BBVA Bank Review

BBVA Bank

Overall Rating

9

Bottom Line

BBVA Bank has the backing and security of a major national bank, coupled with a modern online platform. If you’re looking for a little bit of everything from your bank, BBVA could fit nicely into your financial life.

Pros

  • Hybrid bank with traditional and online options
  • Well regarded mobile app
  • Large ATM network with online accounts

Cons

  • Lots of fees
  • Very low interest rates

BBVA Bank is headquartered in Birmingham, Alabama, and is the 39th largest bank in the U.S. in terms of total assets.

BBVA Bank falls under BBVA USA, which is the American subsidiary of Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria, a Spanish multinational financial institution.

Formerly known as BBVA Compass, BBVA USA operates over 600 physical locations across seven states and offers online bank accounts nationwide.

They operate as a sort of a hybrid bank with both traditional and online options.

Some banking products are only available in the states in which the bank is physically located, while others are accessible to all account holders online.

In This Article

BBVA Checking Accounts

There are three different BBVA checking accounts available, each of which requires a $25 minimum opening deposit, and comes with free mobile banking and a cash back rewards debit card.

Let’s take a look at what each BBVA checking account has to offer.

BBVA Free Checking (Only available in select states)

BBVA Free Checking is a standard checking account that allows you to customize the features that are important to you.

There’s no monthly service charge, but if you want to add on certain features, you may have to pay for it.

Here’s a look at the perks you can add on, for a fee:

  • Free non-BBVA ATM withdrawals: $5/month, BBVA ATM use is always free with your account, but if you travel often, or don’t have a BBVA account nearby, this could be worth the added cost.
  • Unlimited Checks: $2/month, If you find yourself writing a ton of checks, this perk probably makes sense.
  • Unlimited Cashier’s Checks: $2/month
  • 3×5 Safe Deposit Box: $3/month

In the end, a free checking account can be as free, or not free, as you want it to be.

Also, it’s important to point out that BBVA Free Checking is only available in states where BBVA has a physical location, which includes:

  • Alabama
  • Arizona
  • California
  • Colorado
  • Florida
  • New Mexico
  • Texas

BBVA Online Checking (Available in all states)

BBVA Online Checking is an online-only bank account that gives you access to mobile deposits, digital payments and transfers, and online bill pay.

There’s no monthly maintenance fee, and you’ll have access to overdraft protection through a linked savings account or line of credit.

The account comes with a $3 fee for paper statements, which you can avoid by opting for e-Statements.

Premium Checking (Available in all states)

Premium Checking is an interest-bearing checking account option that comes with few perks, such as:

  • 0.01% APY on deposits
  • free checks
  • two reimbursements of non-network ATM fees per month
  • no additional charge for paper statements

You can also customize your debit card with whatever image you want.

There’s a $19 monthly fee for Premium Checking accounts, which gets waived if you have direct deposits totaling at least $4,000 each month.

BBVA Savings Accounts

Let’s take a look at what each BBVA savings account has to offer.

BBVA Savings (Only available in states served)

BBVA Savings is a basic savings account that pays 0.01% APY on deposits.

The account comes with a $15 quarterly service fee and $3 for paper statements if you don’t opt out.

To avoid the service fee, you need to set up recurring monthly transfers from your checking of at least $25 or maintain a daily balance of at least $500 across your BBVA accounts.

Online Savings (Available in all states)

Online Savings is BBVA’s online-only savings account option.

It’s essentially the same thing as BBVA Savings, minus the access to physical branches. best of all, there’s no monthly or and quarterly service fee.

Otherwise, you can expect the same features, including a 0.01% APY on deposits, and a $3 paper statement fee if you don’t opt-out.

Build My Savings (Only available in states served)

Build My Savings is a goal-based account that can earn you a little extra if you stick to a savings plan.

After opening your account, you’ll be able to choose between a 6 or 12-month plan.

From there, if you make recurring automatic transfers of $25 or more, BBVA matches 1% of the total transfer amount at the end of the terms (up to $25 for a 6-month plan, and $50 for 12 months).

Once your introductory term ends, your account is automatically converted into a standard BBVA Savings Account.

Build My Savings has no monthly fee and currently pays an APY of 0.01%.

BBVA Money Market (High Yield Savings)

BBVA’s Money Market account is available nationwide.

Money Market accounts come with a tiered APY based on how much you deposit and your relationship standing with the bank.

The account has a $15 monthly fee, which is waived if you carry an account balance of at least $10,000, or make recurring monthly transfers of $25 or more.

