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BBVA Compass Review of Checking, Savings, CD, Money Market, and IRA Accounts

Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided or commissioned by any financial institution. Any opinions, analyses, reviews, statements or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities prior to publication.

Year Established1964
Total Assets$90.1B

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While you may not be familiar with BBVA Compass if you live outside of the Sunbelt, you might be one of the thousands of customers using one of the bank’s digital apps, including Simple. BBVA Compass is the American subsidiary of the Spanish giant Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria.

The bank has 688 branches in Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, New Mexico and Texas, but serves customers across the country through its online banking platform. For customers living in states outside of the BBVA Compass branch network, accounts and terms will be subject to state law in Alabama, home to BBVA Compass. Since rates may differ depending on location, we based our research on the bank’s headquarters city of Birmingham, Alabama.

BBVA Compass’s Most Popular Accounts

APY

Account Type

Account Name

0.00%

Checking

BBVA Compass ClearConnect Checking

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BBVA Compass checking account options

ClearChoice Interest Checking account

Get additional benefits such as free checks and the ability to earn interest.

APY for New Customers

APY for Existing Customers

Minimum Balance Amount

0.00%

0.15%

$0.01

0.00%

0.01%

$25,000

  • Minimum opening deposit: $25
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $25
  • ATM fee: None.
  • ATM fee refund: Up to two refunds per month

This checking account is meant for those who want to earn interest and intend on using their account fairly often. Though the monthly maintenance fee seems a bit steep, you can get it waived in one of four ways:

  • Have an average daily balance of $5,000 or more in your account.
  • Have an average daily balance of at least $25,000 across your checking and money market accounts.
  • The primary account holder has Premier Personal Banking status with the BBVA Premier Personal Banking program.
  • You’re a BBVA Compass Global Wealth client.

In addition to the features you get with the free checking accounts, you earn a tiered interest rate. Also, you won’t get charged when you use an out-of-network ATM and get two ATM fee refunds per month. Other perks include free checks and no monthly maintenance fees if you choose to also open one of BBVA Compass’ money market accounts.

The rates you see above are promotional rates. To qualify for the better rate, you can’t have opened a checking account within the last 90 days.

How to get BBVA Compass’ ClearChoice Interest Checking account

Opening an account can take as little as a few minutes by filling out an application form on the BBVA Compass website. Enter personal details such as your address, income information and ID to verify your identity. Once approved you can then fund your account.

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Free Checking account

Take advantage of full-service features without the price tag.
  • Minimum opening deposit: $25
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $0
  • ATM fee: $3 for out-of-network ATMs
  • ATM fee refund: Up to four transactions per statement cycle for a $5 monthly fee
  • Overdraft fee: $12 per transaction with overdraft protection service

This account is a great option for those who want to save money on banking fees while still being able to get access to a whole host of features. The downside is that this isn’t an interest-bearing account.

There are no monthly service charges nor fees for in-network ATMs. There is a fee for out-of-network ATMS, but you can pay $5 each month as an add-on and BBVA Compass will reimburse you up to four times a month. It could be worth it if you make a lot of ATM transactions and there aren’t any in-network ATMs around.

The account is set to default to decline any transactions that will cause your account to go into overdraft, but you can link it to a savings account or a line of credit. If you choose this option, then you’ll be charged each time a transfer occurs.

As for other features, you get free online and mobile banking, including bill pay and mobile deposit. Account holders also get a free Visa debit card and the ability to earn cashback rewards every time you make a qualifying purchase. Let’s not forget free online or paper statements, which other banks tend to charge for a few bucks a month.

Unfortunately, the free checking account is only available to those in Alabama, Arizona, Colorado, California, Florida, New Mexico and Texas. If you don’t live in any of these states, the ClearConnect checking account is a great alternative.

How to get BVAA Compass’ Free Checking account

Residents in any of the above mentioned locations can fill out an application form online. Before entering your personal details, you’ll be asked to enter your ZIP code. You’ll need to provide name, address, a government-issued ID, and employment information. After agreeing to BVAA Compass’ terms, you’ll then fund your account, confirm your information and the checking account is considered open.

Otherwise, you can open a Free Checking account at your local branch.

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ClearConnect Checking account

A great option for those wanting a free checking account option with numerous features.
  • Minimum opening deposit: $25
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $0
  • ATM fee: None for in-network ATMs, $3 for out-of-network ATMs
  • ATM fee refund:  none
  • Overdraft fee:$12 per transaction with overdraft protection service

There aren’t many differences between the Free Checking account mentioned above and this one. The fees for this non-interest bearing account — including the monthly maintenance and ATM fees — are pretty much the same, except you’ll need to pay $3 a month for paper statements. Account holders also get free access to online and mobile banking as well as bill pay.

With your free Visa debit card, you can earn cashback rewards with the Simple Cash Back program. You can select rewards once you log into your account online or via the mobile app. Account holders earn rewards by doing simple tasks such as making a qualifying purchase.

How to get BBVA Compass’ ClearConnect Checking account

U.S. residents can open an account online. Head to BBVA Compass’ application form and fill in your personal details. This includes your name, employment information and a piece of government ID. Once approved, you can then fund your account.

