Do you have any retail store credit cards? Have you ever used a promotional financing plan to buy furniture, or expensive electronics? If so, you might be a Synchrony Bank customer without even realizing it.
About Synchrony Bank Credit Cards
When people talk about credit card issuers you usually hear names like American Express, Chase, Capital One, and Citi — but Synchrony is actually quite big. It’s the largest provider of private label credit cards in the country, according to a 2017 Nilson Report.
Synchrony is partnered with some of the leading companies in the U.S., including Amazon, Chevron, and Walmart, along with dozens of smaller retailers. It provides credit cards as well as other credit products, like special financing and installment loans, along with some other services.
Despite all the different card offers, you can use the basic Synchrony Bank login page at MySynchrony.com to access any Synchrony card account. Or you can download the MySynchrony app for your smartphone. You’ll be able to check your card details and pay bills with either method.
Maybe you’re wondering, “Where can I use my Synchrony credit card?”
The majority of Synchrony Bank credit cards are closed-loop, also known as private label, meaning they can only be used at their co-branded stores. The Amazon Store Card (Review), which can only be used at Amazon, is a good example of that. There are also some Synchrony cards that can be used at a selection of different stores within certain categories.
Some cards are open-loop, meaning they’re affiliated with a credit card network like Visa or Mastercard, and can be used anywhere those card types are accepted. Look for the Visa or Mastercard logo in the bottom-right of the card — if you see it, you’ll know that card is open-loop. Synchrony refers to open-loop cards as “Dual Card credit cards.” The Walmart® Mastercard (Review), for example, is best for Walmart shopping but can be used anywhere Mastercard is accepted.
Private label credit cards have rewards and benefits that are solely focused on the co-branded store, which makes sense because that’s the only place they can be used. Open-loop cards usually have additional bonus categories, allowing you to earn rewards for other purchases outside of that store.
Store credit cards are known for being relatively easy to get compared to other types of cards, making them popular among people with bad credit or limited credit. They usually don’t have annual fees and they’re often advertised in store checkout lanes, trying to tempt you into applying with the promise of a quick (but relatively small) discount. If you can’t get approved for a general-use rewards card, which would earn rewards for any purchase, anywhere, you might want to start with a store card to help build up your credit.
Synchrony cardholders can also access one of their FICO credit scores, based on their TransUnion credit reports. This is a good feature for anyone trying to establish or rebuild credit.
However, store cards also have some downsides. They typically come with low credit limits, like $500 or $1,000, and very high interest rates. You should always pay your statement balance in full and never carry a balance on a store card, because the interest you accrue will negate any rewards or benefits you got from the card (this is good advice for every card unless you have a promotional 0% interest rate). Store cards also tend to come with below-average customer support, as discussed in the section below.
Synchrony’s Multi-Store Category Cards
Some of Synchrony’s partner merchants are grouped under a few specific card account types. There are several card types, which cover a variety of stores and services:
- Synchrony Car Care™ Credit Card: Includes certain auto shops and tire retailers.
- Synchrony HOME™ Credit Card: Includes certain home furnishings, electronics, and appliance retailers.
- Synchrony Sport Credit Card: Includes certain sports and fitness equipment retailers.
- Synchrony CareCredit Credit Card: Includes certain healthcare providers.
Rather than being limited to individual stores, the four Synchrony cards above can be used at many different retailers within their categories. So, for example, the Car Care Credit Card can be used at many different auto shops; the HOME Credit Card can be used at many different home furnishings stores; etc.
If you apply for what seem like two different credit cards at certain auto shops, you may actually be applying for the same Car Care Credit Card. If that’s the case, the only difference will be the name on the card, which will be the name of the specific store at which you applied. The same holds true for the HOME and Sport credit cards.
You may have seen the CareCredit Card advertised at your doctor’s office. This card can be used with many different healthcare providers (for humans and for pets) and offers deferred financing plans to help you pay for medical services over time. Be aware that if you fail to pay back the entire balance by the due date or miss a monthly payment you’ll be charged interest for the entire length of the term, going back to the purchase date. This is true for all deferred financing plans, which are offered by many Synchrony credit cards.
Customer Service and Payment Processing
If you’re trying to get in touch with Synchrony you may find a mess of contact details and phone numbers. Start with the main Contact Page for credit cards.
From there you’ll find the general Synchrony Bank phone number for credit card services: 1-866-419-4096.
However, if you’re trying to get support for a specific credit card you might end up struggling through a phone menu. Instead of calling that number, you can find your card’s store from the menus on the left of that contact page. After selecting the store you’ll see a specific customer support number to call for your card.
Unfortunately, we’ve received many complaints from users of Synchrony Bank credit cards. Most of the complaints are about poor customer service, concerning agents who seem to either give wrong information or don’t deliver on what they promise, like waiving a fee. Other complaints are about administrative errors, trouble logging in and redeeming rewards, or difficulty making payments. This last issue — trouble making payments — is a serious one because not only can it lead to late fees, it can also have long-lasting negative effects on your credit scores.
If you use a Synchrony credit card, we strongly recommend setting up autopay for the full statement balance. Set the payment to be made as soon as possible after receiving your monthly billing statement — don’t wait until the last minute. You should also consider setting a reminder to check to make sure the payment is actually received after that. Although many people won’t experience any problems at all, and this might seem like overkill to some, you may want to take these steps to help safeguard your finances and your credit.
These warnings also apply to the other major issuer of store credit cards, Comenity Bank. While every card issuer gets its share of bad reviews, Synchrony and Comenity seem to be leading the pack when it comes to unsatisfied customers.
Synchrony Bank Retail Store Credit Cards
Here’s a full list of Synchrony credit cards, starting with retail stores in this section and covering other types of companies in the later sections. Take note that some of these cards have been discontinued for new applicants, although current cardholders can still log in using the links below.
In some cases the cards may be discontinued for current members as well, meaning your card would have been closed. If that happened you should have received a notice, and you can follow your card’s link to learn more. In still other cases, the account may have been taken over by a different card issuer; if this happened you should have received a notice. Contact Synchrony’s customer support according to the instructions above if you have any questions about your account.
Synchrony Bank Travel Credit Cards
|Cathay Pacific||Cathay Pacific Visa Signature® Card|
|Stash Hotel Rewards||Stash Hotel Credit Cards|
Synchrony Bank Gas & Auto Credit Cards
|Chevron and Texaco|
|CITGO||CITGO Rewards Credit Card|
|Phillips 66 / Conoco / 76
|Synchrony Car Care
||Synchrony Car Care™ Credit Card|
Synchrony Bank Medical Credit Cards
|Jacuzzi Saunas||Jacuzzi Saunas Credit Card|
|Lasik||LasikPlus Credit Card|
||LensCrafters Credit Card|
|Pearle Vision||Pearle Preferred Credit Card|
Synchrony Bank Miscellaneous Credit Cards
|Ebates||Ebates Cash Back Visa® Credit Card|