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Reviews

This is the best high-yield savings account for easy access to your cash

CNBC Select reviews the Synchrony Bank High Yield Savings so you can decide if it's right for you.

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Editor's Note: APYs listed in this article are up-to-date as of the time of publication. They may fluctuate (up or down) as the Fed rate changes. CNBC will update as changes are made public.

A key factor in setting aside cash in a bank account is knowing that you'll be able to access it whenever you need to. Perhaps you run into a medical emergency or an unexpected expense on your car. Maybe your checking account is low and you want to transfer money from your savings before you get hit with overdraft fees.

While online high-yield savings accounts offer some of the highest interest rates, they are also generally harder to access your money than when you bank at a brick-and-mortar institution.

Federal law limits high-yield savings account holders to a maximum of six withdrawals or transfers of money (including electronic transfers, checks and wire transfers) out of their account each month without any penalties. This limit, currently waived during the coronavirus outbreak under Regulation D, helps when you're trying to grow an emergency fund because it prevents you from frequently dipping into your savings.

But if it seems nerve-wracking to have limited access to your savings, a savings account that offers an ATM card for convenient withdrawal options may be a smart idea.

Synchrony Bank High Yield Savings ranked as the "best for easy access to your cash" on CNBC Select's top high-yield savings account list because customers can make unlimited transactions with the account-provided ATM card.

Below, we take a close look at the Synchrony Bank High Yield Savings by breaking down its annual percentage yield (APY), access to your cash, perks and fees so you can decide if this high-yield savings account is right for you.

Synchrony Bank High Yield Savings review

Synchrony Bank High Yield Savings

Synchrony Bank High Yield Savings
Information about the Synchrony Bank High Yield Savings has been collected independently by CNBC and has not been reviewed or provided by the bank prior to publication. Synchrony Bank is a Member FDIC.
  • Annual Percentage Yield (APY)

    0.65%

  • Minimum balance

    None

  • Monthly fee

    None

  • Maximum transactions

    Up to 6 free withdrawals or transfers per statement cycle *The 6/statement cycle withdrawal limit is waived during the coronavirus outbreak under Regulation D

  • Excessive transactions fee

    None, but may result in account closure

  • Overdraft fees

    N/A

  • Offer checking account?

    No

  • Offer ATM card?

    Yes

See our methodology, terms apply.

Pros

  • Strong APY
  • No minimum balance
  • No monthly fees
  • Up to 6 free withdrawals or transfers per statement cycle*
  • Easy ATM access
  • 1 physical branch (in Bridgewater, New Jersey)

Cons

  • Account could close if you make more than 6 transactions in a statement cycle
  • No option to add a checking account

Synchrony Bank High Yield Savings APY

The current APY is 0.65%. Users of the Synchrony Bank High Yield Savings can start earning interest right away, with no minimum balances required in their account.

Synchrony Bank compounds interest on your savings daily and credits it monthly on the statement date.

Access to your cash

Withdrawing money is quick and easy when you have a Synchrony Bank High Yield Savings account. Synchrony Bank offers an optional ATM card to its savings account holders that gives you unlimited access to withdraw your money at an in-person ATM.

When you use your ATM card, you can make unlimited monthly withdrawals at an ATM (up to $1,000 per day). The bank's ATM network gives customers access to thousands of machines displaying the Visa Plus and Accel logos, both in the U.S. and abroad. Merchant locations where you can find an ATM include restaurants, convenience stores and drugstores. You can also make withdrawals at the bank's one physical branch in Bridgewater, New Jersey.

Other than ATM access, you can withdrawal money via wire transfer (up to three free per statement cycle) or through an electronic transfer to accounts you have at other banks. These will be subject to the federal limit of six transactions (waived during the coronavirus outbreak under Regulation D).

To deposit money into your savings account at Synchrony Bank, you can make an electronic transfer from an external bank account that you've linked, do direct deposit, make a wire transfer, mail a check or use the bank's mobile app to deposit a check.

Perks

Synchrony Bank's customer service line is available seven days a week by phone or online chat, as well as 24/7 through its app so you can manage your account on-the-go.

Additional customer perks include complimentary identity theft assistance, travel discounts and free webinars.

Fees

There is no minimum balance requirement and no monthly fees with the Synchrony Bank High Yield Savings account.

Synchrony bank won't charge an ATM fee, but the ATM provider may. For these charges, Synchrony Bank has a fee reimbursement policy: It will refund ATM fees in the U.S. up to $5 per statement cycle.

You should still be wary how much you withdraw from an ATM because the fees, even with a $5 refund, can add up quickly. ATM operators charge customers an average fee of $3.09, found Bankrate. Just two visits to the ATM in one month would already put you over the refundable amount.

Bottom line

For savers looking for a safe place to stash their cash that leaves the door open, the Synchrony Bank High Yield Savings is for you. You don't need a checking account in order to get an ATM card and make unlimited transactions at its large network of ATMs.

If you were looking for a high-yield savings account where you could open a checking account as well, consider the Ally Online Savings Account.

Learn more: Looking for a safe place to stash your cash? The pros and cons of keeping your money in a high-yield savings account

Our methodology

To determine which high-yield savings accounts offer the best return on your money, CNBC Select analyzed dozens of U.S. savings accounts offered by online and brick-and-mortar banks, including large credit unions. We narrowed down our ranking by only considering those savings accounts that offer an APY around 1%, no monthly maintenance fees and low (or no) minimum balance requirements.

While the accounts we chose in this article consistently rank as having some of the highest APY rates, we also compared each savings account on a range of features, including ease of use and account accessibility, as well as factors such as insurance policies and customer reviews when available. We also considered users' deposit options and each account's compound frequency.

All of the accounts included on this list are FDIC-insured up to $250,000. Note that the rates and fee structures for high-yield savings accounts are not guaranteed forever; they are subject to change without notice and they often fluctuate in accordance with the Fed rate. Your earnings depend on any associated fees and the balance you have in your high-yield savings account. To open an account, most banks and institutions require a deposit of new money, meaning you can't transfer money you already had in an account at that bank.

Editorial Note: Opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the CNBC Select editorial staff’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any third party.