Capital One Bank Review

The simplicity of its credit card program earns this bank and credit lender relatively high marks. Learn where the bank falls short and how it can help you with your financial needs.

If you've ever received mail, you're likely familiar with Capital One's offerings.

The financial company, a pioneer of mass marketing credit cards back in the 1990s, spends nearly two-billion dollars a year on advertising.

And, as Samuel L. Jackson, or any of the company's other celebrity partners has asked "What's In Your Wallet?," you may have similarly wondered if Capital One would work for you.

The overarching trend of all Capital One's product offerings is simplicity.

Don't want to spend your nights figuring out your rewards plan? No problem.

Looking for an easy-to-navigate site? Sure.

Focused on building credit or going for an intuitive bridge card? They have it.

Looking to make your investments automated and easy? Check.

They've branded this broad portfolio of banking services as both Capital One Bank and Capital One 360, implying that they offer a complete package for your every financial need.

The Verdict

With no minimums or monthly fees while offering a decent interest rate, Capital One Bank is definitely worth your attention

Tired of paying a monthly maintenance fee on your big bank checking account?

If you're tech-savvy and are already used to mobile banking—such as depositing checks and paying your bills using your bank's mobile app—you'll want to check out Capital One 360's offerings, including its online checking and savings accounts.

Capital One 360 doesn't charge maintenance fees and does not require a monthly account minimum.

Plus, you'll earn a decent interest rate even on your checking account, varying from 0.2%-1%, depending on your account balance.

Median checking account balance

Also unique is that the Capital One Bank savings account allows you to set up as many as 25 different accounts for each of your savings goals.

And it offers 0.75% interest, with no minimum—making it a better bet than your local bank.

However, if you're searching for the top interest rate, look elsewhere—you can easily find an online bank offering higher interest.

One caveat is that the company maintains physical branches in only eight states.

But unless you prefer to do your banking in person, Capital One 360 gets high marks for ease of use, convenience, and its above-average interest rate.

The Question Everyone Is Asking

What kind of overdraft protection does Capital One checking provide?

Unlike other banks, Capital One 360 Checking does not charge an overdraft fee—saving you nearly $30 each time you overdraw your account!

Here are your options:

Link a 360 Savings account. You can have the overdraft amount transferred from savings to checking for free.

Pay interest. Instead of being slapped with a $30 overdraft fee, Capital One 360 will charge you 12.25% interest on the money you overdrafted on—and only for the time it takes you to replenish your account and pay off the overdraft amount.

Overdraft fees payment

The Strengths

Capital One 360 is strong thanks to its monthly fee-free philosophy

Neither of Capital One 360's checking and savings accounts charges a monthly fee for account holders.

They also don't require a minimum balance.

But Capital One 360's fee-free philosophy isn't the only thing customers love…

Cash is the new check. A unique feature of the Capital One 360 Checking is the ability to make cash deposits at select ATMs.

Savings (sub)accounts for everything! Capital One 360 Savings enables you to create up to 25 savings accounts that you can view from one dashboard.

You can label them—one for travel, one for college, another for fixing the roof. You can automate that a certain amount of money is transferred to each account from your paycheck.

An interesting checking account perk. Many of the big banks don't give you any interest on the balance in your checking account.

Capital One 360 offers a decent interest rate, ranging from 0.2%-1% interest, depending on your checking account balance.

The Weaknesses

Capital One 360 is weak because it doesn't offer the highest interest rate

While Capital One 360 offers decent interest rates on your checking and savings accounts—far better than what you would earn at a brick-and-mortar bank—if you're the type to chase yield, you can find other online savings and checking accounts offering higher interest, depending on your balance.

Other weaknesses include:

Not much in-person bank branch love. Unless you live in the eight states where Capital One 360 has bank branches, you will have to conduct most of your banking online.

You will, however, have access to nearly 40,000 ATMs around the country.

Transfers take time. It can take several business days for transfers from your Capital One 360 account to post to an outside checking account.

So if you often need money quickly, this may not be the best option for you.

