If you’re looking for a bank to invest your savings in to earn very high-interest rates, check out Barclays Bank.
Though they offer only limited banking services, the rates they pay on savings products are among the highest offered anywhere.
In this review, I’ll be highlighting all the accounts you can open with Barclays, their best features, and the pros and cons of banking with Barclays.
About Barclays Bank
Barclays Bank is one of the oldest banks in the world. Started in 1690, in London, England, it has been one of the most innovative banks in that country’s history.
Today, it is a major global financial services provider, offering retail banking, credit cards, corporate and investment banking and wealth management.
The bank claims 48 million customers and clients worldwide, with total assets of nearly $1.5 trillion.
The Bank operates in the US though Barclays Bank Delaware. It started in 2000 as Juniper Bank, offering insurance products and credit cards.
It was acquired by Barclays Bank in 2004 and expanded its credit card operations. The Bank now offers high-interest savings and certificates of deposit (CDs) that pay some of the highest rates offered among online banks.
However, it doesn’t offer many traditional bank products, like checking accounts or consumer loans. Instead, it functions as a pure savings platform.
Barclays Bank Savings Products
Currently, Barclays Bank offers two savings products, Online Savings, and Online CDs.
Barclays Online Savings Account
The Barclays Online Savings Account is currently paying 2.05% APY on their online savings account.
That’s competitive with high yield savings accounts offered by the better paying online banks, and well above traditional bank savings rates.
The account requires no minimum balance to open and charges no monthly maintenance fees. It also comes with 24/7 online access to your funds, online transfers to and from other banks, and direct deposits.
And once again, as is the case with savings account rates throughout the banking industry, rates are subject to change.
Online Savings deposits. Deposits can be made by Remote Deposit (see description below) from your computer or mobile device, by direct deposit (including your income tax refund), electronic funds transfer (ACH), or by check.
Checks drawn on foreign banks, third-party checks, wire transfers, money orders, and cash are not acceptable deposit methods.
Funds will clear immediately when transferred from other Barclays accounts you own. Funds deposited by check or electronic transfer from an external account will be held for five business days from when the deposit is credited to your account.
Online Savings withdrawals. You can make withdrawals online by selecting the Transfer Funds feature. Funds can then be transferred to an external account, typically within two to three business days. You can also request to have a check mailed directly to you by calling Customer Care.
As is the case with savings accounts and money markets with all banks, withdrawals and outgoing transfers are limited to no more than six per monthly statement cycle. (This is a federal regulation under Regulation D, and not unique to Barclays Bank.)
Barclays Bank Online CDs
Barclays Bank Online CDs pay rates comparable to those paid by high yield online banks. However, the most attractive rates apply to CDs with maturities of 12 to 60 months.
Interest compounds daily, and there are no monthly fees or minimum initial balance requirements.
CD terms range from three months to 60 months, and offer interest rates and APYs as follows (as of October 26, 2018):
|CD Term||Interest Rate||APY|
Beyond the basic rates, there are a few more factors to consider when it comes to opening a CD with Barclays.
CD maturity. You’ll receive an email alert about 30 days before your CD matures. CDs can either be withdrawn upon maturity or set to be automatically renewed at the same term. There is a 14-day grace period when you can withdraw the funds without being subject to an early withdrawal penalty.
Early withdrawal penalties on CDs. Barclays Bank early withdrawal penalties have two tiers:
- 90 days simple interest on CDs with terms of 24 months or less.
- 180 days simple interest on CDs with terms greater than 24 months.
Early withdrawal penalty waivers. The penalty may be waived under certain circumstances, such as the death or incompetence of the account owner. You also have the option to receive monthly interest disbursements from your CD(s) without triggering the penalty.
Barclays Bank Features and Benefits
Barclays Bank Calculators
The Bank offers the following calculators to help you make savings and investing decisions:
- CD Ladder. This calculator will help you to construct a CD ladder based on the amount of money you have to invest, and the term of the CDs you want to invest in. You’ll get specific recommendations on the CD’s you’ll need to construct a ladder, complete with the current interest rate being paid on each.
- CD Calculator. This tool will show you how much interest you will earn on a CD of a specific term, based on the interest rate being paid on that certificate.
- Savings Assistant. This calculator will enable you to run different scenarios to help you save money for goals.
