Dedicated to Deposits: Deals, Data, and Discussion

3.00% 26/49-Month CD Package and $150 Checking Bonus at SunTrust - Available Nationwide


SunTrust Bank

SunTrust Bank continues to offer a special CD package with a 3.00% APY. It's a bit unusual in that it requires that you open two CDs: one with a 26-month term and the other with a 49-month term. An equal amount must be deposited in each. Minimum deposit is $2,000 per CD. A checking account is required. I was told that the free checking qualifies. You can also open these special CDs in an IRA. This CD special is listed at the SunTrust CD page as of 3/12/2010.

I first reported on this CD special in February when it was only available in the Tampa metro area. I called SunTrust today (800.279.4824), and the CSR said it could be opened by phone from any state. The CSR said he could open it by phone and use ACH debits from your bank's checking or money market account to fund the CDs and checking account. Note, it would take 3 debits to fund the accounts which could cause you to go over your 6-per-month limit on savings and money market accounts. According to the CSR, the CD rate would lock on the day you apply by phone. The CD rate is subject to change on any day. The CSR didn't know how much longer it would last. I also asked the CSR about the early withdrawal penalty, but I didn't get a simple answer. It appears to be based on how close you are to maturity. If you have more details about this, please leave a comment.

$150 Checking Account Bonus

SunTrust's $150 checking account promotion is still available. I first mentioned this in my February bonus review. According to the CSR, one could open the checking account for this promotion and then open these CD specials at the same time by phone. Or if you don't want the CDs, you could just do this checking promotion. Make sure you register your SunTrust checking account in the promotion via by April 30, 2010. Refer to my February bonus review for more promotion detailss.

No Hard Credit Pull

According to the CSR, there's no hard credit inquiry. It's only a soft pull. This is the same info that I received in 2008 and many have confirmed there's no hard pull in this FW thread. So you shouldn't have to worry about having this ding your credit score.

Bank Overview

SunTrust is a large regional bank with $125 billion in deposits. It has branches throughout the southeast in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia and Washington DC.

Dow Jones reported on SunTrust's downgrading by Standard & Poor's Ratings Services on February 1st:

SunTrust, which serves areas of the southeast U.S. hit hard by the real estate crash, including Florida, has suffered from exposure to local construction and commercial real estate, as well as effects of high unemployment. The lender posted a string of losses last year.

As you may expect, SunTrust's ratings for safety and soundness are a little weak: 3 stars (adequate) at BauerFinancial (based on 12/31/09 data) and 1 star (lowest) at (based on 9/30/09 data). SunTrust is a FDIC member (FDIC Certificate # 867).

  Tags: SunTrust Bank, CD rates, IRA rates, Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia

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Comment #1 by ucfzf posted on
The checking account is only for US Citizens. I am a permanent resident and I couldn't apply online.

Comment #2 by Anonymous posted on
Another problem seems to be they won't accept an application over the telephone if you want to open the account titled to a revocable living trust.  You have to apply in person at a branch to open a trust account.

Comment #3 by Anonymous posted on
As far as I can tell, they do not offer ACH transfers initiated from your SunTrust checking account. I inquired about linking my SunTrust account with accounts at other institutions to permit ACH transfers, and the CSRs did not seem to know what I was talking about. I was instead sent instructions for setting up direct deposit, making wire transfers, and using bill pay. Strange, since the opening deposit was funded by an ACH transfer. Would be curious to know if anyone else has been successful in linking to an external account. If that's not possible, the takehome message would be that you have to find some other way to move funds into and out of the SunTrust account (if needed), probably done most easily by pushing or pulling from an external account that has ACH function.

Comment #4 by ctgottapee (anonymous) posted on
be careful doing an external ACH pull from the account without knowing whether it is allowed. i tried to pull from an account that didn't have ACH online capability and the bank rejected it, and the bank used to pull from dinged me with a fee for the rejection


if they have bill pay, you can often just set up an external bank like a bill payee using the banks name address and your account number; it's crude but generally works