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Last updated on Dec 11, 2019

Barclays Review

Online banking with competitive yields for both savings accounts and CDs ​
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6 features evaluated

3 companies compared

2 ratings analyzed

Barclays Review

Barclays is based in London, but it operates in the U.S. primarily via its online services. The APYs for online savings accounts are outstanding, as are those for CDs. However, Barclays doesn’t offer checking accounts, which could be a drawback for some customers. Additionally, it only operates five branch locations, so it’s only the right choice if you’re fine doing most of your business online.

That said, it does have its perks. While some banks charge at least $35 or more for an overdrawn account, for instance, Barclays only hits you with a $5 fee. If you’re in need of a bank that offers high yields for online accounts, Barclays may be a fitting choice.

Pros Cons
Long-term savings plans with high APYs
Online-focused experience
No checking accounts
Few physical branches
Cash-dependent ATM transactions

The Claim

On its homepage, Barclays claims to make savings “easy — and rewarding.”

Is it true?

Yes. Barclays’ U.S. operation focuses entirely on savings accounts and CDs — you won’t find offerings like mortgages, which is a Barclays staple in the U.K. — but it does those things exceptionally well. Its savings accounts and CDs feature competitive APYs, currently with a 1.60% for savings and up to a 2.10% for CDs. The only downside? Barclays doesn’t have many physical branches in the U.S., so you may not find it quite as “easy” if you’re not comfortable with primarily online banking.

What Barclays Offers

Online savings account

Pros Cons
No minimum balance for opening account
Competitive interest rate
No monthly maintenance fees
No access to funds through ATMs
No tiered APY rates

Barclays’ online savings accounts come with one of the highest APYs around: 1.60%, as of March 6, 2020 . If all you’re looking to do is keep your money in your account and accumulate interest, Barclays is a great option. However, you can’t access your funds using an ATM, so it’s not ideal if you like the security of being able to withdraw your funds at any point.

Credit cards

Pros Cons
Variety of cards with perks like cash back and financing on Apple products
High APRs
Potentially high annual fees

A credit card with Barclays may be a good option for you if you’re looking to earn points or cash back through your credit card. Barclays offers a variety of options. Some give points for cruises, like Princess and Carnival, while others cater to specific airlines. Sports fans may appreciate the NFL Extra Points card, which earns you bonus points for team-related purchases and offers special financing on ticket purchases. However, while perks and drawbacks vary by card, many cards have yearly fees and high APRs, so make sure to look into the specifics of any card you’re interested in before signing up.

Online CD accounts

Pros Cons
Competitive interest rates
Nine different CD terms
No minimum deposits
Low APYs on CDs with terms less than a year

Barclays offers CDs with very high APYs, particularly if you commit to holding the CD for a year or more. On top of that, accounts don’t require a minimum deposit, so you don’t have to dig deep into your savings in order to enjoy a rewarding APY.

That said, a CD with Barclays may not be the best choice if you’re looking to invest for a short period of time. APYs start at 0.35% for a three-month CD and then go up to 0.65% and 0.70% for six-month and nine-month deposits, respectively. After that, the rate leaps up to a more competitive 2.00% and climbs to 2.10% with a 60-month term.

Personal loans

Pros Cons
No fees
Choose when you want to pay off loan
Invitation-only

According to its sign-up landing page, Barclays personal loans don’t incur any fees. They’re presented as a tool that you can use to help manage your money and credit. Rates start as low as 4.99%, and the loan terms offered are 36, 48, or 60 months.

However, currently you need an invitation code in order to apply for a loan online. You can inquire about getting an invitation code by contacting Barclays via phone. If you receive approval for one, the bank will send notification by mail.

Product Overview

  • In business since: 1736
  • J.D. Power 2019 U.S. Online Banking Satisfaction Study score: N/A
  • FDIC-insured: Yes
  • States served: 50
  • Number of locations: 5
  • Pros: High APYs and no balance requirements
  • Cons: Few physical locations and no ATM access

Features

Savings account
No minimum balance required
High APY
No monthly maintenance fees
CDs
No minimum balance required
No monthly maintenance fees
Competitive interest rate for longer terms

Information accurate as of March 6, 2020.

