BBVA Business Checking: 2021 Review

BBVA business checking offers three distinct account options and a balance between in-person and digital banking.

Randa KrissApr 2, 2021
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BBVA (formerly BBVA Compass) offers three small-business checking accounts: BBVA Business Connect Checking, BBVA Business Choice Checking and BBVA Business Premium Checking. The bank also offers an Interest on Lawyers Trust Account, or IOLTA, for attorneys who need to place client funds in a separate trust account.

BBVA allows you to customize your business checking account by choosing the option and features that are right for your financial needs. In addition, BBVA business checking stands out with its wide network of more than 64,000 fee-free ATMs across the country.

Although BBVA is known for its personal online bank accounts, only sole proprietorships located within the bank’s service area are eligible to apply for a business checking account online; all other small-business owners must visit a branch or call customer service to apply.

BBVA business checking is best for small-business owners who:

  • Want a free business checking account option.

  • Prefer a balance between in-person and digital banking.

  • Want access to fee-free ATMs across the U.S.

  • Don’t mind calling customer service or visiting a branch to apply for an account; or, are eligible sole proprietors who can apply online.

  • Are located in one of the seven states that BBVA serves.

Pros and cons

Pros

  • Three business checking account options, each with specific features that cater to different financial needs and priorities.

  • Access to more than 600 branch locations and around 1,000 fee-free BBVA ATMs.

  • Fee-free access to Allpoint ATMs and participating 7-Eleven ATMs across the U.S. for Business Connect and Business Premium Checking accounts.

  • Online and mobile banking and bill pay included for free with all accounts.

Cons

  • Only sole proprietorships in BBVA’s service area can apply for an account online.

  • Branch locations and BBVA-branded ATMs are limited to seven states.

  • Website can be unclear and difficult to navigate.

BBVA business checking at a glance

BBVA Business Connect Checking

BBVA Business Choice Checking

BBVA Business Premium Checking

Monthly fee:

$0 ($3 paper statement fee can be avoided by opting for electronic statements through online banking)

$15 (multiple ways to waive)

$25 (multiple ways to waive)

Minimum opening deposit requirement:

$100

$100

$100

APY:

None

None

0.01%

Transactions:

Unlimited fee-free digital transactions.

Five in-branch withdrawals and/or processed checks per month combined, then $1 per transaction.

Two in-branch deposits per month, then $4 per transaction.

Up to 250 fee-free transactions per month (including checks, debit card transactions, ACH transactions, direct deposits, payment and deposit orders), then 50 cents per transaction.

Up to 500 fee-free transactions per month, then 50 cents per transaction.

Cash deposits:

Up to $5,000 per month, then $3 per $1,000 deposited.

Up to $10,000 per month, then $3 per $1,000 deposited.

Up to $25,000 per month, then $3 per $1,000 deposited.

Additional features:

No fees to use Allpoint or participating 7-Eleven ATMs.

No fee from BBVA to use another bank’s ATM (ATM provider may charge a fee).

One customized business debit card fee-free.

Three customized business debit cards fee-free.

Two Premium features included; choose from the following:

250 more free transactions per month.

$5,000 more in free cash deposits per month.

Unlimited free returned deposit items per month.

One overdraft fee forgiveness refund per year.

One free wire per month.

50% discount on checks (with tax and shipping).

No fees to use Allpoint or participating 7-Eleven ATMs.

No fee from BBVA to use another bank’s ATM (ATM provider may charge a fee).

Unlimited returned deposited items.

One free wire per month.

One overdraft fee forgiveness refund per year.

50% discount on checks (with tax and shipping).

Bonus:

None

None

None

How BBVA business checking works

Account options: BBVA offers Business Connect Checking, Business Choice Checking and Business Premium Checking, as well as an Interest on Lawyers Trust Account.

Location availability: BBVA has more than 600 branch locations and around 1,000 ATMs in seven states: Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, New Mexico and Texas.

How to apply: Visit a branch location or work with a customer service representative over the phone to complete and submit your business checking account application. If you’re a sole proprietorship with a permanent residence within BBVA’s service area (with the exception of California), you have the option to apply online.

  • Required information: Basic details about yourself and your business, including your Social Security number, date of birth, legal name of your business, physical address of your business and business phone number.

    • If your business has multiple owners, BBVA will likely ask you to provide personal information on anyone with 25% or more ownership in the business, as well as controlling officers and any authorized signers you’d like on the account.

  • Required documentation: U.S. driver’s license or state-issued ID for you, any additional owners and controlling officers and business formation documentation (varies based on entity type).

