Barclays Bank Review

Barclays Bank

Overall Rating

9

Bottom Line

Barclays Bank can be a good fit for people looking for a bank that helps them manage their personal finances. The high-interest rate on their savings account makes it a good emergency fund option.

Pros

  • FDIC insurance
  • No fees

Cons

  • Limited selection

Barclays Bank has a very long history, one that spans centuries. The online bank offers very competitive rates and low fees.

What this bank offers is unique in the market. While the bank is well established, what they offer in the US is still evolving.

In this article, we will be taking a closer look at everything that this bank has to offer to help you understand if it’s the right choice for you.

In This Article

What is Barclays Bank?

Barclays Bank is a universal bank with headquarters in London, UK.

Founded in 1690, they have many firsts under their belt, including the deployment of the world’s first ATM and the appointment of the UK’s first female manager.

It is the 18th largest bank globally, with total assets reaching 1,348 trillion GBP in 2020.

In the US, their official name is Barclays Bank Delaware. It’s also important to note that operations are restricted to online-only, effectively making Barclays an online bank.

Barclays Bank Features

Barclays Bank offers two different deposit account options, 26 different credit cards, and is currently trialing personal loans.

While the latter is by invite only, deposit accounts and credit cards are open to the general public.

As mentioned earlier, Barclays Bank US is an online-only bank.

The bank does not have any physical branches, with banking restricted to online banking or the mobile banking app.

The bank does not offer a debit card, and as such, there is no ATM access.

Barclays Bank Products

In the US, Barclays only offers two accounts – an Online Savings account and Online CD accounts.

There are no checking accounts, Money Market Accounts (MMAs), debit cards, or any other type of account for that matter. Your choices are going to be limited right off the bat.

Barclays Online Savings Account

There is one savings account available called Online Savings account. It comes with many of the standard features that you would expect with any savings account.

These include online access, the ability to transfer funds, and direct deposit.

The account also includes tools to help you save money, including a Savings Assistant that can help you set targets and then plan how to reach them.

While the account does not have many fees, its fees are pretty low in comparison.

For example, NSF (Non-Sufficient Funds) fees are $5.00 per item, lower than NSF fees elsewhere.

Of course, this being a bank savings account and not a checking account, such low fees may not matter much, but it’s still good to know.

You also have the option of choosing between a single or a joint account, which you can easily do during the sign-up process.

Barclays Online CDs

Online CDs (Certificates of Deposit) follow the same basic recipe used for the savings account. There’s an Online CD with CD terms starting at three months and maxing out at 60 months.

Interest compounds daily, so you’ll get the best use of the APY (Annual Percentage Yield) rate on offer.

You may also choose to have the interest earned deposited to another account.

However, this will limit how much money you earn from your CD. Withdrawing the principal before the maturity date may also incur an early withdrawal penalty.

Barclays Credit Cards

Barclays has many credit cards on offer – there are 26 different cards on offer by different issuers, including Visa and Mastercard.

To narrow down the choices, you can sort them by lifestyle, with six options available here:

  1. Travel
  2. Retail
  3. Entertainment
  4. Everyday
  5. Cashback
  6. Business expenses

While this might sound like a lot, it does ensure that you can choose a card that truly fits your lifestyle.

Barclays Personal Loans

Barclays is currently trialing personal loans. At the moment, these are being offered via invitation only. As such, unless you have to receive a personal invitation from the bank to apply.

Should the trial be successful, we can expect to see Barclays rolling this out to all of its customers.

It’s difficult to tell what the final product will look like, as this is being trialed. In all probability, the bank uses the current trials to gather feedback from customers and internal feedback. The provided feedback will then determine what the bank ends up offering.

Barclays also used to offer an account for minors and a Dream Account that offered bonuses for savings.

The bank stopped offering both of these accounts in 2017 with no word whether it will start offering them again in the future.

Fees

Both Online Savings and Online CDs have no monthly maintenance fees, helping you keep your costs low.

Equally, there are no minimum balance requirements and no minimum deposit amounts – regardless of whether you’re opening a savings or CD account.

Credit Cards come with different fees, depending on the card. Annual fees vary between $0 and $499 – a big difference that shows just how varied the selection of cards on offer is.

Similarly, the APR will vary depending on the card you choose as well as your creditworthiness.

Interest Rates

The Barclays Online Savings account earns an APY of 0.40%, which is a reasonable rate. The interest rate on offer makes this account something of a high-yield savings account.

On the other hand, CDs earn a rate that’s consummate with the length of the term.

Terms of 12 months or longer earn an APY of 0.25%, while anything shorter earns an APY of 0.10%.

While these rates are on the low side, there is no minimum deposit requirement, which means they’re still worth considering.

Getting Started

Signing up and getting started with Barclays is relatively straightforward. You can complete the entire process online, with different processes available depending on whether you’re applying for an account or a card.

Barclays lays everything on one page, unlike many other banks that break the sign-up process into several steps.

While this might make it seem that they’re asking for a lot more information, in reality, they are not.

t also allows you to quickly see all of the information that the bank will need from you to complete the process.

