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Why Is Discover Card Only In The US?  
User currently offlineCalAir From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2005, 298 posts, RR: 1
Posted (8 years 5 months 2 weeks 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 12185 times:

Looking on some websites, you see VISA, Mastercard, Maestro and Discover/Novus. Looking into it, I see that its a US company and that the logos only seem to appear on US websites. Also, I have a Simpsons DVD and on one episode, Ned Flanders gives Homer his card, and he replies " Discover? " and asks for another card.Do I assume then that Discover doesnt have a very good name in the US? Are they linked to another card provider for use worldwide like Switch was in the UK, they had an agreement with Mastercard/Maestro/Cirrus in other countries? Any US A.Netters tell me more on Discover? And also, do you have Visa Electron in the US and Maestro as debit cards direct from your bank account? You guys seem to be very keen on cheque payments and from what I have seen, you dont need a cheque guarantee card to pay with one in a shop? I may seem really dim but it seems to be a far different system to that in the UK.


British Caledonian...we never forget, you have a choice
24 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineDesertJets From United States of America, joined Feb 2000, 7780 posts, RR: 16
Reply 1, posted (8 years 5 months 2 weeks 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 12179 times:

The only thing that Discover card had going for it was the cash back rewards. Something like x% of your annual purchases would come back to you at the end of the year. Obviously since then most major banks that offer a Visa/Mastercard have some type of cash back reward card available.

Quoting CalAir (Thread starter):
And also, do you have Visa Electron in the US and Maestro as debit cards direct from your bank account?

Can't speak for anyone else but my debit card is a MasterCard debit (w/ Paypass). Most US banks have been doing Visa or MasterCard debits since the mid-90s. This allows for fairly universal acceptance. Prior to that some places would accept debit cards (usually in the Cirrus or Star network). Typically places like grocery stores and pay at the pump gas stations.

Quoting CalAir (Thread starter):
You guys seem to be very keen on cheque payments and from what I have seen, you dont need a cheque guarantee card to pay with one in a shop? I may seem really dim but it seems to be a far different system to that in the UK.

I suppose some folks still use checks for in-store purchaces. Always a PITA to be stuck behind someone in the checkout line who starts writing the check after the bill is totaled. Check guarantee cards went away after the Visa/MasterCard debit cards become commonplace. Most retailers have check readers, scans the routing and acct # on the check. That connects to one of the major crediting agencies and confirms whether or not the check it going to be good or not. When I worked as a cashier we'd also have to get info off of a person's ID too. Frankly a PITA if you ask me, when debit and credit are quicker and more secure.



Stop drop and roll will not save you in hell. --- seen on a church marque in rural Virginia
User currently offlineLOT767-300ER From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 2, posted (8 years 5 months 2 weeks 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 12171 times:

Discover doesnt have a bad name in the USA. You use it pretty much in any medium to big sized retailer and gas stations.

Hell, the worlds biggest corporation...Wal-Mart issues Discover cards.

Quoting CalAir (Thread starter):
And also, do you have Visa Electron in the US and Maestro as debit cards direct from your bank account?

The VISA Electron and MasterCard Maestro dont carry those names in the USA but are essentially just that. A Debit card in the USA that take out money straight from your bank account will just "Debit" on the card. Credit cards just dont say Debit.

I have the following cards:

Debit/Bank:
-Chase United Mileage Plus VISA
-Bank of America VISA
-Fifth Third Bank VISA
-PayPal MasterCard

CreditCards:
-United Mileage Plus VISA (Issued by BankOne/Chase)
-CapitalOne GoMiles VISA

Quoting DesertJets (Reply 1):
Most retailers have check readers, scans the routing and acct # on the check. That connects to one of the major crediting agencies and confirms whether or not the check it going to be good or not.

Actually it does not connect to TransUnion or Experian or whatever. MOST of the retailers including the one I work at use Certigy Check Authorization company that will check the check if it will bounce or not.

When Im in Europe I use my Chase United Mileage VISA Debit or my United Mileage Plus Credit card, ease of use and always work...and of course you can take out of the ATM (with a fee of course) on the debit no matter where you are.


User currently offlineN1120A From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 26501 posts, RR: 75
Reply 3, posted (8 years 5 months 2 weeks 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 12169 times:

Quoting CalAir (Thread starter):
And also, do you have Visa Electron in the US and Maestro as debit cards direct from your bank account?

