BBVA Bank Review: Solid Online Checking and Money Market Options

BBVA Bank Review - picture of woman with debit card at her laptop

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This BBVA review covers the ins and outs of BBVA’s checking and money market accounts. We’ll also address the pros and cons to each so you can decide if opening an account with BBVA Bank is right for you. All rates, terms, and conditions are subject to change without notice. It is the sole responsibility of the reader to verify any information with BBVA prior to taking action.

Chances are you may not have heard of BBVA. That’s the beauty of online banking: You get access to top-quality financial institutions even if a branch isn’t available in your area.

Offering competitive rates, BBVA’s online checking, money market, and savings products can open up new options for your everyday banking. Although they provide a whole host of banking solutions, our favorite options are their checking and money market accounts. They also offer access to savings accounts, loans, CDs, and more.

With a convenient mobile app, competitive rates, and excellent account features, it’s easy to see why BBVA is a top choice for online banking.

(Editor’s Note: BBVA was acquired by PNC in June 2021. Please be aware that some product descriptions may no longer be accurate and some products may no longer be available.)

BBVA at a GlanceBBVA Logo

  • Approximately $853 billion in assets (June 2019)
  • Traded on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: BBVA)
  • Internet banking available throughout the U.S.
  • 649 branches in the U.S.
  • Features award-winning mobile app

BBVA Bank Products

  • Online Checking Account (no monthly Service Charge)
  • Premium Checking Account
  • Savings Account
  • Money Market Account
  • Certificates of Deposit (CDs)
  • Self-directed and full-service investment plans
  • Small business and home loans available

BBVA Bank: Pros and Cons

BBVA: Best FeaturesBBVA: Where They Fall Short
Free online and mobile banking make managing your money easyHigh balance required to have the monthly fee waived for Premium Checking and MMA
Low opening deposit requirementsInterest earned isn’t as high as other online banks
Earn cashback rewards with the Visa Debit Card
Online Checking account has no monthly Service Charges
No ATM fees

Who is BBVA Bank?

If the name sounds familiar, you might recognize BBVA by its former name of BBVA Compass. The company rebranded in early 2019 at the same time they upgraded the customer banking experience.

BBVA simplified their checking account options to make them easier to understand, so you’ll know what to expect when you open an account. They also lowered some fees and opened up options to have the monthly charges waived.

The financial institution trades on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: BBVA) and claims financial assets of approximately $853 billion as of June 2019.

Plus, like most banks, BBVA bank is FDIC-insured.

BBVA has multiple banking products ranging from checking and money market accounts to a variety of savings account options, loans, and credit cards. They also offer self-directed and full-service investment management.

However, we’ll focus on the checking account and money market account services.

BBVA Personal Banking Solutions

Checking accounts are a fundamental piece of managing your personal finances. If you’re looking for a new account, BBVA has options to suit your needs. They also offer an attractive money market account.

We’ll compare options to see if a checking or money market account from BBVA fits your lifestyle.

Checking Accounts

Like most banks, BBVA offers checking accounts that cater to different banking needs. No matter which you choose, having free access to online banking and mobile banking makes it easy whether you’re at home, at the office, or on the go.

They have two accounts to pick from:

  • BBVA Premium Checking
  • BBVA Online Checking

BBVA’s Premium Checking comes with the most perks, and you only need $25 to open an account. It’s the only interest-earning checking account they offer and you can personalize your debit card with a favorite photo for free.

And no matter what your balance, you’ll earn the same interest rate, which is a great option if you don’t have the minimum balances many banks require for checking accounts.

If you need to write paper checks, you’ll be glad to know that Premium accounts come with complimentary checks and unlimited check writing ability.

This account comes with a $19 monthly fee that can only be waived if you have a daily collected balance over $4,000 or have over $4,000 deposited by direct deposit. You’ll also pay a $3 paper statement fee unless you opt-out by selecting electronic delivery.

BBVA’s other checking option, Online Checking, also has an opening deposit of $25. However, unlike the Premium account, Online Checking comes with no monthly Service Charge. It also does not earn interest. And while you have unlimited check writing, you’ll have to pay for your checks.

You also still have the $3 paper statement fee to consider, though opting out of paper statements will eliminate this monthly charge.

With both checking accounts, paying bills is easy with free bill pay. You can also keep track of spending with the transaction history and alerts from the award-winning mobile banking app.

If you overdraw your account, the overdraft protection that comes with both checking accounts can protect you from additional fees. You can either link to another account at BBVA or set up an overdraft line of credit.

When comparing the two checking accounts, the Online Checking may be the better option. It has many of the same features as the Premium account but without the monthly Service Charges. However, it doesn’t earn interest and you’ll have to purchase your own checks.

Money Market Account

Many people open money market accounts (MMA) to cash in on higher interest rates while still retaining the ability to withdraw cash or write checks in a pinch. If you’re considering an MMA, the BBVA money market account is a top choice.

This account comes with all the features you’d expect from a standard MMA, such as earning significantly more interest than if you were to stick with a regular checking or savings account.

