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BBVA Select℠ Credit Card review

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Strong rewards and a big signup bonus for a modest annual fee.

  • Get this card if you want to select your own bonus-reward categories.
  • Pick something else if you don’t want to pay a higher-than-average annual fee starting the second year.
  • Apply with a good to excellent credit score of 740 or higher.

$500

Welcome offer

Up to 4x

Points

$0

Annual fee

for the first year ($99 thereafter)

13.24% to 17.24%

Purchase APR (variable)

Details

Annual fee$0 intro annual fee for the first year ($99 thereafter)
Welcome Offer50,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first 90 days
Rewards3x in one category and 2x points in another chosen category each activated quarter and 1x points on all other purchases.
Purchase APR13.24% to 17.24% variable
Balance transfer APR13.24% to 17.24% variable
Recommended minimum credit score740
IssuerVisa

Expert review

Kevin Joey Chen

Review by


Kevin Joey Chen is a credit cards, banking and investments writer whose work and analysis have appeared on CNN, U.S. News & World Report, Business.com, Lifehacker and CreditCards.com. He's passionate about helping you get your finances in order by expertly navigating cutting-edge financial tools — including credit cards, apps and budgeting software.

Expert review

With a $99 annual fee starting the second year, the BBVA Select℠ Credit Card is more expensive than most credit cards. But for the price, it earns up to 4% in select categories — including the rare entertainment category — a rather low APR of 113.24% to 17.24% variable, and a strong welcome offer worth $500.

This card is an especially good choice if you’re a high-net-worth BBVA Compass customer. If you’re part of the bank’s Premier Personal Banking program, you’ll pay no annual fee for this card. A no-annual-fee card that earns up to 4% back is extremely valuable, so if you meet these requirements, you may want to move this card higher on the priority list for your wallet.

The card also comes with the standard perks associated with Visa Signature cards, including various travel perks, as well as no foreign transaction fee, making it a good choice for travelers. On the whole, the card is a strong choice for BBVA customers and those looking for rewards on entertainment.

How to apply for the BBVA Select℠ Credit Card

  1. Go to the BBVA Select℠ Credit Card website.
  2. Click Find a location. Then enter your address, ZIP code, or city and state to find a nearby BBVA Compass branch.
  3. Visit a bank branch of your choice and speak with a representative to apply for the card.

bbva compass select creditcard form1

How long will it take to get my BBVA Select℠ Credit Card?

After you apply with a BBVA Compass representative, you may receive an immediate decision. If the bank needs to review your application further, expect to hear back within a few business days. In unusual circumstances, you may need to wait up to a few weeks to receive a decision.

The perks

  • Rewards. You’ll earn 4% rewards on entertainment, 3% rewards on dining, 2% rewards on travel, and 1% rewards on all other purchases. This replaces the card’s old rewards structure, which let you choose your highest earning rate from a selection of categories, though at a lower total earning rate.
  • Annual fee: Waived for the first year, then $99. The BBVA Select℠ Credit Card has an annual fee of $99 that you’ll start paying the second year.
  • First-year offer: $100 account credit upon reaching spending threshold. To earn this bonus, spend $4,000 on qualifying purchases within the first 12 months of your account opening.This is a decent sweetener on top of the rewards you earn, and it can partially make up for the lack of a signup bonus.
  • If you don’t select your categories, you’ll earn 3x points on groceries and 2x points on gas and travel.

    On all other purchases, you’ll earn 1x points.

  • Rewards boost upon reaching monthly spending targets. Every month you spend $5,000 or more in net purchases, you’ll receive 1,000 more points. These points are worth $10 according to BBVA’s calculations.

Which categories can you choose for elevated rewards?

Here are the 2x- and 3x-point categories:

  • Home improvement
  • Gas
  • Groceries
  • Utilities
  • Travel
  • Restaurants
  • Office supplies
  • Health care
  • Department stores

You’ll also like …

  • No foreign transaction fee. Cards with travel perks tend to offer no transaction fees on purchases abroad and at foreign websites.
  • Extra perks for Premier Personal Banking customers. You’ll get the card for no annual fee, and BBVA will expedite your application process. To join the Premier Personal Banking program, you must maintain a whopping $100,000 balance in your BBVA Compass personal checking account.
  • It’s going green. BBVA is one of a few providers adopting eco-friendly payment cards through GreenPay. These cards are created with eco-friendly materials and are designed to cut back on waste. Most BBVA cards will be eco-friendly by the end of 2021.
  • Visa Signature benefits. You’ll get access to the Visa Signature Luxury Hotel Collection. With every booking, you’ll receive perks like an automatic room upgrade upon availability, complimentary breakfast for two, $25 food or beverage credit and late check-out upon request and availability.Contact the Visa Signature Concierge 24/7. You can get help booking hotel reservations, finding tickets to exclusive events and more.
  • Travel benefits. Receive a Hertz Gold Plus membership, which gives you access to designated parking stalls and the exclusive Gold counter at Hertz locations. Also, you’ll receive benefits like expanded vehicle selection, expedited drop-off and members-only discounts.While traveling, you can take advantage of roadside assistance, trip cancelation and interruption insurance, lost luggage reimbursement and travel accident insurance.
  • Purchase benefits. If you buy an eligible item and later find the same item for less, Price Protection reimburses you the difference. Also, your eligible purchases are covered against damage or theft by Purchase Security.

How much rewards can I earn with the BBVA Select℠ Credit Card?

