Synchrony Bank is not a newcomer to the online banking world. They’ve been around online for a long time and have consistently offered great yields on their savings products.
Additionally, Synchrony Bank offers credit cards with robust rewards. However, it’s not a full-service operation. You won’t find any checking products or physical branches.
See how Synchrony compares to the best savings accounts out there right now, and see what we think in our Synchrony Bank review below.
- Attractive high-yield savings account products
- Worthwhile CDs
- Not a full-service bank
Savings, CDs, MMAs, IRA CDs, IRA MMAs
Who Is Synchrony Bank?
Synchrony Bank is an online bank that offers several high-yield savings products. They are an online bank and do not offer services through branches. Synchrony Bank is not a full-service bank as it only offers savings products, which means no checking accounts or loans.
In addition to savings products, the financial institution also offers a line of rewards credit cards. The bank also works with U.S. retailers to provide private label credit cards.
What Do They Offer?
Although Synchrony is not a full-service bank, it has plenty of features that make it stand out. Here’s what you should know.
High-yield savings accounts earn near the top of the pack regardless of the balance. There is no minimum to open and it currently pays 0.50% APY.
As with all savings accounts, you can do up to six transfers in a month. If you go over this amount, there is no fee but the bank can close your account.
You also get an ATM card. Money can be deposited through the bank’s mobile app as well.
You can choose from a wide range of certificate of deposits (CDs) with durations ranging from 3 months to 60 months. APYs start at 0.15% and go up to 1.00%. There are no minimum deposit requirements on any of Synchrony’s CDs.
When you choose to put your funds into a Synchrony CD, you’ll have a 15-day Best Rate Guarantee for peace of mind. If the rate increases within 15 calendar days from your funding date, the bank will give you the better rate.
Money Market Accounts
Money market accounts earn 0.35% APY no matter the balance. There is no minimum to open an account. You do have check-writing capabilities with a money market account and can use an ATM card as well. Again, you can make up to six transfers per month. ATM use does not count as a transfer.
Synchrony Bank IRA CDs are similar to their regular CDs. Terms go from 3 months to 60 months with APYs ranging from 0.15% to 1.00%.
You can transfer your current IRA to Synchrony Bank or even roll over funds from specific employer-sponsored retirement plans. Synchrony Bank encourages you to speak with an IRA specialist at 1-866-226-5638 if you have questions.
Because the CD is an IRA account, there are a few more restrictions. For a traditional retirement plan, the following apply:
- Contributions may be tax-deductible.
- Earnings grow tax-deferred. You generally pay taxes when you make withdrawals.
- You must be under 70 1/2 to contribute to a traditional IRA.
- You must begin taking required minimum distributions (RMDs) at age 70 1/2.
For a Roth, it has the following:
- Contributions may be withdrawn at any time without taxes or penalties.
- Earnings may be withdrawn tax-free and penalty-free if your funds remain in the Roth IRA for five years and you have reached the age of 59 1/2.
- You can contribute to a Roth IRA at any age.
- Roth IRAs have no required minimum distribution (RMDs) during your lifetime.
IRA Money Market Accounts
IRA money market accounts are similar to IRA CDs with two differences:
- Funds are not locked up for a specific duration like a CD.
- The earned APY is lower (0.35% APY).
The same traditional and Roth retirement restrictions mentioned for IRA CDs also apply to IRA money market accounts. Just like you can with IRA CDs, you can move money from an IRA at another institution or employer-sponsored plan.
Synchrony Premier World Mastercard
The Synchrony Premier World Mastercard offers unlimited 2% cash back on every purchase. When using the card, you can make contactless payments and enjoy the peace of mind that comes with cell phone protection, ID theft protection, and zero liability protection.
The icing on the cake is that the Synchrony Premier World Mastercard doesn’t have an annual fee to contend with. With that, you can reap these benefits without an annual fee holding you back.
Although not yet released, the bank has announced the upcoming arrival of the Synchrony Plus World Mastercard and the Synchrony Preferred Mastercard. Neither comes with an annual fee, and both have rewards options to consider.
Highly Rated Mobile App
An online banking experience is not complete without a user-friendly mobile app. And Synchrony doesn’t disappoint! The app has earned 4.5 out of 5 stars in the Google Play Store and 4.8 out of 5 stars in the Apple App Store with thousands of reviews.
