Discover Checking Review [2024]: Cashback Rewards With No Monthly Fees

BANKING - CHECKING ACCOUNTS
The Discover® Cashback Debit account makes it easy to earn cashback rewards and manage your money from anywhere — all with no monthly maintenance fees.
Updated March 14, 2024
Fact checked
A young woman using a debit card

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We think the Discover® Cashback Checking account is a terrific no-stress option for your daily banking needs. It has no monthly maintenance fees and can be accessed from anywhere through mobile apps as well as the Discover online banking platform.

Plus, you can earn 1.00% (as of Jan. 30, 2024) cashback rewards on up to $3,000 in debit card purchases each month. That’s well above average since many debit cards don’t earn any rewards.

Keep in mind that Discover is an online-only bank, so there’s no option to visit an in-person branch to make transactions. Let’s explore our Discover Checking review for more details.

Discover®️ Cashback Checking Benefits

  • Earn 1% cash back on up to $3,000 in debit card purchases each month1
  • No minimum deposit, no minimum balance, and no account fees
  • Access your paycheck up to 2 days early with Early Pay
  • 60K+ fee-free ATMs and make cash deposits at Walmart stores nationwide

In this Discover® Cashback Debit review

Key takeaways

  • We recommend the Discover Checking account as an excellent option for online and mobile banking, as well as earning cashback rewards on debit card purchases.
  • The Discover Checking account has no monthly maintenance fees, making it a stress-free option for everyday money management.
  • Note that while there’s no minimum opening deposit or minimum balance requirements, you must fund your account within 45 days of opening, or it will be closed.
  • As an online-only bank, Discover has no in-person banking locations.

Discover Checking overview

Pros
  • Earn 1.00% (as of Jan. 30, 2024) on up to $3,000 in debit card purchases each month
  • Benefit from no minimum opening deposit or minimum balance requirement
  • Pay $0 monthly fees and $0 overdraft fees
  • Get the security of a Member-FDIC bank
Cons
  • Must fund your account within 45 days of account opening
  • No in-person branches

There’s only one Discover Checking option, called the Discover® Cashback Debit account. This is a great checking account option if you prefer online banking with little or no fees. You also have the option to earn rewards with your debit card, an uncommon benefit for debit cards.

Discover is a well-known bank with excellent mobile apps. You can open and manage an account from just about anywhere using these apps, so Discover accounts are perfect for on-the-go banking.

We recommend Discover Checking if you want a straightforward online-only checking account with few to no fees and access to over 60,000 fee-free ATMs.

Discover offers insurance for your checking account balances up to $250,000 per depositor through the Federal Insurance Deposit Corporation (FDIC).

Note that Discover doesn’t have in-person branches, so there’s no option for in-person customer support. That’s not necessarily a drawback if you prefer online banking anyway.

Discover Checking details

Annual percentage yield (APY)2 None
Cashback rate 1.00% (as of Jan. 30, 2024) on up to $3,000 in debit card purchases each month
Minimum deposit requirement $0
Monthly maintenance fees $0
ATM access Fee-free access to 60,000+ ATMs
FDIC insured Up to $250,000

The Discover Checking account makes sense if you want an online-only bank account with no fees, cashback rewards, and an extensive fee-free ATM network. This isn’t the right account for those preferring in-person branches or earning interest from a high annual percentage yield (APY) rate.

One of the primary benefits we like about Discover Checking is that you don’t have to worry about fees or account minimums. That takes a lot of the stress out of keeping your account active, which is how we think an everyday checking account should operate, especially one that’s online only.

Additional Discover products

In addition to its Discover Checking account, Discover Bank also offers these products and services:

  • Credit cards: Whether you want to earn cash back or miles, there’s a Discover credit card for you. One of our favorite things about Discover cards is that they allow you to check if you’re pre-approved without impacting your credit score.
  • Loans: Discover offers personal loans, student loans, and home loans (including home equity loans and mortgage refinancing).
  • Savings account: The Discover® Online Savings account provides an APY of 4.30% (as of Mar. 12, 2024) and has no monthly maintenance fees.
  • Certificates of deposit (CDs): Discover provides multiple CD options with varying terms and APY rates. Discover CDs are FDIC-insured.
  • Money market accounts: With a Discover money market account, you get competitive APY rates and no fees for monthly maintenance, insufficient funds, standard checks, or excessive withdrawals.
  • Individual retirement accounts (IRAs): To help plan for retirement, you can choose a Discover IRA Savings Account or Discover IRA CD. These IRA accounts are available as Roth and traditional IRA accounts.

