You’ve probably heard the catch phrase, “What’s in your wallet?” If you’re like me, you immediately picture Capital One credit card ads featuring Samuel L. Jackson or those cost-conscious Vikings. While Capital One’s credit card products may be their bread and butter, they actually wear several different hats in the financial industry.
A relative newcomer to the banking industry, Capital One’s full suite of banking products have helped it become one of the largest banks in the country! The introduction of these new services has taken Capital One from a one-trick-pony with memorable commercials to an all-around player in the banking industry.
What is Capital One 360?
Everything starts at the top with parent company, Capital One. Capital One is a financial holding company that operates through multiple segments. Its primary divisions are credit cards, consumer banking, and commercial banking. Originally founded in 1988, Capital One didn’t establish its banking division until 2000.
In 2012, Capital One completed its acquisition of ING Direct before merging and rebranding the business as Capital One 360. Capital One 360 offers consumer banking services including checking, savings, and money market accounts.
Although Capital One has a physical presence with nearly 800 brick-and-mortar locations in eight states, don’t let that fool you – it’s primarily an online bank. And right now, the company is testing a unique concept called Capital One Café. It’s a one-of-a-kind combination of limited branch banking and a full-service coffee bar. It remains to be seen whether the concept catches on, but it’s a clear indication that Capital One is serious about reinventing banking!
Capital One 360’s Account Offerings
Capital One 360 offers a wide range of mobile banking options. The key is finding which of those options best fits your unique needs! With that in mind, here’s a quick rundown of what Capital One 360 has to offer. Keep in mind, interest rates and terms are subject to change so you’ll want to visit Capital One’s website for the most up-to-date account terms.
One of the most attractive things about Capital One’s 360 Checking accounts is that they allow customers to earn interest – a perk that usually comes only with savings accounts. Interest rates are variable and depend on how much money you have deposited in your account.
Source: Capital One
It’s worth mentioning that there are other online banks that meet or exceed 360 Checking’s interest rates. For example, Ally offers an APY of 0.60% on accounts with a daily balance of more than $15k – that far exceeds the 0.20% you’ll earn on a balance of less than $50k with 360 Checking.
While other online banks can compete with 360 Checking’s interest rates, it’s tough to outshine Capital One’s true no-fee commitment! With no minimum balance an no monthly maintenance fees, 360 Checking is an ideal checking account for the cost-conscious consumer!
Here are just a few of the other features that come with a 360 Checking account:
- ATM Access. You have fee-free access to a network of over 39,000 AllPoint® and Capital One ATMs.
- Free Debit Card. You receive a MasterCard debit card with expedited shipping for daily spending necessities.
- Peer-to Peer-Payments. Capital One has integrated Zelle into their banking app for free friend-to-friend payments.
- Mobile Check Deposit. Check deposit is a seamless process of snapping a quick photo.
- Free Online Bill Pay. Capital One 360 allows for automated bill payment with “late-pay protection.”
Not long ago, Capital One introduced its MONEY account – a no-fee checking account for teens. Like 360 Checking, MONEY is fee-free and has not minimum deposit requirements for opening or maintaining an account. Plus, the account pays 0.25% APY on any funds deposited in the account.
What’s great about this account is that it gives the adult account manager the ability to monitor the account with real-time text alerts. It’s a great way to teach your teen to manage their money while tracking their spending habits.
The counterpart to 360 Checking is 360 Savings. And like 360 Checking, there are no monthly fees and no minimum deposit to open or maintain your account. Plus, you’ll earn a solid 1.00% APY on any funds deposited in your account. That’s more than 10X the yield you’ll find at most traditional banks.
Varo’s checking accounts come equipped with Zero Liability protection. This means you won’t be held responsible for any fraudulent purchases made on your account if you report them right away. Other financial institutions typically hold consumers accountable for up to $50 even if they report the charges within 48 hours.
Here are a few more account features of note:
- FDIC-Insured. Your account is FDIC-insured up to the maximum limits.
- Open Multiple Accounts. You can open up to 25 different savings accounts for free. Overkill? Probably. But it’s nice to have options.
