October 22, 2018

SunTrust Bank Review: Account Good for You?

Read more about SunTrust Bank
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If customer service ranks high on your list, SunTrust Bank may be one you want to check out. While they offer interest rates comparable to most "big banks," they do offer that warm, fuzzy feeling some people look for in a bank.

5-point scale (the higher, the better)

Pros and Cons

  • High APY for CDs
  • Free student account
  • Good customer service
  • No free checking option
  • Low savings APY
  • Limited branches

Bottom Line

Southeastern regional bank known for good customer service

SunTrust Bank has been around since 1891. They have more than 1,400 branches and 2,100 ATMs in the Southeast region. Today, they offer a wide variety of checking and savings accounts. They've also recently introduced their onUp Movement to help consumers be more financially savvy.

Keep reading to see if SunTrust may be a good fit for you.

Services Offered

SunTrust offers a variety of checking and savings accounts to help you set and reach your financial goals. Keep reading to learn about SunTrust's deposit accounts.


Each checking account includes no-fee online bill pay, no-fee mobile banking, and access to more than 2,000 fee-free ATMs. Each checking account also includes a cash-back bonus if you have a SunTrust Cash Rewards credit card and you have the funds deposited into your SunTrust checking account.

You only need $100 to open any of the checking accounts below, but each account has specific minimum balances you must achieve to waive the monthly service fee.

  • Balanced Banking: You won't have to worry about overdrafts using your Visa debit card with this account. If you don't have enough funds in your account, the Visa debit card transaction is declined. This account also includes a reduced NSF fee. You do need a minimum $3,000 balance to waive the monthly maintenance fee. This account doesn't pay interest.

  • Essential Checking: You'll need an average $500 daily balance to waive the monthly service fee. You can also waive the fee with 10 banking transactions per month or at least $500 in direct deposits each month. This account also doesn't earn interest.

  • Select Checking: You can earn interest on your money in checking with this account. To waive the monthly service fee, though, you'll need an average $2,000 balance or $2,000 in monthly direct deposits. You may also have the fee waived if you have $10,000 in combined deposit, mortgage, and loan accounts with SunTrust Bank, have a business account with SunTrust, or have a SunTrust mortgage on automated payments (SurePay).

  • Signature Advantage: This premium checking account offers free checks, unlimited refunds of the charges for use of a non-SunTrust ATM, and access to up to four Essential Checking accounts with no service fee. You also have the option to get reimbursed on up to three overdraft/returned item fees in a 12-month cycle. This account does earn interest, but you'll need a minimum balance of $25,000 to waive the higher monthly service fee.

Compare Checking Account Promotion


  • Essential Savings: You can open an Essential Savings account with as little as $0.01. You can also enjoy the account fee-free, as long as you sign up for eStatements rather than paper statements. You can set up automatic transfers from your SunTrust checking account and set up balance alerts to help your savings stay on track.

  • Select Savings: This savings account gives you a 1% annual bonus (up to $25). You must link your account to a Select Checking or Signature Advanced Checking account to be eligible. It does come with a hefty monthly service fee, but you can waive it with a monthly automatic transfer of $25 from a SunTrust checking account, or a $1,000 average daily balance.

  • Signature Money Market Savings: This savings account offers tiered interest rates. The more money you deposit in the account, the higher the interest rate you will earn. You can waive the monthly service fee with a $5,000 minimum daily balance or $100 automatic transfers from a SunTrust checking account. This account also comes with checks, which means it's like a checking account. The only exception is you can't make more than six withdrawals/checks in one monthly cycle.

  • CDs: You'll need a minimum of $2,000 to open a SunTrust CD. They offer both guaranteed interest rates and tiered interest rates. There is a Promotional CD with high, competitive interest rates.

SunTrust Locations: SunTrust has more than 1,200 locations in the Southeast. You'll find them in Alabama, Arkansas, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia.

Compare Savings Account Promotion

Reasons We Like SunTrust

  • Students can open an Essential Checking account free of charge. SunTrust provides qualified students with this free checking account for up to five years. You must be able to prove active enrollment in high school, college, or trade school in order to be eligible.

  • You can earn cash back on your purchases. If you use your SunTrust Visa Debit card, you may earn cash back on certain purchases. Once you log into your online banking platform or mobile app, click on SunTrust deals and select the offers you'll use. After you conduct the transaction, you'll receive cash back in your checking account according to the SunTrust terms.

  • You can access up to 18 months of your online statements in your online banking platform. This can help you reduce paper clutter while giving you access to the information you need for budget, taxes, or any other financial purpose.

  • You can pay bills, transfer funds, or pay friends and family through the online banking system. You can also set up eBill alerts through your SunTrust online banking platform. This allows you to be reminded when your bills are due without having to receive paper bills in the mail.

  • SunTrust provides a variety of financial tools through their onUp Movement. You can take quizzes to help you understand your financial competency, learn how to reach a savings goal, or learn how to create a monthly budget. This tool provides a variety of calculators, financial advice, and how-to articles so that you can get on track financially.

