Opening a bank account shouldn’t be difficult. You find a bank that pays the highest interest you can find on a savings account and a checking account without fees.
Fill out an application online or on a mobile app, or walk into a bank, and you can open an account quickly.
Shopping for the best bank accounts can take time, and we’ve narrowed that search for you with details on how checking and savings accounts work at Capital One, which is the eighth-largest bank in the United States based on assets and deposits. And, of course, it offers a range of credit cards.
Capital One Bank is part of Capital One Financial Corp., which was started in 1988. It is headquartered in McLean, VA, and has more than 900 bank branches in Washington, D.C., and the states of Connecticut, Delaware, Louisiana, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Texas, and Virginia.
It also has a mobile app and website that customers can do banking on from anywhere in the U.S. Customers can use more than 40,000 Capital One and Allpoint ATMs. The company also has 34 Capital One Cafes in the U.S. to do in-person banking.
How to open an account at Capital One?
If there isn’t a Capital One bank or cafe near you, an account can easily be opened online on a computer or on the Capital One Financial mobile app. From the company’s home page, click on “Checking & Savings” in the top left area and you’ll see a list of types of savings and checking accounts it offers.
We’re only reviewing savings and checking accounts, but the drop-down list also includes certificates of deposits, or CDs, for savings, and IRA accounts for retirement.
Once you’re on the account you’re interested in, you can read about it and can open an account by clicking the green “Open Account” button that glides along the top of the page as you scroll.
The online paperwork takes about five minutes to fill out. A customer service phone number is also available if you need help.
The process is pretty straightforward. It asks for your personal information, income and job title, among other things, and ends with you funding the account.
Capital One savings accounts
Capital One offers two types of savings accounts. They’re pretty simple. One is for children, and the other for adults. Both pay interest, have no fees or minimum balance requirement, and both are insured by the FDIC.
360 Performance Savings
The Capital One 360 Performance Savings account pays what the company says is five times the national average savings rate on any balance, currently paying 0.40% annual percentage yield, or APR.
We’ll get to all of the features of the account soon, but the most important feature to remember after the high APY on this savings account is that it charges no monthly fees and there are no minimums to open or maintain the account.
Withdrawing from the savings account can take a little forethought. Money can be withdrawn online or at a branch, but not at an ATM. To withdraw money from an ATM, the money will first have to be transferred from the savings account to a checking account. Only six withdrawals or transfers are allowed a month, or you’ll incur a fee.
Making deposits is easy. It can be done from your computer, mobile phone, or by calling Capital One. Automatic savings can be used to transfer money from another Capital One account or external bank account, or you can visit a Capital One location near you.
The checking account you use to make your first deposit will automatically link to your savings account. You can transfer money between the two accounts and set up what it calls an Automatic Savings Plan.
Kids Savings Account
The Kids Savings Account pays 0.30% APY on balances. It doesn't charge monthly or maintenance fees or have minimum balance requirements.
Children can set up an Automatic Savings Plan to send their allowance to the account regularly. If they want to save money for a bike or other savings goal, they can do it with this online bank account and watch their money grow in separate accounts for each savings goal.
Multiple accounts can be linked to your children’s savings accounts, so you can deposit money to their account after they do their chores, for example.
The Kids Savings Account can be opened in the child’s name only, or in the parent’s name and the child’s name. When the child turns 18, the account is automatically turned into a 360 Savings account.
Kids can sign in to their savings account and check their balances online. An adult must sign in with their own username and password to transfer money in or out of the account.
While not allowed to transfer money, kids can deposit money to their account just as an adult would. They can make deposits through the mobile app by uploading a picture of a check from their phone or computer or can put a check in an envelope and mail it to the bank.
Capital One checking accounts
Capital One Financial offers two types of checking accounts: one for adults and the other for teenagers.
360 Checking Account
The Capital One 360 Checking Account is for adults. It offers online banking 24 hours a day, seven days a week, with no fees to open, keep or use an account, and more than 40,000 fee-free ATMs.
