Barclays is one of the largest and oldest banks in the world. In fact, it’s even older than the United States itself, having been founded by two London bankers in 1690. It’s been chugging along ever since, and while it’s still headquartered in the UK, they’ve branched out to become a multinational corporation with operations in over 40 countries.
They offer many financial products such as credit cards, loans, and wealth management, but here we’ll focus on just one small part of their business: their online savings and certificate of deposit (CD) accounts. In this review we’ll tell you exactly what you need to know to make an informed decision about whether Barclays is right for you.
Note: all rates are current as of May 23, 2018.
Barclays online savings account
Barclays’ online savings account offers a great rate with low fees, but doesn’t offer ATM access to your cash.
Minimum Balance Amount
- Minimum opening deposit: None
- Monthly account maintenance fee: None
- Non-sufficient fund fee: $5 per item
If you’re looking for a great, high-interest online savings account, it’s tough to go wrong with this one. Still, there are a few things you should know.
While this account is very light on fees, it’s not totally without them. The fees you’re most likely to face are their non-sufficient funds (NSF) fee if you overdraw your account, and their excessive transaction fee each time you make more than six transfers or withdrawals per month. Don’t blame that limitation on the bank, however; Regulation D limits certain transactions on all savings accounts. A bank can also close your account or change it to a checking account if you make excessive transactions.
Finally — and this might be a biggie, depending on your situation — you cannot access your funds via ATM. In fact, the only way you can get the money out of your account is by electronic transfer or requesting a physical check to be mailed to you.
How to open a Barclays online savings account
Opening an online savings account with Barclays is easy. You can apply online by providing some basic personal information about yourself (name, address, Social Security number, or other taxpayer ID number). You’ll also need to be at least 18 years old and live in the U.S.
on Barclays’s secure website
How Barclays online savings account compares
While Barclays currently offers a very high interest rate when compared to other online savings accounts. We really like the fact that this account has very few fees, and in the event that you do have to pay them, they’re very reasonable. As a comparison, other banks sometimes charge up to $35 for an NSF fee, whereas Barclays only knocks you back $5 per item.
The only shortcoming this bank has that we can see is its lack of an ATM card. Because electronic transfers can take a couple of days to process, you won’t have immediate access to your cash. But, if you don’t mind the wait, this shouldn’t be too much of a limitation for you.
Barclays CD rates
Barclays’ CDs offer simple, no-fuss terms, and decent rates.
Minimum Deposit Amount
- Minimum amount to open an account: None.
- Early withdrawal penalty: 90 days’ worth of interest for CDs of 24 months or less. 180 days’ worth of interest for CDs longer than 24 months.
Once you open up a CD with Barclays, you can expect to have interest tallied up and deposited into your account once per month. What’s really cool about this is that you can withdraw your interest penalty-free at any time. You can even set up automatic transfers so that your monthly interest payments are deposited into another account (whether it’s at Barclays or not).
When your CD matures, it will automatically renew into another CD of the same term length. But don’t fret; you still have a 14-day grace period where you can withdraw or add money, and/or change the CD term length.
How to get a Barclays online CD
To open up a Barclays CD, you’ll need to be at least 18 years old and live in the U.S. You can easily apply online by clicking the link below. All you’ll need to provide is some basic personal information such as name, address, social security, or other taxpayer number.
on Barclays’s secure website
How barclays online CDs compare
Barclays offers good rates on their CDs, but you can get a higher return on CDs with the same term at other banks. However, many of those higher APYs require a minimum deposit, which Barclays does not. They also offer very low early withdrawal penalties, especially for their longer-term CDs. Just as a comparison, Barclays will only charge you 180 days’ worth of interest for pulling out a five-year CD early, while some banks charge as high as two years’ worth of interest. Still, we don’t recommend pulling out your CD early if you can help it.
We love that there are no minimum deposit sizes for their CDs. Most banks will require a substantial deposit size, but you can put anything into a Barclays CD. This makes it really accessible for people with less money to still earn super-high interest rates.
Overall review of Barclays’ banking products
From a bank this large, we are impressed by the quality of their savings, and their CD accounts aren’t too far behind the best offers available. We wholeheartedly recommend Barclays to anyone looking for solid interest rates and low fees.
It would be nicer if they offered a corresponding checking account so you could keep all of your banking in one place. However, splitting up your savings from your everyday spending does have some advantages, such as making it more difficult to tap into your savings unless you really need it.
But, everything considered, Barclays is an excellent bank to park your savings with.