SunTrust is based in my hometown, Atlanta, Georgia, so I see branches all the time. When I saw one yesterday, it reminded me that I need to update my review for the SunTrust Secured Credit Card. So here ya go! And I’m so glad I reviewed it again because a lot of happy changes have occurred.
The SunTrust secured card is available to folks outside of Georgia, so it doesn’t matter where you live. You can find a branch in your area right here (look over to the right side of that page and you’ll see the search option).
SunTrust reports your payment history to the major credit bureaus, which is exactly what you need in a secured credit card.
Rewards for the SunTrust Secured Card
Remember that rewards can sometimes distract you from your main objective. Your goal is to improve your credit and not worry about how many rewards you’re earning. I just want you to stay focused on the prize—a wonderful and amazing credit history and the score that goes along with that honor. So just use this card for expenses you’d make anyway.
Okay, enough lecturing. Let’s get to the good stuff:
- 2 percent cash back on gas and qualified grocery purchases. There’s an annual cap of $6,000. After that, you get 1 percent.
- 1 percent unlimited cash back on all other purchases.
- Cash rewards can be redeemed as a credit on your account or as an ACH credit into a deposit account.
- Rewards redeemed via an ACH deposit into a SunTrust checking, savings, or money market account earn a bonus between 10 percnet and 75 percent, depending on your relationship with SunTrust.
There are also other rewards options: travel, merchandise, gift cards, and more. Check out the SunTrust rewards page for more details.
Rates and fees
The SunTrust secured card isn’t the best card out there when it comes to the APR, but if you don’t carry a balance, you can use this card to rebuild or establish credit history.
APR: You get a variable rate of 20.99 percent. This has increased over the past few years, but other issuers have also raised rates.
Balance transfers: You get a variable rate of 20.99 percent. The transfer fee is 4 percent, which is a little high. This is not a good card for a balance transfer.
APR for cash advances: You get a variable 25.99 percent. The transaction fee is 4 percent. Interest on a cash advance starts ticking right away, so if you’re desperate for cash, look somewhere else for money. Seriously, don’t get a cash advance with this card unless your life depends on it.
Annual fee: You pay $32 per year.
Foreign transaction fees: The transaction fee is 3 percent. It used to be 4 percent, so this is an improvement. But if you travel overseas a lot, get a card that waives these fees.
Security deposit: Your deposit amount is your credit limit. The minimum deposit is $300. I can’t find a maximum amount listed in the terms and conditions, so I’m assuming the upper limit will depend on your creditworthiness.
The bottom line
As far as its rank on my list of The Best (and Worst) Secured Credit Cards, it was originally pegged as a middle-tier secured credit card, but a pretty solid one. I like what I see, so I’m promoting this card to the top tier.
You’ll get access to a free FICO score every month and this is a great benefit. On the SunTrust secured card home page, it’s confirmed that when your credit improves, you might get offered an unsecured card. When you get an offer to move up, Suntrust will close your SunTrust secured card account and you’ll get your initial deposit back with interest.
All good things, right? There’s no timeline given, but you don’t need one. Keep tabs on your free FICO score and when it moves up to say, 640 or 650, then make a call to SunTrust and ask if it’s time to move up. It’s possible, they will do this before you even ask.
If any of you have had the experience of moving up to their Platinum card, please let me know how high your score was when the happy event occurred. I left the old comments here as I usually do, but they’re kind of old and we need new blood. Bring it on, people!
Note: Credit card agreements change frequently. So my review was based on the information that was in effect on the posting date. Be sure you read all the disclosure statements carefully so you’re aware of any changes.