This BBVA Bank review will provide you with all the information you need – its features, online presence, and more.
According to Statista, the United States of America currently has 4,708 FDIC-insured (which means your deposits are insured up to the federal maximum) commercial banks. These banks spread all throughout the country, and, with such a number, competition is indeed real in the banking industry.
That is why, as a consumer or a potential bank client, it is important to do your homework. To do some research in order to be able to find the right financial institution for you – which ultimately will be your partner in securing your money, or in managing your finances.
One of the banks that you probably have already heard about is BBVA USA Bancshares, Inc., or more popularly known as simply BBVA.
BBVA is currently the country’s leading banking franchise. But, there’s more to BBVA apart from that, which is why we have this BBVA Bank review.
We wanted to share with you some of the most important information you need to know about this bank, which will hopefully help you decipher whether BBVA is your perfect match or not.
In particular, we are going to talk about the following:
- Who is BBVA Bank?
- What are the pros and cons of BBVA Bank?
- Who is BBVA Bank best for?
- What does BBVA Bank offer?
- What are the fees and charges involved?
- How to bank with BBVA?
- How’s BBVA Bank’s customer service?
WHO IS BBVA BANK?
BBVA USA Bancshares, Inc., or simply BBVA was launched in 1964 in Birmingham, Alabama.
As stated on their website, BBVA is a “Sunbelt-based bank holding company whose principal subsidiary, BBVA, operates 649 branches,” which includes “336 in Texas, 89 in Alabama, 63 in Arizona, 61 in California, 45 in Florida, 37 in Colorado and 18 in New Mexico.”
Currently, the bank ranks among the country’s commercial banks based on deposit market share, and it also ranks as one of the largest banks in Alabama (2nd), Texas (4th) and Arizona (6th).
With the bank’s tremendous years of service, it is not surprising that they have earned awards and recognition for their exemplary service in the banking industry. BBVA was recognized “as one of the leading small business lenders by the Small Business Administration (SBA) and ranked 6th nationally in the total number of SBA loans originated in the fiscal year 2017.”
Furthermore, the bank’s mobile app has also earned recognition as the “2019 Javelin Mobile Banking Leader award for functionality for the sixth consecutive year in Javelin Strategy & Research’s Mobile Banking Financial Institution Scorecard.“
When it comes to credibility, it is safe to say that BBVA has it. The bank has earned it over its years of existence. Needless to say, their awards and recognitions are enough proof to claim such.
Before moving on, we found this really interesting video by NEXT Conference on BBVA being the “Bank of the Future”. If interested, just hit the play button below:
WHAT ARE THE PROS AND CONS OF BBVA BANK?
Based on the information we provided above, BBVA is definitely a trustworthy and reliable bank. But we are not making this BBVA Bank review just to show you the good side, but both.
Just like any other banks out there, BBVA has its own share of advantages and disadvantages. Some of these are as follows:
- BBVA provides full-service banking options.
- Cash bank rewards are available with certain checking accounts.
- They provide free checking with a $25 deposit.
- BBVA does have more than 64,000 fee-free ATMs all over the country.
- They offer “second chance” checking accounts.
- They do have a clear and easy-to-navigate fee disclosures.
- BBVA has an award-winning mobile application and online banking service.
- BBVA has high overdraft fees.
- Compared to other banks, they do have low-interest rates.
- BBVA branches are only available in few states (only seven states to be exact).
- They do have very few monthly transactions without a fee.
- The money market, as well as CD rates that are advertised, are not available for everyone.
- BBVA has average customer service ratings.
WHO IS BBVA BANK BEST FOR?
Part of our BBVA Bank review is sharing with you who BBVA is best for. This gives you an idea if BBVA is indeed the right one for you or not.
Technically, BBVA Bank is ideal for consumers or clients who are looking for a full-service online bank.
Furthermore, BBVA is also ideal for those who:
- Wants to have an in-person banking option
- Wants free checking account with easy qualification requirements
- Live in Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, New Mexico, or Texas
- Have gone through financial troubles before and needs a “second chance” checking account
- Wants to be able to do most of their banking online or through a mobile app
Apart from that, BBVA Bank may also be a good fit for customers who wants any of the following:
- A variety of accounts in one bank
- Not interested in earning interest from either checking or savings accounts
- Planning to keep a large account balance to avoid monthly charges such as monthly service fee
- Access to a large ATM network that is free of charge
WHAT DOES BBVA BANK OFFER?
While all the information we have already provided is important and necessary, we thought to know what the bank offers is equally important, if not, very important.
As a potential bank client, it is vital that you know what to expect from the bank that you eyeing for. Needless to say, you should have an idea about their products and services so you get to gauge if there’s an appropriate product or service based on your personal needs and preferences.
Fortunately, BBVA Bank has a wide variety of banking solutions available for both individuals and small businesses. BBVA’s products range from essential services to premium offerings.
