Things to Know Before Opening a BBVA Online Checking Account

Things to Know Before Opening a BBVA Online Checking Account

The BBVA Online Checking might be a great choice if you’re looking for a good checking account offer with low  fees. Plus, with BBVA's presence in Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, New Mexico, and Texas, if you live or travel often within any of these states, good coverage and access are guaranteed.

Another positive thing about BBVA’s Online Checking Account is that you won’t have to pay any monthly fees, but only invest $25 to open the account. You will also have free access to over 64,000 ATMs across the States, and receive a free BBVA Visa Debit Card!

To open a BBVA Online Checking Account, you will need:

  1. A valid government-issued ID (a driver’s licence, state-issued ID with your photo or a passport),
  2. Your Social Security Number,
  3. $25 minimum deposit.

In addition to its being easy to open and maintain, the BBVA Online Checking Account comes packed with other benefits, as well! 

BBVA’s award-winning mobile app offers a seamless user experience by letting you manage your account while on the go, so you can track your purchases, and receive alerts via your mobile phone instead of having to access desktop or make phone calls all the time. This also saves you money - if you ever need their staff to help you over the phone, keep in mind that you’ll pay $1 per each call once you’ve made 5 of them. Also, if you transfer money via telephone, i.e. you call the bank and ask them to transfer money for you, you will pay $3 per transaction. With BBVA’s great online and mobile banking, you should really be able to avoid these unnecessary fees, and treat yourself with a cup of coffee instead! Use online and mobile banking to pay your bills, too - free of charge, as well!

We mentioned there was a BBVA Visa Debit card included for $0 - but, there’s more! The Visa comes with BBVA’s Simple Cash Back program, so you can earn rewards on your daily purchases. You can activate the offers you like most via online or mobile banking, and do nothing but shop and earn. Offers are tailored to your purchasing habits and history, so not only is the program easy to follow, but it’s also personalized - just make sure you read the offers carefully, so you know which merchants and locations are eligible for cash back. Rewards are automatically deposited into your account, but there’s a slight drawback: you need to redeem them by a certain date - another reason why you need to read the offer details! You can always check the status and terms in the Simple Cash Back Hub, easily accessible via online banking. Safety-wise, rest assured: your personal information is never shared with any merchant or service provider, so you can make purchases knowing no one (but the bank) is tracking them!

If you ever need to use your Visa to withdraw money, you can do so for free at any BBVA's ATM in the U.S. If, however, you need to use another bank's ATM, you'll pay a small fee, which can be waived for an extra $5 per month.

There are additional options you can purchase to include in the offer. Such is the overdraft protection plan, which provides you with tools to help you manage your account, and plans to protect you if you ever go overdraft. However, just like most banks’, the overdraft protection from BBVA is pricey, and you can pay up to $38 if you fail to pay for a purchase due to insufficient funds. Better ensure you always have enough money, and track your spending yourself.

On the other hand, if you’d like to enjoy some valuable protection services, you can join the BBVA ClearBenefits Program. The program offers $10,000 in case of injury or death, identity theft restoration and insurance, cell phone protection, and roadside assistance. All subject to T&C, of course. Depending on your needs, lifestyle or whatever else, you can opt for this option for only $4 per month.

That said, there is a few negatives when it comes to this checking account offer: if you don't live in any of the above-mentioned states, it might not be the most practical to do business with BBVA, as they don't have branches elsewhere. The second thing we'd like to point out is this checking account doesn't earn interest (which isn't that unusual, however), and you'd have to open a separate savings one. Lastly, using the Visa debit card abroad would be a no-no: you'd be charged 3% of each purchase made with this card outside the U.S., or 1% of each transaction made at ATMs outside the U.S.

To conclude, the overall offer is a good value for your money. It's a certain "yes" if you take the few things we listed into account: low maintenance fees, good technology and protection, cash back, and great area coverage vs. high service fees, limited number of branches, and internationally unfriendly debit card.

How to avoid the Paper Statement Fee with BBVA Online Checking Account?

You will automatically receive a paper account statement by mail for a fee of $3/ month. You can opt for free electronic account statements and eliminate the $3 Paper Statement Fee when you turn off paper statements through BBVA Online Banking :

  • Sign in to Online Banking
  • Place your mouse over "Service Center," then select Online Banking Services
  • In the Online Banking Services box, click on the Turn On or Off Paper Statements link
  • Find the column on the page titled Paper Statements. Toggle the switch OFF for each account listed for which you wish to stop receiving paper statements. Toggle the switch ON to receive paper statements.
  • Tap the Next button
  • Select  Save Changes