Synchrony Financial is a financial services company based out of Stamford, Connecticut. Synchrony Bank is its consumer banking wing and offers high-yield online accounts and credit cards.
Synchrony’s start in the banking world goes back to the Great Depression when it was founded as GE Capital Bank.
This first iteration of the bank offered lines of credit for customers hoping to finance GE appliance purchases. Synchrony sticks to these roots today with dozens of credit cards for popular retailers.
This Synchrony Bank review will help you learn everything there is to know about this bank.
Synchrony Bank Products
Synchrony Bank offers a lean selection of banking products, so you won’t have to spend much time deciding. Unfortunately, it doesn’t offer a checking account, so you’ll have to look elsewhere for your everyday spending account.
That said, the products it offers are well worth your attention, so let’s take a look.
High Yield Savings Account
- No Minimum Deposit
- No Minimum Balance
- No Monthly Fees
Since Synchrony does not offer a checking account, you must request an ATM card to go along with your savings account.
You can use the card to withdraw cash or make purchases, but keep in mind that it is not a traditional debit card.
You’ll need to enter a PIN for point-of-sale transactions, and there may be fees charged by the ATM owner if you withdraw cash.
Money Market Account
- No Minimum Balance
- No Monthly Fees
- Option to Add an ATM card
If you want a high-yield account with a little more flexibility, Synchrony’s Money Market account might be right up your alley. It comes with a 2.25% APY.
The main benefit of the Money Market over High Yield Savings is the ability to write checks. Otherwise, you can consider it a compatible account with a lower APY.
For retirement savings, Synchrony also offers an IRA Money Market account.
Certificates of Deposit (CDs)
- No Minimum Opening Deposit
- FDIC Insured
For long-term savings, Synchrony offers its most competitive rates with its CDs. Term lengths range from three months to five years.
Here’s the breakdown of Synchrony’s CD rates for each term length:
|3 Month CD
|6 Month CD
|9 Month CD
|11 Month No-Penalty CD
|1 Year CD
|13 Month CD
|14 Month CD
|15 Month CD
|16 Month CD
|18 Month CD
|19 Month CD
|2 Year CD
|3 Year CD
|4 Year CD
|5 Year CD
Unlike many of its competitors’ CDs, Synchrony doesn’t require a minimum opening deposit.
However, you’ll have ten days after opening to add new funds, and if you pull money out early, you’ll get hit with an early withdrawal penalty.
If you’re interested in saving for retirement, Synchrony also offers a Traditional or Roth IRA CD.
Synchrony might be best known for its retail credit card partnerships, with over 200 retailers in its network.
If you apply for a charge card at a popular retailer such as Abt, Citgo, Sleepy’s, or The Container Store, Synchrony probably backs the card.
In my Synchrony Bank review, I’ve also discovered that Synchrony Bank customers have three direct Mastercard credit cards to choose from:
- Synchrony Premier World Mastercard: With Synchrony Premier World Mastercard, you get 2% cash back on every purchase. There’s no annual fee, and the card comes with contactless chip technology for quick transactions. The card also comes with credits and discounts for Lyft, Hello Fresh, DoorDash, and Instacart, plus cell phone and ID theft protection.
- Synchrony Plus World Mastercard: This card has no annual fee and earns 1% back on every purchase, making it great for everyday rewards. It also includes the same perks as the Premier Mastercard.
- Synchrony Preferred Mastercard: Preferred is a basic credit card without rewards for people looking to build credit. There’s no annual fee, and you’ll likely have more flexibility to qualify for it with a lower credit score.
Synchrony Bank Features
To give you an idea of what sets Synchrony apart from the pack, let’s run through all of the features that come with an account.
Synchrony is an online-only bank, so account holders don’t have access to in-person support or physical branches. Instead, all your account maintenance is done digitally, from making deposits and transfers to applying for a credit card.
Synchrony’s mobile app is one of the best-reviewed banking apps, period.
It has a 4.8-star rating (out of 5) in the App Store and a 4.5-star rating in the Google Play Store and provides full access to your Synchrony accounts, wherever you are.
With the Synchrony Bank app, you can safely transfer money, contact customer service, make mobile check deposits, and monitor your available balance. Synchrony also offers a separate, highly-rated app for its retail credit cards called MySynchrony.
410,000+ Free ATMs
Synchrony is part of the Accel and Plus ATM networks, bringing its total fee-free ATM options to just under half a million in the US. This makes it one of the most extensive networks of any online bank, so finding one shouldn’t be a problem.
If you need to use an out-of-network ATM, Synchrony doesn’t charge a fee, and it offers fee reimbursements up to $5 per statement cycle.
Synchrony fits the mold of most online banks with an almost non-existent fee schedule. This is partly because banking fees often pop up in checking accounts rather than savings accounts.
That said, there are still plenty of charges that Synchrony cuts out, like ATM and monthly maintenance fees.
Here are the only charges that you’ll have to be aware of with a Synchrony account:
- Outgoing Wire Transfer Fee: $25
- Stop Payment Fee: $25
- Overnight Check Fee: $25
When you’re ready to open a Synchrony account, you have three options:
- Open an account online
- Contact the bank
- Complete a paper application and mail it in
The easiest and quickest option is to fill out an online application, which takes just a few minutes. To apply, you only need your contact information, date of birth, and Social Security number.
Synchrony does not pull your credit report, so you don’t need to worry about a new account affecting your credit score — unless you’re applying for a credit card.
Once you’re approved, it’s time to fund your new account and access online banking.
