The listings featured on this site are from companies from which this site receives compensation. This may influence where, how and in what order such listings appear on this site
BestMoney logo

Synchrony CD Review

Synchrony Bank
Visit Site
Sean Lapointe
Nov. 30, 2023
4 min read
LaPointe
Synchrony Bank Summary
Founded in 1932, Synchrony is an online bank offering a range of savings products. Among them is a 9-month certificate of deposit (CD), which stands out for its market-leading annual percentage yield (APY) of 5.50%. This CD has no minimum balance requirements, so you can get started with any amount. Additionally, Synchrony doesn’t charge monthly fees. The bank is a member of the FDIC, which insures your deposits up to $250,000.

Pros

  • Higher-than-average APY
  • No minimum balance required
  • FDIC-insured

Cons

  • Penalties for early withdrawal
  • No physical branch locations

Synchrony Bank at a glance

10
Editorial score

Fees?

None
10.0

Security

FDIC-insured; SSL-encrypted with biometric authentication available
10.0

Customer service

Extended customer service hours on phone Mon-Sun, 24/7 support via live chat, and a dedicated fraud team
10.0

Online experience

User-friendly site with full online banking capabilities and rates transparency
10.0

Mobile experience

iOS and Android. Includes checking balances, online money transfers, and mobile check deposits
10.0

Synchrony Bank Synchrony Bank Visit Site

Advantages Over Traditional Banks

As an online-only bank, Synchrony doesn’t have the overheads associated with maintaining physical branches. This cost efficiency allows it to offer higher interest rates than many traditional banks, along with low to no fees. 

For example, the bank’s 5.50% APY for its 9-month CD is significantly higher than both the national average of 2.20% (for this type of CD) and the typical rates for most other savings products from traditional banks.

Additionally, Synchrony Bank doesn’t charge monthly maintenance fees, and there are no minimum balance requirements to open an account.

Cutting-Edge Banking Services

Synchrony’s online platform and mobile app provide access to a variety of banking services. Here are a few highlights of what you can do on these platforms: 

  • Checking balances and account information
  • Transferring money into and out of your accounts
  • Setting up automatic deposits 
  • Making and scheduling payments
  • Exploring and taking advantage of savings and offers from Synchrony’s partners 
  • Chatting with customer support
  • Depositing mobile checks

Traditional Banking Services

Synchrony Bank primarily focuses on savings, offering related products like high-yield savings accounts, money market accounts, and CDs. Both the money market accounts and the CDs also offer individual retirement account (IRA) options.

Like traditional banks, Synchrony ensures timely availability of funds upon maturity of your CD. You’ll have a 10-day grace period, during which you can add money, change the terms, or withdraw.

You can’t take out cash directly from your CD account, but there’s a workaround. The bank offers an optional ATM card linked to your high-yield savings or money market account. You can transfer money from your CD to either of these two accounts and then conveniently withdraw it from any ATM bearing the Plus or Accel logo.

Generally, Synchrony’s range of traditional banking products and services is more limited compared to other online financial institutions. For example, if you’re looking to open a current account or apply for a mortgage or personal loan, this is not the bank for you.

However, Synchrony Bank does offer credit cards, including Mastercard-branded rewards cards that provide various benefits, like cash back on purchases.

Interest Rates and Fees


Annual percentage yield (APY)Minimum balanceFees
9-month CD5.50%NoneNone

Synchrony Bank’s 9-month plan comes with an APY of 5.50%, which is one of the best rates in the market. You receive this rate in effect on the day you open a CD, provided the bank receives your opening deposit within 15 days of account activation.

Synchrony Bank prides itself on transparency, with all fees and requirements clearly outlined on its website and in the product agreement. This clarity helps you make informed decisions without worrying about hidden charges.

You can withdraw any interest earned on your CD during your current term without incurring a penalty. However, taking money from the principal before the end of the 9-month term incurs a penalty equivalent to 90 days of simple interest at your current rate. This penalty is standard for CDs, which are intended to be held until maturity.

Other than zero monthly service fees, the bank is also light on other common charges. For example, there’s no fee for incoming wire transfers or electronic transfers to or from a registered external account.

