Introduction: Synchrony Bank Review

AdvisoryHQ recently ranked Synchrony Bank as one of this year’s best banks to bank with.

But there is always that persistent question that gets asked a lot, which is:

“Is Synchrony Bank safe to use?”

To truly understand and review Synchrony Bank, and to determine whether it is a safe bank to bank with, we’ll need to start our review from 2013.

Synchrony Bank Review

Image source: Synchrony Bank

Short History of Synchrony Bank (Review of Synchrony)

On January 14 of 2013, insurance gain Metlife Inc. sold Metlife Bank, its banking unit to General Electric for an undisclosed amount.

Metlife had been particularly hit hard during the financial crisis and needed to exit the banking industry.

GE Capital Retail Bank (formerly MetLife Bank) 

After acquiring Metlife Bank, GE merged it with GE Capital Retail Bank, one of its banking entities. But the Metlife Bank acquisition ended up being short lived.

In March of 2014, about a year after the acquisition, GE Corporation took a step to reduce the size of its North American retail finance unit, by announcing that it would spin off its consumer finance business (now renamed Synchrony Financial) into a separate company.

On June 2, 2014, GE made the decision to carve out GE Capital Retail Bank (which had been merged with the acquired Metlife Bank) and divest them as part of Synchrony Financial.

Synchrony Financial – IPO

In August of 2014, GE finally divested Synchrony Financial in an initial public offering. 

At a total value of $2.8 billion, Synchrony Financial was one of the biggest IPO of 2014.

Synchrony Bank Review – Is it Safe to Use the Bank?

So you might be looking to open an account with Synchrony Bank and are wondering “is Synchrony Bank safe?”

If so, you are not the only consumer wondering or asking that question.

Here at AdvisoryHQ News, we’ve received a lot of questions from our site users who’ve been asking “is Synchrony Bank safe?”, “are there any synchrony bank reviews?”, “what is synchrony bank’s rating?”, etc.

The answer to all these questions is this: Yes.  Synchrony is a safe bank to bank with.

For the most recent quarter, Synchrony Financial, the parent company of the bank announced Q4 2014 net earnings of $531 million.

Most importantly, Synchrony Bank is a member of the FDIC: Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation.

As such, your deposits are insured up to the maximum allowed. 

As stated by the FDIC on its website:  “no depositor has ever lost a penny of insured deposits since the FDIC was created in 1933”

Synchrony Bank Review – Products

Synchrony Bank provides specialized services to both retail customers and to large commercial business clients.

Products for Retail Clients include:

  • High yield savings / money market accounts
  • High yield CDs
  • Credit cards
  • Loan

Products for Commercial Clients include:

  • Equipment leasing and lending
  • Inventory finance
  • Corporate financing
  • Restructuring finance
  • Commercial real estate

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Synchrony Bank Reviews – High Yield Savings Account Rates

For its high yielding savings account, the bank offers a 1.05% APY for every dollar deposited. There is no max.

It is extremely rare to find a bank today that pays interest on all your deposits without any max.

Most banks will pay interest up to a particular balance (i.e., up to $5,000 or up to $25,000)

Synchrony Bank Reviews – Money Market Account Rates and Terms

Similar to its high yield savings account, the bank also pays a flat rate APY for every dollar you have on your account.

For its Money Market rates, the bank offers an APY of 0.85%.

Synchrony Bank - Money Market Account Rates and Terms

Image source: Big Stock

Synchrony Bank offers a much higher money market interest yield than what you can find being offered by a lot of other banks.

Synchrony Reviews – CD Rates and Terms

For its CD rates, Synchrony Bank offers the below APYs as per the terms (i.e., 6 months, 9 months, 12 months, etc.) reflected on the screenshot below.

Visit the bank’s site for a comprehensive view of all CD rates and terms.

Pros: Synchrony Bank

  • A wide range of financial and banking products are available to you (CDs, Money Market, Savings account, IRA CDs, Credit Cards, etc.)
  • Highly competitive savings, CDs and money market rates
  • Minimum balance required to open a savings account is only $50
  • Minimum balance required to avoid a monthly service fee is only $50
  • The bank’s website is easy to use with quick bill payment setup and automatic transfers
  • Minimum balance required to open a money market account is $0
  • Optimizer+plus Perks program. This program not only rewards you for the balances you keep with Synchrony Bank but also for the length of time you have been a customer with the bank. With this program, customers get up to $5 in ATM fee reimbursements per statement cycle, free first order of checks for money market accounts, and free identity theft resolution services

Cons: Synchrony Bank

  • Unlike most banks, Synchrony Bank has only one branch (located in 200 Crossing Blvd, Bridgewater, NJ 08807). Unless you live in New Jersey, you cannot easily visit a Synchrony Bank branch in person.
  • Even if you live in NJ, you might not be able to visit the branch as needed. A lot people get off work after 5pm during the week day. Unfortunately, the NJ branch is only open from 8am to 3pm ET, Monday – Friday.  However, you can easily manage your money through the bank’s online banking portal, or by speaking with one of their Banking Representatives
  • For its Money Market accounts, you are required to maintain a $1,500 minimum balance to avoid a $15 monthly service charge
  • The bank does not currently offer checking account services

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