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Find out all the details and get help with deciding whether or not you should sign-up!
What’s the SunTrust Travel Rewards Card?
When you sign-up for the SunTrust Travel Rewards card, you’ll earn 5% back on travel (this is defined as airfare, hotels, and car rentals). This is good for the 1st 12 months after you open your account, on up to $6,000 in spending.
After your 1st year (or $6,000 maximum), you’ll earn 3% back (unlimited) on travel purchases.
You’ll also get:
- 1% back (unlimited) on all other purchases
- No foreign transaction fees
- $100 statement credit to cover the cost of your Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee, once every 5 years
The $89 annual fee is NOT waived.
However, unless you were already planning on signing-up for 1 of these accounts, it likely isn’t worth signing-up just to avoid the annual fee. That’s because these accounts require a large sum of money or charge fees of their own.
About the SunTrust Cash Rewards Card
With the SunTrust Cash Rewards card, you’ll earn 5% back at gas stations and grocery stores. This is good for the 1st 12 months after you open your account, on up to $6,000 in spending.
After your 1st year (or reaching the $6,000 maximum), you’ll earn 2% back (unlimited) on gas and grocery purchases.
Other perks include:
- 1% back (unlimited) on all other purchases
- No foreign transaction fees
- No annual fee
How Can You Use the Rewards You Earn?
If you have your cash back deposited into a SunTrust checking, savings, or money market account (excluding a Secured Savings Account), you’ll earn a cash back bonus.
The cash back bonus you earn is based on the type of account you use:
- SunTrust Private Wealth Management – 75% cash back bonus
- SunTrust Signature Advantage (more than $100,000 in combined consumer deposits and investment balances) – 50% cash back bonus
- SunTrust Signature Advantage (less than $100,000 in combined consumer deposits and investment balances) – 25% cash back bonus
- All other SunTrust checking, savings, and money market accounts – 10% cash back bonus
SunTrust is a bank that we don’t use often in the miles and points hobby. So applying for 1 of these cards can help you spread your applications out across different banks.
Who Should Consider These Cards?
Here’s a bit of help with deciding if these cards are right for you.
SunTrust Travel Rewards Card
The SunTrust Travel Rewards card is a good option for folks who prefer cash back and don’t take advantage of travel partners for Business Class, First Class, or expensive hotels often.
You’ll earn 5% cash back on travel on up to $6,000 in purchases during your 1st year and 3% cash back on travel after that.
Otherwise, you’ll likely do better with cards such as the Chase Sapphire Preferred, Citi Prestige, or Citi ThankYou Premier. These cards all offer bonus points for travel spending and also give you the ability to transfer to travel partners for Big Travel!
For example, if you spend $6,000 on airfare, hotels, and rental cars with the Chase Sapphire Preferred, you’ll earn 12,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points ($6,000 on travel X 2 Chase Ultimate Rewards points per $1 spent).
With 12,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points, you can get:
- $120 in cash back
- $150 in travel booked through the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal
This is clearly less than the $300 you’d earn with the SunTrust Travel Rewards card.
However…many of us in our hobby find we can have great travel experiences we ordinarily wouldn’t want to pay for by transferring Chase Ultimate Rewards points to travel partners such as United Airlines and Hyatt.
And of course most of the cards we like (including the Chase Sapphire Preferred) come with generous sign-up bonuses! The SunTrust Travel Rewards card has NO sign-up bonus.
I also like that the travel category for Chase Sapphire Preferred includes much more than just airfare, hotels, and rental cars.
SunTrust Cash Rewards Card
You might consider the SunTrust Cash Rewards card if you’ll spend $6,000 at supermarkets and gas stations during your 1st 12 months with the card. Because you’ll earn 5% back on those purchases!
You can keep the card forever because there’s no annual fee and enjoy the 2% cash back at gas stations and grocery stores in year 2 and beyond.
Or sign-up for another card that offers a bonus at grocery stores or gas stations when the 5% cash back promotional period ends.
That said, for some folks, the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express may be a better option. With this card you’ll earn a sign-up bonus of $150 when you spend $1,000 on purchases within the 1st 3 months of opening your account. Plus, earn up to $200, by getting 10% cash back on purchases at Amazon.com in the 1st 6 months.
Plus, you’ll earn 6% cash back, (then 1%) at US supermarkets on up to $6,000 in spending each year. And 3% cash back at US gas stations and US department stores. This card offers a higher bonus at supermarkets and it doesn’t end after the 1st year.
However, there’s a $95 annual fee with the AMEX Blue Cash Preferred card. And you’ll only earn the cash back in the US and there’s a foreign transaction fee of 2.7%.
Do the math to see which card will give you the most cash back for your spending habits!
Inexpensive Global Entry
And it’s a good way to offset the $89 annual fee.
While there are lots of other cards that offer a statement credit for your application fee, they come with large annual fees.
There are 2 new cash back cards from SunTrust bank.
With the Suntrust Travel Rewards card, you’ll earn 5% cash back on airfare, hotel, and rental car purchases on up to $6,000 in spending during the 1st 12 months of opening your account. After that, you’ll earn an unlimited 3% cash back in those categories.
I like that this card offers a Global Entry credit while having a relatively inexpensive annual fee.
The SunTrust Cash Rewards card earns 5% cash back on up to $6,000 in spending during the 1st 12 months, but at gas stations and grocery stores. And you’ll earn 2% (unlimited) cash back on gas and groceries afterwards.
And these cards get even better if you have certain SunTrust checking, savings, wealth management, or money market accounts. That’s because you earn a 10% to 75% cash back bonus by depositing your cash back into these accounts.
What I do NOT like is that there’s NO sign-up bonus on either card!
I prefer cards like the Chase Sapphire Preferred with generous welcome bonuses. And most of all because I can transfer points to travel partners for Big Travel!
But these new cards are definitely worth considering if they fit with your travel and spending habits!
What do you think about the new SunTrust cards?
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