Posted by William Charles on November 10, 2016
Credit Card Offers

Published on November 10th, 2016 | by William Charles

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SunTrust Platinum Elite MasterCard Review – $500 Sign Up Bonus + $200 Travel Credit & More [AL, AR, FL, GA, MD, MS, NC, SC, TN, WV, VA, and D.C Only]

SunTrust currently offer  a few different credit cards that earn up to 5% cash back on up to $6,000 in purchases within specific categories in the first year (cash rewards earns 5% on gas & grocery and travel rewards earns 5% on travel purchases). SunTrust have just launched a new Platinum Elite MasterCard, currently the card and sign up bonus are targeted according to this fine print:

This offer is nontransferable, is for the named addressee only and cannot be combined with any other offer. Authorized users may be added after Account opening by calling  800.477.9702

That being said, let’s take a look at this new card and see if it’s worth signing up for if you’re targeted.

Card Basics

  • Receive a sign up bonus of $500 when you spend $4,000 or more on qualifying purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
  • Annual fee of $325 not waived
  • Card earns at the following rates:
    • 3x points on travel and dining purchases
    • 2x points on entertainment purchases
    • 1x points on all other purchases
  • Choose 3 personalized benefits that can be changed annually. These are available to primary cardholder only and must be chosen within 45 days of account opening and within 30 days of account anniversary thereafter. Benefits are as follows:
    • $200 in Travel Perks annually (each credit covers $25, up to $200 and covers in-flight food & drinks, WiFi, extra leg room and more)
    • Global Entry/TSA PreCheck Membership
    • Airport Parking Savings. Automatic savings at Park ‘N Fly and affiliate locations nationwide plus complimentary valet parking where available
    • Priority Pass Select Membership with two complimentary passes (and then $27 per person per visit)
    • Travel Medical & Evacuation Coverage
    • Up To $50 In Dining Credits. Dine at any restaurant in the world and get $25 back when you charge at least $100. Can be used twice.
    • Insider Winery Experiences. Experience insider access to top wineries in California and New York and savor fine wines at even finer prices.
    • Spa Discounts and Benefits. Feel good and live well with 15% savings on Spafinder Wellness 365 Gift cards redeemable at leading resorts and Spas worldwide
    • 10% off Global Attractions/Entertainment. Save 10% on over 50,000 hand-picked VIP tours, museums, attractions and sightseeing experiences worldwide.
    • PGA & TPC Golf Program. Get special access at PGA TOUR events, tee times at TPC golf courses, preferred pricing and more plus one $25 statement credit on qualifying purchases at PGA tour Superstores.
  • Other benefits:
    • Boingo WiFI access
  • Offer valid until January 1st, 2017
  • Only available in the following states: Alabama, Arkansas, DC, Florida, Georgia, Mississipi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia

suntrust-platinum-elite

How Much Are Points Worth? + Relationship Bonus

You can redeem Point Rewards for cash back, gift cards, eGifts, merchandise, travel and experiential rewards. You can view redemption options here.

You can redeem points for cash back, starting at a minimum of $5 (no maximum limit). This can be processed as a statement credit to your card account or an ACH credit into a deposit account you designate. When doing this you’ll receive 1¢ per point, unless you receive a relationship bonus outlined below.

You can also get a relationship bonus in the form of cash back for either 10%, 25%, 50% or 75% when redeeming into a SunTrust checking, savings or money market account.

  • SunTrust Private Wealth Management will receive a cash back bonus of 75%
  • SunTrust Signature Advantage accounts and $100,000 or more in Combined Consumer Deposits and Investment Balances with SunTrust or clients in the Premier Banking Program will receive a cash back bonus of 50%
  • SunTrust Signature Advantage accounts and less than $100,000 in Combined Consumer Deposits and Investment Balances with SunTrust will receive a cash back bonus of 25%
  • All other clients who redeem their Cash Rewards into a SunTrust checking, savings, or money market account will receive a cash back bonus of 10%

This means that the maximum bonus for this account would be $875 if you were a SunTrust Private Wealth Management client.

Getting Targeted

At the moment we aren’t sure what you need to do to get targeted. I imagine they are targeted high networth individuals with accounts with SunTrust already. You can currently get a sign up bonus of $300 for opening a checking account with them, but they have offered better bonuses in the past. You can view a list of bank bonuses we recommend here.

Credit Pull

Based on old data on Creditboards, it appears that they pull Equifax exclusively. This is a good thing since for many people this is the least-used credit bureau.

What Counts For The Travel Credit?

The following does trigger the credit:

  • United Travel Bank: 1

The following doesn’t trigger the credit:

  • MPX: 1

Our Verdict

On the surface a sign up bonus of $500 is huge and awesome, a non waivable annual fee of $325 lessens that by a bit. I do like the ability to choose three benefits, personally I’d choose:

  • $200 airline incidental credit
  • $50 dining benefit
  • ???

I really don’t know what I’d chose for the third benefit, with the cards I already have I don’t see a lot of value in any of the other benefits (interested to know what you’d choose in the comments). Now is the perfect time to get this card though as you could use those annual benefits in 2016 and then again in 2017 and only pay the annual fee once.

[Read: Premium Cards Compared: Chase Sapphire Reserve, American Express Platinum & Citi Prestige]

If you have any relationship with SunTrust then this card and the sign up bonus become even more attractive. Personally I don’t see any value in keeping this card long term, but for the sign up bonus and the ability to double dip on those credits it’s great short term. Fingers crossed this becomes public! If you’re interested in more double dipping, you might also be interested in this post.

Hat tip to flip-flop on /r/churning



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Bill
Bill

For many of their products, SunTrust will offer new accounts for those customers who already have another product. For example, if you opened your account while visiting a physical branch, even if you live outside of their branch network, you may be targeted and approved.

Sergio sanchez
Sergio sanchez

Ok

jackgopack4
jackgopack4

I wasn’t targeted and didn’t enter an offer code, but I was approved manually two days after application

jackgopack4
jackgopack4

Testing methods to use the $25/$200 total travel benefits. Benefit description clearly states transactions >$25 won’t count and that it will be 1-2 statements before credit is applied.

United MPX iTunes purchase categorized as “Entertainment.”

Just tried a $25 United gift registry/travel bank load. Will see if it gets reimbursed.

Delta/AA unfortunately don’t offer GCs <$50

jackgopack4
jackgopack4

Ok, I spent $114 including tip ($94.69 before tip) at a restaurant in downtown Milwaukee on 12/23. The transaction posted on 12/26, and I received a $25 credit on 12/27 which posted on 12/28.

Looks like the dining credit was either automatic or manually reviewed very quickly, so I am thinking the travel credit would work the same way.

jackgopack4
jackgopack4

Here’s a quick update y’all:

Travel credit gets reimbursed with $25 United Travel Bank purchase.

Sophia
Sophia

This offer is available again, I received a targeted email this morning.

jackgopack4
jackgopack4

Hi guys. Used my credits for 2018 and then closed my account before the annual fee hit on 1/31.
Eight $25 GCs for Southwest Airlines and a $100 gift card in store at two different local pizza joints triggered my total airline and restaurant credits, respectively.
If you can open this in December, you can potentially get two year’s credits in the first two months before the annual fee posts (I opened in early December 2016 and annual fee didn’t charge until January 31, 2017).

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