When does money go into and out of my account?
Knowing when money is deposited or withdrawn from your account is key to accurately tracking your balance.
The following definitions and examples will help you stay on top of your finances.
|Starting available balance*||$1,000||$1,575||$1,575|
|Starting current balance||$1,000||$1,600||$1,600|
|Debit Card purchase: sushi lunch ($25+tip)||-$25||-$25||-$30|
|Direct Deposit: Jane's paycheck||+$600|
|Personal Check: $100 to Jane's doctor||$0||-$100|
|Ending available balance*||$1,575||$1,575||$1,470|
|Ending current balance||$1,000||$1,600||$1,470|
Your available balance is the money in your checking or savings account that's currently available to you to make purchases, withdrawals, etc. Keep an eye on this balance because it is the balance used to assess overdraft fees or returned item fees. The available balance reflects any processed and pending transactions and any holds. It does not include any checks you have written that have not posted. (Checks are processed during the nightly posting and will be reflected the next day.) The available balance is updated throughout the day with posted or pending transactions — getting cash from the ATM, paying for a burrito with your Debit Card, transferring funds over the phone or online, cashing a check, sending your sister in California money via a wire transfer, etc.
Current (ledger) balance
Your current balance (also called ledger balance) is the actual amount in your account and does not change throughout the day. It does not include holds or pending transactions. This is the balance used to assess extended overdraft fees . For example, if you used your Debit Card to buy gas late last night, the charge would not actually affect your current balance until the transaction posts to your account (when the gas station processes your transaction).
Here’s how your current balance is used to calculate your available balance: Current Balance - Pending Withdrawals/Debits + Pending Deposits/Credits = Available Balance
Your collected balance is the same as the current (ledger) balance, except that it does not include any checks you have deposited for which we have yet to receive credit (the actual funds). The collected balance, like the current (ledger) balance, is not updated with the day's activity.
When deposited funds are available depends on the type of deposit (check, cash, Direct Deposit, etc.) and when it is made. The following chart will help you understand the daily cut-off times for each deposit type and when the funds will be available for withdrawal or to cover transactions presented during nightly processing.
|Type of deposit||Cut-off time for deposit to post
|When it's available for purchases, checks, etc.||When it's available to withdraw|
|Cash deposit given to the teller||Varies (check with your local branch)||Same business day
(based on cut-off time)
|Cash deposit through the ATM||12 noon ET (M-F) for ATMs with envelope deposit
9pm ET (M-F) for ATMs with Deposit Image technology
|Same business day
(based on cut-off time)
|Envelope Deposit ATM:
Available once processed by the branch teller
Deposit Image ATM: Immediately
|Cash deposit through the Night Depository||7am ET (M-F)||Same business day
(based on cut-off time)
|Available once processed by the branch teller|
|Direct Deposit||Post throughout the day||Same business day
(based on cut-off time)
|Check deposit (branch/ATM)||Varies (check with your local branch for its cut-off time and the ATM cut-off time)||Next business day, excluding holds||Next business day, excluding holds|
|Mobile Deposit||9pm ET (M-F)||Before 9pm ET - next business day, excluding holds
After 9pm ET - 2nd business day, excluding holds
|Before 9pm ET - next business day, excluding holds
After 9pm ET - 2nd business day, excluding holds
In most cases, SunTrust makes funds from deposited checks available to you before the funds are collected from the payee bank of the check issuer. However, in some cases, we may place a hold on your account for a portion or full amount of a deposited check. For example, if we have reason to believe a check you deposit will not be paid or if the deposited check totals more than $5,000 in one day, a hold may be placed. Holds are placed to help protect both you and the Bank from losses that could occur when a deposited item is returned unpaid. If we do place a hold on your deposit, you will be notified via mail of the hold and date the funds will be available for payment or withdrawal. You will also be able to see any holds placed on your account in Online Banking and Mobile Banking.
Here is an example of what a hold looks like in Online Banking:
Here are some ways to avoid holds and get your funds faster. Before making your transaction, be sure to review the processing time required for each option.
- Direct deposit: If you have recurring income like a paycheck, pension payment or Social Security check, arrange to receive it by direct deposit.
- Person-to-Person and External transfers: Consider using a person-to-person or external transfer through Online Banking when sending money to someone or to your account at another bank. It's a secure and convenient alternative to writing and sending a check. Note that you may incur a fee for using this service.
- Wire transfer: We credit your account the day the wire transfer is received. In most cases, there is a fee for sending or receiving a wire transfer, but it guarantees that your money will be there when you need it.
Read more about funds availability in our Funds Availability Policy for Deposit Accounts.
The type of transfer you make determines when the funds will be available.
You can use the chart below as a guide.
|Type of transfer||Online||Mobile||Phone||ATM||SunTrust branch|
|Internal (between your SunTrust accounts)||Funds available immediately||Funds available immediately||Funds available immediately||Funds available immediately||Funds available immediately|
|External (between your SunTrust account to your account at a different bank, or to a third party)||Funds available up to 3 days after transfer|
|Wire transfer||Funds available once processed|
What are the benefits?
The SunTrust MasterCard® Debit Card is convenient (you don't need to carry cash and can use it at over 35 million places worldwide) and secure (you're always protected from unauthorized purchases). Plus, you can take advantage of no interest charges and hundreds of discounts on popular brands. Find out more here.
When will my Debit Card purchases be posted to my account?
