BBVA Compass Select Credit Card review | finder.com

BBVA Compass Select℠ Credit Card review – December 2018

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BBVA Compass Select℠ Credit Card

It’s more expensive than most cards, but offers powerful rewards in flexible categories.

30-second take

  • 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.
Product NameBBVA Compass Select℠ Credit Card
Card TypeVisa
Annual Fee$0 annual fee for the first year ($125 thereafter)
APR (Annual Percentage Rate) for Purchases15.24% to 19.24% variable
Balance Transfer APR15.24% to 19.24% variable
Balance Transfer Fee$10 or 4% of the transaction, whichever is greater
Cash Advance Rate24.24% variable
Foreign Transaction FeeNone
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
Welcome Offer20,000 bonus points with $2,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening
Reward Value per Dollar1x points

The basics

With a $125 annual fee starting the second year, the BBVA Compass Select℠ Credit Card is more expensive than most credit cards. However, it could be worth the price of admission if you take advantage of the unique BBVA Compass Build Your Own Rewards program.

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. And you’ll receive extra points when you hit a monthly spending target.

The perks

  1. Annual fee: Waived for the first year.

    The BBVA Compass Select℠ Credit Card has an annual fee of $125 that you’ll start paying the second year.

  2. First-year offer: $100 account credit upon reaching spending threshold.

    To earn this bonus, spend $2,000 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.

  3. BBVA Compass Build Your Own Rewards.

    Choose the categories that will earn you elevated rewards to redeem for account credit. In one category of your choice, you’ll earn 3x points. In two categories of your choice, you’ll earn 2x points. You can change these bonus categories every 90 days.

    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.

  • 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 Compass Select℠ Credit Card?

The BBVA Compass Select℠ Credit Card has a unique rewards structure that helps you earn elevated points in categories of your choice.

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 $2,000 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 Compass Select℠ Credit Card has an annual fee of $125. 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: $125 starting the second year.
    $125 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.

Consider other cards if …

Compare top rewards credit cards

Updated December 16th, 2018
Name Product Welcome Offer Reward Value per Dollar APR (Annual Percentage Rate) for Purchases Annual Fee
Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
1x points
17.99% to 24.99% variable
$0 annual fee for the first year ($95 thereafter)
Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months.
Earn 50,000 bonus points after spending $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening - that's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
1x points
17.99% to 24.99% variable
$450
Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months.
Earn $150 cash back after spending $500 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening
1% cash back
16.99% to 25.74% variable
$0
0% intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers.
Earn $150 cash back after spending $500 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening
1.5% cash back
16.99% to 25.74% variable
$0
0% intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers.
Earn $150 statement credit after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new card within the first 3 months
1% cash back
14.99% to 25.99% variable
$0
Earn a $150 bonus statement credit after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months. Rates & Fees
$200 statement credit after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new card within the first 3 months
1% cash back
14.99% to 25.99% variable
$95
Earn $200 bonus cash back after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months. Rates & Fees
Earn up to $250. Earn $150 after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months of card membership. Earn an additional $100 after you spend an additional $6,500 within the first 12 months
1.5% cash back
14.99% to 25.99% variable
$0
Earn up to $250 back. Earn $150 back after you spend $1,000 or more in purchases with your new card within the first 3 months of card membership. Plus, earn an additional $100 back after you spend an additional $6,500 in purchases within your first 12 months. Rates & Fees
50,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $2,000 on eligible purchases with your new card within the first 3 months
1x points
See Rates & Fees
$250
50,000 bonus Membership Rewards® Points when you spend $2,000 in the first 3 months Rates & Fees
Enjoy 70,000 bonus miles after spending $5,000 on purchases in the first 90 days
2x miles
17.99%, 21.99% or 24.99% variable
$0 annual fee for the first year ($89 thereafter)
Enjoy 70,000 bonus miles after spending $5,000 on purchases in the first 90 days.
75,000 Bonus Points after you use your new Card to make $3,000 in purchases within the first 3 months.
2x points
17.74% to 26.74% variable
$0 annual fee for the first year ($95 thereafter)
Enjoy a $0 annual fee on the first year and earn up to 2 Starpoints® for every dollar of eligible purchases. Rates & Fees
125,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points with the Hilton Honors American Express Ascend Card after you use your new card to make $2,000 in eligible purchases within the first 3 months of card membership.
3x points
17.74% to 26.74% variable
$95
Earn 125,000 Hilton Honors™ Bonus Points after you spend $2,000 or more in purchases with your new card within the first 3 months of card membership. Rates & Fees
75,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points with the Hilton Honors American Express Card after you use your new card to make $1,000 in eligible purchases within the first 3 months of card membership.
3x points
17.74% to 26.74% variable
$0
Earn 75,000 Hilton Honors™ Bonus Points after you spend $1,000 in purchases on the card within your first 3 months of card membership. Rates & Fees
Earn a $150 cash rewards intro bonus after spending $2,500 in the first 3 months. 10% Anniversary Bonus on all Cash Rewards earned once a year.
1.5% cash back
14.99%, 18.99% or 24.99% variable
$0
Earn unlimited 1.5% cash rewards on purchases. See Rates and Fees.
10,000 bonus miles after spending $500 in purchases on your new card in your first 3 months.
1x miles
17.74% to 26.74% variable
$0
Earn 10,000 bonus miles after spending $500 in purchases on your new card in your first 3 months of card membership. Rates & Fees
30,000 bonus miles after spending $1,000 in purchases on your new card in your first 3 months and a $50 statement credit after you make a Delta purchase with your new card within your first 3 months.
1x miles
17.74% to 26.74% variable
$0 annual fee for the first year ($95 thereafter)
30,000 bonus miles after you use your new card to make $1,000 on purchases within the first 3 months. Rates & Fees
1x points
16.99% variable
$495
Receive an annual $100 air travel credit toward flight-related purchases including airline tickets, baggage fees, upgrades and more.
1x points
16.99% variable
$195
Enjoy unique excursions, privileged access to exclusive events and insider opportunities.
2x points
16.99% variable
$995
Earn points every time you spend. Luxury Card enhances your purchasing power by providing you with one (1) point for every one dollar ($1) you spend. Every purchase gets you closer to the rewards you want.

Compare up to 4 providers

What should I know before I apply?

To apply for the BBVA Compass 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 Compass 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.

What do customers say about the BBVA Compass Select℠ Credit Card?

BBVA Compass is not accredited by the Better Business Bureau (BBB), even though it’s been in business for 54 years. The agency gives the bank a B-, partially due to BBVA’s failure to respond to four complaints. As of this writing, the bank has almost 600 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.

How to apply for the BBVA Compass Select℠ Credit Card

  1. Go to the BBVA Compass 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.

How long will it take to get my BBVA Compass 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.

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 $27.
  • 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 Compass 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

Kevin Joey Chen

Kevin Chen is a world-travelin', copy-writin', Game of Thrones-watchin' credit cards writer for finder.com. 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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