Posted by William Charles on August 17, 2018
Bank Account Bonuses

Published on August 17th, 2018 | by William Charles


[Expired] SunTrust Up To $500 Checking Promotion [AL, AR, FL, GA, MD, MS, NC, SC, TN, WV, VA, and D.C Only]

Offer has now expired and is no longer being offered. Click here to view more bank bonuses.

Update 08/17/18: Offer is no longer available online but you can get it in branch or by calling in (877.302.8258). Unsure on what the new expiry is. Hat tip to @rolyexpress

Update 05/01/18: Bonus has been extended until July 31st, 2018 with a new promo code: Q218CHECKINGOL.

Offer at a glance

  • Maximum bonus amount: $500
  • Availability: AL, AR, FL, GA, MD, MS, NC, SC, TN, WV, VA, and D.C Only
  • Direct deposit required: Yes, $1,000 or $2,000
  • Additional requirements: Deposit $100 and 10 debit card transactions
  • Hard/soft pull: Soft
  • ChexSystems: Mixed DP
  • Credit card funding: Up to $250 (lots of reports of it coding as a cash advance)
  • Monthly fees: Up to $25, waivable
  • Early account termination fee: 180 days or bonus is forfeit
  • Household limit: None
  • Expiration date: April 30th, 2018 July 31st, 2018 October 15th, 2018

The Offer

Direct link to offer

SunTrust are offering a sign up bonus of up to $500 on their checking accounts when you use the promotional code Q218CHECKINGOL:

  • Earn $250 or opening the Select Checking
    • Deposit at least $100 within 14 days of account opening
    • Receive $1,000 in qualifying direct deposits within 60 days of account opening
    • Make at least 10 debit card purchases wihtin 60 days of account opening
  • Earn $500 for opening the Signature Advantage Checking
    • Receive $2,000 in qualifying direct deposits within 60 days of account opening
    • Make at least 10 debit card purchases wihtin 60 days of account opening


The Fine Print

  • Offer valid for new SunTrust personal checking accounts opened from May 1st through July 31st, 2018
  • After meeting the qualification requirements, the applicable reward will be credited to the new checking account up to 8 weeks after all qualifications are met. “Q1 2018 Online Checking Offer Reward” will appear on the monthly checking account statement when the reward is credited to the account holder’s checking account. The reward amount will be based on the type of checking account open when SunTrust verifies that all promotional offer qualifications have been completed. This promotion is only applicable once per client. SunTrust may report the value of any reward received through any offer to the Internal Revenue Service as required by law. Any applicable taxes are the responsibility of the recipient.
  • The new account must remain open and in good standing with a minimum balance of $0.01 until the reward is processed in order to receive the reward. If the checking account is closed by you or SunTrust within 180 days after opening, SunTrust reserves the right to deduct the reward amount from the account at the time of closing.
  • Minimum account opening deposit for a new checking account is $100. In order to earn the reward, you will need to complete the $100 deposit requirement within 14 days. The offer is non-transferable and may not be combined with any other offers. This offer is subject to change and may be discontinued at any time. All promotional payouts will be processed no later than December 31, 2018 at which point this promotion and any related disbursements will be considered final, and no further disbursements will be made.
  • Clients with an existing personal checking account with SunTrust (either as the primary or secondary account holder) are not eligible. You must not have closed a personal checking account within 180 days of the promotion start date (on or after July 7, 2017).
  • All bank account bonuses are treated as income/interest and as such you have to pay taxes on them

Avoiding Fees

Early Account Termination Fee

You need to keep your account open for at least 180 days otherwise your bonus will be forfeit

Select Checking – $15 Monthly ($250 Bonus)

The $15 monthly fee is waived if you do any of the following:

  • Make $2000 or more in total qualifying monthly Direct Deposits10 OR
  • Maintain a $2000 minimum daily Select Checking balance OR
  • Hold $10,000 total combined relationship balances linked across deposits, investments, mortgages, and loans11 OR
  • SunTrust First Mortgage with SurePaySM12 OR
  • Linked Small Business Checking account13

