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SunTrust Bank Review

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by Lauren Perez Updated
SunTrust Bank

SunTrust Bank doesn't offer the highest rates compared to other banks in the industry.

To earn the highest rates with the bank, you’ll want to open a long-term CD. You may also want to open a savings account with a high account balance to take advantage of the higher interest rate tiers. Most account charge a monthly fee and have high minimum deposit requirements. While this might be expected of a smaller bank, these features may place the accounts out of reach for many consumers.  

SunTrust provides customers with a more personal feel when it comes to banking. Whether you reach out to customer service over the phone or on the website’s live chat feature, each representative is helpful and polite. This way, you can learn more about the bank’s offerings and feel more confident in your financial decisions. 

Products Offered

Product Key Details
Savings Accounts
  • Two simple account options
  • Low interest rates 
Certificates of Deposit
  • Five term lengths available
  • Competitive interest rates
Money Market Accounts
  • Decent rates 
  • High minimum deposit requirements
  • Check writing abilities 
Checking Accounts
  • Four account options 
  • High minimum deposit requirements 
  • Opportunity to earn extra cash back with SunTrust Cash Rewards credit card
IRAs
  • Available as Personal Certificates of Deposit
  • 6-month account not available as an IRA 

SunTrust Bank Interest Rate Comparison

SunTrust Overview

SunTrust Bank boasts bringing a personal touch to banking. It strives to make banking less stressful and more convenient for its customers, to help them remain financially stable. The company has even started the onUp Movement. This program provides tools, tangible goals and a community to help you gain financial confidence. 

SunTrust Account Features

When you bank with SunTrust, you’ll have access to a ton of different features to make your banking experience more convenient. For starters, you can bank online and on your mobile device, transferring money, paying bills and depositing checks wherever you go. If you’re near a location, you can also take advantage of over 2,000 SunTrust ATMs and over 1,300 branches. To use these ATMs is free and depending on your checking account, the use of non-SunTrust ATMs can also be free. 

It’s important to note that interest rates for SunTrust savings and money market accounts are not posted online. You will have to ask a representative for the rates in your location either over live chat, on the phone or at a branch.

SunTrust Essential Savings Account

Key Features Details
Minimum Deposit $0
Access to Your Savings Account Online, mobile, over the phone and at physical branches.
Security FDIC insurance up to the maximum amount allowed by law. 
Fees No monthly service fee
  • $3 monthly fee for Paper Statements (enroll in Online Paperless Statements to waive)
Current Terms and Rates Call SunTrust to find out the most accurate rates for you.
  • 0.01% APY

The Essential Savings account offers customers the basics of a savings account at no monthly fee. There isn’t a minimum deposit requirement, either, so you can start saving with whatever you have. You will need to maintain at least 1 cent in the account to keep it open. 

You can link this account with your SunTrust checking account to set up overdraft protection and automatic transfers. Those features can help you save and spend more responsibly. You’ll also have access to balance alerts to keep track of your savings goals. 

SunTrust Select Savings Account

Key Features Details
Minimum Deposit $100
Access to Your Savings Account Online, mobile, over the phone and at physical branches.
Security FDIC insurance up to the maximum amount allowed by law. 
Fees $7 monthly fee, waivable with one of the following
  • Minimum daily collected balance of at least $1,000
  • Monthly auto-transfer of at least $25 from a SunTrust personal checking account
Current Terms and Rates 0.01% APY

Once you’re more comfortable with using a savings account, you can open a SunTrust Select Savings account. You’ll be able to meet the higher minimum deposit requirement. Plus, your good savings habits, like automatic transfers, can help you avoid the account’s small monthly fee. 

Linking your SunTrust Select Checking or Signature Advantage Checking account to this savings account can give you a few extra perks. For starters, you can set up overdraft protection and automatic transfers. Even better, you can earn an annual 1% anniversary bonus of up to $25. 

SunTrust Personal Certificates of Deposit (CDs)

Key Features Details
Minimum Deposit $2,000
Access to Your CD Online, mobile, over the phone and at physical branches.
Security FDIC insurance up to the maximum amount allowed by law. 
Fees No monthly fee, although you can face a penalty for early withdrawal. 
Current Promotional Terms and Rates Call SunTrust to find out the most accurate rates for you.
  • 6 Month: 0.50% APY
  • 12 Month: 1.75% APY
  • 18 Month: 2.00% APY
  • 24 Month: 2.20% APY
  • 58 Month: 2.50% APY

A certificate of deposit offers a more structured approach to savings accounts. Instead of having the flexibility of making deposits and withdrawals at will, CDs allow those transactions at opening and at maturity. A CD reaches maturity when its term ends. SunTrust offers CDs from seven days to 10 years, giving you the option to save for both long- and short-term goals. 

Each CD term can be opened as an IRA, except the six-month account.

