Barclays Euro Account Review: A Full Guide on Fees and Features 2023
If you need to send and receive euro payments, a foreign currency account can help cut your banking costs. Barclays offers euro accounts to customers who already hold an eligible GBP account with them. You can use your Barclays euro account to hold, send and receive euro payments, and deposit or withdraw cash at a Barclays branch in the UK. However, there’s no debit card available which means the Barclays euro account isn’t necessarily the best option for travel.
This guide covers all you need to know about the Barclays euro account - and we’ll also touch on a couple of alternatives for comparison, from neobank Starling, and specialist providers Wise and Revolut. Digital providers like these can often offer cheaper and more flexible international accounts, which can be handy if you don’t need in-branch services. More on that later.
What is the Barclays euro account?
Barclays offers foreign currency accounts in 11 currencies including euros. Barclays euro accounts can be used to hold, send and receive EUR, plus you have the option to deposit or withdraw cash in euros at a branch. There’s no monthly fee for the Barclays euro account, and no transfer fee when you send payments online. However, Barclays euro accounts don’t come with a linked debit card which means you can’t make cash withdrawals or spend on card when you travel.
Pros and cons of Barclays euro account
Before we get into the details of the Barclays euro account, here’s a quick overview of some of the key pros and cons to help you see if it’s right for you.
In branch and online service
Deposit and withdraw cash in euros over the counter
Send and receive online international payments with no Barclays fee
No debit card
Cash withdrawals need to be arranged in advance
Exchange rates include a markup
Fees apply for some transactions
Barclays foreign currency account alternatives
Barclays isn’t the only provider offering euro account services. Before you choose which foreign currency account to open it’s worth weighing up a few different options, to find the one which has the best balance of costs and convenience for you. Here are a few popular options to compare against Barclays:
If you don’t plan on using in-branch services, a digital provider like Wise can be a good option. Open your Wise Account online or in the Wise app, to hold 50+ currencies, send payments to 80+ countries, and spend with your linked debit card in 170+ countries. Wise currency exchange uses the mid-market exchange rate with no margin added, which can mean you pay less for international transactions compared to using a regular bank.![wise_account.png
Foreign Currencies: 50+
Fees & Exchange Rates: Mid-market exchange rate, low transaction fees
International Transfers: From 0.41% fee
Debit Card: Available
Open a free Revolut standard account to hold and exchange up to 1,000 GBP a month with the mid-market exchange rate, plus get a linked debit card for easy spending and withdrawals. If you’d prefer to get unlimited fee free currency exchange you can also upgrade to an account with monthly fees - these plans also come with travel perks like some free insurance and lounge passes.
Foreign Currencies: 30+
Fees & Exchange Rates: Mid-market exchange rate to plan limits, low transaction fees based on account type
International Transfers: 0.3% - 2% fee, some accounts offer discounted transfer fees
Debit Card: Available
Starling Euro Account
If you want the range of services available from a regular bank, but don’t need a branch network, neobank Starling can help. Starling euro accounts don’t have any monthly fee and you can send money in euros within the SEPA region with no extra Starling costs. Starling’s exchange rates are also pretty good, with just a low fee of 0.4% added.
Foreign Currencies: Euro - other business account options available for USD
Fees & Exchange Rates: No monthly fee, currency conversion uses the mid market rate with a fee of 0.4%
International Transfers: No fee for EUR payments within the SEPA area
Debit Card: Available
|Monthly fees||No fee||No fee||0 GBP - 12.99 GBP/month depending on account tier|
|Currencies you can hold and exchange||Euros||50+||30+|
|Exchange rates||Rates include a markup||Mid-market exchange rate||Mid-market exchange rate to plan limits|
|Debit Card and ATM fees||Not available|
Get a debit card for 7 GBP
2 withdrawals to 200 in value per month for free - 0.5 GBP + 1.75% after that
Debit card is free to order, but delivery fees may apply
ATM withdrawals fee free to plan limits (200 GBP/month for standard plans)
|International payment fees|
SEPA payments are free
No fee for online transfers in other currencies, 25 GBP fee for most in branch and telephone transfers
|From 0.41%||0.3% - 2% for most payments (paid account plans may offer some discount on fees)|
How does the Barclays euro account compare?
Foreign currency accounts from traditional banks like Barclays are typically aimed at people who need to hold a balance in a single foreign currency, rather than customers who want to flexibly manage between currencies and spend when travelling.
To help you decide if a Barclays euro account would fit your needs, here’s a head to head of Barclays versus specialist providers Wise and Revolut, and digital bank Starling. We’ll look at these providers in a little more detail later to help you decide which account might suit your needs best.
|Availability||UK customers with a Barclays GBP account||Available to customers in most countries around the world||Available to customers in the UK, EEA, Australia, Singapore, Switzerland, Japan, and the US||UK customers with a Starling GBP account|
No monthly fee
Currency conversion includes a markup
Some international fees apply, including a 6 GBP fee for receiving payments worth over 100 GBP
No monthly fee
Currency conversion and international payments from 0.41%
0 - 12.99 GBP monthly fee depending on plan
Currency conversion with no markups to plan limits
International payments from 0.3% - 2%
No monthly fee
Currency conversion from 0.4%
SEPA and Target2 payments available, with no Starling fee to pay
|Linked Debit Card||Not available||Available||Available||Available|
Which euro account is best for you will probably depend on the type of transactions you need to make. Barclays is a good option if you want to deposit cash in euros, as there’s a large branch network which makes this convenient - with no fees to pay.
