I’m going to give you my Capital One 360 Checking review. Not long after I opened my Capital One 360 Savings account I felt the need to have quicker, easier access to my savings. One of the best ways to achieve that is to add a Capital One 360 Checking account to the mix. I’m glad I did. Opening a Capital One 360 (formerly ING Direct) Checking account was one of the best moves I’ve made in managing my money. It’s one of the best online checking accounts available today, if not the best. Let’s start with the basic benefits:
Mobile Deposit with CheckMate
For the longest time, the biggest hurdle with online checking accounts was their inability to easily accept physical check deposits. No branches means no drive thru deposits. With CheckMate, you can now simply take a photo of your signed checks and deposit the funds right into your Capital One 360 Checking account. The app and new deposit feature (which can be used even from a simple scanner) are free, and can be used for individual check amounts of $3000 and less. The first $200 of your deposit will become available the next business day. However, your total deposit might take five business days to complete.
I tried the service out and found it easy enough. I deposited an $185 dollar check (by signing the check and snapping a picture of both side of the check) on the 27th and was told it would be available on the 2nd. I then received an email telling me that my deposit was received but NOT to void it yet.
Multiple Bill Pay Options
Yes, there are multiple free ways to “pay ya bills” with this account. The bill pay setup is really basic and the check features are straight-forward. Did I mention it’s all free? Some banks don’t offer all of this for free. If you’re paying for these services you’re wasting money. See a full rundown of these methods below.
Easier Access to Your Savings
You will be able to move money from your Capital One 360 Savings Account to your 360 Checking account instantly. And, because you have a MasterCard® Debit Card associated with this account, you’ll be able to access money from your checking or savings account by ATM or at the register (i.e. cash back).
The network of free ATMs is great. Unfortunately there aren’t that many drive-up ATMs in the network. It’s mostly ATMs at convenience stores or other retail locations. Over the years we haven’t found this to be a huge hassle. We typically just take some cash out when we’re shopping with the card. The good thing is that when you find an ATM there are no fees associated with the transaction.
Earn Interest on Your Checking Balance
Like their savings account, Capital One 360′s Checking account is going to pay you more than your average bank just to keep your money there. As of October 10th, 2012, they are paying 0.20% – 0.85% APY. I know that doesn’t look like much, but it’s way better than an average bank’s 0%.
Last but not least, the accounts are all insured by the FDIC up to $250,000. No worries. If you have a savings account, this includes that amount as well. So, you’re covered under the same umbrella. Have a joint account holder? The coverage is doubled.
How to Open a Capital One 360 Checking Account
Now that you’re ready to make the move, here are the steps to opening up your new Capital One 360 Checking Account:
- Login to your Capital One 360 Savings Account (if you don’t have one simply visit CaptialOne360.com).
- Locate the link to “Open an Account” or the “360 Checking” tab.
- Complete the 360 Checking account opening process, including: linking it to your savings account, requesting your MasterCard® Debit Card, and depositing some money from your savings account. The process is fairly straight-forward.
- Once you have your account open, you’ll want to establish either a direct deposit using a portion of your paycheck (talk to your HR dept.), or automatic transfer from your Capital One 360 savings account (very easy setup you can do online).
How to Pay Your Bills Using 360 Checking
Okay, now that you’ve got your account opened, made some transfers, and used the MasterCard® Debit Card to make some purchases or get money without fee from an ATM, you’re ready to take the account to the next level by paying your bills online.
There’s several different methods you can use to pay your bills with 360 Checking. So there’s bound to be one that works for you:
1. Free Bill Pay – Bill pay is great for paying your monthly bills. Simply add all of your bill companies to your list of payees and initiate payments to these payees for the amount and date you designate. If your monthly bill is a fixed amount (mortgage, student loan debt, etc…) then you can select the payments to recur automatically each month. Before I started using cash back credit cards for everything, I used this method on about six or seven of our accounts. Each recurring payment comes with an email notification so that you can ensure you have enough funds prior to the payment going out.
2. Auto Withdrawal – For the remainder of my bill companies (two or three) I use auto-withdrawal. This is simply providing the bill company your banking information (routing and account number) so that they can pull what you owe them from your bank account. Traditionally, you would locate this information on one of your checks. Since you don’t automatically get checks with this account, to find your routing and account number simply visit the “account maintenance” link from the 360 Checking details page. On the account maintenance page, look for the “voided check” link. There you’ll find your routing and account numbers, which can be provided to your bill company to set up auto-withdrawal.
3. Paper Checks Mailed and Now Paper Checkbooks for $5 – With the 360 Checking account you can have a paper check mailed to any address. You can even have the check mailed to yourself to be signed over to someone else. I only use this method if I owe a friend or family member some money. Now they are offering paper checkbooks too. For $5, you can have a checkbook mailed to you. This is another way Capital One 360 is becoming a full featured checking account.
4. P2P Payments – Although this is a method that I’ve never used, it looks pretty easy. Basically, you send money to someone else’s bank account. It can be another Capital One 360 account, or a completely different bank account. All you’ll need is that person’s routing number, bank account number, and email address. This might be a good situation for a small business owner looking to pay their employees straight from a checking account. The recurring payment would justify requesting the banking info.
All in all, Capital One 360 Savings is a solid account for anyone looking for an online bank to help them pay bills, send money to friends, deposit physical checks, access their cash quickly and easily, and avoid any kind of fee, all while earning a bit of interest.