Airways: 250 Membership Rewards points = 200 JetBlue TrueBlue points
  • Starwood Preferred Guest: 1,000 Membership Rewards points = 333 Starpoints
  • Virgin America: 200 Membership Rewards points = 100 Elevate points

Occasionally, there are transfer specials for participating loyalty programs.

Statement credit and gift cards

Using points to put a dent in your credit card bill won’t be the best use of your points. 1,000 points equals just $6 in a statement credit.

Several of the gift cards through Membership Rewards® will give you more in cash value. For example, 1,000 points can get you a $10 gift card at restaurants, retail stores, and hotels including:

  • Hyatt Hotels and Resorts
  • Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino
  • Maggiano’s Little Italy
  • Seasons 52
  • Banana Republic
  • Crate and Barrel

There’s an entire list of the redemption values for gift cards on the Membership Rewards® site.

Other rewards

Using points for shopping, charitable donations, and entertainment are other redemption options. But, again, these options won’t give you as much value for your points as redeeming for flights and gift cards.

The value of 1,000 points ranges from $5 to $7 when shopping at retailers through Membership Rewards® or at Ticketmaster, Amazon.com, BestBuy.com, or Newegg.com.

The fine print

The American Express® Gold Card has an annual fee of $250. If you spend a lot of money on the card, the fee can be worthwhile. However, if you don’t spend a lot, you might want to consider a no fee option.

In addition – when you transfer points to a U.S. frequent flyer program, there’s a $0.0006 fee charged per point to compensate for the federal excise tax. Although this fee has a lot of zeros in it, the cost may still be impactful if you’re transferring a lot of points. For instance, 100,000 points transferred will cost you $60.

On the plus side, this card has no foreign transaction fee.

Benefits and protections

Car Rental Loss and Damage Insurance

If you pay for a qualifying car rental with your American Express® Gold Card, the rental car is covered against damage and theft after declining the collision damage waiver. Rentals that won’t qualify for coverage are trucks, off-road vehicles, full-size sport vehicles, and exotic cars.

Purchase Protection

If an item you purchase is lost, stolen, or damaged within 90 days of purchase, you may be reimbursed for it.

Pros and cons

Pro: 3X points on travel. If you fly often for work or play, this card rewards you well each time you use it.

Con: The fee. The biggest con here is the annual fee. But, since there are several ways you can earn points in the 3X and 2X categories, you may be able to easily cover this fee throughout the year.

Pro: Membership Rewards. This card is enrolled in the Membership Rewards® Points program and gives you many options for point redemption. The Membership Rewards® site is also incredibly easy to navigate, and there’s no ambiguity in point value. The rewards portal shows examples of exactly what your points are worth for each redemption option.

Con: The fee to transfer points. The ability to transfer points to another program is a pro, but being charged for U.S. frequent flyer program transfers is a tiny gotcha in the fine print.

Pro: No foreign transaction fees. One area in the fees where you do catch a break is with foreign transaction fees. This aspect of the card is fitting since it’s one that rewards you for planning travel.

Who will benefit most from the American Express® Gold Card?

Your ability to earn enough points to surpass the fee will determine whether this is a good card for you.

And if you’re shopping around for a rewards program that will give you the most value for travel, Chase Ultimate Rewards® is an option you should compare to American Express Membership Rewards®.

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card*, in particular, is part of the Chase Ultimate Rewards® program and allows you to transfer points to other travel partners as well. Plus, it has an offer that gives 1.25 cents per point for travel. This is slightly more value than what you get for flights with American Express Membership Rewards® since 1,000 points per $10 works out to 1 cent per point.

Before signing up for any rewards card, you should do this type of comparison shopping to figure out which offer will give you the most value for your spending habits.

*The information related to Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card has been collected by MagnifyMoney and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication.

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.

Taylor Gordon
Taylor Gordon |

Taylor Gordon is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Taylor here

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Earning Interest, Reviews

Discover Bank CD Rates Review

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 Bank
Most people know Discover as a credit card company, but it also operates an online bank and offers some of the best rates and terms on checking and savings accounts and certificates of deposit (CDs).

Savings account bonus offer: Earn up to $200 on your first Discover savings account

As a bank, Discover offers some of the best products on the market. Currently, they’re offering a major deal on their online savings account, which currently earns 1.80% APY. If you apply for their savings account for the very first time by 12/02/19 and deposit a balance of at least $15,000 by 12/16/19, you can earn a $150 bonus. If you deposit a balance of at least $25,000 by the same date, you can earn a $200 bonus. Applying for the account is easy as you don’t need to go to a branch. Bonuses will be credited to your account by 12/30/19. You can apply online or over the phone. Just be sure to enter or mention the promo code MM1119 when you apply.

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If you’re looking for CDs in particular, Discover is currently considered to have some of the best CDs due to their customer service and digital tools.

