Palmitoylation of NMDARs occurs at two distinct cysteine clusters in the carboxyl-terminus of GluN2A and GluN2B subunits that differentially regulates retention in the Golgi apparatus and surface expression of NMDARs. Mutations of palmitoylatable cysteine residues in the membrane-proximal cluster to non-palmitoylatable serines leads to a reduction in the surface expression of recombinant NMDARs via enhanced internalization of the receptors. Mutations in a cluster of cysteines in the middle of the carboxyl-terminus of GluN2A and GluN2B, leads to an increase in the surface expression of NMDARs via an increase in post-Golgi trafficking. Using a quantitative electrophysiological assay, we investigated whether palmitoylation of GluN2 subunits and the differential regulation of surface expression affect functional synaptic incorporation of NMDARs. We show that a reduction in surface expression due to mutations in the membrane-proximal cluster translates to a reduction in synaptic expression of NMDARs. However, increased surface expression induced by mutations in the cluster of cysteines that regulates post-Golgi trafficking of NMDARs does not increase the synaptic pool of NMDA receptors, indicating that the number of synaptic receptors is tightly regulated.