Deal Summary: Rate Increase on High Yield Savings Account to 1.20% APY for all balances.
Synchrony Bank increased the rate again on its High Yield Savings account less than two months since the last rate hike. The APY increased 5 bps to 1.20%. This increase doesn’t move Synchrony to a rate-leader status, but it does put pressure on other large internet banks like Ally, Discover and American Express.
Even though the Synchrony High Yield Savings account doesn’t have the top rate, it does have a history of remaining competitive. The last rate increase of the High Yield Savings account was on June 1st, when the APY increased from 1.05% to 1.15%. Before that rate hike, 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%.
High Yield Savings Account Features
The High Yield Savings (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 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.
Synchrony Bank CDs
My last blog post on Synchrony Bank reviewed its 15-month CD special (1.55% APY) which is still available. Due to recent CD rate hikes at other banks, Synchrony Bank’s 15-month CD isn’t quite as competitive as it was in June, but it’s still a good deal. Synchrony Bank’s standard CD rates haven’t changed since rate hikes in May. They remain competitive, especially the 5-year CD. I have more details in this Synchrony Bank post.
|2.35*%||$25k||-||Synchrony Bank||60 Month CD|
|OTHER TIERS: 2.30% → $2k - $25k|
|1.55*%||$2k||-||Synchrony Bank||15 Month CD Special|
Having a savings account at an internet bank where you have CDs can make it more convenient to manage your CDs. When a CD matures, it’s easy to have the CD funds moved into your savings account where it can earn a competitive rate while you decide what to do with the money.
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 9.18% (excellent), based on March 31, 2017 data. In the past year, Synchrony Bank has increased its total non-brokered deposits by $7.27 billion, an excellent annual growth rate of 20.6%. 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 34th largest bank in the country with assets in excess of $71 billion and more than 2.2 million customer accounts.
How the High Yield Savings Account Compares
When compared to the 207 Savings Accounts tracked by DepositAccounts.com that are available nationally with similar balance requirements, seven savings accounts have higher rates than Synchrony Bank’s HYS account rate. The table below shows a sample of these and how they compare with the HYS account.
The above rates are accurate as of 7/18/2017.