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Barclays Online Savings Account Review

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older mother and daughter discussing barclays online savings account

If you’re considering an online savings account, consider the Barclays Online Savings Account. The Barclays account, like any high-interest online savings account compared to a regular savings account—combines higher interest with online accessibility and convenience.

Barclays is a London-based bank that services more than 48 million people worldwide. And in terms of savings account essentials, a Barclays Online Savings Account checks all the boxes. It offers a high annual percentage yield or APY of 2.20%, online convenience and no fees.

You might enjoy that the account requires no minimum deposit to open it and no minimum balance to earn APY—$0. If you’re looking for a safe, easy way to stockpile your funds for a solid return, a Barclays Online Savings Account may be just what your financial future ordered.

The editors at Credit.com have drilled down into the benefits and few drawbacks of this account for you. To compare for yourself, see all of the available high-interest online savings accounts on Credit.com.

The Benefits of Barclays Online Savings Account

Because Barclays operates strictly online, it has little overhead to pay. This means more savings for you and its other customers, flexible deposit requirements and higher APYs than regular savings accounts at traditional banks and credit unions. Benefits of the account include:

  • A higher interest rate than a traditional savings account with a 2.20% APY rate
  • No minimum opening balance required to avoid paying fees
  • No minimum monthly balance needed to earn APY or avoid monthly maintenance fees—although the small print on Barclays site states, “…for interest to post to your account you must maintain a minimum balance that would earn you at least $0.01”
  • Mobile check deposits
  • The ability to easily make online transfers to other bank accounts
  • 24×7 access to your account and funds online or using the mobile app

The account also gives you access to online tools to help make saving easier.

The Drawbacks of a Barclays Online Savings Account

The Barclays Online Savings Account is a high-interest savings account that’s great for hands-off online banking and for earning a higher interest rate. If you prefer in-person easy access to your money, this particular savings account may not work for you. Here are a few reasons you may decide against opening a Barclays Online Savings Account. These reasons depend on your personal situation:

  • No in-person transactions. Barclays doesn’t have stateside brick-and-mortar locations or ATMs. If you want the option of stopping in to a branch, you may want to look elsewhere.
  • No debit card or checking account or check writing services. Unlike some online savings accounts and money market accounts, the Barclays account doesn’t offer checks for your account. Fund withdrawals have to be made by deposit into an external account.
  • Limited withdrawals/debits. Barclays lets you make a withdrawal just six times a month without penalty. After a sixth withdrawal in a month, you’re charged $5 per transaction. This is actually a restriction mandated by U.S. federal law.

How a Barclays Online Savings Account Compares to Others

Compared to traditional bank and credit union savings accounts, a Barclays Online Savings Account has a  lot to offer, especially in its higher interest rate. A regular savings account at a bank or credit union pays an interest rate as low as 0.01% today—that’s not one percent, that’s one-hundredth of one percent.1 Some regular savings accounts go as high as 1.5%, but even that can’t compare to 2.20%

Moreover, many financial institutions require minimum deposits before customers earn a higher-than-average APY. For instance, to achieve a 0.05%APY with HSBC Advance Savings, you have to deposit $15,000. The Capital One® Money Market Account® extends an APY of 2.00% but requires a minimum deposit of $10,000. The Wells Fargo® Way2Save® savings account requires a minimum monthly balance of $300 to avoid the $5 monthly fee and offers an APY of just 0.01%.

The no minimum balance with the Barclays account is also better compared to regular savings accounts. For example, the Wells Fargo Platinum Savings account requires a $25 minimum opening deposit and only offers a higher interest rate of 2.10% if you have a balance of $25,000 or higher.

Though some may be turned off by the limit of six withdrawals or debits a month, it is a deterrent from dipping into your savings. And, it’s a federal law, so, you’ll run into it regardless of where you have an account.

Of course, there are financial institutions that are just as generous as Barclays, if not more so. Take Marcus by Goldman Sachs for instance. The Marcus by Goldman Sachs® High-interest Online Savings Account also comes with low fees, requires no minimum opening balance and offers an APY of 2.25%.

The American Express® Personal Savings Account offers a slightly lower APY than the Barclays Online Savings Account at 2.10%. It also has no monthly fees.

All three accounts give you online access to your money and your account. And while none of the accounts have the absolute highest interest rates, all offer very competitive rates.

Advantages of an Online Savings Account

Though an online savings account, such as the one Barclays offers, has some limitations, there are several advantages of banking solely online, especially for a savings account. There are the higher- interest rates and APY and low or no fees. And online accounts offer certain conveniences that brick-and-mortar stores just don’t.

Many people question the security of online banks. Online banks are equally as secure as their physical counterparts thanks to modern security measures and FDIC insurance coverage. In fact, because Barclays has such an extensive history, it is likely every bit as secure as many of the big-name brick-and-mortar institutions here in the states, which is something to consider if stability is a top concern.

Watch Your Savings Grow

Many people prefer the convenience of having a savings account at the same bank where they have a checking account. While there’s something to be said for continuity, there’s real value in opening a high-interest savings account online with an institution such as Barclays. How much value? Consider the following.

  • You can easily connect your checking account at virtually any institution with your Barclays Online Savings Account.
  • You can earn more interest.

At 2.20% APY, with an initial balance of $1,000, here’s how your money grows:

  • At one year, your final balance is $1,022.00
  • At five years, your final balance is $1,114.95
  • At 10 years, your final balance is $1,243.11

At 1.50% APY, with an initial balance of $1,000, here’s how your money grows:

  • At one year, your final balance is $1,015.00
  • At five years, your final balance is $1,077.28
  • At 10 years, your final balance is $1,160.54

At 0.01% APY, which is common for traditional banks and credit unions, with an initial balance of $1,000, here’s how you’re money grows:

  • At one year, your final balance will be $1,000.10
  • At five years, your final balance will be $1,000.50
  • At 10 years, your final balance will be $1,001.00

Balances Comparison at Different APYs Based on a $1,000 Initial Deposit

APY on $1,000 Initial Deposit 0.01% APY 1.50% APY 2.20% APY
1 Year $1,000.10 $1,015.00 $1,022.00
5 Years $1,000.50 $1,077.28 $1,114.95
10 Years $1,001.00 $1,160.54 $1,243.11

The above final balances assume you don’t withdraw from or deposit to the original $1,000 balance. The more you add, the more you earn.

Ideally, your initial balance could be more than $1,000. How much more? Standard advice suggests having six to eight months of living expenses set aside, or 20% of your income. If you struggle to save, learn where to cut back to give yourself a little more breathing room.

The Bottom Line

In terms of a savings account, the Barclays Online Savings Account has a lot to offer. The high APY and no minimum deposit or monthly balance make it an appealing option.

Before settling on any account, do some homework to find the account that best meets your needs. You start your comparison with other high-interest online savings account available from Credit.com.

If your homework is done and you’re ready to open your Barclays Online Savings Account, you’ll want to have your Social Security number and the routing and account numbers of the savings or checking account you’ll use to fund your new account handy.

1 Based on the available savings rate for the Wells Fargo Way2Save® Savings account as of April 2019.

NOTE: Accounts mentioned here may not be visible on Credit.com at certain points due to partner caps on the number of accounts that can be opened in a given day or timeframe.

DISCLOSURE: At publishing time, the Barclays Online Savings Account is offered through Credit.com product pages, and Credit.com is compensated if our users apply and ultimately sign up for this account. However, this relationship does not result in any preferential editorial treatment. This content is not provided by the financial institution(s). Any opinions expressed are those of Credit.com alone and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the issuer(s).

 


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