That can include saving for a vacation, buying a car, or the down payment on a house.
You enter the cost of the goal, how much you already have saved, and how much you’re contributing monthly. It will calculate how long it will take you to reach your goal.
Remote Deposit/Deposit Checks
You can make remote check deposits by taking a picture of the check, either with your mobile device or your computer scanner. The name of the process is apparently being changed to “Deposit Checks”, though “Remote Deposit” appears frequently on the Barclays website.
You must sign the back of the check, and write “For Mobile Deposit at Barclays Bank Only” on the back. Your photo or scan must include both the front and back of the check.
Checks deposited after 3:00 pm Eastern Time will be processed on the next business day, and be subject to a five business day minimum hold.
The maximum amount of any check deposited using Remote Deposit is $5,000, and there is also a daily limit of $10,000 and 10 checks. There is also a 10 business day limit of $50,000 and 20 checks.
The Barclays Mobile App is available for iOS 9.0 or later, and is compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. It’s also available for Android, 4.2 and up.
The app is available at The App Store and Google Play.
The website notes ”…one-time transfers may be initiated on your mobile device to and from linked and verified external accounts”. Reviews of the app report users being unable to make external transfers using the mobile app, so “one-time transfers” may mean just that.
Customer Service and Account Security
Barclays Customer Care is available by phone, seven days a week, from 8:00 am to 8:00 pm, Eastern time. You can also access your account 24/7 through your online account.
All funds held at Barclays Bank are fully FDIC insured for up to $250,000 per depositor.
The Bank uses the following security measures to protect your account and your identity:
- Secure Socket Layer (SSL) and Transport Layer Security to provide a 128-bit secure link between your browser and the Bank.
- Global Digital certificate signed by VeriSign to assure you’re communicating with Barclays and not a “copycat” site.
- A time-out applies to your logon session.
- Firewalls and other technology are used to block unauthorized traffic to the Bank website.
The transfer of information between you and the Bank, and between the Bank and authorized third parties, is always encrypted to insure it isn’t available to unintended third parties.
How to Open an Account with Barclays Bank
The application process is entirely online. The application will request the following information:
- Your full name.
- Social Security number.
- Date of birth (you must be at least 18 years old).
- Email address.
- Primary phone number, plus consent to call or text, as well as the level of that consent.
- Your complete address.
- Country of citizenship and residency.
- Length of time at your current address (must cover at least two years).
- Your occupation.
- Type of account – single or joint; Online CD or Online Savings account.
- Opening deposit amount.
- Account funding – providing routing number, account number and account type of external funding account.
Once all that information has been supplied, you’ll be asked to create a User ID and Password, as well as to supply your mother’s maiden name and a security question and answer. You’ll also be given the option to enroll in two-factor authentication.
Finally, you’ll be asked to complete and sign the electronic consent agreement, terms and conditions, and a W-9 certification.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Barclays Bank
- Barclays Bank offers some of the highest rates available for online bank CDs and pays many times more than what brick-and-mortar banks.
- The interest rate paid on the Online Savings account is one of the highest among online banks.
- There are no account fees charged on either Barclays CDs or the Online Savings account.
- Barclays Bank does not offer a checking account option, though this is often the case with online banks.
- No accounts are offered for minors (they were halted on June 6, 2017).
- There’s a question as to whether or not the mobile app can be used to make ongoing transfers to and from external accounts.
- The Barclays Bank deposit capability seems limited. Common deposit media, such as wire transfers and money orders aren’t permitted. They also impose a five business day hold on all deposits from external sources.
- Barclays does not offer loan accounts typically available at banks, such as mortgages, auto loans or personal loans. But they do offer the Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard®, which is one of the best travel credit cards available.
Should You Bank with Barclays Bank?
For that reason, the bank is best used as a place to park your cash to earn interest rates that are much higher than what you can get with traditional banks, and even most other online banks.
In particular, you’ll be interested in the high interest Online Savings Account, or one of the CDs they offer. Rates are best on the CDs with terms of 12 months or longer, but relatively low on shorter terms.
But since virtually everyone has a need for high-yield savings in those terms, Barclays Bank is worth investigating. As a pure savings platform, it’s one of the best available.
If you’d like more information, or if you’d like to open an account with the Bank, visit the Barclays Bank website.