The process makes it easier to ensure you have all of the required information at hand to complete the sign-up process in one sitting.

Even so, you can still save the application and continue the process later should you encounter any interruptions.

Information You’ll Need

As mentioned before, Barclays does not require any information over and above what other banks ask for typically.

As such, you will need information such as your name and address, SSN (Social Security Number), and detailing what kind of account you would like to open.

You will also need to supply account details of another bank account – which you will use to find your account for the first time.

There is no minimum opening deposit requirement. However, if you don’t fund your account within 14 days from opening, the bank may decide to close your account.

Promotions

Barclays Bank has several promotions and bonuses, all tied to the credit cards on offer. While there are no promotions on the bank accounts, this does not mean there will not be in the future.

As such, if you’re looking to open an account with Barclays Bank soon, make sure you visit their website to see if they have any bank account promotions on offer.

Most credit cards come with some promotion.

In most cases, you can expect to get either a cash bonus or bonus points. What you get differs from one card to another, as do the terms and conditions associated with any given promotion.

You’ll find details of any promotions on offer directly on the credit card’s web pages, which are easily accessible through the bank’s website.

Security

When it comes to security, Barclays takes things seriously.

You can find lots of information on the bank’s website, including the detailed steps it takes to ensure your information is protected.

Furthermore, you’ll find advice on ensuring you stay safe when using online banking to manage your money.

Barclays uses SSL/TLS with 128-bit encryption for browser communication. With TLS being the latest standard in-browser data encryption, this is always nice to see.

They also use state-of-the-art equipment, including firewalls, to ensure no unauthorized data access takes place.

Of course, no system is 100% foolproof, which is why vital that we as customers remain ever so vigilant. The constant threats we all face when online are why the bank’s solid advice is good to read and practice.

Customer Service

When it comes to customer service and support, you’ll find a few different options at your disposal.

Firstly, there is an FAQ section that answers quite a few additional questions. It’s easy to locate right from Barclay’s website and will provide you with quick answers.

Depending on where you’re calling from, the bank has two toll-free numbers – one domestic and one international. Lines are operated from 8:00 AM until 8:00 PM from Monday through to Sunday.

The bank is always quite active on Social Media. It tends to be quite responsive on platforms such as Facebook, so you can always contact them there if you prefer.

Pros & Cons

Like every other bank, Barclays is not going to be the perfect fit for everyone. Understanding if this bank is the right choice for you helps to look at its pros and cons.

Doing so can help you understand whether you’re ok with giving up what the bank does not offer and whether what it does offer meets your expectations.

Pros:

  • FDIC insurance. Accounts are insured by the FDIC up to $250,000 per category. As such, your money is always safe.
  • No fees. Accounts have low or no fees, making Barclays bank quite affordable for account holders from different socioeconomic backgrounds.

Cons:

  • Low CD Rates. CD rates are not the highest, maxing out at 0.25%. Savers looking to maximize the return they expect to make might find better deals elsewhere.
  • Limited selection. With a limited selection of financial products and financial services, Barclays may not offer everything you need.

Alternatives to Barclays Bank

With Barclays Bank being both a traditional bank and an online bank, there are many alternatives. The alternative that will be more suitable for you will largely depend on your financial needs and requirements.

To ensure you make the right choice, make a list of what you need and what are nice to have. If Barclays does not fulfill your absolute needs at minimum, consider any of the following alternatives, which might be a better fit for you.

Marcus by Goldman Sachs

Marcus by Goldman Sachs is probably the closest match. Goldman Sachs has a long history that rivals Barclays and equally enjoys the heritage that Barclays have.

Marcus is the online bank arm of Goldman Sachs that offers a similar range of products and services with a few key differences.

Capital One

Capital One is another great alternative to consider, offering a much more extensive range of products and services than Barclays and Marcus.

Here you’ll find several checking and savings accounts, as well as credit cards and car loans.

Capital One also has several branches and cafes – an excellent addition to have if you value face-to-face interactions.

Barclays Bank FAQs

Is Barclays Bank Safe?

Barclays Bank is one of the oldest banks globally. It has a long history of weathering down storms over the centuries it has been in business. Even so, there have been some controversies over the years.

However, with FDIC insurance offered on all accounts, your money is safe – and so is the bank.

What is Barclays Bank Known For?

As Barclays is a universal bank, they are known for different things in different places.

The bank is mainly known for its credit cards in the US, with a large selection on offer.

It’s important to remember they also offer corporate and investment banking and do business worldwide in different formats and capacities.

Is Barclays Bank FDIC Insured?

Yes, Barclays Bank is insured by the FDIC up to the allowable limits set at $250,000 per depositor for each category.

Is Barclays Bank Best for You?

Barclays Bank can be a good fit for people looking for a bank that helps them manage their personal finances.

The high-interest rate on their savings account makes it a good emergency fund option.

Barclays Bank also has a large selection of credit cards, more extensive than most other banks offer.

As such, they are worth a look if you’re trying to maximize the amount of cash back or points you earn – depending on your particular situation.