This morning Synchrony Bank joined other big internet banks by raising the rate of their no-minimum savings account to 1.90% APY. The Synchrony Bank High Yield Savings increased 5 bps to 1.90% APY for all balances. In addition, Synchrony Bank introduced a new 15-month special CD (2.75% APY). This replaces the 13-month CD special that had a 2.65% APY. In addition to these changes, rates on the Money Market Account and three of the standard CDs went up. All of the rate increases are shown below in bold and are effective as of 10/2/2018. The previous APYs are noted inside parentheses.
- HYS - 1.90% (1.85%)
- MMA - 1.20% (1.15%)
- 15 mo - 2.75% (new)
- 18 mo - 2.75% (2.55%)
- 24 mo - 2.75% (2.65%)
- 36 mo - 2.75% (2.70%)
All of the CDs are also available as IRAs (Traditional and Roth) earning the same APYs, with the same $2k minimum opening deposit. The Money Market Account is also available as an IRA with the same APY and with the same no-minimum balance. For the full list of Synchrony CD and IRA CD rates, please refer to the CD rates section of our Synchrony Bank page.
|2.85%||$2k||-||Synchrony Bank||36 Month CD|
|2.75%||$2k||-||Synchrony Bank||18 Month CD|
|2.75%||$2k||-||Synchrony Bank||24 Month CD|
My thanks once again to DA reader, buckeye61, for his DA Forum post on these new rates.
High Yield Savings (HYS) Account
It has been awhile since Synchrony Bank’s last HYS rate hike, and the last three rate hikes had been 10 bps. Today’s rate hike moves Synchrony bank’s HYS to be even with the no-minimum savings accounts at Goldman Sachs Bank USA, Barclays and American Express National Bank. If you look back at Synchrony’s last rate hike on July 24 when the APY reached 1.85%, that was a week before Barclays reached 1.85%, more than two weeks before Goldman reached 1.85%, and almost two months before American Express reached (and exceeded) 1.85%. As you can see, Synchrony’s competitiveness has fallen a bit with today’s small 5-bps rate hike.
The list below shows the dates of the past three HYS rate hikes and how they coincided with the Fed rate hikes. You can see how the rate hikes have become less frequent and smaller. Hopefully, Synchrony won’t wait another two months for the next rate hike.
- Oct 2: Synchrony High Yield Savings: 1.90% APY
- Sep 26: Federal Reserve Target Funds Rate: 2.00% to 2.25%
- July 24: Synchrony High Yield Savings: 1.85% APY
- June 13: Federal Reserve Target Funds Rate: 1.75% to 2.00%
- June 5: Synchrony High Yield Savings: 1.75% APY
- May 1: Synchrony High Yield Savings: 1.65% APY
The HYS account has no minimum balance or monthly service fee. Synchrony Bank offers an ACH bank-to-bank transfer service that allows customers to link up to ten accounts at other banks. Once the link is established, the customer can initiate electronic deposits and withdrawals to and from those external bank accounts. According to a Synchrony CSR, customers can initiate inbound ACH transfers at Synchrony Bank of up to $500k per transaction and outbound transfers of up to $250k per transaction. Readers have reported that it takes 3 to 5 days for the ACH transfers to complete.
Synchrony Money Market
This is the first rate increase of the Synchrony Money Market account since July 24th. The new rate of 1.20% APY applies to all balances. The account has no minimum balance requirement, and it has no monthly service fees. Unlike the HYS, the Money Market has check-writing capability. According to the FAQs, you can ask for checks, and they will be sent once Synchrony has received the signature card for the account and the account has been funded.
Synchrony 15-Month CD Special
Synchrony Bank’s special CD continues to be their most competitive deposit product. The rate is 10 bps above the old 13-month special, but the new special has a term that’s two months longer. When compared to nationally available CDs with terms around 18 months, the 2.75% APY 15-month CD is near the top.
In the last year, Synchrony Bank has occasionally offered CD specials with terms close to one year. Before the 13-month CD special, Synchrony Bank had offered a 14-month CD, and for one week after last year’s Thanksgiving, Synchrony Bank offered a Cyber Week 13-month CD special with a 1.75% APY. This shows how rates have risen in the last ten months.
Synchrony CD Features
One downside with Synchrony Bank’s 15-month CD as compared with its 12-month CD (besides the longer term) is an early withdrawal penalty (EWP) that is double in size (180 days rather than 90 days of interest). The full details of the EWPs are described in Synchrony’s FAQs:
Q: Is there an early withdrawal penalty for CDs?
An early withdrawal penalty may be assessed if you make a withdrawal prior to the CD maturity date, which is the last day of the CD term. The penalty is applied to the amount of principal withdrawn (no penalty on interest). The bank does not charge an early withdrawal penalty on a CD for the death of an account owner with proper verification.
