Capital One is still offering its free high yield checking account for those in Austin and San Antonio, Texas. My first report on this checking account was in April. Those in Central Texas have probably seen ads for this account. One thing that's not pointed out in the ads is that the 5% APY is guaranteed for the first 12 months which is a very nice feature as interest rates fall. After the first 12 months, the rate returns to the standard rate (which is currently 3% APY).
Capital One use to list this deal at HighInterestFreeChecking.com, but they've recently removed this page. I called Capital One on Friday, and the banking rep said that it's still available. He wasn't sure how much longer it would last, but with the removal of the webpage, I doubt the 5% 1-year guarantee will last too much longer.
Below is a list of features for this high yield checking account:
- 5% APY guaranteed for first 12 months, standard rate (currently 3% APY) afterwards
- Only for those in Austin and San Antonio metro areas of Texas
- $50 minimum to open
- No minimum balance or monthly fees
- 5% is good on balances up to $250K
- Automatic reimbursements on ATM fees charged by other banks
- First book of 150 checks are free
- Free online bill pay
- No hard credit pull, just a ChexSystem verification
- For sign-up, visit branch or call Capital One at 1-888-855-2265
- Branch visit is still required even if you sign-up by phone
- Has free ACH transfer system but with restrictive dollar limits: $3K in/out per day and $6K in/out per month
- Can push/pull without limits using external bank account
Capital One Bank has branches in Texas and Louisiana. Last December, Capital One completed the merger of New York-based North Fork Bank. So this special checking promotion may be in other cities in the future; however, with the latest Fed rate cut, it might not be 5%.
Capital One also provides online banking at its Direct Banking website where they offer a 5% APY money market account (as of 9/23/07). 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.
Capital One is FDIC insured (Certificate # 4297).