Posted by Chuck on December 1, 2015
Credit Cards

Published on December 1st, 2015 | by Chuck

46

BBVA Launches App with Real-Time Redemption + $50 Bonus

BBVA revamped their app with some new features, and they’re also sending out a great holiday spend offer to cardholders.

BBVA Wallet

BBVA Bank has a credit card that many of us have. They’ve now launched a mobile app called BBVA Wallet which allows you to manage your BBVA credit and debit card activity. This new app has a few neat features, such as a Block Card option (copied from Discover’s Freeze IT option). They also send you instant notifications of all purchases if you enable notifications on the phone.

Oddly, when you login on mobile you’ll probably have to set up your credentials again. You can use the same credentials that you use to login online, but choose the Enroll Now and act as if you are enrolling for the first time.

I ran into some hiccups along the way, especially with the security questions, but eventually I managed to complete the app setup.

Notifications

We’ll get to the offer details in a moment, but for now let’s note that when you setup the app be sure to enable notifications on the phone. You’re going to need that to take part in the offer. If you didn’t enable, you can go into the phone settings and enable afterward.

After completing the offer below, you can disable the notifications.

Real-Time Rewards

As part of the app, you can now redeem rewards in real-time at the time of purchase. The way it works is you complete the purchase as usual, whether it’s in-store or online, and the app will send you a notification of the purchase on your phone. At that point, there will be a Redeem option to click and instantly redeem the purchase for the reward points that you have earned previously.

Kind of cool, to be honest.

Not all purchases get the Real-Time Redemption option – only signatureless purchases. Here are the terms of which purchases qualify for Real-Time Redemption: “Internet purchase, phone or mail order purchase, bill payment, contactless purchase (purchase made by holding your BBVA Compass Visa Card or other device up to a secure reader instead of swiping your card), or small-dollar purchase for which you are not required to sign.”

In my case, I had 250 points unredeemed which are worth $2.50. I did a $1 Amazon reload to see if it would work, and nothing happened. Then I realized that I need to have notifications enabled to use the feature. After taking care of that, I purchased another $1 Amazon reload and this time the Redeem option popped up as expected and I was able to redeem $1 toward the Amazon purchase.

Within a few minutes, my point balance was showing my point balance down to 150 points available. The $1 credit should show in the account activity within a day or two, I imagine.

The Offer

BBVA is sending out an offer via email. If you didn’t get the offer, it might not work for you (although I suspect it will).

Complete the following two actions and receive bonus points:

  1. Make purchases. There are two tiers to this bonus
    • Spend $1,000 in online purchases and receive 5,000 bonus points, or $50.
    • Spend $500 in online purchases and receive 2,500 bonus points, or $25.
  2. Download the app and make at least one Real-Time Rewards Redemption (described above). You just need to make one redemption to meet this requirement. Minimum redemption amount is 100 points, or $1.

Screen Shot 2015-11-30 at 10.04.19 PM

The Fine Print

  • Offer requirements must be met between 11/30/15 – 12/19/15
  • Bonus points will be awarded within 90 days after promotion end date

Our Verdict

The app setup was a hassle, to be honest, but you should be able to get an excellent ROI for the 15-minutes spent on that. By making $1,000 in purchases, you’ll get the standard 1% back in rewards, plus a bonus $50 added. Total will be 6% back on $1,000 in spend.

Some people may want to meet the spend on this offer by loading Serve. It will probably work, but loading of prepaid cards is often excluded in BBVA terms. Personally, I have no problem spending $1,000 in online purchases, and I’ll just go that route so as not to risk it.

Since signing up for the BBVA Amex card earlier this year, I have not regretted it for a moment. Card benefits:

  • 5x rewards for a few weeks of the year
  • $100 signup bonus
  • it’s a fee-free Amex for the purpose of Amex Offers
  • a few of these limited-time offers pop up per year, such as this $50 offer
  • no annual fee

See our full review of the card here.



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harry
harry

can I buy1000 COSTCO cash card at COSTCO.com??

Eric
Eric

Chuck,

Several months ago I seem to recall you saying you were going to load Serve to try to meet a “travel” offer from BBVA. Did you receive the bonus that time?

Michael
Michael

Curious to hear other user comments about this. I had downloaded this app last week and when I went to make redemption, it either timed out or asked for my password and then timed out. Did 1st serve load of month today figured it would work, but same deal. Do I have to have data on my phone (I disable it most of the time)? Doesn’t seem to work over WiFi for me, but that really shouldn’t be an issue.

