Boost for savers as popular online bank Marcus raises easy access savings and cash Isa rates to 2.5%, putting them among the best buys
- Online bank Marcus’ popular easy-access deals will rise from 2% to 2.5%
- Savers need to opt in to a 0.25% 12-month bonus rate to fully benefit
- The Goldman Sachs backed bank is now offering the best easy-access cash Isa
- Marcus is also offering the second best easy-access rate on the market
Marcus by Goldman Sachs is boosting the interest rates on its popular easy-access savings deals.
However, savers will need to opt into a 12-month fixed bonus of 0.25 per cent to avoid being left on a lower rate of 2.25 per cent.
The Goldman Sachs backed bank has increased both its easy-access account and cash Isa.
With the bonus included, it means someone stashing £10,000 into either account could expect to earn £250 in interest over the course of a year.
For those putting down big deposits, cash is protected up to £85,000 per individual by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme and in the case of joint savings accounts that doubles to £170,000.
How does the account work?
The account can only be opened and managed online and any money paid in or out must be transferred via a linked UK current account.
New customers can open an account with £1 and can deposit up to £250,000.
They can add and withdraw money as and when they want, but there is a withdrawal limit of £20,000 a day online – although there is an option to call in if you need to withdraw more.
It’s also worth noting that the account can be opened jointly by two people, but an existing Marcus customer can’t convert their account into a joint one.
How does the bonus work?
The 2.5 per cent rate is available to both new and existing customers, with the underlying rate (2.25 per cent) increasing automatically for existing customers.
If they have not already done so, existing customers will need to log in to their account to add the extra 0.25 per cent bonus – as will any new customers signing up for the first time.
Existing savers currently have the option to reset their existing 12 month bonus, so that they secure the extra 0.25 per cent for a full year.
To do this, they must log on to their Marcus dashboard, click ‘view’ on their online savings and then ‘review their savings’ which will show them the option to renew their bonus term and ensure they secure it for the full 12 month period.
How does Marcus compare to other deals?
The Goldman Sachs backed bank’s online savings account is currently only bettered by this Al Rayan Bank easy-access deal, which pays 2.81 per cent.
HSBC also pays 3 per cent on its Online Bonus Saver. However it penalises savers for making withdrawals and is only available to HSBC banking customers.
As for its easy-access cash Isa deal, Coventry Building Society offers the next-best rate paying 2.25 per cent, albeit limiting access to six times a year.
However, the key drawback of the Marcus deal is that unlike most other providers it does not allow savers to transfer money in from another cash Isa provider.
Should you sign up to Marcus?
At present, savers will be hard-pressed to find another genuine easy-access savings deal offering such high returns.
Unlike a number of the top paying ‘easy-access’ deals, Marcus comes with no strings attached – other than the £20,000 online withdrawal limit.
For example, a number of other easy-access providers, which are currently at the top of our best buy easy-access tables limit savers to a certain number of withdrawals each year.
Furthermore, with some savers wary of moving their money to smaller lesser known providers, the fact that Marcus is a banking service offered by Goldman Sachs may give them some peace of mind.
Many other big banks continue to pay rock-bottom rates on easy-access accounts.
Could savings rates get better?
Up until recently there were a handful of other easy access deals on offer paying 2.75 per cent or more, however most were recently withdrawn.
This has led some to suggest that savings rates may be reaching a peak.
However, with the Bank of England expected to hike the base rate once again on Thursday 3 November, others expect better rates are yet to come.
A spokesperson for The Savings Guru says: ‘For savers, we believe that a base rate rise will provide a boost for easy access rates and expect the best buys to have a 3 in front of them, but this may be a gradual move, rather than an instant response.
‘It will be good news for easy access savers though – but they may need to switch to benefit as we don’t expect the big banks to pass much of an increase on.
‘The big four banks are likely to hand over no more than 25 per cent of any increase automatically.’