SmartCents Checking Account with Capital One

September 23, 2009 1 Comment »

Every national bank seems to have their own checking account promotional offer these days. Capital One’s is slightly different than the $100 promotional offers being made through Chase Bank and Sovereign Bank (among others). It actually seems to be more of a distant relative of the “keep the change” offer through Bank of America.

Here is how Capital One’s “Smart Cents” works:

Every time you use your debit card and make a purchase or pay a bill online – $0.50 is automatically transferred from your checking account to your savings account – and for the first 3 months, Capital One will match the $0.50 with $0.50 of their own money. After the promotional 3 month period is over, Cap One will continue to match but at a much lower rate of 5 % (rather than 100% matching during the first 3 months).

Cap on Rewards with SmartCents:

Capital One will only match up to $100 during the first 3 months and just $300 total for any given year. You can earn an additional $30 in bonuses too – set up a direct deposit for $15 and get another $15 for your first online bill payment.

The automatic micro transfers from your checking account to savings account each month are all fee free. The checking account associated with this deal is also a “free checking account.”

Our Take:

We like this account primarily because the cash bonuses are ongoing rather than a one-off sort of sign-up bonus we are used to seeing from major banks. If you’re looking for a solid rewards structure from a checking account, however, we still think Perkstreet’s online checking account is far more rewarding, but if you already hold Capital One products (say a mortgage and/or credit cards) this may make sense over the Perkstreet offer since you’re already conducting most of your business through them.

Checking account bonuses are still holding strong though, despite the fact that interest rates are falling for all FDIC-insured bank accounts. Banks and credit unions both regularly offer checking deals such as these to attract new customers throughout the year, visit our checking account promotions page for updated offers.

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  • Wayne

    This account now comes with massive fees if you dont hold a certain balance. For my state it’s $2,500 otherwise a $15 monthly fee. Not worth it anymore imo