Suncoast Credit Union Review

Suncoast Credit Union Review

Overview

You won’t be able to find the best savings account rates at Suncoast Credit Union. However, you will find favorable efficacy check accounts at this regional institution and very competitive CD rates. While the interest rate on checking accounts doesn’t exceed a fraction of a percent, the benefit is no monthly fees or even a minimum balance—two drawbacks that almost always come with interest-bearing checking accounts.

This credit union offers all the advantages of a national bank – banking commodities, mortgages, loans, credit cards, etc. – but with a not-for-profit mentality. Suncoast Credit Union is a state charter system to meet the financial needs of Southwest Florida residents.

Read below to explore Suncoast Credit Union’s many offerings.

Suncoast Credit Union Rate Comparison

Suncoast Credit Union Overview

Suncoast Credit Union is a regional agency serving the greater Tampa area. In 2017, Money named the credit union the best bank in Florida. It was established in the 1830s by a group of teachers in Shanpu County to serve the local educational force. In 2013, the Suncoast Credit Union transformed into a national charter and opened membership to everyone who “lives, works, worships, or attends school” in 21 southwestern Florida counties.

Your options as a member include common banking products such as savings accounts, money market accounts, and checking accounts as well as mortgages, auto loans, and credit cards. The credit union has 64 branches and partners, with partner networks and Publix grocery ATMs, offering more than 3,000 free ATMs in the state and 30,000 nationwide.

Suncoast Credit Union Account Features

Suncoast Credit Union offers several types of savings and checking accounts with different interest rates and low initial deposits. Money market accounts and stock certificates (CDS) require higher deposits, but some of them are more affordable at $1,000 and $500, respectively. It also outperforms comparable CDs from many national banks to offer higher rates.

This is not all credit performance offers. Suncoast membership includes free notary services, free money orders, and $2,000 in free accidental death and dismemberment insurance. You’ll also find home loans, insurance, wealth management, and scholarships on offer at this community-oriented organization.

Suncoast Credit Union Checking Account: Smart Check, Teen Check, Smart Start Check

It’s hard to find interest checking accounts that don’t have high minimum balance requirements or monthly fees. Suncoast Credit Union offers two functions, not one, but three types of checking accounts. Smart Check, Smart Start Check, and Teen Check have no minimum balance requirements, earn interest, and have no monthly or yearly charges.

This is a large checking account for any customer. Each account type comes with the usual features of a checking account: debit card, checking, mobile deposit, direct deposit, and free images for clearing checks (up to 90 days). The Teen Check is for individuals 13 years of age or older supported by a parent or legal guardian.

Suncoast Credit Union-specific features include rewards debit cards, perks not seen in many comparable banks. You’ll earn one point for every $3 spent on your debit card. Points can be used for travel, merchandise, or discounted gas at participating BP stations. Credit Effects also donates 2 cents to Suncoast Credit Unifoce, a nonprofit that helps children in the local community, every time your card is used to make a purchase.

While the annual percentage rate is a fraction of the percentage, it is much higher than interest checking accounts like Commonwealth Bank, such as Bank of America. This means that the funds in your checking account (such as your paycheck deposit and rent and rent and rent and rent and rent and rent) don’t have extra work without extra work. This is a great feature for those who need liquid assets but want to take advantage of all the savings opportunities available.

Suncoast Credit Union Savings Account: Regular Shares and Special Shares

As a new member of Suncoast Credit Union, you will need to open a recurring share membership for your first account. You only need to deposit $5. This deposit gives you access to all other Suncoast products and services. This account does earn interest, but not like you’ll find in high-interest savings accounts elsewhere. You must keep at least $5 in your account to remain a member.

A special share savings account also costs $5 to open, but with this account, you don’t need to maintain a balance. This means that after the first deposit, you can withdraw every old fee account closure without facing fees o. This account has the same interest rate as regular share members. Both accounts are covered by NCUA up to $250,000. NCUA is the credit union equivalent of FDIC insurance, the account protection used by federal banks.

Suncoast Credit Union Stock Certificate (CDS): Stock Certificate and Smart Start Certificate

Suncoast stock certificates are similar to certificates of deposit or CDs as you may know them. It’s a savings car that usually earns a more interesting exchange rate in exchange. At Suncoast, you can choose to purchase equity securities in seven different term lengths ranging from seven months to five years. The longer-term length you choose, the higher the interest rate you will receive.

When you submit a stock certificate, you will commit to the length of the term. This means you will be penalized if you want to withdraw your funds early. In this case, you must repay a portion of the interest you acquired. You also qualify for a minimum balance of $500 on all Suncoast shares.

All certificates have a $500 deposit. The maximum deposit is usually the NCUA insured amount, so $250,000 is the current insured amount. Suncoast allows you to choose what type of stock certificate. That means you can choose to have it in a retirement account, a Coverdell education savings account (up to $2,000 per year), a health savings account, or a business certificate account. If it’s in your retirement account or health savings account, it’s usually a tax advantage, meaning you won’t be taxed on your interest income. All other interest accounts are taxed.

Your other CD option is a Smart Boot certificate. People who aim to start dialing in a minimum deposit of $500 right away, start with a deposit of $50 and commit to increasing it by $40 every month until you reach $500. At this point, you can rollover to a traditional certificate.

Suncoast Credit Union Money Market Account

An additional savings option is a money market account. This type of account usually garners more interest than a savings account and offers more flexibility than a stock certificate or CD. Money market accounts are like savings accounts: you can deposit, withdraw and transfer money. However, in a Suncoast Money Market account, you need to have at least $1000 in the account to earn interest.

