Ben Todd | Apr 16, 2017 | 3
BBVA Compass Review: One of the Best Bank Accounts If Your State Has One
Our BBVA Compass Review found that BBVA Compass is not the bank for you if you do not live in one of the seven states in which it has branches.
BBVA Compass is one of the largest 25 banks in the US. It has 688 branches with half of them being in Texas. Since 2007, they have been a subsidiary of the Spanish multinational bank Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria. They operate in the Sunbelt region with branches in Texas, Alabama, California, Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico and Florida. If you do not live in one of those states, you shouldn’t consider this bank.
However, if you do happen to live in one of the states that have BBVA, then it’s one of the best bank accounts offered, especially the BBVA Compass Free Checking account.
Below we list the main checking accounts and savings account options offered by BBVA. Below this, we give our review / opinion on how BBAA’s offerings stack up to the competition in 2017.
BVAA Checking Account Options
You have five options to choose from. There is a free checking account, which is the one we recommend you try.
There is a premium checking account and another checking account called Easy Checking (for people who apply for the BVAA Compass ClearChoice Free Checking and get declined), and an interest checking account. They also have BBVA ClearSpend Prepaid Visa, which is good for people who want a prepaid debit card.
The standard BBVA Compass checking account is free and the opening deposit is low.
It’s one of the most popular checking accounts and has a great reputation overall.
There are only 1000 BBVA Compass ATMs, which means you are going to have problems if you do not live near a BBVA Compass ATM.
Try a few stores in your area to find out if they give cash-back without fees. If you do use an ATM that is not in the BBVA network, then you will have to pay a $2.50 fee.
This is the limited checking account that BBVA offers you if you are rejected when applying for one of the other checking accounts. For example, you have bad credit issues or ChexSystem problems, then the Easy Checking is the bank account for you. It offers many of the main features of the other accounts, but you pay a monthly fee. But for those who can’t get a bank account beacause of ChexSystems, this is the account. You’ll need to apply for a regular BVAA Compass checking account first, get rejected, then you’ll get offered this account option.
The account details:
- Unlimited check writing.
- Complimentary Online Banking and Mobile Banking, Bill Pay and online statements.
- One Complimentary Visa® Debit Card
- No ATM fee to use any BBVA Compass ATM.
- Monthly Service Charge: $13.95.
- Paper statements: $3 Paper Statement Fee per month (or free if you enable online statements instead)
- Personalized BBVA Compass Visa® Debit Card: $10 per card.
BBVA Clear Choice Premium Checking
This account is for people who have a lot of money running through their checking account. There are no ATM withdrawal fees at over 44,000 ATMs because you may also use AllPoint ATMs for free.
You gain access to a digital wallet, and you may set up transaction alerts. They give you free online and paper statements, and you can avoid their fees if you maintain a balance of $5000 within the BBVA bank, which means your balance may be spread across your other accounts, so you don’t have to keep $5000 exclusively in your premium checking account.
Apply for BVAA ClearChoice Premium Checking
This checking account is very similar to the Compass free checking account. The difference is that you will be charged $3 per month for paper statements unless you opt out of them and go paperless. You may use AllPoint and BBVA ATMs for free, and you may personalize your debit card. I cannot figure out what the big difference is between this free checking account and the other free one mentioned above. I asked the customer service, and they said the first checking account is a full service account whereas ClearConnect is not.
I cannot figure out what the big difference is between this free checking account and the other free one mentioned above. I asked the customer service, and they said the first checking account is a full-service account whereas ClearConnect is not.
If you have a lot of money coming through your checking account, then consider an interest-bearing checking account. There is a $25 per month service charge that you may avoid if you keep a daily balance of $5000 in your ClearChoice premium checking account, or if you maintain a $25,000 balance within BBVA, which means your balance may be spread across numerous accounts.
BVAA Savings Account Options
BVAA has a variety of savings account options, depending on what you are looking for. We list their two main ones below.
The ClearChoice Savings Account is the BBVA bread and butter savings account option.
The savings interest rate is only 0.05%, which is pretty low, but it is an average rate for big banks with that many branches.
Typically, it is only online banks that offer slightly higher interest rates. You will have to pay a fee of $15 per quarter to keep your account open, but you can avoid that by maintenance a balance of $500, or if you set up an automatic monthly transfer from your checking account for $25 or more.
Invest in CDs for 12 or 24 months. The rate and terms you receive will depend upon the state you live in. One of the weird things is that some of their rates are better for 12-month CDs than they are for 24-month CDs. The most you can use to open a CD is $2,500,000, and the minimum is $500.
Our BBVA Compass Review
So we’ve given a pretty comprehensive list of what BBVA offers for personal checking and savings accounts.
Overall, BBVA is a legit bank, especially for those looking for the standard bank offerings.
The full service checking account is the best selling point this bank has. The ClearConnect checking account gives you access 44,000 free ATMs, but BBVA offer a great many services and you cannot use or gain access to them all if you opt for the ClearConnect checking account.
If you want a free checking account, then the BBVA Compass ClearChoice Free Checking is good option and one of the easiest banks to apply for online, hands down. For people with ChexSystems problems, the BBVA ClearChoice Free Checking account is a good option because the bank is quite accepting and you stand a good chance of actually getting an account, even with ChexSystems issues. And if your ClearChoice application is denied, BBVA offers you their EasyChecking account instead. SO it’s a win win.
