Discover is one of the major credit lenders. It came on to the credit card scene in 1986, launched by Sears, Roebuck & Company, which at the time was the largest retailer in the U.S. in terms of domestic earnings. With competing credit card companies already well established, Discover gained a foothold with the consumer public by not charging any annual fees. This may be part of the reason why Discover has been No. 1 in customer loyalty 21 years in a row, according to research firm Brand Keys, Inc., which surveyed nearly 49,200 consumers.