If you’re looking for a new checking account with no monthly maintenance fees and no minimum deposit requirements, Capital One offers a great option. This bank’s 360 Checking account even earns a little bit of interest -- and right now it offers a $350 bonus.
Checking accounts don’t get as much attention as savings accounts, CDs and money market accounts in the current rate environment, but most of us rely on these accounts for everyday transactions. When it comes to finding the right checking account, it’s important to land on one with no fees, easy access, convenient banking features and perhaps even a competitive annual percentage yield. A sign-up bonus is a cherry on top -- if all the other features check out.
Here’s everything you need to know about Capital One’s 360 Checking bonus offer, what you need to get it and what you should keep in mind before committing.
If you’re looking to open a savings account along with a checking account, compare different APYs and account benefits before moving your money. The table below shows you some of CNET’s partners’ savings offers.
Capital One’s 360 Checking account bonus details
Capital One is offering a $350 bonus when you open a new 360 Checking account by Oct. 18, 2023, and complete qualifying activities. To earn the new account bonus, you have to enter the promo code BONUS350 in the Promo Code box on opening the account. You must also set up and receive at least two qualifying direct deposits, of at least $250 each, within the first 75 days of opening the account. A qualifying direct deposit includes regular periodic payments, such as a salary; pension and government payments like Social Security; or other monthly income from an employer that processes as an Automated Clearing House or real-time payment network credit on your checking account.
You aren’t eligible for the bonus if you’ve opened a 360 Checking, Simply Checking, Total Control Checking or Money Teen Checking account as a primary or secondary account holder on or after Jan. 1, 2021. If you meet the listed requirements and eligibility criteria, the bonus will be directly deposited into your account within 60 days after your second qualifying direct deposit posts to your account.
Keep in mind that bank account bonuses are considered income by the Internal Revenue Service, or IRS, so the amount of your bonus will be reported on a 1099-INT form.
Why we like Capital One
Capital One is one of the 10 biggest US banks based on consolidated assets, according to the Federal Reserve’s most recent data. But unlike the checking accounts offered by most other big banks, Capital One’s 360 Checking account doesn’t have a minimum deposit requirement or a monthly maintenance fee, and it offers 0.10% APY on all balances. Though that isn’t as high as the APYs offered by some dedicated high-yield checking accounts, you get the benefit of banking with a large, established institution with physical branches (and cafes) to manage your money nationwide. Capital One also has a network of over 70,000 ATMs, where you can withdraw or deposit money fee-free. Additionally, you can deposit cash into your account at any CVS store.
Capital One doesn’t charge overdraft or nonsufficient funds fees, and there are no fees for overdraft protection. You can opt for auto-decline, which enables Capital One to decline any transactions that would overdraw your account, or an automatic transfer from a linked savings or money market account.
However, there are a few banking services that will result in charges, including cashier’s checks, outgoing wire transfers and additional printed checks. But you can receive your first checkbook for free through your online checking account.
If you want a greater return on your cash, Capital One also offers a high-yield savings account that earns 4.30% APY, winning it a place in our top picks for best savings accounts.
What you should know about bank bonuses
A cash bonus can be appealing if you’re in the market for a new bank account, but there are a few things you should keep in mind before committing to a new account. Here’s what you should know:
- Read the fine print for offer eligibility and requirements. It’s important to understand the terms of the offer, because failure to meet the eligibility or offer requirements can make you ineligible for the account bonus. Some things to look for in the fine print before you open an account: who’s eligible for the bonus, whether you have to complete certain activities to receive it, whether there’s a deadline to complete the activities, and how long it’ll take to receive your bonus.
- Understand that bank bonuses are considered taxable income. The IRS considers bank account bonuses as interest income, the same as any money you earn from a high-yield savings account or CD. Come tax season, you’ll receive a 1099-INT form from your bank. You need to report any bank account bonuses earned to the IRS.
- Keep an eye out for other account features and fees. Be mindful of whether the account has monthly maintenance fees, minimum balance requirements, or if you have to fulfill additional requirements to keep the account open. Getting a sign-up bonus might not be worth saddling yourself with monthly maintenance fees or high minimum balance requirements you can’t maintain.
- Know what the account closure policy is. You don’t want to sign up for a new account and then find you can’t close it -- or must pay a fee to close it -- down the line. Double check the account closure policy in the terms and conditions or deposit account agreement before opening an account.
Are bank account bonuses worth it?
Free money is free money, but is it really worth it? If you’re already shopping around for a new checking account, a cash bonus might just be the icing on the cake. But you shouldn’t necessarily open a checking account simply for its sign-up bonus without considering the monthly fees associated with the account and the requirements to earn the bonus. If you get stuck with a checking account with sky-high maintenance fees and a restrictive cancellation policy, any gains you might earn from the sign-up bonus might end up not being worth anything at all. Similarly, it would be a waste to go to all the effort to sign up for a new account, only to find you aren’t eligible for the bonus or can’t complete the required activities to get it.