To earn more than the 0.01% starting APY, you’ll need at least $10,000 in your account.

But, even with a balance of $1,000,000 or more, the APY maxes out at 0.07%. BBVA is currently running a promotional APY of 0.20%, however, this rate only lasts for the introductory period of three months.

Overall, BBVA’s Money Market APYs leave quite a bit to be desired, so it would be wise to research the top money market options if this type of account is appealing to you.

Certificate of Deposits (CDs)

BBVA CDs are available with 11-month, 12-month, 18-month, and 36-month terms.

The current APY is 0.10% across all terms, and the minimum opening deposit is $500.

BBVA CDs are an online-only investment product and there are no monthly service fees.

BBVA Credit Cards

BBVA has four Visa credit card options.

To qualify, you must reside in one of the states where BBVA has a physical presence which includes:

  • Alabama
  • Arizona
  • California
  • Colorado
  • Florida
  • New Mexico
  • Texas

If you don’t live in one of those states, you’ll have to sign up with a different credit card provider.

Here’s a brief overview of what you can expect from each BBVA credit card:

BBVA Rewards

The BBVA Rewards Card is a simple cash back rewards credit card that earns an unlimited 1.5% on all purchases.

Cardholders that have a monthly direct deposit of at least $25 in any BBVA deposit account can get an additional 0.5% rewards boost.

There’s no annual fee, and at the moment you can snag a $100 signup bonus if you spend at least $1,500 in your first 90 days of account opening.

BBVA ClearPoints

The BBVA ClearPoints credit card is similar to BBVA Rewards but allows you to choose the categories where you can max out your rewards.

Instead of a flat rate, cardholders can select one category that earns 3% and a second that earns 2%. All other purchases earn 1% rewards.

ClearPoints is also a solid option if you’re looking for a no-fee balance transfer credit card. There’s currently a 13-month intro APR of 0% on balance transfers.

ClearPoints has no annual fee and offers a $100 intro bonus if you spend at least $1,500 within the first 90 days of opening the card.

BBVA Select

BBVA Select is a premium card that earns 4% rewards on entertainment, 3% on dining, 2% on travel, and 1% on everything else.

Select scores premium perks, too, including a Visa Luxury Hotel Collection membership, 24/7 concierge services, and access to emergency roadside assistance.

By far, Select comes with BBVA’s best intro bonus. New cardholders can earn 50,000 bonus points (worth about $500) by spending at least $4,000 in the first 90 days of account opening.

BBVA Select has a $99 annual fee, but you won’t have to pay it in your first year.

BBVA Optimizer

BBVA Optimizer is a barebones credit card that’s intended for those who are looking to rebuild their credit.

There are no points to earn here, and there’s a $40 annual fee.

If you are specifically searching for a “credit rebuilding” card, you might want to investigate no-annual fee options.

BBVA Features

649 Locations In 7 states

Currently, you can find a BBVA branch in seven states: Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, New Mexico, and Texas.

More than half of these locations are in Texas (which has 339).

In terms of deposit market share, BBVA is the second-largest bank in Alabama,  the fourth largest in Texas, and the sixth-largest in Arizona.

Outside of the seven states listed above, you won’t have access to physical branches. But, not to worry — BBVA’s online banking is available to anyone, no matter which state you live in.

64,000+ ATMs

BBVA has 1,000 branded ATMs located throughout the above-mentioned states. All account holders can use BBVA ATMs free of charge.

BBVA also offers free ATMs at 7-Eleven locations and on the Allpoint ATM network, bumping the total number of fee-free ATMs up to 64,000.

Online Banking

BBVA’s online platform makes the bank accessible to anyone, anywhere.

With the BBVA mobile banking app, you’ll be able to check your balances, deposit checks, transfer money, pay bills, and more.

The BBVA mobile app is well-liked by iPhone and Android users and currently holds a 4.8-star rating (out of 5) in the App Store, and a 4.1-star rating (out of 5) in the Google Play Store.

BBVA Fees

When banking with BBVA, you can expect to run into some fees.

The fee amounts vary based on the account(s) that you decide to open, but here’s a glance at some common fees that you might run into.

Monthly/Quarterly Service Fees

Some BBVA accounts have them, others don’t. Of those that do, some are charged monthly, while others collect quarterly — be sure to understand the fee schedule of your account so that you aren’t caught by surprise.

All BBVA monthly fees can be waived, through daily balance requirements, recurring transfers, or direct deposits.

