Suncoast Credit Union (An In-depth Review)

Suncoast is a rock-solid Credit Union for you to keep your Money. They offer great products and accounts for everyone, including those who cannot qualify for the traditional checking accounts in banks.

Their interest-bearing checking accounts have highly competitive rates that you will appreciate, plus, they do not have a minimum balance requirement, and you will not be required to pay any monthly fee for operating your Account. A feature that most people will definitely appreciate.

The Suncoast credit union offers you all of the benefits of a traditional bank, which includes a wide range of banking products, loans, mortgages, credit cards, etc. The best part is that they do this with a non-profit mentality, so you know the deal is good.

They are a state-chartered institution that exists to serve the financial needs of people living in the Southwestern Florida area.

Should you consider joining the Suncoast Credit Union?

Benefits

It is nonprofit, and therefore, it is solely owned by the customers, which means that their services are mostly customer-oriented. This is the reason why you will always experience the best customer care in their offices.

Better interest rates. This is one of the main reasons why most people opt to use a credit union rather than a bank. Their loan interest rates cannot be compared to what you shall find in a bank, and they enable you to earn more from your deposits compared to a bank.

As a nonprofit, they pass most of their surplus income to their members, by making the interest to be earned on deposits higher.

Low fees – Suncoast will pass savings to their members by charging less for operating your Account, such as withdrawals.

Working as a community – Since it is owned and operated by the members, there is a strong sense of community and the fact that most of the services are geared towards helping everyone in the neighboring community.

Limitations of Suncoast

Well, as much as we claim that credit unions offer the same services as a bank, they really are not banks, and as such, they tend to fall short in one or two areas. Here are some limitations of Suncoast that you need to be aware of.

Membership: Unlike banks, where you can walk in, open an account, and begin operations, Suncoast credit union requires you to become a member first. You must also qualify for membership since they have rules and regulations that must be followed to achieve this.

There may also be a membership fee of about $5-$25 and a minimum operating deposit in some of their accounts, as shown in the table below. When you need to take a loan, in most cases, they will give you a specific amount based on your savings, which is not always a great thing.

Branch locations Unlike banks, Suncoast credit union, has limited branch locations. You may not find one in the nearest block, and their ATM’s are also scarce as well. Although the small and community-based quality of a credit union is what attracts most people, the inability to find a branch near you can be inconveniencing.

Fewer services compared to banks – if you compare what a bank has to offer to what is available at Suncoast, there are some significant differences. Credit unions have come a long way, and they try their best to provide similar services to banks, but there is so much more to be done to have them on the same level.

Suncoast Credit Union at a glance

Product  Main Features

Smart Checking Account
Requires a minimum of $25 to open.

You do not need a minimum balance.

The account earns you interest.

 Teen Checking Account Requires a minimum of $5 to open.

You do not need a minimum balance.

The account earns you interest.

Smart Start Checking

Account

Requires a minimum of $5 to open.

You do not need a minimum balance.

The account earns you interest.

Regular Share Membership (Savings Account) This is the Account you get when you become a member of the credit union

It has a minimum opening deposit of $5.

In order to maintain your membership, you must keep the account at a minimum of $5.

Special Share (Savings Account) Requires a minimum of $5 to open

You do not need a minimum balance.

Share Certificate (Certificates of Deposit) You are allowed to choose from 6, 12, 18, 24, 36, 48, 60-month terms

It has a minimum deposit of $500.

It comes with an option for retirement, traditional, Coverdell education savings, health savings or a business certificate.

Smart Start Certificate You need a minimum deposit of $50 minimum.

You must commit a deduction of at least $40 per month from your payroll which should be automatic until you are able to reach the required amount of $500

You can convert the account into a traditional certificate account once you reach $500

 Money Market Account The Interest rate on this account is dependent on the amount of deposit in the account.

The minimum amount required when opening is $1,000

No minimum balance is required to operate the account.

Related:

Suncoast Overview

This company was founded in the early 1930s, by a group of teachers, and has been providing credit services to the people of greater Tampa area since then. In 2017, they were named by Money as the best bank in Florida.

They converted into a state charter in 2013 and opened their services up to the public, and to anyone who lives, works or worships within the 21 counties of Southwestern Florida.

The credit union currently has got 64 branches countrywide, and they have managed to partner with Publix grocery store’s ATMs to offer its members the more than 3,000 ATMs and over 30,000 countrywide.