Free online access allows you to do what you’d expect to use a checking account for. You can pay bills, get cash, make deposits, and transfer money. Bills can be paid online or you can send cash with Zelle.
We’ll detail the costs of this account soon, but the basic feature to know about is that Capital One doesn’t charge monthly or maintenance fees on the account.
The account is insured by the FDIC and Capital One provides fraud coverage. A debit card tied to the account can be switched to “off” mode online or in the mobile app if you think someone has stolen your card or you’ve lost it.
The checking account pays interest but is tiered to balance thresholds. As of Jan. 12, 2021, the APY is 0.10% on balances of less than $50,000. It then goes up by 0.10% more for a balance between $50,000 and $99,999.99, and up another 0.10% for balances of $100,000 or more.
MONEY Teen Checking Account
The MONEY teen checking account is a joint checking account that parents and teens have their own mobile app logins for getting into the account. Teens can manage their money, and parents have visibility and control.
Teens can learn how to make money decisions, such as by depositing their allowance, birthday, and graduation money into the account to save for a car or other goal. Parents can put an allowance on autopay, track account activities, and unlock their child’s debit card.
A checking account, and the debit card that comes with it, may be the best way for teens to learn about money. While the account is meant for teens, any child 8 and older can be a joint account holder with their parent or legal guardian.
Once they’re 18, the teen can choose to open a 360 Checking account and transfer their balance from their MONEY account. If not, their MONEY account will remain open.
The MONEY checking account has no monthly service fees or balance requirements. It pays 0.10% APY interest.
How much do the Capital One bank accounts cost?
This may be the best part of all of Capital One’s accounts. They’re free. That means:
No monthly or maintenance fees
No minimum balance requirements
Its savings accounts pay 0.30% APY in an account for kids, and 0.40% APY for adults in the 360 Performance Savings account for adults.
Capital One 360 Checking
The Capital One 360 Checking account has no fees to open, keep or use, including no foreign transaction fees.
However, some extra services you may want or need may require paying fees. These can include:
Overnight check delivery
Replacement debit card
Stop payment request
Overdraft charges are usually avoided because Capital One generally declines all transactions that would take an account into overdraft. If the bank does pay for an overdraft transaction, customers will have a full business day to replace the amount that has been overdrawn before being charged a $35 fee. An automatic transfer from your savings account to cover overdrafts can also be set up.
MONEY Teen Checking
This account for children 8 and older has no monthly service fees or balance requirements.
There are also no foreign transaction fees, and transferring money from internal or external accounts is free.
Capital One bank account features
Many features overlap at Capital One accounts, but here’s a breakdown of some of the best features for each type of account:
360 Performance Savings features
The top feature of this savings account for adults is the 0.40% APY interest it pays on balances. That’s five times the national average rate, according to Capital One.
The account has no fees or minimum balance requirements. Deposits are insured by the FDIC.
The account can be accessed through a mobile app to do such things as:
Transfer money between linked accounts at Capital One or elsewhere
Set automatic savings plans with automatic transfers
Track savings goals
Kids Savings Account features
This savings account for children pays 0.30% APY on balances. It has no fees or account minimums.
Parents can open this type of savings account for their children as a way to teach them about money. They can automatically have a child’s allowance deposited into the account, and kids can set savings goals and watch their money grow. Their accounts are insured by the FDIC.
Each account is a joint account, meaning a parent must open it for them. Only a parent can withdraw money from the account, which can only be done by transferring to a checking account. Money can be withdrawn from a savings account at an ATM.
360 Checking Account features
Capital One has 2,000 ATMs of its own, along with about 40,000 ATMs in the Allpoint network in stores across the country such as Target, Safeway, CVS, and Walgreens. The bank’s ATMs and those in the Allpoint network are free to use. Capital One won’t charge a fee for using an out-of-network ATM, though the originating bank may charge one.