Discover®️ Cashback Checking
Discover®️ Cashback Checking - Earn Cash Back
Earn 1% cash back on up to $3,000 in debit card purchases each month.1 No minimum deposit or balance. FDIC Insured.

What we like about the Discover Checking account

  • Cashback rewards: With a Discover Cashback Debit account, you can earn 1.00% (as of Jan. 30, 2024) on up to $3,000 in debit card purchases each month. That’s a big benefit since most debit cards don’t earn any rewards.
  • No fees: Discover advertises no fees on its checking account. That means no monthly maintenance fees, insufficient funds fees, expedited debit card replacement fees, or check reorder fees. Keep in mind that some less common fees may still apply.
  • Minimum deposit requirement: There’s no minimum deposit requirement to open a Discover Checking account.
  • Minimum balance requirement: You can keep your Discover Checking account open without having to maintain a minimum balance.
  • The Add Cash feature: You can add cash to your checking account at any U.S. Walmart location without any fees. There’s a minimum deposit requirement of $20 for this feature.
  • Early Pay: With Early Pay, you can access funds from qualifying direct deposits up to two days early when you set up direct deposit for your online checking account.
  • ATM network: Access over 60,000 fee-free ATMs throughout the U.S.
  • Member FDIC: Discover is a Member-FDIC bank, which means your applicable deposit accounts are FDIC-insured for up to $250,000.
  • Highly rated mobile apps: Discover Mobile has a 4.9 out of 5 rating with over 4.3 million ratings on the Apple App Store. On the Google Play Store, it has a 4.5 out of 5 rating with over 288,000 ratings and more than 10 million downloads.

What the Discover Checking account could improve

  • Account funding: There’s no minimum deposit requirement, but you have to add some sort of funds within 45 days of opening your account or it will be closed.
  • Add Cash deposit limits: There’s a minimum amount of $20 for deposits that use the Add Cash feature at Walmart. There’s also a daily limit of $1,000 ($999.99 if you live in Arizona or New Mexico), a weekly limit of $7,000, and a monthly limit of $20,000.
  • Limited options: There’s only one Discover Checking account to choose from, and that option might not be the best choice for you. For more options, check out our list of the best checking accounts.

What users are saying about Discover Mobile apps

App Store: 4.9 out of 5 rating Google Play: 4.5 out of 5 rating
5 out of 5

“App has always worked well for me. I’ve been with Discover for 30 years and they’ve been great to me. I rarely need to call their customer support, but I so appreciate their US based native English speaking staff.”

_ChuckG_ - February 13, 2024

5 out of 5

“I really like Discover. They treat me fairly in terms of interest on the credit card. Their savings and checking accounts are great products. Customer service has been great. The app itself is super useful and easy to use.”

Adam L. - December 16, 2023

5 out of 5

“Simple and easy to use. All my banking needs at my fingertips!”

ninjawhy - February 10, 2024

5 out of 5

“This app is full of features and makes transferring money between personal Discover account instantaneous. Also allows for easy transfer to and from external accounts using Zelle.”

Joseph Thompson-Wilda - October 14, 2023

1 out of 5

“Cool it with the updates. It’s annoying to update every time you open the app. This is why I never use my discover card anymore.”

HDDoc - February 13, 2024

3 out of 5

“I’ve set up FaceID, but for some reason when I click the app, I have to manually click the FaceID button for login. Then, it scans, I get a green check and…nothing happens. I also wasn’t getting push notifications when I used my card.”

KStout2013 - October 4, 2022

Who is the Discover Checking account best for?

Discover Checking makes sense if you want a no-stress everyday checking account that’s online-only with no in-person locations. The Discover Cashback Debit account has no monthly maintenance fees and provides an excellent online banking experience with its iOS and Android mobile apps.

