What is Discover Card?
Issued majorly in the United States of America, Discover Card is simply a credit card. Founded in 1985 by Sears, Discover card falls under the Discover Bank division and Discover Financial is its parent organization. Discover card proved to be a destructive competition to the existing Credit Card Industry because when it was launched, it charged no annual fee and offered a higher than normal credit limit. After that ‘Cash Back Bounces’ was innovated.
Sears was the largest retailer in the United States when Discover Card was introduced. To add financial services to its vast portfolio of customer services, Sears purchased the Dean Witter Reynolds brokerage organization and Coldwell, Banker & Company which was a real estate company in 1981. The card was first thought about and conceived by the father of famous country singer Ray Kennedy, Ray Kennedy Sr, who was the credit card manager for Sears at that time. So Discover Card and its issuing bank, the Greenwood Trust company which was also owned by Sears came to be known as the Sears Financial Network. When issued at the beginning, the Discover Card bore the symbol of the Sears tower, the company’s headquarters. Founded in 1911, The Greenwood Trust Company is based in Greenwood, Delaware. It was taken over by Discover Financial Services in 1985 and was later renamed Discover Bank in 2000. The first and original location of Greenwood Trust Co. on East Market Street is still operating and remains the only banking location of Discover Bank.
Discover Card Business Developments
Until 2007, Discover was first a part of Dean Witter and then Morgan Stanley. Then after it became an independent company known as the Discover Financial Services. Like mentioned earlier, Discover card, when introduced, became a raging rival to the leading credit cards like MasterCard, Visa, Choice etc. by carrying no annual fee which was extremely uncommon in those days. It thus gained a large national consumer base and offered a higher credit card limit when compared to the other credit cards existing. Discover Card cardholders also had the privilege to acquire something known as a Cashback Bonus where the person would get back some of the amount spent from 1% to 5%, depending on how much the card was used. A survey that was held in 1889 studied that Discover Card had gained immense popularity among its cardholders and had a very high consumer adoption in the United States. By the end of 1989, around 2.1 million households became the owners of the Discover Card. The Discover Card was also known for being the only credit card accepted by the United States Customs Service for the customs pay.
In 2004, Discover made its first deal with GE Consumer Finance to have its card issued. And later on, it went to issue cards for GE Consumer Finance’s retailer Wal-Mart and its wholesale warehouse store known as Sam’s Club. These card transactions were processed in the Discover Network. Until 2006 November, Sam’s Club exclusively used Discover Cards, until they began accepting MasterCards we well.
Discover Card Services, Banking & Loans
Discover caters to their customer’s financial needs by providing them with the following aids.
- Credit Cards
- Saving Accounts
- Personal Loans
- Building Credit History
- Certificates of Deposit
- Home Equity Loans
- Cashback Checking
- Balance Transfers
- Student Loans
Discover provides four types of credit cards to its customers.
- Cashback Cards: There are three different cards under cashback cards. The Discover it Card, which helps its customers get cash rewards on purchases. They can get up to 5% cash back for each purchase they make at gas stations, restaurants, Amazon.com, wholesale clubs and more and up to the quarterly maximum each time they activate the card. The second is the NHL Discover it Card. The customer gets to choose his or her favorite team from over 30 varieties of card designs. They can also get up to 5% cash back for each purchase they make at gas stations, restaurants, Amazon.com, wholesale clubs and more and up to the quarterly maximum each time they activate the card. The third is the Discover it Gas and Restaurant Card. This gives the customers extra rewards whenever they fill gas or eat out. They get 2% cash back at gas stations and restaurants on up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter, automatically.
- Travel Card: Also known as the Discover it Miles Card. It is an unlimited 1.5x rewards card. The cardholder can automatically earn rewards on every purchase, every day, and then redeem how they like for cash or travel.
- Student Cards: There are two types of Student cards. The first is called The Discover it Chrome for Students Card. The student card will automatically give the student extra cash rewards on gas and restaurant purchases all year long. They will get 2% cash back at gas stations and restaurants up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter, automatically. They also get 1% cash back on all other purchases. The second card is known as Discover it for Students Card. This card pays cash rewards to the student in purchase categories that change throughout the year. They can earn 5% cash back by using the cards in gas stations, restaurants, Amazon.com, wholesale clubs and more, up to the quarterly maximum each time they activate it.
