BBVA (BBVA Compass) Review 2021

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Updated on Thursday, July 1, 2021


BBVA has been the American subsidiary of the Spanish giant Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria since 2007. It was originally formed as the Central Bank & Trust Company in 1964. BBVA has branches throughout Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, New Mexico and Texas, but it serves additional U.S. customers, with the exception of Alaska and Hawaii, through its online banking platform. BBVA offers a variety of savings and checking accounts, credit cards, loans and investment services.

Account rates may differ depending on location, so we based our research on the bank’s headquarters city of Birmingham, Ala.

BBVA savings accounts 3.5 out of 5

BBVA offers two basic savings accounts and a high-yield money market account with a promotional APY for new customers.

BBVA Online Savings Account
  • APY: 0.01% on all balances
  • Minimum opening deposit: $25
  • Monthly fee: $0, if you opt in to paperless online statements

The BBVA Online Savings account offers the furthest reach, as it’s available to customers opening online from any state except Alaska or Hawaii. The primary benefit of the account is its lack of a monthly service fee and its online access. The account comes with a mobile app and offers up to four fee-free withdrawals per month, with excess transactions costing $3 each. There are no fees at BBVA ATMs, but out-of-network withdrawals trigger a $3 per transaction fee.

Essentially, this account offers the basic features that are popular in a savings account, including ATM access, low minimums and no monthly fees. However, there are some major fees you’ll want to avoid with the account, including a $32 stop payment fee and a $38 insufficient funds fee. Savings rates are also very low at just a 0.01% APY, which is far below rates offered by online high-yield savings accounts at many competitors and even below the current national average rate for savings accounts, at a 0.06% APY, according to the FDIC.

BBVA Savings Account
  • APY: 0.01% on all balances
  • Minimum opening deposit: $25
  • Monthly fee: $5 (billed at $15 quarterly) or $0 if you meet certain requirements

The BBVA Savings Account is similar to the bank’s Online Savings Account, but it’s available in just seven states: Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, New Mexico and Texas. While the low minimum open deposit of $25 — and the low APY of 0.01% — are the same here, this savings account also charges a $15 quarterly fee. However, this fee can be waived with a daily balance of $500 or a monthly recurring transfer or $25 from a BBVA checking account.

Otherwise, the accounts are nearly identical. Like the Online Savings Account, the BBVA Savings Account offers four monthly withdrawals and fee-free BBVA ATM transactions, with both excess withdrawals and non-BBVA ATM transactions triggering a $3 fee. The $38 insufficient funds fee and $32 stop payment fee also apply to this account.

BBVA Money Market Account
  • APY: 0.01%0.05% (base APY of 0.01%, with the opportunity to earn higher APY by meeting requirements in connected BBVA accounts)
  • Minimum opening deposit: $25
  • Monthly fee: $15

Rates for the BBVA Money Market Account are tiered, and the base rate is currently 0.01% for all balances. Customers are eligible for additional APY, in 0.01% increments, if they meet other requirements. For example, also having a BBVA checking account with a minimum balance of $10,000 adds another 0.01% to your money market account APY.

The BBVA Money Market Account allows six withdrawals per month, with a $25 minimum opening deposit requirement. The $15 monthly fee can be waived with $10,000 in the account or, more easily, with recurring monthly transfers of at least $25 from a BBVA Checking account. Excess transactions are hit with a stiff $10 fee, in addition to the typical $38 insufficient funds fee and $32 stop payment fee at BBVA.

Review the rates offered by today’s best high-yield savings accounts.

BBVA checking accounts 3.5 out of 5

Three types of checking accounts are available for BBVA customers, with one of them offering interest.

BBVA Online Checking
  • APY: N/A
  • Minimum opening deposit: $25
  • Monthly fee: $0
  • ATM access: No fees at more than 64,000 BBVA, Allpoint® and participating 7-Eleven® ATMs nationwide

The BBVA Online Checking Account is the option for customers that don’t live in the bank’s seven-state service area. Although the account doesn’t pay interest, it also doesn’t have a monthly fee and requires just $25 to open. Customers have access to their money via the Allpoint network or at participating 7-Eleven locations, in addition to the BBVA network itself. Common banking features such as online and mobile banking, remote deposit and overdraft protection are available.

Just like the BBVA savings accounts, a number of fees can hit an unwary customer. Most notable are the $38 NSF fee, the $32 stop payment fee and the $25 early closure fee, for accounts closed within 180 days of opening.

BBVA Free Checking
  • APY: N/A
  • Minimum opening deposit: $25
  • Monthly fee: $0
  • ATM access: Four automatic rebates per statement cycle for out-of-network ATM fees

The primary difference between the BBVA Free Checking account and the BBVA Online Checking account is that the former offers free paper statements, while the latter charges a $3 fee. Beyond this, most of the account parameters are the same, including the $25 opening deposit requirement and the $0 monthly fee. ATM access is still free at BBVA ATMs, Allpoint and participating 7-Eleven locations.

BBVA Premium Checking
  • APY: 0.01% on all balances
  • Minimum opening deposit: $25
  • Monthly fee: $19 (or $0 if you meet certain requirements)
  • ATM access: No fees at 64,000 BBVA, Allpoint and participating 7-Eleven ATMs nationwide

The BBVA Premium Checking account lives up to its name, offering premium services for a premium price. The high $19 monthly fee requires either $4,000 on balance or $4,000 in monthly direct deposits to earn a waiver. Additional perks attached to the account include two out-of-network ATM fee reimbursements per month, free standard checks and paper statements and a personalized debit card. Although the account earns “tiered interest,” currently all tiers pay a simple 0.01% APY. Standard account fees apply, from the $38 insufficient funds fee and $32 stop payment to the $25 early closure fee.

Get to know the best checking accounts currently on the market.

BBVA CDs 2 out of 5

TermAPYMinimum to earn APY
1 year0.05%$500
3 years0.05%$500
5 yearsN/A online; check branchN/A online; check branch

BBVA offers just four CD terms online: 11 months, 12 months, 18 months and 36 months. There is no 5-year option available online. Additional terms and rates may be available at branches. You’ll have to visit or call a branch to get local rates, although you can also call the national BBVA number at 844-BBVA-USA. According to the BBVA Terms and Conditions, CDs may be available with maturities from 7 days to 15 years. Rates across the board for the online CDs at BBVA are low compared with the current national averages for 1-year CDs (0.14%) and 3-year CDs (0.21%), according to the FDIC.

Early withdrawal penalties are $25 plus 1% of the amount withdrawn for CDs with maturities of 365 days or less, while those with longer maturities are charged with a $25 plus 3% penalty. Accounts automatically renew within 10 days of maturity unless the bank receives notice.

For more options, explore our roundup of the best CDs out there now.

Customer experience at BBVA

BBVA is something of a hybrid bank, with both online and in-branch offerings. However, branches are scattered across only seven states, with the bulk of them in Texas. The online experience, while simple and painless, doesn’t offer customers the best rates or a wide variety of additional features that would make BBVA a better competitor with online-only banks. Fee-free ATM access is limited to the BBVA network itself for savings accounts, although some of the BBVA checking accounts provide fee-free access to the 64,000-strong Allpoint ATM network and 7-Eleven locations.

Automated customer service is available 24/7 at 844-228-2872, but you can speak with someone live from Monday through Friday, 7 a.m to 10 p.m. or on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. All times are in Central Time. A virtual assistant is also available for live chat on the bank’s website. Both the Android and iOS apps for BBVA receive the same great rating of four-plus stars from users.