As a small business owner exploring different financing tools and solutions, you’ve likely heard of Capital One’s business suite—Spark for Business.
Known for their business-friendly products, Capital One offers a variety of solutions within this suite—business credit cards, lines of credit, and even business bank accounts—including both checking and savings accounts.
So, if you’re looking for a home for your business finances, you might be wondering: Is a Capital One Business Checking account right for me?
Our review will walk you through everything you need to know to make that decision — plus break down some of the top Spark Business Checking alternatives — so you have plenty of options to choose from.
Let’s get started.
Although Capital One provides two unique business checking account products: Spark Business Basic Checking and Spark Business Unlimited Checking.
Starting with the Spark Basic Checking account, let’s see what these Capital One Business Checking products have to offer.
Great For: Unlimited fee-free transactions.
Min to Open
No Fee Balance
A very important feature for business owners looking for a checking account, this Capital One Spark Business Checking account comes with unlimited fee-free transactions.
This is pretty rare for a checking account from a traditional bank for small business and certainly sets Capital One apart from competitors like Chase or Bank of America.
Therefore, it’s nice to know when you’re spending with your Spark Basic account, you won’t have fees to consider, no matter how many transactions you make, how many times you spend per month.
Next, the Capital One Spark Basic Business Checking account allows you to make cash deposits worth up to $5,000 per month for no charge. Once you’ve reached this cash deposit cap, you’ll have to pay $1 per $1,000 you deposit in cash.
To send and receive wires with this Capital One Small Business Checking account, you’ll have to pay a fee, whether the wire is domestic or international.
For domestic wires, you’ll pay $15 per incoming wire and $25 per outgoing wire. For international wires, on the other hand, you’ll pay $15 per incoming wire, $40 per outgoing wire if it’s in a foreign currency, and $50 per outgoing wire if it’s in U.S. dollars.
Considering that all wires have an associated fee with the Spark Basic account, if you know your business will be performing a substantial amount of wire transfers, you might look for a bank account option with more flexible wire fees.
On top of these three main features, it’s worth noting some of the other elements that are included with the Capital One Spark Business Basic Checking account.
First, this account will include free overdraft protection with a linked Capital One small business deposit account. Additionally, you’ll receive a free business debit card—which can be used fee-free at over 39,000 Capital One ATMs around the U.S.
You’ll also have access to free online bill pay, free mobile check deposit, online and mobile account management, and free online banking statements. This being said, however, some additional features will require a fee—for example, you’ll need to pay $10 per check for Cashier’s Checks, a variable fee based on the product to receive business checks or deposit slips, and $5 per statement if you need a mailed or faxed version.
For all of these features, the Capital One Spark Business Basic Checking account will require a $15 monthly service fee.
The Spark Basic checking account comes with a monthly service fee of $15. However, if your prior 30- or 90-day account balance averages $2,000 or more, then Capital One will waive this service fee—in which case, it becomes an essentially free business checking account.
This being said, however, the Spark Basic Checking account will also require a minimum opening deposit of $250, but, after this deposit, there is no minimum monthly balance required for this account.
The second Capital One Business Checking account option, Spark Business Unlimited Checking, is designed to accommodate slightly larger small businesses, with more flexibility in terms of cash deposits and wires.
This being said, however, this Capital One Spark Business Checking account also has a higher fee-waiving threshold (along with a higher fee), once again, making it suitable for businesses with high transaction volumes and balances.
Let’s explore the details.
Like the Spark Basic account, the Capital One Spark Business Unlimited Checking account allows unlimited transactions every month. This means you won’t have to worry about consolidating purchases or moving transactions from month-to-month—no limit on free monthly transactions means you don’t have to worry about being charged for frequently investing in your business.
One of the biggest differences between the Spark Basic Checking account and the Spark Unlimited is how each account handles cash deposits.
Whereas the Basic account only allows you to deposit $5,000 per month before charging $1 per $1,000 deposited, the Spark Unlimited does not charge any fees for cash deposits. It is worth noting, however, that Capital One makes the caveat that this account is designed for businesses with cash deposit needs under $40,000 per month.
