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HomepageFinanceOnline BanksCapital One Review
Last updated on Dec 11, 2019

Capital One Review

An exceptional mobile experience and good APYs ​
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4 companies compared

5 features evaluated

3 ratings analyzed

Lorraine Roberte

By Lorraine Roberte Contributing Writer

Lorraine Roberte is a South Florida-based personal finance writer. Her work has been published on sites such as Thrive Global, Elephant Journal, Red Tricycle and Tweak Your Biz.

Capital One Review

Capital One started in 1988 as Signet Bank and was renamed in the mid-90s as Capital One Financial Corporation with its introduction of credit cards. In 2012, Capital One acquired ING Direct and rebranded the new online banking division as Capital One 360.

Today, Capital One 360 account holders have access to online checking, savings, and CDs, as well as physical branches. Thanks to this two-pronged approach, we voted Capital One as the best hybrid online bank for people who want an online banking experience with the extra conveniences afforded by ATMs, branches, and cafes. Capital One offers other products like credit cards, auto loans, and business and commercial banking, but for this review, we’re focusing only on the personal deposits side.

Capital One may not be the best option if you prefer an in-person banking experience and you live outside of the eight states where it operates full branches, but its online experience and high APYs make it worth a look.

Pros
Cons
Superior mobile app
Competitive APYs on deposit accounts
Cash deposits accepted
Access to physical branches and bank cafes in some states
Physical branches only available in eight states and Washington, D.C.
No account opening bonuses
Overdraft fees

The Claim

Capital One claims that its mission is to create “a whole new way of banking” to “help [its] customers succeed by bringing ingenuity, simplicity, and humanity to banking.”

Is it true?

Yes. Capital One joined the online bank wagon when it acquired ING Direct. A few years later, Capital One reimagined banking by rolling out its cafes. The bank/coffee shops aim to capture millennials who aren’t interested in banking in the same way their parents and grandparents were. Instead of the traditional bank setup, there are open spaces, ambassadors to answer questions, Peet’s Coffee, and locally sourced baked goods. While the cafes don’t offer the financial services of a physical branch, customers can visit a cafe to learn about Capital One’s offerings while sipping a cup of joe and chatting with employees like they would a friend.

Robust personal banking products back Capital One’s new image. Capital One 360 bank accounts take only a few minutes to open and give customers an excellent online user experience. In the most recent J.D. Power U.S. Banking Mobile App Satisfaction Study, Capital One ranked second, with five out of five ratings for overall satisfaction, ease of navigating, app appearance, and clarity of information.

What Capital One Offers

Interest-bearing checking accounts

Pros
Cons
Cash deposits accepted
No foreign transaction fees
Competitive APYs
No account minimums or monthly fees
Access to 39,000 ATMs
Limited branch and cafe access
Overdraft fees

Unlike many other interest accounts, Capital One’s 360 Checking account lets you earn 0.20% APY on all balances. There also aren’t any foreign transaction fees when traveling abroad. While the bank does charge overdraft fees, Capital One provides various ways to avoid them: auto-decline, next day grace, overdraft line of credit, and free savings transfer.

In addition to great rates, you can also count on fee-free withdrawals at any Allpoint or Capital One ATM. If you need to make a cash deposit, you can do so at Capital One branches or ATMs.

High-yield savings accounts

Pros
Cons
Competitive APYs
No fees or minimum balances
Mobile banking app
Cash deposits accepted
Limited access to banks and cafes

You can have a Capital One 360 Performance Savings account up and running in five minutes. At 1.80%, the APY is one of the best in the business and rivals those of other banks like Ally, our choice for the best online bank. The highly rated mobile app allows you to track your savings goals and set up automatic transfers into your savings account to keep your funds growing. And because Capital One doesn’t charge any monthly fees, you get to keep more money in your account while it grows — just note that withdrawals are limited to six per month by federal law.

CDs

Pros
Cons
Competitive one-year APY
No fees or minimum balances
Varying term lengths
Lower APYs for longer terms

Capital One’s current 2.10% APY CD rate for a one-year term is one of the best we’ve seen — usually banks tout that higher amount for longer term lengths. There are also a range of term lengths to choose from: anywhere from six months to 60 months. The drawback? The APYs for those longer term lengths are only average, so you’re capped at a year if you want to make the most of your investment. Capital One also doesn’t offer any no-penalty CDs, which are a rare but convenient way to make an early withdrawal if you need it. If you’re hesitant to stash money away in CDs because you fear you may need it before the CD reaches maturity, a no-penalty CDs like one from Ally may be a better fit. It has a lower APY, but it offers a bit more flexibility.

IRAs

Pros
Cons
Savings and CD IRAs offered
Traditional and Roth IRAs available
Relatively low APY for IRA savings

If you want to diversify your retirement portfolio with something not subject to the market’s ups and downs, Capital One offers fixed-rate traditional and Roth IRA CDs at APYs of 0.60% to 2.10%, depending on your term length. One-year CDs fetch the highest APY, and all CDs come with no minimum opening deposits. Capital One’s 360 traditional and Roth IRA savings can complete your retirement portfolio with interest rates of 0.80% and no fees or minimum balances. While these rates are not bad by any stretch, there are better options available if you’re looking to truly maximize your investment — Ally, for instance, offers a 2.15% APY on a five-year IRA CD and a 1.70% APY on its IRA savings account.

