How can a bank that offers no physical branches, no ATMs, and no checking accounts gain footing in the American market?
By offering low fees and some of the best rates on money market savings accounts.
That’s the recipe Barclays Bank, a British bank with a history stretching back into the 17th century, has employed to grow its business since expanding into the U.S. market.
If you want to save money for the long term without accessing your money regularly, Barclays may be a great fit for you. Check out our Barclays Bank review for more reasons why this bank could be a worthwhile option for your savings account.
Barclays Bank Review
Product Name: Barclays Bank
Product Description: Barclays Bank does one thing well: high interest online savings. You can link multiple accounts and deposit checks online through the web app. Barclays requires no account minimums and no monthly fees. This account is best for those who want only a high interest online savings account.
- Products & Services
- Interest Rates
- Fees & Charges
- Website / App
- Customer Service
When it comes to Products & Services, Barclays Bank offers a great high yield savings account, as well as CDs. However, you won’t find any checking or money market accounts here. Barclays Bank’s Interest Rates are much higher than the national average. And its CD rates are far better than what you’ll find at a brick-and-mortar bank. However, we’ve seen even higher rates at other online-only banks. We’ve given Barclays Bank high marks for Fees & Charges because there are no fees to open or maintain an account. Barclays also charges an insufficient funds fee of only $5 – far better than the typical $30. Barclays’ Website/App accessibility is fine, but we’ve heard complaints about the mobile app. Customer Service isn’t around the clock, but it is available seven days a week.
Barclay Bank Features
|Banking Account Types||Savings Accounts, CDs|
|Other Account Types||Credit Cards, Personal Loans|
|Minimum Required Deposit to Open Account||$1|
|Number of Branches||Internet Only|
|ATM Network Size||No ATM Network; Reduced ATM Fees with Bank of America|
|App Availability||iOS, Android, and Mobile Optimized Website|
|Customer Service Types||Phone, Chat, Email|
|Customer Service Hours||Phone: 7 Days a Week; 8 AM to 8 PM ET|
|Member FDIC||FDIC Certificate #57203|
|Routing Number / ABA Number||031101321|
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- Low Nonsufficient Funds Fee. Barclays charges only $5 for nonsufficient funds. This compares favorably with the $30 fee you’ll find at most other banks.
- Deposit Checks. Deposit funds in your account by photographing or scanning a paper check and uploading it from your personal computer or smartphone.
- Savings Assistant. This free tool doesn’t even require a Barclays account to use. Simply enter the amount of money you need to save for a particular goal, how much you have saved already, and how much you can afford to contribute each month. The calculator will then tell you how long you’ll need to save before you reach your target.
- Dream Account Bonuses. The Barclays Dream account rewards savers with extra interest bonuses when they reach certain goals. Make a monthly deposit or make no withdrawals for six consecutive months and you’ll earn a 2.5% bump on interest earned over that time.
- FDIC Insurance. Each Barclays Bank account is FDIC-insured up to $250,000
What Is Barclays Bank?
Based in London, Barclays Bank offers financial services to nearly 50 million people around the globe.
The bank traces its history back to 1690. The world was a much different place then. The United States didn’t exist. The Industrial Revolution hadn’t begun. Capitalism itself was in its infancy.
Of course, Barclays Bank has changed with the times. It first expanded beyond the shores of Great Britain in 1836, during the height of the British Empire. However, Barclays Bank arrived in America relatively recently, in 2001.
Barclays operates its United States banking division from Delaware, where it holds $155 billion in assets for its American customers.
Financial ratings agencies such as Moody’s and Standard & Poor’s currently give Barclay’s stable and positive reviews. Plus, even though the bank is based in Britain, Americans’ deposits up to $250,000 are protected by the FDIC, just as at any other member bank.
How to Get Started with Barclays Bank
Opening a new savings account at Barclays is easy and can be done completely online. As with most banks, you’ll need to provide personal information, including your Social Security number, your occupation, and numbers for the account(s) you wish to link. You’ll also need to fill out and sign a few forms, which can be handled quickly on the website.
Once Barclays has verified your linked accounts with some test deposits within two to five business days, you’re off and running.
