Updated May 22, 2018

Synchrony Bank Review: CD Rates and Savings

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Synchrony offers some of the highest savings and CD rates. But there are downsides. Read this review before you open an account.

Synchrony Bank Promo Code
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Overall Score

4.3

Savings

5.0

Money Market

4.0

Customer Service

4.0
5-point scale (the higher, the better)

Pros and Cons

  • Savings with ATM card
  • High APY
  • All balance tiers receive same rate
  • No checking account
  • $2,000 minimum deposit for CDs
  • Limited customer service hours

Bottom Line

Good online bank offering high interest rates

Synchrony Bank has gotten popular in recently years. Its online-only model allows it to minimize fees and offer better interest rates to customers.

It's not a full-service bank though. Synchrony offers primarily savings products. But they do offer flexibility in how you can access your funds.

Synchrony Bank claims to have some of the highest APYs and lowest fees in the industry, but there are some downsides.

Keep reading to see how this online bank stacks up in our eyes.

How it Works

You'll find several deposit products at Synchrony Bank:

Let's go over each product.

High Yield Savings

Synchrony Bank's High Yield Savings offers slightly higher interest rates than competitors. There is no account minimum and no service fees.

A huge perk is that you get an ATM card. You can use any ATM banks with the Plus or Acela logo without fees. And if you do go out of network, Synchrony will reimburse ATM fees up to $5 per statement cycle. This flexibility allows you to get cash fast.

Federal regulations limit transfers/withdrawals to just 6 per statement cycle. Usually, banks will charge a fee if you exceed it. However, Synchrony does not charge for excessive withdrawals. But they could shut down your account if you do it often. ATM withdrawals don't count.

    Synchrony Bank

    High Yield Savings

    1.85% APY. $0 minimum opening deposit. No minimum balance requirement. No fees to open or maintain account.
    • Great Rates + Safety = Peace of Mind
    • Member FDIC

Is Synchrony Bank Safe? Synchrony Bank accounts are FDIC insured. If Synchrony Bank defaults, the federal government guarantees the balance in your savings account, up to $250,000 through FDIC insurance. For joint accounts, each owner has up to $250,000 in protection.

Money Market

The Money Market account is kind of a combination of a checking and savings account. You get the ability of check writing. The first order of checks is free. The APY isn't as high as the Savings account, but you do get more flexibility in how you can use and access your money.

    Synchrony Bank

    Money Market

    • 1.15% APY
    • $0 minimum opening deposit
    • No minimum balance requirement
    • No fees to open or maintain account
    • ATM card
    • Daily Compounding Interest
    • FDIC Insured

CDs

Synchrony Bank offers CDs from 3-month to 5-year terms with higher-than-average interest rates. The APY for a 12-month CD is higher than what many competitors offer.

There is a minimum deposit of $2,000 to open a CD with Synchrony. And you must leave your money in there for the whole length of the term, or you'll incur a penalty. If you don't need your money for at least 1 year, you'll earn a higher APY than with the savings account. For anything less than a year, you're better off with the savings account.

    Synchrony Bank

    Certificate of Deposit

    • Up to 3.00% APY
    • Up to 5 years
    • $2,000 minimum opening deposit
    • Daily Compounding Interest
    • FDIC Insured

Did you know: You get a 10-day grace period after maturity to allocate the funds before it rolls into another CD.

IRA Money Market

You can rollover existing IRA contributions to a Synchrony IRA Money Market account. The interest rate isn't the highest, but it will provide a secure place to park your retirement savings. You don't need to worry about the fluctuations of the stock market. And there are tax benefits.

You can make additional deposits at any time, subject to IRS contribution limits

    Synchrony Bank

    IRA Money Market Account

    • 1.15% APY
    • No minimum deposit to open account
    • Ability to open Roth or traditional IRA account
    • Make deposits at any time rather than waiting for a maturity date
    • FDIC Insured

IRA CDs

Synchrony Bank also offers IRA CDs. An advantage of investing your IRA contributions in a CD is that you'll know exactly how much your savings will grow. The IRA CDs have the same rates as the standard CDs, plus they offer tax benefits. You can choose between a Traditional or a Roth IRA.

The returns are lower than what you could get with a brokerage IRA account investing in stocks. This is best for those who want stability. For example, older people who don't want to risk their investments close to retirement.

