Tip: Get Half-Off Your Caffeine Fix at a Capital One Cafe

May 26, 2018

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Did you know there’s a place you can get half-off your caffeine fix just for having a Capital One checking, savings or credit card account? They’re called Capital One Cafes, and there’s not just one but (currently) 29 locations in the United States.

I hadn’t heard of this concept myself until I stumbled across one in Austin, Texas, this week at the iconic corner of 6th Street and Congress — across the street from a Starbucks. Intrigued, I went in.

It turns out the name is pretty self-descriptive: it’s a combination of a Capital One bank and a cafe. Inside are a few ATMs for withdrawing cash and depositing checks as well as a few Capital One representatives on-hand for questions.

If you’re just there for coffee or tea, there’s a fully-functional Peet’s Coffee inside with a range of caffeinated (and decaffeinated) products. If you “use your Capital One credit or debit card,” you’ll get half-off any beverage. (I didn’t test my luck by trying to get a discount on more than one drink.)

These cafes also host happy hours, which vary from location to location. At the time I visited, the Downtown Austin location was offering “eco happy hour” all day Mondays and Fridays: Anyone who brings in their own coffee mug gets it filled with drip coffee or tea for free. Other locations have offered free drinks for Capital One account holders and half-off for everyone else. Taco Tuesdays seem to be a popular offering at many locations.

Locations can be found in California (5 locations); Colorado (2); Florida (4); Chicago, Illinois (2); Massachusetts (9, including 4 in Boston); St. Cloud, Minnesota, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Austin, Texas (2); Richmond, Virginia; and Seattle, Washington (2).

As I dug deeper, I found these cafes go well beyond just a coffee shop with some ATMs. In the back, there’s a glass meeting room. Turns out this 10-seat room can be reserved for free by registered nonprofit organizations — whether they’re a Capital One customer or not.

But that’s not the only community service. Capital One also employs money coaches to serve the community at this location and in 23 other cities. Again, no Capital One account required. And no, the role of these coaches isn’t just to push Capital One products. The coach I spoke with at this Austin location noted that she isn’t allowed to provide specific financial advice, but instead she uses visual tools and exercises to help people figure out their financial goals and priorities. These sessions can be done as part of group sessions or individually as singles or couples.

I’m really impressed by this Capital One Cafe concept. With more and more financial transactions happening digitally, these locations are an innovative way for Capital One to continue to connect with customers in person — not to mention making use of bank locations that are becoming increasingly less relevant.

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