BB&T Bank Review

This regional full-service bank lacks competitive deposit interest rates

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BBT

BB&T Bank is one of the largest financial services companies in the U.S. It is headquartered in Winston-Salem, N.C., and operates more than 2,900 branches across 17 states. It began as a small bank in 1872 and now has more than $230 billion in assets.

In 2019 BB&T merged with SunTrust, another southeastern regional bank. This merger of equals created the sixth largest commercial bank in the U.S. The banks are in the process of integrating their systems and renaming themselves Truist Bank. This in-depth review can help you decide if its deposit accounts are right for you.

  • Pros & Cons
  • Company Overview
Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Open a checking or savings account with $100 or less

  • Savings account with no minimum deposit or monthly fees

  • Flexible options with CDs

Cons
  • Uncompetitive interest rates on deposit accounts

  • Limited geographic footprint

  • Some rate information not available on website

Company Overview
  • Year Founded 1872
  • Official Website www.bbt.com
  • Banking Products Offered Savings, checking, CDs, MMA, credit cards
  • Customer Support Phone line: Monday–Friday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. (EST); Saturday, 8 a.m. to noon (EST): 1-800-226-5228

Pros Explained

  • Open a checking or savings account with $100 or less – Aside from the premium accounts, customers can open a checking or savings account with a required minimum deposit of $100 or less. This low minimum opening deposit makes it easier for customers to transition from their existing bank.
  • Savings account with no minimum deposit or monthly fees – In today’s low-interest-rate environment, it is important to be able to have a savings account without monthly fees offsetting the interest that you earn. The online-only eSavings account has no minimum balance requirements, and there is no minimum opening deposit.
  • Flexible options with CDs – Customers have several options when opening a certificate of deposit (CD). They can open a standard CD, use promotional pricing, take advantage of rate changes, or lock in guaranteed annual rate increases.

Cons Explained

  • Uncompetitive interest rates on deposit accounts – Although BB&T Bank offers tiered pricing on some of its deposit products, the interest rates that it offers are not competitive with other banks.
  • Limited geographic footprint – The bank is growing its presence through acquisition, but it does not have any branches west of Texas.
  • Some rate information not available on website – When researching account options and interest rates, not all information is available online or when calling customer service. For example, interest rates for the Elite Gold checking account are only available at a brick-and-mortar branch.

Who Is BB&T Bank Best For?

BB&T Bank should appeal to consumers living within the 17 states (and Washington, D.C.) where it has branches. It may be a good fit if you:

  • Live in one of those states
  • Want a full-service bank that offers loans, deposits, and investments
  • Are looking to open a checking or savings account with $100 or less
  • Want a checking account with a low monthly fee
  • Desire a savings account with no monthly fee
  • Want flexible options with your CDs

What Does BB&T Bank Offer?

As a large full-service regional bank, BB&T offers an extensive menu of accounts and services to its customers. For most deposit accounts customers can choose from several options that fit their needs and budget.

Checking Accounts

BB&T Bank customers have several options for their checking needs. These include two standard checking accounts, a student account, a senior account, and a premium account.

  • BB&T Fundamentals – This checking account is designed for people who are concerned about meeting balance or direct-deposit requirements. It requires a $50 minimum opening deposit and offers a flat monthly fee of $5.
  • Bright Banking – This checking account allows customers to waive the $12 monthly fee by keeping a $1,500 average balance or having direct deposits of $500 or more. There is a $50 minimum opening deposit.
  • Student Checking – Students can open a checking account with no minimum opening deposit and no monthly fees. Additionally, this account waives up to two non-BB&T ATM fees each statement cycle. Students can also open an eSavings account and have the monthly maintenance fee waived.
  • Senior Checking – Anyone aged 55 years and older can open this account. It includes free checks and the ability to withdraw funds from a CD early for medical emergencies without incurring a penalty fee. It requires $100 to open, and the $10 monthly fee can be waived by maintaining a $1,000 balance or having $500 in combined direct deposits.
  • Elite Gold – This premium checking account provides no-fee money orders, bonus rates on CDs, two overdraft fee waivers per month, and up to four non-BB&T ATM waivers per month. The opening deposit must be at least $100, and there are two ways to waive the $30 monthly fee: by keeping $25,000 in combined deposits and investments or having a BB&T mortgage with an original balance of $150,000 or more.
  • BB&T@Work – Employees at participating companies have access to this account, which provides additional perks such as unlimited no-fee money orders and bonus rates on CDs. There is a $100 minimum opening deposit required. The $15 monthly fee can be waived by having $750 in direct deposits per month, keeping a $1,000 average balance, maintaining $15,000 in combined deposits and investments, or having a BB&T mortgage with an original balance of $150,000 or more.
  • Vantage Checking – BB&T Wealth clients receive additional perks with this checking account. It provides premium tiered interest rates and waives fees for overdrafts, secondary accounts, wires, and more. There is a $100 minimum opening deposit required and $50 annual fee, which can be waived by keeping $25,000 in combined balances in the checking and Vantage Investor’s Deposit Account (a money market savings account) or having $100,000 in combined deposit, lending, and investment balances.

