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SunTrust Prime Rewards Credit Card Review

At a Glance
suntrust prime rewards credit card
4.2 / 5
Rating

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SunTrust Prime Rewards Credit Card

  • Sign-up Bonus: $100 bonus cash back when you spend $500 in the first 3 months
  • Rewards: Unlimited 1% cash back on all purchases
  • Benefits: Cash back bonuses (up to 75%) for SunTrust checking accountholders; free customizable card face; free FICO score every month; World Mastercard benefits
  • Intro APR: 4.50% APR on balance transfers for 36 months
  • Regular APR: 12.49% – 22.49%
  • Fees: No foreign transaction fee; 3% balance transfer fee (minimum $10), waived for balance transfers made within 60 days of account opening; 4% cash advance fee (minimum $10)
  • Annual Fee: $0
  • Credit Needed: Good to excellent

Advertiser Disclosure: This post includes references to offers from our partners. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. However, the opinions expressed here are ours alone and at no time has the editorial content been provided, reviewed, or approved by any issuer.

The SunTrust Prime Rewards Credit Card is a cash back credit card with no annual fee, a relatively low APR, and favorable terms on balance transfers. Like just a handful of other credit cards, Chase Slate among them, it offers a 60-day waiver on balance transfer fees for new cardholders. And it has one of the longest low APR introductory promotion periods of any credit card on the market: 36 months for balance transfers made within the first 60 days.

The SunTrust Prime Rewards Credit Card also has a solid, though not spectacular, cash back deal: unlimited 1% cash back on every purchase, every day, and $100 in bonus cash when you spend at least $500 within 3 months of opening your account. SunTrust deposit account holders can earn bonuses of up to 75% on cash back redemptions – turning $100 into $175, for instance.

The SunTrust Prime Rewards Credit Card has some other nice features, including free credit scores every month, tools to build your credit, and a slew of World MasterCard benefits covering everything from rental cars to big-ticket electronics purchases.

Key Features

Sign-up Bonus

When you make at least $500 in purchases within three months of opening your account, you get $100 bonus cash.

Earning Cash Back Rewards

All purchases earn unlimited 1% cash back, with no caps or restrictions on how much you can earn.

Redeeming Cash Back Rewards

Once you’ve accumulated at least $5 in cash back rewards, you can redeem for statement credits against your credit card balance or direct deposits into the deposit account of your choosing (at SunTrust or any other U.S. institution).

You can also redeem for gift cards, travel, general merchandise, and special experiences. However, compared with traditional cash back, redemption values may vary.

Cash Back Bonuses for SunTrust Deposit Accountholders

If you’re a SunTrust deposit account holder, you’re entitled to potentially generous bonuses on your cash back redemptions.

Clients with any SunTrust checking, savings, or money market accounts earn 10% bonuses on their deposits – an extra $10 for every $100 in redeemed cash back rewards.

Clients with less than $100,000 combined deposit and investment account balances and SunTrust Signature Advantage Accounts earn 25% bonuses, or an extra $25 for every $100 in redeemed cash back.

Clients with more than $100,000 in combined deposit and investment account balances and SunTrust Signature Advantage Accounts, or enrollment in the Premier Banking Program, earn 50% bonuses, or $50 extra for every $100 in redeemed cash back.

SunTrust Private Wealth Management clients earn 75% bonuses, or $75 extra for every $100 redeemed.

Important Fees

The SunTrust Prime Rewards Credit Card has no annual fee, no foreign transaction fee, and no balance transfer fees within the first 60 days. Following the fee-free period, balance transfers cost the greater of $10 or 3% of the transfer amount. Cash advances cost the greater of $10 or 4%. Late and returned payments cost up to $38.

Introductory APR

For 36 months, the balance transfer APR is set at the Prime Rate. As of early 2018, the Prime Rate is 4.50%, but it’s subject to change. Note that this rate only applies to balance transfers made within 60 days of account opening.

Regular APR

Once the introductory period ends, the balance transfer APR rises to range between 12.49% and 22.49%, depending on prevailing interest rates and your personal creditworthiness. The purchase APR is set in that same range from day one. Both rates are subject to variation with prevailing interest rates. The cash advance APR is set at 26.24% from the day you open your account, and there is no penalty APR.

Free FICO Score and Credit Insights

You get a free FICO score in your online account dashboard. The score refreshes monthly, allowing you to keep close tabs on potential changes. Your online account dashboard also includes a slew of helpful tools and content designed to help you use credit responsibly.

World Mastercard Benefits

As a World Mastercard product, SunTrust Prime Rewards Credit Card comes with some useful benefits. The most noteworthy include:

  • Extended warranties on purchased items with original warranties of 24 months or less
  • Price protection for 120 days on certain items purchased with the card (you’re reimbursed the difference if you find a lower price on an identical item)
  • Complimentary loss and damage coverage on rental cars charged in full to the card

Credit Required

SunTrust Prime Rewards Credit Card requires good to excellent credit. Any notable problems in your credit history may adversely affect your application.

