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SunTrust Essential Savings account review

Please note: This product has been discontinued, and it’s not available on our site.

Compare similar accounts and find the best option for you.

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 can open this account at a branch or online:

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

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 jumpstart your savings with a major bank. One of its most helpful features is your ability to choose the type of overdraft protection you use.

  • No opening deposit or monthly fees. You won’t need to deposit money when you apply. You also can keep the account open with as little as $0.01, and you won’t be charged monthly service fees to keep the account open.
  • Your choice of overdraft protection. In case of overdrafts, you can choose whether the bank will decline transactions, draft the amount from a linked account or charge you a fee while still paying for your purchase.
  • Low excessive-withdrawal fee. Most banks charge $10 to $15 for each withdrawal that you make above the limit of six, while Truist charges $6. However, don’t go above the limit routinely, or the bank could close your account or convert it to a checking account.
  • Text banking. Truist lets you check your account balance, see your recent purchases and transfer money on the go via text.

What should I look out for?

This account might not work for you if you want a higher interest rate or make regular wire transfers. Other downsides to consider:

  • Low interest rate. You’ll earn 0.01% on your balance, which is common for major banks but well below what’s average for savings accounts.
  • High service fees. Watch out for the $36 overdraft fee, $15 dormant account fee in Florida, $30 for outgoing domestic wire transfers, $65 for outgoing international wire transfers and more.
  • Limited availability. SunTrust products are available in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia.
  • Auto transfer limitations. You can set up automatic transfers, but only from your Truist checking account.

If you’d prefer to park your savings in a higher-growth account than this one, consider Quontic Bank’s High Yield Savings, which also doesn’t have a monthly fee but offers one of the highest APYs we’ve seen. Or you could look into a Discover Online Savings account if you want no fees, a competitive APY and the flexibility to open multiple accounts within minutes.

Compare with other savings accounts

Check out account features and fees to see which savings account fills your needs best, and choose Go to site when you’re ready to sign up.

Name Product Annual Percentage Yield (APY) Fee Minimum deposit to open
Bread Savings™ High-Yield Savings
Finder Rating: 4.3 / 5: ★★★★★
Bread Savings™ High-Yield Savings
1.65%
$0
$100
Earn competitive interest rates with this high-yield savings account you can open in just minutes. Member FDIC.
Aspiration Spend & Save Account
Finder Rating: 4.2 / 5: ★★★★★
Aspiration Spend & Save Account
5.00%
$0 per month or $7.99 per month for Aspiration Plus ($5.99 per month if you pay annually)
$10
New customers get a $150 bonus when they open an account and spend $1,000 in the first 60 days.
Deposits are fossil fuel-free. A spend and save combo account with unlimited cash back rewards and deposits insured by the FDIC and a $150 bonus when you spend $1,000 in your first 60 days.
Quontic Bank High Yield Savings
Finder Rating: 4.6 / 5: ★★★★★
Quontic Bank High Yield Savings
1.58%
$0
$100
Interest is compounded daily. No monthly service fees. Competitive rates
Barclays Online Savings
Finder Rating: 4.6 / 5: ★★★★★
Barclays Online Savings
1.10%
$0
$0
Barclays Online Savings account offers key features that can help you save, including a high-interest rate, no monthly fees, and no minimum deposit.
Quontic Bank Money Market
Finder Rating: 4.6 / 5: ★★★★★
Quontic Bank Money Market
1.50%
$0
$100
Competitive rates, no monthly fees, user-friendly online banking platform
American Express® High Yield Savings Account
Finder Rating: 4.6 / 5: ★★★★★
American Express® High Yield Savings Account
1.00%
$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.
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How do I deposit or withdraw money?

There are a number of ways you can access your money in this account. For reference, SunTrust’s routing number is 061000104.

Deposits:

Put money into your account in one of five ways.

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

Withdrawals:

Truist doesn’t make it as easy to withdraw from your savings account, but that should help your savings grow.

  • 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.

You can also do most of your banking from SunTrust’s mobile app.

Savings account ratings

★★★★★ — Excellent

★★★★★ — 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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Review by


Peter Carleton is a writer that covers banking and investing, breaking down what you need to know about where you put your money. When Peter's not thinking about cutting-edge banking apps and robo-advisors, he runs a creative agency and spends his spare time cooking or reading.

Expert review

The SunTrust Essential Savings account is a no-frills option with basic features like overdraft protection. It has no initial deposit requirement or monthly maintenance fees.

You’re most likely to use this account if you already bank with Truist or have Truist branches nearby that make banking there convenient for you. You’ll get the most benefit if you have a Truist checking account to set up recurring savings transfers. By using its other accounts, you can also set controls on your Truist debit and credit cards that limit where and how much you spend, a unique card feature.

However, this savings account pays almost no interest and doesn’t come with many other perks. If you’re looking for more interest or account perks, you may want to compare other savings options to see what else is out there.

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