Barclays Review

In a Nutshell

Barclays is a trusted name in banking, and although its roots stretch back to 17th century England, it’s as innovative as any financial institution on the market. Given its reputation, we were anxious to review the latest Barclays offering, online banking, and we weren’t disappointed. Barclays offers high APYs, low or no fees, and lucrative CDs. Now let’s take a closer look at this banking solution.

pros

  • No monthly maintenance fees
  • No minimum balance requirement to open savings account
  • Interest compounds daily on CDs

cons

  • No checking accounts
  • No ATM withdrawals
  • No immediate access to your funds

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Barclays at a Glance

Fees: Excessive Transaction, Insufficient Funds, Cashier’s Check, Statement Cop, Express Mail

Personal loans available: Yes

Credit card available: Yes

SMS/Mail alerts: Yes

24-hour customer service: Yes

Money transfers: Yes

Check scanning: Yes

Average APY: 1.50%

Minimum for APY: None

Advantages Over Regular Bank

Online banking is becoming increasingly more popular because of how convenient, fast, safe, and easy it is to use. Barclays online savings account is no different. To begin with, you won’t have to meet a minimum deposit amount in order to open your account. You also won’t have to struggle with the usual fees, like a monthly maintenance fee or application fee. Add to that the wide variety of online tools for ease-of-use, and on-the-go account management, and Barclays online banking is a natural choice, at least for anyone who enjoys convenience and big savings.

Cutting-Edge Banking Services

Barclays excels at putting modern technology’s greatest developments into the hands of its customers. With up-to-the-minute security measures, a cool mobile app, and automatic features, here’s how Barclays is making your banking life easier every day:

  • Convenient account linking

Barclays doesn’t have a checking account option, but it has something just as good. You can link as many as 3 of your other accounts with your Barclays online savings account. These accounts can be checking or savings, with Barclays or with another bank or credit union. Once the accounts are linked, transferring money in and out between accounts is a breeze.

  • Easy money transfers

Fast and efficient funding is another advantage Barclays offers its customers. It’s easy to fund your online savings account with Barclays. You can make regular money transfers to and from other banks and other accounts with Barclays, and you can even set up direct deposit for the ultimate set-and-forget ease.

  • Check scanning

If you're already a Barclays customer, you can use the Remote Deposit feature to fund your online savings account as well. This feature allows you to scan a check using your computer or smartphone, and the money will instantly be deposited into your account. Not only is this more convenient, it is the fastest way to get funds into your account.

Traditional Banking Services

As mentioned, you are allowed to link up to 3 external accounts with your Barclays online savings account. This is a good way to fund your savings account, but it is also a convenient way for you to withdraw money when you need it. Through ACH transfers, you can transfer money from your online savings into one of your linked accounts. The process takes about 2-3 days.

Barclays online banking doesn’t have any ATM services available, but that’s not surprising for an online bank. Barclays does have credit card and personal loans products, but these are considered separate products from the online banking accounts.

Barclays Online Savings

Barclays savings accounts offer high APY rates, going as high as 1.50%. There’s no minimum balance required, so you can start saving with whatever you’ve got, and no monthly maintenance fees. Of course, you’ll need something in the account to accrue interest, which is made simple with easy online transfers to and from other banks and direct deposit. Saving is simple and Barclays also offers savings planning tools to help you understand your money. The savings assistant can help you set savings goals. Up in the middle of the night worrying about your funds? No need to fret, because you can check everything online securely, anytime.

Online CDs

The online CDs offered by Barclays have terms of 3-, 6-, 9-,12-, 18-, 24-, 36-, 48-,or 60-months, ensuring you’ll be able to find a good fit for your family. You’ll get the stability of a fixed-rate APY, so you’ll know what to expect each month, plus FDIC insurance. Rates are as high as 1.85% for 60-month CDs and have no hidden fees or minimum balances. Transfering funds is easy, and you can access your CD anywhere from your online account. There’s a CD calculator, so if you’re not sure what kind of accrual you can expect, just pick your term and deposit amount and watch the savings add up. Barclays does something really unique too, offering the ability to CD Ladder, meaning that you can free up some of your investment during the overall maturation period, choosing to cash or reinvest, and giving you flexibility to use your funds, or keep saving and growing more money.

Customer Service

Barclays customer service is available around the clock, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You can use the 866 numbers available to reach a specific department, and Barclays customer service even has a collect call line you can use in case you’re overseas and need to speak with a representative. There is also an internal email center that allows you to send and receive messages securely through the system. You can even reach customer service via Twitter, and Barclays reps are known for responding quickly through this forum.

Mobile Apps

Barclays has a mobile app available on both the Apple Store and the Google Play Store. Aside from being attractive and easy to use, we were happy to see that the Barclays mobile app also has some excellent features like:

  • Peek

Peek is Barclays’ quick view option. This feature lets you see all of the basic information about your account, like account balance, before you log in.

  • Account management

You can manage all of the settings of your online savings account using the mobile app as well. This includes changing your username or password, setting notifications, checking your balance, reviewing account activity, and setting up automatic deposits or transfers.

  • Check scanning

As mentioned above, Barclays’ mobile app allows customers to snap a picture of a check and have it automatically deposited into their account. This is definitely the easiest way to deal with checks, and it beats standing in line or looking for an ATM that provides this service.

There are other features available through the mobile app if you have other types of Barclays accounts as well.

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Security

Barclays keeps its customers safe numerous security measures. For one thing, the entire website is secured with Norton Secured by VeriSign, an industry-recognized leader in online security. Additionally, Barclays uses RSA digital risk management software for an added layer of protection against hacking attempts. All pages use Secure Sockets Layer and Transport Layer Security with 248-bit encryption and built-in firewalls. Finally, Barclays has a timeout function that logs you out if you’ve been inactive for a few minutes.

In addition to its own site security, Barclays employs several measures to keep your data private and safe as well. Every account is accessible only through a SecurPass code chosen by the user, comes with $0 fraud liability protection, and constant monitoring. The monitoring service scans your account, checking for fraudulent or suspicious activities. If anything ever raises a red flag, you’ll be notified immediately via the fraud alerts, so the issue can be dealt with quickly.

Conclusion

Barclays focuses on delivering a personal touch while giving you cutting-edge features technology. The high-interest rates and low fees structure make both online savings accounts and CDs appealing, and the friendly service completes the package.

Michael has worked in personal finance for over 20 years, helping families reduce taxes, increase their income, pay down debt and save for retirement. Michael is passionate about personal finance, saving money, and all things geeky.

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05 Jun 2020

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