Discover Bank Debuts Balance+ Overdraft Feature for Debit Card
Discover debit card and app

Discover Bank Debuts Balance+ Overdraft Feature for Debit Card

Discover Bank is rolling out a new feature that could help those customers living paycheck-to-paycheck.

About Balance+:

This week Discover announced Balance+ for its checking accounts. Using this option, Discover customers can overdraw their checking (via debit card purchase) by up to $200 without incurring fees. However, to qualify for this feature, accountholders must have qualifying direct deposits of $200 or more for at least the past two calendar months. Checking accounts must also have a balance above $0 in order to be eligible for Balance+.

As Discover explains, this new option can be used in conjunction with its existing Overdraft Protection. This latter feature will automatically transfer funds from a linked Discover account to cover overdrawn checking transactions. Notably, Overdraft Protection also covers checking, bill payments, and ACH transfers initiated by another bank while Balance+ is only eligible for debit card purchases.

More about Discover Bank Checking:

The new Balance+ feature joins Discover’s slate of checking account features. These are headlined by the bank’s Cashback Debit card, which earns 1% back on all eligible purchases (up to $3,000 in purchases per month). Discover’s checking account also doesn’t charge any monthly fees and has no minimum balance requirement. Additionally, customers can now add cash to their account without a fee by visiting any Walmart location in the United States.

What they’re saying:

Announcing the new offering, Discover Bank’s VP and CMO Ram Subramanian said “With Balance+ we are giving our customers peace of mind that Discover has their back when they use their debit card for their everyday necessities. This is a natural extension of our commitment of offering the most rewarding banking experience without having to worry if you make a mistake.”

Speaking on the other features of Discover’s checking account, Subramanian added, “Cashback Debit offers consumers a wide range of benefits and is one of the only checking accounts to offer cash back rewards. We’re excited to continue building on this product to provide straightforward and meaningful benefits that puts the consumer in control of their finances.”

My thoughts:

In comparison to other overdraft options, Discover’s Balance+ seems to be fairly generous. For example, when Chase overhauled its overdraft system, it made it so overdrafts of under $50 did not incur (while those overdrafts of $50 or more are still assessed a $34 fee). Of course, Discover’s feature does require direct deposit, so it’s not exactly apples to apples. Meanwhile, Varo’s Advance feature allows those with direct deposit to request up to $500 in funds — but for a fee. So, once again, I see Discover’s latest offering as being the better product overall.

Overall, I could definitely see Discover’s Balance+ being a truly helpful tool for some accountholders — albeit one that they hopefully don’t have to use too often.


Kyle Burbank

Head Writer ~ Fioney
Kyle is the head writer for Fioney. He is a personal finance nerd, constantly looking for new apps and services to test and incorporate into his own financial game plan. In addition to his role at Fioney, he's written for other publications including Born2Invest, Lifehack, and Laughing Place, as well as his own site Money@30. He also creates personal finance and travel-related videos for Fioney's YouTube channel, which has garnered more than 2 million views. Currently, Kyle resides in Springfield, Missouri with his wife of 10 years. Together, they enjoy traveling (including visiting Disney Parks around the world), dining, and playing with their dog Rigby.

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