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Easy Checking account

A great opportunity for those who don’t qualify for the free checking account options.
  • Minimum opening deposit: $25
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $13.95
  • ATM fee: $3 for out-of-network ATMs
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $12 if opted into overdraft protection

The Easy Checking account is for those that don’t qualify for the Free Checking account, perhaps because of bad bank or credit history. You’ll get limited account features until you’re able to get another BBVA Compass checking account.

While there are no opportunities to waive the monthly maintenance fee, you do get free ATM access for in-network ATMs and at all Allpoint© ATMs. You also get free online and mobile banking so you can keep an eye on your account anytime you want. Included in this account is a Visa debit card with cashback rewards on qualifying purchases.

Once you have this account open for a minimum of 12 months, you may be able to upgrade to another checking account if your account is still active and has a positive balance. To do so, you’ll need to call customer service or go to any BBVA Compass location.

How to get BBVA Compass’ Easy Checking account

BBVA Compass encourages new customers to apply for the Free Checking or ClearConnect checking account first through its website. If your application is rejected, then you can open a Easy Checking account by visiting your local branch or by calling customer service.

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How BBVA Compass’ checking accounts compare

Compared with other online banks, the rates for the interest-bearing checking account fall a bit short. Many of its competitors have checking accounts with no fees and much higher APYs. However, BBVA does stand out in that it does offer ATM fee reimbursements, a rewards program and free checks. If you earn enough cash back through its program, it may be worth it to open an account.

BBVA Compass savings account options

Compass ClearConnect savings account

Account holders earn a minuscule amount of interest with no maintenance fees.

APY

Minimum Balance Amount

0.05%

$0.01

  • Minimum opening deposit:  $25
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $0.01
  • Quarterly Monthly account maintenance fee: $0
  • ATM fee: Free for BBVA ATMs, $3 for out-of-network ATMs
  • ATM fee refund: None.
  • Overdraft fee: $12 when linked to a checking account

This is a basic savings account that offers free online and mobile banking. Like most big banks, the interest you earn is pretty minuscule. However, this account can be useful if you want to store some extra cash if you plan to link it to a checking account for overdraft protection.

As with all savings accounts, Federal Regulation D limits up to six transfers and electronic payments a month. However, BBVA Compass will charge you $3 per transaction if you make more than four withdrawals every statement cycle.

How to get a Compass ClearConnect savings account

Opening an account is easy as you can do it online via BBVA Compass’ application form. You’ll need to provide personal information like your name, address, employment information and a government-issued ID. You’ll then need to fund your account. Otherwise, you can open an account at your local branch or by calling the bank.

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Compass ClearChoice savings account

A basic savings account with a low rate.

APY

Minimum Balance Amount

0.05%

$0.01

  • Minimum opening deposit:  $25
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $0.01
  • Quarterly account maintenance fee: $15
  • ATM fee: Free for BBVA ATMs, $3 for out-of-network ATMs
  • ATM fee refund: None.
  • Overdraft fee: $12 when linked to a checking account

This savings account doesn’t seem all that much different from the ClearConnect account, except that it comes with a quarterly account maintenance fee. You’re still getting the same rates and features, including the excess transaction fee of $3 if you make more than four withdrawals a month.

What does make this account different is that it seems to encourage you to save money instead of it just being an account you can link to for overdraft protection — the minimum daily balance requirement of $500 in order to waive the monthly maintenance fee is a built-in incentive. You may also waive the monthly maintenance fee by transferring a minimum of $25 every month from a BBVA Compass checking account.

How to get a Compass ClearChoice savings account

You can open an account within a few minutes by heading to BBVA Compass’ website and filling out its online application form. Information you’ll be asked to provide will include your name, address, a government-issued ID and employment information. Afterward, you’ll be asked to fund the account. Otherwise, you can open an account at your local branch or by calling the bank’s customer service department.

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Build My Savings account

Earn bonuses just for saving money.

APY

Minimum Balance Amount

0.05%

$0.01

  • Minimum opening deposit:  $25
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $0.01
  • Quarterly account maintenance fee: $0
  • ATM fee: Free for BBVA ATMs, $3 for out-of-network ATMs
  • ATM fee refund: None.
  • Overdraft fee: $12 when linked to a checking account

This is a unique account in that it is a hybrid between a regular savings account and a CD. You choose the length of your savings goal — six or 12 months — and then choose an amount you want to have automatically transferred from your checking account. Account holders have the ability to earn a match transfer bonus. BBVA Compass will match up to 1% of the total amount you saved, up to $25 for the six-month plan and up to $50 for a 12-month plan. You must set up an automatic transfer of a minimum of $25 every month to qualify for the bonus.

If you cancel your account or withdraw money before your designated term is up, you won’t be eligible to receive the bonus. You’ll also be charged $10 per withdrawal and a $15 quarterly service charge if you don’t make automatic transfers of a minimum of $25.

How to get a Build My Savings account

You can only open this account in person. Click here to check for a location closest to you or by calling the bank.

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How BBVA Compass’ savings accounts compare

Unfortunately, like many other big banks, BBVA Compass’ saving accounts fall short when it comes to their rates. Many online competitors offer much higher APYs on their savings accounts with no monthly maintenance fees, though some may require higher minimum balances. However, BBVA’s Build My Savings account does offer a unique opportunity to earn some extra cash, but it may not be enough to make up for the low rates.

