Capital One Bank Review: No-Fee, High-Yield Accounts From One of Largest Credit Card Issuers

GOBankingRates Score

Capital One
4.9
SCORE
GOBankingRates Best Banks 2023 scores and rankings are objectively determined by our research/editorial team. Our scoring formula weighs several factors that differ from category to category depending on what consumers want from varying products and banks.
Quick Take: You may be familiar with Capital One's popular cash-back and travel rewards credit cards. However, Capital One has also taken advantage of its strong financial position to offer online checking, savings and CD accounts with no monthly service charges or minimum balance requirements to worry about. Plus, you don't have to be a cardholder to sign up.
  • Checking Accounts
    4.9
  • Savings Accounts
    5.0
  • CD Accounts
    4.7
  • Banking Experience
    4.8
How did we calculate this?

Pros

  • No monthly service fees
  • No minimum balances
  • Higher-than-average interest rates
  • Over 70,000 surcharge-free ATMs
  • Capital One Cafés and branches 

Cons

  • Money market accounts not available 
  • Limited to one or two options per bank account category 

Capital One Bank Overview

Capital One Bank is a fairly young bank. Despite its relatively recent addition, the bank is the sixth-largest bank in consumer deposits. Established in 1994 as the banking offshoot of the card issuer Capital One Financial Corp., the banking division aims to offer a full-service financial experience complete with physical branches, a strong digital presence and services that go beyond basic bank accounts.

Besides the main accounts featured in this review, you can access car loans, credit cards and business banking. Capital One Bank is primarily an online bank. It has branches and Capital One Cafés nationwide but not as many branches as some of the other big banks.

Capital One Bank is the overall winner of the latest GOBankingRates Best Banks study. Some of its accounts also ranked among the best for their categories — including its checking, savings and CD accounts.

Key Features

There are four main features that set Capital One Bank apart from the competition. Take a closer look at the factors that resulted in the bank’s GOBankingRates score of 4.9 out of 5.

Checking Accounts

There are two checking accounts to choose from: MONEY checking for kids and teens ages 8 and up and 360 Checking for adults. Both accounts earn APY on balances. The account has enough features to provide a flexible banking experience — you can schedule online bill payments or write checks. Use the mobile app to deposit checks; or, if you’re located near an ATM or branch, you can make deposits in person.

Capital One’s checking accounts don’t have monthly service fees, account minimums or overdraft fees. The first 50 checks ordered are free and there are over 70,000 surcharge-free ATMs available.

The low-cost nature of Capital One’s structure is the primary reason the 360 account ranks high in the latest GOBankingRates Best Checking Accounts category.

Savings Accounts

As with the checking account, Capital One offers two online savings accounts — one for adults, known as 360 Performance Savings, and one for kids. Capital One’s 360 Performance Savings is the winner in GOBankingRates’ Best Savings Accounts category for its competitive interest rate, no monthly fees and no minimum deposit requirements.

There are no tiers required to meet to access the higher yield of APY — all balances can earn the APY. The biggest challenge with a Capital One savings account is making withdrawals. A debit card is not available, restricting ATM withdrawals. You can always transfer funds to an existing Capital One account or to another bank. Making a withdrawal at a branch or Café is also possible, as long as you keep in mind that there is a limit of six withdrawals or transfers per month due to federal regulations.

CD Accounts

If you have a balance you don’t need for some time, a certificate of deposit from Capital One guarantees a higher interest rate for the term you choose. It’s one of the Best CD Accounts listed by GOBankingRates in 2023. There are several term commitments to choose from, between six and 60 months. Rates vary between and APY.

Keep in mind that a CD locks your funds in for the term. Withdrawing part or all of the balance comes with penalties. Capital One’s CD is most lucrative if you can commit for at least 24 months to earn or more. Otherwise, you can earn from the 360 Performance Savings account without having to worry about early-withdrawal penalties.

