BBVA Bank Review: Fewer Fees and High Quality Customer Service

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One of the smaller regional banks known for its customer service is BBVA Compass bank. While the bank isn’t very big, it’s well known for its straightforward products and prepaid debit card. BBVA also offers loans, mortgages, and investment products.

If you’re looking for a straightforward account, or want a prepaid debit card with fewer fees, BBVA bank might be a good fit for you. Check out this BBVA Compass bank review to learn more.

BBVA Compass bank review

The main pros of BBVA bank are its outstanding customer service and great online services. So, even though there are only about 700 locations in seven states, people around the country can access the bank’s services.

On top of good customer service and an accessible website, BBVA Compass also features a prepaid debit card that comes with almost no fees. Other than initial load fees and out-of-network ATM fees, there aren’t many costs to contend with. It’s one of the most competitive prepaid ATM cards available to consumers today.

The main downside to BBVA bank is the fact that you won’t see very high yields on any of the accounts. In fact, even the CD rates offered by BBVA Compass are lower than some of the savings account yields you see elsewhere.

Another consideration is the out-of-network fees that come with withdrawals. There are only about 1,000 BBVA ATMs in the network, so if you frequently use ATMs, this card might not be for you. Unlike some other banks that refund out-of-network fees, you will only see a rebate of up to $5 for fees. On top of that, some accounts have a monthly fee of as much as $15.

Check Out BBVA Bank Now

BBVA bank products and services

For the most part, BBVA offers the basic accounts and services. They offer checking and savings accounts, CDs, and prepaid debit cards. This is the bank you use when you want something simple and straightforward.

ClearSpend Prepaid Visa Card

Many BBVA Compass bank reviews praise the prepaid debit card — and for good reason. This is a prepaid debit card with few fees.

BBVA touts the fact that there are no monthly or annual fees. Beyond a $4 fee the first time you load the card, there are no reload fees. The same is true of setting up direct deposit on the card. For the first deposit, there’s a $4 fee, but after that, you don’t have to worry about it.

There are no purchase transaction fees and no overdraft charges because it’s a prepaid debit card. There are ATM fees for out-of-network transactions, and there is also a 3 percent fee for foreign transactions.

The BBVA ClearSpend card does have a maximum balance of $6,500, and there is a load limit of $2,500 during any 24-hour period.

Another cool feature of the ClearSpend prepaid debit card is the fact that it comes with an app that helps you manage your budget. You can even do so with a spouse or a child. It can be a great tool for teaching a teenager about money.

Overall, if you’re looking for a low-cost prepaid debit card, the BBVA ClearSpend Prepaid Visa is one of the best options.

BBVA bank checking accounts

There are three checking accounts offered by BBVA bank. Each requires a minimum deposit of $25 to open. All of the choices offer free online statements, mobile and online banking, and free bill pay. Additionally, there are no fees for use of BBVA ATMs.

Depending on the account you choose, you might have other features to consider:

Free Checking: This is the most basic BBVA Compass account. You don’t have to worry about monthly service fees, and you can personalize your debit card. This is a basic offering that works well for most people who just want a straightforward, everyday checking account.

ClearChoice Premium Checking: This account pays interest on your balance. It’s a tiered rate that starts at 0.05% APY. Admittedly, it’s a pretty low yield, and might not be worth making a switch, even if BBVA doesn’t charge out-of-network ATM fees. Charges from other banks are refunded, but only up to two each month.

This account also comes with a $15 monthly service charge. In order to waive the fee, you need to meet a minimum balance or enroll in BBVA Compass Premier Personal Banking.

ClearConnect Checking: This account works with BBVA Wallet, an app that can help you budget and manage your money. There are no monthly fees and this is another straightforward offering.

BBVA bank savings accounts

There are two types of savings accounts offered by BBVA Compass:

ClearChoice Savings: This account is easy to manage and you can earn interest on your entire balance at 0.05% APY. Additionally, there is a service charge of $15 per quarter. You can avoid the fee if you maintain a minimum daily collected balance of at least $500 or you make a recurring transfer of $25 from your BBVA Compass checking account into your savings account.

ClearChoice Money Market: This account offers a higher yield than the regular savings based on how much money you have. The tiered rates start at 0.05% APY and go up to 0.25% APY. You also have to pay a $15 service charge each month, unless you maintain at least $10,000 or make the recurring transfer of $25 from your BBVA checking account.