BBVA Account Service Fee Avoidable?
BBVA Free Checking $0 Other fees may apply
BBVA Online Checking $0 monthly n/a
Premium Checking $19 monthly Yes
BBVA Savings $15 quarterly Yes
Online Savings $0 n/a
Build My Savings $0 n/a
BBVA Money Market Account $15 monthly Yes

ATM Fees

Out of network ATM fees cost $3 per withdrawal.

Online Checking and Premium Checking account holders have free access to Allpoint and 7-Eleven ATMs, in addition to BBVA’s own ATMs.

If you have an account that’s only available in one of BBVA’s states with a physical location, you’ll be limited to using BBVA’s branded ATMs (unless you want to pay a $3 fee).

Overdraft Fees

BBVA charges $38 if you overdraft your account, which will be enforced up to six times per day. Ouch!

Overdraft protection is available, at a price. The best option is to link with a savings account, but you’ll still be charged $12 for each transfer made to cover a negative balance.

If you tend to overdraft your account frequently, or carry a low balance in your accounts, you should probably look elsewhere.

Paper Statement Fees

On most accounts, you’ll see a $3 fee for paper statements. This is an easy one to avoid, but it’s important to know that you do need to opt-out.

By default, all BBVA accounts are enrolled in paper statements upon opening, so make sure that you choose e-Statements only after signing up.

Getting Started

Signing up with BBVA takes just a few minutes online.

If you live in one of the states where BBVA has a brick and mortar location you can stop by and enroll in person.

After signing up you’ll have access to BBVA’s full-service mobile app.

BBVA Promotions

Here are the current bank promotions that BBVA is offering:

BBVA Security

BBVA is FDIC-insured, so deposits up to $250,000 are protected.

As a bank with a heavy online presence, cybersecurity is a big priority. BBVA is constantly monitoring for signs of fraud or suspicious activity, and you can set up account alerts in the app to stay on top of things.

BBVA also has a program called ClearBenefits, which comes with perks with roadside assistance, identity theft protection, and restoration insurance.

Customer Service

When you need some help, BBVA has customer support agents standing by at 1-800-273-1057.

You can also reach out for assistance right from your BBVA mobile app. Visit BBVA’s Contact Us page to learn about additional support options.

Pros & Cons

Pros:

  • Hybrid bank with traditional and online options
  • Well regarded mobile app
  • Large ATM network with online accounts

Cons:

  • Lots of fees
  • Very low interest rates
  • Many services only available in seven U.S. states

Alternatives to BBVA

If you like the idea of a hybrid bank, but prefer a greater emphasis on the online side, you might want to check out Capital One and TD Bank, both of which have fewer physical locations and solid online platforms.

Traditional banks like Chase or U.S. Bank offer a greater national presence with similar account offerings.

While fully online banks like Ally, Discover, and Axos Bank provide all the same convenience of mobile banking, but with higher interest rates and lower fees.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is BBVA a real bank?

Yes, BBVA is absolutely a real bank, and it’s one of the largest banks in the U.S., with over 600 local branches and 1,000 ATMs.

BBVA USA is owned by Spanish-based Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria, which has roughly $700 billion in assets.

Is BBVA bank FDIC insured?

Yes. BBVA Bank is FDIC-insured. As such, deposits up to $250,000 are protected.

Are BBVA cards good?

BBVA has some decent credit card options, but it depends on what type of credit card you are looking for. Check out the above section on BBVA credit cards for all the details.

When it comes to sign-up bonuses, the current frontrunner is the BBVA Select credit card, which comes with a 50,000 point signup bonus if you spend $4,000 within the first 3 months of account opening.

Unfortunately, BBVA credit cards are only available in the seven states where the bank has physical locations. So, unless you live in Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, New Mexico, or Texas, you’ll have to open up a credit card account elsewhere.

What does BBVA bank stand for?

BBVA stands for Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria, which is a Spanish multinational financial services institution and one of the biggest ones in the world. Headquartered in Madrid, BBVA has been around since 1857 and is Spain’s second-largest bank.

Is BBVA Right For You?

BBVA has the backing and security of a major international bank, coupled with a modern online platform.

If you’re looking for a little bit of everything from your bank, BBVA could fit nicely into your financial life.

With that said, BBVA doesn’t jump out in any particular category.

For example, if you prefer a traditional banking experience, there are bigger national banks with more locations.

If you want fewer fees and higher APYs, there are online-only banks and credit unions that will give you just that.

At the end of the day, if you live in one of the states that BBVA serves, you’ll get everything you need in a banking experience, even if it doesn’t blow you away.

The most important question is this: What’s most important to you with your banking experience? Once you can answer that, it will be easier to select a banking account that best suits your needs.