Suncoast Credit Union Review 2021: Great Rates with No Maintenance Fees

4.8
Our Take: Suncoast Credit Union offers a complete menu of banking products with low or no fees and very competitive interest rates. You must meet eligibility requirements to be a member, but if you do you can enjoy interest-bearing checking accounts with no fees as well as savings accounts, money market accounts and certificates. The credit union also offers loans and credit cards.
  • Rates
    5.0
  • Fees
    5.0
  • Breadth of Products
    4.5
  • Banking Experience
    4.5
How did we calculate this?

Like any financial institution, Suncoast Credit Union has both strengths and weaknesses. Here’s a quick overview:

Pros

  • Interest-bearing checking
  • Competitive annual percentage yields on savings and certificate accounts
  • No monthly maintenance fees
  • No or low minimum balance requirements

Cons

  • Branches are in Florida only
  • You must qualify to be a member

About Suncoast Credit Union

Suncoast Credit Union, also known as SCU, is the largest credit union in Florida, with more than 920,000 members. It is headquartered in Tampa and has more than 70 branches, mainly on the west coast of Florida. It offers a full range of banking products and financial services.

Membership in Suncoast Credit Union is open to those who live, work, attend school or worship in the following Florida counties: Alachua, Brevard, Broward, Charlotte, Citrus, Clay, Collier, DeSoto, Dixie, Duval, Gilchrist, Glades, Hardee, Hendry, Hernando, Highlands, Hillsborough, Indian River, Lake, Lee, Leon, Levy, Manatee, Marion, Martin, Miami-Dade, Monroe, Orange, Osceola, Palm Beach, Pasco, Pinellas, Polk, Sarasota, Seminole, St. Johns, St. Lucie, Sumter and Volusia. It is also open to alumni of Florida College and immediate family members of existing members.

Suncoast Credit Union Products

Suncoast Credit Union offers a full range of banking products and services, including checking and savings accounts, money market accounts and certificates, — known commonly as certificates of deposit– all with very competitive interest rates. SCU also provides vehicle, home and personal loans, plus resources for borrowers. Its credit card lineup includes Platinum, Starter, Classic and Secured Visa cards with low fixed interest rates and no annual fees.

Product Features
Checking Accounts
  • One account available
  • No maintenance fees
  • Earns interest
Savings Accounts
  • Regular and Special Share savings
  • $5 minimum balance for Regular account
  • APY up to 0.50%
Money Market Accounts
  • $1,000 minimum to earn interest
  • APY of 0.40% for highest balances
Certificates
  • Jumbo, Share and Smart Start certificates
  • Minimum balance ranges from $50 to $100,000
  • Terms from six months to five years
Credit Cards
  • No annual fees
  • Annual percentage rate as low as 9.90%
  • Starter, student and secured cards available
  • Rewards cards available
Loans
  • Mortgages
  • Vehicle loans
  • Personal loans

Keep reading for a deeper dive into what you can expect from Suncoast Credit Union’s deposit accounts.

Suncoast Credit Union Checking Account Review

Suncoast Credit Union’s Smart Checking account has no monthly service fees and no minimum opening balance requirement. Plus, the checking account earns 0.10% APY on any balance. There’s also a Student Checking account for teens with a parent or legal guardian joint owner.

Features

  • No monthly fees
  • No minimum balance requirement
  • 0.10% APY
  • Teen account available

Pros

  • Competitive APY
  • No fees

Cons

  • Only one option for adults
  • Must pay for checks unless you are 55 or over

Suncoast Credit Union Savings Accounts Review

When you become a member of Suncoast, you must open a Regular Share Membership savings account with a $5 minimum deposit. Once you have this account, you’re eligible for all other Suncoast products and services.

The Regular Share account pays 0.50% APY on any balance, but you do need to maintain the $5 minimum balance. You can also open a Special Share savings account to save for a specific goal. This account has no minimum balance requirement.

Features

  • No monthly fees
  • $5 minimum balance
  • 0.50% APY

Pros

  • Competitive APY
  • Low minimum balance

Cons

  • Higher balances don’t earn more interest

Suncoast Credit Union Money Market Account Review

Suncoast’s money market account has a minimum balance of $1,000 to earn interest and features different rates for different balances.

Features

  • $1,000 initial deposit
  • APY of 0.40% for highest balance
  • Variable rates

Pros

  • Competitive APY
  • No minimum balance required but $1,000 needed to earn interest

Cons

  • Minimum of $250,000 needed to get 0.40% APY

Suncoast Credit Union Certificates Review

Suncoast Credit Union, like many credit unions, refers to CDs as simply  “Certificates.” SCU offers a Share Certificate with a $500 minimum balance requirement and a Jumbo Certificate with a $100,000 minimum balance. Interest rates are the same for Share Certificates and Jumbo Certificates across all terms.

Suncoast Credit Union also offers a Smart Start certificate, which you can open with an initial deposit of $50 and a monthly deposit of $40. After 12 months, the balance can be rolled into a traditional certificate.