- Terms of 12 months or less: 90 days of simple interest at the current rate.
- Terms of more than 12 months but less than 48 months: 180 days of simple interest at the current rate.
- Terms of 48 months or more: 365 days of simple interest at the current rate.
Two additional CD FAQs that are noteworthy are as follows:
Q: Can I withdraw my interest from a CD?
Any amount of interest paid during the current term of the CD can be withdrawn at any time without penalty
Interest can be transferred internally to a Synchrony Bank Money Market or High Yield Savings Account, a registered external account, or sent by check to the account address we have on file.
Q: Can I add funds to my CD during the term of the CD?
You are only allowed to add funds at the initial funding of a CD, or during the 10-day grace period beginning on the maturity date of the CD.
Additional Services for Deposit Account Customers
Synchrony Bank provides deposit account holders with complimentary Identity Theft Resolution Services through CyberScout which can offer assistance if you are ever a victim of Identity Theft.
Synchrony Perks Program offers additional rewards based on account balance size and the length of time you’ve been a customer. Diamond level is reached with a $250k balance or 5 years of tenure. Some of the perks that Diamond customers receive include three free wire transfers per statement cycle, a dedicated customer service phone number and unlimited ATM reimbursements.
Headquartered in Draper, Utah, Synchrony Bank is an internet bank that offers its services and product line to U.S. citizens and “U.S. lawful permanent residents” who are 18 years or older, have a permanent U.S. residential address, and possess a valid Social Security number.
Synchrony Bank accounts can be opened online, but IRA and Trust accounts require paper forms. Funding an account can be done with an electronic funds transfer. This is done by providing Synchrony with the account number and routing/transit number of an external bank account. If Synchrony can’t automatically verify your external account, it’ll use a trial deposit system. Once the online application completes, Synchrony Bank will mail a welcome kit within 7 to 10 days. The welcome kit includes a signature card that must be signed and mailed back. In addition, the welcome kit includes a deposit slip. If you decide to fund the account with a check instead of an online transfer, a check must be mailed with the deposit slip.
The online application can accommodate up to four beneficiaries per account. Unlike some other financial institutions, Synchrony Bank does not require Social Security numbers for beneficiaries: only name, address, and date of birth are necessary to add a beneficiary. CSR suggested having all information and documentation for the applicant and any beneficiaries on hand, since the online application is time sensitive and will time out if there’s a long period of inactivity.
Synchrony Bank has an overall health grade of “A" at DepositAccounts.com, with a Texas Ratio of 8.41% (excellent), based on June 30, 2018 data. In the past year, Synchrony Bank has increased its total non-brokered deposits by $5.12 billion, an excellent annual growth rate of 11.71%. Please refer to our financial overview of Synchrony Bank (FDIC Certificate # 27314) for more details.
Synchrony Bank can trace its origins to a brick-and-mortar institution, the Monogram Bank, USA, which was established in Ohio in 1988. From 1989 to 2014, the Bank moved its headquarters four times and re-branded five times, with the current name change occurring in June 2014. Prior to the name Synchrony Bank, the Bank was known as GE Capital Retail Bank, reflecting its tie to GE Capital, its parent company. In January 2013, GE Capital Retail Bank acquired the deposit base and online deposits business of MetLife Bank, N.A.
Currently, Synchrony Bank is the 32nd largest bank in the country with assets in excess of $84 billion.
How the Online Accounts Compare
When compared to 168 similar length-of-term CDs with minimum deposits of under $5k that are tracked by DepositAccounts.com which are available nationally, Synchrony Bank’s 15-month CD APY currently ranks third.
|Interest Rate||CD Length of Term||Credit Union/Bank|
|3.00% APY||16-month Fall CD Special ($1k min)||Premier America Credit Union|
|2.83% APY||18-month Step Up CD ($1k min)||Luther Burbank Savings|
|2.75% APY||15-month CD ($2k min)||Synchrony Bank|
|2.75% APY||18-month CD ($1k min)||Limelight Bank|
When compared to the Savings Accounts tracked by DepositAccounts.com that are available nationwide, Synchrony Bank High Yield Savings APY currently ranks in the top ten.
|Interest Rate||Account Name||Credit Union/Bank|
|2.25% APY||MySavings Account (no min)||MySavingsDirect|
|2.12% APY||Online Savings Account ($5k min)||Citizens Access|
|2.11% APY||High Yield Online Savings ($100 min)||Vio Bank|
|1.90% APY||High Yield Savings (no min)||Synchrony Bank|
The above rates are accurate as of 10/2/2018.
To find the best CD rates, both nationwide and state specific, please refer to our CD rates table.