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BBVA Compass ClearPoints Credit Card Review

At a Glance
bbva compass clearpoints credit card
3.9 / 5
Rating

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BBVA Compass ClearPoints Credit Card

  • Sign-up Bonus: $100 bonus cash after spending $1,500 in the first 3 months
  • Rewards: Unlimited 3x points per $1 spent on eligible net purchases in 1 category of your choice; unlimited 2x points per $1 spent on eligible net purchases in another category of your choice; unlimited 1x points per $1 spent on all other net purchases
  • Benefits: Combine points with other BBVA credit cards for faster rewards; complimentary auto rental insurance and travel accident insurance
  • Intro APR: 0% APR on purchases and balance transfers for 13 months from account opening
  • Regular APR: 12.74% to 30.74%
  • Fees: 3% foreign transaction fee; 4% balance transfer and cash advance fee (minimum $10)
  • Annual Fee: $0
  • Credit Needed: Good

Advertiser Disclosure: This post includes references to offers from our partners. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. However, the opinions expressed here are ours alone and at no time has the editorial content been provided, reviewed, or approved by any issuer.

The BBVA Compass ClearPoints Credit Card is a straightforward cash back credit card with no annual fee and a flat rewards scheme that earns unlimited 1 CompassPoint per $1 spent on everything, regardless of category. Though its point-earning rate leaves something to be desired, it has some cardholder-friendly perks, including a $100 sign-up bonus and an associated digital wallet product that allows you to redeem points for purchases in real time.

CompassPoints are pretty versatile too – they can be redeemed for cash, travel, merchandise, and more. Just remember to redeem them sooner rather than later, as unused points expire after 36 months.

Let’s take a closer look at what you can expect from the BBVA ClearPoints Credit Card.

Key Features

Sign-up Bonus

You get $100 bonus cash, payable as a statement credit, when you spend at least $1,500 within 3 months of opening your account.

Earning CompassPoints Rewards

The CompassPoints Rewards program has a 3-tiered structure.

First, you earn unlimited 3 CompassPoints per $1 spent in your choice of 1 of the following categories: home improvement, restaurants, and travel. Second, you earn unlimited 2 CompassPoints per $1 spent in your choice of 1 of these categories: gas, groceries, and utilities. Third, all other purchases earn unlimited 1 point per $1 spent.

If you have multiple BBVA credit card accounts, you can combine points earned on each to accelerate your progress toward redeeming for bigger-ticket rewards. Unused points expire 36 months after they’re earned, even if your account remains active.

Redeeming CompassPoints Rewards

You can redeem points for statement credits, travel (including airfare), general merchandise, gift cards, and more. Points are generally worth $0.01 apiece, though their value may vary by redemption method. Redemption minimums vary by method, with statement credits requiring a minimum redemption of 2,500 points (a $25 value).

If you download BBVA’s free BBVA Wallet, a mobile wallet product, you can redeem your points in real time when you pay for purchases. All you have to do is complete the transaction as you normally would, follow the prompts in the alert sent to your mobile device, and use your CompassPoints to offset the dollar value of the purchase.

Important Fees

BBVA ClearPoints Credit Card has no annual fee. Its foreign transaction fee is 3%, while the balance transfer and cash advance fees are both the greater of $10 or 4%. The returned payment fee is $27, and the late payment fee is $37.

Introductory APR

The purchase and balance transfer APR is 0% for 13 months from account opening. To qualify for the introductory rate, balance transfers must be made within 60 days of account opening.

Regular APR

Once the introductory periods ends, the purchase and balance transfer APRs rise to range between 12.74% and 30.74%, depending on prevailing interest rates and your personal creditworthiness. The cash advance APR ranges between 23.74% to 30.74%. There is no penalty APR.

Additional Benefits

This card’s additional benefits include:

  • Complimentary rental car loss and damage insurance on rentals paid in full with your card
  • Extended warranties of up to 5  years on registered purchases
  • Travel accident insurance coverage, a bare-bones form of travel insurance that’s not a substitute for a comprehensive policy

Credit Required

This card requires good credit. Significant credit issues are likely to disqualify your application.

