Suncoast Credit Union Review of Checking, Savings, CD, Money Market and IRA Rates

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Suncoast Credit Union’s checking account options

Suncoast Smart Checking

APY

Minimum Opening Deposit

0.05%

$25

  • Minimum opening deposit:$25
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $0
  • ATM fee: Free for Suncoast ATMs, Publix Presto ATMs, McDonald’s ATMs in select counties, and all ATMs in the CO-OP network; $1.50 at other ATMs; $3 for non-members (surcharge)
  • ATM fee refund: None.
  • Overdraft fee: $0; $29 with Courtesy Pay

Unlike many basic checking accounts at other banks, Suncoast Credit Union’s Smart Checking pays interest, on top of numerous other features. The Smart Checking account has a low opening deposit, no monthly service fee, and a vast network of ATMs that members can use to take free cash withdrawals.

On top of these basics, the Smart Checking account comes with numerous free benefits that apply to all Suncoast Credit Union checking accounts, including the following:

  • Free online banking, bill pay and mobile banking
  • Direct deposit and payroll deduction
  • Free images of cleared checks for 90 days
  • Free eStatements and combined account statements (also available in Spanish)
  • Visa Account Updater, which automatically updates your cardholder data with merchants when your information changes

The account also comes with the Suncoast Rewards Debit Card, which is a free debit card that provides both personal and community rewards. The card earns one point for every $3 spent that can be used to to purchase travel or merchandise. Users also get discounts at participating BP gas stations. With every purchase, the credit union also donates two cents to the Suncoast Credit Union Foundation, which provides aid to children in local communities.

All of Suncoast credit union’s checking accounts, including Smart Checking, offer overdraft protection. You’ll need to link up a Suncoast Credit Union savings or money market account to benefit from this service, but the bank will then automatically transfer enough money to cover the overdraft in your checking account. Unlike most institutions, Suncoast Credit Union doesn’t charge any fees for this service. If you don’t link a backup account to cover your overdrafts, you can still sign up for the credit union’s Courtesy Pay service, which will pay any drafts that would normally overdraw your account. For this service, you’ll pay a $29 fee for every day that you are overdrawn, but you will avoid having any of your payments declined.

LEARN MORE Secured

on Suncoast Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

Smart Start Checking

APY

Minimum Opening Deposit

0.05%

$25

  • Minimum opening deposit: $25
  • Monthly account maintenance fee:$0
  • ATM fees: Free for Suncoast ATMs, Publix Presto ATMs, McDonald’s ATMs in select counties, and all ATMs in the CO-OP network; $1.50 at other ATMs; $3 for non-members (surcharge)
  • ATM fee refund:  None
  • Overdraft fee:$0; $29 with Courtesy Pay
The Smart Start Checking account is intended for customers who may have trouble qualifying for more traditional checking accounts. Suncoast Credit Union’s Smart Start Checking account is otherwise identical to the credit union’s Smart Checking account. Smart Start comes with all the freebies associated with the Smart Checking account, from the free overdraft protection with linked Suncoast Credit Union savings or money market account to the free debit rewards card. Even the interest rate is the same for any deposited amount.

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on Suncoast Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

Teen Checking

APY

Minimum Opening Deposit

0.05%

$25

  • Minimum opening deposit: $5
  • Monthly account maintenance fee:$0
  • ATM fees: Free for Suncoast ATMs, Publix Presto ATMs, McDonald’s ATMs in select counties, and all ATMs in the CO-OP network; $1.50 at other ATMs; $3 for non-members (surcharge)
  • ATM fee refund:  None
  • Overdraft fee:$0; $29 with Courtesy Pay

The Suncoast Teen Checking account has lower minimums, but otherwise operates like the other Suncoast Credit Union checking accounts. Interest rates earned are still the same, and Teen Checking accounts come with the same benefits, such as online and mobile access, no maintenance fees and a free debit rewards card.

How to open Suncoast Credit Union’s checking accounts

To open a Suncoast Credit Union account, you must first be a member of the credit union. The overall process to apply online takes about 10 minutes. You’ll be asked to provide certain personal and financial information, including a U.S. government-issued ID, your Social Security number and a debit or credit card number to fund your account. If you’re applying for a joint account, you’ll have to provide the same information for the second applicant.

