SunTrust Secured Card Review

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The SunTrust Secured Card isn’t as flashy or well-known as the secured cards from some of the major card issuers. Still, we think this card is worth taking a second glance at because, unlike most other secured cards, it offers rewards for your spending and you’ll even earn interest on your security deposit.

Secured Credit Card from SunTrust.

Overall Rating
3.8
Secured Credit Card from SunTrust.
Recommended Credit Score Our recommended ranges are based off of the FICO® Score 8 credit-scoring model. Credit score is one of the many factors lenders review in considering your application.
350 579
580 669
670 739
740 799
800 850
Poor - Excellent
Regular APR (%) 19.99% variable
Annual Fee $32
Minimum Deposit to Activate $300
Allows upgrade to unsecured card No
Pay deposit in installments No
Ratings Breakdown
for Interest
1.9
for Fees
2.9
for Rewards
2.2
for Credit
5.0

Who Is This Credit Card Best For?

  • Avatar for Savvy Saver Persona
    Prioritizes sticking to their budget while buying what they want and need See more cards
    Savvy Saver
  • Avatar for Credit Builder Persona
    Takes improving their finances seriously and wants recognition for using credit responsibly See more cards
    Credit Builder

We recommend this card if you’d like to try your hand at earning cash-back rewards while building your credit. After all, there are very few secured cards out there that also offer rewards. And, when you close the card and get your deposit back, SunTrust will pay you interest on your deposit—something most other secured cards don’t offer.

This card is also relatively affordable compared to other secured cards, although there are cheaper options out there if you’re willing to sacrifice some of the good features that come with this card.

You’ll need to make a deposit to a SunTrust secured savings account as part of your application. The amount of the deposit will be your credit limit.

Pros
  • Offers rewards

  • At least a 10% rewards bonus for SunTrust customers

  • SunTrust Deals

  • Pays interest on your security deposit

Cons
  • Annual fee

Pros Explained

  • Offers rewards: It’s relatively rare to see a secured card that offers rewards, especially in such useful areas as gas and groceries. Chances are, if you spend a fair amount in these areas, you can earn more in rewards than you pay for the annual fee.
  • At least a 10% rewards bonus for SunTrust customers: If you deposit your rewards to a SunTrust account, the bank will credit you at least an additional 10% of what you deposited. This perk is rare among secured cards.
  • SunTrust Deals: You can pre-activate certain offers to earn even more cash back through the SunTrust Deals portal. There are lots of retailers to choose from such as Five Guys, Airbnb, Michael’s, Walgreens, and more.
  • Pays interest on your security deposit: Most secured credit cards don’t pay any interest on your security deposit but the SunTrust secured card does, although SunTrust doesn't tell you the rate until after you

Cons Explained

  • Annual fee: Secured cards generally charge an annual fee but there are multiple options available that have no annual fee, including the Discover it Secured. 

Earning Points & Rewards

For a secured card, the rewards program is pretty solid. You’ll earn 2% cash back on the first $6,000 you spend every year on gas and groceries, and 1% cash back on everything else. 

If you use this card just for groceries and gas, you could earn up to $120 back each year on those two things alone if you spend up to the $6,000 limit. But if you spend at least $1,600 each year on gas and groceries (or $134 per month), you’ll earn enough cash back to offset the card’s annual fee. 

Redeeming Rewards

You can redeem your rewards as soon as you have at least $5 in cash back accumulated in your account. You have two main options for how to redeem your cash rewards: Apply them as a statement credit to your card, or deposit them into the checking or savings account of your choice.

It may be worth opening a SunTrust account just to redeem your cash rewards. Reward deposits you send to a SunTrust bank account get a 10% bonus no matter what your balance is. You can boost your bonus to 25% if you have at least $25,000 in your SunTrust accounts, or 50% if you have at least $100,000.01 in your accounts.

SunTrust Bank doesn’t list the redemption rates for your other redemption options (travel or merchandise), so be sure to check how valuable your cash back is if you redeem it this way. In some cases, for example, $100 in rewards may be worth less than $100 in travel or merchandise, or your $100 could be worth more. 

How to Get the Most Out of This Card

Use the card for all of your grocery and gas purchases so that you can maximize the 2% cash-back rate. Also, consider opening a SunTrust checking or savings account to take advantage of the 10% SunTrust redemption bonus. You don’t have to actually use the account for your everyday transactions; you could open it just to get the bonus, then transfer your cash back to the bank account you regularly use for direct deposit, bill pay, and other everyday tasks.

We really like this card, but it’s also important to remember that it’s just a stepping stone. When your credit is better, we recommend upgrading to a better rewards card. If you’ve been enjoying earning extra on gas and groceries, there are many great cards out there that offer even more rewards on these same purchases. 

