South State Bank Review: Checking, Savings, CD and Money Market Accounts

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It may not have been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any of our network partners.

Written By

Updated on Tuesday, September 1, 2020

South State Bank checking account options

South State Bank South State Checking account

This checking account is free provided you use e-statements. It only offers the basics and doesn’t include interest or ATM refunds. You can do better.
  • Minimum opening deposit: $25 in branch, none online
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $5 (waived if you have e-statements)
  • ATM fees: None at South State Bank ATMs, $2.50 at out-of-network ATMs
  • ATM fee refunds: None
  • Overdraft fees: $36

The South State Checking account only comes with the basics like online banking, a debit card and the option to order checks. It doesn’t earn interest or debit card rewards.

If you open this account at a branch, you’ll need to deposit at least $25 but if you open online, there’s no minimum deposit requirement. After you open, there’s also no minimum balance requirement. The South State Bank Checking account does charge a $5 monthly fee, but to get it waived, all you have to do is sign up for e-statements rather than paper statements.

With this account, you can make free withdrawals from South State Bank ATMs. If you make an out-of-network withdrawal, the bank charges $2.50 per transaction and will not refund any fees from the ATM owner.

You can open a South State Checking account online, at one of their branches or by requesting a phone meeting with one of their bankers. The application will ask for your address, email address, Social Security number and a form of government ID, as well as your opening deposit. South State Bank accepts deposits by debit card, credit card and bank transfer.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on South State Bank’s secure website

South State Bank Choice Checking account

The Choice Checking account pays an above-average interest rate and there are several convenient options to avoid the monthly fee. Like the name says, a pretty good choice. The only problem is if you use out-of-network ATMs, this account gets expensive fast.
APYMinimum Balance Amount to Earn APY
0.02%
$0.01
  • Minimum opening deposit: $25 in branch, none online
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $8 (can be waived)
  • ATM fees: None at South State Bank ATMs, $2.50 at out-of-network ATMs
  • ATM fee refunds: None
  • Overdraft fees: $36

The Choice Checking account pays interest on all balances and the rate is above average. The rate always stays the same and won’t increase as you deposit more.

If you open this account in a branch, you’ll need to deposit at least $25 but online, there’s no minimum opening deposit requirement. After you open, the Choice Checking account charges an $8 monthly maintenance fee. South State Bank will waive the fee if each statement cycle you meet any of the following:

  1. You have a $1,000 average daily balance.
  2. You make at least $250 of direct deposits into the account.
  3. You make at least 15 purchases/payments through the debit card.

With this account, you can make free withdrawals from South State Bank ATMs. If you make an out-of-network withdrawal, the bank charges $2.50 per transaction and will not refund any fees from the ATM owner.

You can open a Choice Checking account online, at one of their branches or on the phone with one of their bankers.The application will ask for your address, email address, Social Security number and a form of government ID, as well as your opening deposit. South State Bank accepts deposits by debit card, credit card and bank transfer.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on South State Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

South State Bank Gold Checking account

This is South State Bank’s premium checking account. It pays the highest interest rates and comes with some extra bank benefits. In exchange, it also has the highest balance requirements and monthly fee.
APYMinimum Balance Amount to Earn APY
0.05%
$0.01
0.05%
$10,000
0.05%
$25,000
0.10%
$50,000
0.10%
$100,000
  • Minimum opening deposit: $25 in branch, none online
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $15 (can be waived)
  • ATM fees: None at South State Bank ATMs, $2.50 at out-of-network ATMs
  • ATM fee refunds: None
  • Overdraft fees: $36

The Gold Checking account is South State Bank’s premium account. It pays interest and the rates are slightly higher than Choice Checking, though you need a balance of at least $50,000 to earn a better rate.

In exchange, this account has a higher balance requirement. The Gold Checking account charges a $15 monthly fee unless each statement cycle you meet at least one of the following:

  1. You have at least a $3,500 minimum daily balance in the Gold Checking account.
  2. You have at least a $10,000 minimum daily balance combined throughout South State Bank personal deposit accounts.
  3. You have at least a $10,000 outstanding balance in South State Bank consumer loans or mortgages.

If you meet any of these requirements, the bank waives the fee. The Gold Checking account includes free checks and a free 3×5 safety deposit box, or you can request a $30 annual discount off a larger box.

With this account, you can make free withdrawals from South State Bank ATMs. If you make an out-of-network withdrawal, South State Bank charges $2.50 per transaction and will not refund any fees from the ATM owner.

