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New bank Marcus launches market-leading 1.5% savings

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."

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