Review of: Synchrony Bank
Reviewed by: Eric Rosenberg
Last modified: August 14, 2018
Synchrony Bank is a popular online bank that offers a range of savings account options. While the bank does not offer checking, it does offer high interest rates on CDs and money market and savings accounts. Synchrony Bank does not have the best customer service or online banking systems in the industry, but it does offer simple, high-interest savings accounts. If that’s what you’re after, Synchrony Bank may be a good fit for your savings needs.
- Savings accounts
- CD investors
- Money market investors
- IRA CDs
Are you looking for an online bank that offers higher-than-average interest rates on savings? Are you looking for savings options that include IRAs? Is the lack of a checking account a nonissue for you? If you answered “Yes” to these questions, Synchrony Bank may be an attractive choice. But is this online bank the best one for your money? We took a closer look to find out.
Synchrony Bank Features
|Access||Website, iOS App, Android App|
|Amount of Branches||2|
|Customer Service||Phone: M-F 7A-12A ET, SAT-SUN 8A-5P ET; Live Chat: M-F 7A-12A ET, SAT-SUN 8A-5P ET|
|Promotions||1.85% APY Savings Account|
What Is Synchrony Bank?
Synchrony Bank is a subsidiary of Synchrony Financial, formerly known as GE Capital Retail Bank. Today, Synchrony Bank operates as an online-only bank with a focus on savings accounts. In fact, Synchrony Bank does not even offer checking accounts as an option.
Outside of the savings products, which include IRA accounts, Synchrony Financial offers co-branded and branded credit cards for a range of retail stores. But for today’s Synchrony Bank review, we are going to focus on the main savings products offered by Synchrony Bank.
Now, if you are looking for a bank with brick-and-mortar locations where you can check in on your account, you’re probably going to want to go elsewhere. Synchrony has a grand total of two branch locations: one at its headquarters in Draper, Utah, and the other in Bridgewater, New Jersey.
Synchrony Bank Alternatives
How Synchrony Bank Works
Synchrony Bank offers several types of savings accounts. The main feature and attraction is Synchrony’s top-tier interest rates. Synchrony High Yield Savings offers one of the best savings account rates available at any nationwide bank.
Accounts are FDIC insured and come with online banking to manage your account. With online banking, you can deposit or withdraw. You can also manage your account by phone or with an optional ATM card. Note that while Synchrony does not charge any ATM fees, you may be charged for using your ATM card at another bank’s ATM. Synchrony Bank refunds up to $5 per statement cycle for ATM charges on your savings and money market accounts.
Synchrony offers top-level bank security and encryption. So your funds and online banking connections are very safe. Synchrony also offers multi-factor authentication for maximum security.
In my personal experience with the bank, both online banking systems and customer service have left something to be desired. I had an online banking issue that prevented me from viewing my account. Customer service was not helpful in resolving the issue. I ended up closing my account and taking the funds to Ally Bank.
Synchrony Bank does not charge any monthly maintenance fees nor require specific activity to avoid a monthly fee. But you may run into fees for some uncommon activity, such as outgoing wire transfers.
You can fund your Synchrony Bank account in one of four ways:
- Via mobile deposit using your phone or tablet
- Via ACH transfer from an external bank account
- Via a personal or cashier’s check mailed with a deposit slip to Synchrony’s Atlanta office
- By wiring money from a different bank.
Synchrony Bank Savings Account
High Yield Savings
The most popular account at Synchrony Bank is the High Yield Savings account. This account currently offers 1.85% APY, among the best in the industry. There are no monthly fees or required minimum balances. You can transfer in or out of the account for no charge to or from any bank. There is no minimum opening deposit.
|Available For||Taxable, Custodial|
Synchrony Bank Money Market Account
The Synchrony Bank Money Market account is in some ways a hybrid savings and checking account. This account does have check-writing abilities, but as with all savings and money market accounts, you are limited to six withdrawals per statement cycle per federal regulations. This account currently offers 1.15% APY.
|Available For||Taxable, IRA|
Synchrony Bank CD Rates
A CD, or certificate of deposit, is a time-bound savings account. Synchrony CDs start with a $2,000 minimum opening deposit. The popular 36-month CD offers 2.70% APY as of this writing. Terms are available from three months up to 60 months. Like the Synchrony Bank savings account, the Synchrony CD is FDIC insured.
|Term||Minimum Deposit||APY||More Info|
|3 months||$2,000||0.75%||Open An Account|
|6 months||$2,000||1.00%||Open An Account|
|9 months||$2,000||1.25%||Open An Account|
|1 years||$2,000||2.45%||Open An Account|
|18 months||$2,000||2.55%||Open An Account|
|2 years||$2,000||2.65%||Open An Account|
|3 years||$2,000||2.70%||Open An Account|
|4 years||$2,000||2.80%||Open An Account|
|5 years||$2,000||3.00%||Open An Account|
Pros and Cons
- Great Interest Rates — Synchrony Bank pays among the highest rates in the industry.
- No Monthly Fees — Fees are few and far between at Synchrony Bank.
- No Minimum Deposit for Savings and Money Markets — You won't have to make a minimum deposit for savings or money market accounts. CDs do require a minimum of $2,000.
- Simple, Straightforward Savings — Synchrony's savings accounts are no-frills and no-nonsense.
- IRA CDs and Money Market Accounts — Synchrony offers these tax-deferred accounts.
- Only Two Physical Branches — Unless you live in Draper, Utah, or Bridgewater, New Jersey, you won't find a branch location.
- No Checking Account Available — Synchrony Bank does not offer checking accounts, though you can write checks from a money market account.
- Mediocre Customer Service — Synchrony doesn't have the best customer service around.
Synchrony Bank is a reliable bank that offers some of the best savings account interest rates of all nationwide, online banks. While customer service is not their strong suit, the accounts are simple enough that you should be able to easily handle most needs through the self-service online banking tools.
The bank is a good choice overall due to its low fees and high interest rates. If that’s what you’re looking for and you don’t care about not being able to do all of your banking under one roof, Synchrony Bank is a good option.