My Experience Visiting A Capital One Cafe

My Experience Visiting A Capital One Cafe

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I recently visited a Capital One Cafe for the first time, and figured I’d share my thoughts. Maybe you’ve seen a Capital One Cafe before, and have wondered what exactly that is. Or maybe you’ve never heard about Capital One Cafes, in which case you may also be wondering why a bank has cafes.

What are Capital One Cafes?

There are several dozen Capital One Cafes around the United States. Think of them as being somewhere between a coffee shop and bank. Capital One Cafes are described as community centers that are open to everyone, whether you just want a quiet place to work or relax, or whether you have questions about banking.

A few things to note:

  • Capital One Cafes are full service coffee shops operated in conjunction with Peet’s Coffee; so you can get coffee, sweet treats, sandwiches, etc.
  • Capital One Cafes have “Cafe Ambassadors” who can answer any banking questions you might have, and you can expect that each location will have community events, and offer money & life programs, to help people be financially responsible
  • Capital One Cafes all have ATMs, should you need to get cash
  • Capital One Cafes all have community rooms, which are free meeting rooms available to non-profit, alumni, and student organizations

What’s it like to visit a Capital One Cafe?

I was recently in West Palm Beach, Florida, and drove past a Capital One Cafe, so I figured I’d check it out, especially since I wanted to pick up a cold brew. The cafe had several tables outside.

Capital One Cafe exterior

I found the indoor space to be quite nice, nicer than your average Starbucks.

Capital One Cafe interior

In the front of the cafe was plenty of seating, including couches, chairs, and tables.

Capital One Cafe interior
Capital One Cafe interior

Deeper into the lounge was the part of the cafe that was more like a bank, as there was an ATM, as well as several Cafe Ambassadors. Note that there’s no attempted sales pitch here, or anything. The Cafe Ambassadors are there if you want to talk to them, but they leave you alone otherwise, which I appreciate.

Capital One Cafe interior

There was a legitimate coffee shop in here, with a menu from Peet’s Coffee.

Capital One Cafe Peet’s Coffee
Capital One Cafe Peet’s Coffee menu
Capital One Cafe Peet’s Coffee selection

What’s awesome is that Capital One credit and debit customers get 50% off any beverage. I paid for a cold brew with my Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card (review), and that came out to just over $2. It’s not often you can get a cold brew for that price nowadays!

Capital One Cafe card member discount
Capital One Cafe Peet’s cold brew

I had my laptop with me, so sat for a bit and worked. There were a couple of other people who eventually showed up, but the Capital One Cafe was significantly quieter than any Starbucks I’ve been in.

Bottom line

I visited a Capital One Cafe for the first time, and was pleasantly surprised, and could see myself returning. While Capital One Cafes have banking services, what I appreciate is that these cafes are a quiet place to work from, and if you’re a Capital One customer, you get 50% off drinks. A quiet place to work and ~$2 cold brew? That’s tough to beat.

If you find yourself near a Capital One Cafe and are looking for a better alternative to Starbucks, then it’s worth keeping Capital One Cafes on your radar.

It’s unconventional for banks to have cafes open to the public, so I’m happy I had the chance to check this out. It’s still not quite as great as the Capital One Lounge DFW, though…

If you’ve visited a Capital One Cafe, what was your experience like?

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  1. Buster Guest

    The CapOne Cafe is nice. I frequent the one in WPB But have visited others as well. My only gripe is that parking to get to these is consistently annoying. They're in outdoor strips which means you often have to park 2+blocks Away and often pay for parking. Not a big deal if you're going to walk the shops after, but a very different story if you simply want coffee on the way to work.

    The CapOne Cafe is nice. I frequent the one in WPB But have visited others as well. My only gripe is that parking to get to these is consistently annoying. They're in outdoor strips which means you often have to park 2+blocks Away and often pay for parking. Not a big deal if you're going to walk the shops after, but a very different story if you simply want coffee on the way to work.
    Is a sneaky way to offer a discounted service but also making it a bit difficult for customers to really use the service.

  2. TimR Guest

    Can you apply for the new Spark Travel Elite card there?

    1. Buster Guest

      Yes. There are usually 2 or 3 CapOne representatives there who will guide you through the process. In most locations they have tablets.
      CapOne generally does not give a different bonus or perk when you apply there versus on your own at home.

