Goldman Sachs Bank USA (Marcus) has recently launched a new savings account promotion which allows you to earn up to $500. It’s similar to their March promotion, but this one allows you to earn a lot more. The only mention of this promotion is on this Marcus landing page, which has the following promotion summary:
Deposit $1,000 or more in new funds into a new or existing account within 10 business days of enrollment in the offer, maintain your balance at enrollment plus the new funds for 90 days, and we’ll give you a 1% cash bonus up to $500. Enroll in this offer at the link below or by calling 1-855-730-SAVE (1-855-730-7283) by 11:59 pm ET on 7/29/19.
With interest rates starting to fall, bonuses might become a more common strategy that online banks will use to attract deposits. Marcus recently lowered its Online Savings Account rate by 10 bps on June 28th after the June Fed meeting when the Fed opened the door to rate cuts at its future meetings.
This Marcus promotion is similar to the ones that Ally Bank and Capital One have offered in the last year. Ally Bank’s October Payback promotion offered a 1% cash bonus with a maximum bonus of $1,000 (it has long expired). Capital One has often offered bonuses for deposits to its 360 Money Market Account. The latest promotion offers a $500 bonus for $50,000 in deposits. Unlike Ally’s Payback promotion and this new Marcus promotion, Capital One typically limits their bonuses to new customers.
Thanks to DA reader, MAKNYC, for posting on this promotion in the DA Forum.
Marcus Promotion Details
Right below this summary on the promotion landing page, Marcus has a link to the page with the promotion details. Three steps are described to qualify for the bonus.
The first qualification is to enroll. The promotion landing page has two enrollment links: one link is for new customers and the other is for existing customers. The only limitation mentioned in the promo details page is that Marcus customers must not be currently enrolled in another Marcus bonus offer.
The second qualification involves making the deposits. I’ll provide the excerpt from the promo details page to ensure accuracy since these details can be confusing:
Deposit at least $1,000 in new funds (internal transfers won’t count) into a Marcus Online Savings Account within 10 business days from enrollment. Multiple deposits may be made during this time and can be made by any owner on the account. Funds deposited in your account prior to enrollment are not eligible for the cash bonus. Your balance at the end of your enrollment period is your “Enrollment Account Balance”.
It’s not clearly defined, but the enrollment period is specific to when the customer applies for this promotion. The date the customer applies begins the enrollment period, and it ends 10 business days after that. So if you enroll on July 22nd, your enrollment period will end on August 5th (10 business days after July 22).
The third qualification is maintaining the deposit for the required time. According to the promo details page:
Maintain your Enrollment Account Balance through 11:59 PM EST of the 90th day following the enrollment period (the “Maintenance Period”).
First, the 90 days is calendar days. So if your enrollment period ends on August 5th, the Maintenance Period will end on November 3rd.
The CSR informed me that their online banking software provides a timeline for the customer that lists the date that the Enrollment Period ends and the date the Maintenance Period ends. That should eliminate any confusion about these important dates.
Besides dates, there can also be confusion in understanding what balance will qualify for the bonus. This complication primarily occurs when you make withdrawals during the maintenance period. According to the promo details page:
If you do not maintain your Enrollment Account Balance for the Maintenance Period you will receive a cash bonus of 1% of the average amount of the new funds in your account during the Maintenance Period, up to $500.
Lastly, Marcus states in the promo details page that the “bonus will be deposited into your account within 14 days after the end of Maintenance Period. The bonus will be treated as interest for tax reporting purposes.”
Online Savings Account Overview
It’s common for banks to offer bonuses on accounts that you will probably not want for the long run. That’s not the case for this one. The Online Savings Account has a history of competitive rates. You can review the rate history of the Account by clicking the “details” arrow of the following table:
In addition to a history of competitive rates, the Online Savings Account has features that do make it a strong contender for one’s primary online savings account. A summary of the important features of the Online Savings Account is listed below:
- No minimum deposit
- No hard credit inquiry in the application
- Initial funding options include ACH, wire, or check (no credit card option)
- Rate applies to all balances of $1 or more
- Free ACH bank-to-bank transfer service
- Allows links to up to 4 external accounts
- Maximum outgoing transfer is $125K per transaction if done online (no limit if done by phone)
- No incoming transfer limit (as long as the maximum balance limit is maintained)
- ACH Transfers out take 1 to 3 business days
- Funds received by ACH transfer initiated at Goldman Sachs Bank available on the third business day. Funds received by ACH transfer initiated by another bank available on the next business day (see FAQs for full details)
- Maximum balance of $1 million for individuals (new customers)
- You may add up to six beneficiaries to each account.
- A beneficiary must be an individual; you may not name a trust or other entity as a beneficiary
- Social security numbers for beneficiaries are required
- Trust accounts are not offered
- No charge for sending or receiving wire transfers
Goldman Sachs Bank USA operates the internet bank under the brand Marcus by Goldman Sachs. Savings Accounts and CDs are available nationwide and can be opened using the Bank’s online application. Account owners must be at least 18 years old and must be a U.S. citizen or legal resident.
To be eligible for the bonus, you must enroll for this offer at this Marcus promotion page or by calling 1-855-730-SAVE (1-855-730-7283) by 11:59 pm ET on 7/29/19.
In April 2016, Goldman Sachs Bank USA completed the acquisition of the internet bank portion of GE Capital Bank. That’s when the brand name GS Bank was established. The brand name Marcus by Goldman Sachs was established in October 2016 as an online platform offering unsecured personal loans to consumers. As I described in November 2017, Goldman Sachs decided to consolidate savings accounts, CDs and personal loans under the brand Marcus by Goldman Sachs. All loans and deposit products are provided by Goldman Sachs Bank USA.
Goldman Sachs Bank USA is the 14th largest bank in the nation based on assets. As of the latest FDIC data (March 31, 2019), the bank has $196 billion in assets and $145 billion in deposits. The bank has an overall health rating of “A+” on DepositAccounts.com, with a Texas Ratio of 1.10% (excellent), based on March 31, 2019 data. In the past year, the Bank has increased its total non-brokered deposits by $23.8 billion, an excellent annual growth rate of 34.06%. Please refer to our financial overview of Goldman Sachs Bank USA (FDIC Certificate # 33124) for more details.
Value of the Marcus Online Savings Account Bonus
Earning a 1% cash bonus on money that’s held for three months is equivalent to earning about 4% interest rate on that money for those three months. That will be on top of the standard interest that is earned on the Online Savings Account. As of 7/19/2019, the APY is 2.15%. If the Fed cuts rates, the savings account yield will likely fall. If you assume the APY will average 2% for the three months, it’s possible that your effective interest rate that factors in the bonus will be equivalent to around 6%.
If you’re late in withdrawing the money once the Maintenance Period ends, that effective interest rate of 6% will fall. Let’s say that money remains in the account for four months. Thus, earning a 1% cash bonus on money that’s held for four months is equivalent to earning about 3% interest rate on that money for those four months. Adding that to the estimated average APY of 2% results in a total effective rate of around 5%.
In summary, this Marcus promotion is a good deal. It’s easy to earn a bonus of between $10 and $500 if you can maintain the balance requirements.
Be sure to check out our full list of the best savings and checking account bonus offers.