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BBVA Compass Banking Review

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by Javier Simon Updated
BBVA Compass

BBVA Compass offers a variety of products and services that should meet nearly all your banking, credit and investing needs. While its savings accounts don’t offer the most competitive interest rates, they are fairly simple and easy to use. Some of the bank’s checking accounts go a step further by generating interest and connecting with rewards programs that could help you serial shoppers out there keep some more money in your wallet. 

The bank also offers an award-winning interactive app and an easy-to-navigate website that provides a great user experience. Reaching the bank at a physical branch, however, is limited to seven states: Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, New Mexico and Texas. Of course, you can reach the bank by phone as well. You can also have a customer service representative contact you by making a request on the BBVA Compass website.

Products Offered

Product Key Details
Savings Accounts
  • Two accounts 
  • Low interest rates 
  • Low opening balance 
Certificates of Deposit
  • CDs are offered in intervals ranging from 12 months to 36 months
  • Opening balance of $500
Money Market Account
  • One account offered with tiered rates depending on balance
  • Easy access to money
Checking Accounts
  • ClearConnect Checking
  • Free checking 
  • Easy Checking for customers who don’t qualify for basic checking accounts
  • Prepaid debit card account
Retirement Planning Solutions
  • IRAs
  • Lifetime Income Solutions
  • Fixed annuities
  • Variable annuities

BBVA Compass Interest Rate Comparison

BBVA Compass Overview

BBVA Compass is the principal subsidiary of BBVA Compass Bancshares Inc., a bank holding company headquartered in Birmingham, Alabama. It runs 672 branches in the U.S., including 334 in Texas. 

With more than 50 years of service under its belt, the company has been recognized for its customer service efforts with accolades like a nod from the Small Business Administration (SBA), which rated the firm a leading small business lender. BBVA Compass also landed on Money magazine’s “Best Banks in America” from 2015 to 2016.  In addition, it earned best regional bank status for the South and West those years.

And even though it operates in only seven states, the bank is a full-service unit offering everything you would find at a major bank and then some. Itsofferings include checking accounts, savings accounts, money market accounts, CDs, IRAs, mortgages and a variety of investment products including mutual funds, lifetime income solutions and various insurance options.

BBVA Compass Account Features

Given that BBVA Compass has an an award-winning app under its belt, it’s no surprise that the website for BBVA Compass is among the most user friendly out there. It’s straightforward and simple to navigate, which is admirable considering its broad range of services. And though it lacks competitive interest rates on checking and savings accounts, while also having low yield on CDs, it does have an attractive variety of retirement and insurance products to compensate.

BBVA Compass ClearChoice Savings Account

Key Features Details
Minimum Deposit $25
Access to Your Account Online, mobile, over the phone and at physical branches.
Security FDIC insurance up to the maximum amount allowed by law. 
Fees
  • $15 quarterly service fee, waivable with one the following
    • Maintain minimum daily ledger balance of at least $500
    • Make automatic, recurring monthly transfers of at least $25 from another BBVA Compass checking account
  • $3 for paper statements and $5 for paper image statements unless you switch to online statements for no extra charge
Current Terms and Rates 0.05% APY

You can open a BBVA Compass ClearChoice Savings account with a $25 deposit. However, its current APY of 0.05% won’t generate substantial savings. It’s exceptionally better than most major brick-and-mortar banks, but you can find better rates at online banks. In addition, the savings account hit you with a quarterly service charge of $15, which is on par with some online banks. Still, you can find others that charge no service fees at all. 

You can waive the quarterly service fee if you maintain a minimum daily collected balance of $500 or more. Setting up a monthly recurring transfer of at least $25 from your BBVA Compass checking account will also clear you of the quarterly service fee. 

In addition, you have to pay a fee of $3 for each paper statement delivered to you unless you switch to online mobile statements only. 

ClearConnect is a standard savings account that’s virtually inexpensive if you can maintain its minimum balance and transfers. You can access this account any time online or through its mobile banking feature. It can also link to your BBVA Compass checking account for overdraft protection, which is a nice bumper if you’re prone to falling into overdraft pits. 

