BBVA is a bank with more than 600 brick-and-mortar branches in seven states. But if you don’t live near a location, you can still take advantage of its online accounts.
The interest rates that BBVA pays its savings accountholders might not be the highest we’ve seen offered among online banks. But the bank does offer some appealing products, such as an interest-paying checking account and decent certificates of deposit (CDs).
In this BBVA review, let’s take a look at the online accounts this bank has to offer to help you decide if it’s a good fit for you.
BBVA Bank Review
Product Name: BBVA Bank
Product Description: BBVA Bank offers a full-service banking solution for just about any situation. Services include personal checking, savings, and credit cards, and small business accounts. However, you'll find much better interest rates at many other online banks.
When it comes to Products & Services, BBVA offers what you’d expect to find at a traditional full-service bank. However, the Interest Rates its accounts pay isn’t particularly great. You can find higher rates at many other online banks. There are a few maintenance Fees & Service Charges with some accounts, but they can be waived. However, the non-sufficient funds charge is higher than the industry average. The Website/App is easy to use, and you can contact Customer Service during office hours, Central Time. Plus, if you live in one of the seven states where there are brick-and-mortar locations, you can have the convenience of in-person banking.
|Banking Account Types||Interest Checking, Savings, Money Market, CDs|
|Other Account Types||Credit Cards, Lending, Mortgages, Investments, Small Business, Commercial Accounts|
|Minimum Required Deposit to Open Account||$25|
|Number of Branches||600+|
|ATM Network Size||BBVA ATMs, plus access to the Allpoint® ATM Network. In all, access to over 64,000+surcharge-free ATMs|
|App Availability||iOS, Android, mobile optimized website|
|Person to Person Money Transfers||Popmoney®|
|Money Transfers||ACH, Wire Transfers, Popmoney®, Instant Transfers Between BBVA Accounts, Secure Send℠ International Money Transfer|
|Customer Service Types||Phone, via Online Banking|
|Customer Service Hours||Mon - Fri: 7am-10pm CT, Sat: 8am-4pm CT|
|Member FDIC||FDIC Certificate #19048|
|Routing Number / ABA Number||BBVA Has Different Routing Numbers, Based on Location|
|Current Promotions||No Current BBVA Promotions
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- 1% Currency Conversion Fee. Thanks to its relationship with the Allpoint network of ATMs, you’ll pay only a 1% currency conversion on international withdrawals.
- FDIC Insurance. Each BBVA account is FDIC-insured up to $250,000.
- Free 7-Eleven ATMs. Use your ATM card at a participating 7-Eleven store for free and withdraw cash while making a Slurpee run.
- ClearBenefits. For an extra $4 fee per month, checking account holders can enroll in this program, which confers identity theft restoration and insurance, along with cellphone protection and other benefits.
What Is BBVA?
BBVA is a bank that does business online and in seven states: Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, New Mexico, and Texas. More than half of the brick-and-mortar locations are in Texas.
BBVA used to be known as Compass Bank and is headquartered in Birmingham, Alabama. Since 2007, it has been a subsidiary of Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria, the second-largest bank in Spain and one of the largest banks in the world.
Until last year, BBVA in the U.S. was referred to as BBVA Compass, reflecting its heritage with both banking institutions.
How to Get Started with BBVA
Signing up for a BBVA account is pretty easy. You can apply online, over the phone, or in person, if you live near a BBVA branch. You’ll need to provide the usual information: name, address, Social Security number, employer, etc. You may also be required to submit a photo of your government-issued ID.
Funding Your BBVA Account. You can fund your new BBVA account by transferring funds from an account at another bank, by mailing in a money order, or by stopping by a physical branch.
Note that, unlike some other online accounts, BBVA has required minimum deposits for opening a new account.
BBVA Account Options
BBVA Checking Accounts
Most people will have two options for checking accounts at BBVA. (If you live in a state where there are branch locations, you might have additional options.)
Online Checking is BBVA’s most popular account. There’s no associated monthly service charge, and most of your banking will be done via BBVA’s easy-to-use mobile app.
Accountholders have free access to the Allpoint network of ATMs, participating 7-Eleven ATMs, and BBVA-branded ATMs. If you wish to use an ATM outside the network, you’ll pay $3 per transaction (plus any fees charged by the ATM’s owner).
Although there’s no monthly Service Charge, there’s a paper statement fee of $3 (which you can waive by opting for e-statements), as well as a particularly stiff nonsufficient funds (NSF) charge of $38. Although your goal should be not to overdraw your account, that’s a higher fee than you’ll find at most other banks.
The minimum required to open this account is $25.
Premium Checking is an interest-bearing account. This is good news, as most checking accounts don’t offer any interest.
There’s a $19 monthly service charge associated with this account that will be waived if you can maintain an average daily balance of $4,000 or more, or have $4,000 in monthly direct deposits. Because the monthly Service Charge would defeat the purpose of earning interest in this account, it’s important not to open a Premium Checking account unless you’re sure you can meet the minimums.
As with the Online Checking account, BBVA collects a paper statement fee of $3 (which you can waive by opting for e-statements), as well as a higher-than-average nonsufficient funds charge of $38.
The minimum required to open this account is also $25.
BBVA Savings and Money Market Accounts
If you’re looking to earn a high interest rate on your savings, you’ll do better with an online-only bank that specializes in high-yield savings. But if you’re looking for one-stop shopping for your banking needs, you’ll want to know how BBVA’s savings options add up.
The traditional savings and money market accounts charge a $3 quarterly service fee which you can avoid by opting for paper statements. However, the interest rate is low, compared with what other online savings accounts pay.
