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bank review, personal finance, online bank

Synchrony Bank review

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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.

3.5

Wise Reviews™

Commissions and fees - 4.5

Customer service - 2

Ease-of-use - 3

Locations - 0

Savings Options - 4

Rates - 4.5

Synchrony Bank is a popular choice for online savings and CD accounts. While we love the bank's high APYs and range of savings accounts, money markets and CDs, customer service and online functionality can be a bit lacking.

3.5

Wise Reviews™

Synchrony Bank features

Features
Details
Accounts
Savings, Money Market, CDs
Access
Web Based, iPhone App, Android App
Number of branches
2
ATM reimbursement
Online deposits
FDIC insurance
Customer service
24/7 automated phone service; Representatives available M-F 8 a.m. - 10 p.m. ET, S/S 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. ET (certain teams unavailable); Live Chat: 24/7

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 another in Bridgewater, New Jersey.

Highlights
CIT Bank
American Express Personal Savings
Synchrony
Rating
4.3/5
4.3/5
3.5/5
Accounts
Savings, Checking, Money Market, CDs
Savings, Checking, CDs
Savings, Money Market, CDs
Online deposits
Physical branches
FDIC insurance
ATM reimbursement

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:

  1. 1.

    Via mobile deposit using your phone or tablet

  2. 2.

    Via ACH transfer from an external bank account

  3. 3.

    Via a personal or cashier's check mailed with a deposit slip to Synchrony's Atlanta office

  4. 4.

    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 0.55% APY as of February 2021, 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.

Features
Details
Available for
Taxable
Account fees
None
Custodial
N/A
Savings rates
Minimum Deposit $0—0.50% APY

Synchrony Bank Money Market

Money Market

Features
Details
Available for
Taxable, IRA
Account fees
None
Savings rates
Minimum Deposit $0—0.40% APY

Synchrony Bank CD rates

Synchrony CDs

CD, or certificate of deposit, is a time-bound savings account. There is no longer a minimum deposit required to open a Synchrony CD. The popular 36-month CD offers 0.65% APY as of February 2021. 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
3 months
$0
0.15%
6 months
$0
0.25%
9 months
$0
0.35%
12 months
$0
0.55%
13 months
$0
0.55%
14 months
$0
0.55%
15 months
$0
0.55%
18 months
$0
0.55%
24 months
$0
0.65%
36 months
$0
0.65%
48 months
$0
0.80%

The bottom line

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.

About our author

Eric Rosenberg
Eric Rosenberg, Freelance Contributor

Eric Rosenberg is a finance, travel and technology writer in Ventura, California. He is a former bank manager and corporate finance and accounting professional who left his day job in 2016 to take his online side hustle full time. He has in-depth experience writing about banking, credit cards, investing and other financial topics and is an avid travel hacker. When away from the keyboard, Eric enjoys exploring the world, flying small airplanes, discovering new craft beers and spending time with his wife and little girls.

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