Limited withdrawals. In accordance with federal law, you can only withdraw from an online savings account up to six times per month—and Capital One 360 is no exception.

If you make more frequent withdrawals, you may want to use a checking account instead for that purpose.

How millennials check their bank accounts

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What the Company Does

This is what and how Capital One 360 works for you

Capital One 360 offers several different products, from checking accounts and savings accounts to money market accounts and CDs.

Capital One 360 Checking

The Capital One 360 Checking account is an interest-bearing online checking account with no monthly maintenance fees or minimum balance requirements.

Consumers receive a free MasterCard debit card for purchases.

Earn interest on checking. Interest rates on the 360 Checking account vary depending on your balance:

Account balanceVariable APY
$0-$49,999.990.20%
$50,000-$99,999.990.75%
$100,000+1%

Low-cost overdraft options. Thanks to no overdraft fees—a virtual unicorn in the banking world—you can save big bucks over time.

Either link your 360 Savings account (transfers are free) or pay 12.25% interest for the few days it takes you to replenish your checking account.

Fees be gone. It's so good that we'll remind you again—a Capital One 360 account does not charge a monthly maintenance fee and does not require a minimum balance.

Deposit checks on the go. You can deposit checks from your couch—just snap a picture of the check and upload it.

Nearly 40,000 free ATMs. Consumers can use any of the more than 39,000 free ATMs in the Capital One and Allpoint network.

Free Person2Person payments. Send money to friends and family at no extra cost.

Free debit card. You'll receive a free MasterCard debit card that links to your Capital One 360 checking account.

Ditch the stamps. No need to buy checks and stamps—you can pay your bills online directly from your checking account at no extra cost.

Instant card shut-off if you need it. If your card is lost or stolen, you can deactivate your debit card online.

Your money is protected. Both the checking and savings accounts are FDIC insured, ensuring that up to $250,000 is safe per account.

Capital One 360 Savings

The Capital One 360 Savings account is an online savings account offering a higher interest rate than your local big bank, along with no minimum balance or pesky maintenance fees.

High interest. The 360 Savings account yield 0.75% interest on all balances—no minimum balance required.

Ability to establish multiple accounts. You can set up 25 savings accounts, enabling you to create "sink funds" for large expenses, such as saving up for a down payment on a home, fixing the roof, and even stashing away money for vacation travel.

Savings accounts for children and teens. Capital One 360 also offers a Kids Savings Account, with no fees or minimums, in which the child has his or her own login and adults can monitor the account as well.

The MONEY accounts for teens provide the teen with a debit card and the parents with the ability to manage the account.

Where do teens get their money?

It is FDIC insured. Your account is FDIC insured, ensuring that up to $250,000 is safe per account.

All for the best kind of fees: no fees … sort of

No monthly fees. Capital One 360 does not charge any monthly maintenance fees on its accounts.

Overdraft line of credit. Unlike traditional banks, 360 Checking does not charge a fee to use your overdraft, and there's no fee to sign up. If you use it, you will only pay interest on the amount you borrow.

Overnight delivery of a check. If you send payments via overnight courier, the cost is $20. First-class delivery is free if you can wait a couple of days.

Overnight delivery of a replacement card. If you request to have a replacement 360 Checking Card sent to you via overnight courier, the cost is $25.

There is no charge for standard delivery of a replacement card.

Rejected check. If a check is presented for payment and there aren't enough funds in your account, a $9 Rejected Check Charge will automatically be deducted from your 360 Checking account.

Stop payment. There is a $25 stop payment charge to stop the payment on a paper check.

If you've got the cash, then check out the 360 Money Market. This savings option provides 1.2% interest on accounts with balances of $10,000 or more and is fee-free and FDIC-insured.

Certificate of deposit (CD) boost your returns. For those looking to earn more interest than you would in a savings account, Capital One 360 offers CDs ranging from 6 months to 5 years with interest ranging from 0.4% to 2.3%.

You'll earn more interest, but if you need to pull your money out early, you'll pay a penalty.

