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BBVA Compass Increases Fees and Cuts Features on its Checking Accounts


Early this year BBVA Compass added monthly fees to its Build-to-Order Checking. I reviewed these changes in January. It appears those new fees weren't enough for Compass. A reader just forwarded me a letter he received describing higher fees and new requirements to avoid fees for the CompassLink Checking and the Build-to-Order Checking. These changes will be taking effect on September 30, 2011. Compass is blaming the new financial regulations:

Changes in financial regulations over the last year have required BBVA Compass to reevaluate the features and pricing of our accounts and services.

As I mentioned last week, it's not just new regulations, banks are also seeing reduced lending and it's not expected to improve anytime soon. Banks are looking for ways to increase revenue, and unfortunately, depositors are being hit yet again. The debit card regulation that takes effect in October primarily targets big banks with assets over $10 billion. So we should see fewer of these changes at small banks and credit unions including those which offer reward checking.

If you have Compass Bank's Build-to-Order checking, you might want to reconsider keeping it after these changes take effect. The monthly service charge will increase from $8.95 to $10.95, and it's a little harder to avoid this. Also, the Premium Features will no longer be available. These features include free ATMs when you use non-Compass ATMs and $25 bonuses on your account anniversary.

For the CompassLink Checking, you will have to maintain a $5,000 combined average daily collected balance in your CompassLink Checking and/or linked Compass Preferred Money Market accounts. This is currently $3,000. The other option to avoid the monthly fee will be to maintain a $7,500 minimum daily balance in your linked installment loans (excluding mortgages).

Hat tip to the reader who emailed me this info.

BBVA Compass is the 31st largest bank in the nation and operates 716 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.

Related Pages: BBVA Compass

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operation twist ??
operation twist ??   |     |   Comment #2
buy bonds and mutual funds
Jo   |     |   Comment #4
banks are also seeing reduced lending


Reduced lending? Heck! They're sitting on the money, refusing to lend, especially to those who need that money the most....small business owners. Any and all excuses will do in order to jack up the fees.

Note that this is the same bank company who owns SmartyPig. I am waiting with baited breath (NOT!!) to see the rate on that to come down. Won't be long...
Christopher   |     |   Comment #5
I have been a customer at BBVA Compass for about 7 years.  In the last two years, they have hit me with so many fees I have had to close my personal checking account.  I just have one account left and I am about to close that also.  They are also incredibly sneaky about the fees, and very argumenative about them and they do not give you any solutions to not getting them in the future.

Anonymous   |     |   Comment #6
Bye-bye BB
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #9
I also had a lot of trouble with Compass Bank, but I haven't dealt with them since BBVA acquired them.  I am sure they are still the same, though, given that most of the middle to upper management people are still the same.  They were deliberately trying to charge fee after fee as a result of a tiny error I made.  I eventually closed the account and swore off ever dealing with this bank again.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #20
My Mom and I will be closing 5 accounts with BBVA Compass tomorrow due to the recent changes regarding fees.  We will be opening new accounts at Bank of America.  We have been customers with Guaranty Bank (who was bought out by BBVA Compass last year) for the past 40 years or so.  I doubt many customers will continue to bank with them unless they have lots of money.  It is ridiculous to expect that the average customer would be able to maintain $5000 in their checking account and in addition must be linked to other  account(s) with a minimum of $25000 balance in order to avoid a $20 monthly fee.   
Matt S.
Matt S.   |     |   Comment #23
The final kicker for me was the new $3.00 per statement fee if you have it mailed to you. 3 bucks? Now, I imagine its their way of "encouraging" customers to be exclusively online, but this isn't how you do it.

So I thought, "ok if you're trying to become an online bank, why not just go with an online bank?" I decided to open up an account at ingdirect.com. I have a debit card, I have a check book, I have FREE ATM at every Krogers, 7-eleven and other places, I have NO montly fees, and I even get INTEREST on the money in my checking. On top of that, I'll get $50 for using my debit card three times. Today I'm going to go close my compass account. 10 years I've been their customer.

Anonymous   |     |   Comment #24
hello bbvvcompas great bank w a bright future 6 is so wrong
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #25
about the statement fee commnet- Not only are they charging the fee if you dont go paperless, but the only way you can turn off paper statements is to do it through online banking.They will not do it in the branch or through customer service. Most elderly people dont use online banking much less use a computer and if you go to a branch and need a print out they are going to charge $3 bucks and as of Monday 10/3/11 they are charging buisness and regular customers to do a change order $2.00 then so many cents for every bundle or roll of coin. I know this because I am ashamed to say i work there. our pay certainly does not reflect the money they are taking from everyone in fees. Dont get even get me started on the check cashing fee.
thomas w.
thomas w.   |     |   Comment #26
I hope they choke on all of the extra work they have due to all of the closed accounts, including two from my family.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #29
BBVA keeps on ripping off my father to the point, I am now closing his account for him 'cause he is so confused he does not know which way is up and which is down.... I really hope the FDIC gets to close this bank for good due to fraudulent pretenses 'cause they are going for it the easy way... I wonder if they are in with the foreclosure deal going on in this country with people paying their mortgages and still getting their houses taken from them... sounds right up their alley.