This is the type of account that could be the perfect fit for young professionals and students who need a way to manage their finances but don’t mind having a no in-branch banking experience. It could also make sense for anyone who wants to avoid fees while having the opportunity to earn rewards with their debit card.

Since Discover is an online bank, we don’t recommend Discover Checking for anyone who prefers to bank in person or wants access to physical locations.

How to open a bank account with Discover

Here’s how you can open a Discover Checking account:

  1. Visit Discover Checking and select “Open a Checking Account.”


  1. Log in to your existing Discover account or provide your name, email address, and mobile number.


  1. Continue providing personal information, including your Social Security number and date of birth. Once you’ve provided all the required information, submit your application to see if you’re approved.

Note that opening a Discover Checking account shouldn’t take very long if you already have your personal information prepared. According to Discover, it might not take more than “moments” to open an account online.

Discover®️ Cashback Checking - Earn Cash Back

Earn 1% cash back on up to $3,000 in debit card purchases each month.1 No minimum deposit or balance. FDIC Insured.

Open Account

Alternatives to Discover Checking

Chime®3

Chime doesn’t charge overdraft fees or monthly service fees45 and it doesn’t have minimum balance requirements. There’s also no initial deposit requirement and no credit check. You can do a mobile check deposit through the Chime app6 or deposit cash7 into your account for free at over 90,000 retail locations, including Walmart, Walgreens, CVS, and 7-Eleven8.

Keep in mind that Chime is a financial technology company, not a bank. Accounts you open through Chime are FDIC-insured through Chime’s partner banks, The Bancorp Bank and Stride Bank.

Visit Chime

…or read our full Chime review.

U.S. Bank Smartly®️ Checking9

You can quickly set up a U.S. Bank Smartly Checking account online in five minutes or less. This account provides overdraft protection and fee forgiveness, as well as access to highly rated mobile apps. You also have multiple ways to waive the monthly maintenance fee.

U.S. Bank10 is a Member-FDIC bank, providing protection of up to $250,000 per depositor.

Visit U.S. Bank Smartly®️ Checking

…or read our full U.S. Bank Smartly Checking review.

Discover Checking FAQ

Is the Discover® Cashback Debit Card a good card?

We like the Discover Cashback Debit Card because you can earn 1.00% (as of Jan. 30, 2024) on up to $3,000 in debit card purchases each month. Many debit cards don’t provide any sort of rewards, so this is a step up if you frequently use debit cards.

How can I deposit cash into my Discover Checking account?

One option to deposit physical cash into your Discover Checking is to ask a Walmart cashier at any U.S. Walmart location to use the Add Cash feature. Then, swipe or insert your contactless Discover debit card, give the cash to the cashier, and take your receipt. The transaction usually posts within 10 minutes.

What are the disadvantages of Discover Bank?

As an online-only bank, Discover doesn’t have any in-person branches, which is a drawback if you like in-person banking support. Discover also provides a limited range of banking products, including only one option for checking accounts and one option for savings accounts.

Discover Checking: bottom line

We recommend Discover Checking if you want an online-only checking account with few to no fees and access to over 60,000 fee-free ATMs.

Discover Checking stands out from other options because there aren’t any requirements to avoid or waive fees, plus you can earn 1.00% (as of Jan. 30, 2024) on up to $3,000 in debit card purchases each month.

But if the Discover Cashback Debit account doesn’t seem like the right fit for you, check out our recommendations for the best banks.

Discover®️ Cashback Checking Benefits

  • Earn 1% cash back on up to $3,000 in debit card purchases each month1
  • No minimum deposit, no minimum balance, and no account fees
  • Access your paycheck up to 2 days early with Early Pay
  • 60K+ fee-free ATMs and make cash deposits at Walmart stores nationwide

Author Details

Ben Walker, CEPF, CFEI® Ben Walker, CEPF, CFEI®, is a Senior Credit Cards Writer at FinanceBuzz. For over a decade, he's leveraged credit card points and miles to travel the world. His expertise extends to other areas of personal finance — including loans, insurance, investing, and real estate — and you can find his insights on The Washington Post, Debt.com, Yahoo! Finance, and Fox Business.

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