Investment account to help put your savings to work. Capital One 360 offers investment accounts where you can invest for your future in a brokerage account or a retirement account.

Mortgages to help you afford big-ticket items. You can borrow money to finance the purchase of a car or house via Capital One 360.

What People Love About It

People love Capital One 360 because it's simple to use and there aren't any hidden fees

There are a few main things we love about Capital One.

The first—a miles rewards program that lives up to the company's "no hassles" tagline.

If you're a small business owner, Capital One's free business banking accounts is the perfect option for budding business owners or freelancers looking for an online bank.

And many customer reviews cite the ease of getting credit cards with the company as the one of the reasons they love the financial institution.

Biggest Complaints

The biggest consumer complaints about Capital One Bank center on its poor customer service

While many consumers said that they received adequate if not good assistance from Capital One 360 customer service representatives, several people said they had a hard time speaking with a live person.

Fraud issues. Several negative customer reviews centered on issues related to suspected fraud that resulted in Capital One 360 automatically freezing the customer's account without notice, and then making it difficult to get the account restored.

Top 10 banking fraud types

No beneficiaries. Some customers complained that Capital One 360 does not allow them to name beneficiaries for their accounts.

The History of Capital One

To start, you might want to know a bit about the company's history.

Capital One started as a monoline, which means that most of its business was consumer lending (i.e. credit cards).

But in 1999, Capital One wanted to go beyond the credit card, and expanded its offerings to include things like loans and insurance.

Headquarters

Currently, the bank operates 755 branches, including 10 cafe style branches, and approximately 2,000 ATMS.

Its corporate offices are located in Tysons Corner, Virginia and it's one of the of the nation's top 10 largest banks based on deposits.

While the company offers more than credit cards, the plastic still make up the majority of the bank's business.

What Capital One basically offers its customers

Capital One offers both personal and business credit cards, savings and checking accounts, investment products, mortgages, home equity loans, lines of credit, and auto loans.

We'll go through them each in this review, starting with, well, where it all started: credit cards.

Capital One has three main credit cards

Credit card services are the flagship operation and service for the bank.

They also offer personal banking

In addition to credit cards, the bank also offers traditional banking services. The credit cards by Capital One do a great job luring consumers in for additional banking services.

  • Savings: Capital One 360 offers personal, business, and kid-focused savings accounts.
  • Checking: There's a no-fee personal checking account and a teen-friendly checking account.
  • CDs: Choose from nine terms ranging from six to 60 months;
  • Mortgages: Capital One offers fixed and adjustable rate mortgages;
  • Investment accounts: The Capital One Investing platform lets you build diverse portfolios. You can also open an IRA to help yo meet your retirement savings goals.

Business banking

Capital One wouldn't be a multi-service lender if didn't offer business services, too.

The bank's simplicity can infuriate or impress its business customers, based on consumer reviews.

Capital One Bank calls many of their business products, Spark Business.

As a result, when you see Spark Credit Cards, you know you're looking at business credit cards offered by Capital One.

  • Savings: Capital One offers savings accounts with promotional interest rate guaranteed for the first 12 months.
  • Checking: Spark Business Checking comes with no limit on transactions, fees, or minimum balances. Nice.
  • Merchant Services: Accept payments anywhere with Spark pay.
  • Loans and Lines of Credit: Manage cash flow with working capital.
  • Credit Cards: Spark Business Miles and Spark Business Cash Back Rewards.
  • Spark 401(k): Where you can set up investment accounts for your employees.

Plus, commercial and other banking services

Though less known, Capital One Bank also offers commercial banking services.

  • Commercial Lending: Tax-credit, sponsor and equipment financing, as well as asset-backed and asset-based lending are available.
  • Loan Syndications: Capital One will structure and arrange syndicated bank loan transactions.
  • Capital Markets Services: Interest rate and commodity derivatives, foreign exchange services, institutional sales, and trading.
  • Corporate Card: Capital One has a commercial card program.

Capital One Credit Cards: An Overview

Plan your next venture with Capital One Venture

Capital One has two travel cards, one with an annual fee and one without.