Signature Advantage $25 Monthly ($500 Bonus)

Avoid the $25 monthly maintenance fee with $25,000 minimum daily balance in linked deposits and investments

Our Verdict

Previously the bonuses have been $200 for select checking and $300 for Signature checking so this is better for both of those accounts. . At least one reader also had success going for the $500 bonus and downgrading via phone before any fees hit. I don’t expect SunTrust to come out with any better offers in the short term (they have offered $250 on the essentials account previously and that is easier to keep fee free than the select checking account). Considering you can get the $500 bonus and then downgrade without paying any $25 monthly fees this bonus is great.

It looks like the bonus will post within 8 weeks of meeting the requirements so you should be able to get the bonus within 2-3 months of account opening. Just keep in mind your account does need to be kept open for 180 days to avoid the early account termination fee. If you put the $25,000 into a basic savings account with a 1.5% interest rate you’d be earning $32.25 in interest or $195 over the 180 day period. You could also just pay the $25 monthly fee and you’d pay $150 over six months. Keep in mind you can just downgrade though.

I’d recommend the $500 bonus and then downgrade after it posts. This one is definitely going on our list of the best checking account bonuses.

Big thanks to reader, Yet Another Redditor who let us know. Learn how to find bonuses and contribute to the site here.

Useful posts regarding bank bonuses:

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Are previous checking account customers eligible? I’m not seeing exclusionary language.

Dan - Legal Bank Robber
Dan - Legal Bank Robber

Clients with an existing personal checking account with SunTrust (either as the primary or secondary account holder) are not eligible. You must not have closed a personal checking account within 180 days of the promotion start date (on or after July 7, 2017).

That is no longer accurate on the latest offer. Now it’s ?? Feb 2018.

“Clients with an existing personal checking account with SunTrust (either as the primary or secondary account holder) are not eligible. You must not have closed a personal checking account within 180 days of the promotion start date (on or after July 7, 2017).”

Under Offer you wrote, “SunTrust are offering a sign up bonus of up to $300 on their checking accounts,” but the bonuses are $250 and $500.

I opened a SunTrust checking account in September and their fraud department closed it a few days later probably due to my chex score. Think I’d still be eligible for this?

How many Chex inquiries were there on your report at that time? Any negatives?

Want to say 5 or 6 inquiries. No negatives

Exact same thing happened to me—opened account couple days later couldn’t log into online account and got letter in mail saying closed. My $100 debit card refunded soon later.. Had even printed direct deposit paper out to give to employer. This would be my second checking account total so not sure why mine got closed. Def not a Chex thing. Not even a churner *shrugs*

Same thing just happened to me. Opened an account online 1/31 and today couldn’t log into account. Called in and rep couldn’t find a reason why they closed the account. Said he was at a loss. I don’t think its a Chex score thing because I should only have 5-6 inquires and no negative marks but I’m not 100% sure.

My coworker and I opened accounts on 2/19 and 2/16, respectively. We both funded with $100 via debit. Both of our accounts were closed by SunTrust by 2/21. Phone CSR’s had no info, advised they were closed due to “Rules and Regulations”. Advised us to go into branch. Branch mgr show us the notes on the account and it said: “Do not open. Closing due to rules and regulations. Do not explain to customer.”

Super sketchy.

Same here, but it sounded like there was a legitimate fraud concern because they provided me with a case number.

Did you ever figure out why they closed the account?


For those that dabble in MS, I’ve had no problems depositing WU MO’s at around 1-2k a week through the ATM. The account only is used to pay credit card accounts by pulling and a once pull to our mortgage on auto draft. I’ve done small cash withdrawals, around $60 in a week also. I maintain a $2k balance to avoid fees and the account will be a year old starting in Feb.

