Truist Bank Review: Checking, Savings and CDs

Truist offers many bank services and products, but accounts come with expensive fees and low interest rates.
Mar 29, 2022

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Overall bank rating

Truist Bank
  • Checking

  • Savings

  • CD rates

  • Banking experience

  • Overdraft fees

3.0

NerdWallet rating 

The bottom line:

Truist was formed in 2019 through a merger of two banks, BB&T and SunTrust. Today, Truist Bank is among the top 10 largest banks in the U.S. Truist has a good basic checking account but its savings rates are generally low, and some fees, including overdraft fees, are high and hard to avoid.

Penalty for outsize customer complaints: NerdWallet deducted 0.5 star from Truist’s overall rating due to the volume of complaints following the merger. Reports of customer issues — including long customer support wait times and funds going missing or becoming inaccessible — have surfaced. A Truist representative said in an email that the bank continues to monitor these problems and make improvements to address them. See more details in the banking experience section below.

Best for: Customers who want access to a big bank, don’t need to earn the highest rates and aren’t likely to overdraw their balance.

Pros

  • More than 2,500 branches.
  • Monthly fee on the basic checking account is easy to avoid.

Cons

  • $3 fee at non-Truist ATMs in the U.S. for basic checking account.
  • Low rates on CDs and savings accounts.
  • Steep overdraft fees.

Full review

Truist Bank Bright Checking
Truist Bank Bright Checking

Checking

Member FDIC

3.5

/5
 NerdWallet rating 
Monthly fee
$12.00
Waived with direct deposit or $1,500 minimum balance

Steep monthly fees that can be waived. Truist offers several checking accounts, including Bright Checking, its most basic account. This account has a $12 monthly fee, but customers can avoid it by having monthly direct deposits totaling at least $500 or keeping an average balance of at least $1,500 each statement cycle.

Mobile banking convenience. Checking account holders have access to mobile banking, including online bill pay and money transfers through Zelle and a debit card that allows you to set spending limits.

Other checking options. In addition to Bright Checking, Truist offers an account that earns interest and one that’s designed for customers who keep a low balance.

» Interested in a personal loan? See our review of Truist Bank Personal Loans

Truist Bank Online Savings
Truist Bank Online Savings

Savings

Member FDIC

3.5

/5
 NerdWallet rating 
APY
0.01%
With $0 min. balance for APY

Low interest rates. Truist’s savings account earns a mere 0.01% annual percentage yield, comparable to what you’ll find at other big banks but much less than the best APYs available with other online accounts. The account can be linked to a checking account to support overdraft protection transfers when there’s not enough money in checking to cover a transaction. Still, this coverage will cost you $12.50 every time (there are other banks that don’t charge for this service).

High monthly fee waived with a high balance. Customers can avoid the steep $12 monthly fee on the Truist Online Savings account by maintaining a daily balance of at least $1,000. You can find accounts with no monthly fees and higher interest rates elsewhere.

» Want to compare your options? Check out NerdWallet’s best savings accounts

Truist Bank CD
Truist Bank CD

CD

Member FDIC

1.5

/5
 NerdWallet rating 
APY
0.05%
Minimum deposit
$1,000

Several term lengths; low interest rates. Truist offers term lengths from seven days to five years on its certificates of deposit. All rates are on par with what you’ll find at other big banks; you can find much higher rates elsewhere.

Only available in branches. Unlike the checking and savings accounts, you can only open Truist CDs at a branch, so they’re only available in the states where Truist has locations (Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, West Virginia and Washington, D.C.).

» Looking for higher yields? Check our list of best CD rates for the month

Banking experience

4.0

NerdWallet rating 

Presence on the East Coast and in the South. Truist offers a network of more than 2,500 branches and about 3,000 ATMs in 17 states (and Washington, D.C.), concentrated on the East Coast and in the South.

Phone support six days a week. The bank offers live support by phone on weekdays from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET and on Saturday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m ET. Customers can also get help by reaching out on Twitter.

Customer issues after the bank merger. Following BB&T and SunTrust Banks' conversion to Truist, several reports of customer issues surfaced. Reported problems include long wait times to speak to customer service representatives and large sums of money missing from accounts or made inaccessible. Truist is “working diligently to address the challenges that some clients faced during the transition, including increasing staffing at our contact centers, implementing enhanced technology solutions, and updating processes to enhance the client experience,” Truist corporate communications manager Shirley Miller said in an email.

“We continue to see week-to-week improvements in our call wait times, and recently implemented a client call-back feature, giving our clients another way to receive care from our teammates,” Miller said in an email. “We’ll continue to monitor and identify ways to create a better, simpler, and faster financial experience for clients.”

Overdraft fees

2.5

NerdWallet rating 

Steep overdraft fee. Truist charges a $36 overdraft fee that can be charged up to six times per day for a total of $216 per day. Those are expensive penalties, especially considering that more banks are eliminating or reducing overdraft fees. Truist’s fee applies to transactions of $5 or more.

Expensive overdraft protection transfer fee. Customers can link to a savings account or a personal line of credit for overdraft protection transfers to their checking account. Truist charges $12.50 per transfer from savings. The personal line of credit for overdrafts requires a monthly fee, but transfers from it are free.

Truist Bank Bright Checking
Truist Bank Bright Checking

Checking

Member FDIC

3.5

/5
 NerdWallet rating 
Monthly fee
$12.00
Waived with direct deposit or $1,500 minimum balance

Steep monthly fees that can be waived. Truist offers several checking accounts, including Bright Checking, its most basic account. This account has a $12 monthly fee, but customers can avoid it by having monthly direct deposits totaling at least $500 or keeping an average balance of at least $1,500 each statement cycle.

Mobile banking convenience. Checking account holders have access to mobile banking, including online bill pay and money transfers through Zelle and a debit card that allows you to set spending limits.

Other checking options. In addition to Bright Checking, Truist offers an account that earns interest and one that’s designed for customers who keep a low balance.

» Interested in a personal loan? See our review of Truist Bank Personal Loans

How does Truist Bank compare?

Chime Checking Account

Chime Checking Account

Deposits are FDIC Insured

NerdWallet rating 

4.5

/5
NerdWallet rating 

5.0

/5

Monthly fee

$0

Monthly fee

$0

APY

N/A

APY

0.25%

With $0 min. balance for APY

Bonus

N/A

Bonus

N/A

Methodology

NerdWallet’s overall ratings for banks and credit unions are weighted averages of several categories: checking, savings, certificates of deposit or credit union share certificates, banking experience and overdraft fees. Factors we consider, depending on the category, include rates and fees, ATM and branch access, account features and limits, user-facing technology, customer service and innovation. The stars represent ratings from poor (one star) to excellent (five stars). Ratings are rounded to the nearest half-star. How we rate banks, credit unions and other financial service providers.