Capital One Bank Review

FT Contributor  | 

Although perhaps best known for their credit cards, Capital One also offers an array of banking and financial services, including checking and savings accounts, certificates of deposit (CDs), and more. Although branch locations are limited, the bank offers some of the most advanced mobile banking services in the industry. Despite being primarily an online bank, Capital One gets high marks for customer satisfaction, thanks to low fees and high interest rates.

Capital One Financial Services

Capital One offers a full array of financial services. Some of the most popular include:

ATMs        

Capital One has a network of 39,000 ATMs nationwide, some of which are full-service ATMs that accept deposits. The bank is part of the Allpoint network, which provides fee-free ATMs for Capital One and other banks.

CD Rates

Customers can put money into a 360 CD from Capital One, and choose from a variety of terms. The bank offers CDs from six to 60 months, with interest rates ranging from 0.6% to 1%. There’s no minimum opening deposit, and CDs can be opened online or in person. Capital One also offers IRA CDs, with guaranteed returns and tax benefits for retirement.

Kids Savings Account

Kids can watch their savings grow with Capital One’s Kids Savings Accounts. These online, fee-free accounts pay 0.5% interest on all balances, and offer tools so kids can set savings goals and make automatic deposits.

Mobile Check Deposit

Although there are limited branch and Capital One Cafe locations, it’s still easy to make a deposit using the Capital One mobile app.

Again, these are just a few of the standout features of Capital One bank. The 360 checking and savings accounts attract the majority of customers.

Capital One 360 Checking

Capital One offers a single checking account option: Capital One 360 Checking. This FDIC-protected account is attractive, because it offers features not often found at other banks, including no fees, interest, and a variety of overdraft protections.

Appealing features of the Capital One 360 Checking account include:

  • No maintenance fees or minimums:There’s no minimum deposit required to open a 360 Checking account, and there are no monthly fees regardless of your balance. The bank does charge overdraft fees ($35) and an insufficient funds fee ($9) for a returned check, as well as fees for certain transactions such as stop payments. However, as long as you manage your account responsibly, you won’t pay any fees.
  • No overdraft fees: Checking customers have the option to enroll in Capital One’s Next Day Grace program to prevent overdraft fees. If you overdraw your account, you have until 11:59 PM the following business day to make a deposit to cover the overdraft, and you won’t be charged a fee. You can also set up automatic transfers from your savings account to cover overdrafts, and set up your account to automatically decline debit card purchases that will cause an overdraft.
  • Free debit card: 360 Checking accounts include a free debit card. You can use the card without a fee at more than 39,000 ATMs nationwide. If you use a non-network ATM, you won’t pay a fee to Capital One, but may be charged fees by the ATM owner and won’t be reimbursed.
  • Send money for free: With a Capital One 360 Checking account, you can enroll in online bill pay for free, and transfer money to others using Zelle.
  • Earn interest: All Capital One checking accounts earn interest, regardless of balance. The bank pays a flat 0.20% rate on all balances.

Capital One 360 Performance Savings

Like the 360 Checking accounts, Capital One’s 360 Performance Savings accounts are simple, straightforward, and affordable. There is only one savings account option. Some of the most attractive features include:

  • No maintenance fees: Capital One doesn’t charge any monthly maintenance fees for a 360 Savings account, regardless of balance.
  • No account minimums: You can open a 360 Savings account with any amount, and there’s no minimum balance requirements. All balances earn interest at the same rate.
  • High APY: Capital One pays one of the highest annual percentage yields (APY) of any online bank, at 1.5%. Again, all accounts earn interest at the same rate, allowing you to grow your money faster.
  • Open multiple bank accounts: Capital One makes it easy to grow your savings with tools, such as automatic transfers between your Capital One and external bank accounts. You can also use the robust mobile app to deposit checks, and set up savings goals to track your progress.

Who Does Capital One Work Best for?

Capital One is a good choice for people who want a straightforward banking option that doesn’t charge a lot of fees, and who don’t mind doing the majority of their banking online or via mobile tools. The lack of monthly maintenance fees makes this an attractive option for individuals who might not meet the qualifications to waive fees at other banks, such as low wage earners or those who don’t use direct deposit.

With that in mind, there are some pros and cons to banking with Capital One.

Pros of Capital One

The strong points of Capital One bank include:

  • No monthly maintenance fees, and opportunities to avoid other fees;
  • Pays interest on checking and savings accounts;
  • Extensive network of fee-free ATMs;
  • Free checks and debit card;
  • Full-featured mobile app.

Cons of Capital One

The weakest part of Capital One’s banking options is the lack of branch locations. Branches can only be found in eight states (Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, Louisiana, and Texas) and Washington, D.C. Capital One Cafe locations, which offer banking services in a coffee shop atmosphere, are opening nationwide, but for many customers, Capital One is an online only bank.

Other cons include:

  • Flat interest rates for all balance levels;
  • Overdraft protections require customers to opt in
  • No money market account options.

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