It’s been almost 12 months since Marcus by Goldman Sachs burst onto the UK savings market, with its best buy table topping Online Savings Account paying 1.50% AER.
The very introduction of this account encouraged a surge of competition in the easy access market that has remained ever since.
So, it is a bit of a disappointment - although not wholly unexpected - that Marcus has this week cut the bonus rate from 0.15% to 0.10% for new customers and those who are renewing their bonus. This means the new overall rate will be 1.45% AER – the underlying rate of 1.35% AER remains the same.
Although slightly frustrating, the cut is minimal and will mean a difference of £25 gross for savers with a balance of £50,000. And remember, those who opened the account before the change can continue to earn the higher bonus rate of 0.15% for 12 months from when they opened the account.
While it’s not a huge drop, for anyone who wants to make sure that they continue to earn the very best rates they can find, Shawbrook Bank is paying marginally more on balances of between £1,000 and £85,000. The Easy Access Account Issue 15 is paying 1.48% AER.
Those who want to remain with Marcus and who opened an account at or near launch on 26th September 2018 should remember that the time to renew their bonus is approaching, so they need to make a note to renew as soon as the old bonus ends.
Even if you decide to move your cash to a better-paying account, it could be worth keeping your Marcus account open with a minimum balance, as you can only open one Marcus Online Savings Account - ever - so if you close it, you can’t open another.
In order to boost the interest rate again you need to log into your account and choose to renew the bonus for a further 12 months – even though this time it will be 0.10% instead 0.15%.
This is a slightly unusual way to gain access to the bonus for a further 12 months – normally, with most providers, you will open a new issue of the account and transfer from one account to another.
But the way Marcus works is different and simple, so we thought we’d take you through how to renew your bonus online.
When you log into your account, firstly click on which is just to the right of the details of your account number and current rate. Scroll down the next page until you see on the right-hand side which again shows the rate you are currently earning and when the bonus ends (if it still applies).
This will take you to a page which shows your bonus rate options and at the bottom is a blue box which says,
Once you click on that button, that’s it – the bonus is renewed for a further 12 months.
Always check the rate you are earning – don’t assume that you know for sure.
Unlike Marcus, some providers launch lots of different versions of the same account, which means that you shouldn’t assume that the rate in the ‘shop window’ is the rate you are earning. Often these accounts will come with a 12 months bonus that drops off and leaves you earning an underlying rate, which can often be pitiful.
If the account you have opened does include a bonus, don’t assume that the account you see advertised on the best buy tables or on your provider's website, is the account you are in. To be sure, you’ll need to check which issue and therefore what rate you are being paid – and whether the bonus is still being applied. When you have all that information, you can decide if you need to take action to improve your return.