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SunTrust $150 Billpay Promotion Bonus

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SunTrust LogoWith the economy recovering, banks are starting to roll out their new account promotions where you can earn a little bit of money to change banks. The offers are usually in the $100 – $200 range, and usually require a direct deposit and some bill payments before the bonus is paid. Banks recognize there’s tremendous competition in the marketplace, especially since they can’t compete just by offering a free checking account option.

This particular offer from SunTrust is special in that it has absolutely no direct deposit requirement whatsoever, it seems to be purely about bill payment. New customers can earn $150 over the next four months by making three bill payments a month while existing customers can earn $100 over the next three months by making three bill payments a month. Usually these offers require you to be a new customer and direct deposit your paycheck.

SunTrust Free Checking

SunTrust Free Checking has no minimum balance requirement, no monthly maintenance fee, and offers a first item NSF fee discount. They are one of the ten largest banks in the US, FDIC insured, and offers a free 1st order of small package of personal checks.

SunTrust’s other deposit products aren’t great. For example, their 25 month CD offers 1.50% APY which is lower than some of the 12 month CD rates on our best CD rates list.

If you close the account within six months, there’s a $25 closing fee. Besides that fee, I can’t seem to find a catch anywhere in their free checking account (let me know if there is one that I missed) and it seems like a pretty consumer friendly free checking account.

SunTrust $150 Promotion Requirements

New Customers

A new customer is someone who didn’t have a SunTrust personal checking account on or before January 31st, 2010. To qualify for the $150, you must:

  • $50 bonus: Visit the promotion page to open a SunTrust personal checking account between now and April 30th, 2010. After your account is set up, you have to return to the promotion page to enroll in the program (seems kind of backwards but you must revisit it). Then, make 3 bill payments through SunTrust Online Banking with Bill Pay within the next two calendar months. Bonus is paid out 10 weeks after the last bill payment is processed.
  • $100 bonus: Satisfy the initial $50 bonus requirements and continue to make at least three payments each month for the next three months (9 bill payments total). Bonus is paid out 10 weeks after the last bill payment is processed.

You can qualify for the $50 and not qualify for the $100, but not vice versa. Also, it appears that the requirements state “calendar months,” so if you sign up today you have until February 28th to make three bill payments to qualify for February.

Existing Customers

You can’t get the first $50 but you can get the $100 for participating in the bill pay portion of the promotion as long as you haven’t used online bill pay since December 1st, 2009. Sign up at the promotion signup page and follow the prompts to set it up.

When you open the free checking account, SunTrust will initiate a soft inquiry of your Equifax credit report, so there is no impact to your credit score. Finally, if you don’t have three billpayments a month, consider sending multiple smaller payments to existing bills or credit cards.

Finally, remember that the bonuses will be reported as 1099-INT and are taxed as ordinary income (income tax brackets).

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20 Responses to “SunTrust $150 Billpay Promotion Bonus”

  1. govenar says:

    Supposedly for closing the account you need to do it in person or by mail, and they have a $20 fee for closing via mail. Something to be aware of if they don’t have any branches near you.

  2. Ryan says:

    Why do banks want you to pay through their bill pay online service? Do they get some fee for this? Assuming the money for the bills is in your checking account, what is difference between having the biller take it out of your checking vs. having your checking send it to the biller?

    • Jim says:

      I think the goal is to get the account as integrated as possible into your financial plans so it’s harder for you to leave. I don’t believe they earn anything for billpay. In many cases, they write a check and mail it to the payee on your behalf.

      • echidnina says:

        Ahh, I was wondering why so many banks seem to be pushing that.

      • Ryan says:

        It’s really quite simple to add/remove an automated payment from your checking account (as least with Wachovia/Wells Fargo/whatever it’s called theses days…). The problem I see with using a checking account’s bill pay, is that bills which fluctuate monthly (like power) you can’t use. You have to have the power company withdraw from your account. Unless I’m missing something.

  3. Anthony says:

    Jim,

    If I signed up for all of these promos, it would be a nice side hustle! Is this what you are doing?!

    • Jim says:

      Not at the moment but you’re right, it’s an easy way to make a little extra money if you have the funds to park there!

      I’ve been seeing a lot of these so I write about them in the hopes that someone else can benefit from them.

      • Anthony says:

        Yeah. I’ve been questioning whether to sign up for a bunch of these or not. Sign up for 10 of these at $100 each is $1000, assuming I had funds. Which is not bad. But it’s also 10 new accounts that need to be managed…

        • echidnina says:

          Right. I signed up for the Perkstreet one a few months ago (should be getting the bonus next month!), but any more than a few of them going at a time would be a lot to manage.

  4. BrianC says:

    I just received a $100 bonus yesterday for opening a Chase checking account. I may jump on this one as well. Thanks :)

  5. I currently have a Suntrust account and don’t qualify for this :( Their billpay is alright, but nothing spectacular. There is at least no fees.

  6. Shirley says:

    Jim, do these bill payments have to be automatic or can they be manual?

  7. Andy says:

    I already have a checking account and a credit card with SunTrust, and I don’t pay any of the bills in my household directly. Jim, do you think I could get the bonus if I made 3 payments per month on the credit card I have with them? Seems like something they wouldn’t allow to me :(

  8. KD says:

    Has anyone had trouble recieving the money from Suntrust? I have been given the run around for months now. Opened the account in April, still have not recieved my first $50. I have placed several inquiries with Bill Pay Dept. and been told everything is in order and I should recieve it by various dates that never manifested. Going back to my local branch today. Getting very frustrated and upset. It’s not so much the money, but the games. Can’t get the same answer from anyone!

  9. BD says:

    I had A LOT of trouble getting the bonuses. I had to make several inqiuries, and only the bank manager at my branch had any power to help me at all. She turned out to be hot and cold, threatening not to help because I simply sounded annoyed in my tone of voice – I did not curse or speak sarcastically, just sounded a bit annoyed as anyone would be. You are right, they are playing games. They removed all reference to the promotion from the branches and the website. The bank staff didn’t even know the terms of the offer and had to phone their superiors. It’s quite obvious they are trying to avoid paying anyone who won’t speak up. I finally got the money, but it was not worth the aggravation, and I will certainly close the account after this mistreatment.


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