BBVA Bank Review: Fewer Fees and High Quality Customer Service

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.

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SoFi Disclosures

  1. 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 Finance Lender Law License No. 6054612. SoFi loans are originated by SoFi Lending Corp., NMLS # 1121636. (www.nmlsconsumeraccess.org)
  2. Personal Loans: Fixed rates from 5.49% APR to 14.24% APR (with AutoPay). Variable rates from 5.29% APR to 11.44% APR (with AutoPay). SoFi rate ranges are current as of December 1, 2017 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. Interest rates on variable rate loans are capped at 14.95%. Lowest variable rate of 5.29% APR assumes current 1-month LIBOR rate of 1.34% plus 4.20% 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.

2 Important Disclosures for Citizens Bank.

Citizens Bank Disclosures

  1. Personal Loan Rate Disclosure: Variable rate, based on the one-month London Interbank Offered Rate (“LIBOR”) published in The Wall Street Journal on the twenty-fifth day, or the next business day, of the preceding calendar month. As of August 1, 2017, the one-month LIBOR rate is 1.23%. Variable interest rates range from 6.02% – 15.97% (6.02% – 15.97% APR) and will fluctuate over the term of your loan with changes in the LIBOR rate, and will vary based on applicable terms and presence of a co-applicant. Fixed interest rates range from 5.99% – 16.24% (5.99% – 16.24% APR) based on applicable terms and presence of a co-applicant. Lowest rates shown 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 Citizens Bank 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, Citizens Bank 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 Benefit: Borrowers will be eligible to receive a 0.25 percentage point interest rate reduction on their student loans owned by Citizens Bank, N.A. 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. Discount is not available when payments are not due, such as during forbearance. If our loan servicer is unable to successfully withdraw the automatic deductions from the designated account three or more times within any 12-month period, the borrower will no longer be eligible for this discount.
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8.00% - 25.00%$5,000 - $35,000Visit Payoff
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