Barclays USD Account: Cost, Features and Alternative

Remay Villaester (May)
29.07.21
2 minute read

Need to do business in USD? Whether it’s selling to overseas customers, renting out property in the US as a business or paying stateside suppliers, a USD bank account will come in very handy.

One of the options you’ll come across is the Barclays USD account, just one of the currency options available with the bank’s Foreign Currency Account.

Read on for the lowdown on the Barclays USD account, including features, fees and an alternative.

Advantages of having a USD account

Opening a USD account helps you optimise USD payments with your clients, both within and outside the UK. It not only helps you avoid potential rate loss due to FX fluctuations, but also allows you to send, receive and hold money in USD.

Better yet, getting a multi-currency account is specially handy for busineses operating globally. You can easily bill your clients in their local currency, which saves them time and money. With any luck, this will encourage them to patronize your products and services more.

Barclays USD account features

A Barclays USD currency account offers the chance to reduce your company’s exposure to exchange rate fluctuations, as well as the admin and other costs that come with it. There’s no need to transfer funds between accounts (unless you want to) and you can send and receive money from all over the world.

Other account features include¹:

  • 24/7 access via online or telephone banking
  • Manage your money on the move using the Barclays banking app
  • Choice of 20 major currencies, including USD.

Barclays USD account fees²

Service International fee Domestic fee
Sending money
  • £15 for online banking
  • £25 if arranged in-branch or by phone
64p
Receiving money
  • Free for payments below £100
  • £6 for payments over £100
64p
Pros Cons
  • No minimum balance required
  • Fast transfers - EUR/USD/CAD transactions settled same day, other currencies settled in 2 working days
  • Ideal for importers and exporters
  • Need to open separate account for each currency, if you need more than just USD
  • A Barclays Business bank account is required to apply
  • No option to apply online - you’ll need to call and speak to an advisor
When looking at the overall cost, it's also important to pay attention to the exchange rate and fees as these transactions are often expensive. Barclays adds a margin to their exchange rate when you convert between currencies.³

Is there a cheaper alternative?

Wise USD account

If you want to save money on banking fees, Wise multi-currency account is one of the best options for you especially if you need to convert between different currencies more frequently. Wise uses the mid-market rate to convert your money and charge only a small fee. You can receive payment in most of the major currencies for free including USD.

You’ll get a US account number, branch number (routing number) and SWIFT/BIC bank code, plus an international debit card - this covers multiple currencies, so you don’t need a separate card for each currency. Wise is FCA regulated and uses sophisticated security and anti-fraud technology.

Fees:

Service Fee³
Send and spend USD Free if you have USD in your account
Receive USD Free (for some currencies)
ATM withdrawals Two free withdrawals up to £200 a month
Currency conversion fee Typically between 0.35% and 2% across major currencies
Pros Cons
  • No monthly fees
  • Mid-market exchange rate
  • Transparent pricing
  • No receiving fee
  • Manage your money across 50+ currencies, not just euros
  • Business account verification can take up to 5 working days

Start saving today with Wise


Summary

And there you have it - your at-a-glance guide to the Barclays USD account, plus an alternative to choose between. It’s a good idea to compare carefully, to find the best fit for your business.

Sources:

  1. Barclays landing page - Foreign currency account
  2. Barclays Business account fees
  3. Barclays FX mark-up

This publication is provided for general information purposes only and is not intended to cover every aspect of the topics with which it deals. It is not intended to amount to advice on which you should rely. You must obtain professional or specialist advice before taking, or refraining from, any action on the basis of the content in this publication. The information in this publication does not constitute legal, tax or other professional advice from TransferWise Limited or its affiliates. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether express or implied, that the content in the publication is accurate, complete or up to date.

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