Synchrony Bank High-Yield Savings Review

Matt is a Certified Financial Planner® and investment advisor based in Columbia, South Carolina. He writes personal finance and investment advice, and in 2017 he received the SABEW Best in Business Award.

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Synchrony Bank’s High-Yield Savings account offers one of the industry’s highest yields, and also offers several valuable features that many savings accounts don’t, such as ATM fee reimbursement. While there is no savings account that is perfect for everyone, we’d definitely put Synchrony’s High-Yield Savings account near the top of our list.

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What I like

There are some valuable perks to the Synchrony Bank High-Yield Savings account:

  • High APY: Most obviously, the account pays significantly more interest than your average savings account. As of Jan. 22, 2019, the national average APY from a savings account is just 0.09%. Meanwhile, Synchrony offers a 2.25% APY, and it’s also important to note that this APY applies to all accounts -- not just those with a certain balance. Just to put this in perspective, on a $5,000 account a Synchrony customer can expect to get paid $113 in a year, while someone getting the average APY would get just $4.50. That’s a big difference.
  • No Minimum Deposit or Balance: Not only does Synchrony’s generous APY apply to all accounts, regardless of balance, but there is no minimum to open an account. In other words, you could literally start an account with $1 and earn the 2.25% APY on it.
  • No Maintenance Fee: Like many online-based savings accounts, there’s no maintenance fee. In contrast, many brick-and-mortar banks set conditions (like a direct deposit each month or maintaining a certain balance) in order to avoid paying a monthly maintenance fee.
  • Easy ATM Access: Synchrony’s high-yield savings customers get easy ATM access. Customers get a debit card that allows them to withdraw money with no ATM fee at machines with Plus, NYCE, or STAR logos. Not only that, but Synchrony will reimburse customers for up to $5 of out-of-network ATM fees each month. This is a feature more common among checking accounts but is somewhat of a rarity among online-based savings accounts. Synchrony even allows ATM deposits through certain ATMs on the Plus or ACCEL networks, which isn’t common among banks without their own ATMs.
  • Mobile Functionality: Synchrony offers user-friendly mobile functionality (more on that in a bit).

Why you can trust me

I’m a Certified Financial Planner® with extensive experience giving personal finance advice. I’ve written more than 4,000 articles on personal finance and investing strategies and have been featured on some of the most prominent news outlets in the world. One of my areas of specialization is building and maximizing emergency savings, and high-yield savings accounts can be a great tool to use.

What could be improved

  • Sign-up Bonus: One thing that would be nice is if there was some sort of sign-up bonus, either in the form of a cash bonus with a certain size deposit, or a promotionally-higher APY for a few months. To be clear, Synchrony’s High-Yield Savings Account is a feature-packed product as it is, so it’s not too surprising that they don’t offer any sign-on incentives. However, if I had to choose a drawback, this would be it.
  • Wire Transfer Fee: Also, Synchrony charges a $25 fee for an outgoing wire transfer to other U.S. banks. This is by no means excessive in relation to the competition, but there are peers that don’t charge fees for wire transfers at all.
  • No Mobile App: Finally, while Synchrony does have mobile banking functionality, it doesn’t have an app for the High-Yield Savings account. Its online platform can be easily used on a tablet or smartphone, but there’s one big caveat. There’s an app for Synchrony’s numerous credit card products, so a mobile app could make it easier to view and manage all of your Synchrony accounts on the go.

Funding options

There are several ways to deposit money into the Synchrony Bank High-Yield Savings account:

  • An ETF (electronic funds transfer) from a connected external bank account.
  • Internal transfer from another Synchrony account. For example, Synchrony also offers money market and CD accounts, so if you have, say, a Synchrony CD that matures, you can transfer the funds into your high-yield savings.
  • Mobile check deposits are accepted through Synchrony’s online banking portal.
  • Direct deposit.
  • ATM deposits through certain Plus or ACCEL-network ATMs that accept deposits.
  • Wire transfer.
  • You can also mail in a physical check.

Withdrawal options

There are four ways to withdraw money from the Synchrony Bank High-Yield Savings account. Three of them are free:

  • Account holders can transfer money to a connected external bank account. This can be done either through Synchrony’s online banking portal or over the phone.
  • ATM withdrawals are possible (and free) at machines with Plus, NYCE, or STAR logos. If you can’t find an ATM in one of those networks, Synchrony will reimburse customers for up to $5 of out-of-network ATM fees each month.
  • A withdrawal via physical check can be requested as well, although this is the slowest option.

In addition to these three withdrawal methods, customers can also request a wire transfer to an external U.S. bank, but a $25 outgoing wire fee applies.

The Synchrony app

There is a Synchrony Financial app, but unfortunately, it is only designed for Synchrony’s credit cards and not for its bank accounts.

Having said that, Synchrony’s online platform is very mobile-friendly. Synchronybank.com allows account holders to view their account balance, transfer money, make mobile check deposits, and communicate with the bank.

Is this the right savings account for you?

There’s no such thing as one savings account that’s perfect for everyone. The question is whether the Synchrony Bank High-Yield Savings account is right for you.

This account could be a good fit for you if:

  • You want a high APY
  • You want low fees
  • You value ATM access

On the other hand, if any of the following statements apply to you, it may be a smart idea to look elsewhere:

  • You want the ability to deposit cash into your account
  • You utilize wire transfers from your savings account often

Even if you like what you’re reading about the Synchrony High-Yield Savings Account, it’s still a good idea to shop around. Banks that offer high-yield savings accounts change their APYs often, and different accounts offer different features. So, be sure to check out some of the best online savings accounts before deciding.

Online savings account comparison

While the Synchrony Bank High-Yield Savings account is a good option for many, it's not right for everyone. Here are a couple of other online savings account options from our partners.

Rates as of Nov. 7, 2019
Offer
Synchrony Bank High-Yield Savings
 
Member, FDIC
American Express® Personal Savings
 
Member, FDIC
Marcus Savings by Goldman Sachs
Goldman Sachs Bank USA
Member, FDIC
Rating
Rating image, 5.0 out of 5 stars.
Rating image, 5.0 out of 5 stars.
Rating image, 5.0 out of 5 stars.
APY

APY: 2.25%

APY: 1.75%

APY: 1.90%

Best For…

Best For: Low fees

Best For: High APY and no fees

Best For: High APY and no fees

Min. for APY

Min. for APY: $0

Min. for APY: $1

Min. for APY: $0

Next Steps Read Full Review Read Full Review Read Full Review

How to apply for a Synchrony Bank High-Yield Savings account

Opening a Synchrony Bank High-Yield Savings account is extremely easy. Simply go to Synchrony Bank’s website and click the “open account” link on the top of the screen, which will walk you through the quick account-opening process. Before you get started, you’ll want to have your driver’s license or other state-issued ID handy, and if you’re planning to fund your new account electronically, you’ll also need that account number and the bank’s routing number.

Final take

Synchrony Bank High-Yield Savings packs in many the wallet-friendly perks we covet -- namely, convenience, a yield that's among the higher rates we know of, and fees that match or beat its competitors'. The latter may be most important for savers, as high fees can quickly wipe out interest earnings.

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