All of the ATMs listed on the SunTrust site in my area say “Cash Withdrawal Only.” It’s really too bad, too, b/c there is one at the Publix that I use.

So I’m somewhat new to bank bonuses, and had a question I’m hoping somebody can answer for me. Is there a way to legally set up an address in a participating state and have that work so I could get this bonus? I live like 10 minutes away from the Tennessee border and would be bummed if I couldn’t hop on this… TIA

Prob not the best idea. Try walking into branch and open in person. I’ve had luck out of state that way. Also check prior SunTrust threads for DPs.

I would think doing this could have some negative implications with taxes… Like, would you have to file a tax return in the state you listed for your bonus address? I don’t know the answers but something too think about. Would not be worth it for most.

Hadn’t thought about that, good point. I looked into it a little further and I think you could *technically* open one of those virtual mailboxes in order to get an address in an eligible state and be able to open an account. But those have associated costs and forms you have to mail in, so probably not worth the effort and cost.

Charles DoC Fan
Charles DoC Fan

Interesting idea. I suppose it could be worth the payoff if there were a lot of bonuses in a particular state. (Mail forwarding would have to be available in most instances.)
If there weren’t an arbitrary $3200 limit on bank bonuses prior to losing EIC I would consider this for some states. (I’ve considered reporting as Self Employment Income, but that would likely get an Audit, even if reported correctly.)

I currently open accounts in my current state, plus state one of my parents are in.

As far as Tax implications, I think it’s safe to assume you earned the income in your main home state regardless of what mailing address you provide a particular bank.

Why do you think that bank bonuses count against your EIC? Most banks report them on a 1099-MISC, not 1099-INT or 1099-DIV, which is earned income. This has serious implications for me.

I need to check what box it is..

Anyone know if your account number is available online after account creation? Or do you have to wait for it to arrive via the mail? Tomorrow is the last day of the pay period for me to change my work’s DD account so it would be great to get this set up by then. Thanks.

I just opened one and the account number was available immediately. They provide a summary page to “print for your records” while you wait for the paperwork.

If the same bonus posting pattern is in effect this is when you can expect bonus:

Requirements met on any day (week 1)
Complete week passes (week 2)
Bonus posts on Thursday (week 3)

Many successful with applying for top tier bonus, receiving, and downgrading account via SM before monthly fee starts.

Looking for DP sources to confirm this ( downgrading easily after bonus post) then try

Look at previous threads if needed. Downgrade worked for SO and myself no issues or push back. 11/2017

What account are people downgrading this to?

I’m curious about this too, what are people downgrading to? Select checking?

I downgraded to Essential checking and left $500 in to avoid monthly fee.

Was anyone able to do this via secure message or do you have to call?

JuicyJosh Did they take back the bonus after the downgrade?

No. Standard operating procedure every where. Get bonus, downgrade til ETF date, close.

Worked for my husband, applied 10/30/17. A year is up for me so I’ll be going for the $500.

I can contest with doing just this process and I ran into no problems downgrading. Just make sure your on top of your dates.

Stammers95 Did they take back the bonus after the downgrade?

Nope, they never took it back bc i downgraded

This bonus pattern still is accurate. I completed the requirements 2 weeks ago. Bonus posted yesterday. I downgraded to Essential checking today via online chat. The rep didn’t mention a charge for the checks or a debit card change.

JuicyJosh What is “SM”?

Secure message

Does anybody know if ACH from Alliant or Ally count as DD? I see in previous SunTrust promotions that Ally ACHs worked.

I don’t see a household limit in the terms. Does anyone know if there was one in the past? Thanks

I know my husband and I both got the bonus when we applied 8/2016.

Thanks !!

Where does it say geo restriction? I went to their website and I don’t see that.

Under Terms and Conditions it says “To be eligible to participate in the promotion”:

“The checking account must be opened online with, and the client must have, an address in the following states: Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Florida, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia and the District of Columbia”.

