Updated April 2, 2020

BBVA Review: Pros and Cons

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BBVA Bank offers checking, savings and second chance banking. Find out if the bank is any good before you sign up.

BBVA
Free Checking

Overall Score

4.4

Savings

3.0

Checking

4.5

Customer Service

4.5

Mobile App

5.0

ATMs

5.0
5-point scale (the higher, the better)

Pros and Cons

  • Free checking
  • Lots of ATMs
  • Excellent customer service
  • Low savings APY
  • Branches only in 7 states

Bottom Line

Full service bank with lots of checking options and innovative features

About BBVA USA Bank

Established in 1964, BBVA USA Bank (formerly BBVA Compass) is headquartered in Birmingham, Alabama. It has nearly 650 branches spread across 7 southern states.

BBVA is known for its strong online presence, excellent customer service, and user-friendly mobile app. It even has a free checking account, which is unusual for brick-and-mortar banks.

You'll also find other financial services, such as credit cards, business banking, personal loans, home and auto loans, and investment services.

While it doesn't have branches nationwide, BBVA does offer online accounts and a wide ATM network.

Did you know: BBVA has always aimed to be innovative and serve its customers the best way possible. In 1970, it did something groundbreaking by introducing all-day banking and becoming the first bank to open on Saturdays.

BBVA Bank Pros & Cons

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PROS:

  • Full range of banking and financial services
  • Free and online checking options
  • Second chance banking available
  • Only $25 to open checking & savings accounts
  • Free access at BBVA & 55,000+ Allpoint ATMs
  • Cash back rewards on debit card
  • Highly rated mobile app
  • 24/7 video banking with a live teller

CONS:

  • Only located in 7 states
  • Very low savings rates
  • High overdraft fees

Now let's take a look at BBVA's products in more detail.

Is BBVA FDIC insured? BBVA Bank is FDIC insured on all deposit accounts. This means that if BBVA Bank defaults, the federal government will pay back what you had, up to $250,000, per depositor.

Checking Accounts

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BBVA offers a variety of checking accounts for consumers with different needs.

BBVA Free Checking
This is BBVA's basic checking account and it's free with no monthly service fee. It's just $25 to open with no balance requirements after opening.

The BBVA Free Checking account includes:

  • Free mobile deposit and bill pay
  • Free Visa debit card (with Simple Cash Back program)
  • No ATM fees at BBVA ATMs
  • Free unlimited check writing
  • Free customizable alerts
  • Free online and paper statements

If you choose to, you can add custom features for small monthly fees, including unlimited non-network ATM use or unlimited supplies of checks.

This also makes for a good student account or teen checking account (with an adult joint owner).

All BBVA Bank debit cards include a free Simple Cash Back program where you can earn cash back rewards with participating merchants. Your offers are tailored based on your spending behavior. Just simply activate the offer to earn cash back when you shop with the merchant.

BBVA Convenience Checking
This checking account offers greater account access, which makes it ideal for those who travel sometimes. The minimum opening deposit is $25.

Extra features include:

  • Free ATM access at 64,000+ BBVA, Allpoint, and participating 7-Eleven ATMs
  • ATM fee refund charged by other banks once per month

The $9 monthly service fee can be waived with qualifying $500 monthly direct deposits OR by having an average daily collected balance of at least $1,500.

There is also a $3 paper statement fee, which you can opt out of with free e-statements.

BBVA Premium Checking
This is an interest-bearing checking account with more features. The minimum opening deposit is $25.

Extra features include:

  • Tiered rates based on your balance
  • ATM fee refund charged by other banks 2x per month
  • Custom photo on your debit card for free
  • Free standard checks

The $19 monthly service fee can be waived with qualifying $4,000 monthly direct deposits OR by having an average daily collected balance of at least $4,000.

There is also a $3 paper statement fee, which you can opt out of with free e-statements.

