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Reviews

The best high-yield savings and checking account offered by a big bank

CNBC Select reviews the Discover Online Savings Account so you can decide if it's right for you.

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Editor's Note: APYs listed in this article are up-to-date as of the time of publication. They may fluctuate (up or down) as the Fed rate changes. CNBC will update as changes are made public.

Brick-and-mortar banks may not be known for offering the highest rates, but many consumers find comfort putting their money into an established institution versus a newer online-only bank.

Discover is a popular option, as the big-name financial institution still offers savers a competitive rate (unlike many brick-and-mortar banks), as well as other easy access to other Discover accounts that help you manage your money in one place.

CNBC Select reviewed the high-yield savings accounts offered by the largest banks and/or credit unions, and we found that the Discover Online Savings Account ranks as our best pick for a one-stop shop. This account offers users a strong interest rate through its high-yield savings and the option to add a checking account with ATM access and cash-back rewards. Users get the best of opening both a savings and checking account.

Below, we review the Discover Online Savings Account and give you all the details of its features, including the annual percentage yield (APY), access to your cash, perks and fees so you can decide if this high-yield savings account is right for you.

Discover Online Savings Account review

Discover Online Savings Account

Information about the Discover Online Savings Account has been collected independently by CNBC and has not been reviewed or provided by the bank prior to publication. Discover is a Member FDIC.
  • Annual Percentage Yield (APY)

    0.50%

  • Minimum balance

    None

  • Monthly fee

    None

  • Maximum transactions

    Up to 6 free withdrawals or transfers per statement cycle *The 6/statement cycle withdrawal limit is waived during the coronavirus outbreak under Regulation D

  • Excessive transactions fee

    Discover may refuse to pay each transaction in excess of the limitations. If you exceed these limits on more than an occasional basis, it may result in the closure of your account.

  • Overdraft fees

    None

  • Offer checking account?

    Yes

  • Offer ATM card?

    Yes, if have a Discover checking account

See our methodology, terms apply.

Pros

  • Strong APY
  • No minimum balance required
  • No monthly fees
  • Up to 6 free withdrawals or transfers per statement cycle*
  • 24/7 customer support
  • Option to add a checking account with ATM access
  • Offers mobile check deposits
  • Helpful advice through Modern Money Blog

Cons

  • Account could close if you often go over the withdrawal limit

Discover Online Savings Account APY

The current APY is 0.50%. Users of the Discover Online Savings Account can start earning interest right away, with no minimum balance required in their account.

Interest on your savings compounds daily and is paid out monthly. This means that you accrue interest on interest every day, and you see these earnings credited to your account each month.

Access to your cash

The Discover Online Savings Account offers customers easy on-the-go access to your money and accounts.

With mobile check deposits, savers can deposit a check into their savings account by snapping a photo of it with their smartphone or tablet. Using the app, they can also transfer money from one account to another and use Quick View to check their savings account balance without having to log into their account each time.

As required by law, Discover savings account holders can make up to six free withdrawals or transfers per statement cycle (limit waived during the coronavirus outbreak under Regulation D).

Perks

In addition to having well-reviewed 24/7 customer service, Discover stands out because it offers a checking account option that earns rewards — making it easier to do all your banking in one place.

The online Discover Cashback Debit Account comes with no monthly fees, cash back on your debit card purchases and access to over 60,000 ATMs nationwide. This account ranked "Best for rewards" on CNBC Select's list of the top no-fee checking accounts.

Discover's website also makes it easy to compare its savings account to other big banks' accounts. On the website, users can add and remove certain banks to create their own comparison chart to see how the banks stack up to one another. Discover's website also offers helpful advice and "how to" articles through its Modern Money Blog.

Fees

There are no monthly fees and no minimum deposit required to open a Discover Online Savings Account.

Bottom line

The Discover Online Savings Account makes a good choice for consumers looking to do all their banking in one place — and prefer the familiarity of banking with a big-name financial institution.

Users have mobile access to their savings and can earn cash back on their debit card purchases, along with ATM access.

If you are looking to open just a high-yield savings account at a big bank and don't need a checking account, consider the American Express® High Yield Savings Account, the Sallie Mae High-Yield Savings Account or the Barclays Online Savings.

Learn more: Looking for a safe place to stash your cash? The pros and cons of keeping your money in a high-yield savings account

Our methodology

To determine which high-yield savings accounts offer the best return on your money, CNBC Select analyzed dozens of U.S. savings accounts offered by online and brick-and-mortar banks, including large credit unions. We narrowed down our ranking by only considering those savings accounts that offer an APY around 1%, no monthly maintenance fees and low (or no) minimum balance requirements.

While the accounts we chose in this article consistently rank as having some of the highest APY rates, we also compared each savings account on a range of features, including ease of use and account accessibility, as well as factors such as insurance policies and customer reviews when available. We also considered users' deposit options and each account's compound frequency.

All of the accounts included on this list are FDIC-insured up to $250,000. Note that the rates and fee structures for high-yield savings accounts are not guaranteed forever; they are subject to change without notice and they often fluctuate in accordance with the Fed rate. Your earnings depend on any associated fees and the balance you have in your high-yield savings account. To open an account, most banks and institutions require a deposit of new money, meaning you can't transfer money you already had in an account at that bank.

Editorial Note: Opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the CNBC Select editorial staff’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any third party.