    Synchrony Bank

    IRA CD

    • Up to 3.00% APY
    • Up to 5 years
    • $2,000 minimum opening deposit
    • Ability to open Roth or Traditional IRA
    • Ability to add funds during 10-day grace period after CD maturity
    • FDIC Insured

Synchrony Bank Credit Cards

Synchrony also offers a huge lineup of over 120 credit cards. Most are co-branded cards with popular retail partners. Here are our top picks.

  • Sam's Club Mastercard. You get 5% cash back on gas on up to $6,000 in gas purchases per year (then 1%). You also get 3% on dining out and travel, and 1% on everything else. This card offers one of the best gas rewards we've seen. You need to be a Sam's Club member.

  • Amazon Store Card. This card is really worthwhile if you're an Amazon Prime member. Members get 5% cash back on all Amazon orders. If you regularly shop on Amazon, this could be huge savings. You can also choose interest-free financing for larger purchases.

  • Walmart Credit Card. For Walmart shoppers, you get 3% cash back on all Walmart.com purchases, 2% cash back on gas at Walmart or Murphy USA, and 1% on Walmart in-store purchases. If you get the Mastercard version, you'll also earn 1% cash back on all other purchases.

  • Lowe's Advantage Card. Have an upcoming home improvement project? The Lowe's card gives you 5% off all Lowe's purchases. Or you can choose 6-month interest-free financing on orders of $299 or above. If you have a bigger project over $2,000, you can ask for special project financing at low interest rates.

Reasons We Like Synchrony Bank

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  • Competitive rates. Synchrony offers some of the highest interest rates in the market. The APY for their Savings and CD accounts are higher than other popular online banks.

  • No minimum balance requirements for Savings or Money Market accounts. There are no minimum deposits or balance requirements for Synchrony's Savings or Money Market accounts. So you can start saving and earning interest no matter how little you have. However, there is a minimum deposit of $2,000 for their CDs.

  • No service fees. There are no account opening fees or monthly service fees for their deposit products.

  • ATM card for Savings. It's very rare for savings accounts to have ATM access. Synchrony's High Yield Savings Account comes with an optional ATM card so you can withdraw savings quickly.

  • ATM fee reimbursements. Synchrony will reimburse fees charged by other banks, up to $5 every statement cycle. Synchrony does not charge you for using any ATM with the Plus or Acela logo.

  • Loyalty perks. Synchrony offers rewards for customers with high balances and long-term loyalty. You're automatically enrolled in Synchrony Bank Perks when you open an account. You reach different status tiers based on your balance OR the length of time you've been a customer. Perks include hotel and rental car discounts, restaurant offers, and value-added amenities. If you achieve the highest status, you get unlimited ATM reimbursements.

  • Identity theft services. Each customer of Synchrony Bank's deposit products is automatically enrolled in Identity Theft Resolution Services by CyberScout.

Why You Might Look Elsewhere

  • There's only one physical branch. If you prefer in-person bank transactions, you won't like Synchrony Bank. They only have one branch in New Jersey. All transactions must take place online, via ATM, wire transfer, or by phone.

  • They don't offer checking accounts. Synchrony Bank doesn't have the services of a full-service bank. They are primarily a savings bank. The closest you will get to a checking account is the Money Market account. You can make ATM withdrawals and request checks for this account (the first set is usually free).

  • Their mobile options leave a lot to be desired. Synchrony doesn't have a mobile app for its banking products. However, it does have a full mobile website. You can check your activity, transfer funds, and make mobile check deposits. You can still do your banking anywhere with your smartphone.

Customer Service

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Synchrony Bank gives you 24/7 access to their automated system to check on your accounts. If you want to talk to a representative, their hours are Monday through Friday 8 AM - 10 PM (ET) and Saturdays 8 AM - 5 PM (ET).

You can reach Synchrony Bank at 1-866-226-5638.

If you have questions on your Synchrony Bank credit card, you should call the number on the back of your card.

How it Compares

Ally: If you need a checking account with your other savings vehicles, Ally offers free interest checking. It also has no minimum deposits for CDs, so it's a better choice for smaller investors. It has several CD options to choose from, including a No Penalty and Raise Your Rate CD. Ally is a good choice for beginner savers with checking needs.

