When it comes to banking in America, the reduction of the formal corporate structures has given way modern retail banking. Synchrony Bank is no different as it makes great strides to provide customers with ease of access to some of the more mainstream banking products on the market. As one of the newer banks on the market, it has an advantage over the others as it entered a market as technological advanced started making strides in the banking sector.
History of Synchrony Bank
Founded in 1988, the bank launched itself during the phase where bankers from across the world met in Basel, Switzerland. This meeting is known as the 1988 Basel Accord, and many countries have accepted the minimum regulations set forth to ensure their banks have the required funding. The meeting came about as banks were lending out money they couldn’t back with their own reserves, which meant that an economic crisis would mean constant bailouts by governments or even complete economic collapse.
Synchrony Bank was known as GE Capital Retail Bank and only changed its name to Synchrony Bank in 2014. The bank is a subsidiary of Synchrony Financial, which found its roots over 80 years ago. The bank forms an integral part of their strategy to capture market share and increase their financial footprint across the United States.
Another bank worth watching where it comes to simple online banking is Ally Bank.
Access to Synchrony Bank
When it comes to online banking, this bank is at the forefront of the financial sector. Customers are able to open their accounts online and are able to perform many of the transactions through online requests. The accounts hardly require any intervention from the bank itself. Customers have access to a dedicated support team through the call center which operates 24/7.
This is a bank for customers who prefer to not set their foot inside a branch. According to the contact details tab on Synchrony Bank’s website, the bank only has a single branch located in Bridgewater, New Jersey. Bank personnel is available Mondays through Fridays from 8 AM to 10 PM, and Saturdays from 8 AM to 5 PM.
Customers won’t have an issue accessing their funds through ATMs as the bank belongs to three atm networks, including Visa/Plus, Star, and NYCE. This allows customers to have access to their cash at more than 2 million ATMs. Customers will also have access to their cash through ATMs in various countries across the world as some of these ATMs are situated in other countries.
Read here to find out how this bank compares to Wells Fargo, another American favorite.
Product Offerings by Synchrony Bank
Certificates of Deposit
A certificate of deposit is a great way to build wealth and keep money aside for future projects. It offers the customer the choice of term and the rate is calculated according to the term chosen. Customers have the benefit of cumulative interest and higher rates the longer the term. This is a great way to encourage saving.
- Synchrony Bank’s CD is available in terms that range from 3 months right up to 60 months.
- They have an online calculator that gives customers an idea of their potential earnings on the investments. Although these figures are not guaranteed, it does provide illustrative values based on certain conditions.
- The rates offered at this bank are above the norm and the CD accounts at this branch are considered the best in the United States according to some publications.
- Customers will have access to online portals to view their deposits and bank representatives are just a phone call away.
- The minimum opening deposit for this type of account is $2,000, which will make it tough to access for many customers.
- Once the term is chosen, customers will need to allow the term to mature before they have access to the funds. Emergency access or early termination of the term could attract penalty charges.
- This investment is covered by the FDIC insurance up to the prescribed maximum allowed by law.
Money Market Account
This account is the ideal solution for those who want to see growth on their positive balances, but don’t necessarily want to tie it up in fixed deposit accounts. The rates are competitive and customers who keep their funds in the account should see some growth as the effect of cumulative interest takes place. This is the ideal investment type for those who want to build up their wealth or create emergency savings.
- Customers have access to an online calculator that will give them an estimated figure to work with. The account provides great interest rates.
- Customers can start their investment account from as little as a dollar and they are not required to maintain a minimum balance. This allows them to increase their savings as and when they are able to. This is not a fixed investment, which means customers can add to the investment on a monthly basis.
- The account is accessible through online withdrawals, over the phone, by check or at the ATM.
- Customers are issued with an ATM card for ease of use.
- This account does not attract any monthly service fees.
- FDIC insurance on the account provides customers with peace of mind. The insurance amount is limited to $250,000 per depositor, per insured bank, for each ownership category.
- The longer the deposits remain in the account, the better the return at the end of the term as customers will benefit from the effect of compound interest.
Read the full review on the Money Market Account.
High Yield Savings Account Rates
This is one of the most popular savings accounts for those who wish to build up a bit of a nest egg but are afraid that the ease of access will allow them to access their savings for whimsical purchases. This account requires a notice period of at least seven business days, which provides the customer with some time to think about the purchase and whether they really want to sacrifice their savings for it. This is the ideal account for those who want to save up for a big item, such as a deposit on vehicle or home loan finance.
- This account offers stellar interest rates that tend to make quite a difference to that initial investment at the end of the term.
- Customers don’t have a fixed term to work with and instead deposit and use the funds as they see fit, provided that it is within to allowed framework of transactions.
- The account does carry a transaction threshold that, when exceeded, carries fees. Customers can perform up to six transactions within a statement cycle.
- Customers have access to the account via online banking, the telephone or with their ATM card.
- The account does not require a minimum balance and there is no service fee.
- The FDIC insures the investment up to the prescribed minimum amount.
Individual Retirement Accounts (IRA’s)
Apart from saving for retirement through the employer and building up savings through a variety of channels, there are certain benefits to having a separate IRA with an institution. Additional savings to a retirement plan provides the customer with the assurance that when it’s time to lay down the tools and hang up their gloves, they will have the required savings to still maintain their standard of living.
An IRA carries tax benefits which a tax consultant can explain in more detail to the customer. Although this service is not provided by Synchrony Bank, they do offer a variety of IRA products.
IRA CD and Jumbo CD
- Fixed accounts that provide customers with a tiered interest rate. The interest rate increases as the term increases.
- Investments start from $2,000 for the regular IRA CDs and $100,000 for the Jumbo CDs.
- Customers can choose terms between 3 and 60 months.
- The FDIC insures the investment up to the prescribed minimum amount.
- Access to the investment before maturity could lead to penalty interest.
IRA Money Market
- A flexible account that allows access to the investment throughout the life of it.
- A non-guaranteed variable interest rate.
- Customers will enjoy the tax benefits of the account.
- The account allows for additional deposits.
- Customers can start this account off with as little as $200, which allows them to build up the minimum amount required for the CD.
- FDIC insurance provides peace of mind on amounts up to the prescribed maximums determined by law.
We also did a full review on the IRAs.
Review of Synchrony Bank
Reviews By Industry and Customers
4 of 5 Is a great rating considering that this bank only has about four products.
3 of 5 with an A rating on the health of the bank is a great rate.
These guys rate the bank at 3.5 of 5 with service as the drawback.
A+ Rating although it received a 93% negative customer rating.
Financial stability rating
Synchrony Bank enjoys a BBB-/F3 rating from Fitch, with an ‘Outlook Stable’ status.
Security of Funds
Customers who deposit their funds with the bank will be happy to know that the institution provides FDIC insurance. There are certain regulation limitations, such as the restriction on the amount of $250,000. This provides customers with peace of mind that their deposits are secure up to this amount.
Review by Critical Review 6 of 10
Savings is the evident forte of this bank. Customers who bank with Synchrony Bank will, however, have to spread their banking as they will require more than one institution to meet their financial needs. The bank currently offers four products, which limits the portfolio for customers. The addition of more products will see this rating increase.