Once you begin the application process, you’ll be required to open a regular savings account, which is known as the Regular Share Membership at Suncoast Credit Union. You can also add additional accounts as you complete your application. Once you consent to various disclosures, your account will be opened.

Since Suncoast Credit Union is only based in Florida, you’ll have to be based in the region if you want to walk in and open an account in a physical branch. If you ever need assistance, you can call the Member Care Center.

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How Suncoast Credit Union’s checking accounts compare

Suncoast Credit Union’s checking accounts all pay interest, but the rates are low, and none can compete with the top online checking accounts in terms of interest rates. However, all of the credit union’s checking accounts have no monthly maintenance fees, without requiring minimum balances like with many other banks. The credit union also has extensive free ATM access through the CO-OP network.

An interesting benefit offered by the credit union is access to a no-fee rewards program. That program, coupled with no-cost overdraft protection, help offset the low rates of interest paid by the checking accounts.

As a regional credit union, Suncoast doesn’t have an extensive branch network, but it is an active supporter of the local communities in which it operates.

Suncoast Credit Union’s savings account options

Suncoast Regular Share Membership

APY

Minimum Opening Deposit

0.15%

$5

  • Minimum opening deposit: $5
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $5
  • Monthly account maintenance fee:$0
  • ATM fees: Free for Suncoast ATMs, Publix Presto ATMs, McDonald’s ATMs in select counties, and all ATMs in the CO-OP network; $1.50 at other ATMs; $3 for non-members (surcharge)
  • ATM fee refund:  None
  • Overdraft fee:$0; $29 with Courtesy Pay
This basic savings account is a good companion to a Suncoast Credit Union checking account; in fact, it is a requirement that new customers open a Regular Share account if they want to open a checking account. The savings account pays interest and can be used as a source for overdraft protection funds for a checking account, all with no fee. The minimum balance to both open an account and to earn interest is low.
As a savings account, the Regular Share Membership falls under the Regulation D restrictions put in place by the Federal Reserve. This regulation limits withdrawals from savings accounts to six per month. If you exceed this requirement, Suncoast Credit Union will assess an excess activity fee.

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on Suncoast Credit Union’s secure website

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Suncoast Special Share (Savings)

APY

Minimum Opening Deposit

0.15%

$5

  • Minimum opening deposit: $5
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $0
  • Monthly account maintenance fee:$0
  • ATM fees: Free for Suncoast ATMs, Publix Presto ATMs, McDonald’s ATMs in select counties, and all ATMs in the CO-OP network; $1.50 at other ATMs; $3 for non-members (surcharge)
  • ATM fee refund:  none
  • Overdraft fee:$0; $29 with Courtesy Pay
Suncoast Credit Union’s Special Share account is essentially just a secondary savings account. Once you open your Regular Share Membership, you can have as many Special Share accounts as you’d like. Some members choose to open additional accounts for specific savings goals, such as buying a house or saving for college costs. The Special Share account has a lower opening deposit requirement than the Regular Share Membership, but beyond that, the two accounts are essentially identical. They pay the same interest rate, offer the same ATM and overdraft fee structure, and neither has a monthly maintenance fee.

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on Suncoast Credit Union’s secure website

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Suncoast Uniform Transfer to Minors (Custodial) Account

APY

Minimum Balance Amount

0.15%

$0.00 - $999.99

0.50%

$1,000.00+

Suncoast Credit Union offers a custodial account for minors that can be opened as a checking, savings, money market or certificate account for those under age 18. For the most part, rates are the same as standard offerings in those categories. However, the bank does pay an enhanced interest rate for custodial savings deposits of at least $1,000.

How to open Suncoast Credit Union’s savings accounts

You can open a Suncoast Credit Union savings account online in the same manner as if you were opening a checking account. You’ll have to be connected to one of the 21 Florida counties in which Suncoast Credit Union operates, and you’ll have to provide the same basic personal and financial information, such as your Social Security number. After agreeing to disclosures and providing funding information, you’ll be able to open your account.

If you prefer opening an account in person, you’re welcome to visit any Suncoast Credit Union branch. Remember that this credit union is only based in the 21 Florida counties, however, so this is only a realistic option for customers in those areas. For additional assistance, or if you have any questions before you apply, you can contact the Member Care Center.