BBVA Compass CD rates

Fixed Term CDs

Offers competitive rates, but with limited terms.

Term

APY (Online)

APY (In-Person)

12 months

1.90%

1.30%

15 months

2.00%

0.10%

18 months

2.20%

2.00%

36 months

2.25%

2.00%

  • Minimum opening deposit:  $500
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY:  $500
  • Early withdrawal penalty: Depends on CD term:
    • Terms of 365 days or less: $25 + 1% of amount withdrawn
    • Terms of more than 365 days: $35 + 3% of amount withdrawn

With BBVA Compass’ CDs, you tend to get better rates when you open an account online, though you don’t get access to shorter terms. Terms range from seven days to 15 years for CDs opened at a branch.

Interest earned will only be paid when your account matures if you open it online. However, if you open a CD in person, you have the option to have interest earned paid out either monthly, quarterly, twice a year, annually or at maturity. The interest can be paid out to another account, via check or kept in the CD.

Account holders will receive a written notice before the account matures. Once it does, you’ll have a 10 day grace period in which to withdraw funds, renew for a different term or add additional funds. Otherwise, your CD will automatically be renewed at the current rate, which will be different from the promotional APY.

How to get a BBVA Compass CD

You can take advantage of the promotional rates by filling out an application form online. You’ll be asked to select the CD term you want then personal details such as your name, employment information and government-issued ID. You’ll then provide details on how you want to fund the account and confirm your information. Upon approval your account will be considered opened. If you’re looking for short term rates, you’ll need to head to your local branch.

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How BBVA Compass’ CD rates compare

The bank’s CD rates are pretty much on par with what is offered out there. Although its rates are slightly lower compared with other banks with the same terms, BBVA Compass’ offers a lower minimum opening deposit. Unfortunately, there aren’t many longer term options. In addition, those rates mentioned above are only for the initial term, so if that’s a concern then you may be better off looking at other CD options out there.

BBVA Compass money market account

ClearChoice Money Market account

Offers one of the best APYs out there for those who qualify.

APY for New Customers Online

APY for Existing Customers

Minimum Balance Amount

0.05%

0.05%

$0.01 - $99,999.99

0.05%

0.10%

$100k - $999,999.99

0.05%

0.15%

$1m+

  • Minimum opening deposit:  $25
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $0.01
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $15
  • ATM fee: Free for BBVA ATMs, $3 for out-of-network ATMs
  • ATM fee refund: None.
  • Overdraft fee: $12 when linked to another BBVA Compass account

BBVA Compass’ money market account is best for those who want a higher interest rate than what the bank’s savings accounts offer and an account to provide overdraft protection for a linked checking account.

You can waive the monthly maintenance fee if you have at least $10,000 in your account each quarter or if you set up an automatic transfer of least $25 from your BBVA Compass checking account each month.

The promotional rate you see above is only good for those who open an account online and only for the first 12 months. You also cannot have opened another money market account within the last 30 days of account opening. After the 12 month promotional period is over, you’ll earn the regular rate. Depending on your deposit amount, the APY could still be higher than a savings account.

Because this is a type of savings account, Federal Regulation D states that you can only make a maximum of six withdrawals a month. BBVA Compass charges a $10 for each excess withdrawal.

How to get BVAA Compass’ ClearChoice money market account

You can open an account within a few minutes by filling out BBVA Compass’ online application form. Information you’ll be asked to provide will include your name, address, a government-issued ID and employment information. Afterward, you’ll be asked to fund the account. Otherwise, you can open an account at your local branch or by calling the bank’s customer service number.

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How BBVA Compass’ money market account compares

BBVA Compass offers one of the highest rates from our list of the best money market accounts out there. It doesn’t require a minimum balance to earn this rate, though it does have a high minimum balance to waive the maintenance fee. Many other competitors have mobile banking just like BBVA does. However, the rate for this money market account is only good for the first 12 months, so if you’re not happy with the regular rate (or don’t qualify for the promo one), you may want to go with another institution.

BBVA Compass IRA account options

IRA CD

Term

APY (Online)

APY (In-Person)

12 months

1.90%

1.30%

15 months

2.00%

0.10%

18 months

2.20%

2.00%

36 months

2.25%

2.00%

  • Minimum opening deposit:  $500
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: $500
  • Early withdrawal penalty: Depends on CD term:
    • Terms of 365 days or less: $25 + 1% of amount withdrawn
    • Terms of more than 365 days: $35 + 3% of amount withdrawn

BBVA Compass also offers CDs as an IRA. With that option, the rates and terms are pretty much the same except you’re able to make another two deposits a year, up to the IRS limit. Currently, this is $5,000 per year or $6,000 for those who are 50 years and older.

If you do make an early withdrawal, you’ll be subject to BBVA Compass’ penalties plus any additional taxes and other fees as mandated by the IRS. Considering the competitive rate for the IRA CD, it’s a great way to possibly save money in a tax deferred account (if you opted for a Traditional IRA).

How to get BBVA Compass’ IRA savings account

Even though you can open a regular CD account online, with an IRA account you’ll need to do so in person. You can click here to find a location closest to you or call the bank to find out more.

