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The Synchrony Premier World Mastercard® comes with a $0 annual fee and boasts unlimited 2% cash back on all purchases.
Among flat-rate cash-back credit cards, that makes it one of the better options on the market, and certainly more versatile than many of Synchrony's co-branded store credit cards, many of which can be used only at a specific merchant.
Still, you can find cards with similar or higher rates, and it lacks some incentives you'd expect to find on cards in its class.
1. 2% back on everything is quite good
A 1.5% rewards rate used to be the gold standard, but the Synchrony Premier World Mastercard® joins a relatively recent wave of credit cards that earn 2% back or more on everything.
There are no limits on the amount of cash back you can earn, and because the 2% rate applies to any purchase, there's no need to keep track of revolving bonus categories. Spend $1,000 in a month; earn $20 back.
True, that simplicity comes at a price. You forfeit higher rewards rates — some as high as 8% — that come with other cards. But those rates generally also come with limits, whether in terms of a spending cap, merchant type or time of year.
If you like the idea of cash back but don’t have the time or desire to learn complicated reward programs, the Synchrony Mastercard may be a good choice.
2. Redemption is effortless but limited
It’s pretty effortless to redeem the rewards earned for spending with the Synchrony Mastercard: All cash back is automatically converted to a statement credit every month. There's no minimum redemption threshold.
Again, if you appreciate simplicity, that's great. But if you crave options, maybe it's not so great. The Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer, for example, also earns 2% back on every purchase — 1% when you buy, 1% when you pay it back. But technically, those rewards are earned as points, and you can redeem them for a variety of things: statement credits, yes, but also direct deposits, gift cards and purchases on Amazon. You can even transfer those points to a limited number of travel partners.
Also, because the Synchrony Mastercard automatically converts rewards into a statement credit, you lose the ability to "bank" your cash back and redeem it whenever you like for something specific.
3. There's no sign-up bonus
The lack of a sign-up bonus on a cash-back card is a bit of a bummer.
For comparison, the $0-annual-fee Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card earns 2% back on all purchases, but it also features a rich welcome offer: Earn a $200 cash rewards bonus after spending $1,000 in purchases in the first 3 months.
4. There's no 0% intro APR offer
The Synchrony Mastercard is not the best card if you expect to carry a balance on the account, whether from a balance transfer or a large purchase that you plan to pay off over time. The ongoing APR is 14.24%, 20.24%, or 27.24%, Variable.
Plenty of cash-back credit cards offer 0% intro APR periods, often for a year or longer. Take the aforementioned Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer. You'll get a 0% intro APR on Balance Transfers for 18 months, and then the ongoing APR of 15.49%-25.49% Variable APR.
Meanwhile, the previously mentioned Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card offers 0% intro APR on Purchases for 15 months and 0% intro APR on Balance Transfers 15 months from account opening on qualifying balance transfers, and then the ongoing APR of 16.49%, 21.49%, or 26.49% Variable APR.
5. You'll get cell phone insurance and other perks via Mastercard
Since this card is a "World" tier Mastercard, you'll have access to various benefits through the Mastercard payment network, including limited-time credits for Lyft, HelloFresh and DoorDash. (Terms apply.)
But perhaps the most useful and/or potentially valuable side perk here will be cell phone insurance. If your cell phone is lost or stolen, you can be reimbursed for the phone up to $600.
You must pay your cell phone bill with the Synchrony Mastercard to be eligible for coverage.