Therefore, if you think your business will deposit over this amount monthly, you’ll want to talk to Capital One, or another financial institution, about alternative banking options.
Wires are another feature where the Spark Unlimited excels beyond the Spark Basic. With this account, you can receive an unlimited amount of incoming domestic wires for free. Plus, you’ll be able to send your first five domestic outgoing wires for free as well.
Beyond the first five, however, you’ll have to pay $25 per outgoing domestic wire transfer.
For international wires, on the other hand, you’ll face the same fees as the Spark Basic Business Checking account. You’ll pay $15 per incoming international wire, $40 per outgoing if the transfer is in a foreign currency, and $50 per outgoing transfer if it’s in U.S. dollars.
What other features does this Capital One Business Checking account have to offer?
Like the Spark Basic account, the Spark Unlimited includes free overdraft protection with a linked small business deposit account, free mobile check deposit, a free business debit card with Capital One ATM access, free online bill pay, as well as free online and mobile checking account management.
Additionally, this Capital One Spark Business Checking account will also have the benefit of next-day funds availability—meaning most of your deposits will be available the very next day. Moreover, you’ll also be able to enroll in ProDeposit, a cash flow management tool supported by the Capital One Bank Treasury Management Group.
Once again, however, you’ll need to pay associated fees for items such as checks, deposit slips, Cashier’s Checks, and physical statement copies.
The Spark Business Unlimited Checking account, however, will require a higher monthly service fee than the Basic Checking account.
You’ll have to pay $35 per month for this account, and this fee can only be waived if you have a 30- or 90-day average account balance of $25,000—which is a huge increase compared to the $2,000 threshold of the Spark Basic.
This being said though, a Spark Unlimited account also grants you access to two Spark Business Basic Checking accounts, which you can use without having to pay the associated monthly fee for each account.
Finally, like the Spark Basic account, the Spark Unlimited will require a $250 minimum opening deposit.
So, now that we’ve explored the two different Capital One Spark Business Checking accounts, how do you know which one to choose?
Well, it ultimately comes down to what your business needs in a business checking account—and which, if either, of these two options more closely meets your needs. Generally, as you search for the right account for your business, you’ll want to consider and compare business bank account features such as:
With this in mind, how do these two accounts stand out from one another?
On the whole, they’re relatively similar: They both have unlimited transactions, free mobile check deposit, online bill pay and account management, and a free Capital One business debit card.
However, their differences are notable. Mainly, the Spark Basic account has a lower service fee and lower balance threshold to waive that fee—but, it also has a limit for free monthly cash deposits, as well as fees for all domestic wires. The Spark Unlimited account, on the other hand, has a higher service fee and higher balance threshold to waive the fee, but has no limits on free cash deposits, no fees for incoming domestic wires, and includes five free outgoing domestic wires per month.
Therefore, if you were looking to choose between these two Capital One Small Business Checking accounts, the right one for you would come down to these three features—service fee, cash deposits, and domestic wires.
If you don’t need a higher cap for cash deposits and would prefer a lower (or more easily waived) service fee, you would want to go with the Spark Basic. On the other hand, if you receive a significant amount of domestic wires, deposit more than $5,000 in cash per month, and don’t mind paying (or can waive) a higher monthly service fee, the Capital One Spark Business Unlimited account will be the better choice for you.
With all of this in mind, let’s continue our Capital One Small Business Checking account review by discussing how these accounts stand out compared to other business checking accounts on the market. What are the advantages and drawbacks of doing your business banking with Capital One?
Let’s break it down.
The main advantage to either of the Capital One Business Checking account is their unlimited monthly transaction allowance—this feature is pretty uncommon for business checking accounts from traditional banks. For instance, all of the Chase business checking accounts set caps on the number of free monthly transactions.
Therefore, either of these accounts will allow you to make deposits, withdrawals, and non-wire transfers without having to worry about fees and monthly limits.
