Consumer banking and finance has opened up thanks to the internet, with many online-only and limited-service banks providing useful, interesting products. Synchrony Bank is one example. But which services does Synchrony Bank offer, and what is the Synchrony Bank app like? Read on to learn everything you need to know about Synchrony Bank.
Synchrony Bank was formerly known as GE Capital and specializes mainly in consumer loans and in deposit products including savings accounts and money market accounts. You can’t get a checking account at Synchrony Bank, nor a debit card. In other words, Synchrony Bank cannot be your everyday banking provider.
Savings products. Synchrony Bank offers excellent rates on its savings products. Its high yield savings account delivers 2.05% APY, which compares very favorably to APYs from other bank’s high yield savings accounts. You can get even higher APYs if you are willing to commit your saving to a fixed-term deposit.
Credit cards. You cannot apply directly for a Synchrony Bank credit card product. Instead, Synchrony Bank issues credit cards on behalf of other retailers. These are called private label cards. For example, the eBay Platinum Mastercard is issued by Synchrony Bank, and so is the GAP Visa Credit Card. Apply for any of these cards and your agreement will be with Synchrony Bank, but you will make your application at the retailer whose name is on the card.
Consumer financing. Synchrony Bank also provides consumer loans for large purchases. Again, you don’t apply for a loan directly at Synchrony Bank, instead, you will apply for a loan at the point of sale and if accepted sign an agreement with Synchrony Bank. Retailers include furniture houses and appliance and electronics stores.
There’s only one. Yes, you read that right – Synchrony Bank has only a single branch located in Bridgewater, New Jersey. Does this matter? Well, you can’t use Synchrony Bank for your daily banking needs anyway and most people will never need to visit a Synchrony Bank branch, so we don’t think it does.
You can deposit and withdraw savings funds online, over the phone or using an ATM. Considering the limited number of transactions typically made in a high yield savings account (federal law limits these to six a month anyway) we think you will be just fine without access to a Synchrony Bank branch. But is the Synchrony Bank app any good? Let’s take a look.
Available for both iOS and Android, the MySynchrony app is limited in functionality. You can only use the MySynchrony app to manage your private label Synchrony Bank credit card. The MySynchrony app does not allow you to manage your Synchrony Bank savings account, nor does it offer any features to manage Synchrony Bank consumer loans. You have to head to the bank’s website instead.
The limited functionality of the app is the cause for many complaints, but users who intended to use it to manage their credit cards are generally happy. With iOS users the MySynchrony app scores 4.5 / 5 with reviewers liking the fact they can access all their Synchrony private label credit cards in one place. Android users score the MySynchrony app 4.2 / 5 with numerous users frustrated that they can’t access their Synchrony savings facilities with the app.
Reviews of Synchrony Bank are mixed. On the one hand customers like the high deposit rates and many customers are perfectly happy with the limited banking features on offer. Other customers complain that funds transfers are slow, and that customer service is unresponsive. Overall it looks like the customers that understand that Synchrony Bank is a limited service bank have fewer complaints.
Getting ahold of Synchrony Bank customer service can be confusing at first. It helps to know that the bank’s lending services including credit cards and consumer loans are accessed through MySynchrony, you can find the contact details for lending customer services here. Contact details for the bank’s savings products are on the Synchrony Bank website, which covers savings, CD’s and IRAs.
Should you make use of Synchrony Bank? The savings rates are very generous and if you have savings that you can leave untouched for the medium to long-term Synchrony Bank can offer excellent, risk-free returns as the bank is FDIC insured. It also looks like the bank’s private label credit cards ant its consumer loans are adequately service. However, don’t use Synchrony Bank if you need to use your account for frequent transactions.