About SunTrust Bank, Now Truist
On Dec. 9, 2019, Winston-Salem, North Carolina-based BB&T (Branch Banking and Trust Company) and Atlanta-based SunTrust completed a merger of equals to become Truist Bank, the sixth largest U.S. bank based on assets, according to FDIC data. Truist is headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina. SunTrust mainly has branches in the Southeast, but its merger with BB&T to form Truist may expand its footprint
Since the merger was announced, BB&T and SunTrust had been operating under their separate names. Between late 2021 and early 2022, both banks will transition to the single Truist brand.
As of this writing in Nov. 2021, BB&T is already doing business as Truist. The bbt.com website automatically redirects to truist.com. Truist consumer products are now available both online and in BB&T branches. Current BB&T clients’ products are also transitioning to Truist.
According to Truist’s online merger guide, SunTrust’s transition to doing business under the Truist name is scheduled for early 2022. Due to this difference in timing, suntrust.com is still operating under its own name, identified as “SunTrust Now Truist.” Also in early 2022, SunTrust debit cards will become Truist debit cards and all bank signage will change from BB&T and SunTrust to Truist at branches and ATM locations.
Note: In December 2019, BB&T and SunTrust completed a merger of equals to become Truist Bank, headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina. As described below in About SunTrust, Now Truist, SunTrust is still operating under its own name until early 2022.
SunTrust has been a Georgia-based home to a host of banking and financial products and services for consumers, small businesses and corporate and commercial clients.
SunTrust mainly has branches in the Southeast, but its merger with BB&T to form Truist may expand its footprint. You can open an account online with SunTrust even if you don’t live in a state where it has a branch presence.
SunTrust’s product details, rates and fee information may vary by location. SunTrust has been headquartered in Atlanta, but is moving to Charlotte, North Carolina, under the merger. For the purposes of this review, we used a Charlotte ZIP code of 28202.
This review focuses on SunTrust Bank’s personal banking services. Account details and annual percentage yields (APYs) are accurate as of Nov. 11, 2021.
SunTrust Bank offers two checking accounts for consumers: Essential Checking and Advantage Checking. Below are the details of these accounts.
Essential Checking. Essential Checking is a basic checking account designed for everyday banking. A deposit of at least $100 is required to open this account. The account carries a monthly fee of $7, but that fee can be waived if you meet one of the following requirements:
- Make 10 or more client-initiated transactions per statement
- Receive $500 or more in total qualifying direct deposits
- Maintain a $500 minimum daily collected balance
- Open the account as a student, for which you’ll receive a waiver for five years
Other account perks include a starter pack of checks and a 10% loyalty bonus when you redeem rewards earned with a SunTrust Cash Rewards credit card for cash back to your checking account. This account also includes person-to-person electronic payment through Zelle.
There’s a $3 paper statement fee, which you can avoid by signing up for paperless online statements. The overdraft fee is steep—$36.
Advantage Checking. This account is an interest-bearing checking account with three tiers of benefits based on your account balance:
- Advantage. This tier is for balances of $0 to $25,000. It comes with a 10% credit card loyalty cash bonus and an optional Delta SkyMiles Debit Card ($95 annual fee).
- Advantage Choice. This tier is for balances between $25,000 and $100,000. It comes with a 25% credit card loyalty cash bonus and an optional Delta SkyMiles Debit Card ($75 annual fee).
- Advantage Preferred. This tier is for balances above $100,000. It comes with a 50% credit card loyalty cash bonus and an optional Delta SkyMiles Debit Card ($25 annual fee).
Advantage Checking carries a $20 monthly maintenance fee, waived in of the following three ways:
- Receive $3,000 in total monthly qualifying direct deposits
- Maintain $10,000 total combined balances between linked deposit and investment accounts
- Have a linked SunTrust small business checking account, lending account or credit card
This checking account currently pays 0.01% APY on all balances. Other perks with this account include a 100-pack of SunTrust customer checks, no-fee money orders and a $25 discount on any size safe deposit box. As with Essential Checking, there’s a $36 overdraft fee.
