Barclays Bank Review: High Rates for Savings

Barclays

8

Product Rating

8.0/10

Strengths

  • Competitive interest rates
  • No monthly fees
  • No minimum balance requirements
  • Flexible deposit and withdrawal methods

Weaknesses

  • No checking accounts
  • Doesn’t offer minor accounts
  • Online-only
  • No IRA retirement accounts

Everyone wants a great interest rate on their savings. But along with a good return, it’s important to do business with a bank that’s accessible and trustworthy.

Barclays high-yield savings account earns a competitive yield and doesn’t have fees or account minimums. But as with many online banks, you may notice limitations with the offered products.

In this review of Barclays US online bank, I’ll cover the strengths and weaknesses and present you with a few online banking alternatives to consider. Are you ready? Let’s get started!

Table of Contents
  1. Who is Barclays Bank?
  2. Who Should Use Them?
  3. Who Can Join?
  4. Bank Fees
  5. Deposit Account Options
    1. Online Savings
    2. Online CDs
  6. Reader Experiences with Barclays
  7. Additional Features
    1. Savings Assistant
    2. CD Calculator
    3. Check Deposits
    4. Mobile App
  8. Pros and Cons
  9. Popular Banking Alternatives
    1. Ally Bank
    2. CIT Bank
    3. Discover Bank
  10. Is Barclays Bank Worth It?
  11. FAQs
  12. Final Thoughts

Who is Barclays Bank?

Barclays is an international bank with its head office in London. In the United States, they offer individuals online banking and credit cards. 

Operating in the US as Barclays Bank Delaware, its online banking accounts are FDIC insured (FDIC Cert# 57203).

There are also wealth management and corporate finance, but this review only covers Barclays savings accounts and how you can earn a high-interest rate on online-only savings accounts and Certificates of Deposit (CDs).

Learn more about Barclays

Who Should Use Them?

Barclays is worth considering if you want to earn a competitive interest rate on your short to medium-term savings.

Unfortunately, Barclays doesn’t offer checking accounts, and there are no brick-and-mortar branches. As a result, you won’t be able to use Barclays for your daily banking needs, such as paying bills, as you won’t receive a debit card or paper checks.

If you’re fine with using Barclays for savings only, then it’s one of your best options for the following reasons:

  • Earn competitive yields
  • No minimum balance requirements
  • Zero account service fees
  • 24/7 online account access
  • Up to $250,000 in FDIC insurance

If you’re chasing the highest savings account rates, Barclays Online Savings currently yields 4.35% APY (as of ) on your entire balance.

Who Can Join?

Barclays US banking accounts are open to United States residents at least 18 years old. Unfortunately, it’s not possible to open minor accounts. However, parents can open up to 25 savings accounts which can be an indirect way to track a child’s savings balance and earn an industry-leading yield.

Bank Fees

There are no fees on any Barclays account, including their certificates of deposit.

For example, you will never pay the following:

  • Account opening fee
  • Account maintenance fee (monthly service fee)
  • Inactivity fees
  • Minimum balance fee 

The only fee you might encounter is for early CD redemptions:

  • 90 days of simple interest for terms shorter than 24 months
  • 180 days of simple interest for terms longer than 24 months 

Deposit Account Options

Barclays offers clients two options to save their extra money and earn more interest – an online savings account and certificates of deposit (CDs) with terms ranging between 1 and 5 years. Let’s take a closer look at both products.

Online Savings

Barclays Online Savings is the cornerstone of this online bank and the best reason to start stashing your cash here.

Your entire deposit earns up to 4.35% APY (as of ), which is one of today’s best yields. Moreover, it’s significantly higher than what brick-and-mortar banks offer, and you don’t have to worry about monthly service fees or minimum balance requirements.

Some of the best account features include:

  • Can make unlimited withdrawals per month
  • Have up to 25 accounts
  • Can receive direct deposits and mobile check deposits

Barclay’s unlimited withdrawals are a nice feature, given that most high-interest savings accounts are limited to six monthly transactions per federal law.

It’s also easy to deposit new funds into your account. While your new balance begins earning interest immediately, Barclays will hold your deposits for five business days before they can be withdrawn. 

Online CDs

You may also consider placing money you don’t need for at least 12 months into a Barclays certificate of deposit.

Barclays offers term CDs from 6 months to 60 months.

  • 6 months: 4.85% APY
  • 12 months: 5.00% APY
  • 18 months: 4.50% APY
  • 24 months: 4.00% APY
  • 36 months: 3.50% APY
  • 48 months: 3.50% APY
  • 60 months: 3.75% APY

Unlike many bank CDs, there are no minimum deposit requirements, so you can easily make a CD ladder. Typically, it’s not uncommon for banks to require at least $1,000 to open a CD – so this low limit is great.

As you’re committing your money for a preset period, you receive a higher APY than the online savings account that lets you make withdrawals on demand. The CDs have an early redemption fee of at least 90 days of interest applies if you don’t wait for the CD to mature.

As of this writing, Barclays does not offer a no-penalty CD.

While you can earn a competitive interest rate, US Treasury Series I Bonds might be a better option as the yields are substantially higher while inflation rates remain elevated. 

The minimum holding period for I Bonds is 12 months, but you must hold for 60 months to avoid an early redemption penalty of 90 days’ interest. So, the holding periods are similar to CDs, but you can potentially earn a staggeringly higher yield.

Learn more about Barclays

Reader Experiences with Barclays

We had a reader, Walter, send in his positive experiences with Barclays:

You asked about the Barclays offer

I was so intrigued that I forwarded it to my daughter (age 24 and has a healthy savings account, still in a Huntington “savings” account that might as well pay nothing at all) and urged her to read over your info.