Editor’s Favorite

Regardless of whether you’re just getting started with banking or need a robust checking account with many features, the 360 checking account is best in class. You’ll earn 0.10% interest and avoid fees that can eat away at your balance. In-network ATM withdrawals, overdrafts and monthly service are all free.

Banking Experience

Capital One is primarily an online bank with the perk of branches in select areas. To get the most out of the bank, it’s important to get familiar with the digital side of banking and complement it by accessing the 72,000+ free ATMs available.

Besides the available branches and Cafés, you can reach customer service seven days a week between 8 a.m. and 11p.m. EST at 800-655-BANK (2265).

The Capital One app is one of the most functional mobile banking apps around. Mobile check deposits, goal setting, account management, bill payments and more are possible. The app has over 1.3 million reviews and a near-perfect score of 4.9 out of 5 stars from Google Play users. Nearly five million iOS users give the app a 4.6 out of 5.

You can also handle your banking needs by using the online platform. It’s user-friendly and provides plenty of tutorials and resources to help you learn more about personal finance.

How To Open an Account

To open an account, choose the account type and click on the open an account box. You’ll need two forms of ID, such as a driver’s license and Social Security number, and proof of address. To fund the account, provide an existing account and routing number. The process should take about five minutes to complete.

Fees

Capital One’s fees are nearly nonexistent. Some of the few fees you may be charged include:

Type Amount
In-branch cashier’s check $10
Shipped cashier’s check (expedited delivery) $20
Outgoing wire transfer $30
First 50 checks are free; thereafter, a charge applies $7

Capital One vs. Competitors

It’s always good to do research on several banks before you choose one. Here is how Capital One compares to similar financial institutions.

Bank Best For
Capital One No fees or account minimums
Chase Brick and mortar branches nationwide
Discover Money market accounts
Ally Full-service online banking with options

Capital One vs. Chase

Capital One’s interest rates on deposits are significantly higher than Chase’s which are currently 0.01% to 0.02%. However, if you make regular cash deposits or need a bank with a local presence, Chase Bank has more than 4,700 branches nationwide for a wider personal reach.

Capital One vs. Discover

Both banks have origins in offering popular credit cards. However, in addition to checking and savings accounts, Discover Bank offers money market accounts that Capital One does not offer at this time. Discover’s money market does not have any monthly fees and earns an APY of to , based on your balance.

Capital One vs. Ally

Although both banks have an online focus and provide high yields, Ally Bank has more options for a truly full-service experience. You can have your pick of checking, savings, money market and CD accounts, as well as retirement accounts, loans and home mortgages with Ally.

Final Take

Capital One is a great alternative to the brick-and-mortar bank. The mostly online institution provides interest-bearing accounts with no fees or minimum requirements. The mobile app is extremely user-friendly, making it possible to handle most of your needs online. 

Although Capital One does have some branches nationwide, it does not have as many as some of the other largest banks, such as Chase. It’s hard to tell whether Capital One will ever be an online bank with a wide network of branches, but it works well in its current form thanks to the 72,000 surcharge-free ATMs and strong digital presence.

Overall, Capital One Bank is best for people who are looking for minimal fees and good rates and who are also comfortable conducting their banking business online because physical branches are limited.

Capital One FAQ

Here are the answers to some commonly asked questions about Capital One.
  • What's the difference between Capital One and Capital One 360?
    • Capital One is the corporate name and can refer to the banking or credit card division. Capital One 360 is the bank's brand name for its accounts.
  • Can I withdraw money from my Capital One 360 Performance Savings?
    • Capital One's savings account does not come with a debit card. You can transfer the funds to a Capital One checking account or to another bank and withdraw the funds.
  • How long does it take for a check to clear at Capital One?
    • Checks deposited into a 360 checking account are usually available the next business day. Deposits into a savings account are held for as long as four business days before they're available.
  • When is my direct deposit available in my Capital One account? 
    • Capital One's Early Paycheck program means you'll get your direct deposit up to two days earlier into your 360 checking account.
  • Is Capital One a good bank?
    • Capital One is a good bank if you are comfortable conducting your banking business online because physical branches are limited.
  • Is it safe to bank with Capital One?
    • Yes, Capital One Bank is a member of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. That guarantees insurance up to $250,000 for each account held.
  • What are the cons of Capital One?
    • Capital One might not have all of the account options, loans and services you desire. For instance, it has limited account types and only a couple of choices in each category. It also doesn't offer mortgage loans. Additionally, if you prefer to bank in person, there might not be a Capital One branch near you.
  • Which bank is best -- Capital One or Chase?
    • If you want to bank in person, it will be much easier if you bank at Chase, which has over 4,700 locations. If you want higher interest rates, Capital One is the better bank.