Never got it to work and now they have a program that relies heavily on that. A bit leery of BBVA since the NBA finals debacle.

Simon
Simon

Anyone having problem opening the notification after logging in? Always saying “the feature is currently unavailable”…

Adam
Adam

I’m having trouble finding my copy of the offer right now, but I recall that my initial cursory read of it made me wonder if I had to have some points in my account to begin with in order to qualify. Maybe I misread it.

Eric
Eric

I just re-read the offer and it seems like you are right. Unless rewards post right away like they do for Sallie Mae. Does anyone know if that’s the case? Unfortunately I cashed in my remaining rewards about a month ago. So am I out of luck?

anthonyjh21
anthonyjh21

This makes no sense. It won’t allow me to log in with my credentials. I try to create an account and it tells me I have already done online activation. I’m 100% sure my credentials are correct and for whatever reason I can’t log in and get this thing going.

Eric
Eric

I just installed the app on my phone with no problem at all. I was even able to use my same login info. For my phone it appears that the default is to have notifications enabled as there’s only an option to “block” it. I’m going to make a purchase from Newegg now. That should kill 2 birds with 1 stone. I’ll use up $175 of spend and I will see if I receive the purchase notification on my phone. Chuck what makes you think that the entire purchase needs to be redeemed with rewards?

Harold
Harold

In a previous thread about this card’s 5% bonus during the NBA finals, there was a question about whether they would pay the 5% bonus for online purchases. Did they end up paying 5% for online purchases? I’m thinking of getting the card and using it to pay a big chunk of estimated tax in 2016.

trackback

[…] co-branded credit card, have a look at this post and see what offer is the best for your situation. BBVA is offering a $50 bonus for using their new real time rewards app, you need to spend a little as well but it should be well worth it if you have a BBVA […]

stampman79
stampman79

Not impressed with this app at all. I made a small purchase to redeem some points. Got the redemption message but when I hit the button I kept getting the message “unfotunately app has stopped working”. Eventually I got the message “no rewards available” because the offer timed out. Called customer service to complain and the only advice they could give was to reinstall it. I don’t have any problem logging in. Can’t get the bonus if the app won’t work. This thing is a piece of junk.

Joe-SC1
Joe-SC1

Same here. App “stopped working” when notification pops up, right when you click to redeem points. Notification shows OK, only fails when you want to redeem points. Android 4.4.4 Motorola Droid Maxx. Full points available from earlier sign-up, so that’s not the problem.

trackback

[…] Also interesting that US Bank is starting with Real-Time Redemption just a few days after BBVA rolled it out. […]

JustSaying
JustSaying

Just got 2 authorized user cards for my sons so I can fund their Serve cards for 1k each month……a simple, painless phone call……….

On another topic can anyone point me to the post that lists all the credit cards that can be paid with a debit card? I know about Citibank but was wondering about Barclay’s or BBVA?

anthonyjh21
anthonyjh21

Not going to do you any good. These are third party issued cards so the card numbers are the same and consequently will be limited to adding this card to only one acocunt. What’s likely to happen is the card will not be allowed to add and you may also flag your account for a security review, which isn’t the end of the world but is none the less still annoying. I did try this fwiw so it’s a direct data point. This was probably half a year ago but I suspect nothing has changed.

calwatch
calwatch

Has anyone gotten the $50 or will we all wait 90 days for the payout of the bonus?

anthonyjh21
anthonyjh21

Just checked again and still nothing yet. I’m probably going to wait the 90 days as I’d rather push them to fix the problem instead of having an option to tell me to just wait until 90 days.

Steve
Steve

Have not gotten it yet.

Andrew
Andrew

I just noticed today that I received the $50 bonus.

anthonyjh21
anthonyjh21

Still waiting. Did you finish the requirements pretty close to the start date? I’m hoping I’m soon to come but I did take a little while to wrap up the spending.

Andrew
Andrew

I finished them on December 1st.

calwatch
calwatch

Same. Still waiting. Did a Kiva lend on December 13 as my online spending so they might play the “Paypal rejection” game.

anthonyjh21
anthonyjh21

(AAAAAAAAAND) still waiting…… anyone else? If nothing posts by March 18th then I guess we’ll have to begrudgingly contact their i̶n̶e̶p̶t̶ customer service to get the $50.

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