BBVA Bank Review

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BBVA bank, formerly BBVA Compass bank, was founded in 1964 and is based in Alabama. BBVA has quite a few branches spread across seven states — Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, New Mexico and Texas — although around half of those locations are in Texas. BBVA is a full-service bank and has been around a long time, but it also has a strong online banking presence. Unlike many other banks that we would consider “online banks,” BBVA offers a full suite of services, from checking and savings to money market accounts, investing, CDs and even home and auto loans.

BBVA Bank

Min Savings Deposit Max Savings APY 1-Year CD Rate J.D. Power Survey Score Key Benefit
$25 .05% APY 1.50% APY N/A Full-service banking with many options

What we like about it

BBV bank has been around for quite a while and has a sizable presence in the states where it has branches. Unlike many other banks that offer accounts online, this one offers a full suite of banking services, meaning you can do all of your banking in one place. The website and app are where this bank shines. With an easy-to-use interface that also offers a lot of functionality, it’s easy to manage accounts, even if you don’t live near any branches. Their mobile app offers a wide range of features too, along with great digital security options.

Things to consider

Because BBVA is a more traditional, full-service bank, their interest rates are lower than most online bank offerings, and they do have some fees that are higher than other banks. For example, overdraft fees are $38 each and you can incur up to six per day. That means even simple mistakes can add up quickly. The rates on BBVA’s CDs and savings APY rates are also low, and there are options with higher rates and lower fees available elsewhere.

BBVA checking accounts

BBVA bank offers the Free Checking account, which doesn’t have monthly service charge. This account includes free ATM withdrawals at not only BBVA ATMs, but the network of Allpoint ATMs as well, which means you have 44,000 options around the US. Fees for overseas withdrawals are small and reasonable. The bank also offers the Premium Checking account, which earns interest on your money. Like the other accounts, there is only a $35 minimum balance to open it, but if your balance is below $5,000 you’ll pay a hefty $26 monthly maintenance fee. You’ll earn between .5% and .75% depending on what kind of balance you maintain. If you’re going to keep that high of a balance, you may want to look at their money market account instead. We have more information on BBVA’s money market accounts below.

BBVA savings accounts

There are a few different types of savings accounts offered by BBVA. The first is the BBVA Build My Savings Account. This account is offered at .05% APY, but you can earn a match bonus depending on the term you choose, your opening account balance and how much you add to the account regularly, up to $25 per term.

The BBVA Online Savings Account account also has a minimum opening balance of $25 and the same interest rate, but it does not have the same match options as the Build My Savings Option. It does offer easy access to your funds and a link to your checking account for overdraft protection, and there is no service charge for the account. The BBVA Savings Account offers similar benefits to the BBVA Online Savings Account and the same minimum opening balance, but there is a $15 quarterly service charge that can be waived if you meet certain criteria.

BBVA money market accounts

The BBVA Money Market account earns better interest than the Premium Checking account, but the APY varies by region. It can be set up as overdraft protection for your checking account, and you can access your money anytime you need it with ATM access or online and mobile banking. You’ll only need a minimum of $25 to open the account, and while there are higher-interest MMAs to be found elsewhere, most require a much more substantial minimum balance.

BBVA CDs

BBVA CDs require a minimum of $500 to open — certainly not the highest minimum around. Rates vary depending solely on term, from 1.50% for a 1-year CD to 1.00% for a 36-month term. These are certainly not the most spectacular rates out there if that’s what you’re looking for, but there are no maintenance fees associated with these accounts.

BBVA IRA accounts

As a full-service institution, BBVA offers SEP, ROTH and traditional IRAs with a variety of ways to invest, including mutual funds and ETFs. There are a wide variety of portfolios and funds to choose from based on your needs, how soon you want to retire and how risk-averse you may be. They also offer other ways to invest that can help you build your retirement income, including annuities and lifetime-income options.

BBVA credit cards

There are four credit card options with BBVA bank. All offer varying levels of rewards and interest rates that depend on your credit-worthiness and the type of perks you would like to earn.

The BBVA Rewards Card offers unlimited 1.5% rewards on all purchases and the ability to earn an additional unlimited 0.5% reward bonus with $1,000 in monthly direct deposits to a BBVA deposit account, among other perks like 0% balance transfer options.

The BBVA ClearPoints Credit Card is a rewards card that lets you choose how you earn up to 2x & 3x points in categories you select each quarter. It has no annual fee and offers a 0% introductory APR for 13 months on purchases, among other perks.

The Select Credit Card allows you to choose how you earn 3x the points in categories you select, and it offers access to Visa Signature travel and entertainment benefits, a 24/7 complimentary concierge, and no foreign transaction fees. The downside is the $125 annual fee, which BBVA waives for the first year.

The exception to this is the Optimizer Credit Card, a secured credit card that’s collateralized by a savings account. This card is designed for those who can’t qualify for a traditional credit card and will help rebuild their credit. It has a high interest rate, but the credit limit can be increased at any time with a matching deposit in the savings account.

Regardless of your credit history and your desire for rewards, BBVA probably has a credit card that will work for you.

BBVA investing

There are two investing options with BBVA. The first is self-directed investing, which is just what is sounds like. You control and direct your investments, and you can put your money in mutual funds, ETFs and other options. You can even establish a margin account through the bank.

If you want more options and someone to manage your investing for you, BBVA offers full-service investment accounts as well. This means your money is managed by a professional. BBVA also offers 529 plans and options that help you save to pay for your child’s college managed under this plan.

The bottom line

Are you looking for a full-service bank online that offers plenty of options? If the answer is yes, then BBVA may be the right place for you. Many fees can be avoided  though they are steeper than many other banks, and the interest rates are respectable but not the highest around.

If you’re looking for the highest rates and lowest fees, or have very simple banking and financial services needs, BBVA may not be the best place for you. If you shop around, you will find higher interest rates, lower fees and simpler options from other online banks. From full-service investing to traditional banking and lending products, BBVA’s strength lies in its options. If you’re shopping around for a bank, they’re certainly worth a second look.

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