- 24/7 Account Access. It’s 3 AM in the US and you’re on the other side of the world with a banking emergency. No problem – you can access your account through your app anytime, day or night.
- Customer Service 7 Days a Week. You can speak with a customer service representative seven days a week, from 8 AM to 8 PM ET.
- Savings Plan Feature. Set up Savings Goals and an Automatic Savings Plan to build for your future.
360 Money Market
360 Money Market is a high-interest, fee-free online bank account. There are no monthly fees and no minimum deposit requirement. Interest rates depend on your account balance. For account balances in excess of $10,000, you’ll get an APY of 1.75%. That beats the rate that comes with a 360 Savings account by 0.75%.
In the grand scheme of things, a 1.75% APY isn’t much. Let’s face it, you aren’t opening a money market account to get rich. With that said, a 360 Money Market account could make sense for someone looking to earn a little interest on some spare cash without having to lock it up in a CD or risk it on the stock market. At the same time, this account only makes mathematical sense if you’re depositing at least $10k. Accounts with less than $10,000 will only earn 0.85% APY. You can get 1.00% APY on any account balance with a 360 Savings account.
360 Kids Savings
Capital One 360’s suite of banking products also includes a custodial savings account for children. This account allows an adult to oversee the account until the child/account holder turns 18. Once the child turns 18, the account automatically converts to a 360 Savings account. At that point, the child-turned-adult assumes total control over the account.
Like the rest of the 360 accounts, this one comes with no fees or minimums. And best of all, 360 Kids Savings offers children the same 1.00% APY on any account balance, just like the adults get!
360 CD Accounts
Capital One 360 recommends using their high-yield savings account to hold your emergency funds, but their highly competitive CD rates make their 360 CD Accounts an ideal place to park your spare cash. In most cases, you wouldn’t want to lock up your emergency funds in an account with a fixed holding period.
Fortunately, 360 CD Accounts have reasonable early withdrawal fees that are clearly stated in the account terms and conditions. I wouldn’t recommend housing a large chunk of your cash in a CD, but if you decide to go that route you’ll find that Capital One 360’s CD rates are certainly better than what you’ll find among most competitors.
No Fees. It won’t cost you anything to open or maintain a checking or savings account.
- No Minimum Balance. Opening an account is easy with no minimum balance requirement.
- Top-Rated Mobile App. A strong mobile app is critical to online banking. 42,000 reviews and an almost 5-star rating on iTunes tells me that the app makes the grade.
- ATM Access. Customers get access to a network of over 39,000 ATMs!
- Online Bill Pay and Digital Payments. You can choose which bills to pay and when to pay them. You can also send cash through the mobile app using Zelle!
Better Interest Rates Available Elsewhere. While a 1.00% APY is better than what most banks offer, other online banks such as Varo and Ally beat Capital One 360 by a wide margin.
- Limited In-App Budgeting Tools. The parent company is a credit card issuer. No surprise that their budgeting tools leave something to be desired!
- Few Physical Locations. If you like to conduct banking business face-to-face, online banking probably isn’t for you.
Is Capital One 360 Right for You?
By all means, Capital One 360 wide array of account options makes it a solid online banking option for the masses. Anyone seeking no-fee banking and a variety of in-app mobile features won’t be disappointed. The mobile app is state-of-the-art and my personal experiences with customer service have been overwhelmingly positive. Capital One also has name recognition that many newcomers to online banking don’t yet have. And that’s worth something as Capital One has worked out most of the kinks associated with online banking.
There are a few drawbacks, however. For starters, it isn’t hard to find better interest rates among competitors. And if you’re looking for advanced budgeting tools and products designed to trim spending, you’ll probably want to look elsewhere. The largest drawback is the sparse branches that offer limited services. Some consumers prefer face-to-face banking relationships rather than conducting business entirely through an app. If that sounds like you, then you’ll probably want to avoid online banking for now.
But if you aren’t bothered by those limitations, then you’ll probably find that Capital One 360’s offerings are more than enough to take care of your banking needs!