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Free Kindle Fire HD Checking Account Bonus at BBVA Compass

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BBVA Compass

BBVA Compass has changed its checking account promotion for the new year. Instead of a cash bonus, this new one offers a free Kindle Fire HD. Unlike the previous one, this new one requires direct deposit (and they specifically exclude bank-to-bank transfers). Here's the link to the new promotion. Below are the steps required for the bonus:

  • Open a consumer checking account with a $25 minimum deposit by 3/31/2013
  • Have a qualifying direct deposit of at least $300 from an unrelated third party post to the account within 90 days of account opening, AND
  • Make 3 online bill payments of at least $50 each to unrelated third parties. Payments must post within 90 days of account opening.

Below is some of the important small print:

Transfers made from PayPal, ING Direct, or from accounts owned by the accountholder (or related parties) at other financial institutions do not qualify. Online bill payments must be processed electronically and completed by the deadline. Payments made by check or person-to-person (P2P) payments do not qualify. Payments made by a third party debiting your account do not qualify.
[...]
Offer valid only for new consumer checking accountholders who have not had an existing BBVA Compass consumer checking account within the last 90 days.
[...]
Maximum of one(1) bonus per household. Offer not valid with any other offer and subject to change without notice. BBVA Compass may report the value of the bonus to the IRS as required by law.

One important thing to note in the small print is that transfers that you initiate from another bank won't qualify as direct deposit. Also note that the value of the bonus may be reported to the IRS. Amazon lists the value of the 16GB Kindle Fire HD as $199.

BBVA Compass Checking Account Fees

Build-to-Order Checking and CompassLink Checking qualify for this promotion. Both have potential monthly fees. BBVA Compass ended its free checking in 2011. Build-to-Order Checking has smaller fees that are easier to avoid. It requires at least one of the following to avoid a $10.95 monthly fee:

  • Direct Deposit transaction (ACH credit) of $300 or more from an unrelated 3rd party, OR
  • Average daily collected balance of at least $1,500, OR
  • Accountholder is enrolled in the BBVA Compass Preferred Client Program and maintains Preferred status, OR
  • Student under 25 (must be approved for student status), OR

To avoid a $20 monthly fee on the CompassLink Checking account, even larger balances are required. To see all the account details, please refer to the Compass Checking Accounts page.

Availability

On the first page of the application it states that you must have a permanent residence of one of the following states: Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, New Mexico or Texas. If you're not a U.S. citizen, you must visit a branch to apply.

Competitive CD Rates

Unfortunately, BBVA Compass lowered its CD rates last week. It used to offer a 2% 5-year CD. This yield fell to 1.75% in some states and 1.50% in others. The 15-month CD rate also fell by 25bps. It's now 0.75%. On the plus side, the 2-year CD yield remains very competitive at 1.25% APY. An additional 10bps may be added if you have a CompassLink checking account (see post).

Bank Overview

BBVA Compass is the 32nd largest bank in the nation and operates 720 branches in Texas, Alabama, California, Arizona, Florida, Colorado and New Mexico. It's under the bank holding company Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria S.A., the second largest bank in Spain.

The bank has an overall health score at DepositAccounts.com of 5 stars (out of 5) with a Texas Ratio of 9.85% (above average) based on September 2012 data. Please refer to our financial overview of BBVA Compass for more details. The bank has been a FDIC member since 1964 (FDIC Certificate # 19048).

Other Bank Bonuses

We have a bank promotions page with a table of all of the active bank and credit union promotions. You can filter the table based on the type of promotion and based on your state. I have more details about how to use this page in this blog post.

You can view my latest bank bonus blog posts in this bank bonus page. I and DepositAccounts.com readers often post on bonuses in the checking account deals forum.

  Tags: BBVA Compass, checking account, California, New Mexico, Colorado, Texas, Alabama, Florida, Arizona

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Comments
12 comments.
Comment #1 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Thanks for all your great info. One question: Why is your 5-star rating of Compass so different from bankrate.com's 2-star rating?

Today, Jan. 23, 2013, bankrate.com rates Compass Bank overall as only 2 stars, based on Jun 30, 2012 data (in the detailed section, bankrate.com gives Compass 4 stars for capitalization, 3 stars for asset quality, 2 for liquidity and 1 for earnings). Your rating is an overall 5 stars based on Sept. 2012 data. Why  the big difference?

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Comment #2 by behind these hazel eyes (anonymous) posted on
behind these hazel eyes
yeah that is interesting.  why the big diff?  hmm.. still i want to give this a try.  i want a kindle fire and you can't beat free ,,,,,, right?

 

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Comment #3 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
I opened an account the last week of January and got the message yesterday that my Kindle was being shipped.

1
Comment #4 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Do you need to put a promo code when opening account

2
Comment #5 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
I didn't see any promo code listed on the offer that I received in the mail. I think it is automatic.

1
Comment #6 by Akshay (anonymous) posted on
Akshay
Dont believe what the BBVA Compass folks say. Unless you are an US Citizen, there is no way you can avail this offer. I opened an account because the representative told me this was the offer. But the trick is you cannot use the Bill pay offer if you are not a US Citizen. So technicaly that doesnt meet the requirement and you dont get the kindle. Its basically misleading to get your business. Sucks.

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Comment #7 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
More "SMALL" print that was not on the small print; you have to keep your account opened for 180 days. Otherwise, you have to pay a $25 fee.

I took advantage of this offer earlier this year (2013) and opened an account. I specifically asked for all rules and requirements; minimun balance to keep on my account, how long to keep it opened after getting the kindle. I was told I could close it after receiving the Kindle without any penalties. I closed it today and they charged me $25. Normally you can close an account within 90-days without a penalty but because this was a special offer that requirement was extended to 180-days. It would have been nice if I was told before opening the account.

I don't appreciate being lied to. It's not the best way to treat a new customer. I will never do any business with this bank again. If they lie on something this small, I can only imagine how dishonest they might be on other things. No wonder their business is in jeopardy. Lesson learned!!!

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Comment #8 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
I got my kindle but no warranty information was included with it so I contacted the Compass adviser that opened my account and now he tells me that because this is a free item, it does not come with a warranty.

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Comment #9 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Kindle warranty is through amazon. Register kindle with amazon and you should get a 1 year warranty

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Comment #10 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Opened an account with Compass at the end of February to take advantage of this offer plus the Build My Savings match bonuses (opened a checking account for the Kindle and linked BMS savings accounts for the match bonuses).  I did what was required of me according to the fine print (automatic deposit of $300 or more and 3 on-line bill pays of $50 or more within 90 days) and received my Kindle last week, much faster than I expected.  I cannot comment about account closing penalties because I plan to keep open for 2 years and will probably close after I receive my final BMS match bonuses.  So far so good.  Hopefully the BMS match bonuses will be paid as promptly.

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Comment #11 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
P.S. from Anonymous #10 - Thank you for the information about this bonus and all the work you do on this site.  It has been very helpful.

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Comment #12 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
What is the screen size of the Kindle Fire ?  7" or 8.9" ?

 

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