Same thing, only they are just called Mastercard and Visa Check Cards

Quoting CalAir (Thread starter):
You guys seem to be very keen on cheque payments and from what I have seen, you dont need a cheque guarantee card to pay with one in a shop?

Actually, it is completely the opposite. While some people (including my mom, who works in IT and is great with computers but just can't seem to get past paying the bills with checks) still use them, but generally check payments have gone by the wayside for anything other than apartment rent and electric bills (most still don't take anything but check, cash or money order). Even some larger apartment management companies accept credit cards now.

Quoting DesertJets (Reply 1):
The only thing that Discover card had going for it was the cash back rewards. Something like x% of your annual purchases would come back to you at the end of the year

2%

Quoting LOT767-300ER (Reply 2):
Actually it does not connect to TransUnion or Experian or whatever. MOST of the retailers including the one I work at use Certigy Check Authorization company that will check the check if it will bounce or not.

A great many of them go through Tele Check



Mangeons les French fries, mais surtout pratiquons avec fierte le French kiss
User currently offlineBanco From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2001, 14752 posts, RR: 53
Reply 4, posted (8 years 5 months 2 weeks 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 12165 times:

Quoting N1120A (Reply 3):
2%

That's generous. When the likes of Egg introduced cashback on purchases here several years back, it started out at that kind of level, but I think it's dropped to 0.5% now.



She's as nervous as a very small nun at a penguin shoot.
User currently offlineN1120A From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 26501 posts, RR: 75
Reply 5, posted (8 years 5 months 2 weeks 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 12156 times:

Quoting Banco (Reply 4):
That's generous. When the likes of Egg introduced cashback on purchases here several years back, it started out at that kind of level, but I think it's dropped to 0.5% now.

Well, I suppose generous is relative, given that $20,000 in spending wouldn't even get you enough for a flight to Europe. Also, Discover is the least accepted credit card in the US (with the exception of the old Diner's Club card, which has gone by the wayside in favor of a Mastercard linked card) even with their cashback awards and competitive rates to merchants. The card was actually launched by Sears Roebuck (later sold to Morgan Stanley) in an attempt to make a stab at the growing non-store card credit card market in the 1980s. It was heavily marketed and had some early success but it has been marginalized as rather useless even though it introduced a fair bit of innovation to the market (large scale reward program, smaller sized cards, lack of an annual fee). They also happen to be kind of a LCC (Low Cost Card) in that Discover Cards are not issued by different banks, rather are a single entity. Their major downfall was the lack of European expansion.



Mangeons les French fries, mais surtout pratiquons avec fierte le French kiss
User currently offlineCalAir From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2005, 298 posts, RR: 1
Reply 6, posted (8 years 5 months 2 weeks 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 12121 times:

Thanks guys, makes it a bit clearer now. With regard to cheques, I NEVER use them anymore. I use my VISA,VISA electron and Mastercard for almost all purchases now. The VISA Electron cards we have here in the UK are pretty much universally accepted now, whereas a few years ago, not many places took them. Also, the UK have a system called SOLO as well, which was a part of SWITCH which was replaced in the UK by the Maestro system, which is part of Mastercard. SOLO cards have the MAESTRO and CIRRUS symbols on the back too. With VISA Electron its strange, as it seems it was introduced to effectively replace VISA as a more secure card, as it is for electronic use only, ie no raised numbers. However, it is only issued to those under 18 or those who do not qualify for a VISA debit (called VISA Delta here in the UK) or a Maestro card. SOLO is embossed in the same way as Maestro.


Weird how the US call Maestro debit cards MASTERCARD debit, same thing but different name, although I guess MASTERCARD is a global name, whereas Maestro is a Euro thing.



British Caledonian...we never forget, you have a choice
User currently offlineAeroWesty From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 20646 posts, RR: 62
Reply 7, posted (8 years 5 months 2 weeks 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 12114 times:

Quoting CalAir (Thread starter):
Any US A.Netters tell me more on Discover?

A long, long time ago Discover was founded and issued by Sears, Roebuck & Co., the then largest retailer in the U.S. The world was a much smaller place then, when it was a big deal that VISA was accepted in a few million places worldwide. It took a long time to catch on, and it wasn't even until the late 80's that some airlines even accepted the card.

Discover is now owned by Morgan Stanley.

http://www.discovercard.com/discover/data/home.shtml



International Homo of Mystery
User currently offlineN1120A From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 26501 posts, RR: 75
Reply 8, posted (8 years 5 months 2 weeks 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 12112 times:

Quoting CalAir (Reply 6):
Weird how the US call Maestro debit cards MASTERCARD debit, same thing but different name, although I guess MASTERCARD is a global name, whereas Maestro is a Euro thing.