However, as there’s no linked debit card the Barclays euro account is pretty limited when it comes to spending overseas. Alternative providers like Wise and Revolut have been built to support customers who transact internationally frequently, and can often offer more flexible accounts with lower overall fees.
Want to compare more options? Check out our full guide to the best foreign and multi-currency accounts in the UK.
What is the eligibility for a Barclays euro account?
To open a Barclays euro account you must be over 18, and have an eligible Barclays GBP account through Barclays UK.
Who is it good for?
The key advantage of a foreign currency account is that you can hold, send and receive payments in foreign currencies like euros without needing to convert back to pounds unnecessarily. Because there’s no specific maintenance fee for the Barclays euro account, this could be a good option if you already bank with Barclays and need to make or receive frequent euro payments. However, it’s worth noting that the account doesn’t come with a linked debit card, which can be a disadvantage if you need a way to spend while you travel.
When is a multi-currency account needed?
Multi-currency accounts are handy for both individuals and business customers who transact internationally a lot. Different account types have their own features, which make them more suited to specific customer needs - some are great for people looking to save or invest in foreign currencies, for example, while others are more designed for day to day use.
Here’s a quick overview of the Barclays euro account set against the providers we looked at earlier, and who they may suit:
Barclays - good for anyone needing in branch service, including options to deposit cash and cheques, and make euro withdrawals over the counter
Wise - helpful for people who transact in a broad range of currencies - 50+ are supported - and need a linked debit card for spending → Read Wise Review
Revolut - useful option for customers looking for cheap in-app currency conversion, with extra travel perks if you sign up to a fee paying account tier → Read Revolut Review
Starling - good for customers who need to access a fuller range of financial services from a licensed bank, but who don’t need a physical branch network
How to open a euro account with Barclays
Call the Barclays international helpdesk on 03459 75 75 75, or visit your local branch in person, to open a Barclays euro account.
What documents you'll need
Double check what paperwork you need to provide to open your Barclays euro account when you talk to the bank, as the exact documents may vary based on the current account you hold. In most cases, the requirements include:
Proof of ID, like a passport
Proof of address, such as a utility bill in your name
Here are the key fees you’ll pay with your Barclays euro account:
|Service||Barclays euro account fee|
|Monthly fee||No fee|
|In branch cash withdrawal in euro||No fee|
Deposit cash in euros - free
Fees may apply for depositing cheques, depending on the value of the cheque and the currency it’s in
|Send money internationally|
No fee for international payments arranged online - 25 GBP for in branch and telephone payments
SEPA payments arranged by any channel are free
Where currency conversion is required, a markup will be added to the mid-market exchange rate
Correspondent bank fees may also apply
|Receive money internationally|
No fee for SEPA payments, or internal transfers from a Barclays GBP account in the same name
No fee for payments valued at 100 GBP or under
6 GBP fee for payments worth over 100 GBP
Barclays exchange rate
Like most banks, Barclays will calculate the exchange rate used for converting currencies by taking the mid-market exchange rate and adding a margin. That’s a fee, which can vary based on the currency in question and the payment value. You’ll be able to spot this fee by comparing the Barclays rate to the mid-market rate for your currency, or by asking a member of Barclays staff.
How to use the Barclays euro account
You can make payments from your Barclays euro account in a branch, by phone or online. Euro payments in the SEPA area are free no matter how you set up your transfer, but there are fees for in branch transfers in other currencies. Here’s how to send money online with Barclays:
Log into your online or mobile banking service
Look for the option for International Payments
Follow the prompts to add the recipient’s information and details of the transfer
Complete any required security or verification steps
You can deposit money into your Barclays euro account in the following ways:
Pay in cash in euro at a branch
Receive a bank transfer from an account in your own name, or from someone else
Deposit a cheque in euro or another currency
Barclays euro accounts can be used to make online, phone and in branch payments to other banks in a range of currencies. You can also request a withdrawal in branch, to get euros in cash.
How to use the Barclays euro account abroad
The Barclays euro account isn’t really intended to be used for day to day foreign currency spending, and there’s no linked debit card. That limits what you can do with your account when you’re overseas, although you will still be able to access your online banking as usual.
Barclays euro account limits
Barclays foreign currency accounts may have limits which apply to transfers into and out of the account. You’ll be able to check the limits which apply to your particular account by logging into your online banking service.
Are Barclays multi-currency accounts safe?
Yes. Barclays is a large and established bank which is fully regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority in the UK.
If you get paid in euros, or if you have regular EUR bills to pay, a Barclays euro account may suit you. You can use your account to hold, send and receive payments, and to withdraw euros in a Barclays branch. However, because there’s no debit card linked to the account your options are limited when it comes to spending overseas.
Before you sign up for a Barclays euro account, check out a few alternatives to see if any suit you better. Online and digital services like Wise and Revolut offer low fees, good exchange rates, and linked debit cards for convenient spending and withdrawals when you travel.
Yes. If you have a Barclays GBP account you can also open a euro account by calling the bank or visiting your local branch.
You can deposit euros into your Barclays euro account in cash, by visiting a branch. You can also receive bank transfers to your account or deposit a cheque.
It’s free to send SEPA payments in euros online, by phone or in a branch. Other transfers made online don’t have any Barclays fee - but in branch transfers in other currencies come with a 25 GBP charge.
You can access your Barclays account via online banking when you travel - but there’s no linked payment card for cash withdrawals or spending.