Synchrony Bank Review 2020

Published January 2020 by Amanda Dixon

AT A GLANCE
4.2
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Bankrate Score

bank-logo

ATM fee refunds

High APYs

No monthly fees

Synchrony Bank is ideal for consumers who are comfortable banking entirely online. You’ll also love this bank if you want a new high-yield savings account or CD. If you need to visit a branch from time to time or you want to bank through a mobile app, you should open an account at a different bank or credit union.

  • Savings
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    5.0
  • CDs
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    5.0
  • MMAs
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    3.8
  • MORE HIGH-YIELD OPTIONS
    MORE HIGH-YIELD OPTIONS
    Capital One

    Member FDIC

    Savings account

    1.50 % APY

    $ 0

    Min. balance for APY

    Goldman Sachs Bank USA

    Member FDIC

    CD

    1.85 % APY

    1 yr

    Term

    $ 500

    Min. deposit

    Simple

    Member FDIC

    Checking account

    1.55 % APY

    $ 0

    To open

    $ 0

    To avoid fees

    Overall

    4.2

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    Bankrate Score

    Synchrony Bank is an internet savings bank that issues credit cards and offers several accounts paying some of the market’s best rates.

    What we like

    • Synchrony consistently offers great rates on deposit products.

    • Customers can visit any ATM in the Accel or Visa Plus networks.

    • Account holders automatically qualify for a loyalty perks program that offers discounts on travel and leisure and other benefits based on account balances and the number of years customers have kept their accounts open.

    What we don't

    • The only physical branch location in Bridgewater, New Jersey has closed.

    • Reimbursements for ATM surcharges are limited to $5 per month, unless you qualify for the highest reward tier in the loyalty perks program.

    Savings accounts

    5.0

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    Bankrate Score

    OTHER SAVINGS OFFERS YOU MAY LIKE
    Capital One

    Member FDIC

    Savings account

    1.50 % APY

    $ 0

    Min. balance for APY

    Synchrony Bank customers can open a high-yield savings account through the institution’s website. There are no monthly maintenance fees or minimum balance requirements. The yield offered by the bank is typically competitive. Savings account holders do not have access to checks, but they can make mobile check deposits. Just note that transfers and ATM withdrawals are limited under federal law to six transactions per monthly statement cycle.

    What we like

    • The High Yield Savings account offers a competitive yield.

    • There’s no minimum balance requirement.

    • An ATM card is available for customers with savings accounts.

    • Up to $5 in non-Synchrony Bank ATM surcharges are reimbursed per statement cycle.

    What we don't

    • There are savings accounts available with higher yields.

    • Other banks that waive all foreign ATM fees.

    • You may be limited on how much you can withdraw from an ATM at a time. Customers of brick-and-mortar banks may have a higher daily withdrawal limit.

    CD rates

    5.0

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    Bankrate Score

    OTHER CD OFFERS YOU MAY LIKE
    Goldman Sachs Bank USA

    Member FDIC

    CD

    1.85 % APY

    1 yr

    Term

    $ 500

    Min. deposit

    Synchrony Bank offers traditional CDs with terms ranging from three to 60 months. Traditional and Roth IRA CDs are also available.

    Early withdrawal penalties vary depending on the length of the term. For terms of 12 months or less, the penalty is 90 days of simple interest. Interest earned through the account, however, can be withdrawn at any time and moved into an internal or external bank account.

    What we like

    • Pays competitive rates.

    • Interest is compounded daily and can be paid out before maturity.

    • Multiple standard terms are offered.

    What we don't

    • No special CDs are available.

    • Long-term CDs have harsher early withdrawal penalties.

    Money market accounts

    3.8

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    Bankrate Score

    Synchrony offers a money market account that has no minimum balance requirement. The yield is higher than what the biggest banks pay but lower than what many online banks offer. It has check-writing privileges and your first check order is free.

    For money market account holders, if you use a non-Synchrony Bank ATM, you can get up to $5 in ATM surcharges reimbursed.

    What we like

    • An ATM card is available for customers with money market accounts.

    • Account has check-writing privileges.

    • Customers with money market accounts are eligible for a free order of checks.

    What we don't

    • There are money market accounts available with higher yields.

    • There are banks that waive all foreign ATM fees.

    • All balance tiers for APY are the same, so there’s no incentive to deposit a large amount of money.

    Bank experience

    You won’t have access to a branch at Synchrony Bank. So if you have an account with the bank and you need assistance, you can contact a representative via the online chat service or make a phone call.

    The bank also won’t charge you a fee to use an ATM; however, the ATM operator may charge you a fee. Should that occur, Synchrony says it will refund you up to $5 per month. If you’re a Diamond Reward Tier customer, you will get unlimited ATM refunds.

    Synchrony Bank’s parent company has a mobile app, but savings account customers cannot use it to log in to their accounts.

    About Synchrony Bank

    Synchrony Bank is a subsidiary of Synchrony Financial, a leading financial services company based in Stamford, Connecticut. Until 2014, Synchrony Bank was known as GE Capital Retail Bank, an extension of General Electric.

    Customers who open accounts through Synchrony gain access to high-yield traditional and IRA CDs. Savings and money market accounts are offered as well. A number of credit cards, including some available at Amazon and Lenscrafters are issued by Synchrony Bank.

    Amanda Dixon Twitter Created with Sketch. @AMANDAADIXON

    Amanda Dixon Twitter Created with Sketch. @AMANDAADIXON

    Amanda Dixon is a senior banking reporter for Bankrate. Prior to joining Bankrate, she served as a writer and editor for SmartAsset, a New York-based fintech startup. Originally from the metro Atlanta area, she's a University of Georgia alum. She enjoys providing an inside look into what banks and credit unions are up to and offering tips and tricks to help consumers save money and build wealth at every stage of their financial lives. Follow her on Twitter: @amandaadixon.