Mastercard International is the official name of the company. Maestro is a marketing name. They aren't Maestro debit cards with a different name, it is the other way around.



Mangeons les French fries, mais surtout pratiquons avec fierte le French kiss
User currently offlineFlyKev From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2006, 1382 posts, RR: 1
Reply 9, posted (8 years 5 months 2 weeks 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 12097 times:
AIRLINERS.NET CREW
FORUM MODERATOR

Heh, try using a Solo card in the states.
It works as Cirrus in cash machines though...



The white zone is for immediate loading and unloading of passengers only
User currently offlineBA747YYZ From Canada, joined Mar 2006, 377 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (8 years 5 months 2 weeks 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 12063 times:

Because there is no need or market for it, and let's face it, it has no advantages over any Visa, or MasterCard, and there are also other regional cards that replace the Discover Card.

User currently offlineLOT767-300ER From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 11, posted (8 years 5 months 2 weeks 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 12061 times:

Quoting N1120A (Reply 3):
A great many of them go through Tele Check

The majority of them do not go to one of the 3 credit companies, most go to Certigy.


User currently offlineCOIAHLGW From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 155 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (8 years 5 months 2 weeks 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 12055 times:

Try using a Maestro card in the States..... It is *not* a Mastercard, even though it is from the same company.

Why don't they just make them Mastercard debit cards to make people happy with almost universal acceptance like Visa?

Straying back onto topic... there are more retailers in the US that accept Maestro than UK retailers that accept Discover,



Last aircraft flown, N78008, EI-CSR, EI-DHP, N77014, N78008, EI-CSH, N78002, N68155, N77012, N78017, N19117, N38403
User currently offlineAlias1024 From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 2760 posts, RR: 2
Reply 13, posted (8 years 5 months 2 weeks 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 12047 times:

Discover seems to be pretty rare, and with the benefits offered by various VISA and MasterCard choices, there isn't much point to getting a Discover card anymore.

I have a Bank of America Visa Debit/Credit card I used in Europe. Really nice in England because B of A has an agreement with Barclays, allowing B of A customers to use Barclays ATMs without paying any fees. Nice way to avoid getting screwed on currency exchange.



It is a mistake to think you can solve any major problems with just potatoes.
User currently offlineN1120A From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 26501 posts, RR: 75
Reply 14, posted (8 years 5 months 2 weeks 5 days 15 hours ago) and read 12033 times:

Quoting Alias1024 (Reply 13):
I have a Bank of America Visa Debit/Credit card I used in Europe. Really nice in England because B of A has an agreement with Barclays, allowing B of A customers to use Barclays ATMs without paying any fees. Nice way to avoid getting screwed on currency exchange.

Actually, it wouldn't be Barclays screwing you on the exchange, it would be BofA. They also have a similar agreement with BNP Paribas in France and (I think) Commerzbank in Germany.



Mangeons les French fries, mais surtout pratiquons avec fierte le French kiss
User currently offlineSTLGph From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 9375 posts, RR: 26
Reply 15, posted (8 years 5 months 2 weeks 5 days 15 hours ago) and read 12031 times:

Quoting Alias1024 (Reply 13):
Discover seems to be pretty rare, and with the benefits offered by various VISA and MasterCard choices, there isn't much point to getting a Discover card anymore.

Well, truth be told, there is an unspoken truth throughout the retail/service industry that Discover cards are generally issued to anybody who applies for one, and that anybody who asks "Do you take Discover?" is generally looked down upon as being "not posh".....to put it mildly.



if assumptions could fly, airliners.net would be the world's busiest airport
User currently offlineN801NW From United States of America, joined Jul 2004, 744 posts, RR: 1
Reply 16, posted (8 years 5 months 2 weeks 5 days 11 hours ago) and read 12016 times:

Acoording to the WSJ, only 42% of Discover accounts are in "active" use. Despite that, the business is profitable for Morgan Stanley and they bought the Pulse24 PIN Debit processor to expand Discover in the debit arena in 2005.

User currently offlineBanco From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2001, 14752 posts, RR: 53
Reply 17, posted (8 years 5 months 2 weeks 5 days 10 hours ago) and read 12007 times:

Quoting CalAir (Reply 6):
With regard to cheques, I NEVER use them anymore.

In every day purchases, maybe not. But cheques remain an important method of payment for business-to-business transactions. I use them all the time for that.