The Capital One Venture card lets you earn unlimited 2x miles on every dollar for every purchase you make.

There's also a sign-on bonus—you'll earn 40,000 bonus miles if you spend $3,000 on purchases within the first three months.

It's free the first year, but has a $59 annual fee after that.

On the other hand, the Capital One VentureOne card has no annual fee and pays 1.25 miles per $1 spent.

You can also earn a bonus of 20,000 miles if you spend $1,000 on purchases within the first three months.

The VentureOne Rewards card offers a slightly lower regular APR and a 0% introductory APR on purchases.

Capital One goes the mile

You can redeem any miles earned with Capital One Venture and VentureOne cards for travel related expenses like airlines, hotels, cruise lines, and rental cars.

You can also book on any airline at any time (no blackout dates, advanced booking, nor expiration).

This is a simple card for people looking for rewards points without complication.

Expiration Dates of Major Airlines' Rewards Miles

Go simple with Quicksilver

There aren't many bells and whistles associated with understanding how the rewards of this card work.

You get 1.5% cash back on all purchases, so no matter whether you're buying a new flat screen, the bimonthly bag of dog food, or a latte on your way to work, the more you use it, the more cash you're going to get back.

You'll also get a $100 sign-on bonus if you spend $500 in the first three months. The card also offers a 0% introductory APR for the first 9 months.

The Quicksilver Rewards card also has cash back benefits for Uber riders. Cardholders who use the card to pay for fares get 20% of each fare back as a statement credit.

That's a great perk if you frequently use Uber's services.

Go Platinum … for a price

If you're still working on getting that FICO score above 700, the Capital One Platinum card may be appealing to you, as you'll likely be able to score a card with an average to low FICO score.

But, you've been warned, the APR is 24.99%, which is certainly higher than competitors we've reviewed.

If you're looking to build up your credit score, or you want to eventually transfer over to a different product, you may want to start here.

We wouldn't call this a platinum card in the way an American Express is a platinum card.

You're not getting the prestige, but if you're responsible with your card, you'll establish the building blocks to eventually land you that prestigious card.

This card is part of Capital One's Credit Steps program, which promises to increase your credit limit as long as you make your first five monthly payments on time.

Another feature that's worth mentioning is that this card doesn't carry a penalty APR, which is an excellent benefit if you're one of those people who might occasionally miss a payment.

Again, it's a good place to start your credit journey, or to rebuild after what may have been some bad credit decisions.

And, yes, even though the card is called "platinum," the benefits are anything but.

No loyalty program, no luxury benefits, no status symbol, just a good bridge card to help you start using credit cards responsibly.

Personal Banking: a 360-approach

There's no minimum balance needed to open a Capital One 360 savings account.

There's also no minimum balance to keep the account open, which is good to know in case you need to dip into your emergency funds.

All deposits are FDIC insured up to $250,000 per depositor.

It's important to remember that due to federal regulations, the 360 Savings and 360 Money Market each have a limit of six withdrawals per calendar month.

Withdrawals include transfers to your linked checking account or between other Capital One 360 accounts and external withdrawals.

So, for example, if you transfer money from one 360 Savings to another 360 Savings, 360 Money Market, 360 Checking, etc., it still counts as a withdrawal.

Keep in mind, the six withdrawal limit is per each 360 Savings account.

If you exceed the limit multiple times, your account may be closed.

Capital One 360 checking account

What's likely most appealing about Capital One 360 Checking is that it lets you tap more than 38,000 fee-free Allpoint ATMs and 2,000 Capital One ATMs.

But let's check out some of the other perks of picking Capital One:

  • No monthly fees: You won't get stuck with some sort of random "service charge."
  • Say bye to minimum balances: There's no minimum to open or earn interest. Rates are variable and ranges from 0.20% to 0.90% depending on your balance.
  • Pay your bills: And do it from your checking account for free. You can also set up eBills to receive electronic bills from participating merchants.
  • Go Person2Person: Send money free of charge to people who bank with Capital One 360 and elsewhere. Transfers to Capital One 360 accounts happen immediately. Transfers outside of the bank take up to two business days to authorize once the recipient approves it.
  • Deposit on your phone: Take photos of your checks from your mobile phone to make deposits. No standing in line or locating an ATM necessary.
  • No overdraft fees:This is a big one. Instead of a fee they offer an Overdraft Line of Credit.

