Capital One Business Checking: 2021 Review

Capital One's business checking accounts come with unlimited transactions, fee-free ATM access and a suite of other small-business products.
Randa KrissJan 21, 2021

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Capital One business checking is a fit for small-business owners who are looking for comprehensive banking from a brick-and-mortar bank. Capital One offers two business checking accounts — Spark Business Basic Checking and Spark Business Unlimited Checking. Both include fee-free in-network ATM access, the ability to send and receive wires, as well as online and mobile banking.

Both Spark Business Checking accounts also offer unlimited fee-free transactions, an uncommon feature among business checking accounts from brick-and-mortar banks. Capital One’s small business checking products are available in only eight states and Washington, D.C. — and you must visit a branch to apply.

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Pros

Cons

The Spark Business Basic Checking account is an entry-level account with a low monthly fee. The Spark Business Unlimited Checking account offers a step up with fewer limitations than the Basic account, as well as some additional features — but a higher monthly fee.

To open an account, you must visit a branch and complete an application. These accounts are available in Connecticut, Delaware, Louisiana, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Texas, Virginia and Washington, D.C.

To verify your eligibility before visiting a branch to apply, you can enter your ZIP code on the small business banking section of the Capital One website or contact your local branch.

To apply, you’ll need to provide basic information about yourself and any additional business owners, like Social Security numbers and addresses. You’ll also need basic information about your business — like the Tax ID number, number of employees and annual gross revenue —  as well as legal documentation, which varies by and state.

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After your application has been approved, a branch associate will walk you through the final steps of the process, including funding your account. Regardless of which account you choose, you’ll be required to make a minimum opening deposit of $250.

Once your Capital One business checking account is open, you’ll be able to manage your finances with online and mobile banking, order your business debit card and use it for free at any Capital One or Allpoint ATM.

Unlimited fee-free transactions: With either of the Capital One small-business checking accounts, you receive unlimited fee-free transactions, including deposits, withdrawals and transfers. Although this is a common feature of online-based business checking accounts, many brick-and-mortar banks limit your monthly transactions and charge a fee for each transaction beyond the limit.

ATM access: Capital One business checking gives you access to over 70,000 fee-free ATMs, including Capital One, MoneyPass and Allpoint ATMs. You can withdraw cash at any of these ATMs, but you can deposit cash only at Capital One ATMs.

The Spark Business Basic Checking account limits you to $5,000 in cash deposits per month without any fees. After you reach that threshold, you’ll pay $1 per every $1,000 you deposit. With the Spark Business Unlimited Checking account, on the other hand, you won’t pay any fees for cash deposits.

Account options: Capital One offers two different business checking accounts, giving you the opportunity to choose an account based on your small business’s financial needs. Although both Spark business checking accounts have similar core features, they differ in terms of monthly fees, cash deposit fees and included wires.

Suite of small-business products: Capital One offers a variety of other small-business products and services. Business owners who prefer to bundle financial services with one institution can add or business loan in the future.

Fees: Both Capital One business checking accounts have a monthly fee, $15 or $35, though they can be waived if the minimum balance is maintained. In addition to the Spark Basic Checking cash deposit fee, both accounts will face fees for international wire transfers — $15 for incoming, $40 for outgoing ($50 for outgoing in U.S. dollars).

Furthermore, Capital One charges overdraft and nonsufficient funds, or NSF, fees of $35 each, though you have the option to enroll in free overdraft protection.

Although you’ll find these types of fees at most brick-and-mortar banks, they’re less common among online competitors.

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Restricted state availability: Capital One accounts are limited to small-business owners in eight states largely on the East Coast, plus Washington, D.C.

Have to visit a branch to apply: Capital One requires that you visit a branch to open one of its business checking accounts. In comparison, national brick-and-mortar competitors like Chase and Bank of America give you the option to open their business checking accounts online.

Although many small-business owners continue to visit a branch to open their business bank accounts, a 2019 study from the BAI Banking Outlook indicated that nearly 70% of business owners would prefer to open an account online.

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