For investors shopping for a money market account, the SunTrust Advantage Money Market Savings Account, offered by Truist Financial, is one option to consider. In December 2019, Truist Financial Corporation was formed as the result of the merger of BB&T (Branch Banking and Trust Company) and SunTrust Bank.

For investors with high balances or regular monthly transfers, this account can offer low fees. Prior to the merger, both institutions maintained a solid reputation for customer service, and, as a result of the merger, Truist Financial now has even more physical branch locations and a greater amount of resources to offer its customers. On the downside, this money market account pays lower interest than several comparable accounts from online banks, and its fees may add up quickly for investors with low balances.

Key Takeaways

  • The SunTrust Advantage Money Market Savings Account, a product by Truist Financial, offers a no-fee account for investors who maintain high balances or regular monthly transfers.
  • Truist Financial waives the $17 monthly maintenance fee for investors with a regular monthly transfer of at least $100 or a minimum balance of $10,000.
  • Account holders can access their funds through the financial institution's online banking portal, a mobile app, by visiting over 1,400 physical branch locations and more than 2,100 ATMs, and by writing checks.
  • Interest is paid on the account in tiers and is compounded daily.

Money Market Accounts

A money market account is a type of savings account in which the bank invests your funds in a series of short-term, highly liquid, and very safe financial instruments, such as U.S. Treasury bills (T-bills), municipal notes, and certificates of deposit (CDs). Most money market accounts pay higher interest rates than standard savings accounts, but they offer the same level of safety. Like other deposit accounts, money market accounts are insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) for up to $250,000 for each account holder.

Money market accounts are a viable investment vehicle for those who want to be able to access their money in the near future, but also want to earn a small amount of interest on that amount of money. For example, a person who is planning to buy a house in six months might withdraw money that they have invested in the stock market and place it in a money market account. This way, their principal is protected and they still earn something on it. A person may also open a money market account as an emergency fund or for long-term retirement planning purposes.

SunTrust Advantage Money Market Savings Account Overview

The SunTrust Advantage Money Market Savings Account, a product of Truist Financial, helps account holders achieve their financial goals by providing them a vehicle in which to put their money for a variety of different reasons.

Account holders have easy access to their money at any time, and they can make transfers and write checks to be withdrawn from their account at any time (provided they don't go over the withdrawal limit). Like any other savings and money market account, Truist's account also falls under federal regulations that limit the number of debit transactions to six per month.

Here's some basic information about the account:

  • Minimum deposit to open account: $100
  • Monthly maintenance fee: $17
  • Requirements to waive maintenance fee: Account holders can set up an electronic transfer or electronic deposit totaling at least $100 electronic for each statement cycle or maintain a $10,000 minimum daily collected balance
  • Excessive withdrawal fees: Account holders are charged $15 (regardless of balance) for each excessive withdrawal if they go above the limit of six per month. This applies to debit card transactions, checks, electronic transactions (ACH), automatic payments, bill payments, overdraft protection transfers, wire transfers, and deposit funds transfers completed through online or mobile banking.

Interest is paid out based on with ledger tier the account balance falls into by the end of the month. The interest is calculated and compounded daily. Any fees that are charged to the customer may lower the amount of interest earned.

Advantages of the Account

Perhaps the biggest advantage of this particular money market account is the reputability of the financial institution that is backing it. Even prior to the merger of the two institutions, both BB&T and SunTrust Bank maintained a strong physical presence in many parts of the country. SunTrust Bank had a solid reputation with its customers, including an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau (BBB). BB&T also had an A+ rating with the BBB. Now, Trust Financial retains that reputation: Truist is a BBB accredited business with an A+ rating.

Prior to the merger, SunTrust Bank had more than 1,400 branches and more than 2,100 automated teller machines (ATMs) across 10 states and Washington, D.C. BB&T Bank had 1,742 physical branch locations in 16 different states. To make the transition to Truist smoother, current BB&T and SunTrust clients can now use ATMs from both banks for cash withdrawals with no fees. For now, Truist is maintaining the BB&T and SunTrust logos in all their physical branch locations.

For customers that prefer the option of face-to-face interactions for their banking needs, this money market account may be a good option (considering that many online banks don't have branches). In addition, Truist's money market account is FDIC-insured for up to $250,000. This means that in most cases, the entirety of a borrower's investment is protected in the event of a bank failure.

As of June 2020, the account offers nine interest-level Tiers. The Tiers are as follows: For Tier One through Tier Two, the annual percentage yield (APY) is 0.01%; for Tier Three, the APY is 0.03%; and for Tier Four through Tier Nine, the APY is 0.05%.

Disadvantages of the Account

The highest interest rate offered on a SunTrust Advantage Money Market Savings Account from Truist Financial is 0.5%, and this rate only applies to balances of $50,000 or more. In effect, customers may give up some yield for the convenience and reliability of a reputable brick-and-mortar bank. For example, an offering from a bank that operates strictly online, and therefore has lower overhead costs because it maintains no physical presence, may offer some savings vehicles that pay higher yields.

Fees are another potential disadvantage of the SunTrust Advantage Money Market Savings Account. As mentioned above, the institution imposes a $17 monthly fee on accounts that do not maintain balances of $10,000 or receive regular monthly deposits of at least $100. For overdraft or returned items, consumers will pay $36 per item. In addition, as long as the consumer has sufficient funds in their linked account, they'll pay a $12.50 transfer fee for each day an overdraft transfer is required. The account closure fee is $30.

The Bottom Line

Truist Financial's SunTrust Advantage Money Market Savings Account is ideal for customers who prefer to conduct business with a reputable bank that offers physical branch locations. The recent merger of SunTrust Bank and BB&T may offer existing clients of both institutions with extra perks and some added benefits as customers of Truist Financial (as long as they are willing to pay a little more in order to maintain this account). However, for consumers who are concerned with receiving the highest yield possible–and who do not mind conducting business virtually–they may find a better fit with an online bank.