For your reference, BBVA Bank offers the following products and services:
- Savings Accounts
- Checking Accounts
- Money Market Accounts
- Certificates of Deposit
- Credit Cards
- Banking experience
- Customer service
BBVA SAVINGS ACCOUNT
Just like any other savings account, BBVA Savings Account is pretty much basic. This helps keep your money secure.
When opting for a BBVA Savings Account, you should take note of the following:
- Requires a $25 minimum to open
- Pays 0.05% annual percentage yield (APY)
- Provides free online statements quarterly, or you may opt to pay $3 for paper statements
- Minimum $3 fee for using other banks’ ATMs
- A link to your BBVA checking account for overdraft protection
- Four fee-free withdrawals per statement cycle before incurring fees
Furthermore, while there is a quarterly maintenance fee of $15, this can be waived with any of the following:
- A $500 or more minimum daily balance
- An automatic monthly transfer of $25 or more from a BBVA checking account to savings
BBVA ONLINE SAVINGS ACCOUNT
The BBVA Online Savings Account is pretty much similar to the standard BBVA Savings Account. It has the same opening balance requirement, annual percentage yield, statement fees, as well as withdrawal limits.
The major difference we see between the two savings account types is that BBVA Online Savings Account has no quarterly fee. Thus, if you have limited resources, this is definitely a better option for you.
For a quick reference, BBVA Online Savings Accounts features include:
- A $25 minimum requirement to open an account
- Pays 0.05% annual percentage yield (APY)
- Requires only four withdrawals per statement period before incurring fees
BBVA FREE CHECKING ACCOUNT
BBVA Free Checking is a typical checking account that has the capability to handle your day-to-day needs. At the same time, does not charge monthly fees.
When opening BBVA Free Checking, be reminded of the following details:
- Requires a $25 minimum to open
- No monthly fee charges
Moreover, free checking comes with the following features:
- Comes with a debit card for spending purposes
- Provides free transactions in all BBVA ATMs
- Mobile check deposit
- Online bill payments
- Account activity alerts
- Charges $3 out-of-network ATM fee
- Free paper and online statements
- Avoid out-of-network ATM fees by paying an optional $5 monthly fee
- Up to four ATM rebates per statement cycle (for ATM fees charged by other banks)
While these all seem really good, please take note that BBVA charges overdraft fees as well as insufficient funds fees, which can go as high as $38. Thus, make sure to always keep an eye on your account. Do so by checking your balance on a regular basis, and also, you can opt to set up alerts to avoid charges.
Free Checking account holders do also have access to the Simply Cash Back Program. Also, the account offers a lot of add on features for an additional cost, which includes:
- Unlimited cashier’s checks for $2 per month
- Unlimited standard checks (50% other styles), which amounts to $2 per month
- Safe-deposit box for $3 per month
- No BBVA fees for using another bank’s ATM and four ATM fee rebates for $5 per month
- An option to personalize the debit card with a photo for $10
BBVA PREMIUM CHECKING ACCOUNT
BBVA Bank’s Premium Checking Account is the bank’s only interest-bearing checking option, which earns 0.05% APY.
The bank’s Premium Checking Account features include:
- Requires at least $25 to open an account
- Pays 0.05% APY on all account balances
- Comes with a debit card for spending purposes (You can have it personalized for free.)
- Provides two ATM fee rebates per month
- Over 64,000 fee-free ATMs
- Free standard checks
For this account, BBVA charges $19 monthly. However, it can be waived if you meet any of the following criteria:
- An average daily balance of $4,000 (minimum)
- At least $15,000 in qualifying deposits at BBVA, including CDs
- Monthly direct deposits of at least $4,000 (restrictions apply)
- Active BBVA Premier Personal Banking Program status
- Active membership in BBVA Global Wealth Client
BBVA ONLINE CHECKING ACCOUNT
Unlike Free Checking, the BBVA Online Checking Account offers a few minor improvements.
One of the major differences between the two account types is that with BBVA Online Checking Account allows opening an account either online or via phone. However, you may still opt to open in their branch if you want to.
With BBVA Online Checking Account, you get to enjoy basic free checking features, as well as fee-free access to over 64,000 ATMs nationwide.
The BBVA Online Checking Account is ideal for people who are more comfortable opening an account online.
BBVA EASY CHECKING ACCOUNT
Have you encountered financial problems before, and now you’re hoping for a “second chance” with a checking account?
Well, guess what? BBVA’s Easy Checking Account is made for ultimately for people like you.
BBVA Easy Checking Account is ideal for those who have been turned down by other banks and/or credit unions for opening a checking account.
Unlike the other accounts though, this one’s not cheap. It comes with a $13.95 monthly fee. However, it provides you access to a brick-and-mortar checking account. Also, it provides you the ability to eventually upgrade to a more affordable account after 12 months.
