Compass Bank became BBVA Compass in 2007 when it was purchased by BBVA (Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria), the second largest bank in Spain. BBVA has holdings throughout Europe, the Americas, China, and recently ventured into Turkey. They are the largest bank in Mexico. Here in the U.S. BBVA Compass has its headquarters in Birmingham, Alabama. It has over 700 branches located primarily in Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, New Mexico, and Texas, and is one of the 25 largest banks in the country in terms of assets.
For those interested in economics, BBVA’s site, http://www.bbvaresearch.com, has a wealth of information on both domestic and global economics. In addition to being eggheads, they seem to be big sports fans at BBVA Compass. They sponsor a college bowl game in Birmingham called the BBVA Compass Bowl, naturally. There’s also the BBVA Compass soccer stadium in Houston. To top that off, they have “Sports Fan Banking” which basically just means that you can get a debit card with various team logos on it.
BBVA Compass offer three rewards credit cards: ClearPoints, Visa Signature, and Select.
The ClearPoints card is a basic rewards card where you earn one rewards point for each dollar spent. The Visa Signature is essentially a premium version of the ClearPoints card. The Visa Signature card has a few more benefits including advance access to major sporting events, Hollywood blockbuster screenings, Broadway shows and more, 24-hour complimentary concierge service that can assist with travel plans, dining reservations and complimentary discounts and travel upgrades along with discounts at premium retailers. More important for most people is that it has a lower interest rate. According to Compass, you will need a higher income to qualify for the Visa Signature card but not necessarily a better credit rating.
You earn rewards with either card through the CompassPoints Rewards program. You’ll get a point for each $1 you spend. Points can be redeemed for Account credits, Retail gift cards, Travel, Name brand merchandise, or Charitable Donations. In general though, you are much better off with a cash back credit card that gives you 1% or more cash back than with these CompassPoints cards. Take a look at the chart below on the redemption of points for account credit:
|$25.00 (4,000 pts)|
|$50.00 (7,000 pts)|
|$100.00 (12,500 pts)|
|$200.00 (25,000 pts)|
|$350.00 (40,000 pts)|
|$500.00 (55,000 pts)|
|$750.00 (75,000 pts)|
|$1000.00 (100,000 pts)|
You would have to spend $75,000 before your credit would equal 1% cash back. The deal for gift cards, charitable donations, travel and other categories is pretty much the same.
The rewards on the Select card are much better, but this card has an annual fee of $125. The target market for this card is people with a high income and high spending. With the Select card you can choose one category (e.g. Airlines) to earn 3 points or each $1 spent, and 2 categories (e.g. Dining & Hotels) to earn 2 points for each $1 spent. All other purchases will earn 1 point for each $1 spent. Plus, earn up to 1,000 additional bonus points each month you make $5,000 or more in qualifying purchases.
Applying for a Card
The ClearPoints card is the only one that you can apply for online. You can do this at bbvacompass.com. You can apply for all three by calling 1-800-COMPASS or visiting a BBVA Compass branch. The advantage to calling is that you don’t have to specify whether you want the ClearPoints versus the Visa Signature. Instead, if you qualify for both, you’ll get the Visa Signature.
If you want a wider range of credit cards to choose from and you like the convenience of applying online, Click Here for additional Rewards Credit Card offers or Click Here for additional Cash Back Credit Card Offers.
For those with poor or no credit, you can look at the Compass Bank Optimizer card which is a secured card. There is no rewards program associated with this card which is typical for secured cards. You have to deposit money into a Compass Bank collateral savings account which will determine your line of credit. Unlike most secured cards though, there is no option to eventually convert the card into an unsecured one. You can only apply for this card in person at a Compass Bank branch.