As much as I enjoy watching Saturday Night Live alum David Spade creatively thwart any customer's attempt to redeem credit card miles, the clever Capital One (NYSE:COF) commercials seem to be on every channel.

The credit card giant's marketing reach extends far beyond the airwaves, though. Have you checked your mail today? Look closely, above the Albertson's (NYSE:ABS) mailer, mixed in with a stack of bills, there is likely a Capital One balance transfer offer awaiting your signature. There is a reason why Capital One, with some 48 million accounts, is now the nation's fifth-largest credit card issuer.

The direct marketing route, though, is not the juggernaut it once was, and amid stiff competition from American Express (NYSE:AXP), Citigroup (NYSE:C), and others, the company has been on the lookout for another distribution channel -- commercial bank branches.

Cross-selling opportunities abound in retail bank branches. With the Fleet merger expanding its nationwide network to some 5,800 locations, Bank of America (NYSE:BAC), for example, boosted its credit card portfolio by 1.5 million new accounts in the fourth quarter alone. Now, Capital One will have a similar opportunity to leverage its national brand on a local scale, in the wake of its recent $5.3 billion acquisition of regional bank Hibernia (NYSE:HIB).

The purchase, which will be funded with $2.4 billion in cash and $2.9 billion in stock, values Hibernia at $33 per share -- or roughly a 24% premium over the level at which the stock last closed. New Orleans-based Hibernia has more than 200 branches in Louisiana, which handle one-quarter of every dollar deposited in the state. What caught the eye of Capital One? It was probably the bank's operations in fast-growing Texas markets, which were expanded when Hibernia swallowed Coastal Bancorp last year.

The two companies complement each other nicely, and the merger will vault the combined entity into position as a top-10 consumer lender. Aside from providing a new outlet to push its credit cards, the real attraction was Hibernia's $17.3 billion in deposits, which Capital One can tap as a cheap source of funds to support its lending operations (which also include mortgages and auto loans). Of those deposits, $3.3 billion are non-interest bearing and, on the whole, the company only pays 1.9% annually for its deposits.

Access to that money should help widen the spread for Capital One, which currently shells out in excess of 4% for the deposit, money market, and CD assets that it gathers online or over the phone. Furthermore, the move paves the way for the company to jump into the lucrative debit-card market, as well as to develop a home equity credit line. It may take some time for the benefits of this deal to reach the bottom line, since about $175 million in restructuring expenses will need to be absorbed, but ultimately it should be rewarding.

Consumers are showing little fiscal restraint; last year credit card companies raked in an aggregate $24 billion in fees alone, to say nothing of the $80 billion they collected in interest. A tip for investors who would like to be on the right end of this trend: Don't keep Capital One in your wallet -- put it in your portfolio.

Do you feel like you are sinking in credit card debt? The Fool's Credit Center has a few tips that can help.

Fool contributor Nathan Slaughter owns none of the companies mentioned.