Customers using the bank’s ATM card can use any of its 2,400 ATMs without a fee. If you use another bank’s ATM, BB&T Bank will charge you $3 per transaction.

BB&T BANK CHECKING ACCOUNTS
ACCOUNT NAME MINIMUM OPENING DEPOSIT MONTHLY FEE ANNUAL PERCENTAGE YIELD (APY)
Fundamentals Checking $50 $5 None
Bright Checking $50 $12 None
Student Checking $0 $0 None
Senior Checking $100 $10 None
BB&T@Work $100 $15 None
Elite Gold $100 $30 0.01%
Vantage Checking $100 $50 per year 0.01% for deposits under $100,000
0.03% for deposits from $100,000 to $99,999,999,999
(As of July 20, 2020)

Money Market Accounts

There are three money market accounts available from BB&T.

  • High Performance Money Market Account – This account can be opened with $100 and offers a tiered rate of interest to reward larger balances. It carries a $12 monthly fee, which can be avoided by maintaining a $1,000 minimum daily balance.
  • Investor’s Deposit Account – This account also provides a tiered rate of interest, but it requires a $10,000 minimum deposit to open one. There is a $15 monthly service fee that is waived when you maintain a $10,000 minimum balance.
  • Vantage Investor’s Deposit Account – BB&T Wealth clients have access to this account, which provides premium tiered interest rates. You must deposit $25,000 when opening one, and there is a $25 monthly fee if you don’t maintain a $25,000 minimum daily balance. This account can also be used as overdraft protection for the Vantage Checking account.
BB&T BANK MONEY MARKET ACCOUNTS
ACCOUNT NAME MINIMUM OPENING DEPOSIT MONTHLY FEE ANNUAL PERCENTAGE YIELD (APY)
High Performance Money Market Account $100 $12 0.01% $0 to $9,999

0.05% $10,000 to $99,999,999,999
Investor’s Deposit Account $10,000 $15 0.01%
Vantage Investor’s Deposit Account $25,000 $25 0.05% $0 to $49,999

0.10% $50,000 to $99,999,999,999
(As of July 20, 2020)

Savings Accounts

There are three savings accounts offered by BB&T.

  • eSavings – This is the primary savings account for BB&T. It has no monthly maintenance fees, no minimum opening deposit, and no monthly balance requirement. Its interest rate is compounded daily.
  • Health Savings Account (HSA) – This account pairs with a high-deductible health insurance plan. It has no minimum balance requirement, no setup or transaction fees, and a monthly maintenance fee of $3 or less, depending on the state where you live. It offers tiered interest rates.
  • Young Savers –This account is for children under the age of 18 and has no minimum opening deposit, no monthly fees, and no inactivity fees. Its interest rate is compounded daily.
BB&T BANK SAVINGS ACCOUNTS
ACCOUNT NAME MINIMUM OPENING DEPOSIT MONTHLY FEE ANNUAL PERCENTAGE YIELD (APY)
eSavings Account $0 $0 0.01%
Health Savings Account $0 $3 0.01%
Young Savers $0 $0 0.01%
(As of July 20, 2020)

CDs

There are four types of CDs to choose from at BB&T.

  • Personal CDs – These offer a guaranteed rate of return for up to five years.
  • Personal CD Specials – These are available for a limited time and the rates and terms vary.
  • Can’t Lose CDs – These protect customers whether rates rise or fall.
  • Stepped Rate CDs – These provide interest rates that are guaranteed to rise once a year, every year.

CDs renew automatically at maturity at the current rates. For terms less than 32 days, there is a one-day grace period to withdraw or change the term without penalty. All other CDs have a 10-calendar-day grace period.

The bank charges an early withdrawal penalty if you withdraw money before the CD matures. Penalties vary depending upon the length of the CD term.