Advantages

  1. No Annual Fee. BBVA ClearPoints Credit Card has no annual fee. That’s great news for frugal cardholders who don’t spend heavily enough to offset any recurring charge. Given this card’s low earning rate, it would take a considerable amount of spending to balance out even a modest fee.
  2. Earn Up to 3 Points Per $1 Spent. This card can earn up to 3 points per $1 spent in the category of your choice. If you travel, dine out, or invest in home improvement projects regularly, you’ll be especially well-served by the 3x tier.
  3. Nice Introductory APR Promotion. This card charges no interest on purchases and balance transfers for 13 months after sign-up. If you need to finance a large purchase right out of the gate or transfer an existing high-interest balance, you could do worse than this card – though you’ll need to make that balance transfer within 60 days of opening your account.
  4. Solid Sign-up Bonus. If you can swing $1,500 in spending within 3 months of opening your account, you’ll get a $100 statement credit. That’s a nice boost to your earnings, especially if you’d spend that kind of money ($500 per month) in the normal course.
  5. CompassPoints Are Versatile. You can redeem CompassPoints for pretty much anything – account credits, travel, merchandise, gift cards, and more. If you’re not sure what you want, you can rest assured in the knowledge that your CompassPoints can probably buy it. And, if you don’t have time to redeem at home, no sweat – with BBVA Wallet, you can redeem your points in real time for everyday purchases.
  6. No Penalty APR. BBVA ClearPoints Credit Card has no penalty APR. If you occasionally miss payments due to liquidity issues or unreliable cash flows, you don’t have to worry about triggering a higher interest rate. Many competing cards charge penalty interest as high as 30% APR.

Disadvantages

  1. Low Baseline Earning Rate. The BBVA ClearPoints Credit Card’s baseline earning rate is pretty mediocre: 1 point per $1 spent. That’s less than some other no-annual-fee rewards cards, such as Chase Freedom Unlimited (unlimited 1.5% cash back) and the Citi Double Cash Card (unlimited 2% cash back when you pay in full each month).
  2. Has a Foreign Transaction Fee. This card has a 3% foreign transaction fee on all out-of-country purchases. That’s bad news for cardholders who routinely travel outside the United States, even if only on quick road trips to Canada or Mexico.
  3. High Balance Transfer Fee. This card’s 4% balance transfer fee is enough to give balance transfer candidates pause. Some competing cards, such as Chase Slate, waive balance transfer fees altogether for a limited time on new accounts. If you can’t pay off your transferred balance before the 6-month introductory APR window expires, consider looking for a better balance transfer option.
  4. Points Expire After 36 Months. When left unused for 36 months, CompassPoints expire on a first-in, first-out basis. If you’re saving up your points for a big redemption way down the road, don’t wait too long. As a rule of thumb, it’s best to redeem at least once a year, so you don’t get out of the habit.

Final Word

The BBVA Compass ClearPoints Credit Card isn’t the most generous rewards card around. In fact, its 1-point-per-$1-spent earning rate is mediocre at best. The lack of rotating categories or spending tiers is admirable, but you’d be forgiven for wanting a bit more out of this card.

On the other hand, not everyone qualifies for truly generous rewards credit cards right out of the gate. If you’re rebuilding your credit, BBVA ClearPoints Credit Card is a potentially crucial intermediate step between a secured credit card, such as BBVA Compass Optimizer Credit Card and a more generous rewards card, such as BBVA Compass Select Credit Card. After graduating out of secured status, use your BBVA ClearPoints Credit Card responsibly for a year or so, then apply for a more generous card. If you’re not approved the first time, no sweat – with no annual fee, there’s little downside to keeping this card in your wallet for as long as it takes.

Verdict
bbva compass clearpoints credit card
3.9 / 5
Rating

Apply Now

BBVA Compass ClearPoints Credit Card

The BBVA ClearPoints card is an entry-level rewards credit card designed for cardholders whose less-than-perfect credit puts more generous cash back products out of reach – at least, for the time being. The potentially low APR, $100 sign-up bonus, and lack of an annual fee reduce the downside to applying for and keeping this card. On the other hand, if you can qualify for a higher-earning cash back or travel rewards card, it’s probably best to bypass ClearPoints and go straight for the good stuff.

The BBVA Compass ClearPoints Credit Card‘s key benefits include its lack of an annual fee, its $100 sign-up bonus, up to 3x points per $1 spent, a solid introductory APR promotion, the versatility of CompassPoints, a relatively low regular APR, and the lack of a penalty APR.

The card’s Achilles heel is its slow baseline rewards rate. Other drawbacks include the foreign transaction fee, the high balance transfer fee, and the fact that unused points expire after 36 months.

Overall, this is a fine general-spending card for consumers who don’t qualify for more generous products, but it falls short for consumers with excellent credit.

Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided by any bank, credit card issuer, airline, or hotel chain, and has not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. Opinions expressed here are the author's alone, not those of the bank, credit card issuer, airline, or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Brian Martucci
Brian Martucci writes about frugal living, entrepreneurship, and innovative ideas. When he’s not interviewing small business owners or investigating time- and money-saving strategies for Money Crashers readers, he’s probably out exploring a new trail or sampling a novel cuisine. Find him on Twitter @Brian_Martucci.

Comments Disclosure: The below responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

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