Discover, yes the same Discover that runs Discover Cards, has it’s own bank.
For a while now I’ve known about this bank, but just didn’t take the time to give it a full review. I’m here today to share what I know about this bank, in particular, their online savings account (and as a bonus, their IRA CD).
I know you readers are always on the lookout for the best places to keep your emergency savings. As you know, I think online savings accounts are the best place for that. So, let’s see if Discover Bank will suit your needs.
About Discover Bank
In 2000, the Greenwood Trust Company, in existence since 1911, becomes Discover Bank. Up until last year, 2009, they only offered the online savings account as a place to keep your liquid savings. Since they’ve opened the full online savings account, they’ve gained in popularity and are now seen as a direct competitor to the Capital One 360’s of the banking industry.
Discover Bank Online Savings
The online savings account is arguably Discover’s best offering. That’s why I’m going to make it the focus of this review. The savings account started being offered in the summer of 2009. That makes sense. Because I hadn’t heard of or cared about Discover Bank prior to that point. Right now the rate on the account is excellent, even compared to other online savings accounts.
The account requires a minimum initial deposit of $500. It’s FDIC insured, has no messy fees or minimum balance requirements, no fees on the first 6 monthly money transfers out, no fees on incoming domestic and international wires. You get full online access to your account.
Deposits are always a main concern of those entering into the online savings world. And I can assure you that Discover offers free online transfers between your other connected accounts. So, if you have a checking account, with BOA for example, you’ll only need to make an online money transfer to deposit money into the account.
You can also mail in a check if you like. The address for Discover Bank deposits is PO Box 30417, Salt Lake City, UT 84130.
Beyond the online savings account, Discover Bank offers a money market account, certificates of deposit (CDs), and an IRA CD. The money market account is pretty straight forward. They present the money market account as if it should be used like a checking account. Before they offered the money market account, this is how they provided a good return for savers.
They offer a full catalog of CDs (12 in total) ranging from 3 months to 10 years. Finally, the IRA CD is a great way to shelter your stable investment returns from taxes. If you have an old 401k you aren’t using, you could roll it over into this IRA CD without tax consequences. The Discover Bank routing number is 031100649.
More About the Discover Bank IRA CD
Discover Bank is offering a 12-month IRA CD and a 10-year IRA CD (check rates).
A great retirement investing alternative that not many people have heard about is the IRA CD. That would be a CD inside of a Roth or Traditional IRA. With this approach, you get the security of a CD with the tax-advantages of an IRA.
As a reminder, an IRA is a tax-advantaged retirement account which you use to hold investments, like a stock, bond, or in this case, a CD. A CD is, of course, a certificate of deposit, which is a deposit product with a fixed term and rate. They are also FDIC insured.
Discover Bank is currently the only bank that I know of offering an IRA CD. Their IRA CDs range anywhere from 3 months to 10 years.
- Discover Bank 12-month IRA CD
- All Discover Bank IRA CDs
So, who should consider an IRA CD? Ultimately, you need to be making your investment decisions. There is no one-size fits all investment plan. But generally speaking, here’s who should consider an IRA CD:
- CD investors that want to pay less in taxes.
- Retirement investors who want an alternative to their MMF to meet their cash asset-class requirements.
- Beginning investors who want to start an IRA but don’t know about other investment asset classes.
I have faith in the American business for the long-term. For this reason, and being the young guy that I am, I stay with domestic stocks for a large percentage of my portfolio.
But with the economy still on shaky ground, and some discussing another possible market crash, some investors may be looking for a safe, secure place to continue investing for retirement. This approach makes sense for a lot of people. If you’re looking to preserve capital (i.e. keep your retirement money safe), the typical places to turn include a money market fund within your retirement account, or a simple CD or savings account.
MMFs don’t have FDIC Insurance or a return on your money, and CDs outside of an IRA aren’t able to achieve extra tax savings. The IRA CD brings them both together. Learn more about IRA CDs by visiting www.DiscoverBank.com.
What I Don’t Like About Discover Bank
I really don’t like the initial deposit requirement of $500. Beyond that, I don’t see much difference between this offering and other banks.
What I Like About Discover Bank
I really like that Discover Bank seems committed to providing a straight-forward savings account, free of stupid fees, with a solid interest rate on their savings product. Right now it’s one of the top high yield savings account rates.