Saturday, October 22, 2011

Discover Cash Over

One of the great (and I think often unappreciated or misunderstood or even feared) benefits of the Discover Card is the Discover Cash Over benefit (not to be confused with Discover Card's much better known Cashback Bonus benefit). As the web page focused on this benefit currently states, a card holder can "get cash over your purchases and save time and money." The page adds, "Take care of two errands at once. And pay no fee."

I find this benefit better than using an ATM. There are no fees and it can be used while shopping at one of numerous participating stores. The page advertises these benefits: "Avoid fees - No transaction fee. No ATM fee. No bank fee." The page also points out that the "cash over" counts as a normal purchase. Thus, if you request $20 cash over (amounts available are typically in $20 increments), it is as if you purchased an additional item at that store for $20.

Not every merchant that accepts Discover Card as payment participates in the Cash Over benefit. The list of participating merchants is available on the benefit's page. At the time of this writing, these participating merchants include Kroger (King Soopers and City Market in Colorado) and Wal-Mart.

There are no fees associated with this benefit, but it is important to keep in mind that carrying a balance (not paying it off each month) means paying interest on the cash over just as interest is paid on the purchase price of goods and services. If you do pay off your Discover Card balance each month, this service is totally free!

This is a very convenient benefit of the Discover Card. It is handy to be able to make purchases and access cash in a single stop without paying any banking fees. It is actually easier than using an ATM machine if you're going to purchase items at one of the participating merchants anyway. With some big banks starting to increase fees for debit card use, this benefit might look even more attractive.