Capital One auto and home equity loans and mortgages

When you're making a big purchase, it's important to find a lender you can trust.

Capital One Bank offers: Auto financing, mortgage loans, and home equity loans.

Capital One auto financing

Capital One auto loan rates start at 2.49% with no origination fee and financing up to $40,000. Capital One also offers online pre approval.

You'll need proof of your residence, phone number, Social Security number, and email address, as well as employment and income information.

After you are pre-approved, you can take your offer to any one of 12,000 dealers and shop for new or used cars.

You can also check out cars you want on Capital One's site and see the specific amount you are approved to finance for that specific vehicle.

Capital One does not finance purchases from auto brokers or private parties.

Cars financed through Capital One must be nine years old or newer and have less than 100,000 miles.

The bank also does not finance recreational or commercial vehicles like limousines, motorhomes, ATVs, or boats. Capital One requires a loan-to-value ratio of 90% or less for new vehicles, so you may be required to make a down payment on your new auto purchase.

Capital One mortgages

Capital One offers purchase and refinance options.

You can expect all your traditional mortgage products here, 15- and 30-year fixed rates, 5/1 and 7/1 adjustable-rate mortgages, or ARMs, and FHA Loans (in Connecticut, Delaware, Louisiana, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Texas and Virginia and Washington, D.C.).

Capital One Bank doesn't offer Veterans Affairs loans or U.S. Department of Agriculture loans.

Applicants can expect their credit score, history, income and down payment to be evaluated as part of the approval process.

Capital One prides itself on customer service, but it's important to note that customer reviews on mortgages are mostly negative.

Capital One home equity loans

Capital One offers both home equity loans and home equity lines of credit (HELOCs).

Home equity loans are typically useful for when you need money for a large purchase like a student loan or major home renovation.

It's considered a second mortgage, so your interest may be tax deductible.

The minimum loan amount is $10,000 and is repaid as a fixed-rate loan.

A HELOC is a line of credit secured by the equity in your home.

Interest rates are lower than a home equity loan, and there's a small discount for borrowers who have payments withdrawn from a Capital One bank account.

And while a home equity loan may seem appealing, the reviews tell a different story. The common theme with both home equity loans and mortgages: stay away!

Capital One business products and services

A bright spot in Capital One's product offerings?

Business banking.

Capital One Bank offers banking, loan, and credit card services for businesses, as well as other services like the ability to accept credit card payments, wires, and remote deposit.

Capital One Spark Business credit card: a card that gets down to business

In additional to personal cards, Capital One also offers the Spark card for business owners.

The card lets you earn cash back for all purchases made for your company.

There's a sign-on bonus of $500 if you spend $4,500 on purchases within the first three months. There's no annual fee the first year ($59 per year after that).

And if you make a lot of purchases overseas, you'll be happy to know that there are foreign transaction fees.

How to Get Started with Capital One Bank

Getting set up with Capital One is relatively simple if you're looking for personal banking or credit cards or an auto loan.

But if you're looking for looking for a mortgage or investment options, it's likely you'll have to head to a Capital One branch location to get started in person.

Get set up with Capital One personal banking

Again, you don't have to head into a Capital One location to open a Capital One account.

You can open both a savings and a checking account online.

You can also add people to your Capital One accounts online, taking the hassle away from having to go into a branch to add people to help you manage your account.

This is a nice feature for married couples or parents. Just follow these four easy steps:

  1. Sign in to capitalone360.com
  2. Click on your 360 Checking
  3. Go to the ‘Account Details' tab
  4. Next to ‘Secondary Account Holder', click ‘Add' and follow the steps

FAQ

  • What is Capital One's BBB rating?

    Capital One has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau.