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on Suncoast Credit Union’s secure website

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How Suncoast Credit Union’s savings accounts compare

Although the Suncoast Regular Share and Special Share savings accounts pay interest, the rate is well below the national average. Rates do not vary based on size of deposit, so there’s no benefit in terms of interest to make larger deposits. The one bright spot in the credit union’s interest-rate structure is for custodial savings accounts opened with at least $1,000. However, even with the bonus interest rate paid on that account, you can find much higher savings rates at top online banks.

Suncoast Credit Union’s savings accounts do have low fees and minimums, and they can be used as backup accounts under the credit union’s no-cost overdraft protection program.

Suncoast Credit Union’s CD rates

Term

APY

Minimum Deposit

6 months

1.25%

$500

12 months

1.50%

$500

18 months

1.60%

$500

24 months

1.75%

$500

36 months

2.00%

$500

48 months

2.25%

$500

60 months

2.50%

$500

  • Minimum opening deposit: $500
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: $500
  • Early withdrawal penalty: 90 days’ interest on terms of 12 months or less; 180 days’ interest on terms longer than 12 months

Suncoast Credit Union offers CDs in limited maturities known as Share Certificates. The credit union offers CDs between six and 60 months in duration. Rates increase as the term lengthens. Dividends are compounded daily and credited monthly.

If you need to withdraw money from your CD before it matures, Suncoast Credit Union will assess an early withdrawal penalty that will cost you some of your interest.

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on Suncoast Credit Union’s secure website

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Smart Start Certificate

Term

APY

12 months

1.50%

  • Minimum opening deposit: $50, with ongoing monthly contributions of at least $40
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $50
  • Early withdrawal penalty: 90 days’ interest on terms of 12 months or less; 180 days’ interest on terms longer than 12 months

Suncoast Credit Union offers a special contribution structure, with lower minimums, on a so-called “Smart Start Certificate.” With this CD, minimums are dropped significantly; however, ongoing contributions are required. Essentially, the Smart Start Certificate offers a way for investors to buy into a Suncoast Credit Union CD for the regular minimum, but with that investment spread out over 12 months. The rate is the same as on a standard 12-month CD

How to get Suncoast Credit Union’s CDs

Suncoast Credit Union offers a number of convenient ways to buy CDs. Once you’re a member, you can open a new certificate by phone simply by calling the Member Service Center.

You can also send a secure email through SunNet Online Banking. If emailing, you can buy a CD simply by indicating the term you’d like to buy and the account number which is the source of your funds. You’ll also have to indicate whether you want the dividends reinvested or simply deposited to another account.

Lastly, you can go into any Suncoast Credit Union branch, if you’re in Florida, to open a CD account.

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How Suncoast Credit Union’s CD rates compare

Across the board, Suncoast Credit Union’s CD rates are higher than the national average. Although rates aren’t among the very best CD rates you can find, they are still good rates.

Suncoast Credit Union’s CD rates are not tiered, so larger contributions won’t earn you any additional interest. There also aren’t any current promotional rates paying higher interest. As with most institutions, the best way to get the highest rates is to open CDs with the longest maturities.

Suncoast Credit Union’s money market account options

Suncoast Money Market Account

APY

Minimum Balance Amount

0.15%

$0.00 - $999.99

0.35%

$1,000.00 - $24,999.99

0.45%

$25,000.00 - $49,999.99

0.75%

$50,000.00 - $99.999.99

0.90%

$100,000 and greater

  • Minimum opening deposit: $1,000
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $0.01; $50,000+ for highest rates
  • Monthly account maintenance fee:. $0
  • ATM fees: Free for Suncoast ATMs, Publix Presto ATMs, McDonald’s ATMs in select counties, and all ATMs in the CO-OP network; $1.50 at other ATMs; $3 for non-members (surcharge)
  • ATM fee refunds: None.
  • Overdraft fees: $0; $29 with Courtesy Pay

Suncoast Credit Union’s Money Market account has a modest opening deposit and no monthly account fees. Once the account is open, there’s no required minimum balance to earn interest. However, higher rates are paid on larger balances.

You can use the money market account as a source of funds for your checking account to prevent overdrafts. This service comes free of charge to Suncoast Credit Union members. If you choose not to link up your money market account, the bank will pay your overdrafts if you sign up for the Courtesy Pay service, but you’ll pay fees.