You can open a Gold Checking account online, at one of their branches or by phone with one of their bankers. The application will ask for your address, email address, Social Security number and a form of government ID, as well as your opening deposit. South State Bank accepts deposits by debit card, credit card and bank transfer.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on South State Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

South State Bank Classic Checking account

If you are 62 or older, you can use this senior checking account with some extra banking benefits. It’s not as good as Gold Checking, but a small upgrade over Choice Checking.
APYMinimum Balance Amount to Earn APY
0.02%
$0.01
  • Minimum opening deposit: $25 in branch, none online
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $8 (can be waived)
  • ATM fees: None at South State Bank ATMs, $2.50 at out-of-network ATMs
  • ATM fee refunds: None
  • Overdraft fees: $36

For customers who are 62 and older, South State Bank offers its Classic Checking account. This account earns interest and the rate is the same as Choice Checking. It’s an above-average rate that stays the same for all deposits and there’s no minimum balance needed to earn interest.

Classic Checking comes with some extra benefits compared with Choice Checking. First, it includes one free order of checks per year. It also gives you a 20% discount on the annual fee for a safety deposit box.

The Classic Checking account charges an $8 monthly maintenance fee. However, South State Bank waives the fee if during the statement cycle you meet at least one of these conditions:

  1. You have at least a $1,000 minimum daily balance in the account.
  2. You receive at least $250 in direct deposits.

With this account, you can make free withdrawals from South State Bank ATMs. If you make an out-of-network withdrawal, South State Bank charges $2.50 per transaction and will not refund any fees from the ATM owner.

You can open a Classic Checking account online, at one of their branches or by phone with one of their bankers.The application will ask for your address, email address, Social Security number and a form of government ID, as well as your opening deposit. The bank accepts deposits by debit card, credit card and bank transfer.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on South State Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

South State Bank Student Checking account

South State Bank offers another specialty account for students between the ages of 13 to 22. It doesn’t earn interest but comes with several extra discounts on fees.
  • Minimum opening deposit: $25 in branch, none online
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $3 (waived if you use e-statements)
  • ATM fees: None at South State Bank ATMs, 3 free out-of-network withdrawals per statement cycle, then $2.50 per transaction
  • ATM fee refunds: None
  • Overdraft fees: $36

If you or your child is a student between the ages of 13 to 22, you can open a Student Checking account. The student can’t open this account by himself. He will need an adult parent or guardian to sign on as a joint owner.

The Student Checking account does not earn interest. However, it does have lower fees than the other accounts. First, the monthly maintenance fee is just $3 and all you have to do to get the fee waived is sign up for e-statements.

With the Student Checking account, you can also make three out-of-network ATM transactions per month without owing a fee to South State Bank, though they will not refund any fees from the ATM owner. If you make more than three out-of-network transactions, South State Bank charges their usual $2.50 withdrawal fee.

You can open a Student Checking account online, at one of their branches or by phone with one of their bankers. The application will ask for your address, email address, Social Security number and a form of government ID, as well as your opening deposit. South State Bank accepts deposits by debit card, credit card and bank transfer. The adult co-owner will also need to provide their name and ID.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on South State Bank’s secure website

magnifying glass

How South State Bank’s checking accounts compare

If you spend most of your time near the South State Bank branches and ATMs, their checking accounts could be a good fit. All their accounts make it easy to avoid the monthly fee. The checking accounts that pay interest earn a respectable rate and some of their accounts come with extra bank benefits like free checks or a safety deposit box discount.

But if you ever stray away from South State Bank’s service areas, you better watch out. None of their checking accounts refund out-of-network ATM fees. Even worse, the bank charges a $2.50 fee on out-of-network transactions for nearly all their accounts. Student Checking is the only account where they waive this fee and even then, it’s only on three withdrawals per month.

You don’t need to be glued to a South State Bank branch to earn interest. These online checking accounts earn rates that not only crush South State Bank’s best offer, they also come with ATM refunds so you can get your money for free wherever you go.

South State Bank savings account options

South State Bank Smart Savings account

The Smart Savings account has a great interest rate, but also comes with tough withdrawal restrictions and a high potential monthly fee. If you use this account, you better be “smart” about avoiding the fees.
APYMinimum Balance Amount to Earn APY
0.05%
$0.01
  • Minimum opening deposit: $50 in branch, none online
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $15 per quarter (waived for balance of at least $200)
  • ATM fees: None at South State Bank ATMs, $2.50 at out-of-network ATMs
  • ATM fee refunds: None
  • Overdraft fees: $36

The Smart Savings account earns interest on all balances and the rate is quite good. It always stays the same so you won’t earn more by saving more. If you open this account at a bank branch, you’ll need to deposit at least $50. If you open online, there’s no minimum opening deposit requirement so you can start for any amount.

With the Smart Savings account, you need to keep a minimum daily balance of at least $200. If you ever fall below, South State Bank charges a $15 fee every quarter.

