Choosing a bank may seem like a straightforward decision, but once you begin the search, narrowing down your choices can be challenging. You’ll need to think about such things as the location of branches and ATMs, the financial products and the fees involved. And in today’s digital age, you should consider the online and electronic features available to you as well.
If you’re looking for a bank with a long track record of success, an abundance of financial products and all the benefits of modern technology, consider opening an account with BB&T. Headquartered in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, BB&T has more than 1,700 branches across 15 states and Washington D.C. Founded in 1872, this bank offers a wide range of products, from bank accounts to investment solutions.
- Who Is BB&T Bank Best For?
- Types of Accounts Available
- Savings Account
- Money Market Account
- CD Rates
- Individual Retirement Accounts
- Investment (Nonbank) Options
- How To Bank With BB&T
- Availability of Funds
- Is BB&T Bank Right for You?
BB&T Bank is one of the oldest and largest banks in the country. Following are reasons to consider banking with BB&T, and reasons some depositors may want to look elsewhere.
- Large, financially sound institution
- Competitive interest rates
- Bank-owned branches and ATMs mostly limited to Southeast
- Large size and rapid growth may lower quality of personal service
Because it is a leader in online and mobile banking technology, BB&T Bank is an excellent choice for customers who are comfortable managing and monitoring their accounts from their home computers. Convenient digital features let customers pay their mortgages, credit cards and other bills online, as well as track their daily spending.
BB&T also offers mobile banking. Account holders can download the bank’s free app to their smartphone or tablet computer. After downloading the app, they can view and manage their accounts and complete mobile check deposits. Business owners even have the option of accepting credit cards with a mobile device.
Another plus is the fact that BB&T strives to pay competitive rates on all interest-bearing accounts. Anytime you can earn a higher rate, you can grow your savings faster and reach savings goals sooner.
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People who travel extensively or move outside of BB&T’s coverage area may find the bank inconvenient, as they may be forced to choose another bank or pay expensive ATM fees.
Additionally, as one of the largest financial holding companies in the U.S., BB&T is gaining a reputation as a big bank. Thus, BB&T customer service may not compare with a smaller, more community-centered bank. Sometimes a large number of customers can lead to a lack of personal service, and attention to individual customer needs can become an issue.
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Members of BB&T Bank can take advantage of several types of accounts. Here’s a quick look.
|BB&T Accounts at a Glance|
|Type of Account||Rates||Fees||Features|
|Checking||0% to 0.01% APY||$0 to $30 a month (waivers available)||
|Savings||0.02% APY||$0 (no monthly service fees)||
|Money Market||0.01% to 0.15% APY||$12 to $15 a month (waivers available)||
|Certificates of Deposit||0.01% to 0.75% APY (depending on term)||$0 (no monthly fees)||
BB&T bank offers customers five checking account choices, including specialty accounts for students and senior citizens. Every BB&T checking account comes with online and mobile banking features, a free debit card and free transactions at BB&T’s network of more than 2,400 ATMs. The bank’s premier checking option, Elite Gold, is BB&T’s only checking account that earns interest.
- $0 to $30 monthly service fees
- Monthly fees waived via balance or deposit minimums
- No-fee option for college students
- Low initial deposit minimums
- Overdraft protection available
- Generous rewards programs available
- Bank product discounts
BB&T Bank appears to have a checking account option for every banking customer. Here are some of the pros and cons.
- Good selection of checking accounts
- No-fee option for students
- Special consideration for seniors with medical bills
- Rewards programs
- Multiple ways to avoid monthly fees
- Only one interest-bearing option
- No way to avoid $3 monthly fee BB&T Fundamentals account
- Relatively high minimums and fees on bank’s premier checking account (options to waive)
BB&T savings accounts banking customers can choose from two options: eSavings and Young Savers. Neither account has a minimum deposit requirement, minimum balance requirement or monthly service fee.
The bank’s only pure savings account is called eSavings, designed for adult savers. This exclusively online account issues digital statements only.
The Young Savers savings account is designed to help young people under 18 learn about savings and banking.
