Capital One business account: A thorough overview

TransferWise
06.30.19
9 minute read

Capital One is one of the ten largest banks in the United States by deposits and is headquartered in Virginia. Through its hundreds of branches and Capital One Café locations, plus access to a network of 39,000 ATMs nationwide, it serves millions of customers each year.¹ Capital One has locations across the country, but mostly in the eastern and southern US. The bank’s site gives the locations in which it primarily operates as:²

  • District of Columbia
  • Louisiana
  • Maryland
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • Texas
  • Virginia

You can find a wide range of products at the bank, ranging from Capital One small business account options to a choice of credit cards. Each account will have its own set of features, as well as its own fees and other costs. Some may also have restricted eligibility criteria. In some cases, you could find that things vary depending on which part of the country you live in, so make sure you check the situation in your own state. You can do this either online or by asking a local branch. This will help you see more easily which Capital One product is the best way forward for you.

In this article, you’ll find out everything you need to know about business banking with Capital One, including a close look at its range of checking accounts. We’ll also tell you about another option: the TransferWise for Business borderless account. This offers a multi-currency service that may be a possible alternative to conventional banking for your company.

Capital One bank business checking accounts

If you’re a business owner or entrepreneur, you’ll likely need a checking account to handle your company’s day-to-day finances. This will make it far easier to keep track of your business expenses, and to keep them separate from your personal finances. Doing this will probably save you a lot of time and effort when it comes to accounting, and in turn with things like filing tax details. You’ll be happy to find that Capital One offers a choice of checking accounts aimed at small business owners. You can pick from:³

  • Spark Business Basic Checking
  • Spark Business Unlimited Checking

In a moment, we’ll talk a bit more about what each of these accounts offers. That’ll include any eligibility requirements, the features you can get from them, and the costs you need to be aware of.

If Capital One doesn’t have a convenient location for you, perhaps because it doesn’t operate locations in your state, you may want to look at alternatives. One of those is the TransferWise borderless business account, and we’ll talk about that in more depth later on in this article.

Other specialty business account types from Capital One

As well as its checking accounts, Capital One offers other business accounts for specific customer needs. You may find these useful in some cases. They include:⁴

  • Business Advantage Savings — an account for business owners who want to build up funds, maybe for future expansion or capital expenditure
  • Small Business Certificates of Deposit — a secure option for savers who want to save over the long term with a low level of risk

If you feel that one of these could suit your own company’s needs, then you can find all the details you’ll need by looking on Capital One’s business website.

In this article, we’ll keep the focus on checking accounts, since these are the kind that’s most often used by entrepreneurs and small business owners. You’ll likely find that the terms and conditions of checking accounts, as well as their fees and features, will differ from those of specialty products. Because of this, it’s really important that you spend a little time doing your own research before making your final choice.

How to choose the best bank account for your business

Before you do anything else, check the eligibility criteria for the account you’re looking at. There’s not much point in picking one you like the look of, only to find out later that you’re not eligible to open it. In particular, look at where Capital One offers its services to see whether it’s sensible for your business to use the bank.

Once you’ve done that, the next step is to take a good look at the limits and fees imposed by the account you’re considering. You’ll commonly find a monthly maintenance fee, though this may be waived if you keep your balance above a set minimum. Capital One calls this a minimum service fee, but the effect is the same. There may also be charges for things like making international transactions or depositing large amounts of money.

It’s worth exploring whether you’re going to stick beneath the transaction limit for the account. Most bank accounts let you have a certain number of transactions free each month, but after that there’s usually a fee for each extra transaction. This can quickly mount up, especially if you go a long way over the free limit. Again, a little time spent checking the exact terms can go a long way in helping you decide.

Something else that’s important to think about is the cost of exchanging currencies, especially if you do a lot of business overseas. This isn’t just a case of changing exchange rates, but which exchange rate you actually get at any given time. If you check rates on Google or Yahoo, the number you’ll see is the mid-market rate. This is pretty simple to understand: it’s the mid-point between the buy and sell rates, and it’s what banks use themselves. The snag is that it’s not the rate most banks will offer you. Very commonly, there’ll be a markup added to the rate, and there may be an extra fee, too. If you’re not ready for this, it can throw off your calculations and make a nasty dent in your business’s profits.

Because of all this, it’s a great idea to spend some time looking at the options you have, including newer alternatives to a conventional bank account. One of these is the TransferWise borderless account for business, which is a simple, low-stress way of sending and receiving money across national borders.

There’s no charge to open a TransferWise account, and there’s no minimum balance, either. Once you’re up and running, you’ll have local bank details for the US, Australia, New Zealand, the euro zone, and the UK. If you use these major currencies, you’ll be able to receive money without any charge. Sending money abroad is simple, too: you’ll get the mid-market rate we just talked about and there’s just a single, low, upfront fee to pay.

To give you an idea of whether it could be right for your business, here’s a quick run-down of how TransferWise’s fees compare to those you’ll pay with a Capital One business checking account: ⁵ ⁶ ⁷ ⁸

Capital One TransferWise
Monthly service fee $15 to $35, depending on account type None
Minimum average balance to waive monthly fee Between $2,000 and $25,000 over the past 30 or 90 days, depending on account type Not applicable — always free
Minimum deposit to open account $250 None

What do I need to open a business account with Capital One?