    • If you’re operating under a doing business as, or DBA, you’ll need to provide your DBA registration or assumed name certificate.

Next steps: After your account has been approved, you can make your initial deposit by transferring funds from another bank account, writing and depositing a check or using your credit or debit card. To start using online banking, you’ll need to visit a branch location and have a bank representative set up a profile for you.

Once your online banking profile is created, you can log in to start managing your account, setting up alerts and using bill pay. You’ll also be able to download the BBVA mobile app and use your online banking credentials to activate your account.

Where BBVA business checking stands out

Monthly fees: BBVA Business Connect Checking is a truly free business checking account with no monthly fee or minimum balance requirements (provided you opt out of paper statements to avoid the $3 fee).

In addition, although the BBVA Business Choice Checking and BBVA Business Premium Checking accounts have monthly fees — $15 and $25 respectively — each account offers three ways to waive them.

With the Business Choice Checking account, you can waive your monthly fee by meeting any of the following criteria:

  • Maintaining a minimum average daily collected balance of $5,000.

  • Processing a minimum of $5,000 per month through BBVA Merchant Services.

  • Enrolling in the BBVA For Your Cause program for nonprofit organizations.

Similarly, you can waive the monthly fee with the Business Premium Checking account by meeting any of the following requirements:

  • Maintaining a minimum average daily collected balance of $25,000.

  • Processing a minimum of $25,000 per month through BBVA Merchant Services.

  • Maintaining a minimum average daily collected balance of $50,000 in relationship balances — including consumer and small-business checking, savings and money market accounts and the outstanding principal balance on all loans and credit cards at BBVA Bank.

ATM access: Business Connect Checking and Business Premium Checking account holders have access to a wide network of fee-free ATMs across the U.S. With either of these BBVA business checking accounts, you can use more than 64,000 ATMs fee-free, including BBVA ATMs, Allpoint ATMs and participating 7-Eleven ATMs.

Additionally, with both of these accounts, BBVA will not charge a fee for using an out-of-network ATM; however, the bank or ATM provider may charge separate fees.

With the Business Choice Checking account, you have fee-free access to BBVA-branded ATMs. BBVA will charge a $3 fee for the use of out-of-network ATMs, plus any fees from the ATM provider.

Account perks: Each of the BBVA business checking accounts offers different features and perks, allowing you to compare benefits — or even customize — the option that best meets your financial needs and priorities.

For example, the free Business Connect Checking focuses on online banking and is the only one of the three accounts that includes unlimited fee-free digital transactions.

Business Choice Checking, on the other hand, allows you to choose the specific areas that will save your business the most money, giving you the ability to select two premium features for free, as well as add-on features for $10 per option per month.

Finally, Business Premium Checking is an interest-earning account for higher account balances with a set selection of waived incidental fees.

Moreover, all three BBVA business checking accounts include essential benefits like free online banking, mobile banking, bill pay and business debit cards.

Where BBVA business checking falls short

Ways to apply: Only sole proprietors within BBVA’s service area (with the exception of California) can apply for an account online.

According to a 2019 study by BAI, a research and training nonprofit for business owners, nearly 70% of business owners surveyed would prefer to open a deposit account online.

Although BBVA allows other small-business owners to apply for an account over the phone or by visiting a branch, there are a variety of competitors that offer online applications for businesses of all entity types regardless of location.

Location limitations: BBVA only has branch locations and bank-branded ATMs in seven states. Although these include the three most populous states in the U.S. — California, Texas and Florida — as a whole, the bank’s service area excludes businesses in the other 43 states, plus Washington, D.C.

This could make it difficult to find a branch location or BBVA-branded ATM outside of your region if you plan on traveling for business.

Website transparency: BBVA’s website can be unclear and makes it difficult to identify the features and fees associated with each account. For example, some of the important definitions and fee information for the BBVA business checking accounts are buried in lengthy footnotes at the bottom of pages.

Additionally, there is not always consistency with the account details that are included from one page to another. On the Business Checking overview page, for instance, the footnotes break down excess transaction fees for the Business Connect Checking account. These fees, however, are not listed on the actual Business Connect Checking page.

Similarly, both the Business Connect and Business Premium Checking pages explicitly mention ATM access, whereas ATM access is excluded from the Business Choice Checking page. You have to turn to the account disclosures linked under “Pricing, Requirement and Terms” and as “Terms and Conditions” in the footnotes to determine what kind of ATM access the Business Choice Checking account includes.

Generally, BBVA’s website pales in comparison to competitors that offer clearer, consistent websites — some that even provide easily searchable frequently asked questions.

Compare business checking accounts