SunTrust Bank offers two primary savings accounts: Essential Savings and Youth Advantage Savings.
Essential Savings. Essential Savings is a basic savings account with no monthly fee and no minimum opening balance. You’ll need to maintain a minimum account balance of $0.01 to avoid closure, but, other than that, there are no account requirements. Current savings account interest rates aren’t available online.
With this account, you can track savings goals with balance alerts and make automatic transfers from a SunTrust checking account. There’s a $3 fee for paper statements, which you can avoid by signing up for online paperless statements.
Youth Advantage Savings. SunTrust also offers savings accounts for kids. Youth Advantage Savings is available in two variations:
- Minor By. This version requires an adult co-owner and is meant to teach children and teens about managing money.
- UTMA. This version is considered an irrevocable gift to a child that’s transferred to them when they reach the age of majority for their state. Account funds can only be used for the child’s benefit.
Youth Advantage Savings accounts carry no monthly fee until the child reaches the age of 18. If opened online, there is a $50 minimum opening deposit, but no requirement when opened in person at a SunTrust branch.
SunTrust has one money market account available: Advantaged Money Market Savings. This account comes with limited check-writing privileges. You can open a money market account for $100. The account carries a $17 monthly maintenance fee, which can be waived each month if you make automatic transfers of at least $100 total or maintain a $10,000 minimum daily collected balance. Current money market account interest rates aren’t posted online.
SunTrust also carries Personal Certificates of Deposit (CDs). CDs can be a good way to maximize savings if you don’t need immediate access and are able to set aside funds for a specific period, but SunTrust’s CD rates are fairly low, especially compared to the best CD rates.
SunTrust offers four Personal Certificates of Deposit (CD), ranging from six months to 24 months, on its website. You can open these promotional CDs online. But there are numerous other terms available that range from seven days to 10 years, according to the bank’s website and Certificates of Deposit (CDs) Account Overview Guide. You must visit a branch or call the bank to learn more about those terms.
CDs require a $2,000 minimum deposit to open. Here’s an overview of SunTrust’s Personal Certificates of Deposit:
|CD Term||APY||Minimum Deposit|
Other Accounts and Services
In addition to its personal deposit accounts, SunTrust Bank also offers the following financial products and services:
- Credit cards
- Auto loans
- Auto refinancing
- Recreational vehicle loans
- Person lines of credit
- Mortgage loans
- Mortgage refinancing
- Home Equity Lines of Credit (HELOCs)
- Home improvement loans
- Debt consolidation loans
- Physician loans and line of credit
- Business loans
- Small business banking and lending
- Investment accounts and services
- Retirement accounts
- Wealth management services
- Corporate and commercial services
Access on the Go
SunTrust accounts are accessible online or through its mobile app. Within your online account, you can manage your accounts and access helpful features like online bill pay and e-statements.
SunTrust’s mobile app is available on the App Store (4.1 stars out of 5) and Google Play (4.2 stars out of 5). Through the app, customers can:
- Manage accounts
- Pay bills
- Deposit checks
- Send money via Zelle
- Open an account
- Access credit card and loan accounts
For in-person help, you can visit any of SunTrust’s physical branches located in 17 states and Washington D.C or over 2,000 SunTrust ATMs. You can also get help by calling SunTrust Bank customer support by phone at 800-786-8787 during business hours or using its online chat feature.
- Low deposit requirements
- Monthly maintenance fees are relatively easy to get waived
- Full-service banking
- Low interest rates on deposit accounts
- High overdraft fees
- Branches are located primarily in the southeastern U.S.
SunTrust Bank Stacks Up
SunTrust still exists on its own for now but eventually will transition to Truist Bank. At this point, it’s not yet clear what that will look like in terms of products, services or interest rates.
Individuals in the southeastern U.S. looking for full-service banking are ideal customers for SunTrust Bank. You won’t earn competitive rates, but the bank offers plenty of in-person and online support, along with a full array of accounts and services to meet a host of banking needs. For more competitive rates, turn to the best online banks.