BBVA Review: Is It the Right Bank for You?

There are many features and fees to consider first.

BBVA USA is a bank that provides online banking and has physical branches in seven states in the U.S. BBVA began as a Central Bank & Trust Company in 1964 and from its roots in Birmingham, Alabama, this financial institution has pioneered such concepts as opening branches on Saturdays and offering the first ATM and debit cards in Alabama. Today, BBVA is still looking to the future of banking, with its award-winning mobile app.

If you are interested in online banking and enjoy using mobile apps for your finances, then BBVA may be worth your consideration. Explore the different banking options to see if BBVA aligns with your financial habits and needs.

Who Is BBVA Best For?

BBVA is best for anyone looking for a traditional banking experience in the seven U.S. states that it services.

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  • Texas
  • Colorado
  • Florida
  • California
  • Arizona
  • New Mexico
  • Alabama

If you are looking to open a new bank account or change your financial institution, it is wise to consider the pros and cons of banking with BBVA. Take a look at some of the advantages and disadvantages here:

 

Pros and Cons of Banking With BBVA USA

Pros Cons 24/7 access to your account with BBVA’s mobile app Comparatively low annual percentage yield and interest rates Over 55,000 surcharge-free Allpoint ATMs available for BBVA customers Most accounts require an opening deposit Checking account offers Visa Debit Cards with cash-back rewards Interest-earning checking accounts have a monthly service fee

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Who May Want To Skip BBVA?

Customers who look for high APY and interest rates for their checking and savings accounts may want to skip BBVA. Although you have access to physical branches where banking can be a one-stop shop, this alone may not be enough to persuade you to open an account.

What kind of customer does BBVA best serve? Look below and see what fits best and worst for your type of banking needs. Otherwise, you may want to consider other financial institutions.

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Who Is BBVA Best For and Worst For? Best For Worst For Clients who live in one of the seven states BBVA services, who want to create a relationship with bank employees at a physical branch Customers who like receiving free paper statements (this service costs $3 per month with BBVA) Customers looking to write free standard checks Those looking for more than one interest-bearing checking account option Those who prefer online bill pay Someone who does not live in the Sun Belt

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Types of Accounts Available

BBVA has an array of accounts available to its customers with varying fees and features to compare to other top financial institutions. Depending on your account balance, banking expectations and financial habits, certain accounts may be worth your money more than others.

Here is a detailed list of the account types, features, fees and rates that you should consider before opening an account.

Types of BBVA Accounts Available Account Type Features Rates Fees Checking Account

Free Checking

Convenience Checking (only available to residents of California and Florida)

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Easy Checking

These accounts do not earn interest

Free Checking: No Monthly Service Charge

Convenience Checking: $9 monthly fee

Easy Checking: $13.95 monthly fee

Interest Checking Premium Checking Premium Checking: 0.05% APY Premium Checking: $19 monthly fee Online Checking BBVA Online Checking Account Not interest-bearing No monthly service charge Savings Account BBVA Savings BBVA Savings: 0.05% APY BBVA Savings: $15 quarterly service fee Online Savings Account BBVA Online Savings Account BBVA Online Savings: 0.05% APY No quarterly service fee Money Market Account Money Market Account Money Market Account: 0.20% APY* Money Market Account: $15 monthly service charge CDs Terms range from 12 months to 3 years

12-month term: 0.15% APY*

15-month term: 0.50% APY

18-month term: 0.15% APY*

36-month term: 0.20% APY*

Fees for early withdrawal from CD Individual Retirement Accounts

Traditional IRA

Roth IRA

Rollover IRA

Coverdell Education Savings Accounts

This depends on your investments Early withdrawal fees may apply Investment (Nonbank) Options

Self-Directed Investments

SmartPath Digital Portfolios

Full-Service Investments

International Investments

A BBVA financial consultant will help you consider the variables to find a suitable rate Trading fees vary depending on your financial goals Loans

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BBVA Express Personal Loans

Auto Loans

Home Equity Line of Credit

Home Equity Loans

Mortgage Loans

BBVA Express Personal Loans: 4.99% to 28.99% APR

Auto Loan: 5.24% to 6.74% APR

Home Equity Line of Credit: 5.30% to 10.75% APR

Home Equity Loans: 4.04% to 9.09% APR

Mortgage Loans: 2.875% to 3.5% APR

Fees depend on plan and repayment agreement

*Rates are accurate as of today.

In addition to the rates, fees and features, you may also want to consider some of the best bank account promotions out there before signing up for an account.

