[Update February 2021: SunTrust Bank’s fixed and variable rate deposit accounts including CDs, savings and money market accounts, have not seen a rate change yet this year.]
SunTrust Bank, now Truist, is a hybrid brick-and-mortar and online bank. Their branch locations are limited to a handful of Southeastern states, but their personal banking products can be managed 100% digitally – making this corporation accessible to just about anyone.
In 2019, BB&T and SunTrust merged to become Truist Financial Corporation. But today, the two banks still operate separately and offer a distinct set of products.
On the savings side of the equation, SunTrust’s FDIC-insured products include interest checking, savings accounts, money market accounts, and CDs.
But how do they stack up?
First off, if you value an in-person banking experience and don’t live in the Southeast, SunTrust likely isn’t for you. But if you do live near a branch and/or you’re ready to go digital then you could consider them as an option. Just don’t expect much in the way of savings rates at the moment.
SunTrust Essential and Select Savings + Advantage Money Market Account Details
All of SunTrust deposit and savings accounts are federally insured by the FDIC to the legal limit of $250,000
SunTrust Bank offers two savings account options:
SunTrust Essential Savings Account
A SunTrust Essential Savings account earns a pitiful rate of 0.01% APY. This almost makes the national average of 0.06% APY look less terrible than it really is.
Interest is compounded daily and credited quarterly. You need only maintain an average daily balance of $0.01 to avoid closure, so while there is technically a minimum balance requirement, access to this account isn’t restricted to wealthier individuals.
This account doesn’t require a minimum opening deposit either, and it also doesn’t charge any monthly maintenance fees. There is, however, an incentive to go paperless in the form of a $3 paper statement fee.
SunTrust Bank Select Savings Account
|Balance||APY + loyal customer bonus|
|$1,000||0.01% + 1.0% bonus (up to$25)|
With a SunTrust Bank Select Savings account, you’ll be getting a slightly less basic account with a (sort of) better rate. The standard APY on this account is also 0.01%, but loyal customers can earn an annual bonus worth 1% APY of their balance up to $25. In other words, you can make up to $25 on top of whatever you’re earning from the paltry 0.01% APY.
A Select Savings account comes with a $7 monthly maintenance fee that can’t just be dodged by going green with billing, but it can be avoided in one of two ways:
- setting up automatic transfers totaling $25 or more per statement cycle
- or by maintaining an average daily balance of at least $1,000.
SunTrust Advantage Money Market Account
|$10,000||0.01% + promo introductory rate (call for details)|
Finally, there are the SunTrust Advantage money market accounts. The national average rate on a money market is currently a measly 0.09%, so you might be surprised to find that right now, SunTrust Bank is paying only 0.01%. But this isn’t always the case—this bank often offers promotional introductory rates that are far better than this, but you’ll actually have to call customer support to inquire about offers in effect as rates vary by area and account history and aren’t posted or searchable.
And although rates aren’t currently listed, they are tiered rates calculated by balance. These are the balance tiers:
- Tier 1: <$9,999.99
- Tier 2: $10,000 – 24,999.99
- Tier 3: $25,000 – 49,999.99
- Tier 4: $50,000 – 99,999.99
- Tier 5: $100,000 – 249.999.99
- Tier 6: $250,000 – 499,999.99
- Tier 7: $500,000 – 999,999.99
- Tier 8: $1,000,000 – 1,999,999.99
- Tier 9: $2,000,000+
Interest on a money market account is compounded daily and credited monthly. A minimum balance of $10,000 is enforced through a $17 low balance fee. This can be avoided by either meeting the balance requirement or setting up an electronic transfer/deposit of at least $100. You will need to make a deposit of at least $100 upon account opening.
No matter what SunTrust savings account you have, you’ll be restricted to 6 transactions per account, per month—this, of course, is the government’s rule, not SunTrust’s. Transact more than this and you will incur a fee of $6 per transaction on an Essential or Select savings account and $15 per transaction on a money market savings account.
One final note on SunTrust Bank savings accounts, which may or may not make up for these lackluster rates, is that they make you eligible for a 10% loyalty cash bonus if you a) Have a SunTrust Rewards Credit Card and b) Redeem the cash bonus you get from this card into a deposit account (via ACH transfer). Essential, Select, and Advantage Money Market savings accounts count toward this bonus.
SunTrust Bank CD Rates
SunTrust Bank Advantage CD rates are similarly elusive, but you can search current promotional rates by area here. This is what we found for the vast majority of zip codes. If you found something different please leave us a comment on this post, or email us a screenshot of the rates you see.
SunTrust Bank CD Rates
To give the offers above some context, the current national average on a 12 month CD sits at just 0.27% APY currently. All SunTrust certificates do manage to come in slightly above this, however much better deposit rates can still be had elsewhere.
A minimum deposit of $2,000 is required to open an Advantage certificate account. In the fine print, you’ll see that SunTrust Bank requires you to have a checking account with them before they’ll let you open an Advantage CD.
Early withdrawal penalties are issued based on the amount of time you have left on a term, not the full length of the term upon issuance. The fees are as follows:
- If you have 1 to 31 days remaining, you’ll pay 180 days’ interest.
- If you have 1 to 6 months remaining, you’ll pay 270 days’ interest.
- If you have 12 to 24 months remaining, you’ll pay 360 days’ interest.
- If you have 24 to 60 months remaining, you’ll pay 720 days’ interest.
- And if you have more than 60 months remaining, you’ll pay 1080 days’ interest.
You can make ONE penalty-free withdrawal within 7 days of opening or renewing an account.
Banking Experience and Customer Sentiment
Both BB&T and SunTrust ATMs are available for SunTrust customers to use. This adds up to over 2,000 ATMs to use surcharge free. On top of that, SunTrust Bank has branch locations in the following states:
- District of Columbia,
- North Carolina,
- South Carolina,
- Tennessee, and
You will be refunded up to 3 times per statement cycle for transactions made using out-of-network ATMs.
SunTrust Bank scores about average in the customer banking experience department. The bank has received a fair amount of negative reviews recently, especially with regard to mortgages and personal loans, but has 3.5 stars overall out of 679 reviews on WalletHub. This is slightly better than average, but out of 169 reviews on ConsumerAffairs (which seems to be the place people go to complain), the bank has 1.1 stars.
In general, SunTrust Bank physical branch locations, good enough remote service, and easy set-up processes are sources of satisfaction for many. While unexpected account closures—a theme across many digital bank review forums—and merger complications are common complaints against the bank.
If you bank with SunTrust Bank, you can probably count on decent customer service over the phone, but if you live near a branch location, you’re likely to get better service there. To get in touch with customer support, call 1-(800)-786-8787 (hours not listed).
ACH Transfer Limitations:
SunTrust Bank limits external ACH inbound transfers to $10,000 per transaction and per day, and outbound ACH transfers to $2,000 per transaction and per day.
Yes, this bank has offered stellar APYs in the past, however with the savings rates offered today there is little to be excited about here.
This bank is going to be more for people that live in the Southeastern part of the country who prefer the option of walking into a branch to manage their accounts. This isn’t going to be a great fit for rate hounds, low-income individuals, or anyone looking to grow their money with FDIC-insured savings vehicles. Account options are limited, come with the potential for rather steep fees, and are generally at or below average in terms of rates.