As with the credit union’s savings accounts, you’ll have to limit your withdrawals, checks or transfers out to six per month with the money market account. This is a federal restriction that applies to accounts in financial institutions nationwide. Suncoast Credit Union will assess an excess activity fee and if you exceed this maximum.

How to get Suncoast Credit Union’s money market accounts

Suncoast Credit Union considers its money market accounts to be part of its savings account family. Thus, the process for opening a Suncoast Credit Union money market account is the same as with opening a savings account.

Once you’re a member, you can open a money market account with the same basic personal and financial information you had to provide for checking or savings accounts. Click through the requisite disclosures, indicate how you’ll fund your account and you’ll have a new money market account.

As with other accounts at Suncoast Credit Union, you can visit a branch to speak with someone in person. Check the website for the closest branch. Remember that Suncoast Credit Union only operates in 21 Florida counties. The Member Care Center can also assist you.

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on Suncoast Credit Union’s secure website

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How Suncoast Credit Union’s money market accounts compare

Money market rates at Suncoast Credit Union run above average on deposits above $1,000. At the highest tier, rates are significantly above average. However, they still don’t approach the highest available rates that other insitutions offer on money market accounts.

With only one money market account, Suncoast Credit Union doesn’t offer higher-service or higher-rate accounts like some other institutions do. However, the account has no maintenance fee and can be used for the credit union’s free overdraft program.

Suncoast Credit Union’s IRA CD rates

Term

APY

Minimum Deposit

6 months

1.25%

$500

12 months

1.50%

$500

18 months

1.60%

$500

24 months

1.75%

$500

36 months

2.00%

$500

48 months

2.25%

$500

60 months

2.50%

$500

  • Minimum opening deposit:  $500
  • Minimum balance to earn APY:  $500
  • Early withdrawal penalty: 90 days’ interest on terms of 12 months or less; 180 days’ interest on terms longer than 12 months

Suncoast Credit Union offers CDs with maturities from six months to 60 months in its IRAs. These investments are called share certificates. IRA CDs at Suncoast Credit Union come in the same maturities and pay the same rates as the credit union’s standard, non-IRA CDs. Dividends are compounded daily and credited monthly.

If you take money out of a Suncoast Credit Union IRA CD before it matures, you’ll owe an early withdrawal penalty that can cost a considerable amount of your interest.

How to get Suncoast Credit Union’s IRA CDs

You can open Suncoast Credit Union’s IRA CDs in one of three ways, just like with its non-IRA CDs. As a member, you can call the Member Service Center to open a CD, or you can send a secure email through SunNet Online Banking.

The secure email option is an unusual benefit that most other financial institutions don’t offer. Simply choose the term of the share certificate you’d like, indicate your source of funds, and let the credit union know whether you want to reinvest your dividends or have them paid out.

A final option is to visit a Suncoast Credit Union branch in person.

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on Suncoast Credit Union’s secure website

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How Suncoast Credit Union’s IRA CD rates compare

Suncoast Credit Union’s IRA CD rates are the same as its standard rates, which means they are good. You won’t find Suncoast Credit Union’s IRA CD rates on the lists of the best IRA CD rates, but they are above national averages.

Nationwide, rates for the best IRA CDs are lower than the top rates for non-IRA CDs; since Suncoast Credit Union’s rates are the same for both types of accounts, the credit union improves by comparison when its IRA rates are put up against the best available IRA CD rates.

Overall review of Suncoast Credit Union’s products

Suncoast Credit Union is geographically limited to 21 counties in Florida. Potential customers must have an attachment to the region in order to become members and enjoy the credit union’s benefits.

Suncoast Credit Union offers attractive options across a wide range of accounts, from checking and savings to money market and CD accounts. Rates for checking and savings accounts are low, but the offerings improve with the credit union’s money market and CD options.

The credit union scores points for having low fees, with none of its standard accounts charging a monthly maintenance fee. Overdraft protection comes without charge across the credit union’s accounts when linked to a Suncoast Credit Union savings or money market account. Suncoast Credit Union also has a rewards program that allows customers to earn points for purchases and trigger donations to local communities.

Although Suncoast Credit Union can’t be all things to all customers, thanks to its regional focus and somewhat limited account roster, it does many things quite well.

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John Csiszar
John Csiszar |

John Csiszar is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email John here

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