Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It may not have been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any of our network partners.
Updated on Wednesday, June 12, 2019
The BBVA ClearSpend Prepaid Visa Card provides the convenience of paying for purchases with plastic for people who might not be able to qualify for a traditional checking account. In addition, the BBVA ClearSpend card offers handy budgeting features that can help you keep your finances on track.
This prepaid debit option is an excellent choice for users looking to avoid fees for loading funds onto the card. BBVA charges no fees for most funding options, although it’s worth noting that you cannot deposit regular checks onto this card, only paychecks via direct deposit. Before you rush to apply, read on to learn more about using this alternative financial product.
BBVA ClearSpend Prepaid Visa Card features
The BBVA ClearSpend Prepaid Visa Card is simple to use. You load money onto the card via one of the following five methods:
- From a BBVA debit card, no fee
- At a BBVA bank branch, no fee
- At a Visa ReadyLink location, $4.50 fee (can vary by location)
- Via direct deposit, no fee
- Via a transfer service, such as Paypal, Popmoney, or Venmo, no fee
Once the money is loaded onto the card, you can spend it anywhere Visa is accepted. You can use the card to make purchases, pay bills or get cash out of an ATM. However, you can only spend up to a limit of $3,500 in transactions per day or $600 cash withdrawals from an ATM per day. If you try to make a charge that would overdraw your account, BBVA simply rejects the transaction.
This card also comes with handy app-based automatic budgeting tools. Use the card normally for 30 days. After this period, the BBVA ClearSpend app automatically generates a budget for you, complete with spending limits and an automatic spending tracker. If you have a secondary cardholder on your account, the budgeting tool will track spending for each user, letting you monitor each other’s spending patterns.
BBVA ClearSpend Prepaid Visa Card fees
BBVA has few fees, most of which are relatively easy to avoid. If you plan your card usage strategy in advance, it’s entirely possible to use the BBVA ClearSpend card and not pay any fees at all.
One of the downsides of using the BBVA card is that there are certain loading limits in place. You can load up to a maximum balance of $6,500 onto the card. Each time you load it up with money, you’ll have to load at least $25 onto the card, up to a maximum amount of $2,500 per day. If you’re using the Visa ReadyLink service to load funds onto the card, you’re even more restricted: you can only load $600 per day onto the card via this route.
BBVA ClearSpend Prepaid Visa Card Fees
$0 if you load cash from a BBVA bank branch, from a BBVA debit card, or from a transfer service such as Paypal or Venmo. A fee of $4.50 if you load cash from a Visa ReadyLink location, although this fee may vary by location.
Direct Deposit Fee
Check Deposit Fee
There is no way to deposit checks written out to you.
$0 when using a BBVA ATM. $2 for each out-of-network domestic ATM withdrawal and $3 for each out-of-network foreign ATM withdrawal, although your first withdrawal of the month is free. Out-of-network ATMs may also charge their own fees in addition to BBVA fees.
Card Replacement Fee
$0. However, you are only allowed three replacement cards.
Monthly Service Charge
$4, unless you load at least $400 per month onto the card.
Foreign Transaction Fee
3% of the purchase amount
ATM Balance Inquiry Fee
$0 at any domestic ATM. $1 at any foreign ATM. You might also be charged a separate fee by the ATM’s owner for using an out-of-network ATM.
Express Delivery Fee
$20 per card
Paper Check Fee
$15 if you want a paper check for the remaining balance mailed to you when you close your account.
Using the BBVA ClearSpend Prepaid Visa Card mobile app
Most of the day-to-day management for your account can be completed through the BBVA ClearSpend app. You can even download it first and apply for the card through the app. Downloading the app also allows you to do certain things:
- Lock your card if you lose it or want to stop spending on it
- Load money onto your card with a transfer service such as Paypal, PopMoney, or Venmo, or with a BBVA debit card
- Get spending alerts from secondary account holders
- Use the automatic budgeting and spending tracker feature
Opening a BBVA ClearSpend Prepaid Visa Card account
Getting a BBVA ClearSpend card is as simple as it is to use. There are three ways you can get one of these cards:
- Through the app
- Online through the BBVA website
- In person at a local BBVA branch
BBVA does not run a credit check or use ChexSystems when deciding whether to approve you for a card. Even if you’ve had trouble being approved for a checking account in the past, you will still qualify for a BBVA ClearSpend card as long as you pass fraud security measures. This involves identity theft and fraud alert checks through the Visa Prepaid Clearinghouse Service.
Your card will be mailed to you 7-10 days after you apply online, or you’ll be issued it immediately at a BBVA bank branch if you apply in person.
Overall review of BBVA ClearSpend Prepaid Visa Card
Two things make this option particularly useful for prepaid debit card users. First, this card provides handy budgeting and spending tracking tools that can help you manage your money. Second, it’s relatively easy to avoid fees by doing the following things:
- Load at least $400 per month onto the card
- Only use BBVA ATMs to make cash withdrawals, or limit yourself to one cash withdrawal per month at a non-BBVA ATM.
- Avoid using Visa ReadyLink locations to load cash onto your card
Follow these rules, and the BBVA ClearSpend card is a great prepaid debit card and an excellent alternative to a checking account.