The BBVA Select℠ Credit Card has a unique rewards structure that helps you earn elevated points in categories of your choice. Here’s an example based on points values as of November 2018 on the BBVA Compass website.

Let’s say you choose to earn 2x points in groceries, and 3x points in gas and travel. Here’s what you might earn.

CategoryPoint multipleAnnual spendingTotal points
Travel3x$7,00021,000
Groceries2x$4,0008,000
Gas2x$3,0006,000
All other purchases1x$12,00012,000

On that spending, you’d earn 47,000 points, which are worth $470 in account credit.

That’s not all. You might receive bonus points, too:

  • Since you’d pass $4,000 in spending your first year, you’d receive an account credit of $100.
  • You might reach $5,000 in monthly spending, say, two times a year. You’d receive 1,000 extra points each time, for a total of 2,000 extra points, which are worth $20 in account credit.

In total, your spending could bring you account credit worth $590.

How much do I have to spend to make the annual fee worth it?

Starting the second year, the BBVA Select℠ Credit Card has an annual fee of $99. That means you effectively break even on the fee if you earn 12,500 points.

Here’s what you need to spend in your reward categories to earn these points.

  • $4,167 in your 3x category.
  • $6,250 in your 2x categories.
  • $12,500 in your 1x category.

What to watch out for

  • Annual fee: $99 starting the second year. $99 is a higher annual fee than many mid-tier cards. At the same time, you have a 2x points tier that can help you offset the fee.To get the fee waived beyond the first year, you must be a Premier Personal Banking member. This requires you to have at least $100,000 in qualifying deposits, which may be steep for some cardholders.
  • Change your elevated-rewards categories once every 90 days. Think carefully before selecting your bonus categories, as they’ll be locked in for a few months.
  • Only available in certain states. You may apply for this card only if you live in Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, New Mexico or Texas.
  • Apply only in a branch. To apply for the card, you must visit a BBVA Compass location. This is unusual among card providers — usually, you can apply online.

Compare similar rewards cards

Data updated regularly
Name Product Welcome offer Rewards Annual fee Filter values
Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express
$300 after spending $3,000 in the first 6 months
6% on select US streaming services, 3% on transit and US gas stations, 6% at US supermarkets on up to $6,000 annually, then 1% after that and on all other purchases
$0 intro annual fee for the first year ($95 thereafter)
Perfect for families: Get up to 6% on everyday purchases and a welcome offer worth $300. This heavy-hitter rewards card has uncontested value. Terms apply, see rates & fees
Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express
$200 after spending $1,000 in the first 3 months
2% at US gas stations and select US department stores, 3% at US supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year, then 1% after that and on all other purchases
$0
This everyday cashback card offers a higher than average welcome offer for no annual fee, letting you earn $200 after you spend $1,000 in the first 3 months. Terms apply, see rates & fees
Chase Freedom Unlimited®
$200 after spending $500 in the first 3 months
5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase, 5% on Lyft, 3% on dining and drugstores and 1.5% on all other purchases
$0
This solid 1.5% cashback card gets even better with the addition of up to 5% back in categories like travel, drug stores and dining.
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What should I know before I apply?

To apply for the BBVA Select℠ Credit Card, you must be at least 18 years old. You must also live in one of these states:

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

Required information

Before you visit a BBVA Compass branch to apply for your card, have the following information ready:

  • Your address and contact information.
  • Your Social Security number and mother’s maiden name.
  • Your financial information, such as your annual income and employment details.
  • Bring government-issued identification — such as your driver’s license — in case your BBVA representative asks for it.

What credit score do I need?

Apply for the BBVA Select℠ Credit Card with good to excellent credit with scores between 740 to 850. The higher your score, the better your odds of approval and a better APR.

BBVA Select℠ Credit Card reviews and complaints.

BBVA Compass is not accredited by the Better Business Bureau (BBB), even though it’s been in business for 54 years. As of October 2020, the agency gives the bank an A-, partially due to BBVA’s failure to respond to several complaints. As of this writing, the bank has almost 800 customer complaints. Most complaints have been answered, but many have not been resolved.

Customers report poor customer service, long wait times to speak to support and a slow-loading website.

I got the card. Now what?

  • Make payments online. Once you register an online banking account on the BBVA Compass website, you can conveniently pay your credit card bill. You can make one-time or recurring payments.
  • Choose your elevated-rewards categories. You’ll like earning 3x and 2x points in select categories. Consider your spending and choose wisely, as you can only change these categories once every 90 days.
  • Avoid interest. After the close of each billing cycle, you have a grace period of 25 days. If you pay off your purchase balance within this period, you won’t pay interest.
  • Avoid fees. While foreign transactions don’t have fees, you’ll pay fees for cash advances and balance transfers. Late payments come with fees as high as $37, and returned payments come with fees as high as $20.
  • Contact customer service. If you need help, call the number on the back of your card. Alternatively, you can send a message through your Online Banking account or call 800-239-5175.

How do I redeem rewards from the BBVA Select℠ Credit Card?

You can redeem rewards through the BBVA Compass Points Rewards website or by calling the BBVA Compass Rewards Center.

Rewards can be used for account credit, and you need at least 2,500 points to redeem.

Bottom line

The star of the show here is the BBVA Compass Build Your Own Rewards program. If you spend heavily in the bank’s bonus-reward categories, you could find the card pays for itself several times over.

Depending on how you spend, other rewards cards might better suit your needs.

Frequently asked questions

Images: bbvacompass.com

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