But like all savings accounts and money market accounts, those offered by BBVA Compass are governed by federal law. You can transfer money from your BBVA Compass account to another BBVA Compass deposit account or third party in any way up to six times per month without facing a penalty. In this case, you can lose interest-bearing status. You can also face excessive transaction fees. However, there is no limit to the number of withdrawals you can make at a BBVA Compass branch or ATM. 

BBVA Compass ClearConnect Savings Account

Key Features Details
Minimum Deposit $25
Access to Your Savings Account Online, mobile and physical branches.
Security FDIC insurance up to the maximum amount allowed by law.
Fees $3 for paper statements and $5 for paper image statements unless you switch to online statements for no extra charge
Current Terms and Rates 0.05% APY

This savings account comes with all the features of the ClearChoice Savings Account, including its opening balance, APY and interest rate. However, this account drops the quarterly service charge. So if you’re looking to open any savings account at all with BBVA Compass, this would be your best bet.

BBVA Compass Certificates of Deposit (CDs)

Key Features Details
Minimum Deposit $500 to earn advertised APY for all CDs
Access to Your CD Online, mobile and physical branches.
Security FDIC insurance up to the maximum amount allowed by law.
Fees No maintenance fees, but you will face an early withdrawal penalty as with all CDs.
Current Terms and Rates Rates based on Austin, Texas
  • 12 month: 1.40% APY (Branch), 1.85% APY (Online)
  • 15 month: 0.10% APY (Branch), 1.85% APY (Online)
  • 18 month: 0.25% APY (Branch), 2.00% APY (Online)
  • 36 month: 0.40% APY (Branch), 2.00% APY (Online)

If you’re new to certificates of deposit (CDs), they’re basically savings accounts with a set term. You keep your money in a CD with the bank for a set amount of time known as the term length. CDs usually carry higher interest rates than standard savings accounts. However, you cannot touch that money until the term ends or else you’ll face a penalty fee. Once you make an initial deposit into a CD, you cannot transfer any more money into the account. 

Across the board, however, interest rates for BBVA Compass CDs are nothing too impressive. You can find better rates at online banks. It’s important to note the bank's rates vary depending on where and how you sign up. This means you may be looking at different rates whether you open a CD online, by phone or at a branch even if you opened it in the same city. So instead of drowning your brain in numbers, it’s best to head to BBVA’s user-friendly website, where you can click on the “Savings” tab followed by the  “Certificates of Deposit” tab. You’ll then get a prompt to choose your location. 

Regardless of where and how you set up a CD with BBVA Compass, the minimum deposit is $500 to generate the applicable APY as advertised. You can pay interest monthly, quarterly, semi-annually, annually or at maturity. However, CDs opened online will receive their interest at maturity.

It’s important to note that BBVA Compass uses the terms "CD" and "Time Deposit" interchangeably, because it offers CD accounts that have no certificate. Advertised APYs apply to the term lengths listed above. Customers can open them for a briefer period or a longer period of up to five years at a fixed interest rate.  

The penalties for early withdrawal are pretty severe. If you take out a CD with a term of 365 days or less, you’ll be charged $25 plus 1% of the amount withdrawn. For CDs with terms of more than 365 days, the penalty stands at $25 plus 3% of the amount withdrawn. 

Also, your CD is subject to automatic renewal upon reaching maturity. This means that if you don’t take your money out within 10 business days after the end of the term period, the CD terms will start again as if you opened a new CD with the money left in the account. 

Terms are subject to change at BBVA’s discretion. The most up-to-date information regarding your CDs would be displayed on your account disclosure and Relationship Summary.

BBVA Compass ClearChoice MoneyMarket

Key Features Details
Minimum Deposit $25
Access to Your Money Market Account Online, mobile and physical branches.
Security FDIC insurance up to the maximum amount allowed by law.
Fees $15 monthly service charge, waivable with one of the following
  • An automatic transfer of at least $25 from a BBVA Compass Checking account at the time the monthly service charge would be applied
  • When the minimum daily collected balance of the quarter reaches $10,000
Current Terms and Rates Rates based on Austin, Texas
  • Promotional Online Rate: 1.70% APY
  • Standard Rates
    • Account balances of $0 to $99,999.99: 0.05% APY
    • Account balances of $100,000 to $999,999.99: 0.10% APY
    • Account balances of $1,000,000 and over: 0.15% APY

Like BBVA Compass CDs, BBVA money market accounts (MMAs) carry varying interest rates and APYs that depend on where you sign up. Your best bet is to visit BBVA’s interactive website and enter your zip code. However, you can secure the promotional APY if you open one online. You also need to be a new customer with no existing BBVA Compass money market account and you must open your new account with funds not currently in deposit with BBVA Compass. If you meet these qualifications, your rate is locked for 12 months before it's subject to change. If you don't meet these requirements, you'll get a standard rate. 

