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National Bank Syncro MasterCard Review
20 Jan 2019

National Bank Syncro MasterCard | Credit Card Review

No one wants to end up paying credit card interest fees, but if you’re going to, you should make sure that they’re as low as possible. This National Bank Syncro MasterCard review will tell you more about one interesting option you have in this regard.

Pay less for those big financed purchases with this flexible low interest rate credit card.

 

General Information

You Are Interested If You’re looking to make a large lump sum purchase in the near future and want to secure an excellent rate on the money you’ll be borrowing to do it.
Brief Description The National Bank Syncro Mastercard is a variable-rate low-interest credit card that best suited to serving as a pseudo loan alternative.
Main Requirements This card isn’t very picky about who can get it; you don’t need much income or exceptional credit to do it.

Card Details

Network Mastercard.
Provider National Bank.
Card Type This is a low-interest credit card.

Fees and Interest

Purchase Interest Rate This card charges a variable purchase interest rate of Prime plus 4%. As of writing this, that adds up to an 8.90% interest rate.
Cash Advance Cash advances also use a variable interest rate (in this case, Prime plus 8%). At the moment, that comes out to 12.90% in yearly interest.
Balance Transfer Balance transfers are charged the same interest rates as cash advances, so they are currently sitting at 12.90% in interest as well.

Eligibility

Income Requirements You don’t need to earn any specific amount to get this card, so just apply and see what happens.
Household Income Requirements For the same reason described above, it also doesn’t matter how much you make as a household in total.
Annual Fee You’ll need to pay $35 a year to have this card.

Rewards

Welcome Bonus This card isn’t offering a welcome bonus right now.
How To Earn Points Because this card does not offer rewards, it also does not use a points earning system.
Benefits There are no extra benefits to enjoy with this card apart from purchase protection and extended warranty coverage.

About National Bank Syncro MasterCard

Main Features

The first thing we’ll tackle in this National Bank Syncro MasterCard review is the interest rates – after all, they are the primary draw here. This card determines its interest rates by using a base Prime rate set by National Bank themselves, then adding a particular pre-set percentage to it. This Prime rate varies fromtime to time, but for the most part stays quite low, so even with the additional percentage points the full applicable rate stays quite low. At the time of writing this, for example, the purchase interest rate is sitting at 8.90% per year, while the rate for both balance transfers and cash advances is 12.90%. These rates are easily among the lowest available in Canada, and they can really help reduce the burden of carrying a balance.

Not sure just what we mean? We’ll quickly take a look at a specific example for context. Let’s say you’re carrying a balance of $3,000 and making payments of about $300 a month. At the usual 19.99% base interest, you would pay off this loan in one year and pay almost $309 in total interest costs. At this card’s far lower 8.90% interest rate, however, you’ll pay the balance off a full month sooner and only pay about $129 in interest total. That’s a marked difference that makes it much less punishing to carry debt on your credit card.

Before we go any further, we need to talk about one significant issue with this card in this National Bank Syncro MasterCard review. Low interest credit cards like this can be great tools for anyone who wants to save a little money on an expense they would normally take out a loan for, but they are also commonly used by people with little cash to spare who just want to minimize the damage they will be doing to themselves if they have to carry a balance for a little while. In this case, though, the annual fee makes it hard to recommend that anyone do that. $35 may not be a lot of money for some people, but for those who live on a financial razor’s edge, it can make a huge difference in their quality of life. These people are also unlikely to have massive balances charged to their card because they often can’t qualify for a very high credit limit, and they are also used to living highly constrained lifestyles that cost as little as possible. Unless these people know for certain that they will be saving more than enough to offset that annual fee, it isn’t realistic to expect them to pay it. There are other cards offering rates that are slightly higher with no annual fee, and those are often a better choice for people looking to rely on them as an emergency safety net.

However, there are still some groups to whom we would recommend this card as part of our National Bank Syncro MasterCard review. The first is those who are planning on making some sort of specific larger purchases that they intend to somehow borrow money for. Instead of taking out a loan for this purpose, they can use their card and benefit from the minimal interest rate. This seems to be the primary audience for which the card was designed. The second is those who routinely carry a large balance and need to lock down the lowest possible interest rates to minimize the damage they are doing to their finances with these habits. These users will benefit greatly from the record low rates this card has to offer, but it must be made clear that they will still be paying far more in credit card interest than is healthy for anyone’s budget. Taking steps to reduce the impact of the debt while you pay it off is still a good move toward a brighter future, but users like this should still make sure to change their ways as soon as possible.

There’s not much to be said about benefits in this National Bank Syncro MasterCard review, because this card only comes with the most barebones basics of them. You’ll get extended warranty coverage on items you buy with this card and purchase protection as well, plus admission into the MasterCard Priceless Cities program, but nothing else. While you can’t necessarily fault it for that since this card is clearly intended for very specific uses instead of everyday utility, it still would have been nice to see an extra bit of insurance or two, especially since this arrangement leaves you paying an annual fee for nothing but a discount on the other payments you have to make. That can make a big difference to a lot of people, but it still doesn’t feel good to pay money just to be asked to pay more money! If that bothers you, there are probably other cards out there that would be closer to what you’d like to see.

Conclusions

The main thing we want readers to note in this National Bank Syncro MasterCard review is that this card is largely not interchangeable with other low-interest cards on the market. It may offer better rates than most of them, but the fee it charges makes it a more complicated product than that strength would imply. Low rates or not, it is not a suitable choice for every potential applicant. However, those who apply for it with specific intentions and a plan to make it all worthwhile will probably be extremely happy with it – on paper, at least, it is definitely one of the better options out there.

About National Bank

National Bank first opened its doors in 1859 and has been going strong ever since; in fact, it is not Quebec’s largest bank and once placed third on Bloomberg’s list of the strongest banks in the world. This impressive level of power is reflected in their yearly earnings, which currently stand at about $6.6 billion per year. Overall, they possess around $246 billion in total assets at the moment. They are clearly solidly established and are more than trustworthy in terms of your personal credit card needs.

What We Think

Before you make any decisions based on this National Bank Syncro MasterCard review, we want to remind you of some of the things we’ve said above: this card is not a one-size-fits-all solution and should not necessarily be chosen based on the typical low-interest card criteria. However, if what matters most to you is low rates, you won’t find many cards that can beat this one. Just be mindful of the fact that the difference between this card and many others isn’t extremely significant in most cases, and that the lack of benefits and annual fee also factor into this card’s value as well.