You can get more interest with a higher balance. This is a tiered approach: each tiered range gets a percentage rate. For example, if you have $10,000 in your account, you can earn 0.05% interest on the first $999.99, and 0.20% interest on amounts between $1,000.00 and $24,999.99. The dividends you earn are compounded daily and credited to your account monthly. However, keep in mind that tax rates are variable and can be changed after you open your account.

Suncoast Credit Union Unified Transfer to Minor Account (UTMA)

This type of account, in Florida Uniform Transfer to Minor Account, is a minority savings car. UTMA can be used as a savings, money market, or checking account or certificate. Only designated minors can withdraw funds from this account. This is ideal for family members, guardians, or priests who want to save money, earn money and give it to their children.

The benefit of this type of account is that minors are the only ones who can withdraw their money. This is different from joint teen accounts, such as the teen check option offered by Suncoast, which allows minors as well as joint account holders to withdraw funds.

Where can I find Suncoast credit unions?

Suncoast Credit Union has 64 branches on the west coast of Florida. To become a member of a credit union, you must live, work, attend school, or worship in any of the 21 counties (Citrus, Coal, Desoto, Dixie, Gilchrist, Glades, Hardee, Hendry, Hernando, Highlands, Hillsborough, Lee, Levy, Manatee, Marion, Pasco, Pinellas, Polk, Sarasota or Sumter), or alumni of Florida College.

Can you use Suncoast credit union online?

The credit union offers an all-access website as well as a mobile app for accessing the bank. The mobile app provides mobile checking deposits, transfers, bill payments, account monitoring, branches, and more. According to Google Play, about 50% of the 4,500 people who left the app had a review that gave it five stars. Those who gave low ratings complained that the app didn’t always work. That said, it was updated in early 2018.

On the website, you can customize pages, view your account, and then download up to 90 days of history, check orders, transfer funds, and pay bills. You can also use Sun money to create budgets, monitor spending habits, and enter financial goals. Additionally, the tool will set up alerts on your phone if your account falls below a certain amount, which can help you monitor your spending.

You have many options when accessing your funds at Suncoast Credit Union. Local area residents can head to one of the branches on Florida’s southwest coast. For ATM access, you can use any Publix Presto ATM in the US as well as the US’s partner network (30,000 ATMs).

You can also access your money through bill payments or money transfers through Suncoast’s website or mobile app. Another option is to link an external account to a Suncoast account to transfer funds to yourself.

How can I save more money with my Suncoast Credit Union account?

The best features of a credit union are usually transaction fees and lower interest loans. Since credit unions are non-filers, they lack the incentive to charge the hefty fine fees and transaction fees that you find at many retail banking institutions. You can see from the account description that you don’t have to pay a monthly fee for any Suncoast credit union account. This means you can earn interest with a checking account without paying fees or maintaining a certain balance. Very rare in financial institutions.

Also, banks usually don’t offer reward debit cards. This is a huge advantage for Suncoast customers. The rewards for everyday purchases with a debit card can add up, especially if you don’t use a credit card (most people earn points).

Another place you’ll find share savings is Suncoast’s share certificate rate. While we are seeing the absolute highest, they are very competitive and generally higher than most large banks. You can usually only find better rates at online-only institutions.

What is the process to open an account with Suncoast Credit Union?

With Suncoast Credit Union, the first account you open will be the most involved. You must demonstrate that you are a resident (or work, attend school, or worship) of one of the 21 eligible Florida counties. You will need an ID with your current address, or other proof such as vehicle registration, rental agreement, voter registration card, W-2, or utility bill. The full list is on Suncoast’s eligibility page.

You can register online or go to a branch location to open an account – it’s up to you. To get started, you need personal data such as social security numbers, addresses, and IDs. If you open your account online, you can always call and speak with a representative or visit one of the credit union’s physical locations.

After entering your information, you need to fund the account. Most accounts have a minimum deposit, and you can use cash (in-person), check (in-person), or provide a wire transfer from an external account via electronic transfer (fee) or wire transfer ($5 fee).

After funding your account, you will start earning interest (if it is an interesting account). You can track your savings progress using Suncoast’s website and mobile app.

Catch what?

The biggest catch is whether you qualify to be a member of that credit union. You need to be a resident of one of the 21 listed counties or a Florida College graduate. You may also be eligible if your family members are members. If you’re not sure about your eligibility, call and discuss membership options, the company’s website says.

The nice thing about a credit union is that it’s local, which means it’s not a national chain. On the other hand, there are fewer access rights. While the company has a mobile app and an up-to-date and user-friendly website, the time and amount that goes into its technology are not on the same level as a national bank, such as Yunyin Bank, Bank of America, or USAA. Additionally, while the company provides access to about 30,000 ATMs through its shared network, it does not reimburse ATM fees outside the network. This means that this may not be the best option if you frequently travel outside of Florida outside of an area not covered by a partner network.

Another catch is that banks don’t offer the most competitive savings account rates. You can usually get higher rates at Marcus from Goldman Sachs or Ally Bank. To get anywhere near the tax rates offered by these agencies, you have to take stock certificates through Suncoast. However, these stocks operate like CDs and you won’t get the full rate unless you leave your money untouched for six months or more. This means less flexibility than a high-interest savings account offers.

Another small catch is Suncoast’s lack of options to open up tax-advantaged college savings plans. Cover education savings accounts are offered, but this is the only college savings plan available.

Bottom line

Suncoast Credit Union is a solid choice for those who qualify for membership. You can choose savings accounts, check accounts – even automatic loans, credit cards, and mortgages. Regional credit unions, it has all the products of the larger banking chain. Even better, it operates as a non-profit. That could mean better loan terms and community engagement. Suncoast has a charitable foundation, and it operates even solar buildings to support energy efficiency and green initiatives.

By aamritri

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