Intro – Suncoast Credit Union Review & Ranking
It’s no surprise that Suncoast, a coastal credit union in Florida, has made AdvisoryHQ’s list as a top-rated credit union. During a 12-month time frame, ending in March, its members enjoyed over $66 million in financial benefits!
Suncoast Credit Union, a Florida-based credit union, was created when a group of educators formed Hillsborough County Teacher’s Credit Union in 1934. Since then, it has grown to become the largest credit union in Florida, serving over 713,000 members in 21 countries.
The credit union has at least 50% lower expense ratios when compared to other financial institutions in the Tampa Bay area, allowing it to maximize its efficiency. In return, Suncoast Credit Union rewards its members by keeping costs low.
What does this mean for account holders? They enjoy the benefits of better borrowing terms and increased dividends. This can be confirmed by reading the warm accolades from Suncoast Credit Union reviews left by members.
Below, you will discover why members flock to Suncoast Credit Union, Florida’s largest credit union.
Image from Suncoast Credit Union
See Also: Vystar Credit Union Ranking & Review
Key Factors Which Led Us to Rank This Firm as One of This Year’s Top-Rated Credit Unions
After evaluating each financial institution in the running, Suncoast Credit Union was reviewed as one of the best-rated credit unions this year based on the criteria below.
You can review a step-by-step explanation of the criteria Advisory HQ uses to determine the top banks and credit unions by clicking here: AdvisoryHQ’s Methodology for Selecting Top Banks and Credit Unions.
How to Save Money with a Completely Free Checking Account
It pays to be smart with Suncoast Credit Union’s completely free checking accounts. Yes, you read that correctly: no matter an individual’s account balance, all members can receive a Smart Checking, Teen Checking or Solar Checking account completely free of charge. In addition, Suncoast Credit Union gives its members points, which can be used toward products, travel, and helping nearby schools in the Florida community.
Solar Visa Debit Card
Great news about Suncoast Credit Union’s Solar Visa debit card: there are no fees, unlike a lot of prepaid cards, where fees of $10 and upwards are charged for the convenience (or lack thereof) of being able to reload it. Through a Solar account with the credit union, the Suncoast rewards check card provides members with the same benefits that they would receive with a debit card, including:
- ATM withdrawals
- Cash back from drug stores and grocery stores
- Account access via web browser or smartphone
- Ability to pay bills via SunNet, Suncoast Credit Union’s online banking website
In addition, a Solar account with Suncoast rewards check card account holders by safeguarding their credit rating with overdraft protection. Members can’t spend more than the amount deposited into their account. If there is an attempt to spend more than the available balance, the transaction will be declined.
Another great benefit of this card is that, as long as account holders have their debit card on hand, they won’t need to write checks. As if that’s not enough of a reason to want a Solar account, members receive Suncoast Credit Union rewards with this card, earning 1 point for every $3 spent. Also, every time a member buys something with his/her card, Suncoast Credit Union donates 2 cents toward a nonprofit organization that helps Florida children.
Image from Suncoast Credit Union
3 Easy Ways to Use Online Banking
SunNet, the Suncoast Credit Union online banking website, gives members the ability to manage their finances at their own convenience. Members can access the most up-to-date information about their checking, savings, loan, credit card, money market or mortgage accounts using SunNet.
It’s easy to sign up for SunNet. All account holders have to do is enter their member number and password in the login box on Suncoast’s home page. Suncoast Credit Union’s customer service, whether over the phone or in person at one of its branches, can assist members with questions about their online banking passwords.
The Suncoast Credit Union online banking app is called SunMobile. SunMobile makes it easy to access funds in just a few taps or clicks. Here are some of the features members can take advantage of with this app:
- Pay bills
- Make deposits
- Transfer money
- Find nearby Suncoast branches or ATMs
- View previous checks
Image from Suncoast Credit Union
In order to be eligible for SunMobile, account holders need to be at least 18 years old, have a Suncoast checking account, and have been an active member of the credit union for at least 6 months.
SunText, Suncoast Credit Union’s text messaging service, allows members to:
- View available and current account balances
- Access account history
- Transfer funds
- Make payments
The Suncoast Credit Union online banking options take the hassle out of keeping up to date with finances. We all know that life can be hectic, so it’s nice to have the ability to manage everything from your smartphone or other technology devices.
Easy Access to Branches and ATMs
You may have heard people incorrectly assume that credit unions don’t have as many ATMs as banks. Suncoast Credit Union’s Florida ATM locations, as well as throughout the United States, are easily accessible and do not incur ATM fees.
Suncoast Credit Union gives its members access to tens of thousands of ATMs completely free of charge. In addition, account holders can use Presto ATMs from Publix Supermarkets and the CO-OP Network of almost 30,000 ATMs without surcharges.
Savings Account Benefits That Aren’t Available at Banks
One thing commonly mentioned in Suncoast Credit Union reviews is how members enjoy higher returns on their deposits. As if that’s not enough, financial advisors are there to help account holders make the most out of their savings throughout all of life’s stages.
Another benefit of membership with Suncoast Credit Union is that it has removed the hassle of transferring funds to and from your accounts. Members can automatically transfer loan payments from their savings or checking accounts or move funds from their checking, savings or money market accounts to any other Suncoast account.
In addition, a perk mentioned in several Suncoast Credit Union reviews is that public school district, public university or community college employees may be eligible for payroll deduction. After a member enrolls in this service, the amount he/she selects is automatically deposited into their savings account every payday.
It’s no wonder Suncoast is the preferred credit union among many Florida teachers. It gives its members all the necessary tools to build up a stress-free savings account.
