May 4, 2018

Barclays Bank Review: Is It Good?

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Barclays offers savings accounts and CDs with high interest rates, no minimum opening deposit, and low fees. So what's the catch? Read this review to see if Barclays is a good bank.

Barclays Promotions

Overall Score

3.9

Savings

4.5

CD

4.5

Customer Service

4.0

Mobile App

2.5
5-point scale (the higher, the better)

Pros and Cons

  • High savings APY
  • No account minimums
  • No checking account
  • No ATMS
  • Limited customer service hours

Bottom Line

Online bank with high APY for basic savings or CD needs

Barclays Bank has been around since the late 1600s when they started as goldsmith bankers. Today, they are a financial services company servicing investors around the world. Their online bank is their newest venture, but they have plenty of other experience in retail banking and credit card services to help them be successful.

Does this household name promise you anything different than any other bank offering online savings accounts? Keep reading to learn more.

How It Works

Barclays offers two types of accounts - online savings and Certificates of Deposit. The accounts are strictly online - you cannot visit a brick-and-mortar branch and talk with a banker in person. Both accounts offer high APYs and have similar requirements.

  • Barclays Online Savings Account: You can open an online savings account in a matter of minutes by completing the online form. After funding the account electronically, you start earning interest. You do not need to have a specific amount to open an account or have a monthly minimum balance.

  • Barclays CDs: If you have a little more time to let your money sit, you can tie it up in a Barclays CD with terms ranging from 3 months to 5 years. You don't need a minimum deposit and there aren't any monthly maintenance fees. You must leave the funds in the CD until maturity or you will be charged 90 days of simple interest on CD terms of 24 months or less and 180 days on CD terms longer than 24 months.

Is Barclays Bank Safe? All Barclays' deposit accounts are FDIC insured. This means that if Barclays Bank defaults, the federal government guarantees the balance in your savings account, up to $250,000.

If you're considering opening a personal checking or savings account, you must check out these promotions.

Barclays Online Savings

Barclays operates strictly online, which eliminates a lot of overhead. In exchange, Barclays is able to offer flexible requirements and higher APYs than the traditional bank.

  • No minimum opening deposit
  • No minimum monthly balance
  • Low fees ($5 excessive transaction fee, $5 NSF fee, $0.50 paper statement fee)
  • 24/7 online access to your funds
  • Easy online transfers to other bank accounts
  • Direct deposit capabilities

    Barclays

    Online Savings Account

    1.90% APY. No monthly maintenance fees. No minimum balances to open.
    • A rate that's 21x better than the national average
    • No minimum balance and no hidden fees
    • Link directly to any existing bank account

Compare Barclays Online Savings to:

    HSBC Bank

    HSBC Direct Savings - 2.01% APY

    • Earn 2.01% APY on all balance tiers
    • No monthly maintenance fee
    • Minimum balance to earn APY is $1
    • Member FDIC
    CIT Bank

    Open a Savings Builder High Yield Savings Account and Get a 2.15% APY. Terms Apply

    Synchrony Bank

    High Yield Savings

    1.90% APY. $0 minimum opening deposit. No minimum balance requirement. No fees to open or maintain account.
    • Great Rates + Safety = Peace of Mind
    • Member FDIC

Barclays CDs

Before you tie your money up in a CD, you should know the terms and requirements of the investment. Barclays offers flexible terms that are similar to their online savings accounts, but they offer a higher APY.

  • No minimum opening balance
  • Must fund the account within 14 days of opening it
  • You must maintain a minimum balance to earn at least $0.01 in interest
  • Daily compounded interest
  • You can renew or cash-out the CD at maturity
  • No monthly maintenance fees
  • Easy online transfers from external banks

    Barclays

    Online CDs

    • INTRODUCING A NEW CD RATE
    • No minimum balance, no account open fees, no maintenance fees
    • Secure, 24/7 online access to your funds

How do you access your money? When you set up your Barclays online savings or CD account, you'll link an external account to it, such as a checking account at another bank. When you want to withdraw your funds, you log into your account and click on "Transfer Funds." Once you complete the transaction, it will take between 2 and 3 business days for the money to hit your account. You can also call Barclays customer service and request that they mail you a check.

Reasons We Like Barclays

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  • You can link your online savings account to an external checking account. Even though Barclays doesn't offer checking accounts, they do allow you to link your checking account to their online savings or CD. You can link up to 3 external accounts. This makes it easy to make online transfers to and from your savings and checking.

  • You have several options to make deposits. Barclays makes it easy to deposit your money into your online savings account with direct deposit from your paycheck or ACH transfer from your linked checking account. You can also mail a check to Barclays, although this method does take the longest.

  • You can deposit funds with the Barclays app. Barclays recently revamped their website and app to make it easy to make deposits just by taking a picture of the check within the app. Barclays does hold onto the funds for 5 business days when using this method.

  • No minimum deposit to open a savings account. You don't have to worry about having enough money to open an online savings account or CD with Barclays. You can deposit as little as $1 if you wish, but obviously the more you deposit, the more interest you earn.

  • You can automatically renew your CD upon maturity. 30 days before your CD matures, Barclays reminds you of the maturity date. This gives you time to determine if you want to withdraw the cash or renew the CD. If you decide to renew, you'll need to log into your account and choose the new term. You have a 14-day grace period after maturity to take care of this.

  • They help you with CD laddering. Right on Barclays' website, you can see how CD laddering can help you free up some funds while taking advantage of longer terms. You can customize the dollar amount and the terms to see which laddering option will keep you comfortable, yet allow you to maximize your earnings.

