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Synchrony Bank Review | NextAdvisor with TIME

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Voucher for multiple savings options

Synchrony Bank Review

Sync Bank

Editor’s note: (3.9/5)

Voucher for multiple savings options

Synchrony Bank Review

Editor’s note: (3.9/5)

Best offer

3.25% APY

DC Account

$0

Min. to pay

Insight:

Synchrony is a great bank if you’re looking for simple savings options. It pays consistently competitive interest rates on a variety of account types that require no minimum balance. Plus, Synchrony’s unique loyalty program offers a few extra perks.

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Advantages

  • CD and money market accounts also have tax-efficient IRA options for retirement
  • Optional debit card available for MMA Accounts and High Yield Savings Accounts
  • Reimburses up to $5 per statement cycle for ATM fees
  • Rewards program for account holders

The inconvenients

  • No current account available
  • No branches for in-person banking
  • No loan offer or investment account
  • Few credit card options (mostly co-branded retail cards)

Additional details

  • Access your account with the Synchrony mobile app or online
  • Debit card access to make point-of-sale purchases and ATM withdrawals from your High Yield Savings Account or MMA (up to daily limits)
  • Rewards program with benefits determined by account balance or length of account history
  • Combine multiple accounts on one debit card
  • Synchrony will reimburse up to $5 per statement cycle for domestic ATM fees
  • Unlimited domestic ATM fee refunds with Synchrony Diamond Status
  • Synchrony deposit accounts are FDIC insured

Editorial independence

We analyze and review banks without the influence of partnerships or advertising relationships. For more information on our scoring methodology, click here.

Complete Synchrony Bank Review

Account options are an important part of how we analyze the banks we review. Synchrony’s range of CDs, high-yield savings accounts and money market accounts – including the different terms and account types between them – is an advantage of banking with Synchrony.

Unlike some other banks, Synchrony does not offer a checking account option. Although this may be a drawback for those looking for a one-stop online bank, Synchrony says it’s only “focused on offering accounts that help you save.”

Savings accounts

Synchrony’s High Yield Savings Account does not require a minimum deposit or minimum ongoing balance, and there are no monthly fees. Synchrony also offers some of the best interest rates among savings accounts today.

A unique feature is the ability to get a debit card linked to your Synchrony savings account and withdraw up to $1,000 per day at ATMs or $500 on point-of-sale transactions. When you use an ATM, you will be reimbursed domestic ATM fees of up to $5 per statement cycle. If you’re part of Synchrony’s rewards program, you can get unlimited domestic ATM fee refunds when you reach Diamond status (requires a $250,000 balance or have a Synchrony account for five years).

You can also send outgoing transfers or wire transfers ($25 fee for sending transfers, unless you have Diamond status) through your online account or mobile app. Synchrony limits you to six transfers or withdrawals per statement cycle. Point-of-sale transactions with a debit card count towards this limit, but ATM transactions do not.

Certificates of deposit

Synchrony offers No Penalty, IRA, and Traditional CDs. The duration depends on the type of CD, but the options vary between three months and five years. None of Synchrony’s CD options require a minimum balance.

If you wish to add more money to your CD outside of your initial deposit, you will have 10 days from opening the CD to make another deposit. And like most CDs, you’ll pay a penalty on your principal balance if you withdraw money before your CD matures, unless you choose a penalty-free CD. But you can withdraw the interest at any time without penalty.

If you’re considering opening a CD, be sure to take the time to determine which type best suits your goals. For example, a premium CD could be a good option for increasing rates, since you will have the option of requesting a rate increase once during the term of the CD. But penalty-free CDs can also give you the flexibility to withdraw your money before the end of the term and put it elsewhere when rates rise. And an IRA CD offers tax benefits if you’re looking to add a very secure account to your retirement investment portfolio.

Money market accounts

Synchrony offers a traditional money market account, as well as an IRA money market account with tax-advantaged savings for retirement (like the bank’s CD IRA offering). There is no minimum balance requirement and no monthly fees.

Like the High Yield Savings Account, you can access your MMA through a debit card or request a checkbook. Debit card access through an ATM or point-of-sale transaction is subject to the same restrictions as Synchrony High Yield Savings Accounts. Remember that if you are using the account as an emergency fund or for another dedicated purpose, be careful when withdrawing money for other purposes.

In addition to ATM withdrawals, you can make withdrawals or transfers at any time (up to six per statement cycle) by wire transfer, check or wire transfer. If you choose an MMA IRA, there are other IRA withdrawal restrictions that may limit your access.

Others products

Synchrony Bank primarily offers online accounts for savings, but it issues a few co-branded retail credit cards. Some cards from different brand categories include the CareCredit healthcare credit card, the TJX Rewards credit card, and the Lowe’s Advantage credit card. The bank also offers a 2% flat rate cash back credit card, the Synchrony Premier Mastercard®.

Client experience

Synchrony has one of NextAdvisor’s highest customer service ratings because it offers so many ways to get help if needed. You can log in to your Synchrony account to send a secure email or use online chat for assistance, speak to a representative via Twitter dedicated to bank customers, or call the customer support line.

Synchrony Bank also has a mobile app – you can use the MySynchrony app to do online banking and make payments. The app has an average rating of 4.5 and 4.7 stars on Google Play and Apple App Store, respectively.

Accessibility

Synchrony earns a solid score in our accessibility category for its efforts to improve the online banking experience for all customers. You can submit accessibility requests using Synchrony’s online form or call to help improve Synchrony’s online accessibility.

We’ve reached out to Synchrony to learn more about its steps to improve accessibility and inclusiveness, and will update this advisory if we receive a response.

Is Synchrony Bank for you?

Synchrony Bank is best for people looking for online banking with competitive rates on a range of savings options. We like that this bank has flexible means of communication and account options that can help make banking more convenient.

Synchrony’s loyalty rewards program – unique among the banks we reviewed – can also be a small way to earn extra perks and perks, like waived fees.

You will have the ability to transfer money between accounts and manage all transactions using the bank’s mobile app. Additionally, you can use the optional debit card (an option for savings and money market accounts) at ATMs and retail stores. Synchrony also reimburses domestic ATM fees up to $5 per month.

However, it’s important to keep your savings goal in mind given Synchrony’s withdrawal flexibility. If you’re using your savings or money market account for an emergency fund or saving for something specific, you’ll want to avoid making regular withdrawals from your balance except in an emergency.
In contrast, Synchrony does not offer checking accounts and does not offer any loan or investment products for those looking for a one-stop banking option. Another thing to keep in mind if you prefer in-person banking is that Synchrony is an online-only bank with no branches.

Synchrony Bank FAQ

Is Synchrony Bank FDIC insured?

Yes, Synchrony is an FDIC insured bank.

How many withdrawal transactions can I make with Synchrony each month?

Currently, you can make up to six withdrawals from your MMA or High Yield Savings Account each month.

Is there a fee to transfer between Synchrony High Yield Savings Account and MMA?

No, you will not be charged for transferring money between a savings account and a money market account.