When you use your Debit Card, you might notice that the transaction shows as pending, then it may not be displayed, only to show up a few days later. So, what's going on? Say you use your Debit Card to buy your groceries. The cashier may ask if you want to run the card as "credit" or "debit" although both will take the funds from your checking account. Selecting "debit" prompts you to enter your PIN. Selecting "credit" doesn't require a PIN, but may require a signature. There is now a merchant authorization and SunTrust has committed to paying the transaction. It shows up as a pending transaction until the merchant submits the final amount to us for payment. In situations where there is a tip included, such as at restaurants and barber shops, or an estimated authorization amount, such as at gas stations and hotels, the final transaction amount submitted by the merchant may differ from the original pending transaction amount. SunTrust has no way of knowing what your final transaction amount is until the merchant sends it to us. While most merchants submit items for processing within three days, occasionally it takes up to five days for the actual transaction amount to be deducted from your account. If you make a Debit Card purchase using your PIN, the transaction will post quicker than if you sign for your purchase.
A check is a request to pay a specific amount of money from your checking account to another person, merchant or organization. You can also write a check to withdraw cash from your account. The impact of a check on your balance is determined by how it is presented for payment. For example, if you write a check to a person and he comes into a SunTrust branch and cashes the check, we'll immediately lower your available balance by the amount of the check. However, when you write a check to a biller or merchant for a purchase, your account balance will be reduced when the biller or merchant deposits the check and it is sent to us for processing. Keep in mind that when a check is presented for payment, we may choose to return the check if your available balance is not sufficient to cover the transaction amount and you do not have Overdraft Protection set up to cover your account when it becomes overdrawn.
You can allow a company to request electronic payments directly from your account. These transactions are called electronic debits or ACH (Automated Clearing House) transactions. You might use this kind of transaction to pay your car insurance, mortgage, gym membership or utility bills — or any other type of recurring payment. You can also pay your bills using Online Banking or Mobile Banking. These transactions may also be processed using ACH. ACH/electronic debits will memo-post to your available balance as soon as we receive them for payment. ACH/electronic debits are not guaranteed — if you don't have a sufficient balance in your account, we may return the item.
Sometimes a merchant or company will convert a check you've written to them into an electronic debit or "electronic check." The information on your check is transferred electronically through the ACH payment system. This eliminates the process of the physical check moving through the check processing system, so it can be processed and paid a lot faster. Your original check will be destroyed by the merchant or handed back to you for disposal. For example, you write a check at a major retail store for your new bath towels, the cashier takes the check and processes it electronically right there and then hands the check back to you. The transaction shows up on your statement as an electronic debit (ACH) for the amount of your check.
Once you authorize these types of transactions with a merchant, SunTrust is not able to stop them from being submitted for payment from your account. To discontinue an electronic/ACH transaction, you must contact the merchant.
Overdraft Coverage does not apply to checks or electronic/ACH transactions, so if your available balance is not sufficient, the bank will choose either to pay or return the item and you will incur a $36 Overdraft or Returned Item fee. Setting up Overdraft Protection is a helpful way to ensure these transactions are paid by transferring money from another account.
Different transactions come into SunTrust around the clock. Those that we receive throughout the day, such as your Debit Card purchases, are reflected in your available balance as we receive them. Other transactions, like personal checks, are processed at night with all other similar transactions in what's known as batch processing. Knowing when your transactions post can help you understand how your account works and help you potentially avoid overdraft and returned item fees.
Remember, if you have funds available in your account when transactions post, you will not be assessed any overdraft or returned item fees.
The ways in which SunTrust posts transactions to your account are described in our Rules and Regulations for Deposit Accounts, which is available at suntrust.com/disclosures. In particular, please refer to the sections on Deposits and Withdrawals, Collection of Items, Checks and Other Debits, Debit Card/ATM Authorized Transaction Holds and Insufficient Funds. The table below shows the usual order for the most common transactions that post to an account during nightly processing.
Note: Items are first assembled in priority by Group (items in Group 1 would post before items in Group 2 and items in Group 2 would post before items in Group 3, etc.), and then within each Group, the items are posted by dollar amount from high to low. SunTrust utilizes a "high to low" or descending dollar order for the processing of all withdrawals and debit transactions. Large dollar items, which are often of the greatest importance to you, post first.
|Group Priority Order||Description|
|1||Withdrawals from the previous night's processing such as Overdraft Protection withdrawals or overdraft/returned item fees|
|2||Deposits and credits|
|3||Bank-initiated transactions like corrections, Deposited Item Returned Checks, etc|
|4||Client-initiated withdrawals and debits such as transfers, ATM transactions, point-of-sale transactions or checks|
Other transaction posting facts
Here is some additional transaction posting information that will be helpful.
• Nightly processing occurs on regular business days (e.g., no Saturdays, Sundays or holidays.)
• Cash or wire transfer deposits are available same day once processed throughout the day.
• Check deposits will be posted to your account and available for use after the nightly processing (unless a hold is placed). If there is a hold on your account, those funds are not available to cover items during posting until the hold is removed.
• Overdraft and returned item fees are added after each item is presented against a non-sufficient available balance during nightly processing. ATM fees are added after each ATM transaction. Other fees may post at the end of processing, if applicable.
Note: Overdraft fees may be assessed on checks, recurring debit card transactions and ACH items. Also, if you have accepted Overdraft Coverage, ATM and one-time debit card transactions may be assessed an overdraft fee.