Barclays online savings account offers one of the highest interest rates and lowest fees available today. In this review, we cover the details to help you determine if Barclays Bank is right for you.
Barclays Bank is a relative newcomer to the U.S. online savings market. It’s been around as a bank, though, since 1690. That kind of longevity is enough to make some customers feel comfortable with keeping their money here. But you should take a second look at this bank’s online savings account offerings even if you don’t find its history impressive.
First, we’ll do a quick rundown of the account’s features. Then we’ll talk more in depth about whether or not it’s the right account for your needs.
Features and Fees
The Barclays Online Savings Account stands out for several reasons, not least of which is its APY. Here are the main features:
- 1.65% APY
- No monthly maintenance fees
- No minimum balance to open
- 24/7 online access
- Easy online transfers to and from other banks
- Savings assistant tool to help you reach your goals
- Remote Deposit available through an app
- Link your savings to your external checking account
Banking Deal: Earn 1.85% APY on an FDIC-insured money market account at CIT Bank.
Let’s Talk Interest
As we’ve said elsewhere, with interest rates well under 2%, this shouldn’t be your first consideration for a savings account. However, it should fall on your list of things to consider. And in the interest rate game, Barclays comes out ahead of most banks. Plus, their interest rates are trending up. Just a few months before this May 2018 update, the account offered 1.30% APY rather than 1.65% current APY. Hopefully that’s a trend we’ll see continuing!
Barclays FAQs says that your deposits will start earning that interest just as soon as they post to your account–usually within 2 or 3 days of initiating transfer.
No Maintenance Fees
These days, you really shouldn’t own a savings account that regularly charges you fees. There’s just no reason for it when there are so many excellent accounts available for free. This is just one example. There are no monthly maintenance fees, and there are no minimum balances or fees.
If you’re just starting out and you can’t put a lot into savings, this is definitely an account to consider. Some others don’t offer fee-free privileges until you have a decent balance in your account. But with the Barclays Online Savings Account, you don’t have to worry about that particular issue.
With all this said, the account does have some fees and consequences for certain savings behavior, including:
- Barclays has the right to close the account if you have a balance of less than $1.00 for 180 days.
- The bank will charge a $5 Non-Sufficient Funds fee if you initiate a transfer but don’t have enough money to cover it.
- Make too many transactions–more than six withdrawals in a month–and Barclays will charge $5 per withdrawal after that.
- You can get a cashier’s check, but it will cost $5.
- You will be charged $5 per returned deposit item, up to $50 in one day.
- For a $25 fee, you can have your account documentation via Express Mail or rush delivery.
Easy Access to Your Money
One of the advantages of online accounts like this one is that you’ll have several ways to transfer money to and from the account. You can use your smart phone to deposit a check remotely. You can also link the account to external checking accounts, from which you can deposit money into the account or take it out. And you can set up direct deposit. You can also get a check by mail.
The Bottom Line
So is the Barclays Online Savings Account right for you? If you need an easy way to save money but don’t want it directly connected to your main checking account, it definitely could be. This would be a great account as part of your emergency plan, or one to save for longer-term goals like buying a home or a car. With its low fees and high interest rates, it’s definitely a winner worth considering.
Updated May 25, 2018 and originally published March 14, 2018.