Discover® Cashback Debit checking review
No monthly service fee or opening deposit
1% cash back on everyday purchases
0% foreign transaction fee
No cash deposits
No physical branches
Who is Discover Cashback Debit best for
The Discover Cashback Debit Checking account is best for those looking to earn rewards on everyday purchases. There are no monthly maintenance fees or minimum balance requirements, and you’ll have access to more than 60,000 free ATMs nationwide.
What we like about Discover Cashback Debit
You’ll get access to all the benefits of banking with Discover, including FDIC insurance for up to $250,000, fraud monitoring and liability and bill pay protection. Discover is also integrated with Zelle, allowing you to send or receive funds, fee-free with Discover. However, to use Zelle with the bank, you must have a Discover checking, Discover® Online Savings Account or Discover® Money Market account open for at least 90 days.
Earn cashback rewards on everyday purchases
As the name suggests, the Discover Cashback Debit card gets you 1% cash back on up to $3,000 in debit card purchases each month, with a maximum cashback limit of $360 per year. The rewards are deposited directly into your Discover checking, savings or money market account.
Ineligible purchases for cashback rewards include things like money order purchases, peer-to-peer payments through apps like Apple Pay or Venmo, loan payments or ATM transactions.
Few fees, free checks and a large ATM networkDiscover Cashback Debit account has no monthly minimum balance requirements or service fees. Plus, you won’t pay for incoming wire transfers. While few online checking accounts allow you to write checks, Discover goes a step further and provides free check reorders.
You’ll also get access to Discover’s network of over 60,000 free Allpoint and MoneyPass ATMs. Also, Discover won’t charge you to use more than 415,000 other ATMs across the country — though ATM owners may charge a fee.
Another major plus is the lack of foreign transaction fees. So if you travel internationally a lot, this is a solid account to avoid those pesky fees.
Link accounts for overdraft protection
If you have a Discover savings account or other Discover deposit account, you can link it to the Discover Cashback Debit account for overdraft protection. Discover doesn’t charge overdraft fees or insufficient funds fees, so it’s not necessary, but if you want to make sure your transactions always go through, it’s an option.
The overdraft protection offered by linking accounts can be used to cover transactions like checks, online bill payments and ACH transfers. But it doesn’t apply to ATM, debit card transactions or transfers initiated at Discover. The fact that debit card transactions aren’t covered in the overdraft protection is unusual — most overdraft protection services offered by other banks include debit card transactions, so that’s something to watch out for.
Where it falls short
Compared to other rewards checking accounts, Discover fairs well, allowing users to earn up to $360 per year in cashback rewards. But to make the most of the cashback rewards, you’ll need to be a big spender.
You’ll only earn 1% on up to $3,000 debit card purchases per month, capping out at $360 in earnings per year and $30 a month. There are other rewards checking accounts with higher earning limits and stronger cashback percentages, such as Varo, which earns up to $50 per month in cashback rewards or $600 per year with a cashback rate of 6% — making it easier for you to rack up those earnings.
Also, as an online checking account, you can’t make cash deposits or get in-person customer support with Discover.
Discover Cashback Debit‘s fees and access
|Type of fee
|Debit card fees
|Overdraft or nonsufficient funds
Compare Discover Cashback Debit to other checking accounts
Narrow down top checking accounts by monthly fees, opening deposits and APY. For a closer comparison, select the Compare box next to each provider to see their features side by side.
Discover is a well-known bank with over 60 years in business and is the third-largest credit card brand in the US, with over 50 million cardholders. There’s a lot of customer feedback to sort through, with thousands of reviews and complaints on its Better Business Bureau (BBB) profile.
It has a poor customer service rating of 1.13 stars but has earned an A+ rating with the BBB, which is based on how well Discover handles customer complaints and its response time. Discover does respond to every BBB complaint promptly and attempts to resolve any issues, and not many banks take the time to do that.
Among the customer reviews and complaints, one of the most common threads revolves around issues contacting customer support, but that’s common for online banks. Many complaints also cite issues around qualifying for the hardship program to avoid paying monthly fees on credit cards or wanting to transfer their credit card debt elsewhere, but that doesn’t reflect poorly on Discover.
On the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), Discover has typical complaints with checking accounts, mostly with incidents around bounced checks and fraudulent or unauthorized charges — most of which were promptly resolved.
Checking account ratings
★★★★★ — Excellent
★★★★★ — Good
★★★★★ — Average
★★★★★ — Subpar
★★★★★ — Poor
We analyze top checking accounts and rate them one to five stars based on factors that are most important to you. These factors include: monthly fees, the ease at which monthly fees can be waived, the breadth of ATM access, ATM and overdraft fees, and customer service.
Read the full methodology of how we rate checking accounts.
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