Read: Insider Tips for How To Choose the Best Bank

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Checking/Interest/Online Checking

BBVA offers Free Checking, Convenience Checking (only available to residents of California and Florida), Easy Checking and Premium Checking. It also offers an Online Checking account for customers who don’t live near BBVA branches. All of the checking accounts come with a debit card that is unique to each account type.

Features

  • Free Visa Debit Cards
  • Mobile and online banking available
  • Access to all of BBVA affiliated ATMs

Pros

  • Free Checking and Online Checking have no monthly Service Charge.
  • All accounts offer ways to waive monthly fees except for Easy Checking.
  • Easy Checking is a second-chance checking account for those denied standard checking accounts.

Cons

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  • Only Premium Checking is an interest-earning account and the APY is comparatively low.
  • The Easy Checking monthly fee cannot be waived.

Consider these accounts’ features and their pros and cons against some of the best checking accounts out there.

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See: Best Regional Banks of 2020

Savings/Online Savings

BBVA’s Savings Account and Online Savings Account earn interest and are easily accessible on BBVA’s Mobile Banking app. You can open a savings account online or at one of BBVA’s branches, while the BBVA Online Savings Account can only be used digitally. Take a look at the features and rates available to you from the best financial institutions’ saving accounts before investing in BBVA.

Features

  • Overdraft protection when an account is connected to BBVA’s checking accounts
  • Earns interest
  • Mobile/Online banking available

Pros

  • A quarterly service fee instead of monthly
  • Option for paperless statements

Cons

  • Low APY rate compared to other online savings accounts
  • Only four account withdrawals per statement cycle
  • $25 deposit to open an account

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Money Market Account

BBVA Money Market Account can earn high APY, depending on your account balance. This is the perfect way to grow your money for future endeavors and great adventures.

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Features

  • Easy access through online and mobile banking
  • Overdraft protection when linked to a BBVA checking account

Pros

  • Money Market Account offers the possibility to waive the monthly service fee.
  • First six withdrawals are free

Cons

  • You need to have a balance of $10,000 before you can earn high APY rates.
  • There is a monthly service fee of $15.
  • $25 deposit to open a Money Market account

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CDs

Certificates of Deposit, or CDs, are a great way to earn extra savings by growing your money with high APY rates. You can choose your CD term and fixed interest rate when starting a CD at BBVA.

Features

  • Terms vary from 12 months to three years
  • FDIC-insured

Pros

  • Access to your CD online, anytime
  • No monthly account service fees

Cons

  • APY rates are not competitive

See Also: BBVA CDs Could Help You Build Your Savings

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Individual Retirement Accounts

BBVA offers retirement plans and education savings accounts that can match your needs and saving habits. These retirement plans aren’t unique to BBVA.

Features

  • Traditional IRA — You can invest in this account but not pay taxes until you withdraw. Contributions to this account can be tax-deductible.
  • Roth IRA — As you invest in this account, your contributions will be taxed, so withdrawals from this account are tax-free.
  • Rollover IRA — This is for people who need to roll their 401(k) into a Traditional or Roth IRA.
  • Coverdell Education Savings Accounts — You can contribute a maximum of $2,000 tax-free dollars to this account every year to build a savings account for qualified education expenses. Individuals who make less than $110,000 per year are eligible.

Pros/Cons

The pros and cons of this account depend on your saving habits and needs.

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Investment (Nonbank) Options

You can find multiple ways to invest with BBVA for any stage of your life. Find a personal financial consultant near you to begin your investment strategizing and/or download the BBVA Mobile Investments app.

Features

  • Self Directed Investments — Perfect for those who know what they’re doing in the investment world. You can manage your brokerage account and invest in:
    • Equities
    • Exchanged-Traded Funds
    • Mutual Funds
    • Options
    • Margin Accounts
  • SmartPath Digital Portfolios — If you need a financial advisor, the BBVA Wealth Solutions Model has a digital portfolio that ranges from “conservative” to “aggressive.” There is a minimum of $10,000 to start with a 0.75% annual fee.
  • Full-Service Investments — This is perfect for personal investments, insurance solutions and retirements with the guidance of an investment team.
  • International Investments — You can invest with an investment team even if you live outside of the U.S. via Cash Accounts and/or Margins Accounts.

Pros/Cons

All featured investment types can be uniquely created with a local financial consultant. The pros and cons depend on your financial needs and habits.

