Synchrony Bank backs over 120 major credit and store-based credit cards. In fact, Synchrony holds over 74 million customer accounts connected to U.S. stores. This means that if your wallet holds a credit card with a store’s name on it, there’s a good chance that you’re a customer of Synchrony Bank. These include big names like Amazon, eBay, and PayPal. Many cardholders, however, are unfamiliar with Synchrony Bank by name. We’ll discuss here some of the pros and cons of Synchrony backed credit cards, and which cards they offer.
Who is Synchrony Bank?
One reason many people are not familiar with Synchrony Bank is that they don’t offer brick and mortar branches for customers to visit. Headquartered in Draper, UT., Synchrony communicates with customers around the U.S. online or by phone. Credit cards like Chase or Capital One display their name on the front of their cards. Synchrony credit cards generally only display the store name. If you’re applying for a credit card from Sam’s Club, for example, you won’t see Synchrony displayed on the front, but that’s who you’ll actually be banking with.
Pros and Cons of Synchrony Bank
Here is a list of the benefits and the drawbacks to consider.
- Even low credit scores are considered.
- Responsible use can improve your credit.
- Includes rewards and discounts for a wide selection of stores.
- Irresponsible use can hurt your credit.
- Store cards rewards are lower than regular rewards cards.
- Typically, don’t include the perks that are standard with prime cards.
Let’s delve a little deeper into those pros and cons.
An excellent perk of Synchrony based credit cards is that even with a lower credit rating, many customers will qualify. Some customers with fair credit scores (in the 600s) have been approved.
This can be a two-edged sword of course. Used responsibly, a customer trying to rebuild their credit can benefit by applying for a Synchrony card and paying off their balance each month. If that same customer doesn’t pay on time though, the resulting interest rate can be brutal. The national average for credit card interest rates is around 17%. Synchrony Bank charges 25% APR, or even higher.
Customers should also be aware that most Synchrony credit cards perform a “hard pull” credit inquiry. This means that your credit score may drop by a few points each time you apply for one of their cards.
Since Synchrony carries cards for so many popular stores, there may be one that’s especially valuable to you based on your shopping habits. Some of these retail cards offer additional benefits, like sign up bonuses and special deals for cardholders. Others do not.
Check the smallprint before applying for a store card
Before applying for a store card, make sure you’re really benefitting from using that card, as opposed to a more valuable points card not connected to the store name. For example, using a Deserve Pro credit card could be earning you up to 3% cash back on your purchases. Using your store card may simply be allowing you to delay paying the bill until your statement comes in. There isn’t much, if any, advantage there.
Here are some of the most popular Synchrony cards that offer perks:
Amazon Prime members qualify to benefit from this cash back rewards card. Points rewards can be applied to future Amazon orders, gift cards, or redeemed as cash.
Benefits of the Amazon Prime store card are:
- 5% back for eligible Amazon Prime members
- 6-month special financing on any purchase totaling $149 or more
- 12-month special financing on any purchase totaling $599 or more
- 24-month special financing on select Amazon-sold items
- Equal monthly payment financing options available on select items
- No annual fee
The Amazon Prime Card offers excellent benefits for Prime members. Their equal monthly payment financing works by allowing cardholders to make equal payments each month, at 0% APR, until paid in full.
Sam’s Club Mastercard
The Sam’s Club Mastercard is another Synchrony backed credit card that offers great perks for customers with a membership. Sam’s Club members can earn up to $5000 cash back. Points are built as follows:
- 5% cash back on gas
- 3% cash back on dining and travel
- 1% cashback on all other purchases
Other benefits of this card include:
- No annual fee
- Doubles as your membership card
- No foreign transaction fees
- Cash access up to $100 at Sam’s Club or Walmart
For customers who have regular access to BP or Amoco gas stations, this Visa card will bring down the cost of filling up the tank. The BP Visa is currently offering these rewards:
- 25 cents off per gallon for every $100 spent at BP
- 15 cents off per gallon for every $100 spent on eligible groceries, dining and travel
- 5 cents off per gallon for every $100 spent anywhere else
While there are better rewards Visa cards out there, serious BP and/or Amoco customers can benefit from the perks of this Synchrony backed gas credit card. The BP Visa card does not carry an annual fee.
The Cathay Pacific Visa offers significantly higher sign-up bonuses than we typically see with Synchrony credit cards. This card also comes with excellent travel rewards. Unlike the cards listed above, the Cathay Pacific Visa does include an annual fee of $95.
- 2 x Asia miles per $1 spent on Cathay Pacific travel
- 1.5 x Asia miles per $1 spent on dining anywhere in the world
- 1.5 x Asia miles per $1 spent on purchases abroad
- 1x Asia mile per $1 spent on all other domestic (U.S.) purchases
- No foreign transaction fees
- Emergency cash disbursement
- Emergency card replacement
- Roadside dispatch
- 2-Day priority flight reward redemption
- Complimentary membership to the Marco Polo Club for the first year of enrollment
These are just a few of the Synchrony based credit cards out there. Chances are you carry one of their cards already. Here is a list of Synchrony backed credit and store cards:
Additional Synchrony credit cards
Can I make a payment to Synchrony using a credit card?
Yes, you can pay your Synchrony Credit card using another card. There is a link on their payment site allowing you to add a credit card number for payment.
In what stores can I use my Synchrony credit card?
Most Synchrony credit cards are for use only in the store that they are designed for. If your credit card is a Visa or Mastercard, you may use it anywhere that credit cards are accepted.
How do I make a payment on my Amazon credit card?
- Go to Amazon.com and log into your account.
- Go to “Account and Lists”
- Scroll down to “Your Amazon Credit Cards”
- Choose “Make a Payment”
How do I pay my Discount Tire credit card?
You have a few options here.1. Sign into your account and choose to “make payment” or choose “auto pay” if you want to make sure that your bill is paid on time each month.2. Mail a check or Money Order to their billing address:
P.O. Box 960061
Orlando, FL 32896-00613. Pay over the phone (877-295-2080). Keep in mind that there is a fee for this payment option.
Where can I use my Synchrony Home credit card?
There are thousands of participating retailers. You can find the closest one to you on their website.
What is Synchrony Bank’s credit score approval?
This depends on the card that you’re applying for. Many require a credit score of over 740. However, there are others that allow for fair credit ratings (within the 600s). In general, cards with perks require a higher credit score.SuperMoney’s credit card comparison tools make it easy to compare an extensive list of personal credit cards.
Read free reviews and expert guides before you shop. This will help you find a better deal and make the search a little less daunting.