Thank you!
Strange when I entered my zip code it still let me continue with the promotion. Probable will say not qualified at the last step.

hi,Lisa did you open Suntrust account successfully???I am tring open it

I didn’t open it. I jentered my zip code and it says I can continue with the promotion (promo code still there). But since the terms says only those states I didn’t go through with it.

A late reply, but that struck me as odd as well. We need a DP on someone who got the account opened as well as the bonus.

Jason, Were you able to open the Suntrust acct and get a bonus despite being outside of the targeted states?

hi patti i am not open it.because it is term on those state only. and small amount 250 limit only. not worth to try it

i mean credit funding 250 only i think not worth to do

I did a SunTrust bonus a few years ago and after receiving the bonus, I just let the direct deposits from my pay continue for $25 at a time, for almost 18 months… I logged in every so often to keep an eye on it, and there was absolutely no activity other than my $25 bi-weekly deposits. I let it go just as a side savings, and due to laziness as I had no local SunTrust branch to quickly close.

One day I decided to close, and phoned their customer service to simply ask if I could close the account and have the funds mailed as a check. I forget the answer, but that did not work out.

A week later I went into my account and noticed multiple transactions, starting the day I called customer service, using the peer-to-peer payment means they had (I forget the name of it?) to random names I’ve never heard of.

Initiated fraud investigations and eventually got it all back, but found it pretty interesting that after 18 months of no activity, these strange transactions started occurring the day I called customer service.

Suntrust, I do not like thee.

William, it might make sense to mention the business checking bonus for $200 with opening any of the 3 business tier accounts for only a $1,500 deposit. Its been for many quarters where you had to open a business checking account, open a business money market with $20k depost for $200 bonus and then open a business credit card for an additional $200. Im not sure of the process and paperwork needed to open an account but looks like it can be done online. This might pair up nicely with the $500 bonus for the personal checking account. Since I already have a personal account Im thinking of signing up for the business bonus.

Thanks for pointing this out! I have a SunTrust checking from a few months ago when I got the last $300 bonus. I just applied for a business one using SSN/sole proprietorship and it went through. All it is asking for is an initial deposit and a signature card.

Note: I have NUMEROUS chex inq’s / accounts opened in last 9 months 15+

The fine print for the Select Checking bonus says “*11: Linked Small Business accounts include Total Business Checking and Business Advantage Plus only. “. When I go to Suntrust site, they list, Simple Business Checking, Primary Business Checking, and Business Advantage Plus. What is the “Total Business Checking” that this refers to?

For what its worth: The Signature Advantage Checking gives you the ability to get a Delta SkyPeso Debit Card that earns 1 mile per dollar on PIN POS and signature based purchases (2 miles per dollar on Delta purchases) with a $75 annual fee.

The debit card has a bonus offer of 5,000 miles after first purchase

I think I’m going to take it. You can get 4k miles per month which would also meet debit card spending requirements at the same time, plus the bonus offer.

Does buying MO at WM or Kroger work for getting the miles? T&C clearly states that buying MO will not get the miles. Has anyone tried recently?

Anyone data points for what does and doesn’t count for earning miles on debit purchases? Im trying venmo, square, paying citi credit card with debit card, walmart money order

Looks like the “What counts as a Direct Deposit” page hasn’t been updated in a while. For people who did this in the summer what did you use? Does Discover Checking still work? (DP was from 2014)

I confirm WellsFargo ACH transfer will satisfy DD req.

If you are transferring from Wells fargo, is there a way to ensure it is an ACH? Or are all transfers from WF automatically ACH?

I can confirm a Wells Fargo transfer using “Direct Pay for Business” using my WF biz checking showed as ACH.


Thank you!

So just doing a transfer from WF counts as DD?

I can confirm using the WF “Direct Pay for Business” worked as my bonus posted 7 days after the $2000 deposit was received.

Is that a Zelle transfer? Do you have to link your WF account first?

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