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SunTrust Essential Savings account review

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

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.






Minimum deposit to open


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

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 Interest rates (APY) Fee Minimum deposit to open Interest earned More info
Citibank® Account Package

0.13% on $500,000+
0.08% on $25,000 to $99,999.99
0.04% on $0 to $24,999.99
$25 per month
(can be waived)
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Earn a $400 bonus after opening new eligible checking and savings accounts and completing required activities.
American Express® Personal Savings High Yield Savings
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Enjoy no monthly fees and a competitive APY with this online-only savings account. Accounts offered by American Express National Bank, Member FDIC.
CIT Bank Money Market
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A savings account with a higher-than-average rate and minimal fees.
Chase Savings
$5 per month
(can be waived)
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A simple savings account with low, waivable monthly fees and a $150 signup bonus when you meet deposit and balance requirements.
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
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A spend and save combo account with no monthly service fees, free access to every ATM in the world, unlimited cash back rewards and deposits insured by the FDIC. The Aspiration Spend & Save Account is a cash management account offering of Aspiration Financial, LLC, an SEC-registered broker-dealer. Aspiration is not a chartered bank.
CIT Bank Savings Builder High Yield Savings Account

0.55% on $25,000+ or set up a direct deposit of $100+ each month
0.31% on $0 to $24,999
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No account opening or maintenance fees. Daily compounding interest. Earn one of the nation's top rates

Compare up to 4 providers

How do I apply?

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. Visit the SunTrust website, hover over Personal banking and click Essential savings.
  2. Click Open an account.
  3. Click Open now under Essential savings.
  4. Fill in your personal information and click Next.
  5. Review account details, choose your account preferences and click Next.
  6. Submit your application.

SunTrust Essential Savings account application process


  • 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

How do I deposit or withdraw money?

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


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


  • 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

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