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See More: Best IRA Providers of 2019-2020

Loans

If you are looking to make a large purchase, start a new life adventure or refinance your home, BBVA has loan opportunities and lines of credit options for you. You can apply for any of these online or in person.

Features, Pros and Cons

  • BBVA Express Personal Loan — You can borrow up to $35,000 when you apply online and $100,000 if you apply in person or over the phone.
    • Pro: No collateral required
    • Con: No cons that are unique to BBVA’s personal loan product
  • Auto Loans — Borrow for a new or used car with a fixed-rate APR.
    • Pro: No documentation fees and same-day approval decisions for most of the applicants
    • Con: You can only receive a discounted rate if you set up a monthly debit.
  • Home Equity Line of Credit — This money can be used for consolidating high-interest debt, fun new toys, improving your home or paying for unexpected expenses.
    • Pro: You can apply for a line of credit for up to $500,000.
    • Con: Annual fee of $75
  • Home Equity Loan — You can borrow between $10,000 and $125,000-plus for any of your life events.
    • Pro: Predictable monthly payments
    • Con: Cannot reuse as you repay like a home equity line of credit
  • Mortgages — You can refinance or mortgage a new home with BBVA.
    • Pro: Choice between a conventional rate or jumbo rate mortgage
    • Con: Depends on what rates other financial institutions can offer you

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How To Bank With BBVA

Banking with BBVA is easy and accessible. There are three major ways to bank with BBVA:

  • Visit a BBVA branch using the online locator.
  • Call a customer service representative at 866-534-4482.
  • Use the mobile app or navigate to the website.

Technology

BBVA offers tech-savvy customers plenty of online banking features and its award-winning BBVA Mobile Banking app. Both give you 24/7 access to your funds from anywhere in the world (that has service or Wi-Fi). The mobile app gives you access to your funds, allows money transfers and lets you deposit checks. Online banking can do the same things the mobile app does except deposit checks.

Related: 8 New Banking Technologies You’ll See in the Next 5 Years

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Fees

While BBVA has specific fees for its CDs and loans, the fees that you will most commonly deal with are the ones attached to your savings and checking accounts. However, most of these fees can be waived.

Checking:

  •  BBVA Free Checking
    • No monthly fee
  • Premium Checking Account
    • $19 monthly fee
    • To waive fee: Monthly direct deposits of $4,000 per month or a daily balance minimum of $4,000
  • Convenience Checking (only available to residents of California and Florida)
    • $9 monthly fee
    • To waive fee: Monthly direct deposits of $500 per month or a daily balance minimum of $1,500
  • Easy Checking
    • $13.95 monthly fee
    • No way to waive this fee
  • Online Checking
    • No monthly fee

Savings

  • BBVA Savings Account
    • $15 quarterly fee
    • To waive fee: Either have $500 minimum daily balance or set up a recurring monthly transfer of a minimum of $25 into your BBVA checking account
  • Online Savings
    • No monthly fee
  • Money Market Savings
    • $15 monthly fee
    • To waive fee: Either have $10,000 minimum daily balance or set up a recurring monthly transfer of $25 minimum from BBVA checking account into your Money Market account

Check Out: 5 Bank Fees You Can Always Talk Your Way Out Of

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Availability of Funds

The availability of funds depends on how, when and how much you deposit into your account.

  • Immediate, same-day availability of receiving deposit
    • Cash deposit
    • Direct deposit
    • Checks deposited on BBVA-affiliate ATMs
    • Wire transfers
  •  Multiple-day holds
    • Depending on your account, your money may need to be on verification hold between one to five business days.

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BBVA in Review

BBVA is a great option if you like banking at a physical branch. Consider this summary of the drawbacks and benefits of BBVA before investing your money:

Drawbacks and Benefits of  BBVA Bank Benefits Drawbacks Digital banking readily accessible Low APY and interest rates BBVA ATMs available in U.S. Sun Belt Monthly fees

BBVA is a full-service bank with products from checking and savings accounts to mortgages and credit cards. Other banks offer higher APY rates, but BBVA could be your one-stop shop.

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Unless otherwise noted, rates and fees are accurate as of Dec. 16, 2019, and are subject to change. This content is not provided by BBVA. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone and have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by BBVA.

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About the Author

Jared Nigro

Jared Nigro is a writer based in Los Angeles. His experience includes covering a range of personal finance topics for GOBankingRates, specializing in offering actionable advice for banking customers. In addition to writing about personal finance, he has written for environmental and socioeconomic organizations like The Daniel & Susan Gottlieb Foundation and InsideOUT Writers.

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