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Overall review of BBVA Compass’ banking products

BBVA Compass does offer some unique features such as different options to get cashback rewards with its Visa debit card. It also offers rate matching for its Build My Savings account. Its CD, money market and IRA rates are on par with the best rates out there, even if it’s just for the first 12 months.

Sadly, its checking and savings accounts fall short. There are better rates, many at triple the APY that’s currently being offered at BBVA Compass. Even with perks like no-fee accounts and free checks, other online banks offer many of the same options at higher rates.

If you’re only after the highest rates for checking and savings accounts, you’ll probably want to look elsewhere. However, if you want some of the best money market and CD rates out there, then BBVA Compass is a great choice.

Advertiser Disclosure: The products that appear on this site may be from companies from which MagnifyMoney receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). MagnifyMoney does not include all financial institutions or all products offered available in the marketplace.

Sarah Li Cain
Sarah Li Cain |

Sarah Li Cain is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Sarah Li here

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Simple Bank Review — a Simple Way to Budget

Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided or commissioned by any financial institution. Any opinions, analyses, reviews, statements or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities prior to publication.

Year Established1964
Total Assets$90.1B

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Like most things in the world of “adulting,” managing your finances isn’t always as simple as it should be. This is where online bank Simple stepped in seven years ago, providing customers with a mobile bank account rolled into a budgeting app.

Acquired by Spanish bank BBVA in 2014, Simple was founded in Portland, Ore. in 2009 and launched commercial operations three years later. The money in a Simple account is held by BBVA Compass, the American subsidiary of Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria, S.A., and FDIC-insured up to $250,000.

Though Simple offers only one type of bank account — consumer checking — it promises a simple way to save and budget while offering features found at bigger banks, such as photo check deposit, plus additional features, including Goals, Expenses, and Safe-to-Spend(R). In an effort to attract new banking customers, Simple is offering a 2.02% APY return on balances of $2,000 or greater in a Protected Goals Account. Otherwise, the APY is the normal 0.01%.

We’ll review Simple’s bank account, its pros and cons and what else you need to know to determine if it’s a good fit for you.

Simple’s Most Popular Accounts

APY

Account Type

Account Name

2.02%

Checking

Simple Checking Account + Protected Goals Account*

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What is Simple?

The Simple bank account is a checking account that incorporates budgeting tools into a consumer’s everyday banking.

Simple banking is provided through both desktop and mobile applications, although you will need to download the app to deposit checks using a photo. The free mobile app is available for Android and iOS-powered devices. You can complete all other necessary banking tasks on both platforms.

The Simple account

Minimum deposit amount to open

$0

Annual percentage yield

0.01% ($0 - $2,000)
2.02% ($2,000+)

Overdraft fee

$0

Monthly service fee

$0

ACH transfer fee

$0

ATM fee

$0

Out of network ATM fee

$0

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Simple Visa debit
Simple customers are issued a Simple Visa debit card for daily purchases and to use at more than 40,000 ATMs in the Allpoint network. In-network ATMs won’t charge you a fee, and are easily found using the ATM finder both online and in the app. Simple doesn’t charge you a fee for using an out-of-network ATM, but you may be charged by other banks and ATM owners.

Simple bank review
Simple

Safe-to-spend
Simple’s Safe-to-Spend(R) feature helps you resist the temptation to spend every dollar in your bank account when those funds should be reserved for more important and urgent things. The budgeting algorithm sets aside funds for spending categories in your budget and your savings goals. The app subtracts the amount of money you’ve set aside from your total account balance so you can easily see how much money you have left to spend — your safe-to-spend number.

Goals
The Simple bank account makes it easy to set aside money for long- and short-term goals. The feature also serves as a digital envelope budgeting system for your monthly budgeting needs.

A warning to chronic overspenders: Although the amount set aside for goals is subtracted from your total balance so you know what’s safe to spend, the goal money is kept in the same account as the rest of your funds, so you can spend the money if you really need to. We will address how to use goals to save and budget in the following section.

Simple bank review
Simple

Analytics
Simple provides spending reports to give you more insight on how you’re spending your money. You can use the graphs and breakdowns Simple creates to analyze trends in your spending. With that information, you can evaluate whether or not your budget is meeting your needs or if you need to make adjustments in your spending habits. You can also add hashtags, notes and images to each transaction.
You will need to go online to view reports as the feature isn’t yet available in the Simple app.

Protected Goals
You can set up separate savings goals and an emergency fund within the Protected Goals account. Unlike the money for your short-term goals, money in the “protected” account is separate from your main Simple bank account. If you need to use your money, you can make unlimited transfers from a Protected Goals account to your regular Simple checking account. That means there’s no need to worry about hitting the six withdrawals per month limit most other savings accounts have under Regulation D, and the common fees associated with making excessive withdrawals.

If you are looking for a high-yield account, the Simple bank account may be the one for you. Right now, you can earn up to 2.02% APY if you maintain a balance of $2,000 or more in the entire Protected Goals Account. If you choose to set up an Emergency Fund or Savings Goal under the Protected Goals Account and the amount combined is $2,000 or more, you’ll still qualify for the 2.02% APY. If you don’t, a Protected Goals account with Simple earns 0.01% APY, which is lower than the national average yield on checking accounts. So if you’re looking to earn a return on your savings and can’t make maintain a balance of $2,000 or more, you may want to look elsewhere.