Cynthia Measom contributed to the reporting for this article.

To discover the Top Banks, GOBankingRates looked at the top national institutions (excluding credit unions) with over $100 billion in total assets. To determine rankings, GOBankingRates looked at the following factors: (1) checking product minimum deposit; (2) monthly checking fee ratio (percentage based on the minimum to avoid the fee compared to the monthly fee itself); (3) savings product minimum deposit; (4) savings product APY; (5) Bauer rating (out of 5 stars); (6) products/services offered (auto loans, mortgage loans, credit cards, investment services and insurance); and (7) the average mobile app rating between the Android and Apple app stores. All factors were then scored and combined, with the lowest score being best. Factors (1) and (3) were weighted 0.5 times, factor (4) was weighted 2.5 times, and factor (6) was weighted 1.5 times.

To determine rankings for the Best Savings Accounts, GOBankingRates looked at the following factors from all banks (excluding online, neobanks and credit unions): (1) total assets as sourced from the FDIC; (2) number of branch locations as sourced from the FDIC; (3) minimum deposit to open an account; (4) monthly savings fee ratio (percentage based on the minimum to avoid the fee compared to the monthly fee itself); (5) minimum balance needed in account to earn APY; (6) savings APY; and (7) the average mobile app rating between the Android and Apple app stores. All factors were then scored and combined, with the lowest score being best. Factors (1) and (2) were weighted 0.5 times, factor (4) was weighed 1.5 times and factor (6) was weighted 3 times.

To determine rankings for the Best Checking Accounts, GOBankingRates looked at the following factors from all banks (excluding credit unions): (1) total assets as sourced from the FDIC; (2) number of branch locations as sourced from the FDIC; (3) minimum deposit to open an account; (4) monthly checking fee ratio (percentage based on the minimum to avoid the fee compared to the monthly fee itself); (5) APY on the checking account; (6) overdraft fee amount; and (7) the average mobile app rating between the Android and Apple app stores. All factors were then scored and combined, with the lowest score being best. Factors (1), (2 and (5) were weighted 0.5 times, and factor (4) was weighted 1.5 times. 

To determine rankings for the Best CD Accounts, GOBankingRates looked at the following factors from all banks (excluding credit unions): (1) total assets as sourced from the FDIC; (2) number of branch locations as sourced from the FDIC; (3) minimum deposit to open an account; (4) 12-month CD APY; (5) 60-month CD APY; and (6) the average mobile app rating between the Android and Apple app stores. All factors were then scored and combined, with the lowest score being best. Factors (1) and (2) were weighted 0.5 times, factor (3) was weighted 2 times, and factors (4) and (5) were weighted 4 times.

Rates are subject to change; unless otherwise noted, rates are updated periodically. All other information on accounts is accurate as of Dec. 6, 2022.

Editorial Note: This content is not provided by any entity covered in this article. Any opinions, analyses, reviews, ratings or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author alone and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any entity named in this article.

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About the Author

Cynthia Paez Bowman is a personal finance writer with degrees from American University in international business and journalism. Besides writing about personal finance, she writes about real estate, interior design and architecture. Her work has been featured in MSN, Brex, Freshome, MyMove, Emirates’ Open Skies magazine and more.
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