BB&T and SunTrust are currently in the process of merging together to form a new financial company called Truist Bank. Once the merger is complete, Truist will be the 6th-largest U.S. bank, representing approximately 10 million households and $324 billion in deposits.
Soon, existing SunTrust and BB&T customers will have access to many more physical branches. And debit cards for either bank can already be used to make no-fee cash withdrawals at sister-company ATM machines.
But convenient branch and ATM access aren’t the only things to look for in a bank. Products and services, interest rates, and fees are all important as well. Let’s take a closer look at Truist Bank to see how it compares with the other top bank accounts available today.
- Formed from merger between BB&T and SunTrust.
- The Truist merger gives existing customers more branch access
- New customers are not yet able to open Truist-branded accounts
Truist Bank Details
$0 to $30
Checking and Savings
Who Is Truist Bank?
In the summer of 2019, BB&T and SunTrust started merging to form Truist Bank. The merger took a step forward in December 2016 with the formation of Truist Financial, creating the 6th-largest bank.
It was a merger of equals with the two banks having $228 billion and $220 billion in assets, respectively. Truist Bank is based out of Charlotte, North Carolina, putting it in between the two old banks. SunTrust is headquartered in Atlanta, and BB&T is out of Winston-Salem, North Carolina.
BB&T and SunTrust continue to operate as stand-alone entities, while they continue working to complete the merger. "The whole essence of Truist is about two great, iconic, old companies coming together to form a new organization that is looking forward," Truist CEO Kelly King told CNN Business.
What Do They Offer?
The truth is that, currently, Truist is just a name. Both BB&T and Truist have a link to Truist: BBT.com/truist and SunTrust.com/truist. But when you visit those landing pages, there’s just stuff to read. You won’t find any available products, promotions, or even a way to open a Truist Bank account.
BB&T and SunTrust customers will become Truist Bank customers at some point. So if you really want to be part of Truist in the future, the best way to do so right now would be to open an account at either BB&T or SunTrust.
BB&T and Suntrust are both full-service, brick-and-mortar banks. If you go to either bank’s website, you’ll see that they even resemble each other, with some web pages sharing the same images. However, each bank does currently offer different products.
To give you an idea of what BB&T, SunTrust, and eventually Truist Bank products look like, we’ll focus on checking and savings accounts.
High-yield savings accounts are all the rage right now. So how does BB&T and SunTrust stack up in this department? Unfortunately, neither bank offers a high-yield savings account.
This isn’t uncommon for full-service banks. Generally, it’s the online banks that push the upward limits on high-yield savings accounts. Banks with local branches have higher operating costs, which gives them less margin to offer top-dollar on their savings account products.
Are BB&T and SunTrust more competitive with their checking accounts? Unfortunately, there isn’t much to write home about here either.
In fact, with BB&T, you're going to pay a monthly maintenance fee, unless you have a student checking account or meet minimum balance requirements. That's a big bummer, especially when there are so many free checking accounts available today.
Are There Any Fees?
Yes, there are both savings and checking account fees to watch out for. As already mentioned, all BB&T checking accounts have monthly maintenance fees with the exception of their student checking. However, the BB&T eSavings account does not have any associated fees.
Across all SunTrust checking accounts, the Essential Checking has the lowest balance requirement, at $500, for avoiding a monthly fee, while the SunTrust Essential Savings is their only savings account that doesn’t have a monthly fee.
How Do I Open An Account?
You can go to either BBT.com/truist or SunTrust.com/truist. For now, you’ll be opening an account as a BB&T or SunTrust customer. But, eventually, you’ll become a Truist Bank customer no matter which of the two banks you decide to open an account with.
Is My Money Safe?
Yes, BBT, SunTrust, and Truist Bank are all FDIC-insured. Additionally, they use bank-grade encryption on each of their websites.
Is It Worth It?
For new customers, probably not. Neither bank offers a high-yield savings account option and there isn’t anything special about their savings accounts either.
But if you’re an existing BB&T or SunTrust customer, you’ll soon have access to a lot more local branches. So if you frequently make in-person deposits or withdrawals, the transition to Truist Bank could definitely make life more convenient for you.
However, if ATM access is all you need, many of the top online banks have extensive fee-free ATM networks in addition to offering other benefits like high-yield savings accounts and free checking. If you think that a digital-only bank could work for you, here are the best online banks.
Truist Bank Review
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Robert Farrington is America’s Millennial Money Expert® and America’s Student Loan Debt Expert™, and the founder of The College Investor, a personal finance site dedicated to helping millennials escape student loan debt to start investing and building wealth for the future. You can learn more about him on the About Page, or on his personal site RobertFarrington.com.
He regularly writes about investing, student loan debt, and general personal finance topics geared towards anyone wanting to earn more, get out of debt, and start building wealth for the future.
He has been quoted in major publications including the New York Times, Washington Post, Fox, ABC, NBC, and more. He is also a regular contributor to Forbes.