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South State Bank Review

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by Lauren Perez Updated
South State Bank

South State Bank says it’s committed to providing financial help, services and products to allow customers to reach their financial goals. When South State Bank opened in 1934, it was a small bank for a rural community. Today, the bank continues with its mission, just on a slightly larger scale. It has locations throughout North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and Virginia and partners with other community banks throughout the South. 

You have a number of accounts to choose from with South State Bank. From three savings accounts to five checking accounts and everything in between, you'll be able to find the account that works best with your financial situation. South State also offers some great interest rates so you can grow your savings no matter which account you have. Just be careful of monthly fees and potentially high minimum deposit requirements before you open an account.

Products Offered

Product Key Features 
Savings Accounts
  • Three account options 
  • Decently-earning interest rates 
Certificates of Deposit
  • Competitive interest rates 
  • Longer-term options
Money Market Account
  • Interest rates depend on account balance 
  • Waivable monthly fee
Checking Accounts
  • Five account options
  • Three interest-earning accounts

South State Bank Interest Rate Comparison

Smart Savings Account

Key Features Details
Minimum Deposit $50
Access to Your Savings Account Online, mobile and physical branches.
Security FDIC insurance up to the maximum amount allowed by law, secured website and files.
Fees $15 quarterly maintenance charge, waivable with $200 minimum daily balance
Current Terms and Rates 0.35% APY

South State’s Smart Savings Account is the bank’s standard savings account. However, unlike most basic savings accounts, this one comes with a high minimum daily balance requirement of $200. If you can’t maintain that balance, then you’ll have to pay a $15 quarterly fee. 

On the other hand, the South State Smart Savings account also earns at a pretty solid interest rate. It outperforms the standard rate for most big banks. This makes opening the account and meeting its requirements a little more worthwhile. 

Interestingly, South State operates by quarters. This means that you’ll receive a statement for your account each quarter. You’re also limited to three withdrawals per quarter. For every extra withdrawal, you’ll face a $1 fee. 

Youth Savings Account

Key Features Details
Minimum Deposit  $5
Access to Your Savings Account Online, mobile and physical branches.
Security FDIC insurance up to the maximum amount allowed by law, secured website and files.
Fees No monthly fee
Current Terms and Rates 0.35% APY

South State’s Youth Savings account is meant for kids under the age of 18. It’s designed to help kids learn about saving and responsible money management skills. The account does require an adult to open and remain as the account’s custodian. 

If you open this account for a child 12 years old or younger, that child will automatically become a member of South State’s Squirrels Club®. This club helps teach your child about saving as well as free gifts, birthday presents and exclusive discounts. 

As with the Smart Savings account, you’re limited to three withdrawals per quarter. 

Saver’s Club Account

Key Features Details
Minimum Deposit $5
Access to Your Savings Account Online, mobile and physical branches.
Security FDIC insurance up to the maximum amount allowed by law, secured website and files.
Fees No monthly fee
Current Terms and Rates 0.35% APY 

The Saver’s Club account is a great choice when you’re saving toward a specific expense. This can be anything from a new car to a vacation to the holidays. You get to decide what you’re using the account for and when you’ll need the money. Once that’s set, you can begin making regular deposits into the account until you reach your goal. This makes saving toward an expense much easier to track, especially with its solid interest rate. 

Certificate of Deposit 

Key Features Details
Minimum Deposit $1,000
Access to Your CD Account Online, mobile and physical branches.
Security FDIC insurance up to the maximum amount allowed by law, secured website and files.
Fees No monthly fee, but early withdrawal penalties may apply.
Current Terms and Rates
  • 13 Month: 1.86% APY
  • 19 Month: 2.07% APY
  • 25 Month: 2.17% APY
  • 49 Month: 2.32% APY

Certificates of deposit offer a stricter approach to savings. They come in various term lengths which you can choose depending on your savings goals. Then once you open the account of your choice, you make your deposit and wait until the account reaches maturity, or the end of its term. In between opening and maturity, you cannot make any withdrawals of principal or additional deposits. 

South State Bank offers four CDs with varying term lengths. They do run on the longer side, meaning you won’t find any accounts that mature before 13 months. This just makes it easier to save for expenses a little further off. Plus, South State’s CDs have high interest rates

Money Market Account

Key Features Details
Minimum Deposit $50
Access to Your Money Market Account Online, mobile and physical branches.
Security FDIC insurance up to the maximum amount allowed by law, secured website and files.
Fees $15 monthly fee, waivable with $5,000 minimum daily balance.
Current Terms and Rates 0.30% - 0.55% APY

South State Bank’s Money Market Account works best for customers with higher balances. For starters, you’ll need at least $50 to open the account. Then, there’s the monthly fee which you can only waive by maintaining a high minimum balance of $5,000. 

You’ll also need a higher balance to snag the account’s higher rates. Luckily, even if you’re in the lowest balance tier, your account will still earn at a solid interest rate. 

As a hybrid between a savings account and a checking account, this money market account limits outgoing transitions to six per month. For each item you go over, South State will charge a $10 excess activity fee. 