  3. AaronP Guest

    There is a promo going on in July/August...All handcrafted iced drinks are $1 Friday-Sunday. I got an iced cappuccino at the Miracle Mile cafe in Coral Gables last Saturday. It was great!

  4. John Guest

    Funny, I was just in my local Capital One Café a few hours ago. Pre-Covid I was a frequent visitor, but they were closed for a while and never completely recovered.

    From what I have observed, the fundamental problem is that they don't know what they want the Cafés to be used for, and who is welcome/not. Is it an urban lounge for Capital One customers? Is it a WeWork for Capital One customers? Is...

    Funny, I was just in my local Capital One Café a few hours ago. Pre-Covid I was a frequent visitor, but they were closed for a while and never completely recovered.

    From what I have observed, the fundamental problem is that they don't know what they want the Cafés to be used for, and who is welcome/not. Is it an urban lounge for Capital One customers? Is it a WeWork for Capital One customers? Is it a coffee shop designed to grow Capital One product awareness from non-customers? Is it an in-person customer service channel? They seem to want it to be all of the above, but instead at least the ones in Chicago are successful at none. The coffee bar doesn't have the staffing to compete with Starbucks, and is actually Aramark not Peet's. The staff are incredibly friendly, but have no access to your account and cannot actually help with an issue.

    One of the locations was unfortunately next to a high school, and it was overrun daily with students after school. They never bought anything from the coffee bar, and were not Capital One customers. They just hung out in the "nooks" and chilled. According to the premise of the Café, this was theoretically fine, except the kids turned off other patrons and had no intention of opening accounts. Thus the Café now closes when their school gets out, so the kids can't come while still welcoming anyone on paper. The downtown location has issues with homeless people coming in- same situation.

    In my opinion, they should become urban versions of the Capital One Lounge in DFW- exclusive clubs for Capital One customers to refresh when traveling/working, maybe do some remote work, connect with the brand, and access ATMs/support. Outside guests can visit as part of a meeting with an ambassador to learn more about the Capital One products, not just for any reason.

  5. George Guest

    I have visited the Miami cafe at Brickell and the one at lincoln Road Miami Beach many times.
    Find the Peets coffee far better than one gets at Starbucks and the physical layout of the cafe is more spacious and feels less crowded.
    The baristas and staff are all friendly and helpful.Finally the 50% reduction is an added bonus.

  6. Mark Guest

    For Capital One banking customers, they have the greatest ATMs I’ve ever seen. You can get $5s, $20s, even $100s, in any assortment you choose. Deposit a stack of cash in any denomination and it’ll count it, and if you deposit a check your receipt will contain a little picture. I’m sure some other banks do this but none I ever did business with. And yes, good coffee, half price.

  7. Ivan B Guest

    I often go to the one in Valley Fair Mall in San Jose, CA. It’s a nice place to sit and with 50% off it’s the best deal there.

  8. Mimo Guest

    Santander bank also has a Cafe in nyc Williamsburg neighborhood in Brooklyn, nice and quiet spot to work with a good vibe

  9. henare Diamond

    They have (had? I haven't been in a while) one in San Francisco ... the coffee used to be free. A nice place to stop once you understand how it works.

  10. Brian-EWA New Member

    Are they all this empty? Looks delightful!

  11. Dan Guest

    Walked past one in Boston a few times as it was outside my hotel and couldn’t work out what the catch was. Nice to know there isnt one.

  12. Marcele Guest

    We have one in Portland catty corner to Pioneer Courthouse Square. PCS has music on summer days. I go over to Capital One Cafe to use the bathroom. It's lovely. Of course I always get an iced tea or coffee. (50% off with card.) And if they have a treat I want. Sometimes they have free treats!
    Next time I'm getting financial advice for my son's predicament.

    1. Doug Guest

      Plus free front-row seating for Antifa demonstrations?

  13. DLPTATL Gold

    I had no clue that they offered the 50% discount, that definitely makes a Capital One card more appealing to me as I have a café near my office in ATL and the ones in PBI and RIC (x2) are potentially convenient for some of my recurring biz travel.

  14. Jon Guest

    Do these cafes have bathrooms?

    1. Marcele Guest

      Yes. And they are lovely!

