MSE News

New bank Marcus launches market-leading 1.5% savings

Goldman Sachs has today launched Marcus, a new brand offering a table-topping savings account paying 1.5% – the highest rate we've seen in over two and half years.

The Marcus account pays 1.5% AER variable, including a fixed bonus of 0.15% for 12 months. It can be opened online with £1 (up to a maximum of £250,000) and managed online and by phone. You can open an account on the Marcus website*

While its bonus is for one year, you can choose to renew it after 12 months, so savers should remain on a decent rate – though Goldman Sachs told us the bonus rate could be lower in year two.

Crucially, the account has no limits on withdrawals, meaning it offers true 'easy-access' – so you can take money out whenever you need it.

Marcus is a new brand from US investment bank Goldman Sachs named after one of its original founders, Marcus Goldman.

Its savings account has UK savings safety protection – though it's worth noting the £85,000 protection is shared with Goldman Sachs International Bank, so if you have savings with both you'll only get protection on £85,000 in total. 

See our guide on Top Savings Accounts for more information.

How does the account compare?

At 1.5%, it's the most generous easy-access rate we've seen since January 2016.

Prior to the UK launch of Marcus, the top easy-access account was Yorkshire Building Society which pays 1.41% AER variable – though to get this headline rate you can only make one withdrawal a year. You can open it by post or in a branch and can save from £100.

For those looking for a bigger name, The AA's Easy Saver* pays 1.36% AER variable, including a fixed 1.16% bonus for 12 months. It can be opened online with £100+.

For more information, plus other options, see easy-access savings accounts.

You can earn more by locking your cash away

While the Marcus account is the top easy-access offering, it's possible to earn more than its 1.5% interest rate. But to get a bigger return on your savings, you must either be prepared to open a bank account (and meet strict criteria as well as passing a credit check) or lock away your cash for a fixed term.
  • If you're willing to open a current account – Nationwide FlexDirect* pays 5% FIXED for a year on up to £2,500, though it drops to just 1% after. However, to earn the interest you must pay in at least £1,000 a month. Having its current account also gives you access to its regular saver, paying 5% on up to £250 a month (see regular savings accounts).

    Alternatively, Tesco Bank pays 3% on up to £3,000 until at least April next year. Though to earn this, you must pay in £750+ and pay out three direct debits each month. Plus, you can open two accounts, so you can earn a possible 3% on up to £6,000, but you must meet the pay in and direct debit criteria on both. 

  • If you're willing to lock your cash away – The top one-year fix from ICICI Bank UK pays 2.02%. You can open it online with £1,000+ and there's no maximum. Alternatively, if you'd prefer a bigger name Co-op Bank pays 1.71% fixed for one year. Again, you can open it with £1,000+ and pay in up to £1 million. You can apply online, by phone or in a branch.

    Remember though, if you do opt for a fixed account you can't make a withdrawal until the end of a fixed term – so only consider these accounts if you'd never need your cash in an emergency. And it's worth noting with both accounts only the first £85,000 of your cash is protected.

    For more on these accounts, plus longer fixes, see fixed-rate saving accounts.

What does Goldman Sachs say?

Marcus managing director Des McDaid said: "We've made the Marcus online savings account as easy as possible to open and manage online, and with our aim to offer a consistently competitive interest rate, we hope our customers will see the benefits – and how, over time, this can add up to help them get to their saving goals that bit quicker."

MSE weekly email

FREE weekly MoneySaving email

For all the latest deals, guides and loopholes simply sign up today – it's spam-free!