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SunTrust Essential Savings account review

No initial deposit requirements or monthly fees, but you won't earn much interest.

finder.com’s rating: 3.6 / 5.0

★★★★★

This no-frills account is designed to help students and those that are new to savings. It has a few respectable perks, but it only pays 0.01% interest on your balance and you can only open it if you live in one of the 11 states SunTrust operates in.

0.01%

APY

$0

Fee

$0

Minimum deposit to open

Details

Annual percentage yield (APY)0.01%
Fee$0
Minimum deposit to open$0
New account fee$0
Minimum balance to earn interest$0
Interest compoundingDaily
Monthly transaction limit6
Fee per transaction over the limit$6
More info

More Info

How do I open a SunTrust Essential Savings account?

If you’re a resident of one of the 11 states that SunTrust operates in, you’ll be able to open this account at a branch or online:

  1. Go to the provider’s site and follow the steps to apply.
  2. From SunTrust’s website, hover over Personal banking and click Essential savings.
  3. Click Open an account.
  4. Click Open now under Essential savings.
  5. Fill in your personal information and click Next.
  6. Review account details, choose your account preferences and click Next.
  7. Submit your application.

SunTrust Essential Savings account application process

Eligibility

  • At least 18 years old
  • Reside in one of the 11 states where SunTrust operates
  • US citizen
  • Valid Social Security number or tax ID
  • State-issued ID

Required information

  • Name
  • Contact information
  • Date of birth
  • Government-issued ID number
  • Social Security or tax ID number

What are the benefits of the SunTrust Essential Savings account?

This account is FDIC-insured and designed to help you start saving with a few useful features:

  • No opening deposit. You won’t need to deposit any money when you apply for this account.
  • No monthly fees. You won’t be charged any monthly service fees to keep this account open.
  • Auto transfers. Set up automatic transfers into your savings to reach your goals sooner.
  • Overdraft protection. Unlike some other savings accounts, this account has optional overdraft protection.

What should I look out for?

If you’re considering this account, you should watch out for these potential drawbacks:

  • Low interest rate. You’ll only earn 0.01% on your balance, which is next to nothing.
  • Paper statement fee. You’ll be charged $3 per month for paper statements unless you switch to eStatements.
  • High service fees. Watch out for the $36 overdraft fee, $15 dormant account fee in Florida, $25 outgoing domestic wire transfer fee, $50 outgoing international wire transfer fee and more.
  • Limited availability. SunTrust products are only available in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia.
  • Auto transfer limitations. You’ll only be able to set up automatic transfers from a SunTrust checking account.
  • Low excessive-withdrawal fee. Most banks charge $10 to $15 for each withdrawal over the monthly limit of six, SunTrust charges $6. However, if you routinely exceed the limit, the bank could close your account or convert it to a checking account.

Compare with other savings accounts

Name Product Annual percentage yield (APY) Fee Minimum deposit to open
Aspiration Spend & Save Account
Finder Rating: 3.8 / 5: ★★★★★
Aspiration Spend & Save Account

1.00% on $0 to $10,000 but you’ll need to be enrolled in Aspiration Plus and make at least $1,000 in debit card purchases a month
$0 per month or $15 per month for Aspiration Plus ($12.50 per month if you pay annually)
$10
Deposits are fossil fuel-free and insured by the FDIC. Enjoy a spend and save combo account with unlimited cash back rewards and a $100 bonus when you spend $1,000 in your first 60 days.
Axos Bank High Yield Savings
Finder Rating: 4 / 5: ★★★★★
Axos Bank High Yield Savings

0.61% on $0 to $24,999
0.25% on $25,000 to $99,999
0.15% on $100,000+
$0
$250
No monthly maintenance fees. No minimum balance requirements. Interest compounded daily.
Citibank® Account Package
Citibank® Account Package
0.13%
$25 per month
(can be waived)
$0
Earn a $300 bonus after opening new eligible checking and savings accounts and completing required activities.
American Express® High Yield Savings
Finder Rating: 4.6 / 5: ★★★★★
American Express® High Yield Savings
0.40%
$0
$0
Enjoy no monthly fees and a competitive APY with this online-only savings account. Accounts offered by American Express National Bank, Member FDIC.
Chime Savings
Finder Rating: 4.6 / 5: ★★★★★
Chime Savings
0.50%
$0
$0
Grow your savings automatically with recurring transfers, round-ups on debit card purchases and 0.5% APY.
Discover Online Savings Account
Finder Rating: 4.6 / 5: ★★★★★
Discover Online Savings Account
0.40%
$0
$0
Take advantage of a high-interest online savings account with no fees, no minimums and more.
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Compare up to 4 providers

How do I deposit or withdraw money?

There are a number of ways you can access your money in this account:

Deposits:

  • At a branch
  • Phone, online or wire transfer
  • Direct deposit
  • Mobile check deposit
  • Mail a check

Withdrawals:

  • At a branch
  • Phone, online or wire transfer
  • Bill pay

How can I get in touch with customer service?

If you need assistance or have any questions, you can reach SunTrust customer service by phone at 800-382-3232. Representatives are available weekdays from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET, and Saturdays 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET.

Bottom line

The SunTrust Essential Savings account is a no-frills option that’s available in 11 states. It has no initial deposit requirement or monthly fees. However, it pays almost no interest, so you may want to compare other savings options to see what else is out there.

Frequently asked questions

Savings account ratings

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★★★★★ — Good

★★★★★ — Average

★★★★★ — Subpar

★★★★★ — Poor

We analyze top savings accounts and rate them one to five stars based on factors that are most important to you. These factors include: interest rates, monthly fees, minimum deposits, customer service and account features.

Read the full methodology of how we rate savings accounts.

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