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BBVA Compass Optimizer Secured Credit Card review – November 2018

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Product NameOptimizer Credit Card
Card TypeVisa
Annual Fee$40
APR (Annual Percentage Rate) for Purchases20.24% variable
Balance Transfer APR20.24% variable
Balance Transfer Fee$10 or 4% of the transaction, whichever is greater
Cash Advance Rate29.24% variable
Foreign Transaction Fee3% of the transaction value
Cash Advance Fee$10 or 4% of the cash advance amount, whichever is greater
Interest Free PeriodUp to 25 days
Late Payment FeeUp to $37
Returned Payment FeeUp to $27
Minimum Age18 years of age

The basics

The Optimizer Credit Card is a good pick for a secured card because it has a lower purchase and balance transfer APR than most secured cards, and it pays interest on your security deposit.

On the other hand, its annual fee is a big downside when you can find excellent secured cards without one. You’ll also need to deposit a minimum of $500, higher than many other providers require. This card is also only available in seven states, so determine if this card is available where you live.

The perks

  • Low purchase APR compared to the competition.

    It’s common to find a purchase APR around 25% variable for most secured cards. The Optimizer Credit Card comes with a purchase and balance transfer APR of 20.24% variable, which is around the average credit card APR. As you’re rebuilding good credit habits, it’s a good idea to pay your balance in full each month. Doing so can help you avoid snowballing interest.

You’ll also like …

  • Security deposit earns interest

    Your security deposit will go into a BBVA Compass savings account, and your funds will generate interest. With most secured-card providers, your deposit won’t earn interest.

    While this is a nice bonus, don’t expect your deposit to grow substantially in the savings account.

What to watch out for

  • Annual fee: $40.

    This is high for a secured card. You’ll find great secured cards that charge no annual fees.

  • High minimum deposit.

    To open this card, you need to deposit at least $500 in a BBVA Compass Collateral Account. This is a high minimum deposit relative to other cards, as many other providers require a minimum deposit of just $200.

  • High cash advance APR.

    Your cash advance APR will be 29.24% variable, which is significantly higher than your purchase and balance transfer APR. Consider avoiding cash advances entirely, as they will accrue interest immediately.

Consider other cards if …

Compare BBVA Compass credit cards

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Credit lines available from $200 to $5,000! You decide where you want to start and open your Personal Savings Deposit Account to secure your line.

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What should I know before I apply?

You must be at least 18 years old to apply for the Optimizer Credit Card. You must also be a resident of one of these states:

  • Alabama
  • Arizona
  • California
  • Colorado
  • Florida
  • New Mexico
  • Texas

BBVA Compass doesn’t accept online applications for this card. To apply, call a local BBVA Compass branch or 800-266-7277.

Required information

  • Your name and contact information.
  • Personal details like your Social Security number, date of birth and mother’s maiden name.
  • Financial details like your annual income and employment information.

What credit score do I need?

This card is designed for consumers who are rebuilding credit. Those with fair credit of 580 or better have a better chance of approval. Though this provider does consider applicants with a lower score, depending on your credit history and financial situation.

What do customers say about the Optimizer Credit Card?

The Better Business Bureau has not accredited BBVA Compass, and it gives the bank a B- rating. The bank has failed to respond to four complaints. As of this writing, BBVA Compass has nearly 600 customer complaints, most of which it has answered or resolved.

How to apply for the Optimizer Credit Card

  1. Go to the BBVA Compass website.
  2. Prepare the necessary application information.
  3. Check that you live in an eligible state. Then click Find a location to look for a BBVA Compass branch or call 800-266-7277 to apply over the phone.

How long will it take to get my Optimizer Credit Card?

You may receive an immediate decision on your application. If BBVA Compass needs to review your application further, it may take a few business days or weeks to receive a decision.

If you’re approved, your card will probably arrive in the mail within seven to 10 days.

I got the card. Now what?

  • Register an account online. Head over to the BBVA Compass website and register an online account. Use it to view your account balance and pay your bill. You can also enroll in autopay.
  • Avoid interest. The Optimizer Credit Card has a lower purchase and balance transfer APR than many of its competitors. As you’re rebuilding credit, consider avoiding interest by paying your balance in full each month to help build healthy financial habits.
  • Avoid fees. Cash advances, balance transfers and foreign transactions come with fees. If you pay late expect to pay up to $37 or $27 for returned payments.
  • Contact customer service Call the number on the back of your card if you have any questions about your account. You can also call 800-239-5175 to reach BBVA Compass credit card customer service.