I try not to push, but she might as well have her savings work for her and I hope she takes advantage of their offer…$200 to start a good savings plan is just a very good deal.

I have had an active Barclays on-line savings plan (tied to my checking) for years and I find it safe and efficient.  I treat it as our emergency fund and rarely have had to dip into it.  Meanwhile, it chugs along at a very nice (not the top rate, but one I am comfy with) interest rate and is now making us some real money. 

Just this week I added $600 and it took about 5 minutes.  Sign in to Barclays (I use double authentication for safety), type in the amount for transfer and when you want it done.  Boom.  I get a near instant e-mail that says the transfer took place (and this is from my local, bank based checking account—that still prints me free checks).

Barclays provide very handy on-line tax forms at the end of the year.  Print out for tax verification, etc.

I have had no issues/problems with them for many years, so here is my testimonial.

Additional Features

While you won’t get in-person branch access, Barclays has several tools to make it easier for you to bank online. Here are some of the features you can expect to see after opening a Barclays account.

Savings Assistant

You can easily create savings goals using the Savings Assistant tool. This feature lets you estimate how quickly you can achieve your goal at your current savings rate.

CD Calculator

The Barclays CD Calculator lets you quickly see how much interest you will earn if you open a CD. This tool can be vital if you’re living on a fixed income or want to know precisely how much short-term investments make. 

Check Deposits

The Deposit Checks feature lets you easily upload paper check images from a computer, tablet, or phone. You can instantly start earning interest on these deposits, and it’s another reason you don’t need local banking access.

Mobile App

The Barclays US Savings app is available on the Apple App Store and Google Play Store. This app makes it easy to bank and remote deposit checks on the go. 

Additionally, this app is different than the one you might use for Barclays-issued rewards credit cards. 

Pros and Cons

Barclay’s has a lot to offer dedicated savers if you can get past the limited product offering, which excludes checking accounts and IRAs. Here’s my list of pros and cons for this online bank.

Pros

  • Competitive interest rates
  • No monthly fees
  • No minimum balance requirements
  • Flexible deposit and withdrawal methods

Cons

  • No checking accounts
  • Doesn’t offer minor accounts
  • Online-only
  • No IRA retirement accounts

Learn more about Barclays

Depending on what you’re looking for, the following online banks can offer more services and potentially higher yields.

Ally Bank

At Ally Bank, you can enjoy high-yield savings, money market accounts, and interest-bearing checking accounts.

There are no minimum deposits for these accounts, and unlike with Barclays, IRA CDs are also available. Additionally, you can invest through Ally Invest with commission-free trades and powerful research tools. Read our full Ally Bank review for more information.

CIT Bank

CIT Bank offers many savings account options, including a high-yield Savings Connect account with a $100 minimum deposit requirement. 

For more flexibility, you may consider the money market and eChecking accounts which provide debit card access and up to $30 monthly ATM fee reimbursements. For more information, check out our CIT Bank review.

Discover Bank

Discover® Bank offers a high-yield savings account with no balance requirements and a competitive yield. First-time members may be able to earn bonus cash by visiting our Discover Bank promotion page

You can also open a free checking account that earns debit card rewards (up to 1% back) and access 60,000 surcharge-free ATMs. Read our Discover Bank review for more.

Is Barclays Bank Worth It?

Barclays is a solid choice if your only priority is getting the best possible rate on a savings account or CDs. Their rates are among the highest available, and comparable to Ally Bank, a top competitor.

At the time of this writing, both companies have the same online savings interest rate. Their CD rates are close as well.

The only knock against Barclays is that there is no checking account. This means you can’t write any checks or use a debit card. It’s strictly a savings account.

FAQs

What are the Barclays Bank customer service options?

Toll-free phone support is available daily from 8 AM to 8 PM Eastern. There are also many common questions in the online FAQ sections.

How many Barclays Bank branches are in the USA?

There are no brick-and-mortar branches for retail customers in the United States. However, there are locations across the country for wealth management and corporate clients.

Is Barclays Bank safe?

The US-based Barclays Bank Delaware is FDIC-insured. If the institution fails, up to $250,000 in balances are eligible for FDIC Insurance. This bank is part of an international platform with a positive reputation, but it’s essential to remember that no bank is risk-free.

Final Thoughts

Barclays is an excellent option if you’re looking for top rates on high-yield savings accounts and CDs. But, unfortunately, you won’t be able to switch all your banking to this platform as they don’t offer checking accounts.

That said, some people like separating their savings from their other banking. You may not want to keep your long-term savings and spending account under the same umbrella if you struggle to save your disposable income.

Learn more about Barclays

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About Josh Patoka

After graduating in $50k with student loans in May 2008 from Virginia Military Institute with a B.A. International Studies and Political Science with a minor in Spanish (he studied abroad in Sevilla, Spain for 3 months), Josh decided to sell his soul for seven years by working in the transportation industry to get out of debt ASAP and focus on doing something else with a better work-life balance.

He is a father of three and has been writing about (almost) everything personal finance since 2015. You can also find him at his own blog Money Buffalo where he shares his personal experience of becoming debt-free (twice) and taking a 50%+ pay cut when he changed careers.

Today, Josh relishes the flexibility of being self-employed and debt-free and encourages others to pursue their dreams. Josh enjoys spending his free time reading books and spending time with his wife and three children.

Opinions expressed here are the author's alone, not those of any bank or financial institution. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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