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Reviews

The best high-yield savings account offered by a big bank when you need help saving

CNBC Select reviews the Barclays Online Savings so you can decide if it's right for you.

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Editor's Note: APYs listed in this article are up-to-date as of the time of publication. They may fluctuate (up or down) as the Fed rate changes. CNBC will update as changes are made public.

Customers often like to bank with a big-name financial institution because of the familiarity they offer having been around for decades.

Many of these traditional brick-and-mortar banks, however, are playing catch up to the more innovative services offered by newer online-only banks.

Well-known Barclays bank, however, offers both. The big bank offers an online high-yield savings account that stands out thanks to tools that will help you save, including a personal Barclays savings assistant, when you need help reaching your goals.

CNBC Select reviewed the high-yield savings accounts offered by the largest banks and/or credit unions by asset size, and the Barclays Online Savings ranks as our best for help saving in the brick-and-mortar category. This straightforward bank account also offers users above-average interest rates and a mobile check deposit feature.

Below, we review the Barclays Online Savings and give you all the details on its features, including the annual percentage yield (APY), access to your cash, perks and fees so you can decide if this high-yield savings account is right for you.

Barclays Online Savings review

Barclays Online Savings

Information about the Barclays Online Savings has been collected independently by CNBC and has not been reviewed or provided by the bank prior to publication. Barclays is a Member FDIC.
  • Annual Percentage Yield (APY)

    0.45%

  • Minimum balance

    None

  • Monthly fee

    None

  • Maximum transactions

    Up to 6 free withdrawals or transfers per statement cycle *The 6/statement cycle withdrawal limit is waived during the coronavirus outbreak under Regulation D

  • Excessive transactions fee

    You may incur a fee and your account may close if you violate the limit more than three times in a year

  • Overdraft fees

    N/A

  • Offer checking account?

    No

  • Offer ATM card?

    No

See our methodology, terms apply.

Pros

  • Strong APY
  • No minimum balance required
  • No monthly fees
  • Barclays savings assistant tool 
  • Offers Deposit Checks feature for depositing checks via mobile
  • Up to 6 free withdrawals or transfers per statement cycle*

Cons

  • Excessive transactions may incur a fee or your account may close
  • No option to add a checking account
  • No ATM access

Barclays Online Savings APY

The current APY is 0.45%. Users of the Barclays Online Savings start earning interest right away with no minimum balances required in their account.

Access to your cash

Access to your savings is easy with Barclays, especially if you're someone comfortable with mobile bank apps.

Barclays Online Savings account holders can make transfers to and from their linked external bank accounts through the Barclays mobile app and set up direct deposit to make saving simple.

Barclays' Deposit Checks feature allows you to deposit checks into your savings account remotely by uploading a picture of your check from your computer, laptop or mobile device. Savers are given the six free withdrawals/transfers per statement cycle as required by law (limit waived during the coronavirus outbreak under Regulation D).

You can't link this account to a Barclays checking account, and you won't receive an ATM card, so you access your funds via ATM.

Perks

The personal Barclays savings assistant that comes with the Barclays Online Savings account is a standout feature that not all big banks offer.

For those who need some help visualizing what it will take to meet certain savings goals, the Barclays savings assistant offers an easy-to-use calculator.

Users choose their goal from a dropdown menu on the website, such as saving up for college, a vacation or retirement. They then input how much the goal costs, how much they already have saved up and how much they can contribute monthly. Barclays savings assistant will then calculate how many months and/or years it will take for you to reach your goal.

Fees

In addition to having no minimum balance requirements, the Barclays Online Savings also comes with no monthly maintenance fees.

Bottom line

The Barclays Online Savings is a good solution if you want to make the most of saving money with an older financial institution while also having access to newer, more innovative tools to help you achieve your goals.

For those looking for a high-yield savings account offered by a big bank with a bit higher APY, consider the American Express® High Yield Savings Account, which ranked as our best overall pick in the brick-and-mortar category.

Learn more: Looking for a safe place to stash your cash? The pros and cons of keeping your money in a high-yield savings account

Our methodology

To determine which high-yield savings accounts offer the best return on your money, CNBC Select analyzed dozens of U.S. savings accounts offered by online and brick-and-mortar banks, including large credit unions. We narrowed down our ranking by only considering those savings accounts that offer an APY around 1%, no monthly maintenance fees and low (or no) minimum balance requirements.

While the accounts we chose in this article consistently rank as having some of the highest APY rates, we also compared each savings account on a range of features, including ease of use and account accessibility, as well as factors such as insurance policies and customer reviews when available. We also considered users' deposit options and each account's compound frequency.

All of the accounts included on this list are FDIC-insured up to $250,000. Note that the rates and fee structures for high-yield savings accounts are not guaranteed forever; they are subject to change without notice and they often fluctuate in accordance with the Fed rate. Your earnings depend on any associated fees and the balance you have in your high-yield savings account. To open an account, most banks and institutions require a deposit of new money, meaning you can't transfer money you already had in an account at that bank.

Editorial Note: Opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the CNBC Select editorial staff’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any third party.