She's as nervous as a very small nun at a penguin shoot.
User currently offlineCheckraiser From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 18, posted (8 years 5 months 2 weeks 5 days 10 hours ago) and read 11998 times:

Quoting BA747YYZ (Reply 10):
it has no advantages over any Visa, or MasterCard,

Their strategy was to offer lower MERCHANT fees. The thinking was that merchants would love the card and in turn push it on consumers. I think a lot of Discover's business comes from balance transfers now - I've seen some pretty good rollover offers from Discover.

Discover is probably accepted at more (domestic) locations than AMEX. When grocery stores around here first started accepting debit cards (no merchant fee) they woud also accept Discover. It wasn't long before they did start taking MC/Visa, but as of now, no supermarket in this area (and many other low margin businesses) accept AMEX.


User currently offlineJ_Hallgren From United States of America, joined Jun 2000, 1507 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (8 years 5 months 2 weeks 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 11972 times:

My Discover card is my primary card...use it most all the time...there are sometimes places I can't use it...doctors office, rental storage, etc...usually any place that has a fair amout of card business will take it...I use it for the rewards...generally about 1% but can be up to 5% on special promotions...

FYI: The check authorization company mentioned above is not Certigy but Certegy! I worked for them for about 7 years ending in 2001. They were part of Equifax but was spun off in 2001. They have now been bought by Fidelity
Information Systems (or similar named). They have about 2200 employees in the building I worked in. They also do a LOT of credit card processing for Visa/MC for small banks and credit unions...I recall they had about 20 million accts that they processed for.



COBOL - Not a dead language yet!
User currently offlineN1120A From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 26501 posts, RR: 75
Reply 20, posted (8 years 5 months 2 weeks 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 11955 times:

Quoting Checkraiser (Reply 18):
Discover is probably accepted at more (domestic) locations than AMEX.

I doubt that actually. If it is, it isn't publicized

Quoting Checkraiser (Reply 18):
no supermarket in this area (and many other low margin businesses) accept AMEX.

Every supermarket I have been to since first getting an AMEX card has accepted it.



Mangeons les French fries, mais surtout pratiquons avec fierte le French kiss
User currently offlineBill142 From Australia, joined Aug 2004, 8451 posts, RR: 8
Reply 21, posted (8 years 5 months 2 weeks 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 11947 times:

We have a card here called Bankcard, which was set up in the 70's. It used to be really popular, but as it was only accepted in Australia and New Zealand it was limited. Earlier this year, all participant banks agreed to begin the withdrawal and migrate all Bankcard users to MasterCard or Visa products. Its the end of what was Australia's first credit card.

Quoting Banco (Reply 17):
In every day purchases, maybe not. But cheques remain an important method of payment for business-to-business transactions. I use them all the time for that

I feel cheques are too insecure. I know of instances where cheques have been presented and honoured without singnatures on them. I have access to a large number of chques and I could simply draw one and put any old scrible on it and as long as I don't present it at the issuing bank, the chances of getting away with it are quite good.

Personally I think their days are numbered and should be removed sooner rather then later as the potential for fraud is too great.


User currently offlineAlias1024 From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 2760 posts, RR: 2
Reply 22, posted (8 years 5 months 2 weeks 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 11942 times:

Quoting N1120A (Reply 14):
Actually, it wouldn't be Barclays screwing you on the exchange, it would be BofA.

Yeah, but the idea is that you don't get screwed. Decent exchange rate, and no ATM user fees from either bank.



It is a mistake to think you can solve any major problems with just potatoes.
User currently offlineLOT767-300ER From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 23, posted (8 years 5 months 2 weeks 4 days 20 hours ago) and read 11934 times:

Quoting J_Hallgren (Reply 19):
FYI: The check authorization company mentioned above is not Certigy but Certegy! I worked for them for about 7 years ending in 2001. They were part of Equifax but was spun off in 2001. They have now been bought by Fidelity
Information Systems (or similar named). They have about 2200 employees in the building I worked in. They also do a LOT of credit card processing for Visa/MC for small banks and credit unions...I recall they had about 20 million accts that they processed for.

Sorry about the incorrect spelling mate.


User currently offlineBigOrange From United States of America, joined Apr 2004, 2365 posts, RR: 3
Reply 24, posted (8 years 5 months 2 weeks 3 days 4 hours ago) and read 11875 times:

Discover is owned by Morgan Stanley.

In the UK Morgan Stanley have a Mastercard which gives cashback rewards.


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