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BBVA Bank Review: Checking, Savings and CDs

March 7, 2019
Banking, Banks & Credit Unions
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4.0 NerdWallet rating




Member, FDIC

BBVA’s rates on standard savings are low, but some of its online products are worth a look, including a free checking account with worldwide ATM access and good terms on CDs.

The bank has over 600 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.
  • Some interest rates are low, but a few online accounts offer higher ones.
  • The basic online checking account offers access at Allpoint ATMs worldwide with only a 1% currency conversion fee.
  • With a quality website, highly rated apps and strong customer service, BBVA shines in its customer experience.

» To see how other banks compare, check out NerdWallet’s best banks and credit unions

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

Checking accounts

4.5 / 5.0

  • No monthly service charges on the online checking account.
  • Minimum opening deposit is a manageable $25.
  • Access to over 55,000 ATMs worldwide with only a 1% currency conversion fee.
  • No interest earned.
  • Must be opened online.
Many checking accounts don’t earn interest, so this account’s policy isn’t unusual. You must open the account online, but it doesn’t charge monthly fees, and ATM availability is strong — and relatively cheap abroad.

» Compare
NerdWallet’s best free checking accounts

Savings and money market accounts

3.5 / 5.0

  • Avoid the $3 quarterly fee by opting for paper statements.
  • Open with only $25.
  • Pays an annual percentage yield of only 0.05%.
You’ll get a slightly better deal if you go with BBVA’s online savings account — the quarterly fees are lower and easier to avoid, but the rate is low either way. For higher returns (if you have $10,000 to spare), opt for the online money market. It pays 1.90% annual percentage yield, which isn’t the highest rate you’ll find, but it’s up there. The account is featured on NerdWallet’s list of best money market accounts.

» For higher rates,
check out NerdWallet’s best high-yield online savings accounts

Certificates of deposit

3.0 / 5.0

  • Offers varied term lengths.
  • Online CD rates are competitive.
  • Requires a $500 minimum deposit for all CDs.
  • Offers term lengths up to only four years (three years for online CDs).
  • Standard CD rates are low.
Standard CD rates aren’t impressive, but if you’re willing to open an account online, you’ll find solid rates for a limited amount of terms.

» Looking for the highest CD rates?
Find out what banks are offering this month

Bank experience

4.5 / 5.0

With a 600-some branches, 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 multiple customer service avenues, including Twitter and online messaging. BBVA’s mobile apps have received solid reviews. Its website is clean and easy to navigate, and fees are listed clearly.

Overdraft fees

2.0 / 5.0

If you choose BBVA, avoid enrolling in the overdraft service. The bank 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



Member, FDIC

If you’re looking for a convenient checking account and great ATM access, BBVA offers a good option. But if you want high offline 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. To get started, read more about NerdWallet’s best banks and credit unions.

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, bank 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.

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