Barclays Online Savings Review

Christy Bieber is a personal finance and legal writer with more than a decade of experience. Her work has been featured on major outlets including MSN Money, CNBC, and USA Today.

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Barclays Online Savings checks many of the boxes for what's essential for a savings account, including a high annual percentage yield (APY), a focus on cutting fees, and exceptional convenience.

What I like about Barclays Online Savings

High APY -- Barclays Online Savings account delivers a competitively high APY, and that APY applies to all balances. This is a nice bonus when some competitors offer tiered rates that go up as balances increase or offer a promotional rate that expires after a set period of time.

$0 minimum deposit and no minimum balance requirement -- With no minimum balance required to get started or maintain your account, Barclays is an ideal choice for those who are beginning to build savings. Even super-savers will appreciate the fact that you won’t be penalized if you have to pull money from savings and leave your account with a low balance.

$0 monthly maintenance fee -- Low or no fees are the norm for high-yield online savings accounts. This is one of the most important features for a prospective savings account, given that fees can quickly wipe out interest earnings.

Mobile convenience -- Mobile convenience is a must-have for an online savings account. You can make mobile check deposits and free electronic transfers to your Barclays Online Savings account. The app receives high marks from users as well: Both the iOS and Android versions of the Barclays US app have 4.2 out of 5 stars.

What could be improved

Withdrawal limit fees -- The fee for surpassing six withdrawals during a statement cycle is $5 per transaction. Fees for making too many withdrawals are common on high-yield savings accounts because federal restrictions limit customers to six withdrawals a month. Still, some high-yield accounts don’t charge account holders for excessive withdrawals despite these federal rules. If you anticipate withdrawing funds frequently, consider a different kind of account.

Barclays isn’t a full-service bank: Barclays is focused on online savings and you’re limited in the types of accounts you can open. You can’t currently open a checking account with Barclays, for example. If you’d prefer to do all of your banking in one place, you’ll need to look elsewhere.

No ATMs for withdrawals: Money can be withdrawn only by check or transfer to an external bank. This makes the process of getting your money from your Barclays Online Savings account a slow process that takes several days.

Limited number of branches: Barclays has branches in five U.S. states, and it has just one branch in each of those states. This means most customers are out of luck when it comes to getting local in-person support or taking care of transactions at a branch in their area. This is a common drawback we see with most online savings accounts.

Funding options

Funds can be deposited into your Barclays Online Savings account in one of four ways:

  • Make a deposit from your computer or smartphone.
  • Set up direct deposits into your account.
  • Use an ACH transfer to move funds into your account from another financial institution.
  • Mail checks to Barclays at P.O. Box 4538; Carol Stream, IL 60197.

Barclays doesn’t accept money orders, cash deposits, wire transfers, or third-party checks that are signed over to a person who isn’t named on the front of the check.

Withdrawal options

You can withdraw funds by logging into your account, choosing “Transfer Funds,” and specifying the amount to transfer. Or you can call 888-710-8756 to request that Barclays mail you a check. It can take two to three business days for money from your Barclays account to get to your external bank account via online transfer.

How well does the Barclays app work?

Both iOS and Android users give the Barclays app 4.2 out of 5 stars. The app provides many features for customers, including

  • the ability to deposit funds remotely and transfer funds to external accounts;
  • an intuitive summary of your important account information, including your available balance, the year-to-date interest earned and interest yield, and the amount of funds on hold; and
  • the ability to see multiple accounts, including online savings accounts and certificates of deposit (CDs), at a glance.

Unfortunately, some customers complain of bugs that prevent features from working correctly. Others have reported difficulty logging into their app.

Barclays Online Savings vs. a traditional savings account

Barclays beats out traditional savings accounts on many fronts. It has a higher APY than most traditional accounts and charges few fees. It also doesn’t impose minimum balance requirements or monthly maintenance fees.

However, savings accounts from local banks and credit unions have an advantage: You can get a checking account from the same place. If doing all your banking in one place is important to you, you may prefer a traditional account. Likewise, Barclays has few branches. Most banks and credit unions offer better in-person customer service.

Is the convenience and higher APY of an online savings account is worth the tradeoff? Will it be inconvenient to not have a full-service local bank handling all your accounts? Only you can decide. If you go with an online account, Barclays Online Savings is worth considering. It's one of our top picks for high-yield online accounts.

How to apply for a Barclays Online Savings account

If you click on the Apply Now link on our site, it'll take you to the application page. You'll need to provide the following information:

  • your name,
  • address,
  • Social Security number,
  • email address, and
  • details about the external bank you want to use to fund your account. That includes the bank name, routing number, and account number.

It takes only a few minutes to open an online account. You also have the option to restore a saved application or quickly open a new savings account by signing into your existing Barclays account first.

Online savings account comparison

While Barclays Online Savings account is a good option for many, it's not right for everyone. Here are a couple of other online savings account options from our partners.

Rates as of Jan. 16, 2020
Barclays Online Savings
Member, FDIC
Marcus by Goldman Sachs Online Savings Account
Goldman Sachs Bank USA
Member, FDIC
American Express® Personal Savings
Member, FDIC
Rating image, 4.5 out of 5 stars.
Rating image, 4.5 out of 5 stars.
Rating image, 4.5 out of 5 stars.

APY: 1.70%

APY: 1.70%

APY: 1.70%

Best For

Best For: High APY and low fees

Best For: High APY and no fees

Best For: Low fees

Min. to earn APY

Min. to earn APY: $0

Min. to earn APY: $1

Min. to earn APY: $1

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Final take

A high yield and low fees are savings account essentials, and the online savings account market is too competitive to waver on either. The Ascent has long advocated for cutting fees, be it when investing or when banking. This mantra is perhaps even more important for a savings account, where fees can quickly wipe out interest earned. Barclays Online Savings fits the bill, which is why we're enthusiastic about it as a high-yield online savings account.

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