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5% Free Checking Account Promotion at Capital One in Texas


Capital One Direct Banking
Update 2/2/08: The 4.00% APY 1-year promo rate has ended.
Update 10/13/07: The 1-year guarantee intro rate is now 4.00% APY.

Capital One Bank is offering a special 5% APY free checking account. A reader mentioned seeing this advertised on TV. At first I thought it might be their 5% money market account since I couldn't find a 5% free checking listed at their website. I called, and they confirmed that it's a special checking account promotion that they're testing out in Austin, Texas. They may expand it to other cities at a later time.

[Update 4/20/07: A reader provided a link to this special at Most of the info that I had originally mentioned seems accurate. However, in addition to Austin, it's also available to those in San Antonio. Another nice perk is that Capital One will automatically reimburse any fee assessed at any ATM within 5 business days.]

According to the banking rep, the 5% APY is guaranteed for 1 year. After that, it's scheduled to drop to 3%. The account requires an initial deposit of $50. There are no minimums or monthly fees. The 5% is good on balances up to $250K. Online bill pay is free. They won't charge you for using other banks' ATMs and they will reimburse you on charges by other banks. The first book of checks are free. According to the banking rep, they don't do a hard credit pull, just a ChexSystem verification. For more info on this special, you can call Capital One's toll-free number at 1-888-855-2265.

Capital One Bank has branches in Texas and Louisiana. In December, Capital One completed the merger of New York-based North Fork Bank. So this special checking promotion may be in other cities later this year. Capital One also provides online banking at its Direct Banking website where they offer a 5% money market account. Costco members can get a 5.20% APY money market account and Costco Executive members can get a $50 sign-up bonus. For more info on these money market accounts please refer to my Costco/Capital One promotion post and my Capital One Money Market Accounts post.

  Tags: Capital One Direct Banking, Texas, checking account

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Comment #1 by Mario's wife (anonymous) posted on
Mario's wife
I received a targeted mailing about this promotion this week.

It refers to this website:

According to the website you must visit a branch in Austin or San Antonio.

Comment #2 by Banking Guy (anonymous) posted on
Banking Guy
Thanks for the link!

At least it also includes San Antonio area.

Comment #3 by Anonymous posted on
It seems odd, but I cannot locate Capital One in Texas on the FDIC website. I know they always advertise their accounts are insured, but in double-checking the information to confirm this, it is eluding me. c

Comment #4 by Banking Guy (anonymous) posted on
Banking Guy
Sorry for not including this info in the post. It's always good to double check this with the FDIC. Capital One, N.A. is actually based in Louisiana. Here's the FDIC link.

Note, the URL listed at the FDIC page matches the website URL. The URL must have been purchased by Capital One. That URL gets forwarded to a webpage under

Comment #5 by Mario (anonymous) posted on
My wife and I opened this account today in an Austin branch. We also received a free lawn chair and they have a referral program so you can get more lawn chairs for referring friends.

We received our first order of 150 checks free as promised, and I can confirm that I did notice the FDIC sign. They have big banners with the 5% promo all over their branch and are well aware of it. We received documentation that confirmed the 5% for 12 months.

The financial rep confirmed the refund of ATM fees charged by other banks as well as free bill pay. We were able to select from a large variety of check designs (incl. duplicates) and check cards. They have a neat program that donates $ to charity and you can pick the charity with your choice of check card design.

Comment #6 by mario's wife (anonymous) posted on
mario's wife
What my husband meant to say was that we received a free "folding sport chair". Not one of those lawn chairs made of webbing. :-)

Comment #7 by Banking Guy (anonymous) posted on
Banking Guy
Thanks for the info. The 5% for 12 months guarantee is very nice. You can use it to hedge against falling rates. In 6 months it may be very difficult to get 5% from a liquid account. Then you can use this account as your main account.

Comment #8 by houseofpain (anonymous) posted on
Just called a branch in SA today and they told me the rate is now 4%. Just FYI.

Comment #9 by Banking Guy (anonymous) posted on
Banking Guy
Thanks. I've updated the post. For those who got in at 5%, congrats. If rates continue to fall, you'll definitely appreciate the 5% 1-year guarantee.