Friday, November 29, 2013

One BIG mistake that you and I both might be making.

Okay dear readers, if you find yourself reading this today, you have successfully survived Black Friday. Having spent bookus of money (albeit while saving crazy amounts, too), returning safely from malls and stores without getting trampled to death you decide to power on the old computer device and check your favorite blog from La Tejana only to find out that you might be making ONE GIANT MISTAKE!
Okay readers, if you consider yourself a savvy world citizen, what one word should be focusing on in that last statement? If you just said "La Tejana", try again. While I appreciate your love for your favorite blogger, let's focus on might

Although I am new to the PF blogging community, I've been finding one very common thing among many blogs: Capital One 360.

Stephanie at Six Figures Under, Mr. Money Mustache and Erin at Red Debted StepChild all rave about the services offered by Capital One which made me curious to know what all the fuss was about. 

I currently bank with Bank of America for no particular reason. As a kid, my parents opened a savings account for me with a local bank (having about 4 branches in the area that I live). When I got my driver’s license, I then opened a checking account with the same bank only because I had zero clue and already banked with them. I loved this bank because since it was so small, it was “homey” and they were always incredibly helpful and willing to go the extra mile. They always were excited to see me and (always) remembered me when I came home from college.

Then, I chose to study abroad in Spain. As much as I loved my bank, they suggested that if I were going to be abroad for a significant amount of time, I should get a credit card from a larger bank.

So upon the recommendation of the bank and my father, I opened a credit card with Bank of America. Their international usage fees were probably just as high as my little local bank’s international fees, but their customer service was open 24/7 and they had great international customer service (which came in handy when my card “shut off” once in Madrid).

To make a long story shorter, eventually I opened a checking and savings account with Bank of America and closed my checking and savings with the smaller bank. I like Bank of America, but definitely don’t love them. Each BoA branch is a cookie cutter model and while the staff is friendly, there is no personality or sense of community like there are at other smaller banks.

But back to Capital One. To be honest, I know very little about Capital One, but here is what I found out:
-         Online and mobile banking (meaning no actual store fronts)
-         No minimums: withdrawals, deposits, amount needed to keep in account, etc.
-         Accompanied with MasterCard Debit Card (accepted almost everywhere)
-         No fees: Capital One does have ATMs, but if needing to use another bank’s ATM, Capital One will pay the ATM fee.
-         19% interest rate (wow!)

-         Not enough ATMs. Especially in my area. The closest ATM is 3 miles away. The closest BoA ATM is .25 miles away.
-         No people! I really do like the ability to walk into a bank and talk to a real life person face to face.
-         To deposit a check, you have to mail it in. Although the website claims it is helpful to “deposit in a pinch”.

In comparison to Bank of America:
-         I didn’t realize this, but Bank of America does have checking and savings fees. Luckily, since I opened my account as a college student, I am exempt from these fees, but this could be a deterrent for anyone who is not a student.

Please note- this is a very cursory overview of the services of both banks. There are certainly more pros and cons to each bank. However if I had yet to open a checking/savings account, I would seriously consider going with Capital One over Bank of America, but with where I am now, I think I will stick with what is comfortable (and for me, fee-free).

What do you think? Am I making the right choice or are there things I am missing? I’d love to hear your opinion. 

1 comment:

  1. We have had our Captial One accounts for somewhere close to a decade. They were ING Direct before Capital One bought them out. We really loved ING and were bummed when they became Capital One, but we were pleasantly surprised that they are just as awesome as ING was.

    I didn't realize the no fees part was so awesome until I talked to my SIL and she said they get a $10 fee every month because they don't keep enough money in their checking account. That's $120 a year! Holy cow! I say it's time to switch.

    For us the ATM thing has never been a big deal because we use ATMs very very rarely (as in it has been years since I can remember using one).