Ally Bank vs. Synchrony Bank: Which Is Best for You?

Tony ArmstrongMay 19, 2021

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Online banks Ally and Synchrony can earn you more interest than traditional banks can, partly because they don’t have to shell out money to maintain branches.

But the two banks have differences that can matter: Synchrony has no checking accounts, but its savings rates are competitive enough to consider if you're focused on accounts with high annual percentage yields.

Snapshot comparison

Ally Bank

Synchrony Bank

Checking accounts

Ally Interest Checking

  • Monthly fee: $0.

  • Minimum opening deposit: $0.

N/A

Savings accounts

Ally Online Savings

  • APY: 0.50% APY on all balances for standard accounts.

  • Monthly fee: $0.

Synchrony High Yield Savings

  • APY: 0.50% APY on all balances for standard accounts.

  • Monthly fee: $0.

Certificates of deposit

Ally High Yield CD interest rates

  • 1 year: 0.55% APY.

  • 5 years: 0.80% APY.

  • Minimum deposit: $0.

Synchrony CD interest rates

  • 1 year: 0.55% APY.

  • 5 years: 0.85% APY.

  • Minimum deposit: $0.

Overdrafts, ATMs, customer service

  • Overdraft fee: $0.

  • Overdraft protection transfer fee: $0.

  • Branches: 0.

  • ATMs: 43,000+.

  • Customer service: Available 24/7 by phone, live chat and email.

  • Overdraft fee: N/A.

  • Overdraft protection transfer fee: N/A.

  • Branches: 0.

  • ATMs: Thousands worldwide with the Visa Plus and ACCEL logos (see more details).

  • Customer service: Available by phone 8 a.m.-10 p.m. ET, Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. ET on weekends; live chat is also available.

Ally Bank Overall Star Rating
NerdWallet rating 
Read review
Synchrony Bank Overall Star Rating
NerdWallet rating 
Read review

Choose Ally if:

  • You're looking for an online bank with full product offerings, including checking accounts.

  • You want a competitive interest rate on your checking account.

  • Access to live customer support at any time of day is important to you.

  • You want access to an overdraft program.

Choose Synchrony if:

  • You only want savings options and don’t want a checking account.

Below is a detailed breakdown of how the banks compare when it comes to checking, savings, CDs, customer experience and overdraft fees.

Ally Bank vs. Synchrony Bank: Basic checking accounts

Ally Interest Checking

Synchrony

Monthly fees

$0.

N/A

Minimum deposit to open

$0.

N/A

APY

0.10% APY for deposits under $15,000.

N/A

ATM fees and network

  • Access to over 43,000 free Allpoint ATMs.

  • Reimburses customers up to $10 per month for out-of-network ATM fees.

N/A (See ATM network details for Synchrony savings account holders)

Sign-up bonus

None.

N/A

Ally offers checking, and Synchrony doesn't. If you're shopping for a new checking account, Ally has a lot to offer. The account even reimburses some ATM fees and earns interest, which are rare features for checking accounts.

» Want to see more options? See the best online checking accounts

Ally Bank vs. Synchrony Bank: Basic savings accounts

Ally Savings

Synchrony High Yield Savings

APY

0.50% APY on all balances for standard accounts.

0.50% APY on all balances for standard accounts.

Monthly fee

$0.

$0.

Minimum deposit to open

$0.

$0.

Sign-up bonus

None.

None.

Both banks' savings accounts are nearly identical, with interest rates that reflect the current rate environment. You can't go wrong with either. Their rates are significantly better than the national average savings rate of 0.06%.

» Want to compare other accounts? See our best high-yield online savings accounts

Ally Bank vs. Synchrony Bank: Certificates of deposit

Ally

Synchrony

Minimum opening deposit

$0.

$0.

APY on one-year term

0.55%.

0.55%.

APY on three-year term

0.65%.

0.75%.

APY on five-year term

0.80%.

0.85%.

Neither bank requires a minimum deposit, and both have competitive rates.

Ally Bank vs. Synchrony Bank: Banking experience

Ally

Synchrony

Branches

0.

0.

Banking apps (ratings from app store users)

  • 4.7 out of 5 stars for iOS.

  • 3.6 out of 5 for Android.

  • 4.8 out of 5 stars for iOS.

  • 4.7 out of 5 stars for Android.

Customer service

  • Available by telephone 24/7.

  • Social media support available.

  • Live chat support available.

  • Available by telephone 8 a.m.-10 p.m. ET, Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. ET on weekends.

  • Social media support available.

  • Live chat support available.

Ally and Synchrony have very similar bank experiences. Both banks are online-only and have strong websites and solid mobile apps. As far as customer service, you can reach either bank by phone, chat or Twitter.

If you’re an Android user you might prefer Synchrony, whose app gets higher ratings than Ally’s.

Ally Bank vs. Synchrony Bank: Overdraft fees

Ally

Synchrony

Overdraft fee

$0; you have six business days to bring your balance back to positive to avoid your account being limited.

N/A

Overdraft protection transfer fee

$0.

N/A

Extended overdraft fee

$0.

N/A

Neither bank charges overdraft fees, but only Ally offers a checking account. Because Synchrony doesn't offer a checking account, it doesn't allow an overdraft to occur.

Ally offers a checking account, but no longer charges a fee for for overdrafts. The median fee among big banks is $34, and some don't have a daily maximum for overdraft fees.

Ally is hard to beat

Synchrony’s rates on savings products and minimum balance requirement are pretty much on par with Ally's. But Synchrony’s overall game doesn’t quite compete in terms of product offerings, because it doesn’t offer a checking account. If you’re looking to keep your checking and savings accounts under the same roof, you’ll be disappointed by Synchrony. Ally’s accounts, meanwhile, are among the best we’ve come across for any bank.

If the idea of joining an online bank appeals to you but you want more options, take a look at our list of the best online checking accounts.

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