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BBVA Compass Adds Monthly Fees to Build-to-Order Checking

POSTED ON BY

BBVA Compass is the latest major bank that will be adding monthly maintenance fees to its checking accounts. A reader just notified me of the following message that's now in the small print of the Build-to-Order Checking page:

EFFECTIVE FEBRUARY 15, 2011, there is a monthly service charge of $8.95 per statement cycle for Build-to-Order Checking. This charge will not apply for statement cycles during which at least one of the following requirements are met:

* There is at least one Direct Deposit (ACH) credit of $300 or more from an unrelated 3rd party (such as an employer or Social Security), OR

* The account has an average daily collected balance of at least $1,500, OR

* The account is enrolled (subject to eligibility) in the BBVA Compass Preferred Client Program.

If the primary accountholder is a student (active student ID required), the monthly service charge will not apply for a period of up to 5 years, or until the primary accountholder reaches age 25, whichever comes first, if the primary accountholder applies and is approved for student status.

I have the Build-to-Order checking, and my last statement didn't mention this. So I called Compass to see if this will apply to existing customers. According to the CSR, it will apply to both new and existing customers. They will be mailing notices starting on January 10th.

Many readers may have opened this Build-to-Order checking account from past sign-up bonuses, and many may have kept it open to take advantage of some of the perks such as the $25 anniversary bonus. Keeping a $1,500 balance is an easy way to keep the account free, but you'll lose out on interest. If you maintain a $1,500 balance and receive the $25 annual bonus for keeping the account active, that comes out to an interest rate of 1.67%.

This is another disappointment from BBVA Compass. On Monday, it cut the rate on the SmartyPig savings account from 1.75% to 1.35% APY. Even though the account is managed by SmartyPig, BBVA Compass holds the deposits and decides on its interest rates.

These cuts appear to be part of cost cutting at BBVA Compass. According to this mediabistro.com blog post, BBVA Compass "has run out of money to spend for advertising."

BBVA Compass operates more than 717 branches in Texas, Alabama, California, Arizona, Florida, Colorado and New Mexico. According to one of its press releases, it's the 15th largest U.S. commercial bank based on deposit market share. It's under the bank holding company Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria S.A., the second largest bank in Spain.

Update 1/11/2011: I received the letter from BBVA Compass informing me of the new monthly service fee. I've uploaded a copy of the letter.


  Tags: BBVA Compass

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Comments
22 Comments.
Comment #1 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
The north Collins BBVA Compass branch in Arlington, TX, is one of the worst I have ever experienced. Especially the male bankers, they don't do anything except to make your life difficult especially when you want to close an account. Worst attitude and least friendliness so far of all local banks here.

3
Comment #2 by amexmale posted on
amexmale
I opened my first Compass account in 1998 and used them exclusively for many years--quite happily. Since the BBVA takeover, I have watched service levels decline due to reductions in the number of staff, and, of course, their interest rates have been too low for so long that I quit using Compass for any savings purposes.

My accounts are so old that I don't know whether I will be affected by the new fees, but it's just another reason to move along. The BBVA attitude seems to be that they need to become more like the big banks, and that is the antithesis of what old Compass was.

3
Comment #3 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
From the Compass letter:
[Beginning with the statement cycle that
ends on or after February 15, 2011,]
the monthly service charge for Build-to-Order
Checking will be $8.95.


My Jan/Feb statement will end 02/16/2011.
I interpret the above sentence to mean my
Jan/Feb statement will have the service charge.
That only gives a few days to plan for the requirement.