Synchrony Bank also doesn't charge an ATM fee, though there might be a charge from the ATM’s owner or operator. For domestic withdrawals, the bank will reimburse you any incurred ATM charges up to $5 per statement cycle—and if you hold Diamond status in its Perks Rewards program, ATM fee refunds are unlimited.

There are no minimum balance requirements, but the bank notes that it may deactivate your account if you leave it with a $0 balance for more than 60 days.

Customer Service and Online Experience

The digital nature of Synchrony Bank means that you can manage your account around the clock, entirely online. This provides a level of convenience that traditional banks—which often require in-person visits for certain actions—can't match. 

What’s more, Synchrony’s online platform is easy to use. Whether it’s opening a new CD account, checking your current balance, or conducting different types of transactions like money transfers, the platform's user-friendly interface ensures a hassle-free experience.

If you need assistance, Synchrony Bank provides phone support Monday-Friday, 8am-10pm (ET), and 8am-5pm (ET) on weekends. You can also contact the bank via postal mail at the following address:

Synchrony Bank

PO Box 669802

Dallas, TX 75266-0955

A chat option is available 24/7 on both the online platform and the mobile app. When you initiate a conversation, the bank will first connect you to a virtual assistant (named Sydney), who can provide answers to general inquiries. If it’s unable to answer your question or if you need more specific assistance, the system will automatically transfer you to a human agent.

The Synchrony Bank website also hosts an extensive knowledge base and a comprehensive set of FAQs. These resources provide valuable information on a wide range of personal finance topics, including credit, savings, and budgeting, enabling you to find answers to your questions quickly and independently.

Synchrony Bank has an A+ rating on the Better Business Bureau (BBB), the highest achievable grade on the platform. However, its customer review ratings are relatively low: 1.05 and 1.10 out of five on the BBB and Trustpilot respectively. There have been complaints about long wait times and unhelpful support. 

Notably, the bank has personally responded to each complaint, and some users have returned to report satisfaction with the resolution offered.

Mobile App

The Synchrony Bank mobile app, which is available for both iOS and Android devices, lets you conveniently access and manage your account on the go. Both versions of the app are highly rated by users, with 4.6 out of five stars on both the App Store and Google Store.

The app features a clean, intuitive design, making navigation straightforward.  You can perform a wide range of actions on it, including checking balances, transferring money into your CD, and depositing mobile checks.

Security

Synchrony Bank is a Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC)-insured firm. This means that in the unlikely event of the bank going under, it protects your money by up to $250,000 for each account ownership category.

To safeguard your online interactions, Synchrony employs advanced encryption technologies such as Secure Sockets Layer (SSL). This ensures that hackers will not be able to read any information you pass to the bank. For a deeper understanding of how the bank handles your personal info, you can refer to the detailed privacy policy available on its website.

The Synchrony Bank mobile app includes options for biometric authentication, such as fingerprint scanning and facial recognition. These options add an extra layer of protection, minimizing the risk of unauthorized access to your account.

The bank also routinely monitors your account and transactions and alerts you if it notices anything out of the ordinary. Furthermore, it has a dedicated fraud team (reachable at 866-834-3205) to assist with any fraud-related concerns or inquiries.

Summary

Synchrony Bank’s 9-month CD is a great option if you’re looking for a short-term investment vehicle with a higher-than-average yield. Opening an account is easy, and there’s no minimum amount to get started.

Once your account is active, you can manage it anytime and from anywhere through the bank’s intuitive and user-friendly online and mobile platforms.

Methodology

This review was created using information gathered from the Synchrony Bank website and online review and comparison sites.


LaPointe
Written by
Sean Lapointe
Sean LaPointe is a freelance personal finance writer with a passion for helping readers make informed financial decisions. With over 8 years of personal finance writing experience, Sean has written for a wide variety of top publications, including The Motley Fool, Angi, Top10.com, and BestMoney. Sean’s commitment to providing readers with the most up-to-date information means he’s always researching the latest financial products.
Top Online Banking
Chime®
Chime®
Read Review|Visit Site
Read all reviews

Must Reads

How Banks Are Building Trust with Customers in 2024
Feb. 27, 2024
What Is a Savings Account and How Does it Work?
Feb. 27, 2024
How to Choose the Right Online Bank for You
Feb. 27, 2024
Read all articles