Additionally, another top benefit of these Capital One Spark Business Checking accounts is their branch and ATM access capabilities. With either of these accounts, you’ll be able to use your debit card for free at Capital One ATMs, deposit cash (an unlimited amount with the Spark Unlimited), and work with an account advisor, in-person, if necessary.
Although these features may not seem out-of-the-ordinary, there are online-only banks—like Novo—that offer a variety of unique features, but are missing these benefits associated with traditional brick-and-mortar banks.
Therefore, if cash deposits or in-person access is particularly important to your business, these will be great advantages to the Capital One Business Checking products.
Despite these benefits, the accounts also come with their downsides.
Let’s check out two of the most notable cons to these business bank account products.
Although the Spark Unlimited account offers greater flexibility in terms of wire transfers than the Spark Basic account, the pretty sizable fees associated with wire transfers could definitely be a top downside for these accounts, especially for businesses who make or receive frequent wire transfers.
This is particularly the case if you’ll be wiring internationally, as both of these Capital One Spark Business Checking accounts charge for international wires, regardless of whether you’re sending or receiving them.
One of the most significant downsides of the Capital One Business Checking accounts is that you can only apply for an account in-person at a branch location.
And, unlike Chase or Bank of America — which have locations spread across the country — Capital One only has locations in the following states: Connecticut, Delaware, Louisiana, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Texas, Virginia, and Washington, D.C.
Therefore, access to the Capital One business checking accounts are restricted largely based on location.
So, considering the downsides of the Capital One Business Checking accounts, you might be interested in learning more about top business bank account alternatives.
Luckily, there are a number of competitive business checking account products on the market for you to choose from. Let’s check out four of your top options.
Great For: NOTE: BlueVine has paused accepting new applications as of April 2021
Min to Open
No Fee Balance
The first alternative you might consider to the Capital One Spark Business Checking accounts is BlueVine business checking.
As an online-only option, BlueVine offers significant flexibility with their business checking account, plus, no account fees.
First and foremost, you can apply for a BlueVine business checking account quickly and easily online, which is something you can’t currently do with either of the Capital One accounts.
Additionally, there’s no minimum opening deposit for this account, no minimum balance requirement, and no monthly fees. There are no monthly limits or fees on your transactions—and you’ll be able to deposit checks using the BlueVine mobile app. You’ll also be able to link third party bank accounts to make electronic transfers, as well as send and receive both ACH and domestic wire transfers.
Moreover, the BlueVine business checking account gives you fee-free access to 38,000 MoneyPass ATMs around the U.S. to withdraw cash—plus, unlike many online-based business bank accounts, you’ll also be able to deposit cash at any of the 90,000 Green Dot locations across the country. Cash deposits, however, will require a $4.95 fee.
On top of these benefits, BlueVine also gives you the ability to earn 1% interest on balances up to $100,000, as well as schedule one-time and recurring payments, add payees to your account, and access two free checkbooks.
All of this being said, if you’re looking for a highly accessible, fee-free business checking account, BlueVine is going to be one of your best options—and a great alternative to the Capital One Business Checking accounts.
On the other hand, if you’d prefer a Capital One Spark Business Checking alternative from a more traditional bank, you might look into one of the three Chase business checking accounts.
With three different accounts, each with its own features and fees, Chase’s business checking products can accommodate a wide variety of businesses—however, perhaps the most small-business friendly is the Chase Business Complete Banking account.
The Chase Business Complete Banking account has a $0 minimum opening deposit, 20 free paper or teller transactions per month, and, like the Spark Basic Checking account, allows you to deposit up to $5,000 in cash per month with no fee.
Additionally, this Chase account includes unlimited free electronic deposits (excluding wires), online and mobile account access, and a network of over 16,000 ATMs across the U.S.
Unlike BlueVine, however, which has no monthly fees, this Chase business checking account will require a low monthly fee that can be waived multiple ways—including by maintaining the minimum daily balance
All in all, the Chase Business Complete Banking account is a great Capital One alternative if you’re looking for a brick-and-mortar based bank account with well-rounded features. Plus, if you need a higher amount of monthly transactions (and can afford a higher monthly service fee) you also have the option to consider the Chase Performance Business Checking account or the Chase Platinum Business Checking account.