BBVA Online Checking
The popular Online Checking account is ideal for those who don't live near physical BBVA branches. It features:

  • No monthly service charge
  • $25 to open
  • Free online and mobile banking
  • Free ATM access at 64,000+ BBVA, Allpoint, and participating 7-Eleven ATMs
  • Free Visa debit card with Simple Cash program

There is a $3 paper statement fee that you can opt out of.

Compare Checking Account Promotion

    HSBC

    HSBC Advance Checking - Up to $240 Cash Bonus

      Get up to $240 with a 3% Cash Bonus Checking Offer when you open a new HSBC Advance checking account and complete the following qualifying activities.
    • Open your new HSBC Advance checking account online by September 30, 2020; and
    • Set up Qualifying Direct Deposits into your new HSBC Advance checking account; and then
    • Enjoy 3% Cash Bonus, up to $240, on Qualifying Direct Deposits up to $40 per month, during the first 6 calendar months after account opening
    • You will automatically receive the 3% Cash Bonus in your new HSBC Advance checking account approximately eight weeks after completing that month's qualifying activities.
    • Deposit products are offered in the U.S. by HSBC Bank USA, N.A. Member FDIC.
    Expires 9/30/2020
    Chase

    Chase Premier Plus Checkingâ„ 

    • Enjoy $300 as a new Chase checking customer, when you open a Chase Premier Plus Checkingâ„  account and set up direct deposit.
    • Enjoy $300, more benefits, and earn interest on your new Chase checking account.
    • The $25 Monthly Service Fee is waived when you keep an average beginning day balance of $15,000 or more in any combination of this account and linked qualifying Chase checking, savings and other balances.
    • No Chase fee on first four non-Chase ATM transactions per statement period.
    • Earn interest on your checking account balance.
    • Access to 16,000 Chase ATMs and nearly 4,900 branches
    • Open your account online now.
    • Available online nationwide except in Alaska, Hawaii and Puerto Rico. For branch locations, visit locator.chase.com.
    Betterment

    Betterment Checking

    • ATM and foreign fees reimbursed
    • No monthly maintenance fees
    • No minimum balances
    • FDIC-insured account up to $250,000

Savings Accounts

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BBVA also offers several savings accounts. They offer a tiny bit of interest, but it's not a lot. So if your main priority is to grow your money, there are other online savings accounts with much higher interest rates.

BBVA Build My Savings
This savings account motivates you to save each month with a match from BBVA. Here's how it works:

  • Open the account with at least $25.
  • Set up recurring automatic transfers of at least $25 per transfer from your BBVA consumer checking account to your Build My Savings Account.
  • Choose a 6-month or 12-month plan.
  • BBVA will match 1% of your total savings transfer amount. You can earn up to $25 for a 6-month savings plan, or up to $50 for a 12-month savings plan.

Beware that there is a $10 withdrawal fee for each customer-initiated withdrawal. Essentially, this account is to help you build your savings (not spend it).

When your 6- or 12-month plan period ends, this account will be converted to a BBVA Savings Account,

This account has no monthly service fee, though be sure to opt out paper statements to avoid the $3 quarterly statement fee.

BBVA Savings Account
This is the basic savings account offering you freer access to your funds. The opening minimum is $25. You get:

  • Interest on your savings balance
  • Up to 4 withdrawals per statement cycle for free
  • No ATM fees at BBVA USA ATMs
  • Link to a BBVA checking account for overdraft protection (though transfers fees still apply)

Waive the $15 quarterly service charge when you: have an automatic, recurring monthly transfer of $25 or more from a BBVA checking account to your BBVA Savings Account, OR maintain a minimum daily collected balance of $500 or more in your BBVA Savings Account. Opt out of the $3 quarterly paper statement fee with e-statements.

BBVA Online Savings
This online savings account has the same features as the regular BBVA Savings account. But an advantage is that it has no quarterly service fees and is available for everyone to open online.

You also get 4 free withdrawals per statement cycle. The opening minimum is $25.

