Overview: Synchrony Bank Review | What You Need to Know About Synchrony

Many people often wonder which is the best bank to open a savings account with. And when it comes to saving your hard-earned money, we know you want the best.

Understandably, you want to know which bank is the safest and which has the highest APY savings (Annual Percentage Yield).

In the midst of all your online research, one bank you may consider is Synchrony. We have created this Synchrony Bank Review to help you make that decision.

We will provide you with all basic information and the pros and cons – everything you need to make an informed decision of whether or not you want a Synchrony bank account of your own.

About Synchrony Bank

synchrony bank review

Image Source: Synchrony

Synchrony bank has one main goal: to help you save your money. If you are looking for a full-service bank that offers checking accounts and loans, a Synchrony bank account may not be for you.

There are four main Synchrony financial services – Savings, Money Markets, Certificates of Deposit (CDs), and IRAs – and this Synchrony Bank review will go into more detail about each of them.

Synchrony only has one branch location, which you can find in Bridgewater, New Jersey. This means Synchrony financial services are primarily provided through mobile banking.

Synchrony used to be called GE Capital Retail Bank. In 2014, the company switched names.

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Is Synchrony Bank Legit?

The most important part of any banking choice is knowing your money is safe. It doesn’t matter how many Synchrony bank reviews sing the praises of their high interest rates if your money is not backed and secured.

Fortunately, Synchrony is an entirely legit business.

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) backs all Synchrony financial services. Synchrony has also won 5-star ratings through Bankrate, which continually gives Synchrony a 5-star rating.

Synchrony Savings

Synchrony regular savings is the option for those who want to access their cash more frequently. This particular Synchrony bank account is good for things like travel or car repairs. This is not the money you are saving for retirement or your child’s future wedding.

Because you will be accessing this Synchrony bank account more frequently than the other saving options (though less frequently than you would a checking account), you may think the interest rates would be non-existent.

However, the highlight of this Synchrony bank review is undoubtedly the regular savings APY. Currently, their high yield savings account is earning 1.05% for any balance. This is one of the highest APY savings around. There is also no monthly service fee.

To compare, Chase’s basic savings accounts require a $25 minimum deposit fee. You must keep $300 in the account or you are charged a monthly $5 fee. Their APY is a measly 0.01%.

Synchrony Money Markets

Most money market accounts require a high minimum balance. The trade-off is higher interest rates than an average saving account. Through a Synchrony bank account, you have no minimum balance requirement for a money market account.

Since these accounts are backed by the FDIC up to $250,000, you do not have to worry about losing your money.

At the time of this Synchrony bank review, all money markets are offering a solid 0.85% rate. To compare, the popular Capital One Money Markets only offer 0.06% until you have over $10,000. Then the APY goes up to 1%. This means for lower sums of money, Synchrony offers the highest APY savings.

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Synchrony CDs

Certificates of deposit are a low-risk investment choice. You place a certain amount of money in the bank for a specified amount of time. As long as you do not pull out that money until the time is up, you will receive an interest payment. Typically, these are low interest rates compared to most other investments, but they are often considerably higher than regular savings interest rates.

synchrony bank account

Image Source: Synchrony Bank Review

Choosing a Synchrony Bank CD will offer you one of the highest APY savings.  To compare costs, let’s look at a balance of $5,000 for 12 months across three bank options.

  • Bank of America: One of the most popular banks in the country will offer a 0.05% APY.
  • First Internet Bank: They offer 1.21% APY on all balances for 12 months.
  • Synchrony: A Synchrony bank CD for 12 months at $5,000 offers a 1.25% APY.

Synchrony wins the highest APY savings by far. This company would be a great option for those who want to save a chunk of money and feel confident they do not need to dip into it for a year or two.

Synchrony IRAs

When it comes to retirement savings, Synchrony financial services has you covered. You can either open an IRA Money Market Account with a minimum balance of $250 or an IRA CD with a minimum balance of $2,000.

