Reviews BBVA Compass Visa Signature card review
BBVA Compass Visa Signature card review

BBVA Compass Visa Signature card review

Published: May 26, 2017
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Ratings Policy
Balance Transfer Rating:
2.2 rating
2.2 rating
2.2 / 5
Introductory Offer: 1.7
Net Value: 4.3
Features: 3.0

In a nutshell:

The BBVA Compass Visa Signature card offers a lower minimum interest rate than most of its competitors; however, its balance transfer fee is on the high side for a balance transfer card and it only offers a 0 percent promotional rate to select cardholders.

0% Introductory Period

  • 12 months balance transfers
  • 6 months new purchases

Transfer Fee
$10 or 4% (whichever is higher)

Introductory Purchase APR
0%

Regular APR
9.74-23.74%

Annual Fee
$0

Other Notable Features: VIP entertainment, complimentary concierge service, special savings and discounts, zero fraud liability, lost luggage reimbursement, car rental insurance, travel and emergency assistance, purchase security, extended warranty

Low Interest Rating:
3.2 rating
3.2 rating
3.2 / 5
Rates, Fees, Penalties: 3.2
Rewards: 2.0
Features: 3.0

In a nutshell:

For cardholders with excellent credit, the BBVA Compass Visa Signature card is more affordable than the average low interest rate card. But its short introductory period and costly balance transfer and foreign transaction fees dampen its appeal.  This offer is no longer available.

Regular APR
9.74-23.74%

Introductory Purchase APR
0%

Introductory Balance Transfer APR
0-3.99%

Fees

  • No annual fee
  • 4% or $10 balance transfer fee (whichever is higher)
  • 3% foreign transaction fee
  • 4% or $10 cash advance fee

Penalties

  • $37 late payment fee
  • No penalty APR
  • $27 returned payment fee

Other Notable Features: VIP entertainment, complimentary concierge service, special savings and discounts, zero fraud liability, lost luggage reimbursement, car rental insurance, travel and emergency assistance, purchase security, extended warranty

No Annual Fee Rating:
2.1 rating
2.1 rating
2.1 / 5
Rewards Value: 0.2
Annual Percentage Rate: 4.2
Rewards Flexibility: 4.0
Features: 3.0

In a nutshell:

The rewards on the BBVA Compass Visa Signature card are pretty subpar, though cardholders looking for a good no-annual-fee card will find value in the Visa Signature perks and in the card’s low interest rate.  This offer is no longer available.

Rewards Rate
1:1 general spending

Sign-up Bonus
None

Annual Fee
$0

Average Yearly Rewards Value ($1,325 monthly spend)
$159

APR
9.74-23.74%

Rewards Redemption
Pros

  • No blackout dates
  • No limits on how many points you can earn
  • Redeem points for wide variety of rewards, including statement credits, gift cards, travel and merchandise
  • Can purchase travel from outside sources and redeem for statement credits
  • Can pay for travel with points plus cash

Cons

  • Points expire after 36 months
  • No options to transfer points

Other Notable Features: VIP entertainment, complimentary concierge service, special savings and discounts, zero fraud liability, lost luggage reimbursement, car rental insurance, travel and emergency assistance, purchase security, extended warranty

Rewards Rating:
2.2 rating
2.2 rating
2.2 / 5
Rewards Value: 0.4
Annual Percentage Rate: 4.3
Rewards Flexibility: 4.0
Features: 3.0

In a nutshell:

Though the card comes with some good travel perks, there are a plethora of rewards cards that beat the modest rewards program on the BBVA Compass Visa Signature card.  This offer is no longer available.

Rewards Rate
1:1 general spending

Sign-up Bonus
None

Annual Fee
$0

Average Yearly Rewards Value ($1,325 monthly spend)
$159

APR
9.74-23.74%

Rewards Redemption
Pros

  • No blackout dates
  • No limits on how many points you can earn
  • Redeem points for wide variety of rewards, including statement credits, gift cards, travel and merchandise
  • Can purchase travel from outside sources and redeem for statement credits
  • Can pay for travel with points plus cash

Cons

  • Points expire after 36 months
  • No options to transfer points

Other Notable Features: VIP entertainment, complimentary concierge service, special savings and discounts, zero fraud liability, lost luggage reimbursement, car rental insurance, travel and emergency assistance, purchase security, extended warranty

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This offer is expired.

