Barclays Bank Review: Competitive Savings and CD Rates

Barclays Bank Review: Competitive Savings and CD Rates

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If you’re comfortable with online-only banking, you may appreciate Barclays Bank’s low-barrier-to-entry savings products — though you’ll currently find higher rates at other financial institutions.

Good for

  • Those who don’t have a large minimum deposit.
  • Those who are okay with earning a middle-of-the-road APY on their savings.
  • Those comfortable with online banking.

Bad for

  • Those who want their checking and savings with one financial institution.
  • Those who want to earn the highest APY on their savings products.
  • Those who prefer in-person banking options.

Barclays Bank is a British investment and financial services company that now serves an international audience. In the U.S., Barclays Bank offers a couple of online-only deposit account options, including a savings account and certificates of deposit (CDs). These accounts are not accessible in-person or via an ATM, however — if that’s important to you, Barclays likely won’t be a good fit.

Review: Should you open a Barclays bank account?

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Barclays’ deposit account offerings are somewhat limited. It doesn’t offer checking accounts, so if you want to keep your checking and savings accounts at one financial institution, you’d need to look elsewhere. Plus, you won’t be able to get help in person — Barclays doesn’t have any branches — though there is a customer service line available seven days a week, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET.

Barclays does offer CDs and a savings account. Its CD offerings are plentiful and easy-to-access, regardless of how much money you have for your opening deposit. However, offered APYs are not particularly competitive.

Barclays’ savings account, on the other hand, offers an APY that’s much higher than the national average, though among not the highest on the market. Still, you may like its savings option if you’re looking for an account with few fees. And although Barclays does charge savings account fees, they tend to be lower than those charged by the competition.

Barclays savings accounts

Account name
Details
Barclays Online Savings
  • APY: 0.40%
  • Minimum balance for APY: None
  • Monthly fee: None
  • Monthly fee waiver: N/A

The Barclays Online Savings account pays a decent APY. In fact, it’s currently over five times higher than the current national average. However, there are still competitors that pay an even higher rate on savings. This account comes with no minimum balance requirements, no minimum opening deposit requirement and no monthly fees. However, there are a few other fees to look out for, including a non-sufficient funds fee of $5, as well as a fee of $0.50 per month should you decide to receive paper statements in the mail.

Per Federal Regulation D, you can only make six withdrawals per month from any savings account, and Barclays Online Savings account is no exception. If you make more than six withdrawals per month from this account, you’ll be charged a fee for each additional withdrawal. If you do this more than three times within a twelve-month period, Barclays may close your account.

How does Barclays compare to other banks?

The offerings at Barclays are slim compared to other banks, with its lack of checking account options and money market accounts being the most notable gaps. Its CDs are easy-to-access, but don’t pay competitive rates. You may determine that the Online Savings Account pays a good-enough APY, however, especially because it comes with few fees and no minimum balance requirements.

Barclays vs. Ally Bank

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Ally is an online-only bank that offers savings accounts and CDs like Barclays. However, it also offers an interest-bearing checking account. This checking account currently offers the same APY as one of Barclays’ CDs if your balance reaches a certain threshold.

Ally offers a slightly higher APY on its savings account (0.50%) than Barclays does, while maintaining the same standard of no minimum deposit or balance requirements and no monthly maintenance fees. Ally’s overdraft fees are significantly higher, though, if you don’t have overdraft protection set up.

Another point in Ally’s favor is that its CDs pay a much higher rate than Barclays, and there’s a no-penalty CD option available. Like Barclays, there is no minimum deposit required to open an Ally CD.

Barclays vs. Capital One

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You may know Capital One for its credit card products, but it also offers a suite of deposit account options. While Capital One’s MONEY teen checking account and 360 Checking pay a low APY, checking accounts are available, unlike at Barclays.

Capital One Bank offers two savings accounts. One is an account for kids, but the other pays the same APY as Barclays, with no minimum balance requirements or monthly fees. Meanwhile, Capital One’s CDs currently have a lower APY compared to Barclays on terms of 12 months, but its rates are higher on terms of 36 months or more and identical to those offered by Barclays on all other terms. Capital One CDs also carry no minimum deposit requirements.

Barclays vs. Marcus by Goldman Sachs

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Marcus by Goldman Sachs is an online arm of the global financial institution by the same name. It offers personal loans, investing tools, CDs and an online savings account. Its savings account pays a slightly higher APY than Barclays’ Online Savings Account with no minimum balance requirements and no monthly fees.

Marcus by Goldman Sachs only offers two types of CDs, high-yield and no penalty. Both types pay higher rates than are currently available at Barclays, though they both also require a minimum deposit of $500.

Brynne Conroy is a personal finance writer, author and speaker with over eight years of experience as a member of the independent financial media. Creator of women’s finance blog Femme Frugality, her site and her book -- The Feminist Financial Handbook -- have been nominated for multiple industry awards. Her work has been featured in both print and online publications such as VICE, The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and MSN Money.

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It has not been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any of our network partners.