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The SunTrust Cash Rewards Credit Card has a high cash-back rate on groceries and gas, a $0 annual fee and a sizable loyalty bonus if you bank with SunTrust.
But the card comes with limitations. If you live outside of certain states, or simply don’t spend enough on groceries and gas to get a ton of value out of this card, it may be a no-go for you.
Here are five things to know about the SunTrust Cash Rewards Credit Card.
1. There are application restrictions if you don't have a SunTrust account
If you don’t have a bank account with SunTrust, you must be a resident of one of these areas to be eligible to apply for the SunTrust Cash Rewards Credit Card:
However, U.S. residents who already have a SunTrust account and live in any state except Vermont are eligible. Qualification is still subject to credit approval and other factors.
2. There’s a bonus of sorts, but it works differently
The SunTrust Cash Rewards Credit Card offers a bonus for new cardmembers, but it isn’t the “spend a certain amount in 90 days and get a large statement credit” kind of incentive. Instead, you can earn 5% cash back on up to $6,000 spent at gas stations and grocery stores in the first 12 months you have the card. If you spend $500 a month on these categories, that’s a bonus of $300.
You’ll earn unlimited 2% cash back on gas and grocery purchases beyond the $6,000 limit, even after the first year. All other purchases earn 1% cash back.
3. You have lots of redemption options
The SunTrust Cash Rewards Credit Card isn’t just for cash back, though that might be the way to get the most value out of this card. Here are your choices for redeeming:
A statement credit or direct deposit. (You must redeem a minimum of $5.)
Gift cards or merchandise.
Travel and experiences. You can use cash-back rewards to pay the full price, or use them to offset some of the cost and pay for the rest. This makes it easy to redeem for travel even if you don’t have enough cash back accumulated to cover the full cost.
4. SunTrust account holders can get additional rewards
Here’s where redeeming for cash back gets you more: If you already have an eligible bank account with SunTrust, you can get extra cash back if you opt to redeem it directly into that account. The baseline bonus — which applies to any type of SunTrust checking, savings or money market account — is an extra 10% cash back, meaning if you redeem $100 worth of cash back, you’ll get $110.
The size of the loyalty bonus grows if you have a SunTrust Advantage Checking, Signature Checking or Exclusive Checking account and maintain a high minimum balance between your bank and investment accounts with SunTrust. For balances between $25,000 and $100,000, you’ll earn a 25% cash-back bonus — that’s $125 back if you redeem $100. If you have a balance exceeding $100,000, you’ll get a bonus of 50% extra cash back, which would be $150 back if you redeemed $100.
5. The terms for carrying or transferring a balance are generous
You get more than a year to pay off a credit card balance, which is helpful if you plan to use this card for a major purchase. The card offers a 0% Introductory APR for the first 15 months on purchases and balance transfers, and then the ongoing APR of 11.24% - 21.24% Variable APR. The balance transfer fee is the greater of 3% or $10.
However, there are balance transfer cards providing an even longer 0% intro APR period that may be worth exploring.