Barclays Bank Review for 2020
Barclays Bank offers no-fee online savings accounts and CDs that have competitive annual percentage yields (APYs).
Keep reading to learn all about Barclays Bank so you can decide if it makes sense for you to open an account with them.
Barclays Bank: An Overview
Barclays Bank is the U.S. online banking wing of Barclays PLC, a London-based global financial powerhouse with over $1 trillion in assets.
The firm’s history begins more than 300 years ago, and in 1736, the first iteration of Barclays was formed.
Since that time, Barclays has notched a wide range of impressive accomplishments. Here are a few of them:
- Invented the first ATM machine
- Financed the first industrial steam railway system
- Employs nearly 80,000 people worldwide
However, more recently, Barclays Bank has made a push to gain traction in the U.S. online savings and investment market.
What services does Barclays Bank offer?
Barclays Online Savings
Barclays Online Savings Accounts offer an impressive 1.90% APY on deposits, which according to their website, is 21x better than the national average.
By comparison, Chase and Bank of America’s savings APY is a paltry 0.01%. No thanks!
As is standard with other online savings accounts, customers can access their funds via the Barclays secure website portal and mobile apps 24 hours a day, seven days a week (except, of course, during scheduled maintenance).
Here are some screenshots of their app, courtesy of the App Store:
Barclays online savings accounts allow for direct deposits, easy online transfers to and from other banks and other accounts, and there are no minimum monthly balance or maintenance fees to worry about.
For what it’s worth, I really like Barclay’s Savings Assistant, which is an online calculator that predicts how long it will take you to achieve your financial goals. Simply choose your goal, enter how much you’ve already saved up, how much the goal is going to cost, and how much you’re currently able to set aside per month.
Next, the Savings Assistant will compute how long the goal will take to achieve.
Online Certificates of Deposit (CDs)
Barclays Online CDs let your money to grow safely and securely while earning up to 2.25% APY. Not too shabby!
To sign up, simply enter your personal details on their website, and link your external bank account where you plan to transfer funds from.
Here are the current APYs Barclays is offering at the time of this writing:
- 3-month CD: 0.35% APY
- 6-month CD: 0.65% APY
- 9-month CD: 0.70% APY
- 12-month CD: 2.25% APY
- 18-month CD: 2.25% APY
- 24-month CD: 2.25% APY
- 36-month CD: 2.20% APY
- 48-month CD: 2.20% APY
- 60-month CD: 2.20% APY
CD Laddering is a unique feature of Barclays Online CDs. Laddering enables you to invest in 1-year CD terms and roll those investments into a new CD each year upon maturity.
This allows you to earn the interest rates of a longer-term CD while still giving you access to your cash in case you need it.
The CD Laddering feature is a little more complicated than a traditional CD, so if that’s something you’re interested in, I recommend researching their website or contacting Barclays directly.
Keep in mind, though, that while CDs may have higher yields, your money is tied up in these accounts for the duration of the term. For example, you can’t touch the money in a 24-month CD for two years.
So, while you might earn more from them, you have to consider whether you’re okay with potentially not being able to touch your money for some period of time.
Barclays Bank FAQs
Next, I’m going to answer some common questions about Barclays Bank.
Is Barclays a good bank?
Yes. Barclays Bank is a good online savings bank. The company offers competitive APYs on savings accounts and online CDs.
With that said, Barclays Bank does not offer a traditional checking account. If you’re looking for a bank that offers a wider range of services—such as checking accounts, mortgages, or auto loans—you’ll have to look elsewhere.
Is Barclays Bank FDIC-insured?
Yes. Barclays Bank is FDIC-insured. As such, deposits of up to $250,000 per account holder are protected.
Check out the official FDIC website if you’d like to find out more about how the government agency operates.
Is Barclays a good loan company?
Barclays Bank does not offer loans. If you’re looking for a traditional bank loan, you’ll have to look elsewhere.
For more information on personal loans and how the entire process works, check this out.
What is Barclays savings interest rate?
At the time of this writing, Barclays Online Savings Accounts offer a 1.90% APY. Barclays Online CD rates range from 0.35% to 2.25%, depending on the term.
Pros & Cons of Barclays Bank
The APYs offered with Barclays Online Savings Accounts and Online CDs are noteworthy. While the online savings account might be a great place for you to invest your emergency fund, a CD could be a great vehicle for saving up a down payment for a house without much risk, if any.
No Monthly Maintenance Fees or Minimum Balance Requirements
A huge benefit to the Barclays Online Savings account is that there are no monthly maintenance fees. There also isn’t a minimum balance requirement to avoid fees. I recommend avoiding bank accounts that charge fees, whenever possible. Who wants to see a portion of their earnings get gobbled up by a massive financial institution?
Barclays Savings Assistant and CD Laddering features are unique and not offered by the other online banks. These features can help you get ahead financially by taking some of the legwork out of the budgeting and investing process.
Global Brand Recognition
If you travel a lot, especially to the U.K., it might be in your interest to initiate a banking relationship with Barclays. The firm has a large presence internationally compared to the limited international presence of most other U.S.-based online savings accounts.
Bad Reviews for Barclays Mobile Savings App
Considering that your entire relationship with Barclays Bank is going to be conducted online, and most of your transactions are going to be processed through the Barclays mobile apps, I find their mobile app reviews to be quite concerning.
What’s worse, the Barclays Mobile Savings App has only a 1.7 star rating (out of 5) on the Google Play Store. Since the last thing you want is a headache from your bank, you may want to look elsewhere.
At present, Barclays Bank only offers an online savings account and CDs. You’ll have to shop elsewhere for a bank that offers a full-service checking account.
Low Yields on Short-Term CDs
If you’re interested in finding the best deal on short-term CDs, you’ll probably want to look elsewhere. While Barclays offers 0.65% APY on 6-month CDs and 0.70% APY on 9-month CDs, Ally Bank offers 1% and 1.25% respectively.
No Physical Branches
As with most other online banks, Barclays has no physical locations. You probably won’t need them, but what happens if their app isn’t working and you need quick access to your emergency fund?
If it happens off-hours, you could be out of luck. (Or mostly out of luck at least. Barclays Customer Service call center is open from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. ET.)
Is Barclays a Good Bank?
With so many different online banking options, deciding which financial institution to trust with your money is not an easy decision.
If you’re looking for a straightforward savings account that offers a competitive APY, Barclays Bank is definitely worth consideration. What’s more, Barclays Online CDs also offer very competitive APYs. If you’re a risk-averse investor looking to get a decent return, they might be the perfect option.
On the other hand, if you’re looking for a bank that offers more features such as personal loans, checking accounts, round-the-clock customer support, and highly rated user-friendly apps, you might want to look elsewhere.
I hope this post has helped make your banking decision easier. Good Luck!