BBVA Compass Review 2019: Pros and Cons

Article Approved By Banking Expert

This article has been reviewed and deemed factual by our content auditor with 8 years of banking experience.

Article Approved By Banking Expert

This article has been reviewed and deemed factual by our content auditor with 8 years of banking experience.

BBVA Compass is a U.S. banking institution with branches across the country, and you’ll be learning all there is to know about it in our this in-depth BBVA Compass review.

Although the bank is not widely known since it does not advertise extensively, it still consistently ranks in the top 50 U.S. banks in terms of total assets.

BBVA offers everything that you should expect from a bank, including free checking, online banking, investment accounts, and much more. This BBVA Compass review will cover the full range of services that the bank offers.

In this review, I will cover BBVA Compass from the perspective of my decade of experience with this bank.

I have both a personal account and business account with BBVA. I will, therefore, provide insights for both individuals and small businesses. Once you have read this BBVA Compass review, you should understand everything necessary to decide whether BBVA is right for you.

What Is BBVA Compass?

BBVA Compass has been located in Alabama since it was founded in 1964. The bank was, then, acquired in 2007 by a Spanish bank called Banco Bilbao Vizcaya that has headquarters in Argentina. Consequently, BBVA became a member of a large multinational network of banks, but it is still primarily based in the U.S. and subject to U.S. laws.

Today, BBVA has over 600 branches that are situated primarily in southern states. Throughout the bank’s history, it has maintained a good reputation for ethical business practices. Overall, it has not committed any serious SEC violations and is in good legal standing.

Overview of BBVA Compass

As with most major banks, BBVA seeks to offer full-service solutions for its clients. As a result, the bank can provide pretty much everything that you would expect from the largest banks. Many of the BBVA Compass reviews that I have read from other sources have also emphasized how the broad range of services that BBVA offers is one of the bank’s strongest points. Some of BBVA’s services include:

Checking accounts

You can open accounts with no monthly fees, and the bank offers a rewards program that can give you 2 percent cash back on all purchases. To qualify, you need to send at least $1,000 to your account each month through direct deposit.

Savings accounts

You can open a savings account with as little as a $25 deposit. However, at the time of writing this BBVA Compass review, the bank is only paying depositors 0.05 percent interest.

Money market accounts

You can get money market accounts that pay 2 percent interest if you deposit $10,000 or more.

Certificates of deposit

Fixed CDs from BBVA Compass are currently paying 2.25 percent interest on a 36-month contract.

Retirement accounts

You can open almost all types of retirement accounts through BBVA, including all forms of IRAs and even rollover accounts.

Education accounts

The bank offers separate accounts for parents who wish to contribute money into a tax-advantaged 529 plan. Students can also get special bank accounts that are tailored to their needs, and they can use these accounts to access student loans through BBVA.

BBVA Bank Features

You can manage all of your BBVA accounts through the bank’s website. Online banking features lets you immediately view your transaction history, pay bills electronically, and set up automatic payments. You can also use online banking to send funds to businesses or individuals through electronic checks or wire transfers. Additionally, there is a mobile app that lets you access all of the bank’s online functionality from your smartphone.

BBVA Compass uses the Allpoint ATM network to give you access to over 55,000 ATMs across the U.S. without incurring any fees. Also, you can withdraw $600 per transaction, so you can access your funds faster than with most banks that only let you withdraw $400 at a time. Of course, as with all banks, you can increase your withdrawal limit upon request.

Customer service is available between 7 a.m. and 10 p.m. on weekdays. You can also contact the bank on Saturdays between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. unless it is a holiday weekend. I have always had a good experience every time that I contacted the bank’s support team. However, I have seen a customer on multiple occasions leave a BBVA Compass review stating that calls were connected to a facility in Columbia. Banks always have difficult operating hours, but 24-hour customer service is definitely something that BBVA needs to work on implementing.