BBVA bank CD accounts

You can also choose CDs from BBVA Compass. Standard term CDs accessible online include 12-month (0.75% APY) and 24-month (0.30% APY). You can get different terms and rates when you visit a branch.

It’s worth noting that BBVA’s CD yields aren’t particularly impressive. Finding higher yields when you open online savings accounts with many institutions is possible. It’s also unusual that the longer-term CD has a lower yield than the shorter-term CD.

BBVA bank credit cards

In addition to savings and checking options, BBVA also issues Visa credit cards. Depending on the card you choose, you can avoid annual fees, or pay up to $125. Variable rates are also very low, starting at 9.74% APR for excellent credit.

BBVA credit cards come with signing bonuses and benefits related to Visa. It’s also worth noting that BBVA offers a secured credit card, the Optimizer. If you need to rebuild your credit, this credit card might help.

Other BBVA services

BBVA also offers investment and retirement services, loans, mortgages, and global wealth management services. However, the bank shines more when it comes to savings and checking products than anything else.

Using the BBVA bank online platform

BBVA bank offers a good online experience. Navigation is intuitive and it’s easy to sign up for checking and saving products no matter where you are in the U.S. Additionally, BBVA has a mobile app that’s easy to use and allows you to build a budget.

How to sign up for a BBVA Compass bank account

When you visit the website, you can see a button to apply online in the upper right corner. Click on that, and you’ll see a page that offers different account options.

Before you apply for an account, make sure you have the documentation you will need. BBVA has similar requirements as other financial institutions. Here’s what you’ll need to have ready:

  • Name
  • Social Security number
  • Birth date
  • Address
  • Some type of government ID (driver’s license, state ID, or passport)
  • Bank or credit card account information so you can make your opening deposit

You can also choose to add a complementary savings account when you open your BBVA checking account.

Once you fill out the information to apply for the account, you need to enter your funding information. Then, enter the information you will use to fund your account, and then review and confirm the information. As soon as your application clears, you’ll have an account.

It’s important to note that BBVA checks your credit before approving you for checking or savings accounts.

See If You Qualify for a BBVA Account

Applying for the ClearSpend prepaid debit card

It’s also straightforward and easy to apply for the prepaid debit card — and you won’t have to worry about a credit check. BBVA promises universal approval for this card.

It’s easy to fill out all the information you need on a single sign-up page when you apply for the prepaid debit card. You will need to provide:

  • Name
  • Address
  • Phone number
  • Date of birth
  • Social Security number

You will also set up your username and password in one step, but it should take less than a minute to get approval for the prepaid card.

BBVA mobile app

You can download the app from the iTunes App Store of from Google Play to stay on top of your finances. The app allows you to get an overall view of your accounts with BBVA and even track your budget.

You can get insights into high-spend categories and see how much you have left to spend in budgeted categories. It’s a way to take care of all your banking needs from your mobile device.

BBVA Compass interest rates and fees

This is an area where BBVA bank underwhelms most consumers. The interest yields on most of the products offered by BBVA are lower than competitors; bank account yields start at 0.05% APY and only go up to 0.25% APY on the most generous accounts.

Interest rates on personal loans are more competitive, including the low rates on credit cards offered by BBVA — as long as you have good credit.

Fees are reasonable, but you should read the fine print. Some accounts are free, but others have $15 monthly charges — that BBVA will waive under certain conditions.

The prepaid debit card is really impressive. The fees are minimal with the prepaid debit card, making it one of the best products offered by BBVA.

BBVA eligibility requirements

There are no specific eligibility requirements with BBVA bank. Even those with poor credit scores can access the Optimizer secured credit card to help them start building their score.

There is no credit check for the prepaid debit card. That makes it a great solution for someone who is having trouble qualifying for a more traditional checking account.

Apply for a Prepaid Debit Card With BBVA Now

BBVA bank contact info

BBVA Compass is a holding company based in the U.S., but it is a wholly-owned subsidiary of a Spanish bank.

It’s easy to contact BBVA by phone, online chat, or by sending an online message. You can reach customer service by calling 1-800-266-7277.

You can also reach BBVA on Facebook or Twitter @BBVACompass.

Interested in a personal loan?

