Synchrony Bank Review: High-Yield Savings and CDs

GOBankingRates Score

Synchrony Bank
4.8
SCORE
GOBankingRates Best Banks 2023 scores and rankings are objectively determined by our research/editorial team. Our scoring formula weighs several factors that differ from category to category depending on what consumers want from varying products and banks.
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Quick Take: Synchrony Bank is an online-only bank focusing on savings products. The offering is limited but it's hard to top its no-minimum-balance requirement and high APY offerings. Though there are no checking options, those two features alone make Synchrony a good choice for beginning savers who might not have a large sum to store away. 
  • Savings Accounts
    4.9
  • Money Market Accounts
    4.8
  • CD Accounts
    4.8
  • Banking Experience
    4.7
How did we calculate this?

Pros

  • High rates on savings and CDs
  • No monthly fees
  • No required minimum deposit

Cons

  • Limited product lineup
  • No checking accounts
  • No physical branches

Synchrony Bank Overview

What exists today as Synchrony Bank began in 1932 as General Electric Contracts Corporation to help customers finance appliances. Over the years, the company launched a variety of programs and products, such as store-branded cards for companies like Lowe’s and Chevron.

In 2015, Synchrony Financial completely broke off from GE to become an independent financial institution. It has since been added to the S&P 500.

With everything it has to offer, GOBankingRates has named Synchrony Bank one of the Best Online and Neobank Savings Accounts of 2023

Key Features

Here is a closer look at some of the best features of Synchrony Bank.

Synchrony Bank Savings Account

Synchrony Bank’s Online High Yield Savings Account has no minimums or service fees. Plus, it’s a high-yield account, which pays a APY across all balance tiers, meaning your savings balance will add up more quickly. Additionally, the bank will reimburse account holders up to $5 per statement cycle for out-of-network ATM fees.

Synchrony Bank Money Market Accounts

Synchrony offers one money market account as a potential alternative to a checking account. It’s useful if you want the ability to write checks directly from your savings account. This account has no minimums or fees and features a competitive APY across all balance tiers along with ATM access.

Synchrony Bank CD Accounts

Synchrony Bank’s CDs have no minimum balance requirement and offer a variety of terms from three months to 60 months. All CDs come with a 15-day rate guarantee that ensures you get a rate bump if the APY increases during the first 15 days after opening the account.

Banking Experience

The top selling point for banking with Synchrony is the high-yield rates. However, there are no physical branches. Luckily, there are plenty of ways to access accounts or get in touch with a bank representative. The mobile app and website are available 24 hours a day to provide account information and process transactions. Customer service is available through phone or live chat.

Synchrony Bank is an online-only bank that’s best for customers who want a high annual percentage rate to help beef up emergency funds or further specific savings goals. All transactions take place on its website or mobile app. You should be comfortable with digital banking before opening an account at Synchrony.

Customer Service

Synchrony Bank customer service representatives are available Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. EST and on weekends from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. EST. Customers can contact the bank by telephone, mail or live chat on the bank’s website.

Mobile App

The Synchrony Bank mobile app is highly rated. It has a rating of 4.8 stars on the App Store and a rating of 4.4 stars on Google Play.

Synchrony Bank vs. Competition

Here’s how Synchrony Bank stacks up against certain rivals.

Synchrony Bank vs. Ally Bank

CDs and savings accounts at both banks have above-average interest rates. Synchrony might be a better choice if you’re solely interested in a savings product separate from your regular checking account, which could limit the temptation to transfer funds. Consider Ally if you want to do all your banking in one place and take advantage of its greater variety of products.

Synchrony Bank vs. Citi®

Citi offers a wider range of CDs, including a Step Up CD and a No Penalty CD. However, Synchrony’s CD APYs are higher, which gives it the edge.  

Synchrony Bank vs. Chase Bank

Chase offers a dizzying array of CDs, with terms ranging from one month to 10 years. Customers who want a short- or long-term CD should check out Chase. But Synchrony Bank’s CDs come with a higher APY, which can lead to greater returns over Chase’s highest rate. 

Final Take

Synchrony Bank is a decent option for customers who don’t mind keeping their savings accounts separate from their checking accounts. The bank has fewer account options, but the accounts it does offer come with interest rates above the national average without any service fees. If you’re saving for a specific event or big purchase, consider opening an account with Synchrony Bank and start making progress toward your savings goals

Synchrony Bank FAQ

Here are answers to some of Synchrony Bank’s more commonly asked questions.
  • Is Synchrony Bank a reputable bank?
    • What exists today as Synchrony Bank began in 1932 as General Electric Contracts Corporation to help customers finance appliances. Synchrony Bank broke off from GE in 2015 to become its own financial institution and is listed on the S&P 500. GOBankingRates has ranked Synchrony Bank as one of the Best Online and Neobank Savings Accounts for 2023.
  • Is there a class action lawsuit against Synchrony Bank?
    • Walmart filed an $800 million lawsuit again Synchrony in 2018 but dismissed the lawsuit in 2019.
  • Is Synchrony Bank owned by Walmart?
    • Walmart does not own Synchrony Bank as it is owned by Synchrony Financial. However, Walmart did partner with Synchrony starting in 1999 but filed a lawsuit again them in 2018 which was dismissed in 2019. The partnership officially parted ways in 2022.
  • What kind of bank is Synchrony Bank?
    • Synchrony Bank is an online-only bank so there are no physical branches for in-person banking.

Caitlyn Moorhead contributed to the reporting for this article.

Editorial Note: This content is not provided by any entity covered in this article. Any opinions, analyses, reviews, ratings or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author alone and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any entity named in this article.

Rates are subject to change; unless otherwise noted, rates are updated periodically. All other information on accounts is accurate as of Dec. 7, 2022. 

To determine rankings for the Best Online Bank and Neobank Savings Accounts, GOBankingRates looked at the following factors from all online banks and neobanks: (1) total assets as sourced from the FDIC; (2) minimum deposit to open an account; (3) monthly savings fee ratio (percentage based on the minimum to avoid the fee compared to the monthly fee itself); (4) minimum balance needed in account to earn APY; (5) savings APY; and (6) the average mobile app rating between the Android and Apple app stores. All factors were then scored and combined, with the lowest score being best. Factor (1) was weighted 0.5 times, factor (4) was weighed 1.5 times and factor (5) was weighted 3 times.  

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About the Author

Cynthia Paez Bowman is a personal finance writer with degrees from American University in international business and journalism. Besides writing about personal finance, she writes about real estate, interior design and architecture. Her work has been featured in MSN, Brex, Freshome, MyMove, Emirates’ Open Skies magazine and more.
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