Synchrony Bank Review: Competitive Rates With No Minimums

GOBankingRates Score

4.7
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. Those two features alone make Synchrony a good choice for beginning savers who might not have a large sum to store away. The following Synchrony Bank review will go over the top categories that matter to you.
  • APYs
    4.9
  • Benefits
    4.8
  • Products
    4.5
  • Customer Service
    4.6
How did we calculate this?

Pros

  • Higher than average annual percentage yield for all accounts
  • No monthly service fees
  • No minimum deposit requirement for the savings account

Cons

  • Limited product lineup
  • No physical branches for in-person banking

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.

In its annual rankings, GOBankingRates has named Synchrony Bank one of the Best Online Banks and Top 100 Banks of 2022. The bank also ranked for one of the Best CD Accounts and Money Market Accounts of 2022.

Key Features

The following four categories are the reason Synchrony Bank received a 4.7 out of 5 stars from GOBankingRates.

APYs

Synchrony Bank offers competitive rates on all of its deposit accounts, which can help you build your savings balances more quickly than if you bank at a competing financial institution with lower rates. Its Online High Yield Savings account pays % APY on all balance tiers, and its Money Market account pays 0% APY. You can also find solid rates on the bank’s CDs, up to % APY.

Benefits

It’s always an advantage when you can find a financial institution that doesn’t charge any service fees. And because Synchrony is an online bank, it doesn’t have the overhead brick-and-mortar banks do. None of Synchrony Bank’s deposit accounts — savings, money market or CDs — charge monthly service fees, which means that the interest your accounts earn will stay in your accounts.

Plus, there are no minimum opening deposits required, including for CDs. Not having a threshold to meet when it comes to opening deposits can make it easier to open more than one account at a time and start making progress toward your savings goals

Products

Synchrony Bank only offers savings products, so you’ll need to look elsewhere for a traditional checking account. Here are the details. 

Online High Yield 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, which means 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.

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 of 0% across all balance tiers and ATM access. GOBankingRates has ranked it as one of the Best Money Market Accounts of 2022.

CD Rates

Synchrony Bank’s CDs have no minimum balance requirement and offer a variety of terms from three months to 60 months. Rates are as high as % APY for the 60-month term. 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.

Customer Service

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

How Synchrony Bank Stands Out

The top selling point for banking with Synchrony are 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 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. Citibank

Citibank offers a wider range of CDs, including a Step Up CD and No Penalty CD. However, Synchrony’s CD APYs are as high as %, which give 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. 

How To Apply

You can open an account online with Synchrony by clicking “Open Account” on the bank’s home page. Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Provide personal information, including your full name, address, Social Security number and birth date.
  2. Choose a Synchrony Bank product.
  3. Review the terms for the account.
  4. Set up online access.
  5. Fund the account.

Who Synchrony Bank Is Best For

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. 

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 doesn’t offer a whole lot of choices, but the accounts it does offer come with interest rates above the national average. If you’re saving for a specific event or big purchase, consider opening an account with Synchrony Bank.

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.
  • What is the problem with Synchrony Bank?
    • Synchrony Bank is online only with no physical branches. In addition, its account offerings are limited to savings, money markets and CDs.
  • Is there a class action lawsuit against Synchrony Bank?
    • A lawsuit was recently settled for $8.5 million due to Synchrony Bank's failure to update credit reporting when it sold off customer card accounts.
  • What bank owns Synchrony?
    • In 2015, Synchrony Financial completely broke off from GE to become an independent financial institution offering retail credit cards and savings accounts.

Jared Nigro contributed to the reporting for this article.

Rates are subject to change; unless otherwise noted, rates are updated periodically. All other information on accounts is accurate as of Aug. 1, 2022.

Editorial Note: This content is not provided by Synchrony Bank. 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 Synchrony Bank.

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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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