If you can’t make it to one of its ATMs or to one of its branches, this free checking account has a mobile app to transfer money, deposit checks remotely, and provides real-time alerts on checking account spending.
Bills can be paid through the mobile app. To pay someone in cash, the Capital One mobile app allows money to be sent securely with Zelle.
MONEY Teen Checking features
With no minimum balance requirements, no monthly fees, and 0.10% APY interest paid on balances, the MONEY teen checking account at Capital One is an easy way to help your children learn how money works.
It comes with a free debit card that parents can lock and unlock on the mobile app. Kids can use their card to withdraw their money from more than 40,000 ATMs that Capital One has nationwide, all for free.
The teen and parent will each have their own login to the mobile app. Parents can transfer money to the account and track activities, and teens can set and fund savings goals on the mobile app.
Who are Capital One bank accounts best for?
From age 8 through their teenage years, kids can learn about savings and spending with the Kids Savings Account and MONEY teen checking account at Capital One. Both pay interest on balances, and neither have monthly account fees.
The MONEY teen checking account has a free debit card that teens can use at ATMs to withdraw money, giving them freedom and responsibility with their money.
Parents can help their children learn about money through the savings and checking accounts offered by Capital One that are tailored to children.
Parents can transfer money into and out of the accounts. In the MONEY teen checking account, they can use the mobile app to monitor activity on the account and can lock the child’s debit card.
Either account can help children learn the importance of compounding interest and saving for long-term goals. They can set savings goals and watch their money grow in their online accounts.
The Capital One 360 Performance Savings account pays 0.40% APY, which the bank says is five times the national average.
Looking for free checking
Capital One’s checking accounts don’t have monthly maintenance fees, so they’re free to use for most people. However, if you require extra services, you’ll probably be charged fees for them.
The checking accounts also don’t have minimum account balance requirements, meaning you can drop your balance to a penny and you won’t be charged a fee.
Who shouldn’t use Capital One bank accounts?
Residents of states without branches
You may be happy doing your banking completely online, either on a computer or mobile app. Or maybe just visiting ATMs or calling customer service on the phone is all of the contact you’ll need.
But if you want to visit a Capital One bank to talk to someone in person, you’ll have to be in a state where it has physical offices. Capital One Financial is headquartered in McLean, VA, and has more than 900 bank branches in Washington, D.C., and the states of Connecticut, Delaware, Louisiana, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Texas, and Virginia.
You withdraw money often from savings
Money in the high-yield savings accounts at Capital One can’t be withdrawn at an ATM. It can only be withdrawn online or at a branch.
To withdraw from an ATM, money from the savings account must first be transferred to a checking account. Federal law limits customers to six “convenient” withdrawals or transfers per month before a fee may be charged.
Pros and cons
Your banking needs may differ from someone else’s, but the Capital One checking and savings accounts offer basic services that make them easy to compare to other banks. Here’s a look at some of the pros and cons of what it offers.
No fees. We’ve mentioned this again and again, but it’s a big reason to open an account at Capital One: No fees. It doesn’t charge monthly maintenance fees or any other fees to open, keep or use an account. You’ll be charged for extra services, such as ordering a stop payment on a paper check, getting a cashier’s check at a Capital One location, or getting a statement copy, among other things. But you won’t be charged any fees to keep your account open. Overdraft charges can accrue, though Capital One gives customers a few chances to avoid them before a fee is imposed.
Lots of ATMs, branches. Capital One has 900 bank branches in Washington, D.C., and eight states. Throughout the country, it has more than 40,000 Capital One and Allpoint ATMs.
No minimum balances or deposit requirements. Capital One doesn’t require minimum deposits to open checking or savings accounts, though you’ll be asked to fund at least one penny within 60 days of opening an account. Once your account is open, it doesn’t require keeping a minimum balance.
Overdraft protection. Capital One’s checking account helps customers avoid overdraft charges by generally declining transactions that would put an account into a negative balance. When it does pay for an overdraft transaction, customers have one business day to deposit money to cover it before being charged a $35 fee. Account holders can avoid overdrafts by setting up automatic transfers from a linked savings account.