 

3
Comment #4 by PAST ACCOUNT HOLDER (anonymous) posted on
PAST ACCOUNT HOLDER
Well it looks like all the banks are moving this direction together at the same time.  Yes it feels like they are targeting the low income and less fortunate.  But after reviewing the waivers it seems I can meet the requirement for a waiver.  Great for me but less fortunate for those who can't.  Another thought since the overdrafts fees have been lifted mostly for the poor and missed managed account holders with the governments help.  I like that because now the poor are not carrying the load.  In my opinion sounds like they are spreading the cost of doing business to the low income group instead of impacting the people who cant manage an account.  We all have to pay our way lets see $10.00 a month to have access to all these services and live branch personal.  I pay more for cable and cell phones and utilities than a darn bank account.  Sound more democratic to me.  Plus those executives making millions well their like stars but the stars actually have brains and help us more than just making a movie.  These our true reality thoughts not bull****.  I'm going back to my old bank just like the service. 

1
Comment #5 by cents posted on
cents
This is fraudulent on BBVA's part. The contract that many account holders in the former Compass bank stated that the accounts would be "free for life". This is in retrospect nothing but a breach of contract which amounts to a bait and switch. At the very least it is a breach of the banks fiduciary duty to its customers. I hope that some lawyer somewhere picks up on this and initiates a class action suit. I may report this to the FTC who hopefully will levy fines because of this.

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Comment #6 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
BOYCOTT COMPASS BANK!  Compass bank is waging a war on low income working people by recently adding a new Service charge fee of $8.95 each month if a person's CHECKING Account balance drops below...get this, $1,500.00 that month.
$1,500.00? Really? You tell me what lower wage income earner can possibly keep that much money in a ...Checking account? Hell, most people and anyone working minimum wage jobs, don't even make $1,500.00 a month!
This is clearly  class discrimination and just another way Corporations are  sucking the life out of the working class while their rich share holders make out like bandits.
Compass bank is penilizing lower working class people for being poor... charging the poor because they are poor is as un American as it can get... Is this the America YOU want to live in? We are better than this, aren't we?

 

5
Comment #7 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
I did not even notice this until yesterday, I don't know how I missed the letter.

I have an account I opened 2 years ago that I just keep around $100 in as a backup funding source for paypal.

Checked my balance and saw to $8.95 service fee's but could not figure out for what until I searched google and found this site.

I am going down tomorrow and closing my account, my credit union does not charge me a service fee and I have had an account there for 27 years.

I might open up an account with them again in the future if im a student under 25, wait I'm too old.

Maybe if I have $1,500 laying around to let them earn interest off of.

But wait, Why would I do that when I can  put it in my savings account at my credit union and earn interest for myself.

I enjoyed using your company and had recommended my sister and mother to open an account with you, but not now.

3
Comment #8 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Really ridiculous definitely closing BBVA account never had any problems untill now i can't believe it.

2
Comment #9 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
I have banked with Compass for 11 years. Since they implemented this "service charge", I did not recieve a letter. I had to call to find out why I was being charged $8.95. I find this fradulent and disgusting. I am closing my account this afternoon and taking my business to my local credit union that does NOT charge anything to keep my money and as the manager said "we just want you to stay in the positive"! **** YOU, BBVA COMPASS BANK.

3
Comment #10 by Jim Driver (anonymous) posted on
Jim Driver
HELLO TO COMPASS,     I HAVE HAD AN ACCOUNT FOR MANY YEARS, I HAVE NEVER ASK THESE FOLKS TO DO ANYTHING FOR ME. I HAVE A DIRCECT WIRE EACH MONTH INTO THIS BANK. I HAVE SPENT 3 HOURS TALKING WITH FOLKS WORKING IN THE BANKS TODAY. I HAVEN'T GOTTEN NOT ONE, GOOD ANSWER, FROM ANYONE, PLUS TWO TELEPHONE CALLS. ONE TO AZ, ONE TO TX. NO, ONE HAS YET, BEEN ABLE TO TELL ME ABOUT AN INTERNATIONAL ACCOUNT WITH THE BBVA COMPASS BANK. TOMORROW, I WILL CONTACT THE S.E.C. AND THE COMTROLLER OF BANKING ABOUT THESE FOLKS. THEY DON'T MIND POSTING THEIR NAME ON THE BANKS, BUT THEIR SERVICE IS AS BAD AS I HAVE EVER SEEN. THEY DO NOT KNOW THEIR COUSTOMERS, NOR ANYTHING ABOUT THEM? TO ME, YOU ARE DEALING WITH SOME TYPE OF FINANCE SHARKS. YOU CERTAINLY CAN'T FIND OUT ANYTHING ABOUT THEM? MAYBE THE S.E.C. CAN TELL ME SOMETHING AN OR THE BANKING COMMISSION. IT SEEMS, THEY DON'T MIND POSTING THE NAME AS AN INTERNATIONAL BANK AS A S.A. OUTSIDE THE U.S. BUT THEY CERTAINLY DON'T GIVE MUCH INFO, FROM THE FOLKS IN COLORADO, WHOSE HANDLING THERE WEBB INFO. I TRUST I CAN HAVE SOMEONE VISIT THERE HEADQUARTERS IN SPAIN, THEN WE WILL REALLY UNDERSTAND THERE PROGRAM..? SORRY TO HAVE TO WRITE THIS INFO...JIM DRIVER 251)295-2068

