SunTrust Bank Review: High-Quality Customer Service and a Variety of Products

Find out if SunTrust Bank is right for you.

Headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, SunTrust has more than 1,600 bank branches and nearly 3,000 ATMs. As one of the largest banks in the United States, it offers a wide variety of products to help keep your finances on track. At SunTrust Bank, you can open a checking account, start an emergency fund, borrow from your home’s equity and even plan your retirement.

With all the banking choices available today, there’s no reason to settle. Keep reading to find out if SunTrust Bank might be the right choice for you.

Here’s a quick look at what’s covered in this SunTrust Bank review:

Who Is SunTrust Best For?

SunTrust Bank is an excellent choice for individuals seeking a large bank with good name recognition in the southern U.S. Here’s a look at some of the pros and cons of SunTrust:

Pros

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  • Dedicated to community economic development
  • Full suite of financial services and products
  • Up to seven years of account history accessible online via paperless statements
  • Free online tools to help you learn about and manage finances

Cons

  • Branches limited to southern U.S.
  • Interest rates only available by calling

Learn More: Best Online Checking Accounts at a Glance

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Who Might Want To Choose SunTrust?

Banking customers who are dissatisfied with the level of service at their current institution will appreciate SunTrust’s dedication to client satisfaction. SunTrust is a large, financially sound bank, which should give depositors confidence.

The bank’s concentration in the southern U.S. makes it an obvious choice for Southerners who want an institution dedicated to their region. With credit cards, mortgage loans, deposit accounts and other banking products, SunTrust has all you could ask for in a regional bank.

With unique neighborhood programs like the Lighting the Way to Financial Well-Being initiative and The onUp Movement, SunTrust is demonstrating its commitment to the financial health and improvement of local customers.

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Who Might Want To Skip SunTrust?

SunTrust only maintains branches and ATMs in 12 southern U.S. states. While clients anywhere can access their money online and through other banks’ ATM machines, SunTrust may not be the bank for you if you want a bank with a nationwide footprint.

Stay Local: Best Regional Banks of 2020

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Types of Accounts Available

SunTrust Bank offers an array of savings and lending options. Here’s a look at what you’ll find.

SunTrust Accounts at a Glance
Account TypeRatesFeesFeatures
CheckingUp to 0.01% APY$7 to $20Multiple ways to waive fees, three checking account choices
SavingsStandard APY for Select Savings account is 0.01% for all balances$0 to $7Low opening deposits, low minimum monthly balances
Money Market Account0.01%-0.75% APY$17Fee can be waived with direct deposit of minimum balance, check-writing privileges
Certificates of DepositTiered rates for 6-month to 24-month terms, 0.50% APY typically offeredN/ASmall opening deposit, many terms to choose from

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Checking

SunTrust offers three distinct checking account options, but only Advantage Checking pays interest on balances. All checking accounts feature a Loyalty Cash Bonus of 10%-50% to customers with a SunTrust cash rewards credit card who deposit their rewards in their checking account.

SunTrust Checking Accounts at a Glance
Account NameAPYMonthly FeeMinimum Balance To Waive Fee
Advantage Checking0.01%$20$10,000
Essential CheckingNon-interest bearing$7$500
Balanced CheckingNon-interest bearing$12$3,000

Pros

  • Three distinct choices available
  • Discounts on boxes of checks
  • Cash reward program at all levels

Cons

  • Monthly service fees
  • Only one interest-bearing option
  • Strict minimum balances

Discover: Best Checking Accounts of 2020

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Savings Account

SunTrust has two options for customers looking for a basic savings account: Essential Savings and Select Savings. Each account allows depositors access to funds at any time, and each can be used to fund overdraft protection on a SunTrust checking account.

SunTrust Savings Accounts at a Glance
Account NameMinimum Deposit To OpenMonthly Fee
Essential Savings$0$3 (waived with enrollment in monthly Paperless online statements)
Select Savings$100$7 (waived with $1,000 balance)

Pros

  • Balance minimums low or non-existent
  • Low initial deposit
  • Checking overdraft protection option with Select Savings

Cons

  • Few special features
  • Tiered interest unavailable on no-fee account

Compare: Best Savings Accounts of 2020

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Money Market Account

The SunTrust Bank Advantage Money Market Savings Account isn’t a checking account, but it does offer limited check-writing privileges. This makes it the ideal account for customers who want a higher interest rate with easier access to their money.

