Synchrony Bank is an online only bank established in 1988. Synchrony isn’t the biggest bank on the market — it has just over $92 million in assets — but it’s still of significant size and is an ideal option for someone who does not want to use in-person banking.
Synchrony Bank deals exclusively in high-yield savings, money markets and CDs. Customers can access their cash online or through an ATM, but there is no checking account component. While offerings may be limited, these accounts all pay outstanding interest rates. At the end of the day, Synchrony may not be able to replace all of your banking needs, but it could help you seriously grow your savings.
Synchrony Bank at a glance
|Bank||Min Savings Deposit||Max Savings APY||1-Year CD Rate||J.D. Power Survey Score||Key Benefit|
|Synchrony Bank||$0||.75%||.75%||N/A||Accounts pay high interest rates|
What we like about it
Synchrony Bank rewards its customers with some of the highest interest yields available on the market. Plus, unlike many interest-bearing accounts, Synchrony does not offer more or less interest based on the deposit balance, which means you get all the benefits of having a more substantial account with less on deposit. While Synchrony does not offer a checking account, it does give account holders liberal access to their money via online transfers and ATMs. For those who want the option of credit cards, Synchrony offers more than 120 co-branded choices.
Things to consider
Synchrony Bank brings attractive offers to the plate, but it does have some less appealing aspects that are worth considering. Most notably, this bank does not have any physical locations. If you are someone who wants to manage their transactions in person or wants some of the conventional products in physical banks (e.g., a safety deposit box), you’re out of luck. There are no tellers and no banks, so customer service can be sparse compared to some other providers. Also, Synchrony doesn’t offer a checking account.
Synchrony checking accounts
The banking options at Synchrony Bank are sparse. It does not even offer a checking account. If you are someone who needs traditional checking, look at Capital One 360, USAA and Ally Interest. Each has solid advantages and offers free checking.
Synchrony savings accounts
There is only one type of savings account on offer at Synchrony — a high yield savings (HYS) account. However, it is a very robust option. This account pays a high-interest yield and gives account holders access to their cash whenever they want it. There is no minimum balance or monthly fee. From digital banking to ATM withdrawals, cash management with this account is convenient. Customers can make up to six withdrawals per statement cycle. Making deposits to the Synchrony Bank HYS account is just as easy, with the option for direct deposits, electronic transfers or mobile check deposits.
Synchrony money market accounts
The interest yield on the Synchrony money market account is less than the high yield savings, but it comes with all the same benefits of a high-interest savings account with one extra perk. The money market account lets customers write checks on their accounts. However, the number of checks they can write in a given period is not unlimited the way it is with a traditional checking account; there’s a strict monthly limit that you won’t be able to surpass.
Certificates of deposit (CDs) are designed to help customers save money for an extended amount of time and earn extra interest as a result. Because of this, the interest rate tends to be somewhat higher than what you would get with a regular savings account. Synchrony Bank is no exception. All you have to do is agree not to touch your money for a set period. In the case of Synchrony CDs, terms range from 3 months to 5 years. You get the highest interest rates for longer-term CDs. However, keep in mind that you do need to have a minimum deposit to open the CD. For Synchrony, you’ll need $2,000 to get started.
Synchrony IRA accounts
When it comes to individual retirement accounts, Synchrony supports both traditional IRA and Roth IRA account types. However, it has two options for how that money is invested. You can choose an IRA money market account, which gives you all the benefits of a money market account combined with the advantages of an IRA. You could also choose an IRA CD, which provides you with the opportunity to earn a predictable APY on your investments.
Synchrony credit cards
Synchrony is the bank behind many retail credit cards, including ones from Amazon, American Eagle, Gap, Lowes, Sam’s Club and TJ Maxx. In many cases, these cards reward your brand loyalty with exclusive perks for shopping at that store. While the interest rates on these accounts tend to be much higher than some other credit card options, many people find that it pays to have multiple store cards and enjoy the loyalty incentives each one offers, even if it is only to categorize their spending better. Do your research and see which retail credit card could provide you with the most benefits.
Synchrony does not offer investment services beyond its HYS, MMAs, CDs and IRAs. If you want an online brokerage, Charles Schwab or E*Trade are worth a closer look, as they all offer free or low-fee investment options that can help you boost your finances over time.
The bottom line
Synchrony Bank is one of the best options out there for people who want to earn a high-interest yield on their savings. Whether you prefer a savings account, money market account or CD, Synchrony has one of each on offer, and they all come with an outstanding interest rate. However, Synchrony Bank is very different from many of the banks you’ve come to know. It doesn’t have physical locations; everything is done online. The bank doesn’t even have a checking account option. These distinctions may be significant departures, but the outstanding interest rates could make it worth a closer look.