And BBVA Compass money market accounts come with a $15 monthly service charge. You can waive it if you maintain a recurring daily balance of at least $10,000 or if you set up a recurring monthly transfer of $25 or more from a BBVA Compass checking account.

BBVA Compass Free Checking Account

Key Features Details
Minimum Deposit $25
Access to Your Checking Account Online, mobile and physical branches.
Security FDIC insurance up to the maximum amount allowed by law.
Fees $0 monthly service fee

The BBVA Free Checking account comes with one Visa debit card. And it's extra attractive given that it shoots down monthly service fees— a considerable perk considering most major banks could hit you with more than $100 per year in monthly maintenance fees alone. However, it does come with a relatively large $3 fee for every out-of-network ATM transaction. This fee is in addition to any charge the out-of-network ATM operator may charge you. This may not be a problem if you live in a location close to a physical branch. But outside of that green zone, you’ll take a hit that can pile up over time. 

However, you can waive the out-of-network ATM fees if you pay a $5 monthly fee allowing you free access to other banks’ ATMs. This custom feature will also give you up to four rebates for ATM fees charged by other banks per statement cycle. Insufficient funds fees are common for all banks, and the one for BBVA is on par with that of competitors at $38 per returned item presented against insufficient funds. However, you can elect to opt-out of overdraft protection. In this case, your card may be declined if its balance can’t cover a purchsae. 

The Free Checking account is compatible with BBVA’s Simple Cash Back (SM) rewards program. Through Mobile Banking, Online Banking or the BBVA Wallet app, you can search for different deals. Each is customized based on your transaction history. If you find one you like, you can click on it to “activate it.” Afterward, you can shop at the specific merchant for qualifying items to earn cash back rewards. Cash back will be automatically applied to your account the following month. 

You can also set up online bill pay with your BBVA Compass Free Checking account to make one-time or recurring payments. In addition, you can set up customizable alerts. 

The Free Checking account also offers some custom features for users who often write checks or need a safe deposit box.  For $2 a month, you get unlimited standard checks and 50% off other types. A $2 monthly fee would also get you unlimited cashier’s checks. You can keep a 3” x 5” safety deposit box for $3 a month. BBVA Compass also lets you customize your card with a personal picture for $10. You can also add a joint account holder.

BBVA Compass ClearConnect Checking

Key Features Details
Minimum Deposit $25
Access to Your Checking Account Online, mobile and physical branches.
Security FDIC insurance up to the maximum amount allowed by law.
Fees $0 monthly service fee

You can open a ClearConnect Checking account with a $25 minimum. It comes with all the features of the Free Checking account option, but this one significantly expands the number of ATMs you can use free of charge. 

BBVA Compass won't charge you for using its ATMs or those belonging to the AllPoint network, which currently covers around 55,000 locations throughout the country. 

Unless you opt for free electronic account statements, you’ll owe a $3 monthly paper statement fee.

BBVA Compass Interest Checking

Keay Features Details
Minimum Deposit $25
Access to Your Checking Account Online, mobile and physical branches.
Security FDIC insurance up to the maximum amount allowed by law.
Fees $25 monthly service fee, unless you meet specific terms
Current Terms and Rates Rates based on Austin, Texas
  • Standard Rate
    • Account balances below $25,000: 0.15% APY
    • Account balances over $25,000: 0.15% - 0.01% APY
  • Promotional Rate
    • Account balances below $25,000: 0.50% APY
    • Account balances over $25,000: 0.50% - 0.02% APY

New customers who have not had a BBVA Compass checking account of any kind in the last 30 days can open a ClearChoice Interest Checking Account with an APY of 0.50%. Otherwise, the APY is currently 0.15%. (These rates apply to an Austin, Texas zip code). The BBVA Compass ClearChoice Interest Checking account comes with all the features of the Free and ClearConnect checking accounts, but this one earns interest. Still, you can find better rates at online banks that don’t require you to reach that daily balance level for a larger rate. 