Bottom line

The Optimizer Credit Card could be attractive if you’re looking for a lower purchase and balance transfer APR than you’d find with other secured cards. However, to avoid digging yourself into debt, financial experts suggest that you pay you balance in full monthly.

The card has a $40 annual fee and a high minimum deposit of $500. You’ll find other cards with much lower minimum deposits and no annual fee. Before settling on the Optimizer Credit Card, compare other options.

Frequently asked questions

Images: BBVA Compass

Megan Horner

As the assistant publisher of credit cards at finder.com, Megan is passionate about helping you compare and find the best credit cards for your situation, whether that is earning great rewards or improving your credit score. In her previous position, Megan worked as an assigning editor at Credit Karma, where she focused on editing and publishing educational articles on credit cards. Megan started her career as a writer at a comparison website, so she has a longstanding background in surfacing the best deals and helping people make decisions. In her spare time, Megan likes to hike, camp, surf, and read.

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10 Responses

  1. Default Gravatar
    Mrs.July 23, 2018

    Hi. How long do you have to use the Compass Secured Credit Card to qualify for an unsecured Compass credit card? Thank you.

    • finder Customer Care
      nikkiangcoJuly 24, 2018Staff

      Hi Debra,

      Thanks for getting in touch!

      The BBVA Compass Optimizer Secured Credit card is good to build or re-establish your credit over time with responsible spending and on-time payments. You can also increase your credit limit by adding funds to your savings account at any time and you can earn interest with the money you deposit.

      There is no minimum period required to switch to an unsecured card. This will be at the bank’s discretion. After some time using this card, you may call and check with your bank if you could apply for an unsecured card.

      Hope this clarifies!


  2. Default Gravatar
    GabriellaJuly 7, 2018

    I long doses it to take compass Too Consider insecure the credit card

    • finder Customer Care
      nikkiangcoJuly 10, 2018Staff

      Hi Gabriella!

      Thanks for leaving a question on our page.

      BBVA Compass Credit Card takes two weeks or shorter depending on your eligibility requirements. Also, the chances of your application’s approval increase if you have a credit score of 300 or higher.

      You may check out the full terms and conditions of this card on the BBVA website.

      Hope this helps!


  3. Default Gravatar
    SteveMay 26, 2018

    Once you add money to your savings account at the bank, how many days does it take for your credit card to show the available credit line increase online?

    • finder Customer Care
      RonMay 26, 2018Staff

      Hello Steve,

      Good day! Appreciate you contacting finder regarding your inquiry today.

      Upon checking the terms and conditions of BBVA Compass Optimizer card, it may take up to 30 days for the change in credit limit to reflect. Please see quote below from their website.

      “For the Optimizer Card, you may increase your credit limit by making a deposit of $100 or more in the Collateral Account. For each deposit you make, we automatically will increase your credit limit by 90% of your deposit. An increase to your credit limit will not
      become effective until we have collected payment on each check or other items deposited into the Collateral Account. This may take up to 30 days. You may not decrease your credit limit.”

      Hope this helps!

      All the best,

  4. Default Gravatar
    KimApril 28, 2018

    I already have the card. How do I get a cash advance?

    • finder Customer Care
      JoshuaApril 28, 2018Staff

      Hi Kim,

      Thanks for getting in touch with finder.

      If you want to do a cash advance withdrawal, you may do so by using an affiliated ATM. Simply insert your card, use your pin, and specify the amount of money you wish to withdraw.

      Please bear in mind that cash advances begin accruing interest immediately. Moreover, the cash advance APR of this card is on the higher side at 26.24%. So, please make sure to consider other options before making a cash advance withdrawal.

      I hope this helps. Should you have further questions, please don’t hesitate to reach us out again.

      Have a wonderful day!


  5. Default Gravatar
    bibiFebruary 18, 2018

    how do I close my secured credit card account

    • finder Customer Care
      RoslynFebruary 23, 2018Staff

      Hi Bibi,

      Thank you for contacting us with your question.

      You can close your account at any time by contacting BBVA Compass customer support. You can call the credit card customer help line at 1-800-239-5175, or you can send a message from your online account.

      According to the Optimizer Secured Credit Card’s terms and conditions on the BBVA Compass bank website, you’ll need to make sure the card has no balance and there are no outstanding charges, disputes or fees.

      If you’re ready to move on to an unsecured or standard card, your credit score might qualify you for some of the best unsecured cards.

      Let us know if you have any more credit card questions.



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