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Discover Bank's Cashback Checking and Bonus Available to Existing Customers


UPDATE 10/21/2015: This promotion is available now through November 15, 2015 and it's been increased to $300. Please refer to this Forum posting for more detail.

For some reason Discover Bank seems to be taking forever to launch its new checking account, called Discover Cashback Checking. It’s now available, but it’s still not available to everyone. It’s only being advertised to current Discover credit card and deposit customers. Discover first started to hint about a checking account about four years ago, and it began mentioning the account in early 2013. According to a Discover Bank CSR, they’re planning to launch it "pretty soon" to the broad market.

If you’re an existing Discover Bank customer, there’s now an extra incentive to open the checking account. Discover is offering a $50 bonus. The account must be opened by 3/31/2015, and it’s limited to one bonus per customer. The bonus and checking account details are listed online at DiscoverBank.com/5FREEDEC. Below is the offer’s small print:

Offer is available only to current Discover credit card members or deposit customers, excluding current or previous Cashback Checking customers. Account is subject to approval and must be opened between 12/27/14-3/31/15. Limit 1 per customer and 1 per account. Bonus will be issued by 4/30/15 as a credit to your Cashback Checking account, which must be open when issued. Bonus is considered interest and will be reported on IRS Form 1099-INT. Offer may be modified or withdrawn without notice.

The bonus isn’t much, but it appears to be an easy $50 with no required direct deposit and no worries about monthly maintenance fees. It only requires a minimum initial deposit of $25. Also, according to the CSR, there’s no hard credit inquiry. In the application, they just do a soft pull.

The new checking account is a free checking account with no monthly service fees or minimum balance requirements. Instead of paying interest, it offers cashback rewards. You can earn 10 cents bonus on up to 100 transactions per month for:

  • 10¢ debit card purchase
  • 10¢ online bill pay
  • 10¢ check written

Checking Cashback Bonus can be redeemed as cash to your Discover Cashback Checking account or transferred to a Discover Credit Card Cashback Bonus account.

Some other noteworthy features of the Discover Cashback Checking account include:

  • Free cash withdrawals at over 60,000 Allpoint® and MoneyPass® ATMs
  • Free standard paper checks
  • Free ACH bank-to-bank transfers
  • Deposit a check with Discover's Mobile Check Deposit using your mobile device

My Take

The checking's cashback feature isn't that great of a deal in my opinion. For debit card rewards, I prefer a high-yield reward checking account (Bank of Internet USA's Rewards Checking account is one example from an internet bank).

In terms of features it’s comparable to the checking accounts at Ally Bank and at Capital One 360 (formerly ING DIRECT). However, both of those two checking accounts pay interest.

If you have Discover Bank’s savings account or CDs, you may want to consider this free checking account. Check writing can be useful for moving money, and unlike Discover Bank’s money market account, you don't have to worry about being limited to six withdrawals per month. Another downside with the money market account is that it requires a minimum average daily balance of $2,500 to avoid a $10 monthly service fee.

Discover Bank's Savings and CD Accounts

Discover Bank does offer a free savings account and competitive CD rates. The savings account rate (0.90% as of 1/16/2015) is a little low, but its online banking features are strong. You can easily set up and initiate online ACH transfers. According to the CSR, the transfer amounts are limited to $250,000 per 30 day rolling period (both incoming and outgoing).

Discover Bank Overview

Discover Bank is one of the largest internet banks. It has over $79 billion in assets and over $45 billion in deposits. Its overall health grade at DepositAccounts.com is an "A+" with a Texas ratio of 5.72% (excellent) based on September 30, 2014 data. Please refer to our financial overview of Discover Bank for more details. The bank has been a FDIC member since 1934 (FDIC Certificate # 5649).

Other Internet Checking Accounts

If you're looking for the best internet checking account, please refer to our checking account table to find the ones with the highest rates. We have a different table for reward checking accounts.

Related Pages: Discover Bank, Salisbury, checking account

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Sree   |     |   Comment #1
I got this offer in my post two days back and trashed it with the postal junk.. I didnt find it interesting other than free $50 incentive. If they give min 1% of cash back for total transactional amount from this account, It impresses. If not its not a deal.
larkin   |     |   Comment #2
I was able to take advantage of the $50 bonus (i have a savings account and a few CDs) but my deal breaker is no ATM refunds.  Granted they have a large ATM network but Ally (among others) trump that with refunds.
dave9354   |     |   Comment #3
It's a free $50.00! I took it.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #6
They sent the same offer 14 months ago to everyone with discover credit card. I still have the letter somewhere around my office. There was no expiration date on the offer if you are credit card customer.
CC in CA
CC in CA (anonymous)   |     |   Comment #7
I like Discover Bank. I applied for the checking account in December, received my bonus $50, and was happy to see the checking account show up on my Discover Bank page, along with my Discover savings and CDs.  Online transfers between Discover savings and checking are easy, and I'm already linked to important external accounts.  I love Discover Bank.  It's been good to me for the past 3 years.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #10
Old news......I've had this for almost 2 years......already got bonus. Next
RJM   |     |   Comment #11
Ive had this account for a couple of years now.

Got the $50 bonus for opening the account. It was delayed a few months but I got it and then I always get monthly cashback for billpay and purchases. And the last few months they have been doubling it. So Ive been getting about $2.40 a month which far exceeds what I would earn in interest even if I kept a large balance. And I do not.

I use the card mostly for Aldi which doesn't accept credit cards where I live. Also at the dollar store. 10 cents for a $1.10 purchase. Although sometimes Im lazy and buy 2 items and don't have them ring them separate.
RJM   |     |   Comment #12
And I meant to mention, they had some kind of direct deposit promo that earned me another $50.

I think they wanted a direct deposit over $300. I transferred in $300 to see if that would count and it did so I got the 2nd $50.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #13
Besides payroll, social security and government benefits, what else qualifies as direct deposit? For self-employed and homemaker, how can they do a direct deposit?
RJM   |     |   Comment #14
In the past, I transfered in  $300 from Ally hoping it would work for an ACH and it must have because I got the extra $50.
That also works for multiple reward checking accounts that require direct deposit.
So, no guarantee, buy a high likelyhood of getting $300. Go for it.