The Smart Savings account also comes with several restrictions for how often you can take money out. Each quarterly calendar cycle, you can only make three free withdrawals. If you make more than three, the bank charges $1 for each extra withdrawal.

In addition, each month, you are allowed to make up to six certain transfers/withdrawals out of the account like checks, debit card purchases, drafts and account transfers. This is because of a government rule for savings accounts known as Regulation D. If you go over this limit, South State Bank won’t charge an extra fee but they could convert you to a checking account or revoke some of your privileges.

You can open a Smart Savings account online, at one of their branches or by phone with one of their bankers. The application will ask for your address, email address, Social Security number and a form of government ID, as well as your opening deposit. South State Bank accepts deposits by debit card, credit card and bank transfer.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on South State Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

South State Bank Young Savings account

A special savings account for children under the age of 18. It earns the regular savings account rate and doesn’t charge monthly fee.
APYMinimum Balance Amount to Earn APY
0.05%
$0.01
  • Minimum opening deposit: $5
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • ATM fees: None at South State Bank ATMs, $2.50 at out-of-network ATMs
  • ATM fee refunds: None
  • Overdraft fees: $36

If you have any children under the age of 18, you can open a Youth Savings account for them. This account requires an opening deposit of at least $5. After that, there’s no minimum balance requirement and no monthly fee. The Youth Savings account earns the exact same rate as Smart Savings, which is respectable.

This account comes with some restrictions for how often your child can take money out. First, each quarter they can only make three free withdrawals per month. If they make more than three, South State Bank charges $1 for each extra withdrawal.

In addition, each statement cycle your child can are allowed to make up to six certain transfers/withdrawals out of the account like checks, debit card purchases, drafts and account transfers. This is because of a government rule for savings accounts called Regulation D. If they go over this limit, South State Bank won’t charge an extra fee but they could switch your child to a checking account.

Once your child turns 19, South State Bank will automatically convert this account into a Smart Savings account.

You and your child can open a Young Savings account at their branches or by scheduling a phone appointment with one of their bankers. This account is not available online. The application will ask for your address, email address, Social Security number and a form of government ID, as well as your opening deposit. South State Bank accepts deposits by debit card, credit card and bank transfer.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on South State Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

South State Bank Savers Club account

The Club account is supposed to help you save for specific goals during the year. But we aren’t sure how much this account will help since it pays the regular savings rate and adds in a higher withdrawal fee.
APYMinimum Balance Amount to Earn APY
0.35%
$0.01
  • Minimum opening deposit: $5
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • ATM fees: None at South State Bank ATMs, $2.50 at out-of-network ATMs
  • ATM fee refunds: None
  • Overdraft fees: $36

With the Club account, you start by picking a specific date in the future when you need your money. For example, this could be your next vacation, an upcoming wedding or when you plan to buy a new car. You put money aside and when that date arrives, South State Bank automatically pays everything out to your regular checking or savings account.

You need to deposit at least $5 to open a Club account. After that, this account does not have a minimum balance requirement or charge a monthly fee. It earns interest on all balances and the rate is the same as Smart Savings, which is pretty good.

To encourage you to stick to your goal, the Club Account charges a penalty if you take money out early. Every calendar quarter, you can make one free withdrawal but if you make more, South State Bank charges a $5 penalty per extra withdrawal.

You can open a Club account at their branches or by scheduling a phone appointment with one of their bankers. This account is not available online. The application will ask for your address, email address, Social Security number and a form of government ID, as well as your opening deposit. South State Bank accepts deposits by debit card, credit card and bank transfer.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on South State Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

magnifying glass

How South State Bank’s savings accounts compare

While these savings accounts have some nice features, we particularly like their savings account interest rates. They pay a quality rate that’s much better than the average bank. In addition, you earn the same high rate on all balances so it’s not just reserved for customers with deep pockets.

Where South State Bank worries us is with their fees. First, their Smart Savings account charges a $15 quarterly fee. Yes, you can avoid it by keeping your balance over $200 but if you ever accidentally fall below, there’s goes all your interest for the year. We also noticed that they only allow three free withdrawals per quarter. That’s very restrictive as most banks allow six free withdrawals per month, so an extra 15 transactions per quarter.

Because of these fees, we’d avoid these savings accounts, even if we are a little tempted by their interest rate. Instead, why not take a look at these top-rated, online savings accounts? They pay even more than South State Bank and don’t have the costly fees and withdrawal restrictions.

South State Bank’s CD rates

South State Bank Certificates of Deposit

South State Bank does not publish their CD rates and terms online. We reviewed what we could but you’ll need to check with customer service or visit a branch to get all the information.
  • Minimum opening deposit: $1,000
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: $1,000
  • Early withdrawal penalty: South State Bank notes that early withdrawals may result in a loss of interest and some principal but does not list the exact penalties.

