BBVA offers no-frills banking and savings accounts and rates high for its customer experience. We took a closer look at its online banking operations, and this is what we found.
|Accounts||Savings, Checking, Money Market, CDs|
|Access||Web Based, iPhone App, Android App, Blackberry App|
|Amount of Branches||700|
|Customer Service||Phone: M-F: 7A-10P CT, SAT: 8A-4P CT; Email|
What Is BBVA?
BBVA is a member of the BBVA Group, which was founded in 1857. The BBVA Group has an international reach, but BBVA itself first opened its doors in 1964 in Alabama. BBVA was the first bank to offer banking on Saturdays (in 1970) and by 1975, had reached $1 billion in assets.
BBVA brick-and-mortar banks can be found in Texas, Alabama, California, Arizona, Colorado, Florida, and New Mexico. But customers all over the U.S. can open and maintain accounts with the bank's easy-to-use website and convenient mobile apps.
BBVA is an FDIC-insured bank, meaning every deposit is protected by up to $250,000 per depositor.
How BBVA Works
Signing up for a BBVA account online is easy. The website and apps are where this bank shines.
Since BBVA has such a limited number of branches in the U.S., it has focused a lot of energy on its website and customer service. A particularly useful feature is that you can request a call from BBVA rather than hanging around on hold.
We found BBVA's online platforms easy to navigate and use. Fees were listed, meaning there are no guessing games, and you know exactly what to expect.
Unfortunately, what you can expect when it comes to fees is a bit of a mixed bag. We like the fee-free checking accounts, but out-of-network ATM fees are steep, at $2.50. However, BBVA is part of the AllPoint network, so you can use more than 64,000 ATMs worldwide without racking up any surcharges or fees if you have one of the specially designated checking accounts (see below).
BBVA's savings accounts are free to use, but you will need to deposit at least $25 to open an account. They also charge $3 for a paper statement, but you can always opt-out of having paper statements.
On the downside, we think BBVA's overdraft fees are excessive. The bank will charge $38 ($32 if you're a California resident) up to six times a day. And if you keep your account in the red for ten consecutive days, you'll be charged an extra $25. So if you open an account, make sure that you keep enough money in the account, or you'll have to pay these steep penalties.
Let's take a look at the different types of accounts BBVA offers.
BBVA offers three kinds of checking accounts. Two of them are designed for customers who live near branches, while their online banking account is open to anyone in the U.S. To sign up, you'll need to provide a government ID, your social security number and a deposit, depending on the account you're interested in.
There are no monthly maintenance fees for this account, though you do need a minimum of $25 to open the account.
Among other perks, you'll receive one debit card per account holder (which you can personalize), free unlimited check writing, and bill pay options. You'll also have access to mobile banking.
You can also purchase a few account add-ons, including an unlimited supply of standard checks for $2 per month. For a monthly fee of $5, you can also purchase the ability to use out-of-network ATMs without incurring fees from BBVA, as well as receiving up to four rebates per statement cycle for other banks' surcharges. Unless you opt for this add-on, you won't be able to use AllPoint network ATMs for free.
If you want to use the AllPoint network of fee-free ATMs, you can apply for a ClearConnect Checking account. This also requires a minimum deposit of $25 to open and gives you all of the perks you'll find with the free checking account. This level of account also gives you overdraft protection options so you can avoid those pesky fees.
Unless you turn off paper statements, you'll be charged a monthly fee of $3 with this checking account.
If you'd like to earn a little something back on your checking account, check out this option. BBVA's premium checking offers an annual percentage yield (APY) of 0.05% as of June 23, 2020. Rates can vary, so check the website to confirm.
This level of checking account does come with a monthly service charge of $19. But you can avoid this fee if you meet one of these requirements:
- Maintain an average daily balance of more than $4,000 in your account.
- Have a monthly direct deposit of $4,000 into your account.
BBVA Savings Accounts
For a minimum deposit of only $25, BBVA offers two savings accounts, one for those in a state with a branch and one that is just online. You'll earn interest on your entire balance and be able to access your money whenever you need it.
Note that there is a fee of $3 for paper statements, per statement cycle but that you can opt-out of them.
|Available For||Taxable, IRA, Roth IRA, CESAs|
|Account Fees||$3 for a paper statement|
|Savings Rates||Minimum Deposit $0 – 0.05% APY as of June 23 2020|
BBVA Money Market
Money Market Account
|Account Fees||$15 each month unless you maintain a minimum daily collected balance for each month of $10,000 or more. Or you set up an automatic, recurring monthly transfer of $25 or more from a BBVA checking account to your BBVA Money Market account.|
|Minimum Deposit||Minimum Deposit $25|
BBVA CD Rates
BBVA offers several CDs with fixed terms and rates. There are no maintenance fees required.
All CDs require a minimum deposit of $500.
|11||500||Check w/ BBVA|
|12||500||Check w/ BBVA|
|18||500||Check w/ BBVA|
|36||500||Check w/ BBVA|
|Accounts||Savings, Checking, Money Market, CDs||Savings, Checking, Money Market, CDs||Savings, Checking, Money Market, CDs|
BBVA Pros & Cons
Easily Waived Maintenance Fees—Monthly checking account fees are notorious for making banks a lot of money and draining money from customers. Both the quarterly fee on BBVA checking accounts and the monthly fee on savings accounts are easily waived.
Strong Customer Service—BBVA has a clean and in-depth website which is easy to navigate. You can find customer service telephone numbers easily, and phone operators are available Monday–Friday: 7:00 AM to 10:00 PM CT and Saturday from 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM CT.
High Overdraft Fees—BBVA charges very high overdraft fees, and they can be charged to your account up to six times a day.
Low Interest Rates—You can find higher interest rates at other banks, such as Ally.
No Branches Outside the South and Southwest—If you live outside of the seven states that BBVA operates in, you can’t ever go into a branch in person.
Final Thoughts on BBVA
Although it's a much smaller and less recognizable bank than others, BBVA excels in customer service and places a high value on community involvement.
If you live in one of the seven states where the bank has branches, it could be a very convenient choice. However, while BBVA is transparent about its fees, its overdraft fees are higher than is common. But overall, BBVA is a solid choice among banks that are both brick-and-mortar and online.