One thing the European economic crisis has taught us is that Spanish banks are really bad at managing money. Coincidentally, did you know that Compass Bank is owned by Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria (BBVA), the second largest bank in Spain?
Perhaps that explains why the Compass credit card is so poorly managed!
For 2013 they offer 3 different cards. Review them yourself and you’ll see what I mean…
1. BBVA Compass Clear Points Credit Card
The is the only one they have an online application for (the other two require you to apply at a branch or over the phone). Their tagline for the card is that it’s “Clear, Simple, No Surprises.” Yeah… as in it’s clear that the rewards program is absolutely garbage!
You only earn 1 point per dollar spent. Worse yet, these Clear Points have very little value. Just take a look at a few of the redemption options…
Most credit card companies will give you a 1 cent value per point when you redeem for partner gift cards. But as you can see above, this Compass Bank credit card gives you as little as a 1/2 cent per point. That means you may only be earning the equivalent of 1/2% on your spending!
And if you think the BBVA gift cards will be better way to redeem points, think again…
For all of those tiers you are getting significantly less than 1 cent per point.
The travel rewards are equally disastrous…
Compass Bank gives you less than 1 cent/point! With most travel reward cards such as the Sapphire Preferred, your points are actually worth more than 1 cent each when redeemed for air/hotel.
The 0% offers are also inferior. As I write this review, they were offering 0% for 6 months and purchase and 3.99% for 12 months on balance transfers. Those offers are crap compared to what else is out there.
Perhaps the only redeeming quality it is has is that with excellent credit, your standard APR might be 9.24%. But on the high end, it can be as much as 23.24%.
2. BBVA Compass Optimizer Card
This is Compass Bank’s secured credit card. It’s the best of the 3 cards, but of course it’s only for people with bad or no credit.
The secured credit line can be anywhere from $450 to $22,500. On the top end of the spectrum, that $22.5k is one of the highest I’ve seen (most secured cards have a max of anywhere from $2k to $10k). But remember since this card is fully secured, the only way you’re getting a $22,500 credit limit is if you put forth the cash for a $22,500 security deposit.
The interest rate is reasonable at 16.24% (remember if you pay your balance in full every month on a credit card, you won’t pay interest). The annual fee is $40, which is low but not as low as this secured card.
3. BBVA Compass Visa Signature Card
This is Compass Bank’s sad attempt at trying to create a higher end credit card. It appears to be almost exactly the same as the Compass Clear Points card, except for these 3 things:
- The credit limit *might* be slightly higher. Their Visa Signature card offers a $2k to $20k credit limit ($5k higher than the $2k to $15k offered on the Clear Points card).
- The APR *might* be lower. This one comes with a APR ranging from 9.24% to 13.24% (the Clear Points card is 9.24% to 23.24%).
- Signature Benefits. It comes with the Signature Visa benefits.
It has the same crappy rewards program (only 1 Clear Point per dollar spent) and surprisingly there is no signup bonus being advertised.
In my opinion this is probably the worst Compass Bank credit card. Why? Because this is supposed to be their crème de la crème for people with excellent credit, yet ironically, you can do much better with these no annual fee cards from Chase, AmEx, and others. And not to mention, I’ve seen too many bad reviews of Compass Bank’s customer service.