BBVA Compass ClearChoice free checking review October 2018 |

BBVA Compass ClearChoice Free Checking review

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A full-service checking account without the monthly service fees

If you’re looking for a free checking account that offers more than just the basics, the BBVA Compass ClearChoice Free Checking might be right for you. This account has no monthly service fees, a low minimum opening deposit, free access to a large network of Allpoint ATMs and more. With online and mobile access along with over 700 locations across Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, New Mexico and Texas, you’ll never be far from your money.

Minimum deposit$25
ATMs1,000 fee-free ATMs across the country
ATM transaction fee$0
Out-of-network ATM fee$3
Overdraft fee$32
Nonsufficient funds fee$32
Deposit methodsCash by teller
Cash by ATM
Check by teller
Check by ATM
Mobile/remote check deposit
Wire transfer
Direct deposit

What are the benefits of BBVA Compass ClearChoice Free Checking?

Despite being a free checking account, the BBVA Compass ClearChoice Free Checking account offers a number of benefits:

Convenient banking.

  • No monthly fees. You won’t pay anything to maintain your account, and you don’t have to keep a minimum balance.
  • No fees at BBVA Compass ATMs. You won’t be charged any ATM fees when using BBVA Compass ATMs.
  • Add a savings account. When you open your checking account, consider adding a ClearChoice Savings Account too. The latter costs $15 per quarter and garners a 0.05% APY, though you can qualify to have the fee waived.
  • Access to online and mobile banking. Manage your money and send payments with BBVA. And deposit checks with Mobile Deposit or pay bills with Bill Pay.
  • Get a Visa debit card. Personalize your Visa with your own image, and use it to earn cash back at specified retailers.

Peace of mind.

  • Convenient checking account perks. Set text-message alerts for your checking account, receive online statements and write unlimited checks — all for free.
  • BBVA Compass ClearBenefits. BBVA members can enroll in this program to get access to perks like roadside assistance, identity theft protection, cell phone protection and more.
  • Security. BBVA protects you with online and mobile alerts, and deposits up to $250,000 in this account are protected by FDIC insurance.

BBVA Compass ATM network and fees

This account comes with a Visa debit card, allowing you to make purchases almost anywhere. Plus, you’ll get access to a network of domestic ATMs.

  • Use any of the 1,000 BBVA Compass ATMs in the US for free
  • BBVA will reimburse up to $5 per statement cycle for ATM fees charged by other banks
  • You’ll be charged 1% of each transaction when you use an ATM outside the US
  • You’ll be charged 3% of each transaction when you use your card outside of the US

What should I look out for?

While you won’t need to jump through hoops to avoid monthly fees with this account, there are a few things to look out for:

  • Minimum deposit. You’ll need at least $25 to open an account.
  • Not as many ATMs as other banks. Larger banks have more ATMs than you’ll find with BBVA — and you’ll pay a fee each time you use an ATM out of network.
  • High service fees. BBVA charges a $32 NSF fee, $32 overdraft fee, $12 inter-account transfer fee to cover overdrafts and more.
  • Limited branches. BBVA Compass only has branches in seven states, so if you live outside this service area, you won’t be able to get face-to-face customer service.
  • No interest. Some checking accounts pay interest on the daily balance, but this one does not.

How do I apply?

You can open the BBVA Compass ClearChoice Free Checking account online, by phone or at a branch:


  1. Visit the BBVA Compass website and click Checking.
  2. Scroll down to Free Checking and click Apply Now.
  3. Enter all of your personal information then proceed to the next step.
  4. Decide whether you’d like to open a BBVA ClearChoice Savings account or just fund this account.
  5. Review and confirm all details.


In order to open this account, you’ll need to meet a few eligibility requirements:

  • Social Security number or tax ID number
  • Government-issued ID
  • Valid address
  • $25 minimum deposit

Required information

However you decide to apply for an account, you’ll be asked for the following information:

  • Name
  • Date of birth
  • Address
  • Social Security number or tax ID number
  • Government-issued ID number
  • Contact information (Phone and email)
  • Employment information

What other checking options does BBVA Compass offer?

Beyond the BBVA Compass ClearChoice Free Checking account, BBVA Compass also offers a few other checking accounts:

  • ClearConnect Checking. This online account is designed for people on the go. It offers easy online and mobile access and has no monthly service fees or ATM fees.
  • Interest Checking. A high-interest checking account that offers all of the standard BBVA perks and earns up to 0.50% interest while your money sits in the account.
  • Easy Checking. A simple checking account that is designed to help you move your finances in the right direction

Compare with other checking accounts

Name Product APY ATMs Fee
1,000 fee-free ATMs across the country
Pay a $0 monthly service charge and get free access to BBVA Compass ATMs.
65,000 preferred ATMs nationwide (Allpoint, MoneyPass, PNC)
An online checking account means no driving around town, no waiting in line and no bankers' hours.
38,000 fee-free ATMs nationwide
No overdraft fees. No monthly maintenance fees. No monthly service fees. No minimum balance fees. No deposit required. No foreign transaction fees. Over 38,000+ fee-free MoneyPass ATMs.
Surcharge-free Umpqua ATMs in all of the network's 5 states, plus up to $10 per month in ATM fee rebates
Simple and straightforward, a checking account for anyone looking for no-frills banking.
5,100 branches in 28 states.
(can be waived)
Premium banking and more, designed for your life.
Surcharge-free HSBC ATMs nationally and internationally, plus up to four rebates a month for using non-HSBC ATMs in all US states except New York
(can be waived)
Get a $350 Welcome Deposit for eligible new customers who open an HSBC Advance Checking account with qualifying activities

Compare up to 4 providers

Bottom line

This free checking account can be good if you’re looking for a standard checking account and live by a BBVA Compass branch. It offers easy online and mobile access along with free ATM use at over 1,000 ATMs across the country. However, this bank doesn’t have nearly as many domestic ATMs as larger banks and only has branches in seven states, which could limit your banking opportunities. With so many banks and products out there, it’s important to compare your options to find the right checking account for you.

Frequently asked questions

Kevin Joey Chen

Kevin Chen is a world-travelin', copy-writin', Game of Thrones-watchin' credit cards writer for When he's not crunching the numbers on bonus points and comparing APRs, you can find him flying around the world in search of the perfect beer.

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