 Synchrony BankAlly Bank
 Learn MoreLearn More
 

Synchrony Bank

Ally Bank

SPECIAL OFFER
High Yield Savings - Learn More

SPECIAL OFFER
Online Savings Account - Learn More

 

Benefits and Features

Savings1.85% APY. No monthly service fee and no minimum deposit. An ATM card is provided for easy withdrawal. Synchrony will refund ATM fees for other banks up to $5 per statement cycle1.85% APY. No monthly service fee and no minimum deposit.
CD0.75% to 3.00% APY. Terms of 3 months to 5 years. 12-month CD APY of 2.45%. Minimum deposit of $2,000 to open.0.75% to 3.00% APY. Terms of 3 months to 5 years. 12-month CD APY of 2.25% for balances under $5,000 (2.50% for balances $25,000+). No minimum deposit to open.
Money Market1.15% APY. No monthly service fee and no minimum deposit.0.90% APY under $25,000; 1.00% APY $25,000 or more. No monthly service fee and no minimum deposit.
Customer ServiceMon-Fri 8am - 10pm (ET); Sat 8am - 5pm (ET)
24/7
ATMsAny ATMs with Plus or Accel logosOver 43,000 no-fee Allpoint ATMs
Locations
Online Only
Online Only

Synchrony Bank: Pricing information from published website as of 7/25/2018

Ally Bank: Pricing information from published website as of 6/15/2018

Barclays: Barclays offers savings and CD accounts. You don't need a minimum opening balance at Barclays, just like Synchrony. The largest difference, though, is that Barclays doesn't have any ATMs. If you often need quick access to your funds, Synchrony will make your life easier with their ATMs located throughout the US.

 Synchrony BankBarclays
 Learn MoreLearn More
 

Synchrony Bank

Barclays

SPECIAL OFFER
High Yield Savings - Learn More

SPECIAL OFFER
Online Savings Account - Learn More

 

Benefits and Features

Savings1.85% APY. No monthly service fee and no minimum deposit. An ATM card is provided for easy withdrawal. Synchrony will refund ATM fees for other banks up to $5 per statement cycle1.85% APY. No monthly service fee and no minimum deposit.
CD0.75% to 3.00% APY. Terms of 3 months to 5 years. 12-month CD APY of 2.45%. Minimum deposit of $2,000 to open.0.35% to 3.00% APY. Terms of 3 months to 5 years. 12-month CD APY of 2.45% APY. No minimum deposit to open.
Customer ServiceMon-Fri 8am - 10pm (ET); Sat 8am - 5pm (ET)
Mon-Sun 8am - 8pm (ET)
Locations
Online Only
Online Only

Synchrony Bank: Pricing information from published website as of 7/25/2018

Barclays: Pricing information from published website as of 8/1/2018.

Marcus by Goldman Sachs: Marcus by Goldman Sachs also offers excellent rates. They only offer two products: savings and CDs. Their CD rates are competitive with Synchrony's and only requires $500 minimum to open.

Best Synchrony Bank Promo

    High Yield Savings

    1.85% APY. $0 minimum opening deposit. No minimum balance requirement. No fees to open or maintain account.
    • Great Rates + Safety = Peace of Mind
    • Member FDIC

    Money Market

    • 1.15% APY
    • $0 minimum opening deposit
    • No minimum balance requirement
    • No fees to open or maintain account
    • ATM card
    • Daily Compounding Interest
    • FDIC Insured

    Certificate of Deposit

    • Up to 3.00% APY
    • Up to 5 years
    • $2,000 minimum opening deposit
    • Daily Compounding Interest
    • FDIC Insured

    IRA CD

    • Up to 3.00% APY
    • Up to 5 years
    • $2,000 minimum opening deposit
    • Ability to open Roth or Traditional IRA
    • Ability to add funds during 10-day grace period after CD maturity
    • FDIC Insured

    IRA Money Market Account

    • 1.15% APY
    • No minimum deposit to open account
    • Ability to open Roth or traditional IRA account
    • Make deposits at any time rather than waiting for a maturity date
    • FDIC Insured

Bottom Line

    Synchrony Bank

    High Yield Savings

    1.85% APY. $0 minimum opening deposit. No minimum balance requirement. No fees to open or maintain account.
    • Great Rates + Safety = Peace of Mind
    • Member FDIC

Synchrony Bank offers several savings options with the ability to access your cash. Their APYs are among the higher rates in the industry. But their customer service is more limited.

If you can handle your own finances online without needing in-person or off-hours help, you may find that Synchrony meets your needs. If not, there are many other online banks that may suit your requirements.

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.

Disclaimer: This content was first published on March 14, 2018. This content may have been updated on May 22, 2018. Information including rates, fees, terms and benefits may vary, be out of date, or not applicable to you. Information is provided without warranty. Please check the bank's website for updated information.

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