Products offered at Suncoast Credit Union

They offer a wide range of products and services to their clients, which includes.

Checking accounts

As seen in the table above, these are available in different categories such as; the teen checking account, the smart checking account, and the smart start checking.

These accounts have no minimum balances, which means you can operate them at zero, plus, they do not charge you a monthly fee to operate. This is quite rare to find in the market, and for that, Suncoast has managed to rise above the competition.

Each Account has different features and comes with checks, debit cards, direct deposit options, and mobile deposits.

The teen checking account is for teenagers from 13 years and above, although they will require a parent or guardian to co-sign with them.

They also offer a rewards-based debit card whose benefits are not seen in most other banks, plus for every $3 you spend on your debit card, you shall earn one point.

The points can be used when traveling, buying merchandise, or for getting discounts at gas stations that participate in the system. Each time you use your card to purchase, the credit union will also donate 2 cents to the Suncoast credit union foundation, which is a nonprofit that helps children within the community.

Savings Account

When you become a new member of Suncoast credit union, you shall be required to open the Regular Share Membership account as your first account. Here, you shall deposit $5, and this deposit will give you access to all other Suncoast products and services.

The Account doesn’t earn you interest, and you must also keep the minimum balance at $5 for membership.

Their special share savings account will require you to open with $5 but, the Account doesn’t require you to maintain a minimum balance, and you can withdraw every last cent without facing a fee or the threat of account closure.

Both of these savings accounts are covered by the NCUA up to $250,00O. The NCAU – National Credit Union Administration is the body that governs and protects credit unions. All credit unions must be registered with this body.

Share Certificates and Smart Start Certificates

A share certificate from Suncoast is similar to any other certificate of deposit or CD from other banks. It is a type of savings vehicle that will generate for you more interest in exchange for a set term.

You have the option to buy the share certificate for seven different terms that range from 6months to 5 years. The longer the term you choose, the higher the interest rate you shall earn from your share certificates.

Whenever you commit a share certificate, you shall be committing to a long-term and lengthy-term with the credit union, and because this is an established company, it is not a risky venture, and in the future, you shall be able to make some good amount of money from your CD.

The minimum amount they require for a share certificate is $500.

All share certificates, therefore, have a minimum of 500 dollars, and the maximum deposit amount will depend on the amount insured by NCUA. This figure is $250,000. Suncoast will allow you to choose the type of certificate you want.

This, therefore, means that you have an option to have it as part of your retirement account, or a Coverdell education saving account, or a health saving account. It is basically a tax advantage, and it means that you will not pay taxes on the interest it will earn for you.

Money Market account

Now, a money market account is similar to a high-yield savings account, with a slight difference. High-yield savings accounts are found in banks, while money market accounts can be found in any other investment company such as a credit union.

The FDIC insures money markets. FDIC means Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, and it is an independent agency that was created by the US government for the primary purpose of protecting consumers while maintaining stability and public confidence.

At Suncoast Credit Union, a money market account will earn you more interest compared to a savings account, and it is also more flexible compared to a share certificate. It is similar to a savings account, as mentioned above, which means that you can be able to deposit, withdraw and transfer funds, however, you must have a minimum initial deposit of at least $1,000.

You can be able to earn more interest using their tiered approach, which earns you more and more as you increase your deposit, e.g., if you deposit $10,000, you’d earn 0.15% interest on the first $999.99 and anything between $1,000.00 and $24,999.99, shall earn you 0.35% in interest.

These are, however, variable rates that keep changing.

Transfer to minors account

The Florida Uniform Transfers established this type of Account, and it is a savings account for minors.

It can be used for savings, money markets or a checking account, and only the designated minor is allowed to withdraw funds from the Account. It is ideal for a family member, godparent, or a guardian who wants to save some money for their child.

The benefit of the Account is that only the minor can withdraw the funds in the Account, and this ensures that you don’t touch the money until it’s needed. It is different from the teen checking account option because both the minor and the parent can withdraw the teen account.

Conclusion

It is essential to understand the benefits offered by credit unions because these are companies that have been established purposely to serve you and help you save money. In addition, they provide low-interest loans based on your deposit, which again encourages saving.

With Suncoast, I can confidently say that they are one of the best, because their products are unique, and in addition, they give you plenty of options to secure your finances.

I would encourage you to open an account with them. They have good reviews from their clients, and they have a vast customer base.

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