  • You can use a variety of digital payment systems with your SunTrust checking account. They include Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, Fitbit Pay, Masterpass, Garmin Pay, and Visa Checkout.

  • The SunTrust Visa Debit card comes with a Zero Liability promise. If someone steals your card or hacks into your account, you may not be responsible for the charges. You should report the charges right away, though, to ensure that you receive this protection.

  • Each SunTrust checking account comes with free checks. The type of account you open will determine how many checks you receive. At the lowest end, you'll receive 25 free checks and at the highest end, you'll receive unlimited free checks.

  • If you open a Signature Advantage Checking account, you have the option to have a Delta SkyMiles World Debit Card. This card does come with an annual fee, so make sure it's worth it for you to take this option.

  • Your deposits are covered by FDIC insurance. This means each account has coverage of up to $250,000, which goes into effect should SunTrust Bank go out of business.

Premier Banking for Elite Clientele:
If you have $100,000 or more deposited with SunTrust Bank, you may be eligible for their Premier Banking Services. You'll get a dedicated personal banker in your local area to help you with your finances. This banking relationship may provide you with higher interest rates, loan discounts, and customized financial reviews and strategies.

Reasons You May Want to Look Elsewhere

  • SunTrust website isn't completely transparent. You can't find out the interest rates on their website. You have to go into a branch or contact a representative by phone to find out the rates. If you are looking for a quick decision on which account is right for you, SunTrust may not be the best option, as it will take time to get the information that you need.

  • You must reside in the Southeast to take advantage of the SunTrust bank accounts. The limited number of ATMs and branches they have make it a viable option only for those who live within the immediate area of their locations.

  • The interest rates leave a lot to be desired. This is the same story for many "big name banks," as they have a lot of overhead to cover when they have multiple branches. If you are looking for a bank account to make you "rich" on the interest, you won't find those rates or that type of return at SunTrust Bank.

How They Compare

Wells Fargo
Wells Fargo has an even further national reach, as they operate in 39 states and have more than 13,000 ATMs. Wells Fargo offers customer service 24 hours a day, which some people prefer. They also have a variety of interest-bearing and interest-free checking accounts, with ways to waive the monthly service fee.

This bank is the "go-to" East Coast bank. BB&T offers a tool similar to the SunTrust onUp Movement, providing consumers with financial education and tools. They have a large variety of checking and savings accounts, including free accounts for students.

You might also consider:

Bottom Line

If you prefer a smaller, personal bank that will know your name when you walk into the branch, SunTrust could be a good option if you live near one. Before you settle on a bank, read the fine print and understand what you will earn on your account. Take into consideration your goals and, most importantly, know what the account will cost you.

Bank of America
Member FDIC

Bank of America Advantage Banking - $200 Bonus Offer

Expires 5/31/2024
  • The $200 bonus offer is an online only offer and must be opened through the Bank of America promotional page.
  • The offer is for new checking customers only.
  • Offer expires 5/31/2024.
  • To qualify, open a Bank of America Advantage Banking account through the promotional page and set up and receive qualifying direct deposits totaling $2,000 or more into that new account within 90 days of opening.
  • Bank of America will attempt to pay bonus within 60 days.
  • Additional terms and conditions apply. See offer page for more details.
  • Bank of America, N.A. Member FDIC.
Member FDIC

Chase Total Checking® - $300 Bonus

Expires 7/24/2024
  • New Chase checking customers enjoy a $300 bonus when you open a Chase Total Checking® account with qualifying activities
  • Access to more than 15,000 Chase ATMs and more than 4,700 branches
  • Chase Mobile® app - Manage your accounts, deposit checks, transfer money and more -- all from your device.
  • JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A. Member FDIC
  • Open your account online now
  • Available online nationwide except in Alaska, Hawaii and Puerto Rico. For branch locations, visit locator.chase.com.
  • Chase Overdraft Assist℠ - no overdraft fees if you're overdrawn by $50 or less at the end of the business day or if you're overdrawn by more than $50 and bring your account balance to overdrawn by $50 or less at the end of the next business day*
Discover Bank
Member FDIC

Online Savings Account - Earn 4.25% APY

  • No fees
  • No minimum opening deposit
  • No minimum balance required
CIT Bank
Member FDIC

CIT Bank Platinum Savings - 5.05% APY

  • 5.05% APY with a balance of $5,000 or more
  • 0.25% APY with a balance of less than $5,000
  • $100 minimum opening deposit
  • No monthly maintenance fee
  • Member FDIC

Free Business Checking - Up to 2.0% APY

  • 2.0% APY on your balance up to $250,000 for customers that meet monthly eligibility requirements
  • $0 minimum opening deposit
  • $0 monthly service fee
Banking services provided by Coastal Community Bank, Member FDIC

Write to Kim P at feedback@creditdonkey.com. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook for our latest posts.

Note: This website is made possible through financial relationships with some of the products and services mentioned on this site. We may receive compensation if you shop through links in our content. You do not have to use our links, but you help support CreditDonkey if you do.

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