Capital One Bank Review: A Hybrid Banking Experience

By | 09/21/2018
While Capital One 360 is a good option for those used to managing money online, people who prioritize in-person banking may be disappointed by its limited brick-and-mortar services.

Good for

  • Online accounts with limited branch access
  • Traditional accounts with low monthly fees
  • Relatively affordable overdraft policies

Bad for

  • Limited availability of branch locations
  • Lower interest rates compared to other online options
  • No international wire transfers with Capital One 360

Capital One is an average choice for brick-and-mortar banking, but the best value at this bank is found in its Capital One 360 online accounts. Capital One’s higher interest rates and fewer account fees makes it a strong candidate for your online banking, even compared to competitors who focus exclusively in that area.

Review: Should You Open a Capital One Account?

While Capital One 360 is a good option for people used to managing their money online, those who prioritize in-person banking may be disappointed by the limited availability of Capital One’s physical banks and traditional accounts.

map of Capital One branches in the US, by county

If you do have Capital One branches nearby, Capital One’s traditional products are clearly stronger options than comparable accounts at larger banks such as Bank of America. For instance, Capital One Essential Savings requires no minimum to open or to earn interest, yet earns at least 0.10% APY —ten times the rate on standard savings accounts at Bank of America, Chase and Wells Fargo. Granted, 0.10% isn’t exactly a staggering figure, but those who really want better rates would have more success looking at online options.

Though there are quite a few online banks that beat Capital One’s rates, the availability of brick-and-mortar service to supplement your online access may tip the scales for a lot of people. The bank’s rates don’t fall terribly far behind, either: Capital One 360 Savings, the bank’s online savings product, yields 0.75% on all balances. When paired with Capital One 360 Checking, which earns 0.20% APY on its own, the bank’s online savings option becomes a more comprehensive bank package with respectable yields.

Finally, Capital One 360’s overdraft protection policy is much more consumer-friendly than the typical bank. Customers can opt into free transfers from an overdraft line of credit, which charges interest on the amount you overdraw. The current rate of 11.50% APR means that every day, you pay about 3 cents for every $100 of negative balance. Compared to the typical up-front charge of $35 at other banks, Capital One’s overdraft policy is basically free; however, you won’t have the line of credit option with the bank’s traditional accounts, like Capital One Essential Checking.

Capital One 360 Review

Although Capital One 360’s rates are fairly average among online accounts, people with lower balances will appreciate the fact that most Capital One 360 accounts don’t require any minimum amount to open or to qualify for interest.

one of these accounts charge a monthly fee, making Capital One 360 one of the most cost-efficient banking options available. While most other banks do provide ways to waive or cancel monthly fees by meeting certain balance levels or making enough transactions, customers at Capital One won’t have to worry about fulfilling any conditions to keep their accounts free. This also has the benefit of maximizing your interest, since your balance is protected from any recurring deductions from maintenance.

Capital One 360 Checking and the student-oriented Capital One 360 MONEY accounts are supported by a variety of service options not typical of online banks. Even though these are online accounts, account-holders can still visit Capital One branches to make cash deposits and receive a limited amount of in-person service. This choice of brick-and-mortar service is only available to people living in certain areas, but Capital One’s partnership with the Allpoint network of 55,000 machines ensures that you’ll likely have access to free ATMs wherever you go.

Other Capital One Accounts

For people who prefer having a more concrete, personal experience with their bank, Capital One provides traditional brick-and-mortar accounts slightly better than its larger competitors. For instance, you won’t find any Capital One savings accounts with the insignificant 0.01% APY offered at Chase, Bank of America or Wells Fargo.


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