South State Bank offers Certificates of Deposit but publishes very little information about these accounts online. Their CDs have maturity dates that last up to 10 years, but their website does not mention the exact terms. South State Bank also does not publicly release their CD rates. You need to contact customer service or visit a branch to see what they are currently paying.

If you take money out of one of South State Bank’s CD, they will charge an early withdrawal penalty. They note that the penalty could result in a loss of interest and your principal, but do not specify exactly what the penalties are.

These CDs are not available online. You can either open an account at their branches or by scheduling a phone appointment with one of their bankers.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on South State Bank’s secure website

magnifying glass

How South State Bank’s CD rates compare

Since South State Bank does not publish their CD rates online, we were unable to see how they match up against the competition. It’s a little puzzling that there’s so little information available, especially since the South State Bank website covers all their other deposit accounts in great detail.

Without knowing the exact rates, we can’t say whether the South State Bank CDs are any good. In our experience though, if a lender has a competitive product, they’re usually pushing to get that information in front of as many people as possible. It’s not a great sign that South State Bank hasn’t released anything.

If you’re curious, South State Bank asks you to call their customer service line or visit a branch for more information. But if you don’t feel like chasing down rates, you could check out this list of the top CD offers in the country. We found the best rates for every term and the information is publicly available; no phone calls or bank visits needed.

South State Bank money market account options

South State Bank Money Market account

This money market account is a competitive choice, especially if you qualify for the best rates with a balance over $50,000. We believe this is their best deposit account.
APYMinimum Balance Amount to Earn APY
0.05%
$0.01
0.10%
$10,000
0.15%
$25,000
0.15%
$50,000
0.25%
$100,000
  • Minimum opening deposit: $50 in branch, none online
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $15 (waived for balance of at least $5,000)
  • ATM fees: None at South State Bank ATMs, $2.50 at out-of-network ATMs
  • ATM fee refunds: None
  • Overdraft fees: $36

The Money Market account earns interest on all balances. The rate is OK for balances less than $50,000 but nearly doubles to a fantastic rate when you have more than $50,000.

You’ll need to deposit at least $50 to open the account, but if you open online, there’s no minimum opening deposit requirement. After you open, the Money Market account charges a $15 monthly fee if your average daily balance ever falls below $5,000. It’s free so long as you stay above this limit.

Since this is a money market account, Regulation D limits how often you can take money out because of a rule. Every calendar month, you can make no more than six certain withdrawals/transfers out of the account including checks, drafts, transfers to other accounts and bill payments. If you make more than six, South State Bank charges a $10 fee for each excess transaction.

You can open a Money Market account online, at one of their branches or by phone with one of their bankers. The application will ask for your address, email address, Social Security number and a form of government ID, as well as your opening deposit. South State Bank accepts deposits by debit card, credit card and bank transfer.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on South State Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

magnifying glass

How South State Bank’s money market accounts compare

The money market account is a fine choice, especially if you plan on keeping a large balance. It earns a fair rate on balances up to $50,000 but it’s when you have more than $50,000 that this account really shines. Then, it earns a rate that’s competitive with some of the best accounts in the country.

Where this account could be a problem is when your balance is on the smaller side. If your average daily balance is less than $5,000, this account charges a costly $15 monthly fee. You’ll still earn interest, but you’re going to be paying out much more than you earn.

If you want to open a money market account for a smaller amount or just want to see what else is out there, this article covers the very best money market options on the market today. Their rates can be even better than South State Bank and some of them are available for balances as low as $100.

Overall review of South State Bank’s banking products

With South State Bank’s banking products, it’s a story of give-and-take. On one hand, the bank is quite generous with interest. All their deposit accounts pay above average rates. Their money market rates are particularly impressive, especially for large balances.

On the other hand, the bank’s deposit accounts nearly all have high monthly fees when you don’t meet the balance requirements. Their savings and money market accounts also charge a fee if you go over the maximum withdrawal limits.

Out of all their accounts, we’d say their money market account is the best choice thanks to its excellent rates. Their savings accounts don’t earn enough to justify the fees and withdrawal limits. Their checking accounts could be worth a shot but only if you live close to a South State Bank branch or ATM, as these accounts do not refund fees for out-of-network withdrawals.

Finally, South State Bank didn’t release enough information for us to come up with an opinion on their CDs. If you do end up using any of these accounts, put the info in this guide to good use so you avoid their fees. We want you to earn more than you give to South State Bank.

Advertiser Disclosure: The products that appear on this site may be from companies from which MagnifyMoney receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). MagnifyMoney does not include all financial institutions or all products offered available in the marketplace.

Do you have a question?