Here are the top personal loan lenders of 2018!
LenderAPR RangeLoan Amount 
1 Includes AutoPay discount. Important Disclosures for SoFi.

SoFi Disclosures

  1. Personal Loans: Fixed rates from 6.990% APR to 14.865% APR (with AutoPay). Variable rates from 6.255% APR to 12.555% APR (with AutoPay). SoFi rate ranges are current as of September 1, 2018 and are subject to change without notice. Not all rates and amounts available in all states. See Personal Loan eligibility details. Not all applicants qualify for the lowest rate. If approved for a loan, to qualify for the lowest rate, you must have a responsible financial history and meet other conditions. Your actual rate will be within the range of rates listed above and will depend on a variety of factors, including evaluation of your credit worthiness, years of professional experience, income and other factors. See APR examples and terms. Interest rates on variable rate loans are capped at 14.95%. Lowest variable rate of 6.255% APR assumes current index rate derived from the 1-month LIBOR of 2.08% plus 4.425% margin minus 0.25% AutoPay discount. For the SoFi variable rate loan, the 1-month LIBOR index will adjust monthly and the loan payment will be re-amortized and may change monthly. APRs for variable rate loans may increase after origination if the LIBOR index increases. The SoFi 0.25% AutoPay interest rate reduction requires you to agree to make monthly principal and interest payments by an automatic monthly deduction from a savings or checking account. The benefit will discontinue and be lost for periods in which you do not pay by automatic deduction from a savings or checking account.

    To check the rates and terms you qualify for, SoFi conducts a soft credit pull that will not affect your credit score. However, if you choose a product and continue your application, we will request your full credit report from one or more consumer reporting agencies, which is considered a hard credit pull.See Consumer Licenses.
  2. Minimum Credit Score: Not all applicants who meet SoFi’s minimum credit score requirements are approved for a personal loan. In addition to meeting SoFi’s minimum eligibility criteria, applicants must also meet other credit and underwriting requirements to qualify.
  3. SoFi Personal Loans are not available to residents of MS. Maximum interest rate on loans for residents of AK and WY is 9.99% APR, for residents of IL with loans over $40,000 is 8.99% APR, for residents of TX is 9.99% APR on terms greater than 5 years, for residents of CO, CT, HI, VA, SC is 11.99% APR, and for residents of ME is 12.24% APR. Personal loans not available to residents of MI who already have a student loan with SoFi. Personal Loans minimum loan amount is $5,000. Residents of AZ, MA, and NH have a minimum loan amount of $10,001. Residents of KY have a minimum loan amount of $15,001. Residents of PA have a minimum loan amount of $25,001. Variable rates not available to residents of AK, TX, VA, WY, or for residents of IL for loans greater than $40,000.
  4. Terms and Conditions Apply: SOFI RESERVES THE RIGHT TO MODIFY OR DISCONTINUE PRODUCTS AND BENEFITS AT ANY TIME WITHOUT NOTICE. To qualify, a borrower must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident in an eligible state and meet SoFi’s underwriting requirements. Not all borrowers receive the lowest rate. To qualify for the lowest rate, you must have a responsible financial history and meet other conditions. If approved, your actual rate will be within the range of rates listed above and will depend on a variety of factors, including term of loan, a responsible financial history, years of experience, income and other factors. Rates and Terms are subject to change at anytime without notice and are subject to state restrictions. SoFi refinance loans are private loans and do not have the same repayment options that the federal loan program offers such as Income Based Repayment or Income Contingent Repayment or PAYE. Licensed by the Department of Business Oversight under the California Financing Law License No. 6054612. SoFi loans are originated by SoFi Lending Corp., NMLS # 1121636. (

2 Includes AutoPay discount. Important Disclosures for Payoff.

Payoff Disclosures

  1. All loans are subject to credit review and approval. Your actual rate depends upon credit score, loan amount, loan term, credit usage and history. Currently loans are not offered in: MA, MS, NE, NV, OH, and WV.