South State Checking Account

Key Features Details
Minimum Deposit $25
Access to Your Checking Account Online, mobile and physical branches.
Security FDIC insurance up to the maximum amount allowed by law, secured website and files.
Fees $5 monthly fee, waivable if you’re enrolled in eStatements

The South State Checking Account is a solid checking option for the everyday customer. Its standard minimum deposit doesn’t place the account too out of reach for those who may want to open it. It’s also easy to waive the low monthly fee. You simply have to enroll in Online Banking and receive eStatements. In today’s technological age, this should be an easy requirement to fulfill. 

This checking account includes unlimited check-writing abilities, image statements and even wealth consultation. 

Choice Checking Account

Key Features Details
Minimum Deposit $25
Access to Your Checking Account Online, mobile and physical branches.
Security FDIC insurance up to the maximum amount allowed by law, secured website and files.
Fees $8 monthly fee, waivable with one of the following
  • 15 debit card purchases/payments per statement cycle
  • $250 in combined direct deposits
  • $1,000 average daily balance 
Current Terms and Rates 0.20% APY

The Choice Checking Account comes with a slightly higher monthly fee than the simpler South State Checking Account. However, if you use the Choice Checking Account as your primary checking account, it shouldn’t be too hard to waive the fee in one way or another. 

The added perk of this account is that it earns interest on your balance. You’ll still receive unlimited check-writing abilities, image statements and wealth consultation.

Gold Checking Account

Key Features Details
Minimum Deposit $25
Access to Your Checking Account Online, mobile and physical branches.
Security FDIC insurance up to the maximum amount allowed by law, secured website and files.
Fees $15 monthly fee, waivable with one of the following
  • $3,500 minimum daily balance
  • $10,000 minimum daily balance in combined deposit accounts 
  • $10,000 in outstanding consumer or mortgage loans 
Current Terms and Rates 0.20% - 0.25% APY

When it comes to account perks, the Gold Checking Account is the highest tier account for South State. The account earns interest according to balance tiers, where higher balances can earn higher rates. You’ll also be able to order gold, single-style checks and have access to a small safe deposit box rental. Just like the other checking accounts, the Gold Checking Account includes image statements and wealth consultation, too.

Classic Checking Account

Key Features Details
Minimum Deposit $25
Access to Your Checking Account Online, mobile and physical branches.
Security FDIC insurance up to the maximum amount allowed by law, secured website and files.
Fees $8 monthly fee, waivable with one of the following
  • $250 in combined direct deposits
  • $1,000 average daily balance 
Current Terms and Rates 0.20% APY

The Classic Checking account is made for those 62 years of age and older. Account holders get one free order of classic, single-style checks per calendar year and a discount on a safe deposit box. You’ll also still receive image statements and wealth consultation. 

Student Checking Account

Key Features Details
Minimum Deposit $25
Access to Your Checking Account Online, mobile and physical branches.
Security FDIC insurance up to the maximum amount allowed by law, secured website and files.
Fees $3 monthly fee, waivable by enrolling in eStatements

As indicated by its name, this checking account is made specifically for students aged 16 - 22. Each account will also need a parent or guardian for co-ownership. To avoid the monthly fee, you just need to enroll in eStatements. 

A big perk of South State’s Student Checking Account is its three waived foreign ATM fees each month. This works nicely for those studying abroad for a semester. 

Branch Locations

South State Bank has locations and ATMs throughout Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia. You’ll find most locations in South Carolina. 

If you can’t make it to a branch, South State provides different phone numbers you can call depending on your needs from debit card activation to after-hours credit card support. 

Financial Statistics & Bank Health Rating

South State Bank has $14.46 billion in assets and $10.65 billion in loans, according to the FDIC. Customers currently hold $11.56 billion in deposits with the bank. 

To determine the risk South State Bank might pose for your deposits, you can take a look at its Texas Ratio. This ratio indicates how risky a bank is by dividing the amount of non-performing assets (unbacked current loans and real estate owned) by the sum of the bank’s tangible equity capital and its loan loss allowances. Banks with a ratio near 100% is considered at risk of covering its bad debts. South State Bank’s Texas Ratio is 2.14%, which is considered excellent. 

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Best Places to Save

SmartAsset’s interactive map highlights the places in the country where people have the opportunity to save money. Zoom between states and the national map to see the best places to save.

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Rank County Median Household Income Cost of Living Purchasing Power Estimated Tax Rate

Methodology Where you live can have a big impact on how easy it is to save money based on several regional factors. Our study aims to find the most suitable places for people to save based on median household income, average living expenses and income tax burden.

First, we calculated the average cost of living in each county for a household with two adults (one working). We then created a purchasing power index for each county. This reflects the counties with the highest ratio of household income to cost of living.

To better compare income tax burdens across counties, we applied relevant deductions and exemptions before calculating federal, state and local income taxes for a family making $50,000 annual income in each location. Next, we created an effective tax rate index for each county, which reflects the counties with the lowest ratio of income taxes to the assumed $50,000 annual income.

Finally, we calculated the weighted average of the indices to yield an overall best places to save score. We used a three-fourths weighting for purchasing power and a one-fourth weighting for tax rates. We indexed the final number so higher values reflect places that are better to save.

Sources: US Census Bureau 2016 5-Year American Community Survey, MIT Living Wage Study