    That's because the BBB is looking for more than just customer complaints (there are more than 4,000 on the site).

  • Which credit bureaus does Capital One report to?

    Capital One reports to all three major credit bureaus—Equifax, Experian, and Transunion.

    If your accounts are in good standing, you may be eligible for a credit line increase.

    To request an upgrade or credit increase, contact a customer service representative.

    Your credit limit is determined by your credit score, so be sure to make sure you're in good standing before applying for a card or requesting an upgrade

  • Is there an account maintenance fee or a transaction fee that is applied on my account?

    An $8.95 monthly fee may be applied if your average daily balance is below $300.

  • Can you get foreign currency at a Capital One?

    You can't. But Capital One waives exchange fees when you use your card abroad.

  • Can you transfer money from Capital One to another bank?v

    Yes, you can transfer money from Capital One to another bank.

  • How is my credit limit determined?

    There are two main factors most lenders review when they determine your credit limit: your credit score and income level.

    When you apply for a Capital One card, the lender will review your credit score and income level to determine a credit limit that it deems you can afford.

  • How can I request a credit upgrade?

    To request an upgrade, call Capital One customer service, who can then review your account to see if you are eligible.

    Capital One has a list of a few things to keep in mind before requesting an increase.

  • How much can you overdraft with Capital One?

    Capital One uses its discretion when deciding when or how often to overdraft in a Capital One Account.

    Capital One will charge you a fee of up to $35 each time they pay an overdraft.

    They don't charge more than four fees per day for overdrawing your account.

  • How to add someone to my Capital One account?

    You can add users to your Capital One accounts online, taking the hassle away from having to go into a branch.

    1. Sign in to capitalone360.com
    2. Click on your 360 Checking
    3. Go to the ‘Account Details' tab
    4. Next to ‘Secondary Account Holder', click ‘Add' and follow the steps
  • Can I withdraw money if I am abroad?

    Yes, you can withdraw money or use your card anywhere you see the MasterCard logo.

    If you have any questions or problems when you're traveling you can give Capital One a call at its collect international number 302-658-9593.

    If you use your Card for a foreign transaction (any transaction made in a foreign currency or that MasterCard classifies as a cross-border transaction), Capital One won't charge you anything.

  • Is Capital One insured by the FDIC?

    Deposits are insured by the FDIC for up to $250,000 per depositor.

    A single account is insured up to $250,000.

    Joint accounts are 50/50 ownership and insured up to $250,000 for each individual on the account, equaling $500,000 in total.

    IRA deposits at Capital One 360 are FDIC insured up to $250,000 per depositor.

  • Is my account insured against fraud or theft?

    You're covered by $0 Fraud Liability if your card is ever lost or stolen.

  • What is the charge on online transfers from my account to other accounts?

    There is so fee to transfer funds between your Capital One Accounts.

    You may be charged a $30 wire transfer fee to transfer to other accounts outside of Capital One.

    You may only transfer funds out of your account(s) up to six times per monthly statement cycle using any combination of our electronic fund transfer services; no more than three of these transfers may be made by debit card.

    These transfer limitations are imposed to comply with federal law.

  • How can I sign up for overdraft protection and what does it cost?

    Capital One overdraft protection is free and automatically is set up when you open an account.

    Capital One will charge you a fee of up to $35 each time they pay an overdraft.

    It doesn't charge more than four fees per day for overdrawing your account.

Ready to take the leap into online banking?

With Capital One Bank, you'll be rewarded with extra flexibility and above-average interest rates on your savings and checking accounts.

While you can chase an even higher interest rate, Capital One 360 gets the job done and offers the convenience of no monthly maintenance fees or minimum balance requirements (plus, that overdraft protection perk is sweet too!)

And depending on the time of year and offer available, you may even get a signup bonus when you open your account.

Do you use Capital One?

How has the company worked out for you?

Any great tips (or nightmares) to share with the rest of us?

Let us know in the comments below.

Learn More About Banking

Learn More About Banking

  • Get help navigating complicated consumer finance issues
  • Increase your credit level
  • Accomplish your financial goals

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