Dedicated to Deposits: Deals, Data, and Discussion

Capital One Bank's Checking Promo with a 12-Month Rate Guarantee


Capital One Bank

If you live in the market area of Capital One Bank, new customers can get a good checking account deal. They're guaranteeing a promotional rate (1.00% APY for most areas) for balances up to $100,000 for the first 12 months. Details of this promotion are listed at the Capital One High Yield checking page. Note, it will only show if your zip code is in their market area.

This 1.00% APY promotion appears to be offered in all of Capital One market areas which includes Washington DC, Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Texas and Virginia. Some areas have lower rates (only 0.75% in Louisiana).

There have been reports that this 12-month rate lock doesn't guarantee the specific APY but only a rate that's 5x the national average. The disclosure doesn't make this 100% clear.

One thing that's a little sneaky is that they call this a free checking account with no monthly service fee. However, a minimum $5,000 combined balance is required to maintain the account. If this balance isn't maintained, your account may be converted or closed. In April Capital One angered several customers who had their checking accounts converted.

Even though it's not really a free checking account, it has some nice features like ATM fee refunds (up to $15 per month) and free checks.

Capital One Outside Their Market Area

If you live outside Capital One's market area, Capital One's banking webpage will direct you to ING DIRECT. So ING DIRECT is now the only option for new customers who want an internet account from Capital One. It has been over a year since Capital One's acquisition of ING DIRECT was first announced, and it has been over 6 month since the acquisition was completed.

ING DIRECT doesn't have any checking account rate promotion, but it does have a new-account bonus in which you can earn $50. To qualify for this bonus, open the Electric Orange checking and make a total of 3 debit card purchases or Person2Person Payments (or any combo of the two) within 45 days of account opening.

For those with large balances, the Electric Orange account remains a good deal with a 0.90% APY for balances of at least $100K and 0.85% APY for balances between $50K and $100K. The rate is low for balances under $50K (0.20% APY). Rates are accurate as of 8/27/2012.

  Tags: checking account, Texas, Louisiana, Virginia, Maryland, New Jersey, Delaware, New York, Capital One Bank

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Comment #1 by Anonymous posted on

Palisades Federal Credit Union has a promotion where the entire balance of the checking account earns 1% for the first year.

The only catch is that to be a member you must live, work, go to school or worship in Rockland County, New York.

Comment #2 by Anonymous posted on
If you are an existing checking account customer, you don't get the higher rate offer after the account is converted.  The company is consolidating their account types and moving just about everyone to either rewards checking or free checking.

Comment #3 by Anonymous posted on
Correction to my previous post.  I meant high yield checking, not free checking.

Comment #4 by Anonymous posted on
i'm actually surprised the promotion is still going on...

some cap1 customers have had the 1% promo and it's almost up...I'm curious as to if cap1 will do anything once people start moving $$ out of the high yiel d checking once it falls to 0.40%

Comment #5 by KenBDG posted on
@Anonymous #1, thanks for the info on Palisades FCU. Unfortunately, the credit union wasn't consistent in the terms. The small print actually says "1.00% APY given on first $25,000 deposited". Since the front page says "on any balance", I called to see which was correct. Unfortunately, the CSR said it is limited to the first $25,000.

Comment #8 by Anonymous posted on
Stay away from Capital One.  They know what they are doing and they are hoping to trip you up at your expense.

They are not a clean operation to work with. They play in the shadows.


Comment #9 by Anonymous posted on
I also had a capital one free checking account and as soon as I heard about the account conversions I closed it and went to another bank making $150 on the way!!

Comment #11 by Anonymous posted on
Does the minimim $5,000 combined balance required to maintain the account include deposits at ING direct savings/electric checking 360 and Sharebuilder account balances?