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Synchrony Bank VS PenFed Credit Union

Which bank is better for you?

  • Financial Rates: 5.0 Star Icon
  • Customer Service: 5.0 Star Icon
  • Variety of Terms: 5.0 Star Icon
  • Required Opening Amount: 4.0 Star Icon
CD Account
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  • Competitive interest rates on CDs
  • Good variety of CD terms available
  • Encourages CD laddering
  • Fifteen-day interest rate guarantee


  • Fee for quickly closing the account
  • CDs have required amounts to open
  • Rate guarantee does not apply to renewal
  • Best perks for diamond customers
  • Financial Rates: 5.0 Star Icon
  • Customer Service: 5.0 Star Icon
  • Variety of Terms: 5.0 Star Icon
  • Required Opening Amount: 5.0 Star Icon
No Rate Information
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  • Low opening required amounts
  • Good variety of CD terms available
  • Competitive interest rates on CDs
  • Can choose how to receive interest


  • Must become a member first
  • Can only open standard CDs online
  • No interest rate guarantee for CDs
  • Early withdrawal fees are high
Synchrony Bank CD Review

The interest rates for Synchrony CDs are competitive. Each of the CD terms offers competitive interest rates. They are competitive with other online CD accounts. Synchrony rates are much higher than typical bank rates. They are not tiered, so any balance over $2,000 earns the competitive rate.

There are a good variety of CD terms available through Synchrony Bank. The CDs range from 3-months to 60-month terms. There is a total of nine CD terms available. Synchrony Bank also offers a Special Rate 15-month CD term.

Synchrony encourages CD laddering to earn more interest. By laddering CDs, you earn competitive rates from investing in longer-term CDs. Laddering means one long term CD matures each year. This means you can access your money more often, without paying a fee. Your money earns the best rate, but one CD matures each year in case you need to access it.

When you open a CD with Synchrony, you receive the interest rate the day you open the account. If the rates increase during the time Synchrony receives and processes your deposit you will receive the higher rate. The window for the rate to increase is 15 days for regular CDs. IRA CDs have a 60-day window. Once Synchrony determines the rate, it is locked in for the life of the CD term.

If you open a Synchrony account and quickly change your mind, there is a fee for closing the account. Customers can close their CD within six calendar days after the CD funds. The fee for withdrawing money within the first six days is seven days of interest. If you close the account after one day, you are still charged seven days of interest.

The minimum required amount to open any of the Synchrony CDs is $2,000. The deposit must be from one single transaction. With the $2,000 you can open any of the CDs offered, including the 15-month CD. You cannot open a CD with Synchrony Bank without at least $2,000.

Synchrony offers a 15-day rate guarantee for regular CDs and a 60-day rate guarantee for IRA CDs. The rate guarantees do not apply when you renew a CD after it reaches maturity. The interest rate guarantee only takes effect when you open a new CD.

Synchrony offers perks to each of its customers. To earn the best perks, you must be a Diamond member and meet those set requirements. To be a Diamond member, you must have account deposits over $250,000 and be a customer for more than five years.

Read the full Synchrony Bank review.

PenFed Credit Union CD Review

The opening required amount for PenFed CDs is low. Each standard and IRA CD terms only require $1,000 to open. The education CDs only require $500 to open. You can open the CDs online or in a branch location.

There are a good variety of CDs available through PenFed. They offer nine standard CD terms from six months to seven years. Their IRA CDs and educational savings certificates terms range from one to seven years.

Each CD term with PenFed offers competitive interest rates. The rates are competitive with other online CDs. The standard, IRA, and education CDs interest rates are competitive. They are higher than the typical bank interest rates.

There is more than one way to choose how to receive interest payments earned from your PenFed CDs. You can have the money added to the CD or another account. You can choose to have the money sent to you in a check. You can receive the interest earned monthly or when the CD matures.

To open a CD with PenFed, you must first become a member of the credit union. If you have or are currently serving in the military, you can become a member. Living in certain areas or being a member of set organizations qualifies you. If you work for the U.S. government or other organizations, you are eligible as well. If you do not meet any of these requirements, you can pay a $5 fee. Once you are a member, you can apply for accounts.

PenFed offers standard CDs, IRA CDs, and educational CDs. Members can only open standard CDs online. To open the other types of CDs, you must visit a branch location or contact customer service. All the standard CD terms are available to open online.

The standard PenFed CDs do not offer an interest rate guarantee. If you open a CD and the interest rates increase shortly after, your interest rates will not increase. The PenFed standard CDs offer competitive interest rates.

The early withdrawal fees for PenFed CDs are high. If you withdraw money early from a six-month CD, you will lose all your interest. For CD terms longer than six-month the fee is all interest earned if withdrawn in the first year. After the first year, the fee is 30 percent of what would have been earned if the CD had reached maturity.

Read the full PenFed Credit Union review.

Favorite Rates

Capital One
1 Year CD 12/7/2022
APY 4.00%
Rate 4.00%
For APY $0
Monthly Fee $0.00
Checkbook Yes
Get peace of mind with fixed rates and guaranteed returns
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