SunTrust Bank brings a special odd-term CD package that includes a 39-month CD and a 63-month CD with slightly bizarre requirements.

SunTrust Special CD Package

The earnings for the 39-Month and 63-Month CDs in the package is 2.40% APY, which is unusual as you’d expect the CD with the longer term to be paying a higher rate. Both CDs must be opened together and your deposit must be split between the two. The minimum deposit for each CD is $2,000, so the minimum deposit for the CD package is $4,000 total. Also, customers are required to have a SunTrust checking account.

Although the CD package special does not appeal to rate-chasing customers, current SunTrust customers may find the CD package to be a better way to save since they require a SunTrust checking account – and all the accounts will stay at the same bank. The special is also available as an IRA CD package.

According to a SunTrust chat representative, the penalty for early withdrawal varies depending on how much time is left until maturity. If the CD is close to maturity, the early withdrawal penalty will be less.

A certificate of deposit withdrawn early with:

  • 3 to less than 7 years left until maturity has a penalty charge is equivalent to 12 months of interest.
  • 1 to less than 3 years left until maturity has a penalty charge is equivalent to 8 months of interest.
  • 91 days to 1 year left until maturity has a penalty charge is equivalent to 3 months of interest.

SunTrust Bank is a large regional bank with over 1,700 locations in the states in the Southeast but their accounts are available nationwide and can be accessed via online banking.

Compared to Other Big Banks

The odd-term attributes of the CD package has become a common occurrence among the larger banks. Because the terms of roughly three months off from typical CD maturity terms, it makes it a little more difficult to directly compare CD rates – possibly the intent of a big bank to compete with online banks that offer better rates.

Other large national banks that have been running promotions with odd-term CD rates include US Bank and Wells Fargo. Here are some of their CD rates specials compared to that of SunTrust Bank’s:

CD TermBankAPY (as of 1/26/11)Minimum deposit
39 monthsSunTrust Bank2.40%$2,000
39 monthsWells Fargo1.15%$5,000
59 monthsUS Bank2.50%$1,000
63 monthsSunTrust Bank2.40%$2,000

The 39-Month CD rate trumps many other CD rates with similar maturity terms but the 63-Month CD rate isn’t quite up to par. That seems to be the goal of bringing the two CD products together in a package. Customers will earn a higher yield on the CD with the shorter term while earning a lower yield on the CD with the longer term. In the end, SunTrust’s special CD package will offer a competitive return if locking in money for five or more years is not a problem.

If you would like to find and compare other CD products, visit the CD rates page.

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