The BBVA Compass Select Credit Card is an exclusive rewards card that blends elements of cash back rewards credit cards and travel rewards credit cards. Its $125 annual fee is waived during the first year, and its sign-up bonus (worth up to $300) further makes up for the recurring charge. The rewards program is pretty generous too: You earn 3 CompassPoints per $1 spent in a category of your choice, 2 CompassPoints per $1 spent 2 additional categories of your choice, and 1 CompassPoint per $1 spent on everything else, all with no limits or restrictions.
You receive added bonuses for spending heavily in your first year – and, to a lesser extent, thereafter. Plus, this card has a slew of fringe benefits, including some complimentary memberships that are virtually certain to cut costs for frequent, savvy travelers.
BBVA Compass Select Credit Card is definitely a great credit card for people with ample budgets and spending priorities aligned with the favored categories, as long as they’re willing and able to stomach the annual fee. Here’s what you need to know.
You receive 20,000 bonus CompassPoints (worth up to $200) when you spend at least $2,000 within 3 months of opening your account. If you spend $20,000 within your first year as a cardholder, you get an additional 10,000 CompassPoints, worth up to $100.
Earning CompassPoints Rewards
This card participates in BBVA’s Build Your Own Rewards program, which lets you customize its rewards structure to your liking. At your discretion, it earns unlimited 3 CompassPoints per $1 spent in a single spending category of your choice. It also earns an unlimited 2 points per $1 spent in 2 additional categories of your choice. Eligible categories include: utilities, restaurants, groceries, travel (including airlines, hotels, and rental cars), gas, healthcare, office supplies, and department stores.
You can adjust your 2x and 3x categories once per quarter. All other purchases made with this card automatically earn an unlimited 1 point per $1 spent, regardless of category. If you have multiple BBVA credit card accounts, you can combine points earned on each to accelerate your progress toward redeeming for more valuable merchandise, gift cards, travel, or simply larger cash loads.
Remember to use your points! If your account lapses into inactivity for 12 months or longer, any unused points will begin to expire 36 months after they’re earned.
Monthly Spending Bonus
When you spend at least $5,000 in a statement period (month), you get 1,000 bonus CompassPoints – a $10 value. There’s no limit to how many monthly spending bonuses you can earn.
Redeeming CompassPoints Rewards
CompassPoints can be redeemed for pretty much anything: for statement credits, travel (including airfare), general merchandise, gift cards, and more. At redemption, points are generally worth $0.01 apiece. However, their value is subject to change and may vary by redemption method.
Redemption minimums also vary by method – for instance, statement credits require a minimum redemption of 2,500 points (a $25 value). To redeem points in real time for everyday purchases, download BBVA’s free BBVA Wallet, a mobile wallet product. Once you have BBVA Wallet, simply complete the purchase transaction as you normally would, look for the alert sent to your mobile device, and follow the prompts to offset the purchase with CompassPoints.
BBVA Select Credit Card’s $125 annual fee is waived during the first year. There is no foreign transaction fee, but 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.
Visa Travel Benefits
This card has a slew of Visa-backed travel benefits. The most noteworthy include:
- Complimentary Hertz Gold Plus membership, a points-based loyalty program that entitles frequent Hertz customers to free rentals, skip-the-line reservations, and other benefits
- Complimentary Visa Signature Luxury Hotel Collection membership, whose benefits include the guaranteed best available rate, complimentary room upgrades whenever available, and $25 food and beverage credits on each stay
- Lost luggage reimbursement, up to $3,000 per trip – a nice travel insurance benefit
- 24/7 concierge service for help with reservations, booking, local itineraries, and more
This card’s additional benefits include:
- Extended warranties of up to 5 years on registered purchases
- Complimentary rental car loss and damage insurance on rentals paid in full with your card
- Travel accident insurance coverage
This card requires excellent credit. Any notable credit blemishes are likely to disqualify your application.
- Fairly Fast Rewards Earning Pace. This card’s flexible 2x and 3x spending categories make the somewhat hefty annual fee worthwhile. If you spend heavily the 3 domains that you choose as your 2x and 3x categories, your overall rewards rate could approach what’s possible with popular travel rewards credit cards such as Citi ThankYou Preferred.
- Can Choose 2x and 3x Rewards Categories. Thanks to BBVA’s Build Your Own Rewards feature, you have an unusual degree of freedom over your rewards. Plus, you can change your favored categories every quarter, which is great if your spending needs change with the seasons or life events. Some popular competitors, including Citi ThankYou Preferred and Chase Sapphire Preferred, do not let you choose your favored categories.
- Very Good Sign-up and First-Year Bonuses. The BBVA Compass Select Credit Card has a very attractive sign-up bonus. It’s actually a 2-part deal: You get 20,000 bonus points, worth $200, when you spend at least $2,000 within 3 months of opening your account, followed by an additional 10,000 CompassPoints if you spend at least $20,000 in your first year. All told, that’s worth up to $300.
- Additional Benefits for Heavy Spenders. The bonus-earning potential doesn’t stop after the first year. When you spend $5,000 or more in a single month, you get an additional 1,000 bonus CompassPoints – worth up to $10. There’s no limit to how much you can earn.
- Lots of Travel and Non-travel Fringe Benefits. This card has a slew of travel and non-travel benefits, including genuinely valuable perks such as Hertz Gold Plus and Visa Signature Luxury Hotel Collection memberships. If you travel frequent, these benefits could go a long way toward offsetting the card’s annual fee.
- No Foreign Transaction Fee. This card has no foreign transaction fee. That’s great news for frequent overseas travelers. Many competing cards, including some lower-tier BBVA products, charge foreign transaction fees as high as 3%.
- No Penalty APR. This card doesn’t charge penalty interest. That’s great news for cardholders who occasionally miss payments due to liquidity issues or other problems. Some fellow rewards cards charge penalty interest indefinitely, at rates up to 30% APR.
- Charges an Annual Fee. The BBVA Compass Select Credit Card has a $125 annual fee after the first year. That’s troublesome for frugal cardholders. Some fellow premium cash back and travel credit cards, including Blue Cash Preferred from American Express and Chase Sapphire Preferred, have lower annual fees – $95 per year, in both cases. Others, such as Discover it, waive annual fees altogether.
- Requires Excellent Credit. This card requires excellent credit. Any credit blemishes, however trivial-seeming, could disqualify your application. That’s a disappointment for prospective cardholders in the process of rebuilding their credit – though BBVA Compass does offer lower-level credit cards – such as Optimizer and ClearPoints – for such customers.
- High Balance Transfer Fee. If you’re thinking about transferring existing high-interest credit card balances to your newly opened BBVA Compass Select Credit Card account, the 4% balance transfer fee may give you pause. Some competing cards, including Chase Slate, waive balance transfer fees for a limited time on new accounts. And plenty of other cards charge 3% or less on balance transfers – savings that can quickly add up on larger balances.
The BBVA Compass Select Credit Card is an unusually flexible credit card that lets you choose how and when you earn rewards. If your spending priorities are aligned with any of the optional 2x and 3x categories – most of which are pretty broad – then you should at least take a closer look at this product. Then again, you’d be forgiven for hesitating to pay the $125 annual fee, which is considerably higher (to the tune of $30 to $40) than many comparable cards’ annual levies. Before you put in your application, sit down, crunch some numbers, and figure out whether BBVA Compass Select is the right credit card for your needs and budget.