Before the advent of Wal-Mart, Sears was the largest retailer in the United States. In 1981, Sears purchased Dean Witter Reynolds Company (a brokerage company) and Coldwell, Banker & Company (a Real Estate company) in an effort to expand into the financial service sector.
In 1985, Sears introduced the Discover Card as an alternative to their Sears store charge card.
In 1985, Sears introduced Discover as an alternative to their Sears store charge card.
Unlike MasterCard and Visa at the time, Discover had no annual fee and offered cash back bonuses, so it rapidly gained market share but it had limited acceptance at stores unrelated to Sears. But in October 2004 the Supreme Court ruled that MasterCard and Visa were participating in unfair trade practices when they prevented banks from issuing Discover cards if they already issued MasterCard or Visa. This ruling broke open the doors and more and more places began accepting Discover card in addition to MasterCard and Visa.
Discover is now accepted by millions of merchants and ATMs world-wide. It also owns the Pulse ATM network with 750,000 ATMs and 1.7 million point of sale locations in the U.S. In 2008, Discover purchased the oldest credit card issuer (Diner's Club) which is accepted in 185 countries.
Discover has been consistently at the forefront of providing consumer friendly options and expanding the benefits available to card holders. There is a Discover Card for almost everyone, whether you want travel benefits, cash back, a student card or a long duration balance transfer... Discover has an option for you. See the list below to compare benefits.