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BBVA Compass VS PenFed Credit Union

Which bank is better for you?

  • Financial Rates: 3.0 Star Icon
  • Customer Service: 3.0 Star Icon
  • Website Experience: 5.0 Star Icon
  • Bank Fees: 3.0 Star Icon
No Rate Information
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Pros:

  • Low required opening deposit amounts
  • Small business and commercial accounts
  • Easy Checking to start or rebuild finances
  • Simple Cash Back program

Cons:

  • Only four transactions allowed per cycle
  • High overdraft fees
  • Low-interest rates
  • Only four different CD options
  • Financial Rates: 4.0 Star Icon
  • Customer Service: 5.0 Star Icon
  • Website Experience: 4.0 Star Icon
  • Bank Fees: 4.0 Star Icon
No Rate Information
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Pros:

  • CDs have competitive interest rates
  • Low opening required amount
  • CDs offered to save for education
  • Low monthly fee for checking account

Cons:

  • High opening balances for CDs
  • Low-interest rates
  • Best rates require large balances
  • Do not offer a variety of accounts
BBVA Compass Review

BBVA Compass has low opening balances for their accounts. The minimum opening deposit for all checking and saving accounts is $25. The opening required amount for CDs is $500.

Small business and commercial business accounts are available from BBVA Compass. Checking accounts, savings accounts, loans, and credit cards are available. Commercial business opportunities also include ways to increase your working capital.

If you do not qualify for a checking account, BBVA Compass offers the Easy Checking account. This account helps you rebuild your finances. If the account is active with a positive balance after 12 months, you can upgrade to a different checking account. The fee for this account is $13.95 a month. The opening amount required is $25. This account offers a debit card and unlimited check writing. Online or mobile banking and text alerts are available. You have the option to enroll in the Simple Cash Back program.

Simple Cash Back is a program that allows you to earn cash-back rewards. This program is available if you have a debit or credit card with BBVA Compass. Your purchase history determines what offers you receive. You can select the offers that you want. The money is then deposited into your account.

Federal regulations allow for six transactions from a savings account each billing cycle. BBVA Compass savings accounts only allow four. Each extra transaction has a $3 fee.

Most banks have a fee if you spend more than you have in your account. BBVA Compass fees are higher than other banks. For every transaction over $1.01 of insufficient funds, the fee is $38. You can link your checking account to a BBVA Compass savings or money market account. This could help cover the insufficient amount. However, the fee to transfer money from a savings or money market into your checking for insufficient funds is $12 a day.

Only a few of BBVA Compass accounts have good interest rates. The money market account earns a competitive rate, but the rates are promotional. They may change. The other accounts have lower interest rates. The rates are higher than typical banks but lower than online-only bank accounts.

Only four of BBVA Compass CD accounts are available online. The terms are 12 months, 15 months, 18 months, and 36 months. The 12 months CD offers a good interest rate, but it is only a promotional rate. It may change. The other three CD terms are much lower than the 12-month term.

Read the full BBVA Compass review.

PenFed Credit Union Review

PenFed CDs have competitive interest rates. The rates on CDs are competitive with online-only accounts. The longer you can invest the money in the CD the higher the interest rates you will earn. CD terms range from six months to seven years.

All accounts, other than CDs, have a low opening balance of only $25. The more you invest in the money market account, the higher interest rates you will earn. However, you are only required to have $25 to open an account with PenFed.

PenFed offers CDs designed to save specifically for education costs. These CDs only require $500 to open instead of $1,000. The education CDs range in term from one year to seven years. The interest rates earned on these CDs are competitive with other CD accounts.

Only the checking account has a monthly maintenance fee. The fee is low and is easy to waive. The fee is waived by having a daily balance of $500 in the account. Having a direct deposit into the account of more than $500 each month will also waive the fee. The savings account and money market accounts do not have a monthly fee.

To open a CD, PenFed requires $1,000. The CD terms vary in length from six months to seven years. The longer you can invest your money in a PenFed CD the higher interest you will earn over the CD term. The interest rates on these CDs are competitive with other online-only CDs.

The interest rates for PenFed savings, checking, and money market accounts are not competitive. The rates are low. Those interest rates are competitive to your typical bank rates. Online only accounts offer much higher interest rates for these accounts.

To earn the highest interest on the PenFed checking account, a daily balance of $20,000 to $50,000 is required. If you do not have at least $20,000, you will earn much lower interest rates. Any amount earns interest. To get the highest rates, your daily balance must meet the requirements.

PenFed only offers one checking account, savings account, and money market account. This does not allow you to find the account that best fits your needs.

Read the full PenFed Credit Union review.

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