Money Market Savings Account at a Glance
Account NameMinimum Opening DepositMonthly FeeInterest
Advantage Money Market Savings Account$100$17 (waived with $10,000 balance)0.01%-0.75% APY

Pros

  • Check-writing privileges
  • Rates higher than those of checking or savings
  • Easily accessible funds

Cons

  • Relatively high monthly fee
  • Relatively high minimum account balance

See: Best Money Market Accounts of 2020

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Certificates of Deposit

SunTrust offers CDs with terms ranging from as short as seven days to as long as 10 years. For its CDs with terms of six, 12, 18 or 24 months, SunTrust typically offers an APY of 0.50%. To open a CD, you’ll need to make a minimum deposit of $2,000.

Pros

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  • Wide range of terms
  • Available tiered-rate CDs
  • Grace period to add funds

Cons

  • $2,000 minimum deposit required to open account
  • No statements
  • Significant penalties for early withdrawals

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Individual Retirement Account

Clients who don’t mind taking on some risk with their retirement funds can fund their IRA with stocks, bonds and mutual funds through SunTrust’s brokerage subsidiary — SunTrust Investment Services. Otherwise, SunTrust offers Traditional and Roth IRAs that are invested in CDs.

Pros

  • Comprehensive online retirement resource center
  • Investment and banking choices
  • Traditional, Roth and Rollover IRAs available

Cons

  • Investment advisors separate from bankers
  • Retirement specialists not available nationally

Investment Options

SunTrust Advisory Services and SunTrust Investment Services are non-bank investment firms that service SunTrust’s clientele with high net worth. Investment clients can work with a professional financial advisor to form customized plans that include financial securities such as stocks, bonds and mutual funds. These investments may offer higher returns, but they’re not guaranteed or insured by the FDIC.

Pros

  • Full range of investment products available
  • Professional advice and FINRA-licensed brokers
  • Potential for high market returns

Cons

  • Advisors affiliated, not bank employees

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Loans

As you would expect, SunTrust Bank offers all the mortgage and personal loan options of a top-tier regional bank. Whether you’re buying a first or second home, purchasing a new car or needing an unsecured personal loan, SunTrust Bank can meet your borrowing needs. It offers student loans to help finance higher education as well.

Pros

  • Six lending categories
  • Competitive rates

Cons

  • Personal loan rate data not available on website

Read On: Where To Get Small Personal Loans

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How To Bank With SunTrust

If you live in any of the southern states, you’re sure to have a SunTrust Bank branch and ATM nearby. You can stop in and open any account the bank offers. Customers in other regions can easily open accounts online and bank on their computers or smartphones. High-quality customer service is always available online, over the phone and in person at a branch.

Technology

SunTrust is at the forefront of banking technology. Its online banking service offers all the latest services, including online bill pay and 24/7 access to account information. In addition, this institution offers mobile banking, which scores big with today’s customers. This feature lets account holders manage their accounts from any internet-equipped mobile device.

After downloading the SunTrust mobile banking app, clients can transfer funds, view account balances, pay bills and deposit checks from their smartphones or tablets. Account holders can also sign up for mobile alerts and receive text and email messages about their balances.

Everything You Need To Know: How To Open a Bank Account Online

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Fees

Monthly account service fees can be high, ranging from $7 to $20 a month. Customers are encouraged to avoid these fees by qualifying for a waiver. The easiest way to qualify is to keep your balance above account minimums, but there are other methods as well. Be sure to read the fine print and avoid paying fees unnecessarily.

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Availability of Funds

Cash deposits, wire transfers and direct deposits of payroll checks are available to SunTrust customers immediately upon deposit. That’s good news because it allows you to withdraw these funds or write checks against them without delay.

State and federal government checks, money orders and cashiers’ checks are made available on the business day after deposit.

Third-party checks and other specialized deposits must be processed before clearing. SunTrust strives to process deposits as fast as possible but cannot credit deposits until they clear. Fortunately, that only takes about one business day.

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Is SunTrust Bank Right for You?

If you’re looking for a new banking relationship, SunTrust Bank is worth considering. SunTrust has all the perks a contemporary bank can offer and still provides friendly, quality service. It has a solid variety of savings and checking vehicles, a full portfolio of loan products and state-of-the-art financial technology. If you need a bank that has branches and ATMs around the U.S., however, SunTrust may not be for you.

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More On SunTrust

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This article has been updated with additional reporting since its original publication.

Rates are subject to change.Rates for the money market account are accurate as of April 15, 2020. Information on accounts is accurate as of April 21, 2020.

This content is not provided by SunTrust 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 SunTrust Bank.

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About the Author

Valencia Higuera is a personal finance expert who enjoys articles on budgeting, saving money and credit cards. She holds a B.A in English from Old Dominion University and currently lives in Chesapeake, Virginia.