Benefits And Features
- Low interest rates for borrowers
- Service standards in the Sunbelt region are good
- Usable apps that are very highly rated
- Very good online and banking security
- A free checking account with no maintenance fees
- Checking account opening deposit is just $25
- 1000 BBVA Compass ATMs that are free to use
- Free bill pay, online and mobile banking
- Unlimited check writing
Perks And Downsides
[+] Premium checking accounts are available
[+] Two automatic rebates on ATM fees with premium account
[+] Earn interest on your account with a premium account
[+] Free bill pay, online and mobile banking
[+] Unlimited check writing
[-] Their premium checking account costs $15 per month
[-] It costs $25 per month for their interest checking account
[-] The company doesn’t communicate with finance companies very well
[-] Branch tellers give different advice to online customer support staff
[-] Their foreign transaction fees are too high
Fees And Charges
Our BBVA Compass Review finds that BBVA is very upfront about its fees. They tell you about each fee for each account on the promotional web pages. If you click on the “Learn More” link for each account type, they also give you information on how to avoid their fees. The company has also listed all of its fees, including where there are no fees, in a big list of PDF documents on their website. Since it would take up more than 12 pages on this review, I have added a link to their fees and charges page here Pick the account and service you want, and check out their fees.
Whom Should Take Note Of This BBVA Compass Review?
People who live in the sunbelt region should be the only ones who consider a BBVA Compass account. Our BBVA Compass Review found that the free BBVA checking account is ideal for almost anybody in that region. Their bank offers top-notch online and offline security, your money is relatively safe in such a big bank, their administration is efficient, and you gain access to all their other banking features (paid or otherwise) because you are a customer. If you are looking for a good quality checking account, then this is the bank for you.
User Comments And Reviews
[+] Handy checking accounts with unlimited check writing. An ideal checking account for your daily financial transactions.
[+] A great bank for borrowing money if you have a good FICO score. Even new customers are allowed to borrow if they have a good credit score.
[+] BBVA have been known to refund overdraft fees if you make a mistake, you tell them what mistake you made, and then ask for a fees refund.
[+] The customer support is very good. Get through to them quickly and have your problems solved very efficiently. Just be sure to check to see that they have done what they said they would.
[+] Their 12-month CDs are pretty good, and you can manipulate their tiered interest checking account to earn more for maintaining your balance.
[-] It is annoying getting one answer from the telephone support and a different answer from their branch staff. They need to coordinate better.
[-] Bank with them for years and experience no problems, but when you experience one, expect a frozen account and lots of phone calls.
[-] Some online support staff have claimed they have done something when they haven’t, which leads to big problems if you trust their word.
[-] They don’t mind blaming you for not noticing the discrepancies that they created; which is like blaming you for not recognizing their mistakes earlier.
[-] Some people who apply for ClearSpend prepaid debit cards may find them canceled for no reason shortly after being approved.
As you may know, big banks are closing down branch after branch because most people are conducting their business online. While conducting our BBVA Compass Review, we found that the company is trying its best to stop these closures so that their staff can keep their jobs. One of the ways they are doing this is to become more involved with their local communities, which typically requires staff members with their boots on the ground (i.e. not stuffed in a tech center).
Should you consider an account with BBVA Compass? Yes, you should if you are looking for a good checking account and you want good customer service. If you are considering their other services, take baby steps because some of their other services have a terrible online reputation.
One of the reasons why BBVA Compass has a bit of a negative online reputation is because they don’t excel in any area, but overall they are a great generalist bank account.For example, when I was a teen I left a few positive user reviews about HSBC because they unfroze my account after my ex-girlfriend made false fraud claims against me.
Because they don’t particularly stand out in any single area, they don’t get the online praise from excited users. For example, when I was a teen I left a few positive user reviews about HSBC because they unfroze my account after my ex-girlfriend made false fraud claims against me.
They helped me again a few years later when I overdrew several times and they gave me 12 hours to fix the overdraft. I sorted the problems within the 12-hour limit and they didn’t charge me overdraft fees or inform credit-reporting companies. Again, I went online and left positive user reviews. BBVA don’t excel in any area to the point where people are inspired to go online and leave positive reviews. That is why you mostly see negative reviews. If you live in the sunbelt region, if they have an ATM near you, and if you want a good checking account, BBVA is the bank for you.
Again, I went online and left positive user reviews. BBVA don’t excel in any area to the point where people are inspired to go online and leave positive reviews. That is why you mostly see negative reviews. If you live in the sunbelt region, if they have an ATM near you, and if you want a good checking account, BBVA is the bank for you.
That is why you mostly see negative reviews. If you live in the sunbelt region, if they have an ATM near you, and if you want a good checking account, BBVA is the bank for you.
Need a Bank Account but have ChexSystems problems or Bad Credit?
Try opening a BBVA Compass Free Checking Account! BBVA is one of the more forgiving banks and may give you a full-fledged REGULAR bank account when you apply online...even with bad banking and credit history.
And if you don't qualify for the regular BBVA checking account for some reason, you'll then be given the option of opening the special BBVA Compass Easy Checking Account, an account designed specifically for those with banking problems.
...learn more about BBVA Second Chance Banking here
Overall, we feel (if you live in an area BBVA is offered) and you want an easy to apply for bank accounts, BBVA is one of the better banks out there.