Deal Summary: Savings Account (1.30% APY for all balances); 15-month CD (1.65% APY); 12-month CD (1.50% APY); 24-month CD (1.75% APY)
Yesterday’s Fed meeting may have lacked a rate hike, but that didn’t stop Synchrony Bank from hiking rates. Synchrony increased its High Yield Savings Account rate by 10 bps to 1.30% APY for all balances. The account has no minimum balance requirement or monthly service fee. Synchrony also increased three of its CD rates by 10 bps each. The 15-month CD is the most competitive of the three (1.65% APY). The other two rate increases were on the 12-month (1.50% APY) and the 24-month (1.75% APY). Minimum deposit for these CD rates is $2k.
|1.75*%||$2k||-||Synchrony Bank||24 Month CD|
|1.65*%||$2k||-||Synchrony Bank||15 Month CD Special|
|1.50*%||$2k||-||Synchrony Bank||12 Month CD|
|1.30*%||-||-||Synchrony Bank||High Yield Savings|
High Yield Savings Account
Even though this rate increase doesn’t place Synchrony’s High Yield Savings (HYS) Account as a rate leader, it does put it close. The HYS has a history of remaining competitive. The past two recent rate hikes occurred on June 1st when the APY increased from 1.05% to 1.15% and on July 18th when the APY increased to 1.20%. Before June 1st, the rate had remained unchanged since April 2015, when the APY increased from 1.00% to 1.05%. Before that, the savings account had three rate increases in 2013 and 2014 in which the APY climbed from 0.85% to 1.00%.
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 ACH transfers at Synchrony Bank of up to $500k per transaction.
As is typical for a savings account, the HYS account does not have check writing capabilities. If this is needed, the Synchrony Money Market account can be opened. The downside with the Money Market Account is a lower rate (0.85% APY on all balances).
An ATM card is available for both the HYS account and the Money Market account. Synchrony Bank offers up to a $5 rebate for non-Synchrony Bank ATM surcharges per statement cycle.
Synchrony Bank CDs
These three rate increases keep Synchrony’s CDs competitive. As we have seen this year, shorter-term rates have been rising more than the longer-term rates, and Synchrony’s CDs are no different. Even though there were no changes to Synchrony’s long-term rates, the rates continue to be competitive, especially the 5-year CD rate. For the full list of Synchrony CD rates, please refer to the CD rates section of our Synchrony Bank page.
Synchrony’s CDs are also available as an IRA (Traditional or Roth) earning the same APY, with the same funding requirements.
Synchrony’s FAQs describe several important features of the CDs. Below are three FAQs on CDs that I thought would be worth mentioning:
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: Are there rate guarantees for CDs?
The Bank guarantees CD rates for 15 calendar days after the opening of the CD including the day the account was opened. This means that the opening deposit needs to be received and processed by the 15th calendar date. We will not go by the postmark date of a deposit. Once the account is funded, even before the 15 days is up, the rate is locked. However if the bank rates go up during the rate lock period, the Bank will give you the higher rate.
IRA CD rates are guaranteed for 60 calendar days as long as you are actively participating in the account opening process. This means all appropriate paperwork must be completed and that funding or appropriate account funding documents must be provided.
The 15-day rate guarantee does not apply to CD renewals, which receive the rate in effect on the renewal date.
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.
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 8.57% (excellent), based on June 30, 2017 data. In the past year, Synchrony Bank has increased its total non-brokered deposits by $6.55 billion, an excellent annual growth rate of 17.62%. 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.
Currently, Synchrony Bank is the 33rd largest bank in the country with assets in excess of $73 billion and more than 2.7 million customer accounts.
How the Accounts Compare
When compared to the 199 Savings Accounts and 171 Money Market Accounts tracked by DepositAccounts.com that are available nationally with similar balance requirements and balance caps, five savings accounts and one money market account have higher rates than Synchrony Bank’s HYS account rate. The table below shows the top three of these and how they compare with the HYS account.
Since 15 months is in the middle between the standard 12-month and 18-month CD terms, it’s always questionable in deciding how to compare 15-month CDs. Since we place 15-month CDs in the 18-month CD table, I’ll compare this special to CDs with terms around 18 months. When compared to 148 similar length-of-term CDs tracked by DepositAccounts.com which are available nationally, there are eight CDs with higher rates than Synchrony Bank’s 15-month CD. The table below shows the top three of these and how they compare with the 15-month CD.
The above rates are accurate as of 9/21/2017.
To review the top Savings, Money Market and CD rates, both nationwide and state specific, please refer to our Savings Account rates table, Money Market Account rates table and our CD rates table. To find the best accounts in your area, please refer to our new Rates Map page.