BBVA Compass Optimizer Secured Credit Card review |
bbva compass optimizer card review

Review: BBVA Compass Optimizer Secured Credit Card – September 2018

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Build or re-establish your credit with this no-frills secured credit card.

  • Get this card if… you don’t have a credit history or have poor creditworthiness.
  • Pick something else if…you need a secured card with no annual fees.
  • Poor to fair credit score of 300 to 679 recommended.

The Basics

It’s hard to rebuild your credit when you can’t get approved for a traditional credit card. The Optimizer card from BBVA Compass is a helpful no-frills secured card with a $40 annual fee that gives those with a poor credit history the ability to build or re-establish their credit.

To be eligible for this card, you’ll need to open and keep at least $500 in a BBVA Compass interest-bearing savings account. Which means that your deposit will earn interest — a perk among secured cards. Another caveat: You can only apply for this card at a BBVA Compass branch or by phone.

If you’re looking to open a secured card with a lower deposit or one that offers rewards, you have alternatives: The Harley-Davidson® Visa® Secured Card comes with a specialty rewards program, while you can apply for the Secured Mastercard® from Capital One® with a minimum deposit of $49, $99 or $200, depending on your credit score.

The Nuts and Bolts

Product name Optimizer Credit Card
Issuing bank BBVA Compass
Recommended credit score range 300–679 (poor to fair)
Annual fee $40
Signup bonus N/A
Purchase APR 17.24%
Intro purchase APR N/A
Intro balance transfer APR N/A
Balance transfer fee $10 or 4% of the transaction, whichever is greater
Foreign transaction fee 3% of the transaction in US dollars
Cash advance rate 26.24%
Cash advance fee $10 or 4% of the transaction, whichever is greater
Penalty APR None
Late payment fee Up to $37
Returned payment fee Up to $27
Overlimit fee None
Maximum credit limit None
Minimum APR 17.24%

The perks

  • Build or repair your credit. Your responsible spending is reported to the three major credit bureaus, which gives you an easy means to build or re-establish your credit over time with responsible spending and on-time payments.
  • Increase your credit limit. Add funds to your savings account at any time to increase your card’s credit limit.
  • Earn interest on your deposit. The money you deposit in your savings account for this card earns interest.

You’ll also like …

  • Convenient online banking. An online banking system helps you keep track of spending and easily make payments.
  • Multiple payment methods. Pay your card’s statement at a BBVA Compass branch, by mail, online or through autopay.
  • Accepted globally. Use this card at more than 28 million locations worldwide.
  • Enhanced safety and security. This chip-enabled card comes with Visa’s zero-liability policy that protects you from unauthorized charges.

How to make this card worth it

This card doesn’t offer cash back or rewards to make up for its annual fee. But that’s not why you’d choose this secured credit card. Its strength lies in steady reporting of your responsible spending to the main three credit bureaus so that you can build or re-establish your credit.

What to watch out for

  • $40 annual fee. The fee is worth paying only if you want to build or rebuild your credit and use the card responsibly.
  • Potential penalties. You’ll pay up to $37 for late payments and up $27 for returned payments.
  • Foreign transaction fees. When you use the card outside of the US, you’ll pay 3% in transaction fees.
  • Cash advance APR. The cash advance APR is on the higher side at 26.24%, and cash advances attract interest from the day of your transaction.

Consider other cards if …

What to know before you apply

Apply for the Optimizer card from BBVA Compass if you’re:

  • At least 18 years old.
  • A US citizen or permanent resident.

You’ll need to open a collateral savings account with BBVA Compass and deposit a minimum of $500. You can add more funds into the savings account at anytime.

Information you’ll need

BBVA Compass will require basic information that includes your:

  • Full name, personal contact information and Social Security number.
  • Housing status and monthly rent or mortgage payment.
  • Employment status and gross annual income from all sources.

How to apply for the card

1. Apply for the Optimizer Credit Card by visiting any BBVA Compass branch or by calling 1-800-COMPASS.

BBVA Compass Optimizer credit card review 1
2. To find your closest branch, use the bank’s branch and ATM locator.

BBVA Compass Optimizer credit card review 2

How likely is approval?

The chances of your application’s approval increase if you have a credit score of 300 or higher.

How long will it take to be approved?

You’ll learn your application’s status within a couple of weeks after applying, although you could hear back sooner.

I got the card. Now what?

  • Manage your account online. BBVA’s online banking platform gives you an easy way to monitor your account and make payments.
  • Avoid unnecessary interest. You have least 25 days after each billing cycle to avoid interest on your new purchases. Bear in mind that cash advances begin accruing interest immediately.
  • Customer service. For support, call 1-800-239-5175 or send a secure message through your online account.

Bottom line

The no-frills Optimizer card from BBVA Compass is for those looking to build or re-establish their credit with responsible spending. If you can afford the $500 security deposit, it’s worth considering.

Common questions about the BBVA Compass Optimizer Credit Card

Adrienne Fuller

Adrienne Fuller leads the publishing team at She has one goal: to deliver the accurate and transparent information she wishes she had when she made some of life's important financial decisions. When she's not helping folks save money, she's hiking with her two Catahoulas around her home in San Diego.

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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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