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BBVA Select Credit Card Review – Double or Triple Your Rewards Earnings

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At a Glance
bbva compass select credit card
4.2 / 5
Rating

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BBVA Select Credit Card

  • Sign-up Bonus: Earn 50,000 points ($500 value) when you spend $4,000 within 90 days of account opening
  • Rewards: Earn 4 points per $1 spent on eligible entertainment purchases; 3 points per $1 spent on eligible restaurant purchases; 2 points per $1 spent on eligible travel purchases; 1 point per $1 spent on all other eligible purchases.
  • Benefits: 24/7 concierge service; complimentary Visa Signature Luxury Hotel Collection membership; generous travel insurance benefits
  • Fees: No foreign transaction fee
  • Annual Fee: $99 (waived in the first year)
  • Credit Needed: Excellent

Advertiser Disclosure: This post includes references to offers from our partners. We 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 Select Credit Card is an exclusive rewards card that blends elements of cash back rewards credit cards and travel rewards credit cards. Its $99 annual fee is waived during the first year, and its sign-up bonus (worth up to $500) further makes up for the recurring charge.

The rewards program is pretty generous too: 4 points per $1 spent on eligible entertainment purchases, 3 points per $1 spent on eligible restaurant purchases, 2 points per $1 spent on eligible travel purchases, and 1 point per $1 spent on all other eligible purchases. Plus, this card has a slew of fringe benefits, including some complimentary memberships that are virtually certain to cut costs for frequent, savvy travelers.

The BBVA 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.

Key Features

Sign-up Bonus

You can receive 50,000 bonus points (worth up to $500) when you spend at least $4,000 within 90 days of opening your account.

Earning Rewards

Earn 4 points per $1 spent on eligible entertainment purchases, 3 points per $1 spent on eligible restaurant purchases, 2 points per $1 spent on eligible travel purchases, and 1 point per $1 spent on all other eligible purchases.

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.

Redeeming Rewards

You can redeem points 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 points.

Important Fees

BBVA Select Credit Card’s $99 annual fee is waived during the first year. There is no foreign transaction fee.

Visa Travel Benefits

This card has a slew of Visa-backed travel benefits. The most noteworthy include:

  • Complimentary Visa Signature Luxury Hotel Collection membership, whose benefits include the guaranteed best available rate, complimentary room upgrades whenever available, and food and beverage credits on each stay
  • Lost luggage reimbursement, up to $3,000 per trip – a nice travel insurance benefit
  • Additional travel insurance coverages
  • 24/7 concierge service for help with reservations, booking, local itineraries, and more

Additional Benefits

This card’s additional benefits include:

  • Complimentary rental car loss and damage insurance on rentals paid in full with your card
  • Travel accident insurance coverage

Credit Required

This card requires excellent credit. Any notable credit blemishes are likely to disqualify your application.

Advantages

  1. Fairly Fast Rewards Earning Pace. This card’s 4x and 3x spending categories make the somewhat hefty annual fee worthwhile. If you spend heavily in those top categories, your overall rewards rate could approach what’s possible with popular travel rewards credit cards such as Citi ThankYou Preferred.
  2. Very Good Sign-up and First-Year Bonuses. The BBVA Select Credit Card has a very attractive sign-up bonus that’s worth well more than most competing cards’.
  3. 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.
  4. 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%.
  5. 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.

Disadvantages

  1. Charges an Annual Fee. The BBVA Select Credit Card has a $99 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.
  2. 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 does offer lower-level credit cards for such customers.

Final Word

The BBVA Select Credit Card is an unusually flexible credit card that’s ideal for frequent travelers. If your spending priorities are aligned with any of the three bonus categories categories – all 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 $99 annual fee after the first year. Before you put in your application, sit down, crunch some numbers, and figure out whether BBVA Select is the right credit card for your needs and budget.

Verdict
bbva compass select credit card
4.2 / 5
Rating

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BBVA Select Credit Card

The BBVA Select Card is an ideal primary credit card for heavy spenders whose top spending priorities align with any of the bonus categories. Thanks to its above-average travel benefits, and the fact that most favored categories involve travel and expenses likely to be incurred on the road, this card is especially useful for frequent travelers.

On the other hand, BBVA Select is decidedly not appropriate for people with modest budgets, nor anyone with reservations about paying a $99 annual fee after the first year.

The BBVA Select Credit Card‘s key advantages include its above-average rewards earning pace, excellent sign-up bonus, lots of travel and non-travel benefits (including benefits with tangible monetary value), no foreign transaction fee, and no penalty APR.

Its principal drawbacks include its $99 annual fee and the requirement that applicants have excellent credit.

Overall, this is an excellent card for heavy spenders and frequent travelers (or both) who don’t mind the high annual fee.

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 credit cards, banking, insurance, travel, and more. When he's not investigating time- and money-saving strategies for Money Crashers readers, you can find him exploring his favorite trails or sampling a new cuisine. Reach him on Twitter @Brian_Martucci.

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