SunTrust Signature Money Market Savings Account

Key Features Details
Minimum Deposit $100
Access to Your Money Market Account Online, mobile, over the phone and at physical branches.
Security FDIC insurance up to the maximum amount allowed by law. 
Fees $15, waivable with one of the following
  • Monthly auto-transfer of at least $100 from a SunTrust personal checking account
  • Minimum daily collected balance of at least $5,000
Current Terms and Rates Call SunTrust to find out the most accurate rates for you.

Money market accounts tend to be like a mix of a checking and a savings account. That means the SunTrust Signature Money Market Savings account includes check-writing abilities. You can snag further benefits by linking this money market account with a Signature Advantage® checking account. 

This money market account comes with a promotional period of three months. During this period, the account has an interest rate of 1.00% and an APY of 0.27%. After this time, the interest rate goes to the current market rates. Further, these rates are subject to change without notification, so it’s always important to check up on your accounts or give the bank a call every few months. You can earn at a higher rate from the start if you open the account with at least $10,000. 

SunTrust Balanced Banking Checking Account

Key Features Details
Minimum Deposit $100
Access to Your Checking Account Online, mobile, over the phone and at physical branches.
Security FDIC insurance up to the maximum amount allowed by law. 
Fees $12 monthly fee, waivable with a minimum daily total deposit balance of at least $3,000 (includes Balanced Banking account and linked checking, savings, money markets, CDs and IRAs)

If you have trouble managing your money responsibly, the Balanced Banking checking account could be right for you. Instead of allowing the possibility of overdrafts, any transactions you try to make when you don’t have enough funds will simply be declined. This avoids any hefty overdraft fees you might face. Then if you try to write a check without sufficient funds, the item will be returned, but at a lesser fee of $20. Other checking accounts face a returned item fee of $36. 

When you open a Balanced Banking checking account, you’ll receive a Mastercard® debit card to use at branches and ATMs. SunTrust also provides Zero Liability which means you won’t be held responsible for transactions that you did not make or authorize. You’ll receive a starter pack of 25 personal checks, or 50% off your first check order.

The account has a monthly fee of $12. You can avoid this fee by maintaining a high account balance. If you have more than one SunTrust account, that requirement may be easier to meet. Additionally, if you have a SunTrust Cash Rewards credit card, you can earn a 10% Cash Deposit Bonus when you redeem your cash back into the checking account. 

SunTrust Essential Checking Account

Key Features Details
Minimum Deposit $100
Access to Your Checking Account Online, mobile, over the phone and at physical branches.
Security FDIC insurance up to the maximum amount allowed by law. 
Fees $17 monthly fee, waivable with one of the following
  • Make at least 10 transactions per statement cycle
  • Make at least $500 in total qualifying monthly direct deposits per statement cycle
  • Keep a minimum daily collected balance of $500
  • Open as a student and receive a 5-year student waiver

SunTrust’s Essential Checking provides customers with the basics of a checking account. There is a low monthly fee, although you’re given a number of ways to avoid it. You can also easily avoid the $3 paper statement fee by switching to paperless statements. 

There aren’t many perks to this account. You receive a Mastercard® debit card with zero liability and a starter pack of 25 personal checks (or 50% off your first check order). However, when you also have a SunTrust Cash Rewards credit card, you can earn a 10% cash deposit bonus when you redeem your credit card cash back into this checking account. 

SunTrust Select Checking Account

Key Features Details
Minimum Deposit $100
Access to Your Checking Account Online, mobile, over the phone and at physical branches.
Security FDIC insurance up to the maximum amount allowed by law. 
Fees $15 monthly fee, waivable with one of the following
  • Make at least $2,000 in total qualifying Direct Deposits
  • Keep a minimum daily balance of $2,000
  • Maintain total combined relationship balances of at least $10,000 linked across deposits, investments, mortgages and loans
  • Hold a SunTrust Mortgage with SurePay 
  • Hold a linked Small Business Checking account
Current Terms and Rates 0.01% APY

If you want a little more from a checking account, the SunTrust Select Checking account offers the next step. There is a slightly higher monthly fee, although if you use the account as your regular checking account, you can avoid the fee. 

Not only does this account earn a little bit of interest, you’ll be able to benefit from a few more perks, too. These include two free non-SunTrust ATM transactions per statement cycle, a starter pack of 100 checks or 50% off your first check order and a $25 annual discount on a safe deposit box. Owning this account can also waive the monthly maintenance fees for three Essential Checking accounts. When you also have a SunTrust Cash Rewards credit card and deposit your cash back rewards into this checking account, you’ll receive a 10% Cash Deposit Bonus.

SunTrust Signature Advantage® Checking Account

Key Features Details
Minimum Deposit $100
Access to Your Checking Account Online, mobile, over the phone and at physical branches.
Security FDIC insurance up to the maximum amount allowed by law. 
Fees $25 monthly fee, waivable with total deposit balances of at least $25,000
Current Terms and Rates 0.01% APY

This is SunTrust’s highest tier of checking accounts. It earns at the same rate that the Select Checking account does. However, the Signature Advantage® Checking account really boosts the extra perks you get. This includes unlimited refunds on non-SunTrust ATM transaction fees, waived monthly fees for four Essential Checking accounts, unlimited free personalized checks, a free small safe deposit box and three free overdraft/returned item fees every year. 

