Synchrony Car Care Credit Card Review: a Must-Have Card for Car Owners
Synchrony is a financial services company that focuses on consumer financing, particularly in the form of store credit cards. The Synchrony Car Care credit card is a credit card that’s designed to help you pay for anything related to your car, including repairs, parts, and gas.
- Card Type: Credit card (not major network like Visa/Mastercard)
- Annual Fee: None
- Maximum Late Fee: $39
- Maximum Overlimit: N/A
- Sign-Up Bonus: None
- Rewards: None
- Redemption: N/A
- Foreign Transaction Fees: N/A
- Balance Transfer Fee: N/A
- Cash Advance APR: N/A
- Cash Advance Fee: N/A
- Smart Chip: Y
Why We Like the Synchrony Car Care Credit Card
The Synchrony Car Care credit card has a few benefits that make it worth considering.
- No annual fee – Many credit cards will charge an annual fee but you can use this card without paying for the privilege.
- Use at almost any gas station – You can use the card at more than 200,000 gas stations across the United States.
- Promotional financing – Get six months of 0% APR financing for purchases over $199.
- Build credit – The card is a real credit card that you can use to build your credit but does not require the excellent credit that many premium credit cards require.
- Discounts and rebates – Synchrony occasionally offers discounts and rebates on car-related purchases.
What Could Be Improved With the Synchrony Car Care Credit Card
The Synchrony Car Care credit card has some drawbacks to keep in mind.
- No rewards – There are lots of rewards credit cards out there and many offer bonus rewards when you use them at gas stations. This card offers no cash back or other rewards.
- Only for use for gas and auto parts – The card isn’t part of a major network like Visa or Mastercard. Instead, it functions like a store credit card and is designed for use at gas stations and auto parts stores around the country.
- Deferred-interest financing – The 0% APR financing for purchases over $199 is actually a deferred interest deal. If you don’t pay the balance in full before the period ends, Synchrony will charge all the interest that would have accrued from the time you made the purchase.
Features and Benefits
The Synchrony Car Care credit card has a few features to be aware of.
Accepted at more than 700,000 merchants
Unlike a credit card on a major network like Visa or Mastercard, the Synchrony Car Care credit card is not part of a major payment network. Instead, it works more like a store credit card. Still, you can use the card at more than 700,000 merchants across the United States.
On top of the more than 200,000 gas stations that accept the card, you can use the card at retailers that sell car-related items including Toyota, 7-Eleven, and MyTireShop.com.
If you make a purchase larger than $199 using your Synchrony Car Care credit card, you can get a promotional financing deal. Synchrony will charge no interest for six months from the time you make the purchase. If you pay the balance in full before the promotional period ends, you’ll pay no interest.
The danger is that the promotional deal is for deferred-interest financing. If you don’t pay for the full amount of the purchase within six months, Synchrony will add all of the interest it would have charged to your credit card’s balance.
Discounts and rebates
Synchrony gives cardholders access to exclusive discounts and rebates on auto parts. You can use these discounts to save money on car repairs, maintenance, and parts.
Terms and Fees
The Synchrony Car Care credit card is relatively simple when it comes to costs. There is no annual fee for the credit card so you can open an account without having to pay any upfront or ongoing costs.
As a store credit card, you can’t do things like take cash advances from the card, so the primary costs you have to worry about are late payment fees and interest charges. You’ll pay $39 for late payments and $28 for returned payments.
Unfortunately, the card has a very high interest rate, charging 29.99% APR.
Alternatives to the Synchrony Car Care Credit Card
If you want a credit card to use for car-related purchases, consider these alternatives.
Blue Cash Everyday® & Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express
If you want a versatile credit card that offers rewards for gas purchases, the American Express Blue Cash cards are a great choice.
The Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express has no annual fee and offers 3% cash back at U.S. gas stations. The Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express charges a $95 ($0 introductory annual fee in the first year) annual fee but pays 3% cash back at U.S. gas stations and other transit expenses like ridesharing and tolls.
The cards also offer great rewards on other spending. For example, the Everyday card pays 3% cash back at U.S. supermarkets and the Preferred card offers 6% (on up to $6,000 in purchases, 1% after).
Read our full AMEX Blue Cash Everyday Card review.
Wells Fargo Propel
If you want a credit card that offers maximum rewards on gas, the Wells Fargo Propel card offers 3x points for every dollar you spend at a gas station. There’s no annual fee for the card and you’ll also earn 3x points on restaurant purchases.
Citi Double Cash
If you want a simple rewards card to use anywhere, the Citi Double Cash is one of the best options out there. The card has no annual fee and offers 2% cash back on every purchase you make, 1% when you make the purchase, and 1% when you pay for it.
FAQ – What Users Want To Know About the Synchrony Car Care Credit Card
These are some of the most frequently asked questions about the Synchrony Car Care credit card.
Does the Synchrony Car Care credit card let you view your credit score?
Yes, with the Synchrony Car Care credit card you can get a monthly credit score with the VantageScore model, giving you a way to track your progress toward building credit.
Can I have multiple financing promotions active at once?
Yes, if you make multiple, separate purchases of more than $199 you can qualify for promotional financing on each purchase. Each financing period will last six months from the time you made the purchase.
Where can I use the Synchrony Car Care credit card?
The Synchrony Car Care credit card isn’t on a major card network but you can still use it at hundreds of thousands of locations across the United States. You can use it at more than 200,000 gas stations around the country and more than 500,000 auto parts stores in the United States.
Synchrony Car Care Credit Card in a Nutshell
If you want a credit card for car purchases, the Synchrony Car Care credit card might work for you. You can use it at many gas stations and auto parts stores and take advantage of its promotional financing offers. However, with its deferred interest policy for financing promotions and high interest rates, many people will be better off with a card that offers rewards on gas instead.