We’ve reviewed countless banks. Our review of Synchrony Bank led to one inescapable conclusion–Synchrony bank offers some of the highest interest rates on savings products. Coupled with low fees, it’s an excellent choice for savers.
The main reason why people use Synchrony Bank is its ability to deliver higher-than-average interest rates. Of course, the nice payback offered by this bank comes with the compromise of settling for what could be considered bare-bones customer service. The company is part of a new movement in online banking that goes light on customer service to offer high yields and nonexistent fees. Here are some of the strong points of Synchrony Bank:
- FDIC insurance and identify monitoring
- Customers can bank from anywhere on a smartphone of tablet
- Rates that are consistently above the national average
- Perks for loyalty
Synchrony Bank is strong when it comes to high interest rates on savings accounts, long-term CD options and everyday banking rewards. It is not the best option for anyone looking for a straightforward checking account. In addition, you simply aren’t going to get in-person customer support like you would with a traditional bank. That doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy some great benefits and returns when you open and maintain an account with Synchrony Bank. Your funds can be managed online, by phone or using your ATM card.
Synchrony High Yield Savings and CD’s
After a recent interest rate bump, Synchrony now offers a fantastic 1.75% APY on savings accounts. This interest rate is one of the best available online and the rate is received for ALL balances. To keep your account in good standing Synchrony asks that you maintain a balance of at least $50.
Synchrony Bank Perks is a rewards program that offers various tiers that customers can unlock. The rewards offered include discounts on hotel stays, park admissions and car rentals. There are even things like spa deals and restaurant coupons in the mix. Members at certain tiers get access to a dedicated customer service number, three free wire transfers per statement cycle and unlimited ATM reimbursements. The exact reward tier that you’ll reach is based on a combination of your account balance and how long you’ve been a customer with Synchrony Bank.
A 15-month CD offers 1.65% APY. You can choose a CD term between three months and 60 months when you start your account. Opening an account requires a minimum deposit amount of $2,000. Here’s a look at the current APY for the different terms currently available:
Synchrony Bank Money Market and IRA Accounts
This type of account doesn’t come with any monthly service fees or monthly minimum balance requirements. Synchrony Bank Money Market accounts offer up to 1.05% APY. You can withdraw money from this type of account online, by phone, via check or using an ATM.
It’s possible to open and set up a traditional or Roth IRA with Synchrony Bank for a minimum deposit $250. You’ll need a minimum of $2,000 if you’d prefer to open an IRA CD. A 14-month IRA CD offers the same 2.35% APY you can find on the standard high yield CD. The Synchrony IRA probably isn’t the best option if what you’re looking for is investment opportunities that center on stocks and bonds.
Synchrony Bank has a nifty calculator on their IRA Money Market page which allows you to figure out just how far a 1.05% APY can take you. Whether over six months or 60 months, you’ll see just how much interest can be made.
Pros and Cons of Synchrony Bank
It only takes a few minutes to open an account with Synchrony Bank online. It will be necessary to have your Social Security number, driver’s license and other basic pieces of personal information ready when you sit down to sign up. Most customers throughout the country won’t have an option for signing up for an account in person.
- Can Synchrony Be Used With Accounts From Other Banks?
You won’t need to close the accounts you have with other banks when you switch to Synchrony. In fact, it’s probably better if you don’t. You can actually link your new Synchrony account with outside accounts to create an easier method for transferring money.
- How Liquid is Your Money with Synchrony?
Using your ATM card with Synchrony Bank will work exactly the same as using the ATM card from a traditional bank that’s located down the street from you. Synchrony Bank does not charge a fee to use an ATM. However, you could bump into fees that are charged by ATM operators. Synchrony Bank offsets these costs by providing a $5 refund every cycle.
- Can You Write Checks Using Synchrony Bank?
Synchrony is not a full-service bank. It should be thought of strictly as a savings bank. This means that the account you open will not be capable of functioning like a checking account. The only way to write a traditional check is to transfer money out of your Synchrony account to an account that has check-writing privileges. The exception is when it comes to Synchrony Bank Money Market checks. They also provide free checks with limited capabilities.
Why Synchrony Is a Must Have Savings Account
There are many scenarios where Synchrony Bank could serve as a great financial tool. A Synchrony account isn’t necessarily intended to be your primary or only bank account. It makes a good supplement to a traditional bank account or checking account.
The healthy CD rates offered by Synchrony Bank make it a good option if you’re looking for a way to break up a lump sum. Synchrony’s terms make it easy to stagger maturity dates between long-term and short-term CDs. In addition, Synchrony offers a great platform for stashing away and building up an emergency fund in a separate place from your main savings account.
Synchrony Bank is a solid option if your goal is to get some of the highest interest rates available in the banking world without going with the traditional investing route. Synchrony Bank does fall short when it comes to in-person customer service and consulting. You’re definitely choosing a do-it-yourself type of approach when you sign up for an account and begin moving funds into different categories. However, anyone who is at least a little bit financially literate and tech savvy should be able to get what they want from this platform.
Both the Synchrony Bank high yield savings account and the Synchrony Bank Money Market account have APY rates that rank in the upper most tier for online savings accounts. In addition, both account types are free from fees. Those two details could be enough to make this a solid option for putting away your money.
- More information the products available at Synchrony Bank
Updated June 15, 2018 and originally published October 24, 2017.