The competitive rates are high so your money can grow faster. New accounts require $25 to open and you get round-the-clock access to your money with online and mobile banking.

If you’re working on a particular savings goal, set up direct deposit to establish good savings habits and reach your financial milestones.

BBVA’s Money Market Account comes with two options to waive the $15 monthly Service Charge: (1) Having a daily collected balance of at least $10,000 or (2) Setting up an automatic, recurring monthly transfer of $25 or more from a BBVA checking account.

It’s important to know that this MMA won’t work for regular bill pay because it comes with a limit of six transactions per statement cycle. For daily banking, BBVA’s checking accounts are a better fit. But, the Money Market Account is a fantastic choice for your emergency fund or travel savings!

BBVA Product Summary:

Let’s take another look at the current rates and conditions for BBVA Bank’s Checking and Money Market Accounts.

Account TypeBBVA Online CheckingBBVA Premium CheckingBBVA Money Market Account
Minimum Opening Balance$25$25$25
Monthly Fee$0$19 (Can waive if certain conditions are met)$15 (Can waive if certain conditions are met)
Paper Statement Fee$3 (Can waive under certain conditions)$3 (Can waive under certain conditions)$0
Earns InterestNoYesYes
Online and Mobile BankingYesYesYes
*Current as of 04/03/20

Using a Checking or Money Market Account from BBVA

Both checking and money market accounts have a role to play in how you manage your personal finances, but they’re used for different purposes.

For everyday transactions, BBVA’s Premium or Online Checking accounts are a great choice. They come with unlimited transactions each month, online bill pay, and direct deposit.

You can withdraw cash from an ATM and use your debit card to pay for groceries, restaurants, gas, medical bills, car repairs, travel, and more. With direct deposit, your paycheck automatically shows up to continue to fund your daily purchases.

An MMA limits you to six transactions in a statement cycle, so using it for everyday spending isn’t possible.

A BBVA Money Market Account is a solid place to stash your savings for things like:

  • Emergency Fund – Setting aside enough money to cover three to six months of expenses in a money market account can protect you against expensive setbacks. Your emergency fund will come in handy if you lose your job or are facing unexpected medical expenses or life emergencies.
  • Vacation – Having a savings fund for your next trip is an excellent idea. You’ll be much more proactive in saving toward your goal and you’ll know how much money you have to plan your next getaway.
  • Tuition Average tuition rates for public universities range from $10,230 to over $26,000 – and that doesn’t include textbooks, room and board, or other living expenses. Saving for college with a money market account can be a smart move.

Benefits of Using BBVA Bank

  • Low Minimum Deposit Requirements – The checking and money market accounts at BBVA Bank require a low minimum deposit of $25.
  • Free Online and Mobile Banking – Online and mobile banking are must-haves for your busy life, and you get both for free with a checking or MMA.
  • Money Market Account – BBVA is a decent spot to keep your money for savings goals.

Where BBVA Falls Short

With all the advantages of using BBVA, there are a few areas where the bank falls short of expectations.

As with similar products offered by other banks, BBVA’s MMA has seen interest rates slip in the current environment. Additionally, their ClearConnect savings product falls well short of the best high-yield savings accounts. It’s not a big deal, but it is an issue.

The Premium Checking account earns a lower interest rate than many other online banking options. BBVA also charges monthly fees for the Premium Checking and Money Market Account, and while you can waive them, the requirements are a little steep. We’ve seen other accounts with fewer requirements that still offer excellent interest rates and features.

BBVA checking accounts also come with a paper statement fee, though you can avoid it by opting for electronic delivery of your monthly statements.

Is BBVA Right for You?

The advantages of online and mobile banking eliminate the need for a hometown branch. You can get more opportunities than traditional physical locations with online banking.

BBVA makes accessing your cash easier than ever with fee-free ATMs. They also reimburse fees if you make a withdrawal outside of the ATM network if you have the Premium Checking account.

Plus, getting cash back when making purchases with your debit card is a simple way to put cash in your hand when you need it.

The interest you earn on the Premium Checking is much lower than what you will find at other online banks, but the higher interest of the BBVA Money Market Account makes it a fantastic place to keep your emergency fund or savings for other financial goals.

How to Open a BBVA Account?

You can open a new BBVA account from their website or mobile app if you’re at least 18 years old and a U.S. citizen or permanent resident. Before you get started, make sure you have your Social Security number and driver’s license or state ID number on hand.

  1. Find the account that’s right for you
  2. Look for the “Apply Now” button to begin your application
  3. Make an initial deposit of $25 or more

BBVA Bank Review: The Bottom Line

BBVA’s checking options give you flexibility to manage daily spending and their award-winning mobile app gives you access on the go. The Online Checking account has no monthly fee and includes unlimited check writing. The Premium Account gives you free checks and a little bit of an interest rate.

All in all, the checking and money market accounts from BBVA are a pretty good deal. As always, weigh your options carefully as it’s possible you could find another online bank that fits your needs better.

Hopefully, this BBVA review provided you with enough information to help you decide if it’s a good fit for your finances. Thanks for reading!BBVA Bank Review Pin - picture of woman with debit card at her laptop

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