Impressive APYs

Barclays offers customers some of the most powerful online savings account options available. Customers enjoy the high yields they get, regardless of the amount of money they choose to deposit. A basic savings account comes with one of the highest APYs in the business, currently 1.60%, but if customers decide to deposit their money into a CD for a longer period of time, they get to rake in an APY of up to 2.10%.

No minimum balance required to open accounts

Many people balk at opening accounts with leading institutions because they require either a minimum deposit or a minimum balance each month in order to avoid paying pesky fees. With Barclays, you don’t have to worry about either. This gives you the freedom to open an account and add to it as you see fit. You may choose to regularly deposit a percentage of your pay into your account or even use a series of CD accounts, rolling over the profits from one into another in order to compound your earnings each year or two. Because Barclays removes the barrier of a minimum deposit, you can start from the bottom and climb as quickly or as gradually as you wish.

Robust online banking platform

What Barclays lacks in branch locations, it strives to make up for with its online banking platform. Using the online portal, customers can gain access to many banking activities that they typically would perform in person. The online platform integrates well with the bank’s mobile banking app, too: Through the app, you can enroll in paperless statements, transfer money, and even get a quick view of basic account details without having to log in. While the app isn’t rated exceptionally well — it earns a 3.8 out of five on the Apple App Store and a 4.1 out of five on Google Play — it should get the job done.

Possible drawbacks

No access to ATMs

ATMs have become part of the American banking fabric, and although cash is becoming less and less convenient, most people still need to access it via ATMs. No matter where you go in the U.S., you won’t find a Barclays ATM, which means you have to access your money in other ways. While it’s unlikely that you’d need an ATM often given that Barclays doesn’t offer checking accounts, it’s still nice to have the option if you need to withdraw from your savings in a pinch.

Only five physical branches in the U.S.

Even though walking into an actual branch seems old-fashioned, there are certain types of banking transactions that are either easier or faster when done in a face-to-face manner. Because Barclays doesn’t have many physical branches in the U.S., adopting Barclays as your first banking option requires comfort with a digital-only experience; if this doesn’t sound like you, you may be better off with a bank like Capital One.

Takes two to three days to withdraw funds from deposit accounts

Withdrawing money is often a time-sensitive necessity. Whether you’re trying to give someone cash or get some green before heading out on a trip, quick access is something many people have come to expect. Barclays has a two-to-three-day waiting period, and on top of that you have to deal with the inconvenience of either an ACH transfer to your other bank account or the time it takes to receive a check in the mail.

The Competition

Barclays TIAA Bank Capital One
J.D. Power 2019 U.S. Online Banking Satisfaction Study score
N/A N/A 4/5
Minimum checking requirement*
No checking accounts available $25 for basic checking $0 for high-yield checking $0
Minimum savings requirement*
$0 $25 $0
Maximum savings account APY
1.60% 1.10% 1.80%
One-year CD APY
2.00% 1.85% for basic account 2.10% for high-yield account 2.10%
Monthly maintenance fees
$0 $5 or $0 with minimum account requirements $0 with high-yield checking account $0
24/7 customer service
Number of states served
50 50 50
Check rates Check rates Check rates

*Minimum required balance to waive monthly fees (if applicable)

Information accurate as of March 6, 2020.

Barclays FAQ

How many locations does Barclays have?

There are five Barclays branch locations in the U.S. They’re located in Georgia, Illinois, Massachusetts, New York, and Texas. Because the bank is based in the U.K., its banking presence there is more widespread. There are 1,600 branches in the U.K. alone, and there are a total of 4,750 branches in 55 countries worldwide.

Does Barclays have ATM access?

Barclays ATMs are located in other countries around the world, but there are none in the U.S. Branch locations are located in five states, where customers can perform banking transactions in-house.

What fees does Barclays charge?

The bank doesn’t charge maintenance fees for any of its deposit accounts. Like all banks, Barclays charges interest rates for loans, but there are also no fees for the loan origination process.

The Bottom Line

Overall, we recommend Barclays for people who want to get the highest possible APYs for online savings accounts and CDs. For those with this as a priority, it may be worth it to forego the convenience of a typical brick-and-mortar bank that has many ATMs. Its lack of minimum balance requirements also makes Barclays a great option for those who want the freedom to start off small with either a savings account or a CD. However, people who need quick access to cash, or those who want to keep their checking and savings with the same bank, may want to pursue other banking options.