|Product Name||Optimizer Credit Card|
|APR (Annual Percentage Rate) for Purchases||20.24% variable|
|Balance Transfer APR||20.24% variable|
|Balance Transfer Fee||$10 or 4% of the transaction, whichever is greater|
|Cash Advance Rate||29.24% variable|
|Foreign Transaction Fee||3% of the transaction value|
|Cash Advance Fee||$10 or 4% of the cash advance amount, whichever is greater|
|Interest Free Period||Up to 25 days|
|Late Payment Fee||Up to $37|
|Returned Payment Fee||Up to $27|
|Minimum Age||18 years of age|
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.
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.
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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 …
You don’t want to pay an annual fee.
You want to pay a lower security deposit.
With the Secured Card® from Capital One®, you may be able to pay a $49 or $99 security deposit and still receive a $200 credit line. And with the DCU Visa® Platinum Secured Credit Card, your upfront cost could be as low as $15.
You have poor credit.
Though secured cards are open to people rebuilding their credit, providers may still deny consumers with bad credit. If you have poor credit, look into the Green Dot primor® Visa® Gold Secured Credit Card and SDFCU Savings Secured Visa Platinum Card, which are easier to qualify for than other secured cards.
You want an unsecured card.
Unsecured cards for those with poor credit are usually expensive and don’t offer many perks. Though good choices are few and far between, you might like the Deserve® Classic Card. It has an annual fee, but it has more straightforward terms than its competitors.
You’re a student.
You may qualify for a student credit card that comes with much stronger features and doesn’t require a security deposit. The Discover it® Chrome for Students is a great choice, or the Journey® Student Credit Card from Capital One®.
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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:
- New Mexico
BBVA Compass doesn’t accept online applications for this card. To apply, call a local BBVA Compass branch or 800-266-7277.
- 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
- Go to the BBVA Compass website.
- Prepare the necessary application information.
- 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.
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