SunTrust Secured Card’s Excellent Perks

This card comes with some top-notch features that you’d typically see with fancier credit cards. To get these benefits, you’ll need to pay for a trip with your SunTrust card:

  • Travel accident insurance: If an accident during transit causes death or loss of limb, sight, speech or hearing, your partner and/or your unmarried dependents, you or your beneficiaries could receive up to $250,000 in compensation. 
  • Baggage delay insurance: If your bags are delayed by four hours or more, you can file for reimbursement for up to $100 per day (three days max) for the things you need to buy to tide yourself over.
  • Trip cancellation or interruption insurance: If your trip is canceled or interrupted while you’re on the way to your departure point or you’ve already departed, you can file for reimbursement for up to $1,500 worth of expenses.

Keep in mind that secured credit card limits are typically low, so depending on where you’re going, you may not be able to put the entire cost on this card. Hawaiian vacations and flights to Europe are expensive, after all. This somewhat limits the value of these benefits. 

Other Features

  • Insurance for stolen or damaged purchases

Customer Experience

While SunTrust’s credit card customer service hasn’t received a J.D. Power rating, it’s banking services (which may come into play if you open an account to earn a rewards bonus) ranked in the bottom third of the three regions in which J.D. Power rated it. 

SunTrust Bank offers relatively standard customer-support features, such as 24/7 phone support and live-chat support. You’ll get complimentary monthly access to your FICO credit score, which can help you track your credit score as you try to build a positive credit history. You can also see up to 12 months’ worth of credit score history, so you can watch how your score changes over time with good use. 

Security Features

SunTrust Bank’s security features are relatively standard, with a few nice additions: identity theft monitoring through Experian’s IDNotify program, dark web monitoring of your social security number, and identity theft assistance. 

SunTrust Secured Card’s Fees

While the SunTrust Secured Card does charge an annual fee, it’s not too high. It has a relatively friendly fee schedule for the rest of its potential charges, too. Also, it’s a decent card if you travel often because it doesn’t charge a foreign transaction fee.

Next Steps
For Secured Credit Card from SunTrust.
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CURRENT CARD
Secured Credit Card from SunTrust.
overall rating
3.8
Recommended Credit Score Our recommended ranges are based off of the FICO® Score 8 credit-scoring model. Credit score is one of the many factors lenders review in considering your application.
350 579
580 669
670 739
740 799
800 850
Poor - Excellent
Regular APR (%) 19.99% variable
Annual Fee $32
Minimum Deposit to Activate $300
Our Methodology
At The Balance, we are dedicated to giving you unbiased, comprehensive credit card reviews. To do this, we collect data on hundreds of cards and score more than 55 features that affect your finances.
  • Our Reviews Are Always Impartial: No one can influence which cards we review, the way we present them to you, or the ratings they receive. The scores and reviews come directly from the data we collect and our editorial expertise, and we focus on three areas:
  • How Much Does It Cost? With credit card debt at an all-time high, we believe you should know the cost of carrying a balance. Because of that, we give regular purchase APRs significant weight in overall scores, and cards receive low marks if they have an array of pricey fees.
  • What Are the Rewards Worth? Cards accumulate rewards in different currencies—points, miles, cash back—and their values vary widely. To simplify the problem, we built a system that fairly compares rewards and gives them a dollar value. We do this by looking at the ways you can earn and use rewards, which includes evaluating Americans’ typical spending habits and analyzing common travel patterns.
  • Does It Make Your Life Easier? Our scoring system favors cards that accept a wide range of credit profiles and offer simple solutions for things like checking your credit score or contacting customer service. Finally, we give preference to credit cards that have several tools for dealing with fraudulent charges.
  • For every review on The Balance, we hold the credit cards to these standards, and we set the bar high. While we recognize the appeal of splashy features like six-digit sign-up bonuses, our approach ensures that credit cards with the best combination of value, affordability, and accessibility receive the highest scores. See our full methodology for more details.

Article Sources

The Balance requires writers to use primary sources to support their work. These include white papers, government data, original reporting, and interviews with industry experts. We also reference original research from other reputable publishers where appropriate. You can learn more about the standards we follow in producing accurate, unbiased content in our editorial policy .
  1. SunTrust Bank. "SunTrust Secured Credit Card Terms & Conditions." Accessed Sept. 10, 2020.

  2. SunTrust Bank. "Secured Credit Card Terms and Conditions." Accessed Sept. 10, 2020.

  3. SunTrust Bank. "SunTrust Platinum Mastercard." Page 8. Accessed Sept. 10, 2020.

  4. SunTrust Bank. "SunTrust Platinum Mastercard." Page 7. Accessed Sept. 10, 2020.

  5. J.D. Power. "2020 U.S. Retail Baning Satisfaction Study." Accessed Sept. 10, 2020.