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BB&T Bank Review 2019 - Checking, Savings, & CDs

BB&T Bank Review 2019 - Checking, Savings, & CDs

January 10, 2019

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If you live in an eastern state, like to have all of your finances under one roof, and want easy access to your bank accounts, then BB&T Bank may be a good fit as your personal banking choice. BB&T Bank is a Winston-Salem, North Carolina based bank with over 1,900 branches and 3,100 ATMs in 15 eastern states and in Washington, D.C. Where BB&T shines is in its wide product offering - they have something for everyone, including accounts designed for students, seniors, and savers. However, like most banks with a physical branch presence, BB&T's interest rates offered on its savings and CD products are reasonable but are not as attractive as those offered by some online banks. Read on to see if a BB&T Bank savings, checking, or CD account could be right for you.

Savings Accounts

eSavings: If you are looking for a savings account with no minimum opening deposit requirement, no minimum balance requirement, and no monthly maintenance fees, an eSavings account is a solid option. Your money is also very accessible here, as eSavings account holders are able to make unlimited deposits, transfers, and withdrawals at BB&T ATMs and branches. The main drawback of the eSavings account is the interest rate offered is very low compared to many online bank savings options.

High Performance Money Market Account: This tiered interest rate money market account provides reasonable interest rates as long as you carry a balance of at least $1,000 (see below for rate details). A $12 monthly maintenance fee is also waived if you carry $1,000 or more. Like the eSavings account, you can make unlimited deposits, transfers, and withdrawals at BB&T ATMs and branches, which means accessing your money a cinch. Note that the High Performance Money Market Account is only available to clients who also have a personal checking account with BB&T. Also, while the rates offered are better than those of an eSavings account, they still fall short of rates offered by many online banks.

The High Performance Money Market Account should appeal to consumers who want to earn interest, have over $1,000 to save, like to keep all of their finances in one place, and want to access their funds at physical bank locations and ATMs.

Balance Tier APY
$0 - $999 0.01%
$1,000 - $9,999 0.50%
$10,000 - $49,999 1.00%
$50,000 - $99,999 1.20%
$100,000 - $249,999 1.35%
$250,000+ 1.40%

Compare these rates with those of a Savings Builder Account at CIT Bank, and the tradeoffs are clear. With a CIT Bank account, you can't access your funds at ATMs or bank branches, but you do receive one of the most competitive interest rates for savings products today.

Investor's Deposit Account: This account is really designed as a place for investors to safely keep their money before moving it to an investment account. It's also worth noting that this account comes with check writing privileges, making it easy to move your money elsewhere. A minimum deposit of $10,000 is required to open an account.

Young Savers: This is a good starter savings account for children under the age of 18. It comes with no minimum opening deposit requirement and no maintenance fees.

Health Savings Account (HSA): If you are looking for a way to reduce medical expenses, you may want to consider an HSA, which enables you to pay for qualified medical expenses through tax-free withdrawals. This account comes with no set-up fees, no minimum balance requirements, and no transaction fees. There is a monthly maintenance fee, but it's $3 or less, depending on where you live.

Checking Accounts

BB&T offers five different checking account options, each of which caters to a different audience. All checking accounts come with free access to 3,100 BB&T ATMs, the ability to monitor your account via U by BB&T (a customizable mobile banking experience), and the option to personalize the debit card that you receive with your account. You can bank in person at a BB&T branch - located in the following states: AL, DC, FL, GA, IN, KY, MD, NC, NJ, OH, PA, SC, TN, TX, VA, WV. More on these options below.

BB&T Fundamentals: This is the most basic checking account offered by BB&T Bank. It comes with a $50 minimum opening deposit requirement and a $5 monthly fee, but there is no requirement to set up direct deposit with this account.

Bright Banking: This account is best for those who plan to set up direct deposit, as the $12 monthly maintenance fee is waived with direct deposits of $500+ or an average checking balance of at least $1,500.

Student Checking: You must be a student aged 23 or younger to qualify for this account. The primary benefit is there are no minimum balance requirements, no monthly maintenance fees, and no direct deposit requirement. A good starter checking account.

Senior Checking: You must be at least 55 years of age to qualify for this account. While it comes with a $100 minimum opening deposit requirement, there are some benefits including free checks and one penalty-free early withdrawal on a BB&T CD for medical emergencies. There is a $10 monthly account maintenance fee but it can be waived with direct deposits of $500+ or by having at least a $1,000 average checking balance.

Elite Gold: This is an interest-bearing checking account, However the APY offered on balances is (not surprisingly) very low. Other benefits that come from an Elite Gold account include no-fee money orders and official checks, bonus rates on CDs and IRAs, two overdraft fees waived per month, and no fees on up to four non-BB&T ATM transactions per billing cycle. The account does come with a $30 monthly fee, but that can be waived with either $25,000 in combined personal deposit or investment balances at BB&T, or by having a BB&T personal mortgage with an original loan amount of at least $150,000. A good account to have if you meet the requirements needed to avoid the monthly fees and also have a BB&T CD or IRA.

CDs

BB&T offers a wide range of CDs, including some with unique features such as the ability to add new funds to your existing CD at your current interest rate, or the ability to enjoy a guaranteed interest rate increase once a year for four years. Maturity dates on BB&T CDs range from 7 days up to 5 years. BB&T also offers special CD rates that may be available for a limited time only. We address those first.

Special CD Rates Special CDs require a minimum $1,000 opening deposit. Specials may only be offered for a limited time, and different specials are promoted throughout the year. Current Special CD offers are as follows:

Term APY
11 Months 2.25%
23 Months 2.35%

These rates - particularly the APY for the 11 Month CD - compare favorably to other CDs in the market and are worth considering. Compare these rates to CD rates offered by CIT Bank.

Can't Lose CDs

Can't Lose CDs come with a 30 month maturity and a $1,000 minimum opening deposit. With a Can't Lose CD, you can make an additional deposit of up to $10,000 after the first 12 months of your term, and earn the same interest rate on your additional deposit as you were earning on your original deposit, even if rates have dropped. You are also allowed one penalty-free withdrawal after the first 12 months of your term.

Stepped Up CDs

Stepped Up CDs come with a 48 month maturity and a $1,000 minimum opening deposit. When you sign up for a Stepped Up CD, each year the APY on your CD will increase. The amount of the increase is disclosed when your account is first opened. You are also allowed to make one additional deposit of up to $10,000 per year. Finally, you are allowed one penalty-free withdrawal 24 months after your initial deposit.

Bottom Line

BB&T Bank has a lot of product options to choose from, and some are more attractive than others. For example, the Special CDs are always worth reviewing because they come with attractive rates and are offered for a limited time only. The High Performance Money Market account is also worth considering because it offers solid rates and great convenience.

If you can meet the requirements needed to avoid the monthly fees that come with many BB&T accounts, then they are worth a look.

About BB&T Bank

BB&T is a publicly traded financial services holding company, traded on the NYSE (ticker: BBT). The company offers a full range of financial services including personal banking, commercial banking, investments, insurance, wealth management, and asset management. BB&T has over 36,000 employees and was named on the 2018 Fortune Most Admired Companies list.

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