BBVA Money Market
The Money Market account allows up to 6 free withdrawals per statement cycle. It offers a higher APY if you have an account balance of at least $10,000. The opening minimum is $25.

The $15 monthly service charge is waived when you: maintain a minimum daily collected balance of $10,000 or more each month, OR set up an automatic, recurring monthly transfer of $25 or more from a BBVA checking account to your BBVA Money Market account.

Compare Savings Account Promotion

CDs

BBVA also offers term CDs of 12, 15, 18, and 36 months with a minimum deposit of $500. However, the rates are not high, so it's better to look to some of these online CD products instead.

    BBVA

    CD

    • $500 minimum opening deposit
    • No maintenance fees
    • FDIC insured
    TermCD Rates
    11 month0.30% APY
    12 month0.40% APY
    18 month0.45% APY
    36 month0.40% APY

Compare CD Rates

    CIT Bank

    CIT Bank Term CDs

    • Up to 1.05% APY
    • $1,000 minimum opening deposit
    • No monthly maintenance fee
    • FDIC insured
    TermCD Rates
    6 Month0.50% APY
    1 Year0.75% APY
    13 Month0.75% APY
    18 Month0.75% APY
    2 Year1.00% APY
    3 Year1.00% APY
    4 Year1.05% APY
    5 Year1.05% APY
    Discover Bank

    Certificate of Deposit

    • 0.90% APY for 12-month term
    • 1.05% APY for 36-month term
    • 1.15% APY for 5-year term

Second Chance Banking

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Another positive thing about BBVA is that it offers a suite of second chance banking products to those who need a fresh start. Even if you've made some banking mistakes in the past, it gives you the opportunity to recover and rebuild your credit.

These products include:

BBVA Free Checking
This account doesn't have any requirements (aside from the $25 opening deposit) and makes for a great basic starter banking account. There's no monthly service fee.

BBVA Easy Checking
If you've had more serious banking issues and don't qualify for a standard checking account, you can still be approved for Easy Checking and start afresh. This account does have a $13.95 monthly service charge.

After a year of positive activity, you can upgrade to Free Checking.

BBVA ClearSpend Card
This is a prepaid debit card that helps you manage your budget and not overspend. There are no overdraft fees. You can load the card by funding it with cash, paycheck direct deposit, or online money transfers.

BBVA Optimizer Credit Card
This is a secured credit card to help you rebuild credit. Your credit line is backed by a collateral savings account. To increase your credit line, just deposit funds to the savings account.

BBVA Customer Service

BBVA is known for its excellent commitment to serving its customers. Here are some of its features.

24/7 video banking
This unique drive-through service allows you video call with a live teller at a branch, anytime of the day or night. They can help you with things like making transfers and deposits, paying a bill, stop payments, report lost debit card, etc.

Extended customer support hours
BBVA's customer service hours are Monday to Friday 7am - 10pm CST and Saturday 9am - 1pm CST.

Schedule a call back
On the BBVA mobile app, you can schedule a call with a rep at a time convenient for you. This way, you won't have to wait around on the phone on hold.

BBVA Banking Customer Service Numbers:

  • Customer Support and New Accounts (AL, AZ, CA, CO, FL, NM, TX): 1-844-228-2872
  • Customer Support and New Accounts (other states): 1-866-534-4482
  • Online and Mobile Banking: 1-800-273-1057

Locations and ATMs

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BBVA USA Bank has nearly 650 branches located in these states:

  • Alabama
  • Arizona
  • California
  • Colorado
  • Florida
  • New Mexico
  • Texas (where half of the branches are)

As for ATMs, users have free access to over 1,000 BBVA ATMs. In addition, BBVA also offers free access to 55,000+ Allpoint and 7-Eleven ATMs, making it easy for customers to find a fee-free ATM almost everywhere.

However, note that the BBVA Free Checking account only allows free access to BBVA ATMs.

Mobile App Features

BBVA offers a highly rated mobile app for both iOS and Android. It's a six-time award winner of Javelin Mobile Banking Leader for customer service and ease of use.

