Updated February 12, 2019

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.

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
  • 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

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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 Accel 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.

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.

Compare Savings Account Promotion

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.

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.

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.

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

Compare CD Rates

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

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 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 CDs, Savings or Money Market accounts. There are no minimum deposits or balance requirements for Synchrony's CDs, Savings or Money Market accounts. So you can start saving and earning interest no matter how little you have.

  • 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 Accel 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.

Discover frequently offers cash bonuses for new customers. Find the latest Discover Bank savings bonus.

Capital One 360: None of Capital One 360's deposit accounts have minimum balance requirements. However, the interest rate on the savings and money market accounts are below the competition (unless you maintain a very high balance). A unique thing about 360 is that it also offers a solid teen checking and kids savings account.

Capital One 360 is another bank known for offering new account promotions, often with low deposit requirements. Find the latest Capital One 360 promotions here.

PNC Bank: While PNC Bank is a physical bank, you don't need to live near a branch to open an online account. Since PNC is not an online bank, don't expect high interest rates. It does, however, offer some sweet cash bonuses. PNC's signature product is the Virtual Wallet account that comes with financial tools to help you budget, track spending, and set up goals.

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.

You might also consider:

Best Synchrony Bank Promo

Bottom Line

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.

Chase
Member FDIC

Chase Total Checking® - $200 Bonus

Expires 10/19/2022
  • New Chase checking customers enjoy a $200 bonus when you open a Chase Total Checking® account and set up direct deposit
  • Access to 16,000 Chase ATMs and more than 4,700 branches
  • Chase Mobile® app - Manage your accounts, deposit checks, transfer money and more -- all from your device.
  • Open your account online now
  • Available online nationwide except in Alaska, Hawaii and Puerto Rico. For branch locations, visit locator.chase.com.
  • Chase Overdraft Assist℠ - no overdraft fee if you're overdrawn by $50 or less at the end of the business day or if you're overdrawn by more than $50 and bring your account balance to overdrawn by $50 or less at the end of the next business day*

*With Chase Overdraft Assist℠, we won't charge an Insufficient Funds Fee if you're overdrawn by $50 or less at the end of the business day OR if you're overdrawn by more than $50 and you bring your account balance to overdrawn by $50 or less at the end the next business day (you have until 11 PM ET (8 PM PT) to make a deposit or transfer). Chase Overdraft Assist does not require enrollment and comes with eligible Chase checking accounts.

Discover Bank
Member FDIC

Discover Online Savings - $200 Cash Bonus

To get your $150 or $200 Bonus: What to do: Apply for your first Discover Online Savings Account (online, by phone or Discover App). Enter Offer Code CY622 when applying. Deposit into your account a total of at least $15,000 to earn a $150 Bonus or deposit a total of at least $25,000 to earn a $200 Bonus. Deposit must be posted to account within 30 days of account open date. Maximum bonus eligibility is $200.

What to know: Offer not valid for existing or prior Discover savings customers or existing or prior customers with savings accounts that are co-branded, or affinity accounts provided by Discover. Eligibility is based on primary account owner. Account must be open when bonus is credited. Bonus will be credited to the account within 30 days of the account qualifying for the bonus. Bonus is interest and subject to reporting on Form 1099-INT. Offer ends 09/15/2022, 11:59 PM ET. Offer may be modified or withdrawn without notice. See advertiser website for full details.

Expires 9/15/2022
Citibank

Citi Priority Account - Earn up to $2,000 Cash Bonus

Expires 1/9/2023
  • Earn up to $2,000 cash bonus when you open a new eligible Citi Priority Checking Account with required activities
  • Within 20 days of opening, deposit the minimum amount of new-to-Citibank funds.
  • Maintain a minimum balance for 60 consecutive calendar days from the 21st day.
  • If your balance falls to a lower tier at any point during the maintenance period, the bonus changes.
  • Bonus will be paid within 30 days after you successfully complete all required activities.
CIT Bank
Member FDIC

CIT Bank Savings Connect - 1.90% APY

  • Earn 19x the national average
  • $100 minimum opening deposit
  • No monthly maintenance fee
Bluevine

Business Checking - Up to 1.5% APY

  • 1.5% APY on your balance up to $100,000 for customers that meet monthly eligibility requirements
  • $0 minimum opening deposit
  • $0 monthly service fee
Banking services provided by Coastal Community Bank, Member FDIC

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Note: This website 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. You do not have to use our links, but you help support CreditDonkey if you do.

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