Making the Most out of Retirement
A frequent mention among Suncoast Credit Union reviews is how the credit union helps its members save for a stress-free retirement. Its retirement planning professionals are available for assistance through every step of the process, helping members prepare to achieve their goals.
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In addition, employees of public school districts or colleges have the ability to save for retirement with pre-tax savings, from as little as $25 per pay period with a 403(b) plan. A 403(b) plan offers the following benefits:
- Pre-tax savings, lowering your tax-deferred income
- Funds are reinvested and grow tax-free until they are withdrawn
- Withdrawing funds earlier than expected without penalty
Another option Suncoast Credit Union offers to public school employees, as well as some local and state government employees, is a 457 Deferred Compensation Tax Sheltered Account. A 457 plan provides the following retirement advantages:
- Tax-free contributions and earnings
- Creating, maintaining, and managing the account free of fees
- The ability to lower your taxable income
As if that’s not enough, Suncoast Credit Union members can make the most out of their Deferred Retirement Option Plan (DROP). This is a plan that allows eligible employees a smooth transition into retirement by working an additional 5 years (up to 8 years for teachers, depending on the situation) and continuing to receive retirement earnings.
Changed jobs or left the working world? Suncoast Credit Union rewards its members by helping them seamlessly transfer their retirement funds from one account to another.
The feedback from happy members leaving Suncoast Credit Union reviews mentions how the company helps account holders fulfill their retirement goals with ease. Planning for retirement is so much easier with someone you trust.
Worry-Free Borrowing Options
Something that was discussed in many Suncoast Credit Union reviews was the wide range of loan options available to help members accomplish their goals. Whether buying or maintaining a home or car or keeping track of everyday expenditures, Suncoast has a solution to match what its members are looking for.
Often mentioned was how Suncoast Credit Union rewards account holders with favorable, competitive borrowing terms. Financial representatives are available to guide them through every step of the process to make sure they pick the best choice to suit their needs.
Loan options are available for the following:
- Car, motorcycle, RV, and boat loans
- Mortgage loans
- Personal loans
Another frequent benefit mentioned in Suncoast Credit Union reviews is that members receive the best interest rates and perks through their credit cards, without surprise fees or surcharges. Suncoast Credit Union members can take advantage of rewards with no expiration, no-cost car rental insurance or common carrier travel insurance when buying plane tickets with a Suncoast credit card. The credit cards available from Suncoast include:
- Rewards Classic Starter
- Rewards Student Classic
- Rewards Share Secured
- Rewards Platinum
Security Offered by a Variety of Insurance Options
Many Suncoast Credit Union reviews praised the wide range of insurance coverage available to members. This allows them to pick the plan that best suits their needs so that they can relax and focus on enjoying all life has to offer. Like Suncoast says on its website, “We put our members first with all we do.”
Personal coverage available through Suncoast includes:
- Health insurance
- Dental insurance
- Term and whole life insurance
- Pet insurance
- Accidental death and dismemberment insurance (AD&D)
- Umbrella insurance
- Credit life and disability insurance
- Long-term care
- Wedding protection
In addition, members have access to a variety of property insurance options, such as:
- Home warranty
- Renter’s, condo or homeowner’s insurance
- Flood insurance
- Mortgage disaster insurance
- Builder’s risk coverage
As it turns out, Suncoast Credit Union rewards its members by helping them cover all their bases. It also offers car, motorcycle, RV and boat insurance, and you can shop around for the best possible rates. Suncoast is dedicated to making the process as painless as possible.
Contributing to the Local Community
According to the Suncoast Credit Union website, “As the largest financial institution headquartered on Florida’s west coast, we know what’s important to the neighborhoods we serve.”
Members enjoy perks, like being able to attend webinars and in-person classes to learn how to maximize their financial decisions. Classes include subjects like retirement planning, developing a solid investment strategy, and how seniors can spot and prevent financial scams targeted at them. This topic came up in several Suncoast Credit Union reviews, with members mentioning how great it is that the company wants to invest in their financial well-being.
As if that’s not enough to show how invested Suncoast Credit Union is in serving its local Florida neighborhoods, it also hosts a variety of neighborhood events. Whether dog-friendly get-togethers, blood drives or quirkier events like Paper Shred Day, Suncoast encourages its members to come together for fun and festivities.
Suncoast Credit Union rewards its community by giving back. It gave $100,000 in scholarships to high school seniors graduating in the class of 2016. It should be no surprise that it was voted as one of the top places to work by the Tampa Bay Times in 2016.
Additional Member Services
One of the advantages for Suncoast Credit Union account holders is that they enjoy having easy access to financial solutions across the spectrum. The company’s on-site check cashing services prevents the risks of predatory lending terms from payday loans, and it also offers on-site notary services.
Other available services include:
- Money orders
- Cashier’s checks
- VISA gift cards
- Wire transfers
- Safe deposit boxes (some branches)
Image from Suncoast Credit Union
As you can see, Suncoast Credit Union rewards its members by providing solutions for all of their anticipated financial needs. There are always new promotions and specials to take advantage of, such as savings on mortgages, car loans, chances to earn double rewards points, and more.
It’s no surprise that there are so many happy members leaving positive Suncoast Credit Union reviews. This company really shows the difference between banks and credit unions: On average, its members enjoy a savings of $206 per household. Can you see why Suncoast is one of the preferred credit unions along the Gulf Coast of Florida?
Whether it’s through friendly and prompt service, an easy-to-use website or how the Suncoast provides enrichment to the local community, the credit union’s dedication to improving the quality of its members’ financial lives is apparent.
If you like what you’ve read in this review of Suncoast Credit Union, check out the company website or contact a credit union representative for more information about your eligibility and which account(s) would best suit your needs.
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