The account does charge a $25 monthly fee. However, there are a few ways you can waive the charge. You can do so by maintaining an average daily collected balance of at least $5,000 in your account or if you have a combined average daily collected balance at least $25,000 in your BBVA Compass ClearChoice Interest Checking account plus your BBVA Compass ClearChoice Money Market Account. You must also be the primary depositor for both accounts. It can also be waived if the primary account holder is enrolled in the BBVA Compass Premier Personal Banking Program and maintains Premier Personal Banking status. 

The Interest Checking account also expands your ATM network even further. BBVA Compass won’t charge you for using other banks’ ATMs. But this doesn’t mean the other bank won’t charge you a fee for using its ATMs with another bank’s debit card. BBVA will provide you with rebates of fees charged by other banks on a two per statement-cycle basis. You also get unlimited check-writing capabilities.

Where Can I Find BBVA Compass?

You can find BBVA Compass branches throughout Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, New Mexico and Texas. You can contact the bank online at bbvacompass.com or via phone by dialing 1-800-266-7277. 

What Can You Do Online With BBVA Compass?

The award-winning BBVA Compass Mobile Banking App allows you to solve all your banking needs through your smartphone. You can transfer money, deposit checks by snapping a photo with your device and make recurring or one-time bill payments. In fact, the app was rated as a Mobile Banking leader by Javelin for three years in a row. The company specifically highlights the app’s ease of use and claims it offers "an intuitive, mobile-first experience for its clients."

Online, you can also access BBVA Wallet. BBVA Wallet is another app that allows you to monitor your credit and debit accounts. You can monitor transaction activity in real time, change your card PIN numbers, report a card lost or stolen and temporarily block your cards in such an event. You can also make your credit card bill payments. 

BBVA Wallet also serves as the home for your credit card rewards program. Here, you can redeem reward points to make online orders at major merchants and retailers. The app will also tailor offers to you based on your transaction history. 

How Do I Access My Money?

You can access your money online, through the app or at a physical branch. Some checking accounts also give you access to the Allpoint network, which offers free access to thousands of ATMs across the country. 

You can also monitor your accounts and make bill payments through the BBVA Compass Mobile App.

How Can I Save More Money With a BBVA Compass Account?

BBVA Compass savings accounts and CDs don’t offer the most competitive rates. So you may want to park your money elsewhere if you really intend it to grow. But BBVA Compass also offers several investment options to generate wealth. But be aware you’ll be taking all market risks that come with it. 

In addition, the bank’s award-winning app is intuitive. If you use it correctly, you can keep a laser-sharp eye on your cash flow. The Simple prepaid debit card also offers a helpful budgeting app for those who may need a little push in the right direction. 

You may also find some useful benefits if you enroll in one of its specialty programs directed at public service professionals, healthcare practitioners, students and even people who want to build up their credit.

What’s the Process for Opening an Account With BBVA Compass?

The easiest way to open an account with BBVA Compass is by doing so online. Its intuitive website makes it a seamless process. Just visit its home page, click on the tab listing the type of account you want and follow the on-screen instructions. The process should take about 10 minutes. Just be sure to have your government-issued ID, Social Security number, employer information and bank information to make your initial deposit. 

You can also open an account by visiting a local branch or dialing 1-800-COMPASS.

What’s the Catch? 

BBVA Compass offers a variety of products that should meet all your banking, credit and investment needs. This may make it an ideal bank for you if you like one bank to handle all your accounts. However, its savings accounts don't offer the best rates around. In addition, you may find extra convenience if you happen to live in one of the states where it operates. Otherwise, you’ll need to handle your banking online or over the phone. This shouldn’t be a problem as its website and mobile apps are very interactive and straight-forward. 

Bottom Line

BBVA Compass scores well with its digital offerings and the fact that it’s a one-stop shop for nearly everything banking related. But if you’re looking to benefit from savings accounts and CDs, you may want to find those products at online banks offering better rates. But overall, BBVA Compass offers everything you’d expect to find at a major bank along with beneficial rewards and specialty programs that cater to specific individuals.

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