I'm sure you've heard of Discover but did you know they're not just a credit card company? They are a bank too with an amazing savings account bonus when you open an account with them.
Discover Bank is the banking division of Discover Financial Services, Inc (NYSE:DFS).
If you ask most people about Discover, they often talk about their credit cards. One of my first credit cards was a Discover card that I recently closed because I stopped using it (they closed it after a decade of inactivity — oops!).
Discover got its start with Sears. Sears created the Discover card in 1985 and after being spun off, merging with Morgan Stanley, spun off again and made independent as Discover Financial Services in 2007. Discover Bank was created when Discover acquired The Greenwood Trust Company in 1985 but it wouldn't get renamed until 2000. This is why the FDIC# of Discover Bank (FDIC# 5649) is only four digits and dates back to January 1st, 1934. It's also why their only location is 502 E. Market Street in Greenwood, DE.
Now that we have the history lesson out of the way – you might be wondering if Discover has any promotions.
They do… and here they are:
Discover Online Savings Account – $150 or $200
The Discover Online Savings Account is a great product with an even better bonus – also rare for an online bank account. Most banks that offer these types of high new account bonuses are your more traditional brick and mortar banks, like Chase and Wells Fargo.
The online savings account, by all accounts, is a solid online account. The interest rate is one of the highest and there is no minimum opening deposit, no monthly fee, no minimum balance, and they even offer first fee forgiveness (every year, the first insufficient funds or stop payment fee is waived). We do a more in-depth review of Discover Bank here.
If you want to earn a bonus for opening an online savings account, Discover will give you up to $200 for a new account. The Discover offer code for this promotion is WH120.
You must apply by 2/3/2020 to get this offer.
The bonus depends on how much you deposit,
- Earn $150 if you deposit at least $15,000
- Earn $200 if you deposit at least $25,000
Your deposit must post by 2/17/20 and your bonus will be credited to the account by 3/2/2020.
This is not valid for existing or prior Discover savings customers and the bonus is considered bank interest and will be reported on a Form 1099-INT. You can apply online or by phone, though I suspect the online process is far faster and easier.
Get up to $200 from Discover Bank Promotion
(see advertiser website for full details)
Discover Cashback Debit Account – up to $360 a year
Discover's Cashback Debit product is an online checking account with no monthly fees or balance requirements, which is now common for an online checking account. You should never pay a monthly fee or have a minimum balance requirement on an online bank account.
What's uncommon, and downright rare, is their debit card – it's a debit rewards card. The Discover cashback debit card offers 1% cashback on all purchases up to $3,000 per month. That means you can earn up to $360 in cash back each year on the debit card.
There isn't a promotion associated with this account, the cashback offer won't expire, but the debit card cashback offer is itself almost like a bonus. I know a lot of folks who refuse to use credit cards and this is one of the best ways to still earn cashback without getting a credit card.
The cashback debit account has some great perks too:
- No monthly fees or minimum balance requirements
- Uses the Allpoint ATM network (60,000 free ATMs)
- Earn 1% cashback up to $3,000 in purchases/month
- Free online bill pay
- Free check reorders (not common)
- Free incoming wires (very rare)
Discover it Credit Card – No Bonus
The Discover it® Cash Back card doesn't have a new account bonus but it does offer a Cashback Match on the first year – they will match all of the cashback you earn in the first year automatically. The card has no annual fee and has 1% cashback, plus 5% cashback on rotating quarterly categories like gas, restaurants, supermarkets, etc.
You have to activate it each quarter and there's a quarterly maximum of $1,500 in purchases.
The quarterly schedule is published ahead of time so for 2020 it's:
- Jan-Mar 2020: Grocery Stores, Walgreens and CVS
- Apr-Jun 2020: Gas Stations, Uber, Lyft and Wholesale Clubs
- Jul-Sep 2020: Restaurants and PayPal
- Oct-Dec 2020: Amazon.com, Walmart.com and Target.com
(it's pretty the same as 2019, they just added to the categories)
In terms of cashback cards, it's an average card. If you want a cash back card, I'd give the Chase Freedom card a look because you get the same cash back structure (1% on all purchases and 5% on rotating categories) but you also get a $150 bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in the first 3 months.
How Do Discover Bank Promotions Compare?
We maintain a list of the best bank promotions and the Discover Online Savings Account promotion of $200 is pretty good when you consider comparable bonuses are often on accounts with minimum balances or other requirements, like a direct deposit or bill payments.
It's rare for an online account to offer a bonus because they don't have a lot of fees for the bank to charge and earn back that bonus money. The Discover savings account also pays you a very competitive interest rate, which is also rare for an account offering a bonus.
By comparison, Chase has a Total Checking account that offers a $200 bonus but you need to keep a minimum balance of $1,500 or have a monthly direct deposit of $500+ to avoid a $12 monthly fee. The Chase checking account doesn't offer any interest or a cashback debit card.
In terms of highest dollar amount, Wells Fargo has a $400 welcome bonus tied to their Wells Fargo Everyday Checking product. You just have to have cumulative direct deposits of $4,000 in the first 90 days. The $10 monthly fee is waived if you have a direct deposit of $500+ or maintain a daily balance of $1,500 – both of which are easy if you meet the bonus requirements.
The Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa Card also has a $200 cash bonus after you spend $1,000 in purchases in the first 3 months. That's an unlimited 1.5% cashback credit card too with no annual fee. Worth a look if you don't have a 1.5% cashback credit card in your wallet yet.