Are There Any Fees?
There are no fees to open any Synchrony Bank account and there are no monthly fees.
If you initiate a wire transfer, you’ll be charged $25. But it’s free to receive them. ATM use is free for high-yield savings and money market accounts at ATMs displaying the Plus or Accel logos. Plus, Synchrony Bank will refund out-of-network ATM fees up to $5 per statement cycle.
There are also penalties for early principal withdrawals from CDs. From Synchrony Bank’s website, the penalties are as follows:
- Terms of 12 months or less: 90 days of simple interest at the current rate.
- Terms of more than 12 months but less than 48 months: 180 days of simple interest at the current rate.
- Terms of 48 months or more: 365 days of simple interest at the current rate.
Earned interest can be withdrawn without penalty.
The Synchrony World Premier Mastercard doesn’t have an annual fee. But you’ll pay a variable APR on your balance if you don’t pay off your card in full each month.
How Does Synchrony Bank Compare?
Synchrony Bank’s savings and CD interest rates are highly competitive. However, its money market account (MMA) APY is just so-so. Also, Synchrony Bank won’t be able to act as a one-stop-shop for all your banking needs as it doesn’t offer any checking account products. Check out how Synchrony Bank compares in the table below:
How Do I Open An Account?
You can get started with opening an account at Synchrony Bank by visiting its website here. On the application, you’ll be asked to provide the following:
- Physical address
- Email address
- Occupation and employer
- Source of funds
In addition to handling everything yourself online, you can also call 1-866-226-5638 to create an account over the phone with a banker.
Is My Money Safe?
Yes. Synchrony Bank is FDIC-insured and uses bank-grade encryption for its website and mobile app. Synchrony Bank also has complimentary identity theft resolution services.
How Do I Contact Synchrony Bank?
You won’t be able to visit any physical branches in person with contact Synchrony Bank. However, you can call them at 1-866-226-5638. Live agents are available Monday-Friday, 8 AM to 10 PM (ET) and Saturday-Sunday, 8 AM to 5 PM (ET).
If you have questions about Synchrony Bank’s credit card products, you can call 1-866-406-7427. Additionally, you can send an email through your account.
Currently, Synchrony Bank’s customer reviews on Trustpilot are unfortunately overwhelmingly negative. It should be noted, though, that most of these reviews have been left by credit card customers rather than banking customers. Synchrony Bank has also received over 2,500 complaints on the Better Business Bureau (BBB) in the past 12 months.
Is It Worth It?
Synchrony Bank is a worthwhile choice if you’re looking for a place to reap the rewards of a high yield savings product. In addition to the stellar savings options, Synchrony Bank’s World Premier Mastercard provides an attractive cash back experience without the drag of an annual fee.
However, the lack of a full-service option can be a deal-breaker for some. If you want to handle all of your banking needs in one place, then Synchrony Bank won’t be a good fit. But if you want to store your savings in a separate place with high-yield opportunities, Synchrony Bank is a solid option.
Synchrony Bank FAQs
Here a few of the most common questions that people ask about Synchrony Bank:
Does Synchrony Bank own PayPal?
No, but it acquired PayPal’s consumer credit receivables portfolio in 2018 which totaled $6.9 billion. As part of the deal, Synchrony Bank became the exclusive issuer of PayPal Credit in the U.S. through 2028.
Can you deposit cash with Synchrony Bank?
While Synchrony Bank customers do get access to ATMs, it appears that they’re only able to make withdrawals. Cash deposits may be possible through a third party, but this isn’t mentioned anywhere on Synchrony Bank’s site.
Does Synchrony Bank support mobile check deposits?
Yes, customers can deposit checks on the go by simply uploading them via the Synchrony Bank mobile app.
Are there any cash bonuses being offered by Synchrony Bank?
No, Synchrony Bank isn’t currently running any bonus promotions for new accounts.
Synchrony Bank Features
Fee-free ATM access at ATMs that have Plus or Accel logos
Out-Of-Network ATM Fee Reimbursements
Mon-Fri 8 AM to 10 PM (ET)
Web/Desktop Account Access