3 Important Disclosures for FreedomPlus.

FreedomPlus Disclosures

  1. All loans available through are made by Cross River Bank, a New Jersey State Chartered Commercial Bank, Member FDIC, Equal Housing Lender. All loan and rate terms are subject to eligibility restrictions, application review, credit score, loan amount, loan term, lender approval, and credit usage and history. Eligibility for a loan is not guaranteed. Loans are not available to residents of all states – please call a FreedomPlus representative for further details. The following limitations, in addition to others, shall apply: FreedomPlus does not arrange loans in: (i) Arizona under $10,500; (ii) Massachusetts under $6,500, (iii) Ohio under $5,500, and (iv) Georgia under $3,500. Repayment periods range from 24 to 60 months. The range of APRs on loans made available through FreedomPlus is 4.99% to a maximum of 29.99%. APR. The APR calculation includes all applicable fees, including the loan origination fee. For Example, a four year $20,000 loan with an interest rate of 15.49% and corresponding APR of 18.34% would have an estimated monthly payment of $561.60 and a total cost payable of $7,948.13. To qualify for a 4.99% APR loan, a borrower will need excellent credit on a loan of $15,000 with a term of 24 months, and qualify for at least two of the following discounts: (1) add a co-borrower who has sufficient income; (2) use at least fifty percent of the loan proceeds to directly pay off existing debt; or (3) show proof of having at least forty-thousand dollars in retirement savings – contact FreedomPlus for further details.

4 Important Disclosures for Citizens Bank.

Citizens Bank Disclosures

  1. Personal Loan Rate DisclosureFixed interest rates from 6.49% – 19.49% (6.49% – 19.49% APR) based on applicable terms. Lowest rates range from 5.99%-18.99% (5.99%-18.99% APR), are for eligible applicants, require a 3-year repayment term, and include our Loyalty and Automatic Payment Discounts of 0.25 percentage points each, as outlined in the Loyalty Discount and Automatic Payment Discount disclosures. Subject to additional terms and conditions, and rates are subject to change at any time without notice. Such changes will only apply to applications taken after the effective date of change.
  2. Loyalty Discount: The borrower will be eligible for a 0.25 percentage point interest rate reduction on their loan if the borrower has a qualifying account in existence with us at the time the borrower has submitted a completed application authorizing us to review their credit request for the loan. The following are qualifying accounts: any checking account, savings account, money market account, certificate of deposit, automobile loan, home equity loan, home equity line of credit, mortgage, credit card account, student loans or other personal loans owned by Citizens Bank, N.A. Please note, our checking and savings account options are only available in the following states: CT, DE, MA, MI, NH, NJ, NY, OH, PA, RI and VT. This discount will be reflected in the interest rate and Annual Percentage Rate (APR) disclosed in the Truth-In-Lending Disclosure that will be provided to the borrower once the loan is approved. Limit of one Loyalty Discount per loan, and discount will not be applied to prior loans. The Loyalty Discount will remain in effect for the life of the loan.
  3. Automatic Payment Discount: Borrowers will be eligible to receive a 0.25 percentage point interest rate reduction on their Citizens Bank Personal Loan during such time as payments are required to be made and our loan servicer is authorized to automatically deduct payments each month from any bank account the borrower designates. If our loan servicer is unable to successfully withdraw the automatic deductions from the designated account two or more times within any 12-month period, the borrower will no longer be eligible for this discount.

5 Important Disclosures for LendingPoint.

LendingPoint Disclosures

  • Loan approval is not guaranteed. Actual loan offers and loan amounts, terms and annual percentage rates (“APR”) may vary based upon LendingPoint’s proprietary scoring and underwriting system’s review of your credit, financial condition, other factors, and supporting documents or information you provide. Origination or other fees from 0% to 6% may apply depending upon your state of residence. Upon LendingPoint’s final underwriting approval to fund a loan, said funds are often sent via ACH the next non-holiday business day. LendingPoint makes loan offers from $2,000 to $25,000, at rates ranging from a low of 15.49% APR to a high of 34.49% APR, with terms from 24 to 48 months. The loan offer(s) shown reflect a 28 day payment cycle which is being offered as a courtesy as many of our customers are paid on a biweekly schedule and thus this may better align the loan payment dates with your actual income receipt schedule.

