Reviews SunTrust Cash Rewards card review
SunTrust Cash Rewards card review

SunTrust Cash Rewards card review

Published: May 26, 2017
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Ratings Policy
Balance Transfer Rating:
3.9 rating
3.9 rating
3.9 / 5
Introductory Offer: 4.1
Net Value: 4.5
Features: 2.0

In a nutshell:

For cardholders with the best credit scores, the SunTrust Cash Back card is a great choice for transferring a balance: It offers a low minimum interest rate, modest balance transfer fee and lengthy interest-free promotion; however, cardholders with lower scores could get stuck with a much higher standard interest rate.

0% Introductory Period
15 months

Transfer Fee
$10 or 3% (whichever is higher)

Introductory Purchase APR
0%

Regular APR
11.74-21.74%%

Annual Fee
$0

Other Notable Features: No foreign transaction fee, Free FICO credit score, extended warranty, price protection, purchase assurance, travel assistance, car rental insurance, travel accident insurance, baggage delay reimbursement, trip cancellation protection, hotel upgrades and perks

Cash Back Rating:
2.8 rating
2.8 rating
2.8 / 5
Rewards Value: 2.2
Annual Percentage Rate: 4.0
Rewards Flexibility: 3.7
Features: 2.0

In a nutshell:

The SunTrust Cash Rewards credit card is a good card if you’re a current SunTrust customer and use credit for all gas and grocery store purchases, but its restrictions on earnings make it a tough sell for heavy spenders.

Rewards Rate

  • 2% unlimited cash back on gas and groceries
  • 1% unlimited cash back on general purchases
  • 10% bonus if you deposit rewards into regular SunTrust account
  • 25% bonus if you deposit rewards into a Signature Advantage account holding less than $100,000
  • 50% bonus if you deposit rewards into a Signature Advantage account holding more than $100,000
  • 75% bonus if you’re a SunTrust Private Wealth Management client

Sign-up Bonus
5% on first $6,000 in gas and grocery purchases in first 12 months

Annual Fee
$0

Average Yearly Rewards Value ($1,325 monthly spend)
$242

APR
11.74-21.74%

Rewards Redemption
Pros

  • Cash rewards don’t expire
  • Redeem for statement credit, check, bank deposit, travel, merchandise or gift cards

Cons

  • $25 minimum redemption
  • 10% bonus if you deposit rewards into regular SunTrust account
  • 5% bonus is limited to $6,000 in purchases during the card’s first year. After that, you’ll earn an unlimited 2 percent bonus on gas and grocery purchases.
  • Can’t transfer cash to other loyalty programs that aren’t sponsored by SunTrust bank. You can, however, transfer your cash to other SunTrust accounts.

Other Notable Features: No foreign transaction fee, free FICO credit score, extended warranty, price protection, purchase assurance, travel assistance, car rental insurance, travel accident insurance, baggage delay reimbursement, trip cancellation protection, hotel upgrades and perks

Low Interest Rating:
3.9 rating
3.9 rating
3.9 / 5
Rates, Fees, Penalties: 4.0
Rewards: 3.4
Features: 2.0

In a nutshell:

A good card for SunTrust accountholders with excellent credit, the SunTrust Cash Back credit card rewards the bank’s most loyal customers with tiered bonuses and a low minimum APR.

Regular APR
11.74-21.74%

Introductory Purchase APR
0%

Introductory Balance Transfer APR
0%

Fees

  • No annual fee
  • 3% or $10 balance transfer fee (whichever is higher)
  • No foreign transaction fee
  • 25.49% cash advance APR
  • 4% or $10 cash advance fee (whichever is higher)

 

Penalties

  • Up to $38 late payment fee
  • No penalty APR
  • Up to $38 returned payment fee

 

Other Notable Features: No foreign transaction fee, Free FICO credit score, extended warranty, price protection, purchase assurance, travel assistance, car rental insurance, travel accident insurance, baggage delay reimbursement, trip cancellation protection, hotel upgrades and perks

No Annual Fee Rating:
3.1 rating
3.1 rating
3.1 / 5
Rewards Value: 2.5
Annual Percentage Rate: 4.2
Rewards Flexibility: 4.2
Features: 2.0

In a nutshell:

With an unlimited 2 percent bonus on gas and groceries plus a 10 percent bonus if you deposit your rewards into a SunTrust account, the SunTrust Cash Rewards card is a good deal for current SunTrust customers.

Rewards Rate

  • 2% unlimited cash back on gas and groceries
  • 1% unlimited cash back on general purchases
  • 10% bonus if you deposit rewards into regular SunTrust account
  • 25% bonus if you deposit rewards into a Signature Advantage account holding less than $100,000
  • 50% bonus if you deposit rewards into a Signature Advantage account holding more than $100,000
  • 75% bonus if you’re a SunTrust Private Wealth Management client

Sign-up Bonus
5% on first $6,000 in gas and grocery purchases in first 12 months

Annual Fee
$0

Average Yearly Rewards Value ($1,325 monthly spend)
$242

APR
11.74-21.74%

Rewards Redemption
Pros

  • Cash rewards don’t expire
  • Redeem for statement credit, check, bank deposit, travel, merchandise or gift cards

Cons

  • $25 minimum redemption
  • 10% bonus if you deposit rewards into regular SunTrust account
  • 5% bonus is limited to $6,000 in purchases during the card’s first year. After that, you’ll earn an unlimited 2 percent bonus on gas and grocery purchases.
  • Can’t transfer cash to other loyalty programs that aren’t sponsored by SunTrust bank. You can, however, transfer your cash to other SunTrust accounts.