If you want to start an account for your company with Capital One, you can start the process either online or by visiting a local branch. This will let you check the latest details. Capital One business account requirements can sometimes change, so it’s always a good idea to know the latest rules before you go any further. You’ll need to be able to show that you’re a legal US citizen or permanent resident aged 18 or over. You’ll also need a valid Social Security Number.

The bank may ask some questions about your business, so it’s a good idea to take along details of your company. The exact requirements can vary depending on your state and type of business you own. Again, check the latest situation before you begin.⁹

Capital One business account fees ⁵ ⁶ ⁷ ⁸

Like most traditional bank accounts, Capital One’s business checking accounts have a monthly maintenance fee, though this bank calls it a service fee. In return for this, you get unlimited transactions every month. Depending on your account type, other features such as monthly cash deposits may have a set limit, and if you go above that you’ll pay extra. On the other hand, if you keep a specified balance in your account, the monthly fee can be waived.

In a minute, we’ll go deeper into each account’s fees and limits, but first here’s a table to let you see the main details at a glance.

Fee or limit type Capital One business account costs
Included monthly transactions No limit
Included monthly cash deposits $5,000 with Basic Checking; no limit with Unlimited Checking
Monthly service fee $15 to $35 depending on account type
Minimum average balance to waive monthly fee $2,000 to $25,000 depending on account type
Wire transfers Up to $15 for incoming and $25 for outgoing for domestic wires.

Breakdown of Capital One business accounts

Breakdown of Capital One business accounts

Now, let’s have a look at the checking accounts you can get for businesses with Capital One.

Spark Business Basic Checking ⁵ ⁷

This account is aimed at smaller businesses with straightforward needs. It aims to satisfy those who want simple cash flow management, but still offers unlimited transactions each month. With this account, as with all business checking accounts from Capital One, you’ll get a business debit card and round-the-clock access to online information and mobile deposits.

Fee or limit type Spark Business Basic Checking
Included monthly transactions No limit
Included monthly cash deposits $5,000; above this limit, you’ll pay $1 for each $1,000 you deposit
Monthly service fee $15
Minimum average balance to waive monthly fee $2,000 over the past 30 or 90 days
Wire transfers Domestic: $15 incoming, $25 outgoingForeign: $15 incoming, $40 outgoing in foreign currency, $50 outgoing in US dollars

Spark Business Unlimited Checking ⁸

The Unlimited Checking account is aimed at larger businesses that need to handle a higher amount of money. There’s no fee for cash deposits, though Capital One says the account isn’t designed for businesses with very high turnover. You’ll get next-day access to your funds, plus you can use the ProDeposit remote deposit service. You’ll also receive a limited number of free domestic wire transfers each month, plus up to two Basic Checking accounts, including fee waivers. The flip side of these extra features is that you’ll need to pay more every month to maintain the account.

Fee or limit type Spark Business Unlimited Checking
Included monthly transactions No limit
Included monthly cash deposits No limit, but account is not intended for businesses needing to deposit over $40,000 each month
Monthly service fee $35
Minimum average balance to waive monthly fee $25,000 over the past 30 or 90 days
Wire transfers Domestic: first five free, then $25 for each transferForeign: $15 incoming, $40 outgoing in foreign currency, $50 outgoing in US dollars

An alternative to Capital One business checking accounts — TransferWise for business

When you’re thinking about the right bank account to pick for your business, it’s really important to check a range of providers. That way, you’ll be able to compare the fees and features that each one has, and decide which of them is the best fit for your company.

One option is the TransferWise business borderless account, which gives business owners the chance to hold funds in more than 40 currencies worldwide. They can also use the account to send and receive money abroad, using the mid-market rate we talked about earlier. If you’d like, you can also make things simpler and cut down on admin requirements by integrating your TransferWise account with Xero. There’s also a TransferWise API, which will let you automate payments and smooth out your workflow. That’ll mean you can spend less time on that and more time making your company even better.


Choosing the right business bank account is something that needs to be done carefully. But the more options you look at, the better your chances will be of finding the product that’s ideal for your business needs. You can look at conventional bank accounts like the business checking accounts Capital One offers, and also modern alternatives like the TransferWise borderless account to replace or supplement a traditional bank account. Spending a little time on considering your choice may well bring rewards in terms of finding your company the account with the ideal balance of cost, convenience and features for your needs.


Sources:

  1. https://www.capitalone.com/bank/atm/ 3 June
  2. https://www.capitalone.com/about/ 3 June
  3. https://www.capitalone.com/small-business-bank/checking-accounts/ 5 June
  4. https://www.capitalone.com/small-business-bank/savings-cds/ 6 June
  5. Capital One Spark Business Basic Checking fees and services 7 June
  6. Capital One Spark Business Unlimited Checking fees and services 7 June
  7. Capital One Spark Business Checking 7 June
  8. Spark Business Unlimited Checking 7 June
  9. Chamber of Commerce Capital One Small Business Checking review 9 June

This publication is provided for general information purposes only and is not intended to cover every aspect of the topics with which it deals. It is not intended to amount to advice on which you should rely. You must obtain professional or specialist advice before taking, or refraining from, any action on the basis of the content in this publication. The information in this publication does not constitute legal, tax or other professional advice from TransferWise Limited or its affiliates. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether express or implied, that the content in the publication is accurate, complete or up to date.

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