- Secured Cards: The Discover it Secured Credit card helps the cardholder build or rebuild credit with responsible use.
None of these cards hold Annual fee. Discover Online Banking helps its customers with checking, savings, Money Market, CD, and IRAs. Around 60,000 free ATMs help Discover customers get fast cash.
Discover Personal Loans
According to their website, ‘A personal loan is an unsecured loan used to consolidate debt or pay for life’s big events. With a fixed rate and fixed term, personal loans can help save thousands of dollars by eliminating higher-interest debt. A Discover personal loan, which has no origination fees, may be an ideal solution for people with good credit and a strong financial history.’
Discover Personal Loans include the following terms:
- No Loan origination fee, where no fee of any kind will be taken as long as the customer pays on time.
- Fixed rates from 6.99% to 24.99% where the customer can lock in their rate and their monthly payment will not change.
- Flexible payment terms where the customer can choose repayment plan from 36 to 84 months
- Discover will lend up to $35,000 to its customers where they will have to estimate their monthly payment using the personal loan calculator.
The Personal Loan Calculator shows the customer what their monthly payment will be for their chosen loan amount. The many Discover personal loans are the Wedding Loans, Vacation Loans, Green Loans, Debt Consolidation Loans.
Discover Student Loans
The following are the different types of Discover Student Loans:
- The Undergraduate Student Loans: Private Student Loan for Undergraduates with zero fees. Online Applications available. Variable Interest Rates are between 3.74% APR – 9.24% and Fixed Interest Rates are between 6.24% APR – 11.49% APR.
- The Graduate Student Loan: Private Student Loan for students seeking Masters and Doctoral Degrees with zero fees. Variable Interest Rates are between 3.74% APR – 9.24% and Fixed Interest Rates are between 6.24% APR – 11.49% APR.
- The MBA Student Loans: For aspiring students who want to pursue masters in Business Administration. Variable Interest Rates are between 3.74% APR – 9.24% and Fixed Interest Rates are between 6.24% APR – 11.49% APR.
- The Health Professions Student Loans: Private Student Loans for graduate students in Health Profession Programs. Variable Interest Rates are between 3.74% APR – 9.24% and Fixed Interest Rates are between 6.24% APR – 11.49% APR.
- The Law Student Loans: For Students attending law schools. Variable Interest Rates are between 3.74% APR – 9.24% and Fixed Interest Rates are between 6.24% APR – 11.49% APR.
- The Residency Student Loans: For health profession students who are preparing for residency or internship. Variable Interest Rates are between 3.74% APR – 9.24% and Fixed Interest Rates are between 6.24% APR – 11.49% APR.
- The Bar Exam Student Loan: For Law students preparing for BAR exams. Variable Interest Rates are between 3.74% APR – 9.24% and Fixed Interest Rates are between 6.24% APR – 11.49% APR.
Discover also offers Home Equity Loans that allows the borrower to use the value of his or her home as collateral. Home Equity Loans have lower interest rates than credit cards APRs. It has a potential for a tax deduction and Home Equity Loan provides with a lump sum of money to the customers. They are usually lent for Home Improvement, Debt Consolidation and for major expenses and life events.
According to their website, Home equity loans typically have a fixed interest rate, fixed term, and fixed monthly payments. They are different from other types of personal loans in that interest rates may be lower and interest payments may be 100% tax deductible in many cases (consult your tax advisor to see if you qualify). They define home equity as the difference between the value of a home and what is still owed on the mortgage.
Discover Customer Service
Discover claims to be available to aid and help their customers 24×7. They have live chats on their website where the customer can ask their doubts and queries to one of the Discover Helpers. Besides that they will also be available to answer customer queries about Online Banking, Loans help, networking help and corporate information. Their website is a wealth of knowledge and it has all the contact information including Phone Numbers and Addresses in there.