Features

  • Fixed interest rates
  • Longer terms earn higher interest
  • Rates range from 0.30% APY for a six-month term to 0.95% APY for a five-year term

Pros

  • Safe, guaranteed investment
  • Very competitive rates
  • Variety of terms

Cons

Banking Experience

Suncoast Credit Union offers a variety of ways to take care of your banking tasks, including in person at a branch, at one of the ATMs, or digitally either online or with the mobile app. Interactive teller centers are also available at branches that have extended hours.

Customer Service

The Suncoast Member Care Center can be reached by calling 800-999-5887 or 813-621-7511. It is available Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Saturday from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Members have access to more than 70 Suncoast Credit Union branches in Florida as well as the CO-OP network of ATMs.

Mobile and Digital Experience

Online and mobile banking let Suncoast members check balances, transfer funds and deposit checks anywhere, any time. The mobile app is available on the App Store, where it has a rating of 4.8 stars out of 5; and on Google Play, where it has a rating of 4.5 stars.

How To Open an Account

You can easily open a Suncoast account online. You’ll first be asked about where you live to determine your eligibility to be a member. Next, you’ll need to open a Member Share Savings account with a $5 minimum deposit. Once that account is open, you can use online banking or the mobile app to open additional accounts.

If your identification doesn’t have your current address on it, you will need to provide one of the following for proof of address:

  • Utility bill or utility hookup
  • Vehicle registration
  • Letter from Social Security office
  • Lease agreement
  • Mortgage document if you recently purchased a new home
  • Florida Voter Registration Card
  • Educational institution transcript
  • W-2 or 1099 for the most recent tax year
  • Renters insurance policy

Key Information

Customer Service Number: 800-999-5887

Routing Number: 263182817

Suncoast Credit Union Fees

While Suncoast has no monthly maintenance fees, there may be other charges based on certain activities and services. Here’s a rundown:

Type Amount
NSF (paid) $29
Check/ACH returned (unpaid) $29
Stop payment $29
Cashier’s check (after first check per day) $2
Incoming wire $5
Outgoing domestic wire $20
Outgoing international wire $35

Note that the first cashier’s check each day is free, so the $2 charge applies only to subsequent checks on the same day.

Suncoast Credit Union vs. Competitors

You’ll want to look at all your options when choosing a bank to ensure you find the right one for you. Here’s a look at how Suncoast Credit Union compares to other financial institutions.

Bank Best For
Suncoast Credit Union Competitive rates, no maintenance fees, large branch network in Florida
Launch Credit Union Member promotions
Ally Bank Online banking with high APY
Bank of America Nationwide branches and ATMs

Suncoast Credit Union vs. Launch Credit Union

Launch is another Florida-based credit union. It offers several promotions, including one that gives members a chance to win an iPad when they enroll in e-statements. But Suncoast has a wider service area and many more branches.

Suncoast Credit Union vs. Ally Bank

Ally Bank is an internet-only bank and therefore has lower costs than many brick and mortar locations. This lets it offer the same or better interest rates on savings and checking accounts than you’ll get at Suncoast. But if you prefer in-person banking, Suncoast is the better choice because of its branch network.

Suncoast Credit Union vs. Bank of America

Bank of America has about 4,300 retail locations and 17,000 ATMs nationwide, so chances are you’re never far from one. But its savings APY is not nearly as high as Suncoast’s.

Final Take

If you are eligible to open an account at Suncoast, it’s certainly worth a look. The credit union’s interest rates are very competitive and it offers the advantages of a local bank combined with the ability to use ATMs nationwide with no fee.

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    Editor’s Favorite

    The combination of competitive interest rates and no maintenance fee make at Suncoast Credit Union hard to beat. Qualifying Florida residents have access to a wide range of quality accounts by becoming members.

    Suncoast Credit Union FAQ

    Here are the answers to some commonly asked questions about Suncoast Credit Union.
    • Are Suncoast Credit Union accounts FDIC insured?
      • No; they are insured by the National Credit Union Administration and backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. government up to at least $250,000 per depositor, just like the FDIC.
    • Who can join Suncoast Credit Union?
      • Here's who qualifies to join Suncoast Credit Union: residents of one of 39 counties in Florida, alumni of Florida College, and family members of an existing member.
    • Does Suncoast Credit Union offer free money for signing up for an account?
      • Suncoast doesn't currently offer free money for signing up for an account, but check the website regularly to see if there are any future promotions.

    Rates are subject to change. Information on accounts is accurate as of Feb. 5, 2021.

    This content is not provided by Suncoast Credit Union. 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 Suncoast Credit Union.

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    About the Author

    Karen Doyle is a personal finance writer with over 20 years’ experience writing about investments, money management and financial planning. Her work has appeared on numerous news and finance websites including GOBankingRates, Yahoo! Finance, MSN, USA Today, CNBC, Equifax.com, and more.

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