  • They have customer service available 7 days a week from 8 AM to 8 PM. Even though Barclays is an online bank, you do have access to customer service representatives on a daily basis.

  • You won't pay monthly maintenance fees on your CD investments. Because Barclays operates online only, they are able to cut out the standard monthly maintenance fees you may pay on CD accounts elsewhere.

  • You can receive interest disbursements on your CDs. Your Barclays CDs earn daily compounded interest, which is paid on a monthly basis. You can leave it in the CD, withdraw it into an external account, or deposit it into your online savings account.

  • The Barclays app gives you all of the same functions you could do on your PC. You can manage your Barclays account from home, the office, or while sitting on the beach. Their app and online version are identical, making it easy to manage your money anywhere.

Reasons You May Want to Look Elsewhere

  • You need checking account services. Barclays is strictly an online savings or CD bank; they do not offer checking account services. But you do have the option to link an external checking account to your Barclays accounts to make moving money around easier.

  • You prefer in-person or ATM transactions. Barclays does not have any brick-and-mortar banks or ATMs. Everything is handled online; if you are not comfortable with that, you may want to try a bank that has ATM access.

  • You need frequent access to your funds. Barclays offers savings and CD accounts only, both of which limit access to your funds. If you withdraw your funds more than 6 times in one month, Barclays will charge you a $5 fee for every withdrawal. They also have the right to cancel your account if you use it like a checking account, making frequent withdrawals.

How It Compares

Ally Bank: Barclay and Ally Bank are both online banks, but the similarities end there. Ally offers more products, including checking accounts, money markets, and IRAs. If your investment needs are more complex or you want your checking and savings at the same online bank, Ally may be a viable option.

 BarclaysAlly Bank
 Learn MoreLearn More
 

Barclays

Ally Bank

SPECIAL OFFER
Online Savings Account - Learn More

SPECIAL OFFER
Online Savings Account - Learn More

 

Benefits and Features

Savings1.90% APY. No monthly service fee and no minimum deposit.1.90% APY. No monthly service fee and no minimum deposit.
CD0.35% to 3.10% APY. Terms of 3 months to 5 years. 12-month CD APY of 2.55% APY. No minimum deposit to open.0.75% to 3.00% APY. Terms of 3 months to 5 years. 12-month CD APY of 2.50%. No minimum deposit to open.
Customer Service
Mon-Sun 8am - 8pm (ET)
24/7
Locations
Online Only
Online Only

Barclays: Pricing information from published website as of 8/1/2018.

Ally Bank: Pricing information from published website as of 10/21/2018

Capital One 360: Capital One 360 is another online bank that offers higher than average APYs, but they too offer online checking, money market and IRA accounts. Capital One also offers a few physical branches called "Capital One Café," where you can go to get your questions answered and conduct your banking.

 BarclaysCapital One
 Learn MoreLearn More
 

Barclays

Capital One

SPECIAL OFFER
Online Savings Account - Learn More

SPECIAL OFFER
Capital One MMA - Learn More

 

Benefits and Features

Savings1.90% APY. No monthly service fee and no minimum deposit.1% APY. No monthly service fee and no minimum deposit.
CD0.35% to 3.10% APY. Terms of 3 months to 5 years. 12-month CD APY of 2.55% APY. No minimum deposit to open.0.60% to 3.10% APY. Terms of 6 months to 5 years. 12-month CD APY of 2.60%. No deposit to open.
Customer Service
Mon-Sun 8am - 8pm (ET)
Mon-Sun 8am - 11pm (ET)
Locations
Online Only
Online Only

Barclays: Pricing information from published website as of 8/1/2018.

Capital One: Pricing information from published website as of 11/15/2018

Goldman Sachs: If you are looking for high APY, Barclays wins over Goldman Sachs, but they are another option offering online savings and CD accounts with no minimum deposits or monthly fees.

Common Questions

  • Are the deposits in both the online savings and CDs FDIC-insured?
    Yes, Barclays Bank is FDIC-insured. This means all deposits up to the maximum amount allowed by law are covered.

  • How long do you have to wait to receive withdrawn funds?
    The exact time you'll wait to have your withdrawn funds depends on the receiving bank, but on average, you will wait between 2 and 3 business days for your funds.

  • Does Barclays put deposits on hold?
    When you deposit funds with Barclays, they will not be immediately reflected in your account. It can take up to 5 business days during the first 30 days that you open your account for deposits to clear.

  • Which account usually has higher interest rates - online savings or CDs?
    Your goal is likely to earn as much interest as possible. Generally, the longer you tie up your funds, the more interest you will earn, which puts CDs on top most of the time. In order to determine the right option for you, though, you can use Barclays tools to calculate your potential earnings and decide what's right for you.

  • What do you need to open an account?
    Barclays makes opening an account simple. All you need is your name, Social Security number, and the routing number of the external bank you will use to fund the account. If you open the account with someone, you will need their name and Social Security number as well.

Bottom Line

If you are looking for a basic savings vehicle, Barclays has two viable options. You'll likely earn more interest by using their online services than you would at your local bank. If you need constant access to your funds or want to save for things like retirement, you may want to take advantage of other online banks, though.

Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are author's alone. Please support CreditDonkey on our mission to help you make savvy decisions. Our free online service is made possible through financial relationships with some of the products and services mentioned on this site. We may receive compensation if you shop through links in our content.

Disclaimer: This content was first published on May 4, 2018. Information including rates, fees, terms and benefits may vary, be out of date, or not applicable to you. Information is provided without warranty. Please check the bank's website for updated information.

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