BBVA Review for 2021
BBVA Bank (formerly BBVA Compass)
BBVA (formerly BBVA Compass) is a full-service bank offering a wide range of products, from online checking accounts with no monthly Service Charges, to savings, MMA, and CD accounts to meet your financial needs. With over 600 locations across the U.S. and great user experience, BBVA is a reputable bank to consider.
- Diverse Products
- Great for Small Businesses
- Over 600 Locations
- Highly Rated Mobile App
- No Monthly Service Charge Account Options
- Interest Rates Could Be Higher
- Low Customer Satisfaction Ratings
BBVA USA (formerly BBVA Compass) is probably one of the most well-known financial institutions worldwide. Founded in 1964, it operates 649 branches and offers a wide range of financial products and services.
I’ve mentioned the institution multiple times on Millennial Money – most notably because it is one of the best banks for small businesses, offers some great CD rates and money market account rates.
But today I want to take a closer look at the company itself – so that you know whether it’s a bank worth considering. In this BBVA bank review, I’ll tell you all about what this financial institution is good at, where it could improve – and help you decide whether BBVA is for you.
What Is BBVA?
BBVA Bank stands for Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria. BBVA Bank has a very long history, dating as far back as 1857!
It is interesting to know that BBVA is actually the merger of three banks – BB (Banco Bilbao) V (banco de Vizcaya), and A (Argentaria).
This merger happened over 97 years ago, with the first unofficial merger between Banco Bilbao and Banco de Vizcaya taking place in 1902.
Between 2004 and 2014, BBVA acquired several banks in the US, most notably Compass in 2007, giving rise to the name BBVA Compass. Now it is just BBVA.
BBVA Banking Products
BBVA offers a range of excellent banking products, from free checking accounts to money market and CD accounts. Here are a few that are worth looking at:
BBVA Free Checking Account
BBVA offers one of the best free checking accounts, which I’ve mentioned before.
There’s no minimum balance required, and you get access to over 55,000 ATMs worldwide – which is convenient.
You won’t earn any interest in this BBVA account – but it is free, and it has a very small opening deposit ($25).
Get Started: BBVA Free Checking Account
BBVA 12-Month Certificate of Deposit
BBVA offers some excellent CD options and some of the best CD rates.
Their APY rates are solid.
The minimum opening deposit is $500 – but there is no monthly Service Charge.
BBVA Money Market Account
I’ve also talked about BBVA in the best money market accounts post – so you won’t be surprised when I say that BBVA’s MM account is a solid choice if you’re looking to earn a good interest rate on your savings.
With BBVA, as you reach higher balance tiers you receive a higher APY – which is a great way to grow your money if you already have a hefty sum to open an account.
Some additional benefits include: mobile banking app, overdraft protection and up to 6 fee-free withdrawals per month. Get started with as little as $25.
Other Products BBVA Offers
Besides banking services, BBVA also offers its customers several additional services, such as investments, insurance, and wealth. Investment services include full-service brokerage and self-directed brokerage accounts, which you can manage using their BBVA investments mobile app.
BBVA’s insurance agency, on the other hand, provides home, auto, and other insurance for individuals and businesses that you can easily and quickly set up online.
BBVA wealth solutions offer SmartPath digital portfolios with different risk models to match your investment preferences, with the portfolios being managed by professionals.
How Good is BBVA Online Banking?
BBVA makes banking with them fast and easy – thanks to its online and mobile banking platforms. Their mobile app was recognized by Javelin Strategy & Research as a leader in the Ease of Use and Customer Service categories in 2019 – which is very promising!
Using their online and mobile banking, you will be able to pay your bills, complete transfers, and even deposit paper checks to your account just by taking pictures of it.
You can also access your account statements for credit cards, savings, checking, and money market. Popmoney is a great feature on both mobile and online banking that allows you to receive, request, and send money to other people in the U.S.
BBVA allows you to set customized alerts to receive notifications on transactions or any other account activity. Online banking also gives you access to financial tools that can help you to better plan your finances, set saving goals, and manage your debts.
BBVA Customer Service
BBVA does everything with their customer in mind. You can, therefore, expect a lot from their customer service team, which is always ready to go out of their way to make sure you are satisfied.
You can find a large section dedicated to FAQs on their website, with easy to read and informative answers to the most commonly asked questions.
