suncoast credit union

by Verity on 02 September 2021

Suncoast Credit Union Review: Checking, Savings and CDs

Suncoast Credit Union offers dividend-earning checking and savings accounts with no monthly fees, but its service area is limited.

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Overall bank rating

The bottom line: If you qualify for membership, Suncoast Credit Union is a solid place to keep your money. A checking account that earns dividends — along with decent share certificate rates, low fees and a dedication to community — make it a gem of a financial institution in Florida.

Pros

  • No monthly fees on accounts.
  • Good annual percentage yields for share certificates.
  • Branches throughout western Florida.

Cons

  • Membership limited to immediate family of members, residents of western Florida and alumni of Florida College.
  • Doesn't participate in shared branching.

Full review

The Regular Share Membership account has a low savings deposit requirement and no monthly fee; however, you can find higher rates elsewhere. Suncoast regularly hosts workshops and seminars on how to save money, which is a nice perk.

Suncoast’s Smart Checking account has no monthly fees and earns 0.10% APY. There is also no minimum opening deposit requirement, though you will need to be a Suncoast member to open an account. There are banks and credit unions that offer higher rates on checking accounts, but many are online-only, and some require higher minimums.

Suncoast’s share certificates have rates that include 0.30% for a 6-month certificate to 0.95% for a 5-year certificate. But there are other banks with more competitive rates.

The initial deposits and minimum balances are a manageable $500. The credit union also offers jumbo certificates for a minimum $100,000 deposit, but rates are only slightly higher.

Banking experience

Suncoast is small, with around 70 branches, mostly along Florida’s Gulf Coast. Unlike some other credit unions, it doesn’t participate in shared branching. However, it is enrolled in a shared ATM network that gives fee-free access to nearly 30,000 cash machines nationwide.

It has a clean, easy-to-navigate website and highly-rated mobile apps — impressive for a small credit union. Customers can get help by phone six days a week.

Suncoast also responds to the needs of its community with a Spanish version of its site as well as a phone number for the hearing impaired.

Overdraft fees

Suncoast has better overdraft policies then many financial institutions. The credit union charges $29 for overdrafts, but with a limit of one fee per day. Other banks and credit unions often charge multiple overdraft fees per day if there are multiple negative transactions.

For another option, members can link their Suncoast savings and credit accounts as a backup for checking. There is no transfer fee if funds have to be moved into checking to cover a transaction.

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