Other Notable Features: No foreign transaction fee, free FICO credit score, extended warranty, price protection, purchase assurance, travel assistance, car rental insurance, travel accident insurance, baggage delay reimbursement, trip cancellation protection, hotel upgrades and perks

Rewards Rating:
2.8 rating
2.8 rating
2.8 / 5
Rewards Value: 1.8
Annual Percentage Rate: 4.3
Rewards Flexibility: 4.2
Features: 2.0

In a nutshell:

With a low APR and generous rewards for SunTrust bank account holders, the SunTrust Cash Back credit card is a good choice for well-heeled SunTrust customers; however, cardholders with low checking account balances won’t get nearly as much benefit.

Rewards Rate

  • 2% unlimited cash back on gas and groceries
  • 1% unlimited cash back on general purchases
  • 10% bonus if you deposit rewards into regular SunTrust account
  • 25% bonus if you deposit rewards into a Signature Advantage account holding less than $100,000
  • 50% bonus if you deposit rewards into a Signature Advantage account holding more than $100,000
  • 75% bonus if you’re a SunTrust Private Wealth Management client

Sign-up Bonus
5% on first $6,000 in gas and grocery purchases in first 12 months

Annual Fee
$0

Average Yearly Rewards Value ($1,325 monthly spend)
$242

APR
11.74-21.74%

Rewards Redemption
Pros

  • Cash rewards don’t expire
  • Redeem for statement credit, check, bank deposit, travel, merchandise or gift cards

Cons

  • $25 minimum redemption
  • 10% bonus if you deposit rewards into regular SunTrust account
  • 5% bonus is limited to $6,000 in purchases during the card’s first year. After that, you’ll earn an unlimited 2 percent bonus on gas and grocery purchases.
  • Can’t transfer cash to other loyalty programs that aren’t sponsored by SunTrust bank. You can, however, transfer your cash to other SunTrust accounts.

Other Notable Features: No foreign transaction fee, Free FICO credit score, extended warranty, price protection, purchase assurance, travel assistance, car rental insurance, travel accident insurance, baggage delay reimbursement, trip cancellation protection, hotel upgrades and perks

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If you’re inclined to use credit for gas and grocery store purchases and have a SunTrust savings or checking account, the SunTrust Cash Rewards card could be just what you need to rack up a significant amount of cash back. This customer-friendly cash rewards card grants bonuses on everything from gas and grocery store purchases to cash rewards deposits, making it easy to build up an enviable stash. It also offers one of the most generous sign-up bonuses available, making it a good choice for cardholders looking for a short-term card with ample rewards.

SunTrust limits the total amount you can earn with your sign-up bonus, though. If you’re a heavy spender, you may be able to earn more with a different card.

Hefty sign-up bonus
For the first 12 months, the SunTrust Rewards card offers one of the highest rewards rates available on gas and grocery store purchases. In exchange for opening an account, SunTrust will grant you up to 5 percent cash back on your first $6,000 worth of gas and groceries, which is a stellar deal if you spend a fair amount. Valued at roughly $300, the SunTrust Rewards card’s sign-up bonus is significantly more generous than many competitors.

Decent rewards for modest spenders
After the card’s first year, the rewards rate for gas and grocery store purchases drops down to 2 percent cash back, which is still a significant amount. If you use your card for all gas and grocery purchases, you can build up a considerable stash. However, SunTrust limits its 2 percent bonus rate to $6,000 in purchases per year (amounting to $120 cash back), which makes it less appealing to cardholders who typically spend more than $500 a month on gas and groceries. After you reach the $6,000 threshold, you’ll only earn 1 percent cash back on gas and grocery purchases. You’ll also earn unlimited 1 percent cash back on everything else.

Annual bonus for loyal customers
To get the most out of this cash rewards card, you need to be a SunTrust bank customer. Depending on how much money you have saved in a SunTrust account, you can earn up to a 25 to 50 percent bonus on your earnings if you deposit cash rewards into a SunTrust checking, savings or money market account. You’ll earn a 10 percent bonus per deposit if you deposit cash in a basic checking account and a 25 percent bonus if you deposit it in a Signature Advantage account that holds less than $100,000. If you deposit earnings into an account that holds more than $100,000, you’ll earn a 50 percent bonus with each deposit, making the SunTrust Cash Rewards card a potentially lucrative card if you have a lot of savings.

Some limits on redemption
You won’t be able to redeem your cash any time you want, though. SunTrust only allows cardholders to redeem their cash at the end of their card’s closing period, which is unusual for a cash back card. It also restricts the amount you can redeem to a minimum of $25. So if you have a smaller amount saved up, you’ll have to wait to claim it.

Low APR
The SunTrust Cash Rewards card offers a reasonable APR compared to many of its competitors. Cardholders with the best credit scores are offered a minimum of 11.74 percent, which is much lower than the average cash back card. According to CreditCards.com data, the average APR for cash back credit cards is currently 15.27 percent. Meanwhile, the card’s maximum rate of 21.74 percent is on the high side for a cash back card. 

Reasons to sign up for it:

  • You have a SunTrust checking account or plan to open one.
  • You have more than $100,000 saved in a SunTrust Signature Advantage account.
  • You spend a moderate amount on gas and groceries and plan to use your card for all everyday purchases.

How to use it:

  • If you aren’t already a SunTrust customer, consider opening a new savings, checking or money market account in order to maximize your earnings.
  • Book domestic travel with your SunTrust Cash Rewards card in order to take advantage of the card’s premium travel perks.
  • Be patient with redemption. You’ll have to wait until the end of your card’s closing period before you can claim cash back.

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