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BBVA Compass Bank Review: Checking, Savings and CDs

Banking, Banks & Credit Unions
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NerdWallet’s rating: 3.5 / 5.0

BBVA Compass
Learn more
at BBVA Compass
BBVA Compass’ basic checking account doesn’t charge monthly fees but is otherwise fairly unimpressive. Rates on its standard savings account are low. One of the bank’s best features is its prepaid debit card, which charges fewer fees than many of its competitors.

BBVA Compass has about 700 locations in seven states. About half of the branches are in Texas, but customers elsewhere can get their questions answered on its easy-to-use and informative website.

The bottom line

  • BBVA branches can be found in Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, New Mexico and Texas
  • Though interest rates are low, BBVA offers accessible, no-frills deposit accounts
  • With a quality website, highly rated apps and strong customer service, BBVA shines most in its customer experience

» MORE: NerdWallet’s best checking accounts of 2017

Our ratings
Checking accounts
Savings and money market accounts
Certificates of deposit
Customer experience
Overdraft fees

Read on for more details about BBVA Compass’ checking and savings accounts, CDs, customer experience and fees.

Checking accounts

Though you won’t earn any interest on BBVA’s ClearChoice Free Checking, the account is easy to open and has no monthly fees.

  • No monthly fees on ClearChoice Free Checking
  • Minimum opening deposit is a manageable $25
  • The $2.50 out-of-network ATM fees could add up
  • No interest earned
Account reviewed for rating: ClearChoice Free Checking

Savings and money market accounts

Although the quarterly fee is fairly easy to avoid, the ClearChoice Savings account gets dinged for its low interest rate.

It's relatively easy to avoid the $15 quarterly maintenance fee by keeping a minimum daily balance of at least $500 or with an automatic monthly transfer of $25 from a BBVA checking account
  • Pays an annual percentage yield of only 0.05%
  • The $15 quarterly fee can add up if you don't meet the criteria to avoid it
Account reviewed for rating: ClearChoice Savings

» MORE: NerdWallet’s best savings accounts

Certificates of deposit

Standard rates vary by state, but BBVA’s CD rates are low across the board. You might be better off putting your money in a high-yield savings account.

Offers 10 term lengths, from one month to four years
  • Requires a $500 minimum deposit for all CDs
  • Rates are low; you can find higher ones at online-only banks

Customer experience

You won’t come across a BBVA branch as often as you will for banking behemoths such as Wells Fargo and Bank of America. However, you can always get help on BBVA’s website, which does a good job of highlighting its various accounts and fees — and how to avoid them.

The bank also offers a wide range of customer service avenues, including Twitter and the ability to schedule a call in advance. BBVA’s mobile apps have received solid reviews. Its website is clean and easy to navigate, and fees are listed clearly.

Overdraft fees

If you’re likely to keep overdrawing your account, BBVA isn’t the best bank for you. It charges an exceptionally steep $38 overdraft fee — $32 for California residents — up to six times per day. The bank will charge an additional $25 fee if your account has a negative balance for 10 consecutive calendar days and an extra $25 if the account remains in the red for another 10 days.

Higher rates, fewer fees exist elsewhere

BBVA Compass
Learn more
at BBVA Compass
If there’s a branch nearby and you’re looking for convenience, BBVA Compass will do. But if you want high savings rates or a more lenient overdraft policy, you’ll be happier banking elsewhere.

Consider online-only banks, which typically have the best checking accounts and high-yield savings accounts.

Tony Armstrong is a staff writer at NerdWallet, a personal finance website. Email: Twitter: @tonystrongarm.

Updated July 7, 2017.

Ratings methodology

NerdWallet’s overall ratings for banks and credit unions are weighted averages of several categories: checking, savings, certificates of deposit or credit union share certificates, customer experience and overdraft fees.

Factors we consider, depending on the category, include rates and fees, ATM and branch access, account features and limits, user-facing technology, customer service and innovation.

The stars represent ratings from poor (one star) to excellent (five stars). Ratings are rounded to the nearest half-star.