Barclays is one of the largest and oldest banks in the world, originally founded by two London bankers in 1690. The bank has flourished in the intervening three centuries, and while it’s still headquartered in the U.K., it has branched out to become a multinational corporation with operations in over 40 countries.
Barclays offers the full spectrum of financial products via its many international business units, including credit cards, loans and wealth management services. This review will focus solely on its U.S. online deposits business, which provides online savings accounts and certificates of deposit (CDs).
With these products, there’s no physical branch access — but Barclays online banking services do make the grade when it comes to low fees and competitive rates.
Barclays account features
Barclays offers two products via their U.S. online banking operation: a savings account and CDs of varying terms. The bank’s online savings account currently offers a very high APY when compared to other online savings accounts. We really like the fact that this account has minimal fees, and in the event that you do have to pay them, they’re competitive and reasonable.
Barclays also offers good rates on their CDs while also making them easy to invest in, requiring no minimum amount to open. Usually banks will require a high minimum deposit amount.
They also offer very low early withdrawal penalties, especially for their longer-term CDs. 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.
Both accounts are available to use with the Barclays U.S. app, which allows for fast deposit and efficient transfers.
Barclays online savings account
This savings account consistently offers one of the highest APYs available in the U.S. for online-only savings accounts. Without a doubt, this is the main draw to the Barclays online savings account.
There are no monthly account maintenance fees for this account. Deposits are FDIC-insured for up to the legal limit.
The Barclays online savings account offers free bank-to-bank online transfers are included. Incoming ACH transfers typically post two to three business days after processing. However, the account has no ATM? access, so the only way to access funds is via electronic transfer or having Barclays send you a physical check.
The account accepts direct deposit, making check deposits simple and efficient. Deposits are held by the bank five business days from the day you are credited. ACH transfers from Barclays are available immediately.
- Deposit limits: The remote deposit limits for the account are $5,000 daily for checks with a $10,000 daily maximum. You can deposit up to 10 checks in a single day, and 20 checks (with a cap of $50,000) in any 10 business day period.
- Minimum balance: There is no minimum balance required to open an account. For interest to post to your account, Barclays states you must maintain a minimum balance of $0.01 to earn the stated APY.
- Withdrawal limit: Federal Regulation D mandates certain types of telephone and electronic withdrawals, including transfers from savings accounts up to 6 per statement cycle.
- Overdraft fees: The account levies a non-sufficient funds (NSF) fee if you overdraw your account of $5 per item.
Barclays online CD account
Barclays offers CD terms ranging from three months to five years. The bank doesn’t require a minimum to open a CD, which is lower than many other banks.
When a Barclays CD matures, it automatically renews for the same length and whatever the APY is on the date of maturity. You can manually renew it for a different term, or withdraw your funds without penalty — you have a 14-day grace period following maturity to do so. The bank will alert you via email 30 days before your CD matures.
After maturity, you can transfer interest to your Barclays online savings account or a verified external account. The bank charges early withdrawal penalties. For CDs with terms than 24 months the fee is 90 days simple interest. For longer terms, the fee is 180 days simple interest.
Opening a Barclays online account
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. All you’ll need to provide is some basic personal information such as name, address, social security, or other taxpayer number. If you are funding the account with another bank, you will need the bank name, account number and routing number.
Since the accounts in this review are online-only, the only way to apply is via the Barclays website. There is no credit check for opening an account, and you should be able to use the features of each account almost immediately.
Overall review of Barclays accounts
From a bank this large, we are impressed by the quality of their savings, and their CD accounts aren’t too far behind the top offers available on our roundup of the best CDs. However, it would be nicer if they offered a corresponding checking account so you could keep all of your banking in one place. Still, 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.
The minimal overdraft fees, lack of monthly maintenance fees and high interest rates across both accounts make Barclays U.S. offering extremely attractive. The only real downside is you won’t be able to access your accounts in a branch or use ATMs. Everything considered however, Barclays is still an excellent online bank.