Our evaluations and opinions are not influenced by our advertising relationships, but we may earn a commission from our partners’ links. This content is created independently from TIME’s editorial staff. Learn more.
As a large U.S. bank—ninth on the list of the 10 largest by assets, according to the Federal Reserve's ranking as of March 2023—Capital One isn’t going to deliver the top rates on its savings products. It holds its own, though, with annual percentage yields (APYs) on high-yield savings accounts and certificates of deposit (CDs) to compete with online banks. It also offers fee-free overdraft protection on the 360 Checking account, and its Capital One cafés, located in major cities, offer free space for anyone to work, even those without an account.
Capital One 360 Performance Savings Account
The 360 Performance Savings account is Capital One’s flagship product in the high-yield savings category. It’s hard to think of any cons when evaluating it. The APY is an attractive 4.30%*, and the account has no monthly or maintenance fees, nor does it require a minimum balance, making it among the best savings options at large banks.
Why we recommend it. While some banks (especially online-only institutions) offer higher yields, the 360 Performance Savings account makes it easy to avoid the kind of fees that often sneak up on consumers who don’t pay attention to minimum balance requirements or fine print. We recommend it for anyone who wants big-bank convenience and is content with a savings yield that falls in the upper middle of the pack. It far outpaces the Chase Savings Account and its paltry 0.01% APY plus fees.
Capital One CD
Capital One’s minimum and maximum CD rates range from 3.90%* (six months) to 5.25%* (18 months). The rates fall as the term goes longer: 48 months, for example, only earns you 4.20%*, and the maximum of 60 months yields 4.10%*.
If CDs are your thing, you can open a 360 CD account in about five minutes and without a required minimum balance, often a condition with CDs. However, it may be best to invest for a term of 18 months or less, a seemingly safe bet for as long as the Federal Reserve continues to pause or raise the federal funds rate. Again, the idea that Capital One waves minimum balance requirements means there’s next to no worry when letting your account sit idle.
Why we don’t recommend it. In many cases you’ll want to pass here. As with any CD, there are penalties for early withdrawals, so the liquidity isn’t the same as Capital One’s high-yield savings account. What’s more, six of the nine CDs offered have either the same or lower rates than the high-yield savings account. Of course, with a CD, the interest rate is nailed down for the term of the CD, which isn’t true of a savings account.
Up to 5.15%
Up to 5.00%
6 - 60 months
3 months to 10 years
Capital One 360 Checking Account
A Capital One checking account can be opened online in minutes. No matter how much you put in the account or what balance you keep, the APY is 0.10%.* A Capital One checking account gives users access to more than 70,000 fee-free ATMs and allows users to lock down their accounts with one touch through the bank’s mobile app.
Why we recommend it. There are no fees associated with opening, maintaining, and using a Capital One checking account, nor does the bank charge any overdraft fees. While the checking account earns virtually no interest, the convenience of Capital One’s ATM network and the lack of surprise fees—as well as its connection to the Zelle payment network—make it a strong choice.
Review of Overall Features
Users will experience virtually no fees, whether related to keeping minimum balances or overdrawing their checking accounts. Fees apply just to outgoing wire transfers ($30) and cashier’s checks ($10 to $20).
A Dec. 2022 study by J.D. Power ranked Capital One highest among nine major banks, with an overall satisfaction score of 694. Chase ranked second at 678, and TD Bank ranked third at 663. It marked the third consecutive year that Capital One finished in the number-one position.
Security (data protection)
In 2019 Capital One suffered a data breach that put the account and identity security of 106 million people at risk. The bank was criticized for being too slow to act and keeping account holders in the dark. However, no credit card account numbers or log-in credentials were compromised, and fewer than 1% of Social Security numbers were compromised.
Users have $0 liability for unauthorized charges if their debit card is lost or stolen. What’s more, they can lock down their accounts with just the touch of a button on their mobile apps.
History and reputation
Capital One was founded in 1994 in Richmond, Va.; its co-founder, Richard Fairbank, still serves as chief executive officer (CEO). Capital One has a good reputation among major banks. Unlike some of its peers (Citibank, for example), it did not suffer any financial jeopardy during the Great Recession. It has never been cited for account-opening scandals such as those that marred Wells Fargo’s reputation and led to penalties in 2016. Nevertheless, fallout from the 2019 data breach led the federal government to order the bank to strengthen its risk-management practices.
Who is Capital One bank for?
Anyone seeking the big-bank convenience of many branch and ATM locations, along with solid customer service, should enjoy banking with Capital One. While its yields aren’t at the top of the heap, the lack of fees may well make up for it.
Is Capital One bank insured by the FDIC?
Yes. Single accounts are insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) up to $250,000, joint accounts up to $500,000.
Capital One has more than 700 retail locations in the United States, with 51 Capital One cafés.
How does Capital One bank compare
|Bank or financial institution||Chase||Citibank||American Express|
Mobile app/online banking; More than 16,000 ATMs
Mobile app/online banking; More than 2,300 ATMs
Mobile app/online banking ; ATMs in affiliation with major and regional banks/networks
Bonus of $1,000 for private client accounts starting at $150,000; Accepts Zelle
Penalty-free 12-month CD; Accepts Zelle
High-yield savings accounts; Accepts Zelle
More than 4,700
More than 700
There are 41 Amex “offices” in the U.S.
TIME Stamp: Capital One is best for checking and high-yield savings accounts
Capital One does best with its checking and high-yield savings accounts, which offer decent interest rates and are distinguished by their lack of fees. Its CDs, however, for the most part don’t offer APYs higher than its high-yield savings account. It also has the highest customer satisfaction score among the nine major banks, and a 2019 data breach has led it to tighten its security considerably. Time selected Capital One as one of the 100 most influential companies of 2022.
Frequently asked questions (FAQs)
Is Capital One a good starter bank?
Yes. Its fraud protections, lack of fees, and easy mobile access make it a smart choice for new banking customers. Capital One also offers a savings account for kids that parents can control. It earns a 0.30% APY* and is accessible via mobile app.
Does Capital One have Zelle?
Yes. Checking customers can easily enroll with Zelle through the Capital One Mobile app. Navigate to your Capital One checking account online and select “Send Money with Zelle'' to get started.
How do Capital One cafés work?
Capital One cafés are located in cities nationwide, including Chicago, Los Angeles, Detroit, New York City, and Kansas City. They’re set up like traditional coffee shops, offering snacks and beverages by Verve Coffee Roasters, with lots of seating space and free Wi-Fi, along with private meeting rooms available for nonprofits, student organizations, and alumni organizations. Café users can also get financial coaching and learn about banking services.
What is the process of opening an account at Capital One?
If done online, the account opening process is simple. It may take longer at branches and CapitalOne cafés, but it should be as easy as at any other in-person location operated by other banks.
Can I deposit cash into my Capital One account?
Yes, you can, at branch locations and participating CVS pharmacies.
*All interest rates as of Aug. 10, 2023.
The information presented here is created independently from the TIME editorial staff. To learn more, see our About page.