Voted one of the best banks in America by Money Magazine in 2012, Barclays Bank is a great option for a high-yield online savings account. Relatively new, Barclays’ online division for US customers offers some of the highest savings account yields out there.
Even though Barclay’s online banking option is new, the bank itself is not. Founded in 1690, Barclays has long been a history-making bank. It funded the world’s first industrial steam railway, and introduced the very first ATM.
The long history of this British bank makes it a safe bet for consumers, but it’s the high yields and low fees associated with Barclays Online Banking that draw customers to this banking option.
Online Savings Account
Currently, Barclays Online Savings account boasts a .90% APY – about 10X the national average. Not only does the account have a much higher than average APY, but it also has no minimum balance and very low fees.
Interestingly enough, when you open a savings account with Barclays, you can actually link it with a checking account or another savings account that you have with another bank or credit union. Each Barclays account can be linked with up to three other accounts.
Linking your Barclays Online Savings account to an existing savings or checking account is similar to linking your checking and savings accounts at the same bank. Once your accounts are linked, you can make a withdrawal from your Barclays account to your external account through ACH transfer, which takes 2-3 days.
One advantage of the Barclays Online Savings account is that it offers several ways to deposit money into the account. You can set up direct deposit, mail a check to the bank, or transfer funds through ACH transfer from a linked account. Barclays customers can also add money to their accounts almost instantly with the bank’s Remote Deposit option. This option allows you to deposit checks remotely using your PC or Smartphone.
Though Barclays Online Savings account doesn’t have any unavoidable low balance or maintenance fees, it does come with other fees, which are actually quite low compared with similar fees from other banks. Some fees include:
- Excessive Transaction Fee: $5 each (after 6 free transactions per statement cycle)
- Cashier’s Check Fee: $5
- Non-Sufficient Funds Fee: $5 per item
- Statement Copy Fee: $.50 per mailed paper statement
- Express Mail Fee: $15 for sending documentation via rush delivery
As with other online banking products, applying for a Barclays Online Savings account is simple and quick. Just use your personal identification information – including your social security number – to open an account online.
Barclays doesn’t just boast a high APY for its online savings account; its Online CD options also have some of the highest rates available today. These FDIC-insured accounts offer fixed savings rates with no minimum balances and no monthly maintenance fees.
While rates are subject to change, as of September 2013, Barclays offers one of the highest-yielding 60-month CDs available. While its shorter-term CDs are sometimes beat out by other banks – particularly the well-known online bank Ally – Barclays holds its own in these categories, as well.
Barclays CDs come with the option to automatically renew at the date of maturity, or you can cash out your CD within fourteen days of the maturity date. While your money is invested in the CD, you can choose to take a monthly interest disbursement, or to keep the interest in your CD account.
Of course, in today’s low-rate environment, no Certificate of Deposit is going to net you a fortune. But if you’re looking for someplace safe to stash some emergency cash, this isn’t a bad option.
Barclays Online Bank for US customers, which is managed separately from the Barclaycard and the UK version of the bank, is relatively new to the online banking market. In spite of this, though, Barclays Online Bank is a great option for ensuring that your savings account gets the best possible yield.