2
Comment #11 by Jim Driver (anonymous) posted on
Jim Driver
THANKS, FOR THE INFO OF THE READERS, TO MY POST, I HAVE JUST GOTTEN OFF THE LINE IN SPAIN, ALTHOUGH IT IS 2:20 A.M. THERE. AT THIS WRITING. TO OPEN AN ACCOUNT IN BBVA IN SPAIN, YOU HAVE TO BE IN PERSON, AND IT IS VERY HARD, FOR A PERSON WITH A U.S. PASSPORT. THE EUROPEAN BANKS, DO NOT WANT OUR BUSINESS, NOR THE HASSLE WITH THE BANKING REGULATIONS OF PAPER WORK. I HAVE JUST BEEN TOLD, THEREFORE I WILL HAVE TO TRAVEL TO SPAIN, ISN'T THAT JUST LIKE WHAT YOU MIGHT EXPECT. FOLKS, I THINK WE ARE IN SERIOUS TROUBLE COME NOVEMBER, I DO NOT SEE HOW WE CAN KEEP RAISING THE DEBT LEVEL? I WISH SOMEONE WOULD TELL ME HOW. THEREFORE, I WILL NOT KEEP MUCH MONEY IN THE BANKS IN THE U.S. ANY LONGER. WRITER SAYETH NOT...JIM DRIVER

 

 

2
Comment #12 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
As stated in the original article, BBVA Compass is basically tying up my money in my Business account, and now at the end of Sept 2011, they want to tie up some more of my money in my Personal account.  I'm going to walk the additional 50 yards down to Capital One and move my Business account there.  I might give Capital One my Personal account, but I don't really need to.  I already have INGDirect.com and Ally.com for that.

BBVA Compass sure isn't the old Compass.  Let's see if they hassle me when I close my accounts.  I left Chase for Compass and Chase sure didn't want to see me go.  Chase finally tied up loose ends some 4 years later.  I let them waste resources until then.

I especially enjoy when anyone sends me a letter about how they intend to **** me, and add something like, "our customers are our top priority.  If you have any concerns please contact us".

Will brick and mortar banks survive in this economy?

Consider this as my having "turned off" paper statements.

1
Comment #13 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
@ cents 

I saw a comment in an unrelated forum where the company said, "Free -- until we get bought out by another company".  I'd like to see if BBVA Compass would have to honor that "Free for Life" Compass clause.  But my accounts will be closed before October.

2
Comment #14 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
My neighbor called me as she noticed that she is being charged $20.00 service charge on her checking account.  She contacted me to see if I noticed any "charges" on my account.  Thus far, I have not.  I will say, that their customer service is extremely poor.  Every time I walk into our branch, the manager introduces himself to me...This has happened 3 times.  If he can't remember my face or my name---he definitely doesn't need to be in the position he is in.