If your credit is excellent and you’re looking for a low rate rewards card with minimal penalties, the BBVA Compass Visa Signature card can be an ideal option. It offers a starting APR that’s well below the average low interest rate card, a modest rewards program and a number of valuable perks, including premium travel insurance and round-the-clock concierge service. But despite the card’s seemingly generous balance transfer offer and low purchase APR, it charges an above-average balance transfer fee that makes it a poor choice for cardholders who want to consolidate balances.

The introductory period for the balance transfer offer is also very short. While many cards offer a zero percent APR for 12 months or longer, the Compass Visa Signature card limits it to 6 months.

Unexceptional rewards program
The BBVA Visa Signature rate includes a rewards program that offers a low earning rate of 1 point per dollar spent. Since the card also offers no bonus for signing up for the card, the potential rewards earnings with the card are pretty meager compared to similar rewards cards.

The card does offer flexibility in how you redeem your points. BBVA allows you to redeem your travel purchases for statement credits – which means you can search for travel deals on discount websites and use your points to cover those purchases. You can also use cash to pay for a portion of a travel reward in case you don’t have the required number of points. However, there is a major drawback: Points expire after 36 months. Since points are rewarded at a low rate, this means that many cardholders will have a difficult time collecting enough points to redeem for a major reward before the points expire.

Low APR – for some
If you can qualify for the card’s lowest available interest rate, the BBVA Visa Signature card can be just what you need to manage modest amounts of debt. Interest rates start at just 9.74 percent, which is significantly lower than what most low interest rate cards charge. According to CreditCards.com data, the average low rate card charges a minimum of 11.62 percent. You may want to look elsewhere, though, if you don’t think you can qualify for the card’s lowest rate. The card’s maximum rate runs as high as 23.74 percent, which can make carrying a balance on the card riskier than it’s worth.

Not for transferring old balances
The BBVA Compass Visa Signature card isn’t great for transferring balances – especially if you have a lot of debt spread out over multiple cards. The Compass card charges a 4 percent balance transfer fee, or a minimum of $10, which is significantly more than the 3 percent fee that most balance transfer cards charge. If you plan to transfer up to $6,000 or more, transferring your balance onto the BBVA Compass Visa Signature card rather than a lower-fee card can cost you more than $60 in additional fees. Not everyone will qualify for the card’s introductory zero percent rate on balance transfers either. If you have less-than-perfect credit, you may instead be offered a promotional rate of up to 3.99 percent.

High fees, minimal penalties
You’ll also want to watch out for additional fees buried in the card’s terms and conditions. The Compass Visa Signature card charges a 3 percent foreign transaction fee, which is typical for general-purpose credit cards, but higher than what many competitors charge. If you plan to use the card abroad, you can easily find a different card that either charges a much lower foreign transaction fee or doesn’t charge extra for foreign transactions at all. The card also charges a 4 percent cash-advance fee, a $37 late fee and a $27 returned-payment fee.

On the plus side, the BBVA Compass Visa Signature doesn’t charge a penalty APR, making it a much safer card if you occasionally forget a payment. Many cards jack up interest rates to 29 percent if you fall behind on your bills, making it tough to control your debt.

Good perks
Thanks to its Visa Signature program, the BBVA Compass card also sets itself apart by offering a number of premium perks, including VIP entertainment access, complimentary travel upgrades, free concierge service, premium rental car and travel insurance, and discounts at select retailers.

Reasons to get it:

  • You plan to carry a balance and want a less expensive card with some rewards.
  • You have excellent credit and can qualify for the card’s lowest available interest rate.
  • You don’t expect to use any of the features, such as balance transfers or cash advances, that would cause you to be charged a higher fee.
  • You already have an account with BBVA and want a card with the same bank.

How to use it:

  • To get the most out of this card, use it for any purchases you can’t pay off immediately, but can pay off in a reasonable time period.
  • Avoid using this card to finance major purchases. The BBVA Compass Visa Signature initially offers a zero percent APR on purchases, but the promotion only lasts for six months. You may be better off using a card with a longer promotional period.
  • Do the math before you transfer a large balance. You may find that the card’s hefty fees aren’t worth transferring the debt.

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