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Discover Money Market Account Review: Is It Best for Your Savings?

Learn all about the Discover Money Market Account, including its interest rates, fees, ATM access, and check writing ability, and compare it to savings accounts.
(3 out of 5) MyBankTracker Editor's Rating

When you want the earnings of a high-yield savings account and the ease of access of a checking account, you might consider a money market account.

Discover offers a money market account that does just that.

The best parts:

As an online bank, the account offers a great APY with several different ways that customers can access their balance at a moment's notice.

Find out the everything you need to know about the Money Market Account to see if it fits everything you need.

In this Discover Money Market account review, we'll compare rates, fees, and services to other national and online banks.

Discover Money Market Account Account Pros & Cons

Pros Cons
  • Debit card access and check-writing ability
  • 60,000+ surcharge-free ATMs
  • Fee waivers per year
  • Mobile apps available
  • Monthly fee (can be waived)
  • Rates not as high as online savings accounts

Interest Not as High as Savings Accounts

Money market accounts also pay interest, which helps your account balance grow over time.

The more money you deposit, the more interest you’ll earn.

Online banks, like Discover Bank, cost far less to run than traditional brick and mortar banks do.

This is good news for consumers because it means online banks can pass those savings on to their customers.

Discover does this by offering a great interest rate on its money market account. 

However:

The rate is slightly lower than the rates offered by market-leading online savings account.

Staving off inflation

Another thing that emphasizes the importance of a good interest rate is inflation. The interest you earn is an essential component in keeping your money safe.

Over time, money tends to become less valuable. This is why the prices of products in stores goes up over time, or why prices stay the same as packages get smaller.

Like interest, inflation is expressed as a percentage. If something costs $1 and the inflation rate is 3%, it will cost $1.03 one year from now.

Ideally, you want the interest rate you earn to be greater than or equal to the rate of inflation. In that scenario, your savings account will maintain or increase in value over time. If the interest rate paid on the account is lower than the inflation rate, your savings are actually losing value as time goes on.

No Monthly Fee

The biggest downside of most money market accounts is their fees.

Because they pay more interest than savings accounts and offer more flexibility, banks typically charge customers more than they would for a simple savings account.

Fortunately:

The Discover Money Market Account carries no monthly fee.

So, you don't have to worry about carrying a minimum balance.

Other Fees

Monthly fees are among the most common bank account fees, but they aren’t the only fees that you have to worry about.

Here’s a list of some of the fees you might have to pay.

Discover Money Market Account Fees

Type Fee
Monthly Maintenance Fee $0
ATM Transaction $0
Overdraft Fee $0
Excess Withdrawal Fee $0
Returned Item $0
Stop Payment $0
Deposited Item Returned $0
Domestic Wire Transfer (incoming) $0
International Wire Transfer (incoming) $0
Cashiers Check $0

Easy Access to Your Money

One of the things that set money market account apart from savings accounts is that they make it much easier to access your money.

With a savings account, you typically have to make an online transfer to a checking account or go to the bank to withdraw cash before you can use any of the money. The Discover Money Market Account offers three ways to access and use your money.

Check-writing

When you open the Discover Money Market Account, you’ll receive a checkbook.

This checkbook functions just like any other checkbook that you’d receive with a checking account.

You can write checks against your balance and give them to companies, contractors, or anyone else you owe money.

When they deposit the check, the funds will be pulled directly from your money market account. Until then, your money will continue to earn interest for you.

ATM withdrawals

You’ll also receive a debit card when you open your account.

The best part:

You can visit any of 60,000 fee-free ATMs in the United States to make a cash withdrawal from your account. Once you get the cash, you can spend it like normal.

If you have to visit an ATM that does charge a fee, rest assured that the fee you see on the screen is the full fee you’ll pay.

Discover doesn’t charge any ATM fees.

Note: You may have to pay fees charged by ATM operators.

Debit card

Finally, you can swipe your debit card at a store to pay for your purchase.

This can be especially convenient if you’re making a large purchase but don’t want to write a check or carry a lot of cash.

Watch Out for Transaction Fees

Be aware, that you are limited in the number of transactions you can make each month without paying a fee.

You can make a maximum of six fee-free withdrawals from the account.

Checks and debit card purchases, as well as outgoing online transfers, count towards this limit, but ATM withdrawals don’t.

Try to treat your money market account as a savings account.

Don’t withdraw money too often.

Take advantage of the convenience when you need to, but don’t make it a habit.

After the sixth check or debit card purchase in a statement, you’ll pay a $15 fee for each additional transaction.

Deposit Are Insured

Money market accounts, like savings accounts, typically accomplish two goals for consumers that open them.

They provide a safe place to store money and a way to help your money grow.

The Discover Money Market Account is a great place to keep your money if you’re looking to keep it safe.

Money market accounts, unlike the similarly named money market funds, are completely safe.

Nearly every bank in the United States is insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. This insurance makes a bank as safe as it can possibly be.

The FDIC offers deposit insurance, covering up to $250,000 per account type, per depositor, at American banks. This protection is even extended to online banks like Discover Bank.

What that means is that you cannot lose money by depositing it to a Discover Money Market Account, so long as you keep your balance below $250,000. 

If you should ever need more than $250,000 in protection, you’ll have to open a different account ownership type or open an account at a different bank.

How It Compares

If you want to open a new savings or money market account, you can easily get overwhelmed when you look at all the options available to you.

Still:

It’s worth putting in the effort to find a good deal.

Finding the right account is an important part of avoiding fees and building your savings.

Choose a savings account that doesn’t charge any monthly fees. Many online banks are a great option for this. If you do have to choose an account that carries fees, make sure you can easily meet the fee waiver requirements.

Once you’ve found a few fee-free savings accounts, compare their interest rates.

You want to choose the account that offers the highest rate.

The truth is:

Settling for a lower interest rate is like giving up free money.

The inflation-fighting effects of the interest you receive make getting a good rate doubly important.

Finally, consider the special features that each account offers.

Regardless of the specific features, you need to think about the value of those features to you. Some people will find overdraft protection very valuable.

People who never overdraft their checking account probably don’t care about whether that feature is available or not. Account features are the most subjective thing to compare, but they can make what seems like an average account into the perfect account for you.

The Final Verdict

The Discover Money Market Account is a great choice for someone who wants to save money at an online bank while having an easy way to access their cash.

While you might be able to find a slightly higher rate at other online banks, the account’s rate is quite competitive and you can easily integrate it with other Discover banking products to centralize your finances with one company.

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