You also have the option of receiving a Delta SkyMiles® World debit card instead of the standard SunTrust Mastercard® debit card. Plus, if you also own a SunTrust Cash Rewards credit card and redeem your cash back into this checking account, you’ll earn a 25% Cash Deposit Bonus, a much bigger bonus than the other checking accounts can offer.

Where Can I Find SunTrust?

You can find this bank online, on mobile, at about 1,300 physical branches and at over 2,000 ATMs. The bank’s physical locations are limited to Alabama, Arkansas, the District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia. 

You are still able to open an account online or over the phone if you don’t live in these states. However, you may find banking to be more inconvenient without a branch near you.

What Can You Do Online With SunTrust?

This image details the SunTrust Bank homepage.

You can do a lot of your necessary banking online with SunTrust. Already from its homepage, you can look through its mortgage, checking, credit cards, investment, wealth management and commerical options. You can also easily sign in directly from the homapge when you have an account. If you don’t already have an account, you can open these accounts online after browsing the benefits and costs of each.

The bank’s website also offers a live chat service, allowing you to talk to a bank representative about any questions and concerns you might have. For example, since the savings interest rates are not posted on the bank’s website, SmartAsset was able to use the Live Chat feature to ask about the rates. 

How Do I Access My Money?

You can access your money wherever you can find the bank. When you’re on the website, you can log into your online banking account from any page with your user ID and password. The same is true when you access your account on your mobile device. Once you’re logged in, you can check on your accounts, send and receive money with Zelle® and even deposit checks on your mobile device. 

Of course, you can also access your money at SunTrust locations and ATMs. You can do this with your account information or your SunTrust Mastercard® Debit Card.

 

How Can I Save More Money With a SunTrust Account?

SunTrust doesn’t offer the highest interest rates out there, so you may find it hard to save more here than with other banks. Your best bet to earn at the highest SunTrust rates is to open a CD. These accounts have the highest rates the bank offers. Plus, there is no monthly fee. You do have to meet a pretty high minimum deposit to open an account. 

Most SunTrust bank accounts charge a monthly maintenance fee. However, each can be waived in a few different ways. So if you want to save on account fees, you’ll need to meet one of the given requirements.

What’s the Process for Opening an Account With SunTrust?

This image details the SunTrust bank online account application process.

To open an account online, you need to choose the account you’d like to open and click a blue “Open an Account” or “Open Now” button. From there, you’ll be taken to the first page of the application where you simply have to enter a promo code if you have one and choose whether you’re already a customer or not. You also want to make sure you have all the necessary information ready to go for the following pages. This includes your Social Security number, address, government-issued ID and bank account information to make you initial deposit. 

The whole online process should only take about five minutes. If you have questions while filling out your online application, you can call the bank at 866-351-1084. 

If you don’t want to apply online, you can also visit a branch or call the bank to open an account.

What’s the Catch? 

It’s important to note that not all the bank’s interest rates are posted online, namely for its savings and money market accounts. This is because they are subject to change. To find this information, you’ll have to call or chat with a bank representative. 

Further, these interest rates aren’t the highest in the industry. As is usually the case, the CDs have the highest rates. Other than that, each account earns at rates pretty low on the industry scale.

Bottom Line

Overall, SunTrust doesn’t really outshine its competitors in the industry. Its interest rates fall on the lower end of the rates spectrum, with most rates performing below the national average. Its accounts also tend to require higher minimum deposits and monthly fees. Meeting these requirements isn’t always easy for all customers. 

What SunTrust can offer is a more personal and small bank feel. Their customer service representatives are easy to reach and helpful. Plus, you can join and take advantage of the bank’s onUp Movement that helps you feel more confident in your finances. 

Tips for Best Money Management 

  • For higher savings and CD rates, it could be time to turn to an online bank. Online banks offer just as much reliability and security as a traditional bank with the added plus of finding much higher rates than with a big bank. You will have to give up the benefit of having any physical branches to visit, though. 
  • You could also turn to your nearest credit union. If you’re unsure about switching from a traditional bank to a credit union, don’t worry. You’ll have much of the same perks like branch and ATM access, debit and credit cards and more. You’ll also get a more community-like feel when you bank and much more favorable interest rates. 
  • Not sure what you should do with your money? How about working with a financial advisor to optimize your finances? A financial advisor can take a comprehensive look at your financial situation, your future money goals and figure out how best to get there. They can help you save your money more efficiently by finding the right accounts and investments. To get started with an advisor, SmartAdvisor can pair you with advisors based on your location, finances and preferences. 
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