Although they may lack the bells and whistles Simple incorporates, there are many alternative high-yield checking accounts that earn a much higher yield on your money with no minimum deposit. You can also compare rates and terms on the best savings options currently available here that also have higher rates than this account.

Simple Shared
Simple offers joint accounts it calls Simple Shared accounts. The Simple Shared account is a separate Simple bank account that you co-own with someone else. The joint Simple Shared account allows pairs to plan budgets and complete savings goals together. Couples can even save for an emergency under the Shared account. Emergency Funds are now available for Simple Shared accounts.

Both co-owners of a Simple Shared account must have individual Simple accounts, too, and they have to keep the individual accounts open in order to have a shared account. Your individual accounts stay private.

Simple Instant
Simple Instant is a peer-to-peer payments system exclusive to Simple users. It’s the quickest way to send money to other Simple account holders instantly, for free. After you add the Simple user to your Instant contacts, you can send money to them using an email address or phone number.

Simple bank accounts work with most third-party p2p payment services like Venmo and Square Cash, too, so you can still send money to your friends who don’t use Simple, although you may be required to pay for instant transfers.

Where Simple falls short

A 1% fee for foreign transactions
Simple doesn’t charge you any fees for making foreign transactions, but Visa does. Each time you swipe your Simple card overseas, you may be required to pay a 1% International Service Assessment fee to Visa. That fee may not be a deal breaker for some frequent travelers, but it’s a bummer to pay any more than you have to, ever.

Additionally. there is a $1,000 daily spending limit for international transactions, but you can have that temporarily raised to $6,000 if you let Simple know you’ll be traveling.

No checkbooks
Simple users are not issued checkbooks to write paper checks. If you find yourself in a situation where you need to send a personal check or pay a bill, you can use Simple’s free bill pay service to have Simple send a check on your behalf. The bill pay feature is found online and in the app. You may also request a treasurer’s check — similar to a cashier’s check — from Simple.

Simple mobile app

When you don’t know exactly how much you have to spend on the things you want but don’t need, you’re either constantly running out of time, money or both. When you’re running around living your life most of the time, keeping track of your money can become a chore.

The Simple mobile app incorporates features that help you keep track of how much money you have left to work with for the month while on the go. You can even get instant push notifications that will send you spending updates in real-time.

Features that stand out

The goals feature is what sets the Simple app and account apart from other mobile-first fintech startups and online banks, which we will get into in detail below.

Using Goals to save money
When you create a goal in Simple — after naming it and adding an optional memo — you’ll set the amount and date by which you would like to complete it. You can fund the goal in two ways: (1) set aside money right away, or (2) elect to save over time.

When you save over time, an algorithm will calculate how much money to move over incrementally from your safe-to-spend amount to the savings goal so it’s fully funded by your preset completion date. You can move money each day, or set a custom funding schedule so the app only moves money on predetermined days.

Using Expenses to budget
You can use the Simple Expenses feature to mimic old-fashioned envelope budgeting. Envelope budgeting is a method in which you set aside cash in physical envelopes for each budgeting category. You set aside what you think you’d need to cover categories like gas, groceries or shopping for a period and if you run out of money for that category, you stop buying in that area. Simple offers a digital version.

You would create an expense and name them for each spending category in your budget for the month and determine how much to set aside for purchases made from that category. Here’s an example budget from Simple:

Simple bank review
Simple

Ideally, you would fund the expense immediately and not over time. That’s what Simple really focuses on doing. It’s a “set it and forget it” mentality. This feature runs off of “Funding Schedules”. So, once you create an expense through this feature, Simple will recreate the expense for you so that it’s paid off again the next month. You can set this up by creating an Expense and choosing the category you want the Expense to automatically come out of. You only need to set this up once. After you’ve set up all of your expenses, the funds will be automatically debited from the appropriate Expense each month.

What if I overspend?
As mentioned earlier, you can intentionally or accidentally spend money set aside for your goals if you go over your safe-to-spend amount. Of course, dipping into your goal money may cut into your progress. If you fall behind on saving or need to edit a goal, you can always edit the target date and/or amount, or delete the goal. On the flip side, if you complete a goal and want to save more money, you can choose to automatically save more over time.

Other features that deserve an honorable mention:

  • You can deposit checks — This is the only feature exclusive to the app and may be in found in the “Move Money” tab. Simple recommends submitting the deposit before 5 p.m. EST, as it allows the bank to process the deposit on the same day. However, if you submit the deposit after 5 p.m. EST, the deposit won’t be processed until the next business day. Keep in mind that “processing” is not the same as “funding”. For example, if you make a Photo Check Deposit before 5 p.m. EST on a Monday, the deposit will be processed the same day, but won’t be posted to your account until Tuesday at 3 a.m. EST. If you make the deposit after 5 p.m. EST on a Monday, the funds won’t post to your account until Wednesday at 3 a.m. EST.

The limit on how much money you can deposit using a photo check will depend on factors such as how long you’ve been with Simple and the number of checks you’ve recently deposited, so it varies by individual user. You can find out your current check limit under “Deposit a Check.” If the check is too large, you can deposit it by mail.

