Review: Barclays Bank Makes It Easy to Meet Your Savings Goals

barclays bank

What are your financial goals for the next year?

According to Fidelity Investments, the answer for about half of Americans is to save more money. Of this group, 62 percent want to save for long-term goals, while 32 percent are hoping to save for short-term ones.

If you share this resolution, you might set your money aside into a savings account or certificate of deposit (CD), two products designed specifically to help you save. Barclays Bank offers both of these products for U.S. customers, along with a variety of online savings tools.

Since its U.S. offerings are entirely online, Barclays Bank has competitive interest rates and low fees. Check out this full Barclays Bank review to see if its online banking options could be right for you.

Barclays Bank helps you meet your savings goals

Long a popular bank in the UK, Barclays now offers online banking to U.S. customers. More specifically, you can open savings accounts or purchase CDs with no minimum deposit and no monthly fee.

Plus, Barclays offers some of the highest interest rates on the market. Its high-yield savings account comes with a 1.30% APY, as of December 2017.

Since savings accounts and CDs set limits on how often you can withdraw money, they help you work toward your savings goals. You can even open up to 25 savings account to earmark cash for different purposes.

Your money will quietly compound interest in these accounts. When the time is right, you can easily transfer cash to and from external accounts.

Besides these services, you can also take advantage of Barclays online savings tools. The bank’s Savings Assistant, for instance, helps you estimate how long it will take you to reach a savings goal. And its CD ladder calculator helps you determine how to best save your money using the bank’s CDs.

A final pro of Barclays online banking has to do with its ease of use. Your accounts are open 24/7, and you can deposit checks by uploading a picture from your mobile device. Barclays online banking makes it easy to manage your accounts from the comfort of your own home.

A few limitations in banking with Barclays

Despite its benefits, Barclays online banking does have its drawbacks. As an international bank, Barclays only has limited offerings for U.S. customers. You won’t be able to open a checking account, nor can you visit any physical branches in the U.S.

If you want to take out cash, you’ll need to transfer money to an external account and wait two to three days for the transfer to clear. Or, you can contact Barclays and have a check mailed to you.

Another downside is the bank’s lack of a mobile app for U.S. customers. You’ll have to deposit checks online using your computer. Other online banks such as Ally Bank offer easy-to-use mobile banking apps to help you keep track of your accounts and make deposits.

Barclays online banking offers competitive interest rates and low fees. But you’ll need an external account with another bank to meet all your banking needs.

Barclays Bank products

Although Barclays Bank has a comprehensive set of banking products for international customers, the Barclays Bank of Delaware (its U.S. branch) offers two main products, along with some tools to help you manage your finances. Here are the details of each.

Online savings accounts

Barclays Bank’s high-yield savings accounts have an APY of 1.30%, as of December 2017. You can open up to 25 savings accounts with Barclays Bank. You’ll have 24/7 online access, and you can easily transfer funds to and from an external account.

To deposit money, you can upload a photo of a check into your account, set up direct deposit, initiate an ACH transfer, or mail a physical check. As with other savings accounts, Barclays’ savings accounts have a limit of six transfers or withdrawals per statement cycle.

Online CDs

With a CD, you commit to keeping your money in your account for a specific period of time. Barclays offers CDs with terms between three months and five years. At the end of your term, you can choose to take out your money or reinvest your money into a new CD.

The longer your term, the higher your interest rate will be. This chart shows the interest rate and APY of Barclays CDs at each ladder term, as of December 2017:

Term Interest Rate
3 months 0.35%
6 months 0.55%
9 months 0.60%
12 months 1.49%
18 months 1.54%
24 months 1.69%
36 months 1.93%
48 months 1.98%
60 months 2.32%

Barclays Bank’s online CDs compound interest on a daily basis. You can transfer money to and from external accounts and there are no monthly fees, unless you withdraw the money before your CD term is up.

Online savings tools

Along with its high-yield savings accounts and CDs, Barclays Bank also offers free online resources to help you meet your savings goals. These include:

  • Savings Assistant: Use this tool to define a savings goal and estimate how long it will take you to reach it based on your savings so far and how much extra you can set aside each month.
  • CD Ladder Calculator: This tool helps you choose CD terms to get the highest yield. This tool will show you the difference in savings between three consecutive one-year terms and one three-year term, for instance.
  • CD Calculator: This straightforward calculator shows you how much your CD savings will increase based on your initial deposit, length of term, and interest rate.
  • Animated Demos: If you prefer watching a video over reading instructions, check out Barclays’ animated demos on navigating the website or creating a CD ladder. Another goes over the bank’s 300-year history.

As you can see, Barclays Bank products for U.S. customers are limited to savings vehicles. But the bank does these two products well, with reasonable fees and some of the highest rates of return around.

Before choosing Barclays Bank, review the terms and conditions of your account. As long as you understand the limitations of a savings account and CD, you may find these products are key to helping you achieve your financial goals.

Using the Barclays online banking platform

It’s easy to open an account with Barclays at any time. You don’t need a minimum deposit, but you will need an external bank account. That’s because Barclays will verify your identity by transferring small amounts of money, usually less than a dollar, into your external account. After you confirm the amounts, your account setup will be complete.

Along with your bank name, routing number, and account number, you’ll need to provide your Social Security number and contact information to get started.

When you head to the Barclays site, your initial sign-up page will look like this:

Barclays online banking

Image credit: Barclay Bank

Next, you’ll indicate what type of account you’d like to open — savings account or CD — and whether you’re applying as an individual or opening a joint bank account.

You can indicate zero dollars as the initial deposit and then use a check to deposit funds. After you link your bank account and agree to the terms and conditions, you’ll be up and running with your account.

You can easily log in by entering your user ID and password. Then, you can view your savings, make transfers, and deposit checks.

Barclays Bank fees

Barclays Bank doesn’t charge any fees for monthly or yearly maintenance. However, it does charge fees for other transactions, including:

  • Excessive transactions (more than six transfers or withdrawals per statement cycle): $5
  • Cashier’s check: $5
  • Return deposit: $5 per item
  • Non-sufficient funds: $5 per item
  • Paper copy of your statement: $0.50 per statement
  • Rush delivery of documentation: $25
  • Early withdrawal from a CD: 90 days simple interest on the amount you take out if your account’s term is 24 months or shorter; 180 simple interest on the amount you take out if your account’s term is greater than 24 months.

Barclays Bank eligibility requirements

You only need to meet a few requirements to open an account with Barclays. You must:

  • Be 18 years or older
  • Be a U.S. citizen or have a valid Social Security number (or other taxpayer ID number)
  • Have a residential address in the U.S.

As long as you meet these basic requirements, you could soon be on the way to banking with Barclays.

Barclays Bank contact information

For more information beyond this Barclays Bank review, call Barclays Bank at 888-710-8756. They’re open seven days a week from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. EST.

You can also contact Barclays online banking through your online account at any time.

The bank’s mailing address is Barclays, P.O. Box 2460, Cranberry Twp., PA 16066.

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