Business Banking with BBVA

One of the best parts about BBVA’s services is that it offers small business banking. You can open a business account with a deposit of $100 or more. Only customers who live in a state where BBVA has a branch can apply for a business account. However, you can easily find out if you qualify by applying for an account on BBVA’s website.

As with consumers, business customers do not have to pay any monthly fees. Nevertheless, you will still need to follow certain rules to avoid extra fees. The bank will only process $5,000 per month in physical cash, and you can only make two withdrawals per month at a branch. Otherwise, all other transactions have no limits.

If BBVA’s limits are too restrictive for your business, you can upgrade to a ClearChoice checking account for an extra $15 per month. ClearChoice accounts support more withdrawals and increase your cash processing limit. Upgraded accounts also include one free wire transfer per month and a 50 percent discount on checks. Overall, BBVA is a good option for entrepreneurs who just need a simple account to do business without paying high fees at a bigger bank.

Advantages of BBVA Compass

BBVA Compass has a broad range of advantages that you may find comparatively favorable in your situation. I have, therefore, included a list of the bank’s main upsides in this BBVA Compass review. Some of these key advantages that you should consider when evaluating BBVA include:

No monthly fees

If you just get a basic bank account, you do not have to pay any monthly fees when you bank with BBVA Compass. Monthly fees may seem insignificant, but they can add up to thousands of dollars over time.

Good online banking

You should always try to find a bank that offers exceptional online banking because funds sent through the mail can get lost or stolen. BBVA provides all the tools necessary to complete almost any transaction without having to set foot in a branch.

Business and retirement accounts

It is always preferable to develop a relationship with one bank that you can use for all of your accounts. BBVA offers accounts for retirement, investments, business, and more. You will not, therefore, have to move to another bank when your future life shifts in a different direction.

Credit options

BBVA places high emphasis on its lending services for both consumers and businesses. You can use BBVA to get credit cards, student loans, and even business loans. Additionally, credit cards provide as much as 2 percent cash back.

Competitive rates

With 36-month CDs paying 2.25 percent interest, BBVA offers all of its customers great rates. If you cannot afford to lock your money away for an extended period of time, you can put your spare cash into BBVA’s money market accounts that pay 2 percent interest. Overall, BBVA’s rates are higher than you will find at most banks, so you will not have to shop around when you want to do more with your savings.

Disadvantages of BBVA Compass

As with all banks, BBVA has some drawbacks that you should definitely consider. The main disadvantages of BBVA are:

Additional fees

Part of how BBVA affords to charge low monthly fees is by making customers pay for services that go beyond what most customers need. For instance, if you want to receive statements by mail, you have to pay a $3 quarterly fee. If you make more than four withdrawals at an ATM in any given month, you have to pay an extra $3 per transaction. BBVA even charges a $25 fee if you close your account less than 180 days after opening it. Read our Trim review for cancelling fees via subscriptions.

Uncompetitive customer service

If customer service is your most important requirement, you may want to consider other options. There is no 24-hour customer service line, and you may get a representative from a foreign country. Read our CIT Bank review.

Not accredited by the Better Business Bureau

BBVA lost its former BBB rating of “B-” in the spring of 2019 due to customer complaints, and it is currently not accredited. Furthermore, the average BBVA Compass review submitted by customers is only one star, but you should keep in mind that nearly all customers only leave reviews on the BBB’s website when they have a complaint.

BBVA Compass Review: Bottom Line

BBVA Compass is advantageous for most consumers and businesses despite its relatively minor drawbacks. Since you do not have to pay any monthly fees to use BBVA Compass, it cannot hurt to try opening an account to see if BBVA is right for you. Overall, I have been quite satisfied with BBVA Compass, and I believe that you will come to the same conclusion.

Brian Roberts

Brian Roberts

Editor at CarefulCents
Featured in The Washington Post and published in Entrepreneur, Forbes, Business Insider, Time, Inc., CNBC and others.