Marcus Bank by Goldman Sachs turns the image of the high finance world on its head by offering products aimed directly at the middle class. Here’s our full review.
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Goldman Sachs is a big name in the financial industry but don’t let a big name intimidate you. Goldman Sachs offers affordable and accessible financial products through Marcus.
What is Marcus?
Marcus is a banking product from Goldman Sachs. It focuses on high-yield savings products as well as no-fee personal loans. Marcus is fairly simple, without offering a lot of complicated options. It’s also inexpensive.
It’s an option for anyone looking for higher-yield savings and those who might want a low-rate personal loan to help consolidate, make a major purchase, or pay off credit card debt.
There are a few features from Marcus that make it a good choice for many of those looking for simplicity in some of their financial accounts.
- High-yield savings account: You can get a high-yield account with a $1 minimum deposit and no monthly fees. Marcus regularly has one of the highest yields in the country.
- CDs: Marcus also offers CD products. There are high-yield CDs that start with a $500 deposit, as well as a no-penalty product.
- FDIC-insured: Marcus carries FDIC insurance, so you know your account is protected.
- Personal loans: You can also get no-fee personal loans for amounts ranging from $3,500 to $40,000. These loans are fixed rate, and offer you a variety of options, based on your credit situation.
- Resources: Marcus also includes resources that can help you better manage your money, including articles on managing debt, building savings, and understanding credit. There are also calculators designed to help you understand the impact of saving and borrowing on your long-term finances.
Marcus Fees & Rates
Marcus prides itself on charging no fees. You won’t pay an origination fee when you get a personal loan with Marcus. Additionally, the savings account doesn’t have fees, either, and you don’t have to maintain a specific minimum balance.
Personal loans with Marcus start at 6.99% to 24.99% APR, depending on how much you borrow, your loan term, and your credit.
How to Sign Up for Marcus
As with all banks, signing up for Marcus requires some information and identity verification. You’ll have to provide your Social Security number, name, address, birthday, and other information. As a bank in compliance with the requirements of the Patriot Act, you’ll also have to verify that you’re not going to use the account for terrorist or illegal activity.
If you want to apply for a loan, you fill out the same forms as you would on any other lending website, once again providing identifying information. You might also have to offer additional information on your income, housing situation, and other debts.
The process is fairly straightforward, though, and it doesn’t take very long to go through the fields.
You can connect your Marcus savings account to other accounts so that you can set up recurring transfers. This allows you to regularly move money from your checking account into your savings account. You can also set up autopay for your Marcus personal loan.
As expected, Marcus employs industry best practices when securing accounts and data.
The Marcus app is available on the Apple Store or Google Play. The app has 4.9 stars and more than 40,000 reviews. You can use the app to check your balance, transfer money, and make loan payments. The app also offers the option to link outside accounts like checking or investing accounts to get a better look at where you stand financially and how you’ve been spending your money.
Related: Best Mobile Banking Apps
It’s possible to connect with a live person to chat or to talk on the phone.
In order to use the Chat function, you do need to be logged into Marcus.com. Once you’re logged in, you can live chat with someone Monday to Friday, from 8 am to 10 pm Eastern. Live chat is also available Saturday and Sunday from 9 am to 7 pm Eastern. Those are the same hours for phone customer service as well.
Marcus also features an extensive FAQ section that allows you to find answers to a variety of questions regarding different products.
Pros & Cons
As with any product, there are advantages and disadvantages to Marcus. Here are some of the things to consider as you make your choice.
High-yields on savings products — You can get a high yield on any savings product without the need to maintain a high balance.
Easy to navigate — Marcus products are simple to use, and the dashboard is intuitive.
No fees — Whether you’re using a savings product or getting a loan, you don’t have to worry about paying fees.
Automatic transfers — Boost your saving automatically by using recurring transfers so you don’t have to remember to move the money.
No mobile check deposit — If you want to add money to your account, you need to connect an external checking account and transfer the money. You can mail in a check, but that’s even worse than initiating a transfer from an external account.
No checking accounts or ATM networks — You won’t be able to use an ATM network with Marcus. Additionally, there’s not a checking account option. You’re limited to savings products or to personal loans.
Auto-renewal for CDs — If you don’t make a change, your CD automatically renews after a 10-day grace period. So if you don’t get the money quickly, it could be locked up for another term.
Alternatives to Marcus
Some of the more common alternatives to Marcus by Goldman Sachs are those that also offer online options. Ally Bank is a common alternative. While its APY is similar, it does have a number of other products available, including checking. Capital One 360, American Express Bank, and Discover Bank are also online alternatives that provide more products and services, as well as reasonably high yields and no fees.
You can also check with your local credit union or community bank. In many cases, these financial institutions can provide you with products and services that offer reasonable yields. More traditional national banks also offer a wider variety of products and allow you the convenience of mobile apps, ATMs, and brick-and-mortar branches. However, these institutions often offer very low yields, and you might end up paying monthly fees if you don’t meet certain requirements.
Related: Best ATM Locator Apps
Bottom Line: Who Is It For?
Marcus is ideal for someone who wants access to a degree of liquidity, but without the low yields you see with traditional banks. Marcus by Goldman Sachs offers a great savings alternative. However, you won’t be able to deposit checks remotely.
For personal loans, Marcus can be a good choice for someone with good to excellent credit*** who wants to consolidate some of their remaining high-interest credit card debt. It can help you save money on repaying that debt, and maybe even get rid of it faster. The personal loans can also be used for other purposes like major purchases, but it’s important to be careful when borrowing.