The bottom line:
Capital One business checking boasts unlimited transactions — a rare feature from a brick-and-mortar bank — but its service area is small and its opening deposit is high, dampening its appeal.
Pros & Cons
Unlimited fee-free transactions.
Expansive ATM network including MoneyPass and Allpoint ATMs.
Full suite of business services, including business credit cards and loans.
No free business checking account options.
$250 minimum opening deposit requirement.
Limited service area; must apply in person.
How does Capital One compare?
U.S. Bank Silver Business Checking
Axos Bank® Basic Business Checking
Waived with $5,000 minimum balance
Requirements to qualify
See offer page for more details
Requirements to qualify
Capital One offers two business checking accounts: Spark Business Basic Checking and Spark Business Unlimited Checking.
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 for a higher monthly fee.
While this review includes information on both accounts, the star rating indicated above is specific to the Capital One Spark Business Basic Checking account.
Each Spark Business Checking account carries a monthly fee — $15 for Basic, $35 for Unlimited — which can be waived if you meet certain average balance thresholds. Both offer unlimited fee-free transactions, an uncommon feature among business checking accounts from brick-and-mortar banks, and customers can access a full suite of business services including small-business loans and top-rated business credit cards.
Those features make Capital One a good option for growing businesses that prefer an in-person experience. But Capital One has a limited footprint. Its small-business checking accounts are available in only eight states and Washington, D.C. and you must visit a branch to apply.
Capital One business checking is best for small-business owners who:
Have a high monthly transaction volume, but don’t want an online-only bank.
Qualify to waive the monthly service fee.
Can take advantage of Capital One’s other business financing products.
Spark Business Basic Checking
Spark Business Unlimited Checking
$15, waived with a minimum balance of $2,000+ over 30- or 90- day average, whichever is greater.
$35, waived with a minimum balance of $25,000+ over 30- or 90- day average, whichever is greater.
Minimum opening deposit requirement:
Up to $5,000 per month with no fee, after that $1 fee per $1,000 deposited.
How to open a Capital One business checking account
Capital One business checking accounts can only be opened in person. The bank has branches in Connecticut, Delaware, Louisiana, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Texas, Virginia and Washington, D.C.
What you need to open a Capital One business account
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 entity type and state.
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 can order your business debit card and checks, if needed, and set up online and mobile banking.
Where Capital One business checking stands out
Unlimited fee-free transactions: Both of Capital One’s small-business checking accounts include unlimited fee-free transactions, including deposits, withdrawals and transfers. This is a rare feature among brick-and-mortar banks, which typically limit your monthly transactions and charge when you exceed your allotted amount.
Online business checking accounts almost always offer unlimited fee-free transactions, though. And most do so without charging a monthly fee or requiring a hefty opening deposit.
ATM access: Most big national banks, including Chase, Wells Fargo and Bank of America, limit free ATM usage to machines owned by the bank. Not Capital One.
Capital One partners with MoneyPass and Allpoint ATM networks, so business checking customers have access to over 70,000 fee-free ATMs with no added charge from Capital One. You can withdraw cash at any of these ATMs, but you can deposit cash only at Capital One ATMs.
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 a Capital One business loan or credit card in the future.
Where Capital One business checking falls short
Extra fees: Both Capital One business checking accounts have a monthly fee. While it can be waived if the minimum balance is maintained, that bar can be rather high for business owners operating on tight margins.
Beyond the monthly fee, Capital One also has myriad incidental fees, including overdraft and nonsufficient funds fees ($35 each) and international wire transfer fees ($15 for incoming, $40 for outgoing, $50 for outgoing in U.S. dollars).
While these fees are common for brick-and-mortar banks, they’re less common among online competitors.
High opening deposit: Capital One requires a $250 minimum opening deposit, which is far higher than its competitors and could put the account out of reach for some businesses.
Want a brick-and-mortar bank without the high initial deposit? Wells Fargo only requires a $25 opening deposit, while Chase Business Complete Checking doesn’t require one at all. You can also open most online business accounts with no money upfront.
Limited availability; must apply in person: Capital One accounts are limited to small-business owners in eight states largely on the East Coast, plus Washington, D.C.
That alone may not be a deal breaker but, coupled with the requirement to apply in person, makes the bank less-than-convenient for business owners who don’t live near a branch or who can’t get to a branch during normal business hours.
Several Capital One competitors, including Chase, Bank of America and U.S. Bank, allow you to open a business account online.