Discover Bank CD rates

CD term

Annual Percentage Yield (APY)

3 months

0.35%

6 months

0.65%

9 months

0.70%

12 months

2.10%

18 months

2.10%

24 months

2.15%

30 months

2.15%

3 years

2.15%

4 years

2.15%

5 years

2.20%

7 years

2.25%

10 years

2.30%

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How do Discover Bank CD rates compare?

While Discover Bank CD rates aren’t always the highest available, they are consistently among the top offers across all terms. However, you may be able to find a similar or even better rate with a CD that has a lower minimum deposit than Discover’s $2,500 requirement. Currently, several nationwide banks offered a 12-month CD at a rate higher than Discover’s 12-month CD APY, while requiring a lower minimum deposit. For example, at the same time the above rates were available at Discover, there were 12-month CDs with rates as high as 2.10% APY with a lower minimum balance amount to earn the APY.

It’s always great to go for the highest interest rates possible, but keep your CD investing strategy in mind. If you’re investing in CDs using the ladder strategy, it might be easier to keep everything in one bank since you’ll be switching in and out of CDs frequently.

Discover also stands out from its competition in the CD space with its mobile app and 24/7 U.S.-based customer service. If you value such features, keep those particulars in mind when weighing Discover CD rates against others’.

What you need to know about Discover Bank’s CDs

Discover Bank is very transparent in terms of fine print. It’s not difficult to understand what’ll happen with your money after you invest it. We’ll cover the basics here about what you need to know to invest in Discover Bank’s CDs.

How to open a CD

It’s very simple to open up a CD with Discover Bank. Go to their CD webpage and click on the orange “Open an Account” button near the top right of the page. You can then choose which accounts you’d like to open. Select “CD,” choose a CD term and enter how much you’d like to deposit.

You’ll then need to complete the application by providing your name, address, date of birth, phone number, Social Security number, employment status and possibly even your driver’s license. Once your application is complete and accepted, you’ll need to fund the account.

How to fund the CD

You’ll need to fund it within 45 days of submitting your application, which you can do in one of three ways:

  • Transfer funds from another bank account over the phone. (You can only do this when you first fund your account.)
  • Transfer funds from another bank via online transfer.
  • Write a check to yourself and send it to the following address:Discover Bank
    P.O. Box 30417
    Salt Lake City, UT 84130

The minimum deposit amount for each of Discover Bank’s CDs is $2,500. Once you open a CD, you can’t deposit more money later, so it’s a good idea to make sure you have all the cash you want to invest before you open the account.

Withdrawing funds from the CD

When you want to withdraw money from your CD, the biggest thing to consider is whether that CD has matured yet, or finished its term.

If your CD has not matured, you’ve got options: You can take the interest out penalty-free at any time, or you can withdraw the principal (or the money you deposited) at any time as long as you pay an early-withdrawal penalty. This penalty varies depending on the original term of your CD:

  • less than one year: three months’ worth of simple interest
  • one year to less than four years: six months’ worth of simple interest
  • four years: nine months’ worth of simple interest
  • five years to less than seven years: 18 months’ worth of simple interest
  • seven years or longer: 24 months’ worth of simple interest

If your CD has finished its term, you can withdraw your money penalty-free, allow the CD to renew or roll it into a CD of a different term length. (More on that in a bit).

Earning interest on a Discover CD

Your CD will start earning interest on the same business day that you fund the account. The interest will be added to your account once each month, however.

When it comes to what to do with your interest, you have two options: The default option is to allow it to compound within the CD (meaning you’ll earn interest on that interest), or you can have it automatically deposited each month into another Discover bank account.

What happens once the CD matures?

You’ll get a heads-up notice about a month before your CD matures so you can decide what to do with the money. You have two main options: Either reinvest it into another CD (of the same term length or a different term length), or withdraw the money from the CD and put it into another account (such as a checking or savings account, or perhaps a CD at a different institution).

If you don’t let Discover know what you want to do with the maturing CD, the CD will automatically renew into another one of the same term length. You have a nine-day grace period after your CD automatically rolls over to make any changes or withdrawals penalty-free.

The bottom line

As far as big-name banks go, Discover offers great CD products. Wells Fargo, for example, only offers interest rates as high as 1.55% APY on a $5,000 deposit for a 58-month CD. Chase Bank offers even lower maximum rates — an abysmal 1.05% APY, and only if you can commit a minimum of $100,000 for 10 years.

If you’re the kind of person who likes to keep your finances in one place, Discover also has great credit cards, as well as competitive online savings and checking accounts. No matter how long you’re considering putting money in a CD, Discover is worth a look. Even if it doesn’t have the best available rate, it’s usually within several basis points of the top offerings and well above the average APY.

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Lindsay VanSomeren
Lindsay VanSomeren |

Lindsay VanSomeren is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Lindsay here