This post may contain affiliate links. Meaning, at no extra cost to you, we may earn a commission, or miles and points from the companies mentioned in this post.
If you currently keep all your savings in coffee cans buried around your front yard, this article is perfect for you. If you’re currently paying for a checking account, or not earning any interest on it, or paying to withdraw your own money from ATMs, this article is definitely for you. I about fell out of my chair recently when a cousin told me they paid for a checking account. WHAT?! There are tons of free options out there for managing your money, most of which will pay much more interest than your local, hometown bank. No offense local, hometown banks. I have banked online exclusively since about 2004 and have never had a single issue. Other than earning upwards of 5% guaranteed interest (2007, before the crash- the good ol’ days).
Online banks are able to offer free services and much higher interest rates because they don’t have the overhead expenses of a typical brick-and-mortar bank. They’re not paying rent, or utilities, or supplying free coffee and lollipops for the kids. The money they save is passed onto you! Free money!
Meet Capital One 360
I have had checking and savings accounts with Capital One 360 since the dark days before Greg and I love them for their user-friendly website, the ability to open multiple accounts, their lack of hidden (or any) fees, or and of course their higher-than-average APYs (annual percentage yields). Nevermind the fact that all their accounts are totally free. FREE.
Our Capital One 360 checking account is just like yours- only we can’t walk in to make deposits or withdraw money. We have access to a checkbook (which I still figure on a weekly, if not daily basis because it’s super important to know where you money is actually going and I can’t believe how many people don’t do this) and I can make free withdrawals at over 39,000 ATMs.
Since it’s an online bank I have two options to deposit money- I can take a picture of a check and deposit it with my smartphone, or I can go to one of said free ATMs and deposit cash. Personally I think it’s easier to give cash to someone who still uses a brick-and-mortar and let them write me a check that I can then deposit on my phone.
We direct deposit our paychecks, and add or transfer funds from any of our other online accounts free of charge. I can set up bill pay, I can pay people directly with Zelle (kind of like PayPal), I can set up automatic deposits into any other account I want, and I can move money instantly- on the computer or my phone- between all my accounts with Capital One. It takes three business days to move money from outside accounts. At the time of writing, my totally free checking account earns 0.2% interest, which I’m guessing is more than your brick-and-mortar savings account.
I would refer people to Capital One 360 regardless, but they actually pay me to tell people about them. And if you open a new account through our link, they’ll pay you too. Earn $25 for a new Capital One 360 checking account with at least a $250 initial deposit. That’s like earning 10% interest right off the bat, which is incredible. Free money!
This is where I really love Capital One 360– they actually encourage (not putting all your eggs in one) basket savings and make it super simple to open additional accounts. We have four separate savings accounts with Capital One 360, all of which at the time of writing earn 1.0%. We’ve got one for the blog, one for giving away, one for money we’ve earned with our super lazy side hustles (‘side idles’?), and one that we don’t use anymore but I don’t want to close just in case I might need it one day.
Even though we’d earn more interest just throwing everything into one big money market, I love seeing the individual balances and knowing exactly how much we have for what. And it makes it a lot easier than trying to keep everything separated out on a spreadsheet which is what I would do, because I love knowing where our money is going.
All our savings accounts are totally free, but there is a monthly withdrawal limit on each individual account. You can put as much money as you want into them, but you can only take money out six times per month.
As before, if you open a new account through our link, you’ll earn $25 with an initial $250 deposit. Which is like what? 10% interest your first month- amazing!
Here’s where I get the real feels for Capital One 360. Their totally free Money Market is one of the highest-earning accounts on the ‘net, and is FDIC insured which means its earnings are guaranteed. It’s APY has been rising steadily this year with all the Fed increases, and at the time of writing is earning 1.6% interest.
This account requires a $10,000 minimum balance, but if you drop below that amount you’ll still earn 0.85% until it gets above $10,000 again. As with the other savings, you can absolutely open multiple money markets. We’ve got a couple- one for our main annual savings and one for our new (to us) car/truck/camper fund.
If you open a Money Market through our link, you’ll earn a $100(!) bonus which is like… you remember… 10% interest your first month! There is nothing Old Lady Warcken loves more than free money.
So what are you waiting for?
Paying for a checking account is so 1995. Get with the times! Bank online for free AND earn free money!