At the time of this Synchrony bank review, the IRA money market accounts offer 0.85% across the board. The IRA CDs, however, follow a tiered system. The lowest APY is 0.25% with a 3-month term under $25,000. The highest APY savings is 2.05% for a 60-month term with over $100,000.

Unless you qualify for a credit union, you won’t find APY rates this high for IRAs. Even many credit unions cannot match these rates. Synchrony offers great options for retirement savings.

If you go to the DepositAccounts website, you can check out the handy tool that compares IRA CD rates in your area. You will notice that a few smaller local credit unions may give a slightly higher percentage, but a Synchrony bank account is always at the top.

Synchrony Financial Services: The Pros

  • High Interest Rates: Though you may be able to find slightly higher rates for certain accounts under certain conditions, you will find consistently high interest rates across the board with Synchrony finanical services.
  • Perks: A Synchrony bank account offers many perks on a tierd level. Every account holder gets ATM fee reimbursements, free identity theft resolution, and a free order of money market checks. The longer you stay with Synchrony and the more money you have, the more perks you can get, like travel discounts and free wire transfers, too.
  • ATM Access: Since Synchrony does not offer physical branches, you cannot show up to a location to pull out your money. To help this situation, Synchrony allows you to pull money from your savings accounts through regular third-party ATMs with the Plus, NYCE, or STAR logos.

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Synchrony Financial Services: The Cons

  • Limted Withdrawl Options: You can withdraw money from your Synchrony Bank account by phone, check, or ATM. If you want to pull out money from a branch, you have to live near their one and only branch in New Jersey.
  • No Checking: Though some people may not have an issue with this, others may find it highly inconvenient that Synchrony does not offer a checking account option.
  • Lacking Customer Service: If you were to read Synchrony bank reveiws by current customers online, the #1 complaint you will see has to do with customer service.

What Do Online Synchrony Bank Reviews Say?

Searching through other Synchrony Bank reviews online can offer great insight on the company.

  • Nerdwallet gives a Synchrony bank review of 4 out of 5 stars. The reviewer is pleased with the rates and fees, but feels the customer experience lacks. Synchrony did win “Best Interest Rate with ATM Access” from Nerdwallet for 2016.
  • DepositAccounts gives a Synchrony bank review of A. Their 88 customer reviews only give 3 out of 5 stars. Many reviewers are happy with interest rates, but some are unhappy with phone service.
  • Mybanktracker gives a Synchrony Bank review of B+. However, their 195 customer reviews only give Synchrony 1 out of 5 stars. Customer service is the most common complaint.
  • Wallethub gives a Synchrony Bank review of  3 out of 5 stars. Their overall reviews are good, but, once again, customer service seems to be a common issue.

Taking a look at these online Synchrony bank reviews leads to a solid understanding of the company. Your Synchrony bank account will grow by some of the highest APY savings, but their customer service (or lack thereof) may drive you crazy.

Synchrony Bank Review: Our Wrap-Up

Our conclusion rings true to the other Synchrony Bank reviews you will find online. You will benefit from great rates, you will not be hit with extremely high fees, and you will be quickly on the road to saving your money. You can also get a nice set of perks including travel discounts.

Synchrony financial services saving options will easily keep you on track to save rather than spend, but you will have to deal with a lack of one-on-one service. Unless you live in New Jersey, you will be doing all your banking mobily. Any ATM service you need will need to come from a third party.

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Should You Choose A Synchrony Bank Account?

This Synchrony bank review should show you that a Synchrony Bank account could be a great option for you if:

  • You do not care about visiting an actual branch
  • You are comfortable with mobile banking options
  • You are looking for only savings accounts and/or you are fine having a savings account in one place and a checking account in another
  • You have one simple desire: to save your money while gaining the highest APY savings

The best thing about Synchrony bank may be their simplicity. It is the place you go if you want to save money. No more, no less. If this sounds appealing and would work well with your financial situation, Synchrony bank may be the best bank to open a savings account for you.

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