BB&T BANK CD RATES
TERM PERSONAL CD APY SPECIAL CD APY CANT LOSE CD APY
Seven Days 0.01% N/A N/A
30 Days 0.02% N/A N/A
60 Days 0.02% N/A N/A
90 Days 0.03% N/A N/A
120 Days 0.03% N/A N/A
150 Days 0.03% N/A N/A
180 Days 0.03% N/A N/A
Seven Months N/A 0.05% N/A
270 Days 0.03% N/A N/A
360 Days 0.05% N/A N/A
13 Months N/A 0.10% N/A
18 Months 0.05% N/A N/A
23 Months N/A 0.10% N/A
Two Years 0.05% N/A N/A
30 Months 0.05% N/A 0.05%
Three Years 0.05% N/A N/A
42 Months 0.05% N/A N/A
Four Years 0.05% N/A N/A
Five Years 0.05% N/A N/A
(As of July 20, 2020)
BB&T STEPPED RATE CD RATES
  YEAR 1 YEAR 2 YEAR 3 YEAR 4
Stepped Rate CD APY 0.05% 0.06% 0.08% 0.10%
(As of July 20, 2020)
BB&T BANK CD EARLY WITHDRAWAL PENALTIES
TERM PENALTIES
Under Three Months All interest that would have been earned or $25, whichever is greater
Three to 12 Months Three months simple interest or $25, whichever is greater
13 to 23 Months Six months simple interest or $25, whichever is greater
Two Years and More 12 months simple interest or $25, whichever is greater
(As of July 20, 2020)

Credit Cards

BB&T Bank has four credit card choices for customers. Each is designed with a specific consumer in mind and has benefits ideal for that audience. There is a balance transfer card, one with cash back, and a travel rewards card.

Customers may check for prequalified offers without affecting their credit score. Such offers may be available in as little as 60 seconds.

Here are the credit cards offered:

  • BB&T Bright
  • BB&T Spectrum Cash Rewards
  • BB&T Spectrum Travel Rewards
  • BB&T Vantage Visa Signature Credit Card

Other Financial Products Offered by BB&T Bank

As a large regional bank, BB&T Bank offers a variety of accounts and services to meet the needs of its customers:

  • Auto loans
  • Boat and recreational vehicle loans
  • Personal loans
  • Personal Lines of Credit
  • Purchase mortgages
  • Refinance mortgages
  • Home Equity Loans and Lines of Credit (HELOCs)
  • Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs)
  • College savings accounts
  • Self-directed trading
  • Managed investment portfolios
  • Financial advisors
  • Insurance
  • Business loans

BB&T Bank Customer Service

Customer service is available by phone at 1-800-226-5228, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. EST. and Saturday from 8 a.m. to noon EST. It is closed on Sundays.

There are more than 2,900 branches across 17 states (and Washington, D.C.) for you to speak with a banker in person. Branches are located along the East Coast and as far west as Texas.

Your account is available 24 hours a day online and through BB&T’s mobile app, which is available for both Apple (4.8 stars, 346,400 ratings) and Android (4.7 stars, 56,699 ratings) mobile devices.  The app allows you to view transaction history, personalize your accounts, pay bills, deposit checks, and more. It even has a budget feature that tracks your spending against your goals.

General questions can be answered through BB&T Bank’s Twitter account. However, for security reasons, do not include your account number, Social Security number, or any other personally identifiable information.

How to Bank With BB&T Bank

You can open an account online, over the phone, or at a branch, of which there are more than 2,900 available in Washington, D.C., and the following states:

  • Alabama
  • Arkansas
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Indiana
  • Kentucky
  • Maryland
  • Mississippi
  • New Jersey
  • North Carolina
  • Ohio
  • Pennsylvania
  • South Carolina
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Virginia
  • West Virginia
Verdict

BB&T Bank is a full-service regional bank well suited for customers who live near one of its branches. It has most of the account types that a customer would want, but its interest rates are not competitive with other banks. That being said, the bank does offer multiple checking account options to meet your needs and budget. It would do well as a primary bank for day-to-day needs.

Customers looking for high-yield savings accounts, money market accounts, and CDs should look elsewhere. BB&T Bank does offer tiered pricing for higher deposit levels, but the interest rates are much lower than the alternatives.

Methodology

Investopedia is dedicated to providing consumers with unbiased, comprehensive reviews of banks. We collected over 20 data points across more than 80 banks—including products available, interest rates, fees, and accessibility—to ensure that our content helps users make the right decision for their savings and banking needs.

Article Sources

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  2. Apple.com. "U by BB&T." Accessed July 20, 2020.

  3. Google.com. "U by BB&T." Accessed July 20, 2020.

  4. Twitter.com. "@BBT." Accessed July 20, 2020.