Synchrony Bank increased the rate of its Optimizer+plus High Yield Savings Account. The APY went up by 5 basis points to 1.00%. It’s nice to see another internet savings account join the 1% club. This "club" has been slowly growing this year. Hopefully, we’ll see this club growing much faster in 2015.
The High Yield Savings Account isn’t a free account, but it only requires a $30 minimum balance to avoid a $5 monthly service charge. The 1.00% APY applies to all balances.
|1.90%||-||-||Synchrony Bank||12 Month CD|
|1.10*%||-||-||Synchrony Bank||High Yield Savings|
This High Yield Savings Account became competitive about a year ago when the rate increased from 0.15% to 0.90%. It has remained very competitive ever since. The last rate change was in March when the rate increased to 0.95%.
Synchrony Bank offers an online bank-to-bank transfer service that allows you to initiate ACH transfers to and from your external account that you hold with another financial institution. According to the bank’s FAQs, you can register up to ten accounts at other financial institutions that sync up with your High Yield Savings Account.
In addition to online transfers, you can access your money over the phone or with an optional ATM card.
Money Market Account
If you want to write checks, you’ll need to open the Optimizer+plus Money Market Account. This offers limited check writing. The downside with this account as compared to the savings account is a lower rate and a higher minimum balance requirement ($1,500) to avoid a monthly fee.
Certificates of Deposit
Synchrony Bank also has a history of very competitive CD and IRA CD rates. In addition to the savings account rate increase, Synchrony Bank made its 1-year CD more appealing by lowering the minimum balance to get the 1.10% APY from $25K to $2,000.
Unfortunately, Synchrony Bank lowered its top 5-year CD APY from 2.30% to 2.25%, but this is still a competitive rate, especially when you consider the mild early withdrawal penalty (an amount equal to 180 days simple interest on the amount withdrawn).
Synchrony Bank also has a competitive 15-month CD rate that’s only available online. As of 11/17/2014, it has a 1.20% APY for a minimum balance of $2,000.
Free Identity Theft Protection
Synchrony Bank provides deposit account holders with complimentary Identity Theft Resolution Services through Identity Theft 911®. If you are ever a victim of Identity Theft, you'll have the assistance you need to help you get your life back to normal as quickly and easily as possible. A DA reader had told me he maintained the savings account just for this service.
You can apply for an Optimizer+plus account with an online application (To open an IRA or Trust Account a call to the bank is required). Accounts are available to people in any state. At the end of the application process, the bank requires that you sign and mail the new account form.
Synchrony Bank has gone through three name changes in the last two years. Before 2013, it was named MetLife Bank. In January 2013 MetLife Bank officially became GE Capital Retail Bank. Then in June 2014, GE Capital Retail Bank became Synchrony Bank.
Synchrony Bank is part of Synchrony Financial which was spun off from GE as a public company.
Synchrony Bank is an internet bank, but it also has a branch office where you can visit in person. It’s located at 200 Crossing Blvd, Bridgewater, NJ.
The bank has an overall health grade at DepositAccounts.com of an "A+" with a Texas ratio of 6.55% (excellent) based on June 30, 2014 data. Please refer to our financial overview of Synchrony Bank for more details.