Advantages

  1. No Annual Fee. The SunTrust Prime Rewards Credit Card has no annual fee. That’s great news for frugal cardholders who wouldn’t spend enough to offset a recurring fee, not to mention those who want to keep this card around long-term as a secondary or tertiary spending aid. By contrast, some high-end cash back cards, such as Blue Cash Preferred from American Express, charge annual fees as high as $95.
  2. No Balance Transfer Fees for 60 Days. This card waives balance transfer fees for 60 days following sign-up. Only a handful of other credit cards take this generous step, which saves cardholders $30 for every $1,000 transferred. If you’re looking for a credit card that actually helps you pay down debt, SunTrust Prime Rewards Credit Card is a strong choice.
  3. Excellent Bonuses for SunTrust Accountholders. If you’re a SunTrust deposit account holder, you’re eligible for cash back bonuses as high as 75% every time you redeem. To be fair, most cardholders don’t qualify for bonuses higher than 25%, but that’s still nothing to sneeze at. Comparable entry-level cash back cards, including Chase Freedom and Discover it, don’t offer such bonuses.
  4. Easily Attainable Sign-up Bonus. The SunTrust Prime Rewards Credit Card’s sign-up bonus is easily attainable and fairly generous – $100 when you spend $500 within three months, which most cardholders can likely manage when using this as their primary spending aid.
  5. Long Low APR Introductory Period. This card has one of the longest introductory balance transfer periods around – 36 months at the Prime Rate, currently 4.50% APR. With a little discipline, that’s long enough to pay off a substantial load of credit card debt. And, when combined with the 60-day fee waiver, it’s nearly irresistible. Other popular cards, including Citi Simplicity, cap their introductory interest periods at 21 months.
  6. No Foreign Transaction Fee. The SunTrust Prime Rewards Credit Card has no foreign transaction fee, which is great news for folks who regularly travel outside the U.S. The standard foreign transaction fee is 3% – more than enough to offset cash back earnings.
  7. Free Credit Score With Your Account. Your account dashboard comes with a free FICO score that automatically updates each month. Even better, it’s complemented by a host of helpful tools and content to improve your credit IQ. There are other free credit monitoring services available, but having it built-in is convenient.
  8. No Penalty APR. SunTrust Prime Rewards Credit Card has no penalty APR. If you sometimes miss payments due to liquidity issues, you’re sure to appreciate this break.

Disadvantages

  1. Poor Cash Back Rate. The SunTrust Prime Rewards Credit Card earns just 1% on all purchases. That’s better than nothing, but you can do better. If you’re chasing return on spending, look to the Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card (unlimited 1.5% back on all purchases) or the Citi Double Cash Card (unlimited 2% cash back on all purchases).
  2. No Introductory Period for Purchases. Though its introductory balance transfer promotion is among the longest of any U.S. credit card, this card lacks a comparable purchase promotion. That’s bad news for prospective cardholders looking to finance large purchases at below-market (or 0%) interest rates.
  3. High Cash Advance and Regular Balance Transfer Fees. Once the promotional period ends, this card’s balance transfer fee rises sharply, to 3% of the transferred amount ($10 minimum). The cash advance fee, 4% or $10, is even higher. It’s best to avoid cash advances completely, and if you’re going to make a balance transfer, do so before the 60-day waiver ends.

Final Word

If you live in the southern United States, you probably live within easy driving distance of a SunTrust branch. In fact, you probably know someone with a SunTrust deposit account or credit card. Maybe you have one yourself.

If you live in another region of the country, don’t worry – you’re still eligible for this (and any other) SunTrust credit card. As long as you have a U.S. address, acceptable credit, and meet other qualification standards, you can apply and (hopefully) earn acceptance with any of SunTrust’s rewards credit cards.

And there’s more good news: if you’re intrigued by the cash back bonuses for SunTrust deposit account holders, you can also apply for a SunTrust checking, savings, or money market account through SunTrust’s online banking arm. Say hello to 10% to 75% more every time you redeem your earned cash back.

Verdict
suntrust prime rewards credit card
4.2 / 5
Rating

Apply Now

SunTrust Prime Rewards Credit Card

The SunTrust Prime Rewards Credit Card is a solid balance transfer option for new cardholders seeking to pay down high-interest credit card balances without incurring balance transfer fees. For new cardholders who can afford to spend $500 within 3 months, it’s also an easy way to snag some extra cash. And, thanks to its nonexistent foreign transaction fee, it’s not a bad choice for overseas travelers. However, with a poor cash back rate, it’s not really a great everyday spending card.

Key benefits include the lack of an annual fee and foreign transaction fee, the 60-day balance transfer fee waiver, the great bonuses for SunTrust deposit account holders, the easily attainable sign-up bonus, the long introductory APR period for balance transfers, the lack of penalty interest, and the free credit score with your account.

Key drawbacks include the poor cash back rate, the lack of an introductory APR promotion for purchases, and the high cash advance and regular balance transfer rates.

Overall, SunTrust Prime Rewards Credit Card is a strong balance transfer contender, especially for those who can pay off their transfers relatively quickly, but it’s not as solid on the cash back front.

Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided by any bank, credit card issuer, airline, or hotel chain, and has not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. Opinions expressed here are the author's alone, not those of the bank, credit card issuer, airline, or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Brian Martucci
Brian Martucci writes about frugal living, entrepreneurship, and innovative ideas. When he’s not interviewing small business owners or investigating time- and money-saving strategies for Money Crashers readers, he’s probably out exploring a new trail or sampling a novel cuisine. Find him on Twitter @Brian_Martucci.

Comments Disclosure: The below responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

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