Synchrony Financial

Synchrony Financial, formerly part of GE Capital, is a big player in promotional savings/CD rates, and promotes them heavily with advertising. I’ve been lured into many CD deals with them and thought I’d share data points on the experience:

  • Minor nit: It is somewhat annoying that they do not offer a consolidated statement, either on paper or digitally, showing all CDs. If you have 12 CDs with them, you’re looking at a stack of twelve envelopes once a month, and as many PDF files to download and save if you keep the digital copy.

  • When opening a CD, you cannot specify any disposition at closing other than renewing the CD. Their customer service will not change the disposition to anything else either until the CD is about to mature. Even after you are within a 30 day window of maturity, they say they have changed the disposition but it still says “renew” on the account status. Worse, they continue to send email and pop-ups on the website warning you that you need to change the disposition if you don’t want it to renew automatically.

  • Funds are not available from a maturing CD on maturity date. Or the day after. Or the day after that. According to Synchrony, closing the account takes five business days, and you can’t get access to your money during that period.

  • ACH transfers are delayed to achieve maximum float for Synchrony. Between that and the point just above, it took 6 days to get access to my funds after the CD matured. I am certain the issue is not on the receiving end as I frequently ACH into the account and it is consistent same day once the originating bank sends it. I transferred funds from CIT Bank and Synchrony at the same moment to the same bank, and CIT Bank ACH was credited same day.

So while their occasional promos are difficult to resist, it is doubtful I’ll put more rungs on the CD ladder at Synchrony.

1 Like

This is an automatically-generated Wiki post for this new topic. Any member can edit this post and use it as a summary of the topic’s highlights.

We had significant (for us) funds with Synchrony up until their website re-do fiasco in 2015 or 16. They didn’t even seem to mind when we pulled the funds. I’m not sure if lots of people were yanking their money and they were used to it, or if they didn’t care.

As for CDs, they were not so ignorant or incapable. That seems to be one method for them to squeeze people and make up for the promos. Those promos were a very nice touch after their spinoff.

I don’t know if I expect things to get better with Synchrony as they go through some pretty difficult stuff with Wal-Mart as WM starts to move some of their business to Capital One.

1 Like

For 2 year terms and under I have found that TBills have higher after tax yield than CDs here in high-tax Cali. I just looked at their website and their promo rate is 2.75% for a 15 month term. The 12 month TBill rate is now 2.74%. Multiply that by about 1.1 gives a taxable equivalent yield of 3.02%

For tax deferred, the brokered CD rates at places like Fidelity, Schwab and Vanguard are now better than places like synchrony. Last I checked a 2 year CD at Fido had a yield of 3.05%. Synchrony’s 2 year CD is 2.75%

1 Like

I’ve been battling with Synchrony on their Cathay card for the annual fee refund for over two months now. I finally called in, after numerous “escalations” over the last two months, yesterday to get it officially escalated. Supposedly I’ll have my $95 back within a week, plus an extra $25 for my inconvenience. Supposedly there is a button on the CSR’s screens that says “refund annual fee” or something, and that button isn’t triggering a back end process. Also, a more concerning part, is that automated letters are going to the credit bureaus to remove any delinquent account status that may have been sent automatically. Holy fiasco over $95.

Edit 21-dec-2018: as a follow up to this, in case anyone else ever has a problem similar to mine, I ended up contacting the CFPB and they contacted the bank. The bank then reached out to me, apologized profusely, and I had a check for the $95 annual fee refund in my mailbox a week later.

1 Like

I’ve got two more CDs at Synchrony within 30 days for renewal, and am following up to report that the observations in the original post are still true. The only easy renewal option you have is to renew the CD at less than market rates. Cashing the CD out at maturity requires calling and begging a human being to let you do it and it takes 20-25 minutes. And then they say it takes almost a week for the ACH transfer to complete.

OMG … I’m channeling shinobi.



You made me post. First of all, Synchrony Financial is an ATM for me owing to their PayPal card. I absolutely LOVE 'em!! My relationship with Synchrony has been as “rewarding” as they come.:wink:

But on your specific point:

I have done my share of CDs, believe me, with a great many financial institutions over the years. Fortunately I’ve never had a CD at Synchrony. But I can offer this observation:

FAR too many financial institutions, though not all, have a deeply disturbing renewal bias at CD maturity. For someone my age this is a particular concern. I wholeheartedly agree a 20-25 minute telephone call is manifestly unreasonable in order merely to secure the return of YOUR OWN money. But consider the dilemma of a person unable, by reason for example of unanticipated incapacity, even to make that telephone call in the first place. At that point inconvenience can morph into serious expense.:cry:

1 Like

… and of course Synchrony automatically renewed the CDs despite my instructions to them 29 days ago. After another lengthy call, I learned that renewing the CD was always automatic, no matter what your instructions are, and then you have to wait for the “back office” to change it, and it may take them awhile. Never again does another dollar go to Synchrony.


The siren song of a good CD offer 14 months ago made my resistance weak, and I opened several CDs with them, all with the same maturity date (If possible, I try to put about 20%, 30%, and 50% of the cash I want to put into a CD into three separate ones, just in case I need to break one early).

Now comes the renewal of these three CDs 30 days from now, and of course their messages about they will auto-renew unless I change the instructions starts. The messages they sent said that renewal instructions can be set on the website. Yes! Maybe something is new and I can simply go to a drop-down box and … but no …

After close to an hour in chat and by phone, I learned that you can only “set” a renewal instruction, not disposition instructions. Oh well, they had me there. That is, if you want to set it to auto-renew, you can do that to your heart’s content on the website, because of course, you aren’t changing anything. And no, you can’t provide disposition instructions by chat, because well, for my convenience.

So I had to endure the full script by phone fully three times (in case, I suppose, the name of my first grade teacher changed while they were doing the first one).

After getting through that, I asked them if they could stop sending me messages about how I need to let them know if I don’t want auto-renew. After a five minute hold, they said, no, I would continue to be notified by email and pop-ups on the website that my CDs will auto-renew, even though they won’t, at least I hope not. But it seems consistent with what I learned last time that you can’t really change the disposition until the auto-renew has already occurred. The chat and phone today didn’t really have any impact. You have 10 days after the auto-renewal to complain.

And I also confirmed that the CDs will stop earning interest on the maturity date, but the funds won’t be available for up to a week because I guess transferring to my HYS account at the same institution requires bookkeepers come in with quill pens and update the passbook savings books or something.

This time I mean it … no more dollars to Synchrony.


Shame on you :slight_smile:. However, it is nice to know that Synchrony is as bad as ever. It’s a shame, as prior to their spinoff from GE, and for the first 8 months after the spinoff, I enjoyed doing business with them, and sadly recommended them.

Had a run-in with their Fraud Prevention system. They declined my gift card purchase at a Target store. When I called them, they asked me to verify a code in a text message sent to my phone. I gave them the code but they said my phone number is not eligible. :man_shrugging: So I gave them another phone number but they said that number isn’t eligible either. So they asked me to take a video of myself holding my ID and send it to them in a link that they would provide. No I wasn’t going to do that. I went home, placed the order online, and it was approved immediately. Go figure.

1 Like

Uh, do you mean their Monetization System, or maybe their Bovine Redistribution System. :slight_smile:

I recall someone else on here had a similar experience where they were asked to take a video and provide it as proof of identification. But I cannot find the post.

Udderly ridiculous.