Product Overview

  • In business since: 1988
  • J.D. Power 2019 U.S. Online Banking Satisfaction Study Score: 4/5
  • FDIC-insured: Yes
  • States served: 50
  • Number of locations: 600-plus branches and 30-plus cafes
  • Pros: Great mobile experience, good rates
  • Cons: Limited locations, subpar customer satisfaction scores

Features

Checking account
No monthly fees
No minimum account requirements
Options to circumvent overdraft fees
Saving account
No monthly fees
No minimum account requirements
Mobile savings tools
CDs
High yields for 12-month term
Varying term lengths
No minimum balance
IRAs
Traditional and Roth IRA savings
Traditional and Roth IRA CDs
No costs to set up or maintain

Information accurate as of December 11, 2019.

First-rate mobile banking experience

J.D. Power gives Capital One an astounding five out of five stars when it comes to customer satisfaction with its mobile app. The app also receives 4.7 stars based on more than 880,000 reviews on the Google Play Store and 4.7 stars from more than 193,000 reviews on the Apple App Store. The mobile app has a full suite of online banking tools available that works around the globe and makes it easy to receive real-time purchase notifications, pay bills, or redeem rewards.

High-yield deposit accounts

Capital One’s APYs on deposit accounts blow brick-and-mortar banks out of the water. TD Bank, for instance, offers up to 0.05% APY on interest checking accounts, while Capital One gives up to 0.20%. And despite also having a physical presence, Capital One surpasses many online-only banks. Capital One’s savings and CD rates are comparable to those of Ally, our pick for the best online bank.

Cash deposits accepted

Thanks to Capital One’s focus on a hybrid banking experience, customers have the best of what online and brick-and-mortar banks have to offer. This includes being able to deposit cash at any one of Capital One’s company-branded ATMs found within bank branches or cafes. Just note: While Capital One has partnered with Allpoint for greater ATM access, these ATMs don’t accept cash. If there isn’t a Capital One ATM near you, your best option is to deposit money using another bank and then transfer over the funds.

Possible drawbacks

Physical branches in 8 states and Washington, D.C.

While Capital One’s physical presence is a perk that online-only banks don’t have, there are limitations. Capital One has branches in only eight states and Washington, D.C., and if a state does have them, it can be as few as one. While there are Capital One Cafes in additional states, the cafes don’t offer the same range of services as a regular branch. If you live outside of Capital One’s coverage and frequently receive cash deposits or like the comfort of a neighborhood branch, you may want to start with a traditional bank.

Subpar direct banking customer satisfaction

Capital One’s mobile and online banking experience receives some of the highest marks in the industry from consumers and independent studies. However, the company received a below-average two out of five from J.D. Power in the 2019 Direct Retail Banking Satisfaction Study, a study that measures customer satisfaction with the account opening process, products and fees, and overall communication with the bank.

The Competition

Capital One TIAA Bank Ally Bank Marcus by Goldman Sachs
J.D. Power 2019 U.S. Online Banking Satisfaction Study score
4/5 N/A N/A N/A
Minimum checking requirement*
$0 $25 for basic account $0 for high-yield account $0 No checking accounts offered
Minimum savings requirement*
$0 $25 $0 $0
Maximum savings account APY
1.80% 1.10% 1.70% 1.70%
One-year CD APY
2.10% 1.85% for basic account 2.10% for high-yield account 2.00% 2.00%
Monthly maintenance fees
$0 $5 or $0 with minimum account requirements $0 with high-yield checking account $0 $0
24/7 customer service
Number of states served
50 50 50 50
Check rates Check rates Check rates Check rates

*Minimum required balance to waive monthly fees (if applicable)

Information accurate as of December 11, 2019.

Capital One FAQ

Does Capital One accept cash deposits?

Yes. Customers can deposit cash at any Capital One branch, cafe, or company-branded ATM. Although Capital One is also part of the Allpoint ATM network, these ATMs don’t accept cash deposits. Capital One also allows users to link external accounts, so those who bank with another institution can easily transfer funds between accounts from Capital One’s website. These transfers typically take two to three business days.

How many locations does Capital One have?

There are more than 600 Capital One branches and more than 30 cafes across the nation. Regions with brick-and-mortar branches include Connecticut, Delaware, Washington, D.C., Louisiana, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Texas, and Virginia. Although some branches are closing down, Capital One’s cafes show no signs of stopping as its digital banking side continues to grow and thrive.

Are there foreign transaction fees with Capital One?

Capital One doesn’t charge any foreign transaction fees for any of its 360 products. And unlike with most credit cards, account holders also don’t need to set up travel alerts for international trips. Capital One credits this to the added chip security in each card that allows consumers to make secure transactions regardless of their location.

The Bottom Line

Capital One is a great choice for people who do most of their banking online but want the convenience of an occasional trip to a branch — or even a bank-cafe. Capital One’s mostly digital banking platform allows it to bring consumers the best APY rates for checking, savings, and CDs. While Capital One’s physical locations are accessible only in a few states, its exceptional mobile app makes it simple to do most of what account holders would do with a teller. On top of that, Capital One’s lack of foreign transaction fees makes it one of the best travel companions for your journey abroad.