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Barclays Bank Online CD Rates Review

Compare the interest rates and early withdrawal penalties on the Barclays Bank online certificates of deposit (CDs) and compare them to other online banks.
(3 out of 5) MyBankTracker Editor's Rating

Barclays Bank

Since you've got some money that you don't need for now, it makes sense to put it toward something that'll help it grow.

You must've come across certificates of deposit (CDs) to help do just that. And, your search could have let you to Barclays Bank, an online bank that delivers highly competitive CD rates.

The CDs have extremely friendly terms that can make them a great fit for your savings goals.

If you’re looking to open a CD, in this review learn everything you need to know about Barclay’s CDs.

CD Rates Are Quite Attractive

A CD is a special type of deposit account that pays more interest than checking, savings, or money market accounts.

In fact:

Earning interest is the primary reason you would want to open a CD, making a CD’s interest rate its most important aspect.

When you compare CDs from different banks, the interest rates should be the first thing you look at. Choosing a CD with a lower rate is like giving up free money.

Because Barclays primarily offers online accounts in the United States, it is able to offer more interest than brick and mortar banks can.

Online banks are cheaper to run than traditional banks and they pass those savings on to their customers.

Barclay’s CDs offer rates that are competitive with other online banks.

Some of its short-term CDs offer rates that are lower than its competitors, but its longer-term CDs offer rates that are on par with its competitors.

As a bonus, you’ll earn the same rate regardless of your CD balance.

Many CDs will pay more interest if you have a larger balance, making it difficult to earn the best rate.

The main determiner of your CD’s interest rate is the CD’s term. The longer you plan to keep your money in your CD, the higher the interest rate will be.

Available CD Terms

CDs have one key difference from savings accounts.

Opening a CD involves making a commitment: you won’t withdraw any of the money you deposit until a specific amount of time has passed. This is known as the CD’s term.

Barclays offers CDs with the following terms:

  • 3 months
  • 6 months
  • 9 months
  • 12 months
  • 18 months
  • 24 months
  • 36 months
  • 48 months
  • 60 months

With so many terms to choose from, you should have no trouble opening a CD with a term that works for you.

Remember, that CDs with longer terms tend to offer higher interest rates.

Still:

You don’t want to choose the longest term just to get the best rate possible.

Early Withdrawal Penalties

Remember that you’re promising to keep your money in the CD for that amount of time.

You’ll have to pay a penalty if you make a withdrawal before the CD’s term ends.

At Barclays, the early withdrawal penalty is based on the amount of interest you earn.

  • For CDs with a term of 24 months or less, you will pay 90 days of simple interest on the amount withdrawn.
  • For CDs with a term greater than 24 months, you will pay 180 days of simple interest on the amount withdrawn.

Remember that the penalty is based on the CD’s original term, not the amount of time left until the CD matures.

That means you could wind up paying more than you expect if you have a long-term CD that you withdraw from near its maturity date. Always wait until your CD’s term ends if you can.

Another thing to note is that it’s possible for an early withdrawal penalty to reduce your balance below the amount you deposited.

For example, if you open a 60-month CD and make an early withdrawal 90 days later, you’ll be charged 180 days of interest.

You’ll forfeit all the interest you earned and pay the remainder of the fee out of the principal. This is the only way you can lose money by opening a CD.

Minimum Deposit Requirements

Most banks require that you deposit a certain, minimum amount of money when you want to open a CD.

CDs can be more expensive to manage than other types of bank accounts, so banks want to make sure you deposit enough to make it worth it.

If you can’t get enough money together to open a CD, you’ll have to use a savings account instead. That means you’ll probably earn less interest.

Barclays avoids this problem entirely, with no minimum balance required to open the account.

Barclays does reserve the right to close accounts with a balance of less than $1 if you keep that balance for six months or more.

So, at a minimum, you should deposit $1 when you open your CD.

Keep in mind that CDs are insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, but that the insurance has limits.

The FDIC will only protect up to $250,000 in your account. If your balance exceeds that amount, any amount over $250,000 will be uninsured.

IRA Version

Some banks offer CDs in a retirement version.

Unfortunately, Barclays does not offer IRA CDs. You’ll have to use another bank to open a CD in an IRA.

Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) offer tax benefits to people who use them to save for retirement.

Traditional IRAs give you immediate savings. You can deduct the amount you contribute from your income when you file your tax return at the end of the year.

That means you pay less income tax in the year you make contributions. You pay taxes on the money when you withdraw it from the IRA.

Roth IRAs give you savings in the future. You pay taxes on the money you deposit, but any amount you withdraw, even the earnings, is tax-free.

What Happens at Maturity

When a CD’s term ends, the CD is said to have matured. When a CD matures, you may make changes to it without paying an early withdrawal fee.

That's why:

It’s very important to remember that opening a CD is a long-term commitment and that you’re committed to every part of the CD. The amount you deposit, the term, and the interest rate are all locked in when you open the CD.

If you don’t do anything when your CD matures, most banks will roll your balance into a new CD automatically.

The new CD will have the same term as the original and it will have an interest rate based on the current market rate.

Most banks will notify you in advance of your CD’s maturity date. Still, you should keep track of your CDs on your own so you can be sure you’ll have enough time to decide what to do.

At Barclays, you have a 14-day grace period from the date that your CD matures. You can make changes at any time during this period without paying a fee. If you miss the grace period, you’ll have to wait for the new CD to mature or pay an early withdrawal penalty.

Once you make your changes, you’ll be locked into your new CD, so make sure you know what you want to do before taking action.

The Competition

Barclays offers CDs that are better than brick and mortar banks’ CDs, and that are competitive with other online banks.

Still, you should take the time to shop around and compare CDs.

When you’re comparing CDs, consider the following things.

First, compare the interest rate of each CD you’re considering. Always opt for the highest rate available assuming all else is equal.

Also, make sure that the bank you’re considering offers CDs with a term that works for you. Some banks specialize in long-term CDs of seven years or more. Others offer short-term CDs. Which is right for you will depend on your situation.

Don’t forget that interest rates change all the time. If you think rates will rise, you might want to opt for a short-term CD. If you think they might fall, a long-term CD may be better.

Finally, consider what will happen when your CD matures. Make sure the bank offers a grace period that gives you enough time to make any changes you need to.

The Final Verdict

Barclays offers good CD options with a wide variety of terms.

You should shop around with other online banks to see if you can find a better deal, but Barclays will easily beat the CDs offered by most brick and mortar institutions.

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