  • You can block and unblock your debit card — Blocking your card is useful if you lose your card or think it’s been stolen. Go to your profile and select “Your Simple Cards” then block the Simple Visa card. If you see any unauthorized transactions made on your account, you may be covered by Visa’s Zero Liability policy if you report it in time.

How to open a Simple Bank account

Opening a Simple bank account is a quick and easy process (see how I didn’t use the word “simple” there? I saved you from a very punny sentence). Signing up takes all of about five minutes. Simple requires applicants to be U.S. citizens and 18 years or older with a Social Security number.

The company also recommends you have access to a device that can run its mobile app. The device will need to be running on either Apple iOS 10.0 or higher or Android 5.0 (Lollipop) or higher.

You can open an account online or on the Simple mobile app. The application requires you to create a username and password for your Simple bank account, and indicate how you plan to use the account. Then, it asks for personally identifying information like your name and Social Security number.

Simple bank review
Simple

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Who could benefit from the Simple bank account?

The Simple bank account would be most beneficial to individuals and household budgeteers who want to be able to manage their budgeting and bank account in one place, in real time.

Most household money managers are well aware how much their bills will come up to each month and what their short- and long-term monetary goals are. However, it’s naturally difficult to keep the numbers you’re juggling on the top of your head when you are busy and often on the go. Other budgeting apps may keep you organized, but you have to make an effort to keep them on track with your actual spending.

Simple makes keeping up with bills and savings goals effortless.

Simple’s safe-to-spend feature allows even the busiest among us to easily keep track of how much money you actually have available to spend freely. You can use Simple from virtually anywhere, desktop or on your phone, so there are no excuses. Just checking your bank account balance and seeing the difference between the total balance and your safe-to-spend will remind you of your budget and savings goals.

With Simple, you can create and automatically contribute to an emergency fund account, one separate from your other financial goals, so that it actually gets done this time around. The amount you want to save in your Emergency Fund is based on how much money you want to save in a certain period of time. Based on those two things, Simple will put together a daily contribution amount.

Simple’s Goals system can help you stay organized, compartmentalize your budget and keep your financial priorities straight. If you don’t immediately fund a goal, the app has your back. It calculates and makes small transfers to get you closer to your goal for you.

Alternatives

Simple is one of many fintech companies that have recently released a mobile-first or mobile-only banking option. Next, we take a look at how Simple compares with its peers: the Aspiration Summit account, Chime, Beam and Finn by Chase. Rates are as of  the date of publication.

Simple vs. Aspiration Summit account
 SimpleAspiration Summit

Overdraft fee

$0

$25

APY on Checking

Up to 2.02% APY

2.00% APY

APY on Savings

n/a

n/a

The Aspiration Summit account is the mobile-only banking option for those trying to be a bit more socially conscious. Aspiration’s standout feature is its Aspiration Impact Measurement (AIM), which measures your social impact based on where you spend your money.

You get a personal AIM score, calculated based on the businesses you choose to support, which also each get an AIM score. For businesses, the AIM score is split in two: a “people score” based on factors like employee pay and access to health care, and a “planet score” based on things like the company’s greenhouse gas emissions.

In addition to knowing how the money you spend affects the world around you, you can feel confident knowing Aspiration donates $0.10 of every dollar it makes to financially-focused charities.

Like the Simple bank account, the Aspiration Summit account is a checking account. While the Simple bank account earns up to 2.02% APY, the Aspiration Summit account earns a slightly lower 2.00% APY on all balances. But, Aspiration doesn’t give you the opportunity to open a separate account to set aside savings like Simple does. Aspiration also doesn’t provide any budgeting and goal-setting features on its account, while Simple does. Aspiration requires a $10 minimum deposit to open an account, but no minimum balance to maintain the account.

Aspiration charges is a $25 overdraft fee and a $5 daily fee for each day your balance remains negative. Meanwhile, Simple charges no fees but won’t allow a transaction if it will overdraft your Simple bank account. Like Simple, Aspiration doesn’t charge its users a fee to access ATMs anywhere in the world but goes a step further by fully reimbursing you (on the 10th of each month) if you’re charged a fee by an out-of-network ATM. If you’re traveling overseas, you’ll be charged a fee equal to 1.1% of the transaction using the Aspiration Mastercard debit card.

Simple vs. Chime Bank
 SimpleChime Bank

Overdraft fee

$0

$0

APY on Checking

Up to 2.02% APY

n/a

APY on Savings

n/a

0.01% APY

Chims is a fee-free, mobile-first banking option that features automated savings, but doesn’t come with the analytics and goal-setting features that Simple has.

With Chime, you can automatically save 10% of each paycheck in a savings account and, if you’re enrolled in direct deposit, you can get access to your paycheck up to two days earlier than the money would become available with most other standard checking accounts. Once enrolled in Chime’s automatic savings program, Chime will automatically round up each purchase made with your Chime Visa Debit Card to the nearest dollar and save the difference in your savings account.

