Updated October 18, 2018

Synchrony Bank Credit Cards: What You Need to Know

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With 120+ credit and store-based offers, Synchrony Bank may have the right card for you. Read this guide for the top deals and common problems to avoid.

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If you've been offered a credit or store card during checkout at your favorite store, then you know Synchrony. The bank boasts 74.5 million customer accounts and $132 billion in financed sales.

What's the difference between a credit and store card?

  • A credit card has the "Visa" or "Mastercard" logo. You can use these cards anywhere Visa and Mastercard are accepted.

  • A store card only works for purchases in that store. It won't feature the Visa/Mastercard logo.

Some stores may offer both. Keep scrolling for the complete list of Synchrony credit and store cards.

Synchrony cards are popular with those who have low credit or love shopping at a particular store. (More on that a little later.)

But is a Synchrony-backed card is right for you? Here's everything you need to know.

What is Synchrony?

Synchrony is a financial institution that issues a number of different credit/store cards. Similar to Comenity Bank, it's not a bank with branches throughout the US.

Locations: Synchrony is an online bank. It only has one branch in New Jersey. All transactions must take place online or by phone.

Best Synchrony Bank Cards

© William Warby (CC BY 2.0) via Flickr

Looking for the Synchrony card with the most bang for your buck? Here are our top recommendations:

  • Amazon Prime Visa
    We love the perks that come with this card. It has no annual fee, but you do need to be an Amazon Prime member to qualify.

    You'll get:

    • 5% cash back on all Amazon or Whole Foods purchases
    • 3% cash back on dining and travel
    • 1% back on other purchases

    That cash back can come as Amazon credit, gift cards, or cash.

    The card also offers special financing on large purchases if you're using your Amazon Prime card. And there are no foreign transaction fees.

    If you're not interested in the Amazon Prime membership, you can also go for the Amazon Visa Rewards Card.

    Amazon is such a powerhouse that you can buy virtually anything through the site. This card ensures that you'll be rewarded for doing so.

  • Sam's Club Personal or Business Mastercard
    The Sam's Club card is a solid option for cash back. You need a Sam's Club membership to qualify, but the card then doubles as your membership card. (You won't get charged an extra fee on top of your membership.)

    There's no foreign transaction fees, so you can use it while travelling abroad.

    The cash back benefits with this card are pretty solid:

    • 5% cash back on gas (on the first $6,000)
    • 3% for dining and travel
    • 1% on other purchases

    Once a year, Sam's Club will send you a check that you can redeem for cash or use towards your shopping.

  • Chevron and Texaco Visa
    You'll get 3 cents off per gallon every time you fill up at BP.

    Use the card to spend $300 on other purchases in a month and you'll get 10 cents off every gallon.

    Increase those outside purchases to $1,000 in a month and you'll get 20 cents off per gallon.

    Note: You can only earn up to $300 per calendar year.

  • Cathay Pacific Visa
    You'll earn:

    • 2 points per $1 spent on all Cathay Pacific flight purchases
    • 1.5 points on dining and international purchases
    • 1 point per $1 spent on other purchases

    Cathay Pacific rewards you in Asia Miles, which will take you a lot of places. If you're interested in transferring your miles or you're new to the travel hacking game, however, managing them can be tricky. Plus, this card has an annual fee.

  • Stash Hotel Rewards Visa
    If boutique hotels are your (fancy) cup of tea, this credit card might be a great fit.

    Stash Hotels is a conglomerate of smaller, individual properties throughout the US, Canada, the Caribbean, Panama, and Belize. There aren't a huge number of hotels available. If you're looking for more options, check out some other hotel credit cards.

    However, you do earn:

    • 3 points per $1 spent at Stash Hotels
    • 2 points per $1 spent on dining or other hotels
    • 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases

    You'll also get 10% of your points back when you redeem them on a Stash Hotel stay.

Why would you want a store credit card?

Here's why a Synchrony Bank store card might be right for you:

  • You have low credit or a less-than-stellar score. Store-branded credit cards can be easier to obtain, which is helpful for people just starting out OR looking to rebuild their credit. We'll show you how to apply below.

    What credit score do I need to get a Synchrony credit card?
    Synchrony store cards are generally popular because of their easier approval requirement. Many people report being approved with a "Fair" credit score in the 600s.

  • You shop constantly at a particular store. Store cards usually offer rewards for buying at their affiliated store. You may get sign-up bonuses and special deals reserved for cardholders. If you're a regular at your favorite store, this could add real value.

Why might you not want a store credit card?

Here are some reasons why Synchrony cards might not make sense for you:

  • High interest rate Synchrony cards may boast interest rates above 25%, compared to the national average of under 17%. That means your bills can add up pretty quickly if you carry a balance from month to month.

  • You already have a card that offers better rewards. If you have a card that offers 2% or more cash back, or similarly high points or miles, you're probably better off using that one for purchases at your favorite store. Synchrony is not the place to look for high quality rewards cards.

  • You're about to get a mortgage/car loan/refinance. Anytime you open a new credit card, your credit score takes a small, temporary hit. If you're about to make a major purchase, this isn't the best time to open any type of credit card, since it may impact your ability to get the lowest rate possible.

Synchrony Application Process and Approval Odds

How to get approved: You can apply for Synchrony credit cards in your favorite store—you'll likely be asked at checkout. You can also apply online. You'll need to enter basic information including

  • Name
  • Address
  • Phone number
  • Email

You'll also likely be asked for your whole social security number or just the last four digits to complete a credit check.

Customer Service: Synchrony Bank gives you 24/7 access to their automated system to check on your accounts. For questions, you can call 877-295-2080 or the toll-free number on the back of your card.

Most Synchrony linked stores perform a "hard credit pull" every time you apply for a card, which can drop your credit score slightly.

If your credit score is low, you'll be less likely to get approved. If that's the case, here are some ways to bring up your score.

That being said, store cards have the reputation of being easier to get, so don't count yourself out.

What's the difference between a "hard" and "soft" pull of your credit?

  • Hard credit inquiry: Lenders use the hard credit inquiry when you apply for a loan. Think of things like an auto loan or mortgage. It may affect your credit score by a few points. Lenders need your permission before making this type of inquiry.

  • Soft credit inquiry: A soft credit inquiry is often part of a background check. Lenders don't need your permission for this type of inquiry. It doesn't affect your credit score.

You may also be invited to apply during checkout when making purchases online. However, unlike those offered by Comenity Bank, Synchrony-backed cards are not eligible for the Shopping Cart Trick, which boosts your chance of being accepted.

Once approved, you can manage your account and even make payments online. You'll need to register online by creating a Username and Password to login to your account.

Full List of Synchrony Cards

Here's the full list of Synchrony's 120+ credit and store cards.

Credit Cards:

Store Cards:

Bottom Line

If you're a frequent shopper at a certain store or you're looking to finance a big purchase, a Synchrony Bank card might make sense.

They're also more lenient with credit score requirements, which means you may be able to use one to build up your credit history.

Since Synchrony Cards don't always offer the best benefits, you should do your homework before applying.

Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are author's alone. Please support CreditDonkey on our mission to help you make savvy decisions. Our free online service is made possible through financial relationships with some of the products and services mentioned on this site. We may receive compensation if you shop through links in our content.

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Best Credit Card for First-Time Applicants


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Starter Credit Cards: What's a Good Starter Card?

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