BBVA also features many video demos and tutorials on various topics such as online banking, mobile banking, and ATM banking, both on their website and on their mobile app. These videos include step by step explanations on how to complete various tasks, and it’s a great way to get to know their services and products.
Using the BBVA mobile app, you can also send secure messages to the customer service department or schedule a callback. Of course, you can always reach customer service representatives on the phone or by visiting one of their branches.
That said, data shows that customer satisfaction is one of those things that could improve for BBVA. According to J.D. Power’s 2019 U.S. Retail Banking Satisfaction Survey, BBVA gets around 3/5 – which is something that could be improved.
How Much Will BBVA Let you Overdraft?
With several different overdraft options, the actual amount BBVA will let you overdraft, if eligible, depends on many factors and conditions. It is worth noting that the bank has a few different overdraft options for which you might qualify. Let’s look at the available options, including applicable charges and fees.
Linked Account Overdraft Sweep Service
Using this option, you can link a secondary account to your checking account. Funds from the secondary account will be used to cover any overdrafts from your checking account.
Keep in mind that the bank could decline the transfer if the secondary account is inactive, dormant, or frozen. The transfer must also not exceed any limitations imposed on the secondary account.
- Charges: $12 each day there is a transfer, charged to the primary account.
- Limits: Subject to transaction limits on the secondary account.
Overdraft Protection Line of Credit
Using this option, you can get an unsecured line of credit to cover overdrafts.
This facility is only available in Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, New Mexico, and Texas and is subject to credit approval by the bank.
- Charges: $12 each day an advance is made plus 21% APR on the overdraft amount.
- Limits: Subject to the approved credit limit.
Courtesy Overdraft Option
This option is opt-in, and it allows the bank to authorize transactions into overdraft. Applicable transactions are determined during the application process.
However, this does not mean you are guaranteed overdraft facilities by the bank.
- Charges: $38 per transaction paid into overdraft and $23 every seven days your account remains in overdraft. Additional NSF fees might be applicable.
- Limits: At BBVA’s discretion.
Is BBVA FDIC Insured?
The short answer is yes – BBVA is a member of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC).
FDIC (Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation) covers each depositor up to $250,000 – but not all BBVA products are covered. Generally speaking, all accounts are insured, but investments might not be.
If you’re looking at maximizing your insurance coverage, do keep in mind that FDIC insurance is based on ownership categories, and as such, if you have a joint account besides your account, you could get additional coverage.
Pros & Cons of BBVA
- Offers excellent online products (free checking account and CDs)
- One of the best banks for small businesses because it offers a wide range of products and services for this audience group
- Offers a smooth online banking system
- Nearly 650 physical branches
- Highly-rated app (4.8 on the App Store; 4.4 on Google Play)
- No monthly Service Charge accounts available
- Excellent CD rates (limited time only)
- BBVA support is easy to reach – via phone, message, or by simply popping into one of their bank locations
- Customer satisfaction ratings could be better
- Some of the rates could be higher
Is BBVA a Good Bank?
We looked at the different domains to understand if BBVA is a good bank, and if so, how good it is – and, I think, it’s safe to conclude that BBVA is worth considering.
The bank offers a wide variety of excellent products – from online checking accounts that don’t charge monthly Service Charges to savings, money-market, and CD accounts that allow your money to grow. Yes, you could probably find better interest rates elsewhere – but overall, the bank’s offering is pretty good.
In addition to that, there are plenty of bank branches (over 600) in the U.S., making it easy to get face-to-face, personalized help from the bank’s representatives. That’s something online-only banks lack – and is a useful feature, especially if you need some advice and guidance when it comes to making the most of your money.
You can also often tell how good a bank is based on how good of a place it is to work. BBVA was listed in DiversityInc’s Top 50 Companies for Diversity in 2017 and were recognized for their equality and diversity many more times since. They believe that a diverse workforce ensures the best understanding of their equally diverse clientele.
Is BBVA a Bank for You?
So, is BBVA the best bank for you? If you’re after a one-stop-shop offering a wide range of products to meet your financial needs, then BBVA is worth considering.
BBVA offers its customers many ways to bank with facilities and technology designed to allow you to self-manage most of the process. As the fintech revolution continues to gain traction and change the way we bank, BBVA is undoubtedly doing a lot to stay ahead of the curve, and this makes it a worthy bank to consider.