If you ever need to split a bill, Chime does the math for you and lets you send a text to a friend with a link to pay you back using Venmo, or Chime’s in-app peer to peer payments feature (Pay Friends) if the friend is a Chime Member. Money sent between two Chime members is received instantly. Simple doesn’t do the math for you, but you can send money instantly to other Simple users using its built-in p2p system, Simple Instant.

Chime offers both a checking account and a designated savings account, unlike Simple, which offers a checking account and the option to save emergency funds in a “protected goals” account.

If your savings are in a Chime savings account, you won’t be granted more than a 0.01% yield on your funds. On the other hand, if you place your savings in Simple’s Protected Goals Account, you earn up to 2.02% APY on balances of $2,000 or more. Neither Chime nor Simple charge overdraft fees. While Simple doesn’t charge you for using out-of-network ATMs, Chime charges $2.50. You can find more than 38,000 in-network ATMs using the ATM map in the Chime app.

Simple vs. Beam
 SimpleBeam

Overdraft fee

$0

n/a

APY on Checking

Up to 2.02% APY

n/a

APY on Savings

n/a

2.00% APY; up to 4.00% APY

Beam is a fee-free, mobile-only high-interest deposit account. You can earn a much higher yield on your savings than you would with Simple. Beam accounts promise a minimum 2.00% APY compared with Simple’s 0.01% APY. Beam also gives its customers the opportunity to claim rewards that can earn them up to 4.00% APY on their funds daily. Beam calls its rewards “billies” and they can be earned by engaging with the app and doing things like referring a friend to Beam. The “billies” are awarded daily between 6 p.m. and 7 p.m. local time. Neither service requires a minimum balance to earn interest on funds.

Beam doesn’t issue users a debit card or give users ATM access like Simple does. Beam is intended for use alongside a primary checking account as a supplementary bank account, while Simple is intended to be used as a primary checking account. If you want to use your money in a Beam account, you must first transfer it out to a primary checking account, which can take up to two days. Beam also doesn’t have any special saving or budgeting features and doesn’t show you spending analytics like Simple does.

As of this writing, Beam is not yet available for widespread use, but Simple is. Beam is still in a “private beta” stage, so it can only accommodate a limited number of customers. If you want to use Beam, you’ll have to sign up on the waiting list, which currently has more than 126,000 names.

Simple vs. Finn by Chase
 SimpleFinn by Chase

Overdraft fee

$0

$0

APY on Checking

Up to 2.02% APY

n/a

APY on Savings

n/a

0.01% APY; up to 0.04% APY

Finn by Chase is a free mobile-first banking option from Chase Bank. Finn by Chase offers checking and savings accounts, and you are required to have both types. For comparison, Simple only offers a checking account. Simple and Finn by Chase users earn the same 0.01% APY on balances below $10,000. For balances that are $10,000-$25,000, Finn users earn 3%, then 0.04% APY on higher amounts. Simple doesn’t offer increased interest on larger balances. Finn does not offer joint accounts, but Simple does.

Both banks issue users Visa debit cards for daily purchases and to use at the ATM. Finn charges $2.50 if you use an out-of-network ATM, while Simple doesn’t charge a fee at all. Finn says its users have access to more than 29,000 in-network ATMs while Simple advertises more than 38,000 in-network ATMs.

The banks both show users’ spending analytics and offer automatic saving features but differ in how their features work.

Finn lets users rate each transaction as a “want” or “need” and how it makes the user feel. Users can choose happy, sad or indifferent faces. Finn also provides users analytics via charts and graphs that summarize their spending habits.

Finally, Simple lets you send money instantly to other users using Simple Instant, but Finn by Chase lets you send money to anyone in the Zelle network, even if they are with a different bank, instantly for free. Both services let users send money with third-party platforms like Venmo, Google Wallet and PayPal.

The bottom line

The Simple bank account is a solid one-stop shop for hassle-free banking and budgeting. Simple, the company, doesn’t charge any fees, but BBVA Compass may charge fees. Make sure you to read the Simple Deposit Account Agreement. Fortunately, it won’t cost you to use their budgeting and analytics system if budgeting and saving is what you’re really after. Additionally, the 2.02% APY on balances of $2,000 or more is a huge perk if you can meet and maintain that balance requirement.

Advertiser Disclosure: The products that appear on this site may be from companies from which MagnifyMoney receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). MagnifyMoney does not include all financial institutions or all products offered available in the marketplace.

Brittney Laryea
Brittney Laryea |

Brittney Laryea is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Brittney at [email protected]

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Earning Interest, Reviews

Discover Bank CD Rates Review

Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided or commissioned by any financial institution. Any opinions, analyses, reviews, statements or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities prior to publication.

Discover Bank
Most people know Discover as a credit card company, but it also operates an online bank and offers some of the best rates and terms on checking and savings accounts and certificates of deposit (CDs).

Savings account bonus offer: Earn up to $200 on your first Discover savings account

As a bank, Discover offers some of the best products on the market. Currently, they’re offering a major deal on their online savings account, which currently earns 2.10% APY. If you apply for their savings account for the very first time by 06/03/19 and deposit a balance of at least $15,000 by 06/17/19, you can earn a $150 bonus. If you deposit a balance of at least $25,000 by the same date, you can earn a $200 bonus. Applying for the account is easy as you don’t need to go to a branch. The bonus will be credited to your account by 07/01/19. You can apply online or over the phone. Just be sure to enter or mention the promo code MM519 when you apply.