Branches in only 8 states. If you want to visit a physical bank office, Capital One only has them in eight states, and in Washington, D.C. Otherwise, you’ll have to do your banking online, over the phone or at an ATM.
No withdrawals from savings at ATMs. The savings accounts that Capital One offers don’t allow withdrawals directly from ATMs. To do that, customers must first transfer money from their savings account to their checking account at Capital One. They can all pull money out of their savings account at a bank branch or online. Either way, only six withdrawals or transfers are allowed each month, or a fee will be charged.
Few account options. Capital One only offers two types of checking accounts and two types of savings accounts. Children can have an account, and so can adults. That makes it simple, which can be good, but for customers with more advanced needs, they may want to bank elsewhere.
Capital One vs. competitors
It can pay to shop for banking services, as seen when comparing Capital One to two other large banks, Bank of America and Chase.
Bank of America
Capital One vs Bank of America
Capital One has much fewer physical bank branches than Bank of America, making it harder to find in-person services.
However, Capital One has zero fees for opening and maintaining an account, so you may be happy to bank online or use its ATMs. Bank of America charges a $12 monthly maintenance fee for its checking account, but that can be waived by meeting one of three simple requirements, such as having direct deposit of $250 each month.
Capital One pays a much higher interest rate on savings accounts: currently, 0.30% APY on its savings account for kids, and 0.40% APY on the regular savings account for adults. It also pays a relatively high-interest rate on its checking accounts, at 0.10% APY.
Capital One doesn’t charge any fees for keeping a checking account open, but don’t let Chase’s $12 monthly fee for its Chase Total Checking account fool you. That can be waived by having monthly direct deposits of $500 or more, among other options. Chase pays new customers $200 to open an account with direct deposit, which might be all the incentive you need to bank at Chase.
Chase also has many more branches, 4,900 vs 900, so finding a bank office is a lot easier at Chase.
Where Capital One beats Chase is in the interest rates it pays on account balances. That’s a rarity in today’s low-interest rate environment.
Yes, with the help of a parent or guardian, a savings or checking account can be opened for a child. The MONEY teen checking account is for ages 8 and older. Children get a debit card that they can use to withdraw money from an ATM, and parents can see on the mobile app what their child is spending money on if they use the debit card to make purchases. The Kids Savings Account pays 0.30% APY and has no fees, so kids can watch their money grow without worrying about maintenance fees if they have a low balance. Kids can set savings goals online and watch how compounded interest helps them grow. Parents can link their bank accounts to either of these accounts for children, such as to pay their allowance or transfer birthday money.
Can I find better interest rates on savings?
Online-only financial institutions usually pay higher interest on savings accounts than traditional banks. They have lower overhead costs and can make money elsewhere. Chime, for example, pays 0.50% APY on its savings account. But the 0.40% APY that Capital One pays on its 360 Performance Savings account is very good when compared to what other banks with brick-and-mortar branches pay. It also offers many online features, so most of your banking should be able to be done online. You can find higher savings account interest rates elsewhere, but it’s unlikely you’ll find one at a bank with physical branches. If that doesn’t bother you, then maybe an online-only bank is worth checking out.
The bottom line
Daily life often requires having a checking account. A savings account is a good idea too if you want to save for a future expense or have an emergency fund.
Capital One offers both without any fees to open or maintain either account. It also pays interest on checking and savings accounts that are higher than what traditional banks offer. Both of these benefits allow you to get the most out of your money without worrying about fees or seeing your money sit in an account without earning any interest.
Capital One also has plenty of ATMs and mobile banking options so that you can get money on the road or pay your bills from anywhere. It doesn’t have bank branches in every state, so you may need to become comfortable with online banking.
Overall, Capital One’s checking and savings accounts are worth trying for the simple fact that they’re free. That’s not something you hear often from banks.
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