Synchrony Bank increased the rate of its Optimizer+plus High Yield Savings Account to a very competitive level. The APY went up by 5 basis points to 1.05%. After a few other banks have cut rates, it’s nice to see a rate hike. The last rate increase on this savings account was in November when Synchrony Bank increased the rate from 0.95% to 1.00% APY.
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 1.05% APY applies to all balances.
This High Yield Savings Account became competitive in November 2013 when the rate increased from 0.15% to 0.90%. It has remained very competitive ever since.
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.
Certificates of Deposit
Synchrony Bank also has a history of very competitive CD and IRA CD rates. One of its most competitive CDs is the 1-year CD. The rate of the 1-year CD recently increased by 3 basis points to 1.23% APY for a $2K minimum deposit. This rate has been rising since November when the yield was 1.10%.
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 (0.85% APY). Synchrony Bank did make an improvement to this account. It no longer has a $1,500 minimum balance requirement to avoid the monthly fee. Now it requires only a $30 minimum balance to avoid a $5 monthly service charge.
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.
Online Banking Interface
DA readers informed me that Synchrony Bank has made a change to its online banking interface. Unfortunately, the changes have disappointed many. One reader listed four negative changes:
- No account summary page
- No Account detail page
- Rates and APYs missing
- Missing beneficiary information
Hopefully, Synchrony Bank will do what Ally Bank did when it made changes to its online banking platform. After receiving many complaints, Ally fixed many of the issues. If you have a Synchrony Bank account, please provide your opinion in the comments of the online banking changes.
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 8.07% (excellent) based on December 31, 2014 data. Please refer to our financial overview of Synchrony Bank for more details.
How the Savings Account and CD Rates Compare
When compared to other savings accounts and similar length-of-term CDs tracked by DepositAccounts.com that require a similar minimum balance and are nationally available, Synchrony Bank’s savings account and 1-year CD are shown to be very competitive: