If you’re looking for a bank that can help you build your net worth, make saving easy, and give you less hassle I’d recommend Capital One 360 (formally ING Direct). We currently use for most of our banking needs.
What We Need From Our Bank for Checking and Savings
Having the right checking account is essential for our family’s finances. Unfortunately our first joint checking account wasn’t the best choice. We basically just opened an account at a big bank that one of us had a college checking account with.
We stayed with them for a bit since we felt like we didn’t have many options. One bank is the same as the other, right?
Fed up with the service and fees, we were motivated enough to shop around to see what was available. We decided to create a wishlist for our checking account, which included:
- No monthly maintenance fee: I understand banks have the right to charge what they want, but I expect something in return.
- $0 required minimum balance: If the interest rate is pathetic, why would we want to keep a larger balance with our checking account?
- Free online BillPay service: This is a must as we prefer to handle our bills online due to its convienence and control.
- Conveniently located ATMs: Whether we went with a bank or credit union we needed a way to access our money after bank hours. Having ATMs nearby is important as we’re trying to avoid fees from out of network ATMs.
- Earn some interest rate if possible: Not necessary, but a bonus.
Quite simply we found all of these features over ING Direct, including earning just a little bit of interest on our checking account.
Capital One 360’s Features Versus Competitors
Higher Interest Rates
With most banks unless you have a large balance in your checking account, you don’t earn any interest. Capital One 360 offers us 0.20% APY on our online checking account. It’s not much, but something is better than nothing. Besides we use our checking to handle the bills; we’re more concerned with the interest rates on savings.
How much does a higher interest rate mean for a regular person? Let me show you by highlighting the current rates on our Capital One 360 and the rates for Wells Fargo and Bank of America, popular brick and mortar choices in our area.
- Capital One 360: .80% Annual Percentage Yield
- Wells Fargo: 0.01% Annual Percentage Yield
- Bank of America: 0.05% Annual Percentage Yield
No Monthly Fees
Monthly fee waived when:
- Deposits and withdrawals are made electronically or at our ATMsAND
- You choose online paperless statements through Online Banking
Otherwise, $8.95 per month
You’re paying about $9/month to be a low maintenance customer. I see no real benefit for customers to sign up for that account.
Over at Wells Fargo, it’s about the same for their basic checking account. Unless you get direct deposit or maintain their average daily balance, you’ll get a monthly.
The monthly service fee is waived on your Value Checking account when you do ONE of the following:
- Sign up for Direct Deposit4 OR
- Maintain an average daily balance of $1,500Otherwise, this account is $5 per month
Again, there’s a fee for an account that doesn’t do much and earns no interest.
Plenty of ATM Access
One of the big advantages that big banks have is their wide ATM network that allows you to grab money from your account through the U.S. In fact, some people pass up better offers from smaller banks and credit unions because the fear of getting hit by out of network ATM fees.
With Capital 360 using the Allpoint’s network access to over 40,000 free ATMs, you can access your money easily without worrying about fees.
Thoughts on Capital One 360 and Banking
As you can figure out by my review, I think most people need to give Capital One 360 some serious consideration for their checking and savings needs. You can open a checking account with Capital One 360, simply click here to get started a!
Are there other good choices out there? I think so, but I’m so happy with Capital One 360 it would take a big blunder on their part to make us move. If you don’t feel comfortable going with an online only bank, then check out your local banks and credit unions to see if they’re a great fit for you.
Photo Credit: nikkinoguer