6 Important Disclosures for LendingClub.

LendingClub Disclosures

All loans made by WebBank, Member FDIC. Your actual rate depends upon credit score, loan amount, loan term, and credit usage & history. The APR ranges from 6.95% to 35.89%*. The origination fee ranges from 1% to 6% of the original principal balance and is deducted from your loan proceeds. For example, you could receive a loan of $6,000 with an interest rate of 7.99% and a 5.00% origination fee of $300 for an APR of 11.51%. In this example, you will receive $5,700 and will make 36 monthly payments of $187.99. The total amount repayable will be $6,767.64. Your APR will be determined based on your credit at the time of application. The average origination fee is 5.49% as of Q1 2017. In Georgia, the minimum loan amount is $3,025. In Massachusetts, the minimum loan amount is $6,025 if your APR is greater than 12%. There is no down payment and there is never a prepayment penalty. Closing of your loan is contingent upon your agreement of all the required agreements and disclosures on the website. All loans via LendingClub have a minimum repayment term of 36 months. Borrower must be a U.S. citizen, permanent resident or be in the United States on a valid long term visa and at least 18 years old. Valid bank account and Social Security number are required. Equal Housing Lender. All loans are subject to credit approval. LendingClub’s physical address is: LendingClub, 71 Stevenson Street, Suite 1000, San Francisco, CA 94105.

†Per reviews collected and authenticated by Bazaarvoice in compliance with the Bazaarvoice Authentication Requirements, supported by anti-fraud technology and human analysis. All reviews can be reviewed at

**Based on approximately 60% of borrowers who received offers through LendingClub’s marketing partners between January 1, 2018 to July 20,2018. The time it will take to fund your loan may vary.

7 Important Disclosures for Earnest.

Earnest Disclosures

  1. Earnest does not lend in Alabama, Delaware, Kentucky, Nevada, or Rhode Island.

8 Important Disclosures for Avant.

Avant Disclosures

* The actual rate and loan amount that a customer qualifies for may vary based on credit determination and other factors. Funds are generally deposited via ACH for delivery next business day if approved by 4:30pm CT Monday-Friday. Avant branded credit products are issued by WebBank, member FDIC.

** Example: A $5,700 loan with an administration fee of 4.75% and an amount financed of $5,429.25, repayable in 36 monthly installments, would have an APR of 29.95% and monthly payments of $230.33

* Important Disclosures for Upgrade Bank.

Upgrade Bank Disclosures

* Your loan terms are not guaranteed and are subject to our verification and review process. You may be asked to provide additional documents to enable us to verify your income and your identity. This rate includes an Autopay APR reduction of 0.5%. By enrolling in Autopay your payments will be automatically deducted from you bank account. Selecting Autopay is optional. Annual Percentage Rate is inclusive of a loan origination fee, which is deducted from the loan proceeds. Late payments or subsequent charges and fees may increase the cost of your fixed rate loan. All loans made by WebBank, member FDIC. Please refer to Upgrade’s Terms of Use and Borrower Agreement for all terms, conditions and requirements.

** Accept your loan offer and your funds will be sent to your bank via ACH within one (1) business day of clearing necessary verifications. Availability of the funds is dependent on how quickly your bank processes this transaction. From the time of approval, funds should be available within four (4) business days.

7.73% – 29.99%$1,000 - $50,000

Visit Upstart

6.26% – 14.87%1$5,000 - $100,000

Visit SoFi

6.99% – 35.97%*$1,000 - $50,000

Visit Upgrade

5.99% – 24.99%2$5,000 - $35,000

Visit Payoff

4.99% – 29.99%3$10,000 - $35,000

Visit FreedomPlus

5.99% – 18.99%4$5,000 - $50,000

Visit Citizens

15.49% – 34.49%5$2,000 - $25,000

Visit LendingPoint

6.95% – 35.89%6$1,000 - $40,000

Visit LendingClub

6.99% – 18.24%7$5,000 - $75,000

Visit Earnest

9.95% – 35.99%8$2,000 - $35,000

Visit Avant

Our team at Student Loan Hero works hard to find and recommend products and services that we believe are of high quality and will make a positive impact in your life. We sometimes earn a sales commission or advertising fee when recommending various products and services to you. Similar to when you are being sold any product or service, be sure to read the fine print understand what you are buying, and consult a licensed professional if you have any concerns. Student Loan Hero is not a lender or investment advisor. We are not involved in the loan approval or investment process, nor do we make credit or investment related decisions. The rates and terms listed on our website are estimates and are subject to change at any time. Please do your homework and let us know if you have any questions or concerns.

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