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If you’re looking for CDs in particular, Discover is currently considered to have some of the best CDs due to their customer service and digital tools.

Discover Bank CD rates

CD term

Annual Percentage Yield (APY)

3 months

0.35%

6 months

0.65%

9 months

0.70%

12 months

2.65%

18 months

2.65%

24 months

2.70%

30 months

2.70%

3 years

2.75%

4 years

2.80%

5 years

3.00%

7 years

3.05%

10 years

3.10%

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How do Discover Bank CD rates compare?

While Discover Bank CD rates aren’t always the highest available, they are consistently among the top offers across all terms. However, you may be able to find a similar or even better rate with a CD that has a lower minimum deposit than Discover’s $2,500 requirement. Currently, several nationwide banks offered a 12-month CD at a rate higher than Discover’s 12-month CD APY, while requiring a lower minimum deposit. For example, at the same time the above rates were available at Discover, there were 12-month CDs with rates as high as 2.70% APY with a lower minimum balance amount to earn the APY.

It’s always great to go for the highest interest rates possible, but keep your CD investing strategy in mind. If you’re investing in CDs using the ladder strategy, it might be easier to keep everything in one bank since you’ll be switching in and out of CDs frequently.

Discover also stands out from its competition in the CD space with its mobile app and 24/7 U.S.-based customer service. If you value such features, keep those particulars in mind when weighing Discover CD rates against others’.

What you need to know about Discover Bank’s CDs

Discover Bank is very transparent in terms of fine print. It’s not difficult to understand what’ll happen with your money after you invest it. We’ll cover the basics here about what you need to know to invest in Discover Bank’s CDs.

How to open a CD

It’s very simple to open up a CD with Discover Bank. Go to their CD webpage and click on the orange “Open an Account” button near the top right of the page. You can then choose which accounts you’d like to open. Select “CD,” choose a CD term and enter how much you’d like to deposit.

You’ll then need to complete the application by providing your name, address, date of birth, phone number, Social Security number, employment status and possibly even your driver’s license. Once your application is complete and accepted, you’ll need to fund the account.

How to fund the CD

You’ll need to fund it within 45 days of submitting your application, which you can do in one of three ways:

  • Transfer funds from another bank account over the phone. (You can only do this when you first fund your account.)
  • Transfer funds from another bank via online transfer.
  • Write a check to yourself and send it to the following address:Discover Bank
    P.O. Box 30417
    Salt Lake City, UT 84130

The minimum deposit amount for each of Discover Bank’s CDs is $2,500. Once you open a CD, you can’t deposit more money later, so it’s a good idea to make sure you have all the cash you want to invest before you open the account.

Withdrawing funds from the CD

When you want to withdraw money from your CD, the biggest thing to consider is whether that CD has matured yet, or finished its term.

If your CD has not matured, you’ve got options: You can take the interest out penalty-free at any time, or you can withdraw the principal (or the money you deposited) at any time as long as you pay an early-withdrawal penalty. This penalty varies depending on the original term of your CD:

  • less than one year: three months’ worth of simple interest
  • one year to less than four years: six months’ worth of simple interest
  • four years: nine months’ worth of simple interest
  • five years to less than seven years: 18 months’ worth of simple interest
  • seven years or longer: 24 months’ worth of simple interest

If your CD has finished its term, you can withdraw your money penalty-free, allow the CD to renew or roll it into a CD of a different term length. (More on that in a bit).

Earning interest on a Discover CD

Your CD will start earning interest on the same business day that you fund the account. The interest will be added to your account once each month, however.

When it comes to what to do with your interest, you have two options: The default option is to allow it to compound within the CD (meaning you’ll earn interest on that interest), or you can have it automatically deposited each month into another Discover bank account.

What happens once the CD matures?

You’ll get a heads-up notice about a month before your CD matures so you can decide what to do with the money. You have two main options: Either reinvest it into another CD (of the same term length or a different term length), or withdraw the money from the CD and put it into another account (such as a checking or savings account, or perhaps a CD at a different institution).

If you don’t let Discover know what you want to do with the maturing CD, the CD will automatically renew into another one of the same term length. You have a nine-day grace period after your CD automatically rolls over to make any changes or withdrawals penalty-free.

The bottom line

As far as big-name banks go, Discover offers great CD products. Wells Fargo, for example, only offers interest rates as high as 1.55% APY on a $5,000 deposit for a 58-month CD. Chase Bank offers even lower maximum rates — an abysmal 1.05% APY, and only if you can commit a minimum of $100,000 for 10 years.

If you’re the kind of person who likes to keep your finances in one place, Discover also has great credit cards, as well as competitive online savings and checking accounts. No matter how long you’re considering putting money in a CD, Discover is worth a look. Even if it doesn’t have the best available rate, it’s usually within several basis points of the top offerings and well above the average APY.

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Advertiser Disclosure: The products that appear on this site may be from companies from which MagnifyMoney receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). MagnifyMoney does not include all financial institutions or all products offered available in the marketplace.

Lindsay VanSomeren
Lindsay VanSomeren |

Lindsay VanSomeren is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Lindsay here

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