Discover Bank
Screenshot Discover Checking Home Page

When it comes to banking, the traditional structure of the banking environment is slowly dissipating. This is due to a remarkable upswing of online and mobile banking channels. Customers no longer identify with the traditional brick and mortar structures, and the those who are more techno savvy tend to enjoy a growing customer base. One of the ways banking channels are opening to clients, is by providing them all they need right at their fingertips, transactional accounts included. The Discover Bank Online Checking account is the perfect opportunity for customers to wet their toes with online banking.

Discover Bank Online Banking

Discover Bank
Screenshot of Online Account Opening Home Page Discover Bank

Online banking has been around since the early eighties when banks introduced home banking to customers. It wasn’t until the early 2000s, however, that this was considered a part of daily banking. Physical bank branches saw a drastic reduction in the queues and an online customer presence became more prevalent. With massive investments into proper online infrastructure and security, customers felt safer online than in a physical branch.

Discover Bank prides itself in its ability to provide all their products from an online platform. This means customers are able to open and manage their accounts with ease. Furthermore, the online banking system is easy to use and should customers experience difficulties, the service center is on hand to help. Features of the Discover Bank online platform include:

  • Quick and simple to use.
  • The ability to open and manage accounts.
  • Access to online tools and product information.
  • Service specialists available online, via email, or telephonically.

A Brief History of Discover Bank

Discover Bank
Screenshot of Discover Bank History

Like many other banks in its category, Discover Bank started off as a single product institution. Its entry into the market was the wildly popular Discover Card. This took place in 1986 and captured a market that was hungry for benefits on their credit lines. There were two things Discover did to ensure they reached their goal to become a respected card provider. The first was to provide world-class service ordinarily not available from credit card companies. The second was to provide a cashback bonus on every purchase. What they didn’t realize was that there was another aspect of their service offer that managed to capture the attention of their future customers. This was that their two factors were supported by a decision to not charge an annual fee on the account.

Customers were finally in a position to let their credit cards work for them without the stress of mounting fees. Interest repayments on credit cards were high enough as it is, and the consumers finally had the chance to breathe a little easier. A customer-centric focus allowed the bank to steadily grow and expand their product base.

Currently, the bank focuses more on building wealth with their clients by providing them with cutting-edge savings products. The lack of branch networks allows the bank to transfer those savings to their customers. This allows them to offer great rates and impressive fee reductions.  

Read the full Discover Bank review here.

How To Choose a Suitable Checking Account

Apart from having access to do daily transactions, a checking account is also important to build up a good reputation with a financial institution.

Customers who wish to find a suitable checking account will need to have a look at the number of transactions they can do within a specific fee framework. There are many accounts that offer no monthly maintenance fees, however, their individual transaction fees are steep. Similarly, there are accounts that have a monthly fee, but this includes the transaction fees. Choosing between on or the other will depend on the activity of the account.

Another thing to bear in mind is the availability of surplus funds and the chance that the customer may need to access an overdraft facility. An overdraft facility allows customers to go into an excess balance with permission. This allows them to avoid those penalty fees and negative internal ratings.

Those who aren’t concerned with access to an overdraft facility may want to consider an account that offers interest on positive balances. This could allow those surplus funds to grow, as opposed to just sitting in the account.

Furthermore, a checking account often provides customers with the option to add an ATM card and/or a checking/debit card. Customers who wish to make online purchases and even special purchases at merchants may have to apply for a checking card instead.

Finally, a good account provides customers with all the information they need prior to opening the account. Therefore, customers will be in a better position to make an informed decision. We recently did a review on the Ally Bank Interest Checking Account. Read more on that here.

Features of the Discover Bank Online Checking

Discover Bank
Screenshot of Discover Bank Online Checking Features

This is the ideal account for those who wish to have access to a transactional account that is simple and easy to use. Furthermore, it packs a whole bag of benefits to ensure the customer only needs one account to cover all their transactional needs.

  • The account has no monthly maintenance fee.
  • Customers have access to over 60,000 no-fee ATMs in the U.S.
  • Furthermore, this account provides rewards on debit purchases, checks cleared, and online bill payments. This is limited to 100 transactions per month.
  • Customers pay no fees on online bill payments, check reorders, and replacement debit cards.

Discover Bank also has impressive savings account. Read more on them here.

Pricing of the Discover Bank Online Checking

Discover Bank
Screenshot of Discover Bank Online Checking Pricing

This account is packed with benefits for those who want access to a lot of features, but don’t necessarily want to pay for it. Although many of the transactions on the account are free, there are a few items that can attract unnecessary fees.

  • Outgoing wires will set customers back $30.
  • Deposited item returned and stop payments cost $15 per item.
  • There is an insufficient funds fee of $30, however, the maximum charges levied against the account is only once per day.

Some of the free items customers can look forward to include:

  • Official bank check
  • Expedited delivery of a replacement debit card
  • No-Fee outbound ACH transfers
  • No-fee incoming wire
  • Paper copy of check or deposited item

How To Open a Discover Bank Online Checking

Customers will find the Open Account tab right at the top of the page in the right-hand corner. Once they select this option, they will be directed to a screen that displays the various account options available to them.

Step 1: Account and Amount

Customers select the type of account they wish to open, as well as the amount. There is no minimum balance required to open a Discover Bank Online Checking account.

Step 2: Personal Info

Clients enter all their details such as full names, social security number, contact details, and more.

Step 3: Account Settings

This will provide the account holder with all the choices in terms of their account, such as online banking.

Step 4: Opening Deposit

The account owner decides how to proceed with the opening deposit.

Step 5: Disclosures

Customers acknowledge all the required disclosures before the finalization of the account.

What We Don’t Like About Discover Bank Online Checking

Although there is no monthly maintenance fee on the account, the transactional fees are quite high. Those who expect an entirely free account will have a hard time processing the costs when they need to do outgoing wires or request stop payments.

What We Like About Discover Bank Online Checking

This is a jam-packed account that provides customers with a myriad of features and benefits. From the minimal fee structure to the opportunity to earn cash back rewards. Customers will have access to a debit card, which allows them to draw cash from over 60,000 no-fee ATMs across the U.S.

Customers are made aware of the transactional fees upfront, and there are no monthly maintenance costs. Furthermore, customers also have access to checks and online payments.

This is a simple account that is suitable for customers with a variety of needs. It is ideal for the entry-level account holder and those who have an established bank track record. This is the ideal means to build up an internal score.

Finally, customers who keep their accounts in a positive balance and ensure there are sufficient funds to cover their checks and debits will pay minimal fees. 

Critical Reviews Rating Discover Bank Online Checking – 10 of 10

There is simply no reason to fault this account. Although there are some pretty steep transactional fees should customers perform those transactions, they’re within the industry norms. Customers who manage their accounts well will have countless opportunities to save on these fees. Also, there are cash back rewards on every bill customers pay online, as well as checks that clear successfully.

Furthermore, the account is simple to open and easy to use. All the transactions can be monitored online, and customers have access to online or telephonic assistance as needed. Finally, this is one of the most cost-effective checking accounts in the U.S. Although there are fees on the transactional items, it still remains well priced compared to its peers. 

Those who require something a little more long term from Discover, should read the IRA review here.