The third Capital One Business Checking account alternative you might consider is the NBKC Business Bank account.
Like BlueVine, NBKC is an online-first bank, allowing you to open your business checking account online quickly and easily. Additionally, with NBKC, there’s no minimum opening deposit, no minimum balance requirement, and essentially no fees whatsoever.
With this business checking account, you’ll have unlimited monthly transactions, mobile check deposit, online and mobile account management, as well as access to over 32,000 MoneyPass ATMs across the U.S., fee-free, with your NBKC business debit card. Moreover, to cover fees you incur from other ATMs, NBKC will give you $12 in monthly refunds.
On top of these benefits, NBKC also won’t charge any fees for: Returned items, overdrafts, NSFs, eStatements, Cashier’s Checks, stop payments, incoming domestic wires, and bill pay. The only times you’ll face fees with this account is for sending domestic wires ($5) and sending or receiving international wires ($45).
Plus, you can also pair an NBKC Business Money Market Account with your checking account for no monthly fee and no minimum opening deposit—and this account will incur interest with a 0.10% APY.
Therefore, as an account with almost no-fees, impressive account accessibility and flexibility, NBKC is a great alternative to either of the Capital One Spark Business Checking accounts.
Finally, the last Capital One Business Checking account alternative you might look into is the Bank of America business checking accounts. Like the Chase business checking accounts, the Bank of America accounts are great options if you’d prefer branch access with a more traditional financial institution.
Like Capital One, Bank of America offers two different business checking account options—Business Advantage Fundamentals Checking and Business Advantage Relationship Checking. With the Advantage Fundamentals Checking account, you’ll receive 200 free monthly transactions, deposit $7,500 in cash per month with no fee, and use your Bank of America business debit card for free at any BoA ATM around the U.S.
Additionally, the Business Advantage Fundamentals Checking account will include free online and mobile banking and free mobile check deposit.
This being said, however, like the Spark Basic Checking account, you’ll have to pay for both domestic and international wires with this Bank of America account: $15 for incoming domestic wires, $30 for outgoing domestic wires, $16 for incoming international wires, and $45 for outgoing international wires.
Moreover, the Bank of America Business Advantage Fundamentals Checking account will require a $16 monthly service fee—but, they’ll also offer three different ways for you to waive that fee.
Therefore, like the Chase business checking accounts, Bank of America is a worthy option for brick-and-mortar based banking with substantial features and an easily waivable monthly fee.
Plus, if you’re looking for greater flexibility with your business checking account, you also have the option to check out the Business Advantage Relationship account from Bank of America—which offers twice as many free monthly transactions, a higher cash deposit threshold, and—although it has a higher monthly fee, it also offers two different ways for you to waive the fee.
At the end of the day, only you can decide which checking account is right for your business.
This being said, the Capital One Business Checking accounts stand out as options from a traditional brick-and-mortar bank that offer unlimited monthly transactions, although they are restricted based on location.
If these accounts aren’t available in your area, we’d recommend looking into some top alternatives: If you’d prefer a business bank account—like either of the Capital One Business Spark accounts—from a traditional financial institution, you might consider either the Chase or Bank of America business accounts. On the other hand, if you’re interested in an online-first account with immense flexibility and essentially no fees, you might then consider NBKC.
And—if you’re really interested in working with Capital One for your business or personal finances, you still have options. As we mentioned above, Capital One offers one of the most competitive business credit card suites on the market—the Capital One Spark Business Cards—as well as a number of other products designed for small businesses. Plus, if you need a new personal checking account, you might look into the fee-free, online Capital One 360 Checking account.
Randa Kriss is a senior staff writer at Fundera.
At Fundera, Randa specializes in reviewing small business products, software, and services. Randa has written hundreds of reviews across a wide swath of business topics including ecommerce, merchant services, accounting, credit cards, bank accounts, loan products, and payroll and human resources solutions.