If you were formerly a banking customer of ING Direct, then you are probably already aware that ING sold their American banking branch to Capital One back in 2012. The transition happened behind the scenes, for the most part, until recently when Capital One rebranded the bank as Capital One 360 Savings. For most customers, the transition was more or less seamless. The only thing I noticed was a change in the branding, with the maroon and blue Capital One 360 logo replacing the bold orange that ING Direct was well known for.
If you are already a customer, you more or less know what to expect. An online savings account with comparatively high interest rates, easy online access, and the ability to create sub-accounts, link your other online banks, and more. If you aren’t already a customer, then take a few moments to scan through this review. You may decide that Capital One 360 is a good option for your banking needs.
Capital One 360 Review – Savings, Checking, Investing
Let’s start with the features. Capital One 360 has all the features that were found at ING Direct, including savings and checking account options, CDs, sub-accounts, and the ability to link your account to external banks, or directly to a Capital One 360 ShareBuilder account (ShareBuilder was also formerly owned by ING Direct, learn more about their services in our ShareBuilder review).
Capital One 360 online savings account. I’ve had this account for close to a decade now – first with ING Direct, and now with Capital One 360. The thing that first attracted me to this account was the high interest rates compared to many other online banks. While their interest rates are always competitive, interest rates alone aren’t reason enough to open an account, especially in the current interest rate environment. Thankfully, Capital One 360 makes up for this in other ways, including ease of use and sub-accounts. Click to learn more about the Capital One 360 Savings Account.
Sub-accounts make saving easy. Using a saving account within a savings account doesn’t seem like a big deal until you try it. Once you see it in action, you wonder how you previously got along without it. Here’s how it works: you can create one or more sub-account with a unique name. You can then set up an auto-deposit to that account, or make manual deposits at your leisure. This allows you to easily set savings goals and track your progress. You no longer have to worry about trying to remember what percentage of your savings account is set aside for Christmas or a vacation fund. You can track it any time you log in. Common examples of sub-accounts include emergency funds, vacation fund, Christmas fund, major purchase, etc. The cool thing is that you can easily see all of your savings in aggregate, and you aren’t locking the money into these accounts. You can easily tap them if necessary.
Free online checking. Formerly known as Electric Orange Checking, the Capital One 360 checking gives you the freedom to write checks, make ATM withdrawals, utilize online bill pay, and make purchases with a debit card. In short, you can do anything with this checking account that you can do with virtually any other checking account. The difference is this checking account doesn’t have any monthly fees, and you can earn interest on the money held in the account. Click to learn more about the Capital One 360 Checking Account.
Kids savings accounts. This is more or less has the same features as the savings account above. The difference is you can open it in your child’s name.
Certificates of Deposit. CDs aren’t as exciting as they were a few years ago when you could easily find CDs in the 5% range. But if you are looking for certificates of deposit, you can check out the options available at Capital One 360. They are usually very competitive with most other banks. (rates and terms vary).
Capital One 360 Business Savings Account. I opened an ING Direct business savings account shortly after I opened my first business checking account and it has since transitioned to Capital One 360. I can access the account through my Capital One 360 account login, however, these accounts are not linked. You must link your business savings account to a business checking account. The good news is you only have to remember one login and PIN to access both accounts. Capital One 360 also offers a 401k plan for small businesses.
Mortgages. Capital One 360 offers competitive mortgage rates, but they tend to focus on shorter term loans, often with the Adjustable Rate Mortgages. You can, however, lock in a longer term fixed rate mortgage.
Benefits and Downsides to Capital One 360
Let’s start with the benefits, as there are several worth considering. The primary benefit is having easy online access to your funds while earning a competitive interest rate. The Capital One name is well-known, and well-trusted, so you know you are getting a quality product.
The sub-accounts are a nice feature that several other banks have recently begun offering. It’s great for those of us who prefer to “see” where all of our money is.
Tens of thousands of free ATMs. Before the acquisition, ING Direct offered customers around 38,000 free AllPoint ATMs. Once Capital One acquired ING Direct, they added their 2,000 ATMs, giving customers access to over 40,000 ATMs in the US. That’s pretty impressive!
Finally, remote check deposit makes Capital One 360 one of the most convenient banking options. If you haven’t tried remote check deposit, you need to. It’s a game changer! Before remote check deposit, customers had to mail in checks, which could take a couple days to arrive, then a couple days to clear. Now, customers can take a snapshot of their check with CheckMate, the Capital One 360 smartphone app. From there, it’s easy to follow the on-screen prompts to remotely deposit the check. No more stamps and envelopes, and no more waiting on the mail service to deliver the check for deposit!
As for the downsides, there aren’t many. I’ll start with a personal anecdote. After the transition to Capital One 360, I had to reset my PIN 2 times. This was a small inconvenience, but wasn’t a deal breaker for me (I have read other people had to do the same thing).
A more wide scale consideration has to do with FDIC insurance. Capital One 360 is FDIC insured, so your money is safe. However, they are covered under the same certificate as other Capital One banks. So if you were already a Capital One customer, you will want to ensure you don’t have more than $250,000 between your accounts held in one name.
Who should use Capital One 360?
As I mentioned above, I have been a customer for years. Their interest rates aren’t the top in the nation right now, but they remain competitive, which is good for my needs. The other benefits and features far outweigh any negatives that I have experienced. In my opinion, this is an excellent online banking solution for just about anyone.