  15. Creditcrunch Diamond

    Virgin Money here in U.K. have a similar concept and for an av geek the London Haymarket near to Piccadilly Circus is a treat as downstairs they have set up a mock Virgin Atlantic plane interior with the very first Upper Class seats from the 80’s were you can sit and watch projected clouds out the windows, there are also a few Upper Class suites and free refreshments.
    https://www.glassdoor.co.uk/Photos/Virgin-Money-Office-Photos-IMG658811.htm

  16. Luis Guest

    Had no idea capital one cardholders get 50% off. With enough visits, that can pay for the annual fee itself!

    1. Andrew Diamond

      Agreed! I'm surprised this isn't in the collateral for the card. Good opportunity to drive customers into an area where there is upsell for CapOne products... odd they'd miss something like that.

    2. riverhorse New Member

      NYC horrible(ditto NJ & Conn).
      Capital One acquired ING over a decade ago & slowly proceeded to shutter their cafes until only 1 remains: Union Square.
      Initially they announced expanding them, but all I remember is a couple of branches- not many- having a few seats next to a small self-serve coffee machine.
      To be fair: dense city- riff-raff always within walking distance \ neighborhood seniors claim all the seats early and...

      NYC horrible(ditto NJ & Conn).
      Capital One acquired ING over a decade ago & slowly proceeded to shutter their cafes until only 1 remains: Union Square.
      Initially they announced expanding them, but all I remember is a couple of branches- not many- having a few seats next to a small self-serve coffee machine.
      To be fair: dense city- riff-raff always within walking distance \ neighborhood seniors claim all the seats early and keep them all day. McDonald's would also boot them: one\two buy senior price coffee, the others bring their empty saved cups - all share that + a giant 99ç cookie bag. Then, when coffee finished, ask for free cups of water.
      Then COVID hit and City imposed a merry go round of shutdowns \ re-open \ then coupla weeks later re-shutdown... Entire food courts & malls went under. The remaining- even at airports, are mostly half-shuttered & limited hours. Most non-upscale food joints have subdivided into multiple takeout-only stands. Many of the rest rope off their seating area or a portion of it. Anything with seats is overwhelmed.
      Large, spread out, non-quarantine cities seem more amenable.

  17. rjb Guest

    Capital One is such a puzzling company. In the Wash DC area, they have dozens of former Chevy Chase Bank branches that sit closed or mostly underutilized for years. They have never fixed their branding issues around the "360" product. If you go into a branch, they limit wire transfers to a ridiculously low $ limits or refuse them entirely, refuse to do notarizations even for a simple bill of sale or power of attorney...

    Capital One is such a puzzling company. In the Wash DC area, they have dozens of former Chevy Chase Bank branches that sit closed or mostly underutilized for years. They have never fixed their branding issues around the "360" product. If you go into a branch, they limit wire transfers to a ridiculously low $ limits or refuse them entirely, refuse to do notarizations even for a simple bill of sale or power of attorney and hold deposits for a ridiculously long times, even ACH deposits. (8 calendar days for a ACH transfer into my 20 year old Cap One account with a balance of several times the transfer) Their branches are mostly useless since they won't provide typical branch banking services.

    What really annoys me is their pitch for the Cap One Venture X card. As my home airport is IAD, I got the card hoping for access to the new lounge in "Spring 2022" which became "Summer 2022" which is now looking like "never" since there is no construction going on in the lounge. Classic bait and switch!

    Why do they think a Cafe is going to help them do more banking business?

    1. OPR Member

      The cafe concept came with the ING Direct purchase... Someone must have thought enough of it to expand it. Perhaps they actually had meaningful data from the existing cafes?

    2. riverhorse New Member

      I had both. Although C1 offers more, I'm really sorry ING departed.

  18. 305 Guest

    The one in Brickell is always packed, so many ppl use it as their office away from home. Delta management would be freaking out if they saw that cafe “we’re not wework!!!”

Featured Comments Most helpful comments ( as chosen by the OMAAT community ).

The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.

Luis Guest

Had no idea capital one cardholders get 50% off. With enough visits, that can pay for the annual fee itself!

3
Mark Guest

For Capital One banking customers, they have the greatest ATMs I’ve ever seen. You can get $5s, $20s, even $100s, in any assortment you choose. Deposit a stack of cash in any denomination and it’ll count it, and if you deposit a check your receipt will contain a little picture. I’m sure some other banks do this but none I ever did business with. And yes, good coffee, half price.

2
Buster Guest

Yes. There are usually 2 or 3 CapOne representatives there who will guide you through the process. In most locations they have tablets. CapOne generally does not give a different bonus or perk when you apply there versus on your own at home.

1
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