These accounts require a minimum of $25.
BBVA Certificates of Deposit
You can also beat BBVA’s CD rates by shopping around, but if you’re already a customer, the bank’s online experience makes it easy to buy a CD.
BBVA requires a $500 minimum for a CD, and it offers terms of 1 month to 36 months, with higher interest rates available on longer-term purchases.
If you live in the following states, you could apply for a new mortgage or a mortgage refinance through BBVA:
- New Mexico
The bank offers fixed- and adjustable-rate options, and it has a special program for buying more expensive properties. If you’re looking to finance a property for professional reasons (to open a law office or an architectural firm, for example) BBVA can also help.
Mortgage rates at BBVA tend to be competitive with other top banks that offer private home loans. Since the bank excels in giving customers online access to all accounts, the application process is quick and seamless.
For example, before beginning an application, BBVA’s site shows customers a list of the materials they will need during the application process.
This kind of thoughtful interaction with customers can make the intimidating process of securing a home loan or getting a home equity line of credit or a second mortgage to pay for home improvements less cumbersome.
BBVA offers consumer credit cards only in the seven states where it operates physical branches.
If you happen to live there — and a lot of people do — you can find some solid options to expand your spending power while earning rewards. Features of BBVA credit cards include:
- 0 percent interest introductory offers available
- Cards with no annual fees
- Healthy rewards plans, especially when your card is connected to a BBVA checking account.
- Products based on customer priorities (rewards vs. low interest, etc.)
An attractive feature across all credit card options is the bank’s BBVA Wallet smartphone app that helps customers keep track of credit card promotions, points accruals, penalties, and payments.
Other Types of Lending – Auto, HELOC, Personal Loans
Depending on your location, BBVA offers flexible borrowing options such as personal convenience loans, auto loans, and home equity lines of credit.
An Express Personal Loan from BBVA allows customers to get a lower interest rate than a credit card on planned expenses. The bank offers this program only in its home states of Florida, Alabama, Texas, California, New Mexico, Arizona, and Colorado.
Say you’ve had an unexpected state tax bill or you needed dental surgery and don’t have insurance. Or maybe you’d like to consolidate some existing debt?
A personal loan can offer an interest rate that’s often less than half a typical credit card rate. This means you should be able to pay the debt off more quickly.
These kinds of loans are unsecured, which means your interest rate will likely be higher than a mortgage rate or even an auto rate.
BBVA also charges interest surcharges ranging from $60 to $120 depending on the size of your loan.
The bank makes auto loans in the seven states with physical branches. Its rates are competitive, and you can extend some loans up to 72 months.
Here are some important figures if you’re thinking about using BBVA for your next new or used car purchase:
- $5,000: minimum loan amount
- $15,000: minimum amount before more favorable interest rates kick in.
You can save money by making car loan payments through a BBVA checking account.
A home equity line of credit works kind of like a credit card, but it is backed by the equity built up in your mortgage. You’re basically borrowing money from the part of your house you’ve already paid for.
BBVA offers home equity lines of credit only in its seven home states.
The application process is easy to use, and you can get an idea about how much you can borrow and what kind of interest rate you’ll qualify for without the bank having to pull a credit report.
Wealth Management and Financial Advising
BBVA offers financial planning in its seven home states, along with Georgia, Illinois, and New York. You can discuss insurance, investing, estate planning, and asset management with a BBVA advisor.
Financial advising is a personal service, and using a BBVA advisor would probably make the most sense if you’re already a customer of the bank.
Otherwise, it’s likely easier and more productive to find an advisor in your city when you need help planning for your financial future.
Business Banking Accounts
Another benefit BBVA Bank offers is banking solutions for small businesses and commercial operations.
This makes BBVA a good option for the small business owner who wants to prioritize convenience by opening both personal and business accounts at one location.
You would need to contact BBVA Bank regarding what you need to open a business checking or savings account.
Here are some general tips for opening a business account.
BBVA Customer Service
If you live in one of the seven states where BBVA has a brick-and-mortar location, you’ll be able to access in-person help with your account.
Otherwise, you can call customer support during Central Time business hours at 1-866-734-4482.
BBVA Pros & Cons
- More Than 600 Branch Locations. If you live in the part of the country where there are brick-and-mortar offices, you can visit a BBVA branch.
- Large ATM Network. Thanks to the Allpoint Network and BBVA’s relationship with 7-Eleven, you’re likely to find a fee-free ATM nearby.
- Small Business and Commercial Banking. You can make BBVA your one-stop shop for both your personal and commercial banking needs.
- 1% Currency Conversion Fee. If you use an Allpoint Network ATM worldwide, you’ll pay a low currency conversion fee.
- Unimpressive Interest Rates. Frankly, BBVA’s interest rates are nothing to write home about. You can find much higher rates at many online banks.
- Minimum Deposits. Many online banks don’t charge minimums to open an account, making BBVA seem rather outdated, even if $25 is low.
- $500 Minimum on CDs. The $500 required to open a CD is on the high side by industry standards.
- $38 NSF Charge. BBVA’s non-sufficient funds charge of $38 is higher than the average.
If you’re looking for a full-service bank that’s easy to access online, BBVA is worth considering, especially if you live in a state where the bank has branches.
Having local access makes it easier to use the bank for car loans, home improvement loans, and credit cards while managing those accounts in one online log-in.
However, if you have one or two specific banking needs, you can probably find a better solution elsewhere.
For example, for high-yield savings, an online bank can offer lower fees and higher rates.
For interest-bearing checking accounts, you can find a bank with lower overdraft fees and lower or no maintenance fees. For CDs, you can do a lot better elsewhere.