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BBVA Online Savings Account 2020 Review

| Money Rates Columnist.

BBVA is an established banking brand offering checking and savings accounts, loans and other financial products and services.

The bank has more than 600 branches; but it also offers its services online, including an online savings account with a low minimum opening deposit.


BBVA Online Savings Account Essentials

When opening an online savings account, there are certain features or benefits for which you may be looking. Here's a brief rundown of the most important things to know about saving with BBVA:

  • Interest-bearing account, with the same interest rate applied to all balances
  • Pay no ATM fee to access your account at BBVA USA ATMs
  • Open an account online with a minimum opening deposit of $25
  • Link your BBVA online savings account to a BBVA checking account for overdraft protection
  • Access your savings account 24/7 via online and mobile banking
  • Make up to four withdrawals per statement cycle without triggering an excess withdrawal fee
  • Enjoy paperless statements fee-free
  • Schedule recurring deposits or meet minimum-account-balance requirements to avoid a quarterly service charge

MoneyRates Editor's Analysis: Pros & Cons

The BBVA Online Savings Account has some noteworthy features and, like any other online savings account, there are pros and cons to consider.

Pros:

  • Low minimum-opening deposit required to open an account
  • Pay no ATM fee for withdrawals at BBVA ATMs
  • Easily open an account online in minutes

Cons:

  • Other banks may offer better interest rates for online savings accounts

BBVA Online Savings Account Interest Rates

BBVA is a traditional brick-and-mortar bank and it pays an interest rate on savings that's comparable to other brick-and-mortar banks. As of July 2020, the current annual percentage yield for online savings accounts is 0.05%.

That APY applies to all balances, regardless of how much or how little you save. If you want to earn interest at a higher rate, you might want to consider looking at other online savings account options instead.

For example, Synchrony Bank, Ally and Marcus by Goldman Sachs all offer online savings accounts that earn interest with a much higher APY or better. When trying to grow your savings, every extra bit counts. So it pays to weigh the rates offered by other bank accounts.

Keep in mind that, since the Federal Reserve reduced interest rates to zero early in 2020, banks have largely reduced the interest rate they pay to savers across the board. But compared to traditional banks, online banks can still offer some of the best opportunities to earn interest a higher rate.


BBVA Online Savings Account Monthly Fees

It's not uncommon to pay a monthly fee each statement cycle when opening a savings account at a traditional bank. BBVA takes a slightly different approach by charging a quarterly fee instead of monthly fees.

The good news is, this quarterly service fee only applies to regular BBVA Savings Accounts, not the Online Savings Account. So you don't have to worry about maintaining a minimum account balance or making recurring deposits to avoid a monthly fee each statement cycle.


Other Savings Account Fees

Aside from the quarterly service fee, there are some other fees of which to be aware with the BBVA Online Savings Account.

Those fees include:

  • $3 paper statement fee
  • $3 excess transaction fee
  • $38 insufficient funds fee
  • $15 deposit item returned fee
  • $32 stop payment fee
  • $25 early account closing fee (applies when you close your account within 180 days of opening)

It's important to remember that savings accounts are subject to different withdrawal rules compared to other bank accounts.

BBVA limits you to four withdrawals from savings each month. If you go over that limit, you can be charged an excess withdrawal fee.

This fee is $3 per transaction over the limit. While that's less than what some banks charge, it can still add up if you're making frequent withdrawals from savings.

If you need quick access to your money, you may want to open both checking and savings accounts with BBVA since checking accounts aren't subject to the excess withdrawal fee.

It's also worth pointing out the $3 paper statement fee, which is easily avoided. All you have to do is enroll in paperless statements to sidestep this fee. And you can view and download electronic statements through online and mobile banking access.


Additional BBVA Online Savings Account Features & Benefits

The BBVA Online Savings Account doesn't come with a lot of extra bells and whistles. But you do have the benefit of being able to access your account any time, any place through online banking. And BBVA features one of the best-rated mobile apps for banking.

With mobile banking, you can view your account balances, schedule transfers between linked BBVA bank accounts and deposit checks via remote deposit capture. It's a simple way to track your savings and manage your money on the go.


Are There Other Ways to Save with BBVA?

In addition to savings accounts, BBVA offers other products and services you might be interested in for your funds. Here are a few other bank accounts to consider for managing your money.

BBVA Savings Account

The BBVA Savings Account is very similar to the BBVA Online Savings Account. This account earns the same interest rate and has the same minimum-opening-deposit requirement of $25. What's different about this account is the service fee.

BBVA charges a $15 quarterly service fee for this account. There are two ways to avoid this fee:

  • Having a recurring automatic deposit of at least $25 from a BBVA Checking Account to your BBVA Savings Account
  • OR maintaining a minimum daily account balance of at least $500 in your BBVA Savings Account

Since this account is almost identical to the online savings account option, opening an account online may be preferable since the quarterly service charge doesn't apply.

BBVA Certificates of Deposit Accounts

Certificates of deposit accounts are different from other bank accounts since they're time deposits. In other words, you agree to keep your money in a CD account until the CD matures. While your money is parked, it does earn interest.

Once it matures, you can collect your initial savings deposit along with the interest earned - or you can roll the entire amount into a new CD.

BBVA offers four CDs, with varying terms and interest rates:

  • 11-month CD
  • 12-month CD
  • 18-month CD
  • 36-month CD

The 18-month CD offers the highest interest rate. There are no maintenance fees to open a CD account with BBVA, though you may be penalized for withdrawing money from a CD before it matures.

BBVA Money Market Accounts

Money market accounts can combine features of checking and savings accounts. Your balance can earn interest while you may have access to your savings via debit card, ATM card or paper checks.

The key features to know about the BBVA Money Market Account include:

  • Low minimum opening deposit of $25
  • Make up to six withdrawals from your account per month with no excess withdrawal fee

Balances below $10,000 earn the same 0.05% APY as the online savings account. You can access your money through online and mobile banking and link your money market account to a BBVA checking account for overdraft protection.

Other Ways to Bank With BBVA

BBVA doesn't offer a brokerage account option, but you can open an Individual Retirement Account. BBVA features both traditional and Roth IRA options.

You can also borrow with BBVA. The bank offers:

  • Personal loans
  • Auto loans
  • Mortgage loans
  • Home equity loans
  • Home equity lines of credit

Lastly, BBVA offers a range of small business banking products and services, including bank accounts, credit cards and loans. That's convenient if you'd like to do your personal and business banking in one place.


How to Open a BBVA Online Savings Account

If you'd like to open an account with BBVA, you can do so online. You need to fill out the application which asks for:

  • Your name
  • Address
  • Date of birth
  • Social security number
  • Email address
  • Phone number
  • Government-issued ID number and expiration date
  • Citizenship status
  • Employment and income information
  • Expected account activity
  • Bank account information to make your minimum opening deposit

If you're applying for a new account with a joint account owner, you'll also need to include their personal information. BBVA gives you the option to open an online checking account at the same time if you're looking for both checking and savings accounts in the same place.


Is a BBVA Online Savings Account Right for You?

If you already have a checking account or other bank accounts with BBVA, then opening an Online Savings Account could make sense.

This account has no quarterly service fee, which makes it more attractive than the regular BBVA Savings Account. But it's important to keep the APY in mind. If you're hoping to earn interest at a higher rate to grow your money, you may be better off researching online savings account options with online banks which can offer better rates and fewer fees.

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