Unfortunately, there are currently no active Synchrony Bank promotions. Check out these bonus offers instead:
|Citi® Enhanced Direct Deposit
|July 8, 2024
|KeyBank Personal Checking Account
|March 8, 2024
|TD Bank Beyond Checking
|February 29, 2024
Synchrony is a safe and secure online bank with protections to cover you and your money.
All of its accounts are FDIC-insured, and you can rest assured that any transactions are monitored 24/7 for suspected fraud or identity theft.
If you think your account or identity has been compromised, Synchrony also offers complimentary resolution services through its partnership with CyberScout. Contact customer support as early as possible if you suspect something’s up.
If you need to contact customer support, Synchrony’s online help center has specific channels for savings and retirement accounts, Synchrony Mastercards, and retail credit cards.
You can choose to chat online, send a letter, or call. The phone number is 1-866-226-5638, and representatives are available from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Eastern Time on weekdays and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekends. There’s also a 24/7 automated service option for basic account needs.
Synchrony has earned an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau (BBB), though it’s important to note that it hasn’t fared as well with consumer reviews.
On BBB’s customer review side, it has a rating of just 1.05 stars (out of 5). The average customer review rating on Trustpilot is 1.1 stars and Sitejabber. Ouch! After sifting through several customer reviews, it seems that most complaints are geared toward credit cards available through Synchrony and not the savings products.
Here are what some of Synchrony’s customers are having to say:
I have been banking with Synchrony Bank for for eight years, I have a savings account and CD's after CD's.I can get them on the phone and they send me statements every month. Transferring money to and from has not been a problem. For a while I had trouble logging in, it's fixed now and I can access the site easily. I stick with Synchrony because I am afraid I will have trouble with unfamiliar online banks. Like all these awful reviews i have read here.
Carla Perkins Trustpilot
I just read a complaint dated 10/23/2023 (that has since been resolved) whereby the complainant was being charged late charges because he was actually making payments on his account early. The same thing has been happening to me with Synchrony Bank. I pay nearly all of my bills on the first of the month, but because the Synchrony billing cycle runs from the 4th of the month thru the 27th of the month I was charged a late fee on three different occasions. After multiple phone calls and chats, I believe I have managed to get all of the fees refunded. However, I find it absurd that a company can have a narrow window for receipt of payment and then charge a late fee if one's payment is actually received before that cycle. How do they get away with this?
Patricia Q. Better Business Bureau
Pros & Cons
- No fees
- High APY in HYSA
- Lots of CD term options
- Massive ATM network
- No checking accounts
- No physical branches
- No sign-up bonuses
- Limited credit card options
Alternatives to Synchrony Bank
Synchrony has a lot to offer, but the biggest mark against it is that without a checking option, it’s tough to count on it as your only banking partner.
If you want to check out some online options that come with checking as well, here are some of the best places to start looking:
If you want a simple banking platform with few fees and high earning potential, you’ll have difficulty finding a better option than Chime.
The neobank leader has a sleek mobile-based platform and offers checking and savings accounts. There are no hidden fees, automated high-yield savings, and a network of more than 60,000 fee-free ATMs.
Ally is the biggest name in digital banking, and it has everything you could expect from a traditional brick-and-mortar establishment — minus the fees.
Ally has deposit accounts, an investment platform, and home, auto, and personal loans. It consistently has some of the highest savings rates in the industry, and you’ll never pay an ATM fee.
Varo Bank is one of the most recent neobanks to secure an official bank charter, so it no longer needs to partner with an external shop for FDIC protection.
Varo offers high-yield, low-fee accounts, plus up to 6% cash back through Varo Perks. Varo is part of the Allpoint® ATM network, and users can also enjoy early direct deposit and a Zero Liability Visa debit card.
CIT Bank is another big name in online banking and offers many accounts. CIT has three savings accounts, an eChecking account, and four CD options.
CIT also stays at par for the course with few fees and high savings rates. Its website contains useful financial education resources, and the bank also offers home loans.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Synchrony Bank a good bank?
Synchrony has several things going for it that indicate that it’s a good bank. It won’t nickel and dime you with fees, and its savings rates are among the best in the online banking industry.
Synchrony is also a safe banking option that covers its customers with FDIC insurance and plenty of security measures.
Who is Synchrony Bank owned by?
Synchrony Bank is owned by Synchrony Financial, a publicly traded financial institution based out of Connecticut.
Is there a class action lawsuit against Synchrony Bank?
There was, but it’s since been settled. Synchrony paid out nearly $3 million in a class-action suit that claimed it violated the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA). However, it’s important to mention that Synchrony did not admit to any wrongdoing despite the settlement.
What does your credit score need to be for Synchrony Bank?
Synchrony doesn’t pull your credit to open a bank account, but if you’re applying for a Synchrony credit card, you want to be (at the very least) between a score of 600 and 700 to give yourself a good chance at approval.
Who is Synchrony Bank Best For?
If you want a high-yield savings account with no fees, Synchrony is a great option as I’ve discovered in this Synchrony Bank review. They offer many benefits including high APYs and a user-friendly platform that makes banking from your phone simple.
However, the bottom line is that Synchrony isn’t an all-in-one banking solution. It doesn’t offer checking accounts, so at the very least, you’ll need to use another bank for everyday transactions.
It also doesn’t offer any enticing sign-up bonuses, and its rewards credit cards feel behind the curve.
Overall, I’ll recommend Synchrony on the basis of its savings interest rates and lack of fees. The key to personal finance is keeping money in your pocket, and these features help you do just that.