  • 4.8 stars on the Apple App Store with over 232,000 ratings
  • 4.2 stars on the Google Play Store with over 10,500 ratings

The app does more than just let you check your balances and transfer money. It has a lot of other useful features to help you manage your money. These include:

  • Fully bilingual app in English and Spanish
  • Voice activated search to find things fast
  • Pre-login QuickView
  • Financial tools to create budgets and track spending
  • Add external accounts to see entire financial picture
  • Deposit a check by snapping a picture
  • Schedule a call back
  • Activate offers for Simple Cash Back
  • Apply for new BBVA accounts
  • Change debit card PIN and turn your card on/off

BBVA Lending

BBVA also provides lending for almost any needs. Most loans are eligible for a rate discount when you set up recurring auto-debit loan payments.

Express personal loans
These loans can be used for anything from major purchases to consolidating debt. There are no collateral requirements. You may even qualify for same-day funding if you apply online (for loan amounts up to $35,000).

Home loans
BBVA offers mortgage loans and home refinancing at fixed or adjustable-rate options.

Home equity loans
It also offers home equity loans and home equity lines of credit that allows you to use your home's equity for almost any purpose.

Auto loans
BBVA offers competitive fixed auto loan rates whether you're buying a new or used car. There are no documentation fees and no prepayment penalty.

Of course, it's always smart to shop around for rates. Those with excellent credit will be able to get the lowest rates and/or higher loan amounts.

Downsides

  • Low interest rates
    BBVA Bank offers some of the lowest APYs in the industry, especially on large balances. This includes their CD interest rates, which are meant to provide you with a greater return in exchange for tying up your funds. Look at high-yield savings accounts if you want a better return on your savings.

  • Not nationwide
    You must live in one of the seven states that BBVA Bank is located in if you want to conduct your banking in person. However, it does have online account options and free ATM access via the Allpoint network.

  • High overdraft fees
    The overdraft fee is $38 per overdraft. Even if you opt into overdraft protection by having linked checking and savings accounts, the transfer fee is still $12 (once daily). One mistake can be rather costly, especially if you let the overdraft go more than one day or if the bank has to cover more than one fee for you.

Finding Your BBVA Routing Number:
You'll need your BBVA routing number to set up direct deposit or make an electronic transfer. You can find the number on the lower left side of your BBVA checks. Remember that each state that BBVA operates in has its own routing number, so make sure you choose the routing number that is for your state for proper routing of your funds.

Is BBVA A Good Bank?

© CreditDonkey

BBVA USA offers good banking products, convenient ATM access, and excellent customer service. It's a solid choice to consider if you live in a BBVA service area and are looking for a physical bank with a free checking option.

The downside is the low savings rate. Look into these savings accounts instead.

We love that BBVA offers some free checking options, as this is rare for brick-and-mortar banks. It's also good that BBVA offers second chance banking for those who have trouble opening an account elsewhere.

BBVA has great accessibility even if you don't live near a BBVA branch. You can still get free ATM access via the Allpoint network and bank online 24/7.

How It Compares

BB&T
BB&T branches are located throughout 16 states, which is more than the five states BBVA is located. BB&T offers five checking and five savings accounts to cater to the needs of many consumers.

Not all BB&T monthly service fees can be waived, either, so make sure you read the fine print before opening an account.

Bank of America
You may find slightly higher interest rates on savings and CDs with Bank of America. You may also find numerous branches located throughout the US.

Bank of America offers many ways to waive their monthly service fees, but they have fewer checking and savings accounts to choose from.

Bottom Line

BBVA offfers basic accounts without all of the bells and whistles, including good options for free checking accounts. However, if you want promotions, physical branches to visit, or high interest rates, you may want to look elsewhere.

Note: This website is made possible through financial relationships with some of the products and services mentioned on this site. We may receive compensation if you shop through links in our content. You do not have to use our links, but you help support CreditDonkey if you do.

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