 

Also, one day I went into the bank to make a deposit.  There wasn't any deposit slips in the little covie hole stand just before you get to the tellers...When I asked for one, this same manager looked around the tellers desk area and then stated, 'Can you come back later?  I don't know where they are?"-----REALLY?!  YOU'RE A BANK!....and you want ME to come back LATER? I just threw my hands up in the air and walked out. 

Also, we have a small loan with them and I usually just pay the bill through the drivethru with my loan number on my check.  I was amazed when one day, when instead of receiving a loan payment slip back I received cash, as the teller throught I was wanting to "cash my check" since it was made out to BBVA.   She didn't even notice the LOAN #XXX_XXX_XXX on the memo part of the check! 

We have been customers since 1998 and it hasn't been since BBVA took over that the customer service has been this poor. 

VERY, VERY DISAPPOINTED!

1
Comment #15 by Former customer (anonymous) posted on
Former customer
It does not amaze me anymore as to the lengths that companies find ways to destroy themselves. Very costly $8.95 indeed.

2
Comment #16 by RR, TX (anonymous) posted on
RR, TX
So has the service charge gone up even more? Why am I getting a charge for 10.95 a month? I didnt even realise this was even happening at all this morning. I have direct deposit in my account but since it s a part time job and I only get only a little over 200 each check I get more money coming out of my account. That is bull. I am a student but that doesn't qualify either since I am over 25. I guess I need to think about switching banks. I dont like how Compass is running these days.

2
Comment #18 by St. Augustine, Fl ACCOUNT Holder (anonymous) posted on
St. Augustine, Fl ACCOUNT Holder
My Compass Bank monthly service charge is $10.95. That'd be $132.40/year for a checking account. I no longer will use Compass bank. They offered free checking. This is part of the Long Emergency.

1
Comment #19 by Capt Jim (anonymous) posted on
Capt Jim
If your searching this site for BBVA chances are you are getting ripped off by your bank and are looking for a new one. Just search BBVA Compass Complaints. After reading them you can go to Change.org and sign a petition to request that the United States Department of Justice investigate how BBVA, a theiving, money laundering bank from Spain, got a license to do business in the United States in the first place and who they paid off to get it. For more on the history of BBVA's criminal activity go to Codeforeblog.com

Petition: http://www.change.org/petitions/something-smells-in-bbva-s-approval-to-do-business-in-the-us

Capt Jim

1
Comment #20 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
this is so unfair especially if you have a minum wage job bc im a kid :(

1
Comment #21 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
I live in alabama. I have been with compass for five years almost. I have never  been charged for free checking until I started making a stink about a third party check that was not being deposited. Now that the money is coming consistantly every two weeks the bank pops me with a 10.95 free checking service charge. This can be a good thing, but like most people they can't afford this.  I am also on a budget living pretty much off the governments money. Why is this called free checking if there is a charge? It's bad enough that when you have to pay your mortgage payment you get charged to do that.  Whats even worse is payments now a days have to be made online or by phone and you still get charged for that. The mailing system is unpredictable you have to pray your mail gets to were it needs to go in a timely manner.

1
Comment #22 by Walter (anonymous) posted on
Walter
And how about those incoming wire or incoming transfer fees?  Now no one can make remote deposits to my account, lest the voracious fellows from BBVA charge a US$12 fee, per pop.

Ridiculous.

 

1
Comment #23 by Soapydog (anonymous) posted on
Soapydog
My father died last year.  I had a very good handle on all of his financial affairs.  After his last tax return was filed and refunded, I was going to close the account.  I just received the refund direct deposit into the account.  Yesterday I noticed a $20 "service fee" that he had never been charged before.  When I called, it took the service rep 18:00 to advise me of this $5000 threshhold.  Bull****.  I demanded for this fee to be waived off a dead man's account.  After placing me on hold yet another 5 minutes, he complied.  Adivsed him of the situation & I would be closing the account TODAY.   note:  my father was cheap.  he would have NEVER agreed to any terms of $20 fees on his accounts.  EVER.  Pretty ****ty, BBVA.  Pretty.****.****ty.

1