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.
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).
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.