What Can You Expect When Banking With BBVA USA?

FT Contributor  | 

What Is BBVA?

BBVA USA, a subsidiary of Spanish bank BBVA, has been doing business stateside since 1964. BBVA USA has 649 branches in Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, New Mexico, and Texas, with the largest number of branches in the Lone Star State of Texas (336).

Even if you don’t live in one of the seven states with physical branches, you can still open an online bank account and receive personalized customer service by phone, text, email, or one of the most unique ways you’ll find from a bank — video conference.

BBVA USA Services

BBVA USA is a full-service bank with a few account options for your deposits. Take a closer look at what the bank has to offer:

Free Online Checking Account

The popular online checking account comes with no monthly maintenance fees. For a truly free experience, opt-out of paper statements as well (which would cost you $3 per month) and you’ll receive e-statements free of charge.

You can open an online account with as little as $25 and manage your account through the online portal or the bank’s award-winning mobile banking app. The app is user-friendly and easy to navigate, making it possible to do many things you’d do at a physical branch, such as depositing checks, straight from your phone. All you need to do to deposit a check is take a photo of it through the mobile app.

Once you’re signed up for a new account, BBVA USA will mail you a free BBVA Visa debit card for purchases and ATM withdrawals. You’ll have access to more than 64,000 free ATMs nationwide through the Allpoint network, BBVA USA bank branches, and participating 7-Elevens.

Certificate of Deposit

If you’re interested in earning a fixed interest rate on your money for a set period of time and would like a safe place to keep it, BBVA USA’s CDs pay between 0.30% annual percentage yield (APY) and 0.45%. You’ll need a minimum deposit of $500 to open one and choose from four terms:

  • 11 months: 0.30% APY;
  • 12 months: 0.40% APY;
  • 18 months: 0.45% APY;
  • 36 months: 0.40% APY.

Before you sign up, make sure you don’t need the funds during the term you agreed to. If you make early withdrawals on a BBVA USA CD with a term of 12 months or less, you’ll be charged an early withdrawal penalty of $25 plus 1% of the amount withdrawn. For longer terms, the penalty is $25 in addition to 3% of the amount withdrawn.

Money Market Account

If you’d like to earn some interest on your money but still need to occasionally pay some bills, a money market account may be the best choice for you. A money market is a type of savings account with some checking features. BBVA USA’s money market account will earn you 0.60% for the first three months (0.19% APY) if your monthly balance is at least $10,000. You can open the account with a minimum of $25.

There are a couple of fees you should be aware of. There’s a $15 monthly maintenance fee, but it can be waived if you have a minimum daily balance of $10,000 or more, or schedule automatic, recurring transfers of at least $25 per month from your BBVA checking account.

Besides the monthly maintenance fee, federal law limits the number of withdrawals you can make from a money market account (and all savings account types) to just six. Withdraw and pay bills more than six times per month and you’ll be charged $10 per extra transaction.

Overdraft Protection Options

Overdraft charges add up. BBVA’s overdraft or non-sufficient funds (NSF) fee is up to $38 per overdraft, depending on your state. To avoid the high fees, you can sign up for overdraft protection. The bank offers three kinds:

  • Linked Account Overdraft Sweep Service: Link your account to a secondary one and BBVA USA will transfer funds to cover your overdrafts for a $12 daily fee ($7 in California) if the service is triggered.
  • Courtesy Overdraft Protection: Opt-in (or out) of overdraft protection. If you opt-out, your ATM and debit card transactions will be declined when you have insufficient funds and you won’t have to worry about an NSF charge.
  • Overdraft Protection Line of Credit: Apply for a line of credit to draw funds from to cover overdrafts for a $12 daily fee ($7 in California) when overdrafts come in. You’ll need to pay the line of credit back at an interest rate of 21% to 27% APR.

Benefits of BBVA USA

Choosing the right bank is challenging. Consider the pros of banking with BBVA USA:

  • A variety of bank accounts, credit cards, and loan options;
  • Free checking account options;
  • Large ATM network (64,000);
  • Low minimum deposit required;
  • An award-winning mobile banking app;
  • Video customer service chats available 24/7.

Limitations of BBVA USA

As with all banks, there are some limitations to BBVA USA. Some of these limitations are:

  • Limited branch locations;
  • High overdraft charges;
  • High withdrawal penalties on CDs.

Overall the benefits outweigh the limitations when banking with BBVA USA.

How to Apply for a BBVA USA Account

If you’d like to open a checking or savings account, you can visit a local branch, call 1-844-228-2872, or apply online. You’ll need a few things to open a bank account:

  • A government-issued photo ID;
  • Your Social Security number;
  • An email address;
  • At least $25 using a debit or credit card, or setting up a transfer from an external account.

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