BBVA Easy Checking Account features include:
- At least $25 to open an account
- A debit card for spending purposes
- Fee-free access to BBVA-branded ATMs
- Mobile check deposit
- Online bills payments
- Account activity alerts
- Option for free online statements
BBVA MONEY MARKET ACCOUNTS
BBVA’s Money Market Accounts offer two tiers of interest depending on your balance. The two tiers are:
- Balances below $10,000 – 0.05% APY
- Balances of $10,000 or more – 0.75% APY
Please note that the rates are based on standard rates, which were set by BBVA. The rates may change depending on your place of residence.
To open a Money Market Account, you will need at least a $25 deposit. The bank charges a $15 service charge per month. Although, this can be waived if you either set up an automatic monthly transfer of at least $25 from a BBVA checking account, or you keep a daily balance of $10,000 on your account.
For BBVA’s Money Market Accounts, you are only limited to six free withdrawals per month.
BBVA CERTIFICATES OF DEPOSIT
Unlike other banks, BBVA has a limited Certificate of Deposit offerings.
BBVA offers CDs online and from local branches. To be able to access local CD rates, you may either stop in or call your local BBVA branch, or call BBVA at 1-844-BBVA USA.
BBVA only offers four terms for its Certificates of Deposit. The terms available are 11 months, 12 months, 18 months, and 36 months.
To open a CD, the bank requires at least a $500 initial deposit.
With regard to APY, it varies per term. For 11 months, it’s 0.50%; for 12 months, it’s 0.40%; for 18 months, it’s 0.50%; and for 36 months, it’s 0.40%.
It is also important to note that early withdrawal penalties exist, which are quite fair. The penalties are as follows:
- For terms of 365 days or less, pay $25 plus 1% of the amount withdrawn
- For terms longer than 365 days, pay $25 plus 3% of the amount withdrawn
BBVA CREDIT CARDS
Yes, BBVA also offers credit cards. In fact, the banks have four different Visa credit cards, which includes a secured credit card.
BBVA credit cards are ideal for those who are looking for a 0% balance transfer, or those who want to earn rewards for spending.
For your reference, here’s a list of BBVA credit cards:
- BBVA Rewards Card
- BBVA ClearPoints Credit Card
- Select Credit Card
- Optimizer Credit Card
OTHER FINANCIAL PRODUCTS
Apart from the above primary products, BBVA also offers the following products:
- Auto loans
- Business bank accounts
- Business loans and other business services
- Financial consultants
- Home mortgage loans
- Home equity loans and lines of credit
- IRAs and annuities
- Managed investment portfolios
- Personal loans
- Private banking
- Refinance mortgages
- Self-directed investing
WHAT ARE THE FEES AND CHARGES INVOLVED?
If you noticed from the list of products we provided above, the bank has certain charges. Although most of them can be waived provided you meet the bank’s requirements.
Note that charges vary depending on the product you avail of.
BBVA charges is the overdraft fee. You can avoid this though by not enrolling in the overdraft service. Just so you know, BBVA charges an exceptionally steep $38 overdraft fee — $32 for California residents — up to six times per day. It’s quite high as compared to the average fee charged by other banks and credit unions.
Furthermore, BBVA charges a $23 extended overdraft fee every seven consecutive calendar days. This is when your account stays negative for up to four times the maximum.
HOW TO BANK WITH BBVA?
BBVA is known for its exemplary online banking service, which is why it is not surprising that the bank allows its customers to open an account through its website.
However, for those who prefer the traditional way, and also, if you are opting to open certain bank accounts, you may visit BBVA bank branches in person, or you may call them through their phone lines, which we have already indicated a while ago.
With regards to opening an account, the bank requires customers to provide proof of identification (for the validity of the information provided), which could be any of the following:
- Driver’s license
- State issued ID with photo
Furthermore, please take note that when opening a new account, you are required to deposit from a debit or credit card, an account at another bank, or an existing BBVA account.
HOW IS BBVA BANK’S CUSTOMER SERVICE?
In J.D. Power’s 2019 U.S. Retail Banking Satisfaction Study, BBVA got an “above average” ratings for customer service, which is quite impressive.
BBVA has definitely set the bar when it comes to customer service, don’t you think?
Anyway, BBVA customer service, however, is only available via phone. It’s open to cater to your questions and clarifications from Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Central time.
FINAL THOUGHTS ON BBVA BANK REVIEW
No doubt, BBVA provides customers full-service online banking experience. They provide a variety of options depending on the customer’s needs and preferences.
The only downsides we see is that the bank’s interest-bearing accounts don’t have the high rates as compared to other top online banks out there. Also, BBVA branches are mostly in the southwest region of the country, which limits those customers who are looking for both online and local banking services. BBVA customers face monthly transaction limits in some BBVA accounts, which is a con for us as well.
So, having all this information, do you find BBVA your perfect match?