These BB&T savings accounts come with the following features:
- Unlimited free deposits, withdraws and transfers at BB&T branches and ATMs
- Competitive interest rates
- Interest compounds daily
- No monthly fees
- Easy to open
- No deposit or balance minimums
- No hidden charges for transactions
- Limited savings account choices
- No paper statements
- No tiered interest rates
BB&T offers two money market accounts: the High-Performance Money Market Account and the Investors Deposit Account. Both feature check-writing privileges and a tiered interest rate. The Investors Deposit Account is more expensive but pays a higher rate.
- Higher tiered interest rates
- Monthly fees easily avoided
- Check-writing privileges
- Only two money market choices
- Relatively high balance requirement for premier account
Unlike most institutions, BB&T gets quite creative with its CD rates. It offers terms as short as seven days and as long as 60 months, with many choices in between. It has “Can’t Lose CD Rates” to protect depositors when rates are falling and “Stepped Rate CDs” that promise a rate hike at least once a year.
Rates for the shortest CDs start at 0.01% APY and quickly rise as high as 0.75% APY, as of May 5, 2020.
- Many CD terms and choices
- Creative options
- Competitive rates
- Significant penalties for early withdrawals
- $2,500 minimum for CDs of fewer than 31 days
Traditional, Roth and rollover IRAs are all offered at BB&T Bank. For small-business owners who want to set up IRAs for their employees, SEP and SIMPLE IRAs are available as well.
BB&T IRAs can be funded with most bank products, or customers can choose insurance or investment accounts. Either way, depositors will enjoy tax-deferred growth of their retirement savings.
- All types of personal and small business IRAs serviced
- Wide range of funding options
- Professional retirement planning specialists available
- Investment professionals not employed by BB&T
- Significant penalties for early withdrawal
Customers of BB&T Bank have access to a wide array of nonbank investment choices. Through the bank’s trust company and brokerage affiliates, clients can invest in stocks, bonds, exchange-traded funds, insurance products and more. While professional advice is available, more knowledgeable investors can invest on their own.
- Wide range of investment products
- Licensed investment professionals
- Trust and estate planning services
- Different affiliated companies for different investment products
BB&T Bank offers a wide variety of lending options to meet your funding needs. Both fixed-rate and adjustable-rate mortgages are available for home purchases and refinances. Home equity loans with fixed payments and no prepayment penalties are also available. BB&T Bank also can help you finance autos, motorcycles and RVs. And if you’re in the market for a personal loan, the bank offers those as well.
- Full suite of loan products
- Large lending capacity
- Competitive loan rates
- Branches largely limited to the Southeast region
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BB&T Bank has over 1,700 branches in 15 states plus Washington D.C. Accounts can be opened online, and most transactions can be done online, on the mobile app or at one of the bank’s many ATMs.
Modern banking conveniences are not lacking at BB&T. It has been offering online and mobile banking for many years. Customers can check balances, pay bills, make deposits and transfer funds anytime from their computers or smartphones.
BB&T is transparent about the fees it charges customers. Every account has a detailed, easily accessible fee schedule. Fees for its premier accounts are relatively high, but the bank offers ways to avoid them.
BB&T Bank has a goal of making funds available to clients as soon as possible. Cash deposits and incoming electronic deposits are usually credited to accounts on the day they arrive. Government checks, bank checks and money orders are credited the next business day. Personal checks take a little longer.
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BB&T Bank has become one of the largest banks in the United States. While that’s good for clients who want the strength and stability of a large institution, it’s not so good for customers who want more personalized service.
The bank has all the accounts and banking services you would expect a large bank to have. This may, however, make it inflexible about some things. Bigger banks may be less likely, for example, to make exceptions for friends and neighbors. Customers outside of BB&T’s service area may also want to look for a local bank.
Overall, BB&T Bank is well worth looking into. With a large number of existing branches and ATMs and options like the ability to personalize a financial dashboard, BB&T Bank may very well be the right institution for you.
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This article has been updated with additional reporting since its original publication.
This content is not provided by BB&T Bank. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author alone and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by BB&T Bank.
Rates are subject to change. Information on accounts is accurate as of April 17, 2020.