Funding Your Barclays Bank Account. You can fund your Barclays account by using Check Deposit with a paper check either on a computer or smartphone, by setting up direct deposit from another bank account, by an ACH transfer, or by mailing in a paper check to Barclays’ address.
Barclays Bank Account Options
Barclays High Yield Savings
If you’re familiar with Barclays’ offerings in other parts of the globe, you might be expecting a huge range of banking and financial products. By comparison, what Barclays offers American customers is rather pared down: online-only savings accounts and CDs.
So if you’re looking for full-service checking accounts, you’re better off with another bank, such as Ally Bank. However, if you’re looking for a savings account with an interest rate that beats the pants off most other banks, you’re in luck.
At the time of this writing, Barclays’ current annual savings rate is about 20 times higher than the national average. And there are no fees associated with this account, either.
How can this bank afford a high payout rate? Like many online-only banks, Barclays has eliminated huge overhead and infrastructure costs. As a trade-off, you won’t find a Barclays Bank branch in your neighborhood. And you also won’t find any ATMs.
To withdraw your savings from your Barclays account, you’d need to complete an electronic transfer to another bank. That makes Barclays Bank an inconvenient choice if you want easy access to your cash.
For example, if you planned to withdraw that $25,000 next week to pay for the trip to Europe you’ve always wanted to take, opening a high yield interest savings account through Barclays isn’t worth the extra trouble.
But Barclays Bank accounts really pay off for long-term savings. If you can leave your money alone for a few years, it’ll grow and grow, turning into a source of passive income that you can use any way you see fit.
Barclays Bank CDs
Barclays also offers certificates of deposit (CDs) that can pay even more in interest than the savings account. The rate you’ll receive depends on the terms you choose. However, you’ll lock in that interest rate when you first open that CD — traditional savings accounts are subject to rate fluctuation.
Barclays’ CD terms currently vary from three months to five years. But as with its savings account, Barclays’ CD rates are among the highest on offer. And unlike many other online banks, Barclays doesn’t have a required minimum deposit for opening a CD.
Note that, although Barclays charges very few fees across all of its products, you’ll have to pay a penalty if you close a CD before it reaches maturity.
Barclays Bank Customer Service
If you have questions or concerns about your Barclays account, you won’t be able to head over to a local branch office to talk to a representative. For some folks who prefer old-fashioned banking services, that can be a deal-breaker. However, in exchange, remember that you’ll be receiving some of the highest interest rates out there.
If you do need to contact customer support at Barclays, you have a few options. If you need immediate assistance, you can call Barclays seven days a week from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. ET. That’s not as great as the 24/7 service some other banks offer. But it’s better than traditional banker’s hours.
- Barclays Bank telephone number: 1-888-710-8756
- Barclays Bank address: Barclays Bank, P.O. Box 2460, Cranberry Twp., PA 16066
Barclays Bank Pros & Cons
Barclays Bank Pros
- High Interest Rates. Barclays’ rates are among the highest in the nation
- No Minimum Balance Requirements. You don’t need to deposit a certain amount of money to start earning high interest rates.
- No Monthly Account Fees. Fees are few and far between with a Barclays account.
- Nonsufficient Funds Fee Only $5. Although your goal should be to always have enough money in your account, the NSF fee of $5 is far cheaper than the usual $30 found at other banks.
Barclays Bank Cons
- Online Only. If you like banking the old-fashioned way, you’re out of luck with Barclays.
- No Dedicated ATM Network. There are no ATMs for withdrawing cash, and there are no reimbursements offered for using another bank’s ATMs. These savings accounts are meant for long-term savings.
- No Checking Account. Barclays offers only savings and CD accounts, so you’ll probably need to use another bank for checking.
Saving money is a great way to take control of your personal finances. Instead of paying high interest rates on credit accounts, you can be earning interest on your own capital.
A high-yield savings account such as Barclays’ online banking account should continue to offer a higher rate of return than a traditional savings account or local credit union.
Barclays is great at what it does. If you need a simple savings account or longer-term CD and not much else, go for it.
If you want ATM access and the ability to do all your banking in one place, you may be better off using another savings account.