Marcus and Saga cut easy-access rates AGAIN – should you switch?
Update Fri 15 May: Since this story was first published, savings rates have shifted again. For the current top rates, see our Top Savings Accounts guide.
Savings providers Marcus and Saga have today cut interest rates on their easy-access accounts for the second time in a month – and some existing customers should now consider switching.
Easy-access rates had held up surprisingly well following the Bank of England's two emergency rate cuts in March, which saw the base rate drop to a historic low of 0.1%. But following today's cuts, the options for savers looking to maximise their returns are narrowing.
Here's a summary of what's changing on the Marcus and Saga accounts:
- For new customers, the headline rate on the previously top-paying Marcus account has been cut to 1.05% from today, while Saga is paying just 1%. Saga still includes a fixed bonus, while Marcus hasn't offered this since February. (Bonus rates are temporary interest hikes to attract new customers, which essentially act as a minimum rate guarantee during the introductory period.)
At its new rate, Marcus still just about makes our best-buy table – but Saga does not. New customers can beat both elsewhere. See full new customer info below.
- For existing customers, Marcus will drop rates by 0.15 percentage points on Saturday 30 May, and Saga will drop by a bigger 0.2 percentage points on the same day. However, the exact rate you will get on the account depends on what, if any, fixed bonus you have on your account. See full existing customer info below.
While they have different brand names, the Marcus and Saga easy-access accounts are both operated by investment banking giant Goldman Sachs.
For help on searching out the best interest rates, see our Top Savings Accounts guide.
In a word – no. While Marcus has just about held on to a spot in our best-buy table, Saga has dropped off it altogether. If you're a new customer looking to put money in an easy-access account (ie, one that gives you flexibility to make withdrawals), both are easily beaten.
Our current top pick is from RCI Bank, which pays 1.2% AER, allows unlimited withdrawals and can be opened online with £100. As with all easy-access accounts, the rate's variable – so it's worth keeping an eye on in case it drops.
Alternatively, you can get better returns on your cash by opening a fixed-rate or notice account – which give you less flexibility with withdrawals – or with some current accounts, including Nationwide's FlexDirect, which pays 2% fixed for a year on up to £1,500 if you meet its criteria.
If you're an existing Marcus customer, your underlying interest rate will drop from 1.2% to 1.05% on Saturday 30 May, while existing Saga customers will see their underlying rates drop to 0.8% from the same date.
Crucially though, any fixed bonus you have on either account will remain in place until it expires 12 months after you took out the account or renewed the bonus – so the overall interest you earn may be more than that underlying rate.
To illustrate this, here's how existing Marcus customers are affected – their current rate will depend on when they took out their account or last renewed their bonus:
|1.35%, incl 0.15% bonus
|1.2%, incl 0.15% bonus
|1.3%, incl 0.1% bonus
|1.15%, incl 0.1% bonus
You can check whether you've got an active fixed bonus – and when this will expire – by logging in to your Marcus account and clicking 'View' next to the account name. You'll see the bonus details on the right-hand side (or towards the middle if you're using a mobile). Saga customers can also check details of their bonus online.
If you're an existing Marcus or Saga customer, weigh up carefully whether you should ditch and switch after your rate drops at the end of May:
- If you have a Marcus account with a 0.15% fixed bonus, you'll likely be better off sticking with it for now as the bonus means it'll still pay the same 1.2% as the top easy-access account does right now – though check if this is still the case on Saturday 30 May. In any event, it's worth making a note of when your bonus expires and remembering to reconsider your options then.
- If you have a Marcus account with a 0.1% fixed bonus, check the top-paying accounts on Saturday 30 May to see if you can get a better deal. Based on the current rates, there could be a small gain from switching to a top account, though this could have changed by then.
- If you have a Marcus account without a fixed bonus, you're likely to be better off switching, though again, this could change by Saturday 30 May depending on what happens to savings rates in the interim.
- If you have a Saga account, you're likely to be better off switching after Saturday 30 May. What you'll earn from that date will depend on the size of your fixed bonus – but even if you still have the 0.25% fixed bonus first offered by Saga, you should be able to earn more by switching (provided the current top rates stick around). Check closer to the time to make sure.
Again, you may want to consider a fixed-rate or notice account – which pay more, but give you less flexibility with withdrawals – or Nationwide's FlexDirect current account, which pays 2% fixed for a year on up to £1,500 if you meet its criteria.