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SoFi vs. Marcus: Which bank is right for you?

Marcus offers top savings options, but if you want a full-service bank, go with SoFi.

SoFi and Marcus by Goldman Sachs are both major players in the digital banking space. Each offers competitive APYs and investment opportunities, but on the whole, SoFi and Marcus have different focuses. Choose SoFi if you need a full-service online bank, and choose Marcus if you want a savings-focused bank with high interest rates.

SoFi vs. Marcus: A quick comparison

Feature or productSofiMarcus
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Marcus logo
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Bonus
  • $300 by meeting direct deposit requirements upon opening SoFi Checking and Savings
  • $50 bonus for SoFi Invest referral
  • $1,000 bonus for student loan refinance referral
  • $300 bonus for personal loan referral
  • $500 bonus for private student loan referral
  • $100 bonus for SoFi Checking and Savings referral
Earn an additional 1.00% APY on your Online Savings Account for three months with a successful referral
SavingsUp to 4.6% APY on SoFi savings balance by meeting deposit requirementsUp to 4.4% APY on Online Savings Account
Checking
  • Monthly fee: $0
  • Minimum deposit: $0
  • Up to 0.5% APY
N/A
CDsN/A
  • 6- to 72-month terms
  • Up to 5.1% APY
  • $500 minimum deposit
ATMs
  • 55,000 Allpoint ATMs
  • Out-of-network ATM fee: $0.
N/A
BranchesOnline onlyOnline only

SoFi vs. Marcus: Product offerings

Marcus is the online personal banking arm of Goldman Sachs with a heavy focus on savings products, and SoFi is also an entirely online bank. If you’re looking for checking and traditional borrowing options, SoFi’s got the leg up. However, in terms of simplicity, Marcus’ savings accounts and CDs are a clear winner.

Banking

Marcus’ big focus is on savings, so you won’t find any checking account options. While SoFi offers a competitive APY on its hybrid savings and checking account, there are no CDs, and to get the best APYs, you’ll need to meet deposit requirements.

SoFi offers:

  • SoFi Checking and Savings is an all-in-one, hybrid checking and savings account with no monthly fees or opening deposit requirements. It offers 0.5% APY on your checking balance and up to 4.6% APY on your savings balance as long as you set up direct deposits or deposit at least $5,000 per month. You can also separate your savings into 20 different vaults.

Marcus offers:

  • Marcus’ Online Savings account features a high 4.4% APY with no monthly fees, opening deposit requirements or balance requirements. You can earn an additional 1.00% APY on the account for up to three months with a successful referral. There’s also no limit to how many Online Savings Accounts you can have. But like most traditional savings accounts, you won’t get an ATM card, so you’ll have to access your cash via ACH transfers or wires.
  • Marcus CDs offer a variety of terms from six to 72 months with high rates across the board. All CDs require a minimum deposit of $500, which is low compared to other major banks. Rates can be as high as 5.1% APY on a 6-month term.

Borrowing

SoFi has significantly more lending options than Marcus. Marcus used to offer personal loans but stopped issuing them in January 2023.

SoFi offers:

  • SoFi’s Credit Card earns unlimited 2% cash back with this card with no annual fee. You can also earn up to 3% cash back on SoFi Travel purchases.
  • Personal loans for all sorts of needs, including debt consolidation, home improvements, vacations, weddings and so on. Rates start at 8.99% APR. SoFi doesn’t charge any prepayment penalties or late fees and origination fees can be optional.
  • Refinancing options for vehicles and student loans, as well as home equity and cash-out refinance home loans.
  • Student loans that help you fund your education for undergraduate, graduate, MBA and more.
  • Small business loans through its marketplace, where you can compare several financing options across top lenders.
  • Home loans, including FHA and VA home loans.

Marcus offers:

  • Co-branded credit cards. Offers General Motors co-branded cards, including the My GM Rewards Mastercard, GM Extended Family Mastercard or the GM Business Mastercard. None of the cards have an annual fee, and all offer 0% APR for a limited time and earn varying cashback rewards.

Investing

SoFi and Marcus are similar in investment options.

SoFi offers:

  • SoFi Invest. Online stock stocking platform where you can trade stocks and exchange-traded funds (ETFs), invest in alternative investments like private credit and commodities, and auto-investing based on your risk tolerance. SoFi also offers complementary financial planners.
  • Retirement accounts. Offers traditional, ROTH and SEP IRAs.

Marcus offers:

  • Marcus Invest. Customizable investment portfolios, where you can start with as little as $5 and create a managed portfolio based on your timeline and risk tolerance.

Apps, features and more

Marcus and SoFi are both digital-only banks, so having a good mobile app is a must-have.

SoFi’s mobile app has a 4.8-star rating on Apple’s store and a 4-star rating on Google Play. You can use it to manage your accounts, invest, apply for loans, redeem cashback rewards, use a budget planner, get insights on spending and use credit score monitoring services. You can also set up a savings round-ups feature, which rounds up debit card purchases to the nearest dollar and sends the difference to your savings account. SoFi also lets you create up to 20 vaults, which are subaccounts of your SoFi savings account, so you can organize your goals.

Marcus’ mobile app has a 4.9-star rating on Apple and a 4.3-star rating on Google Play. Most customers are pleased with the app overall. Marcus’ app lets you connect external bank accounts to it and use its free tracking tools called Marcus Insights. Marcus Insights is a free service that anyone can use — even if you aren’t a Marcus customer. The app lets you manage your investment portfolios, external and internal deposit accounts and GM credit cards.

How SoFi’s and Marcus’ fees compare

You won’t have to worry about monthly maintenance fees with either SoFi or Marcus. Marcus also doesn’t offer ATM or debit cards, so there aren’t even any ATM fees to worry about. Its online savings account doesn’t have an opening deposit requirement, either. The only requirement you’ll have with Marcus is its low $500 minimum opening deposit when you open a CD.

What customers say about SoFi and Marcus

SoFi and Marcus both hold a stellar A+ rating on the Better Business Bureau (BBB). Both banks have over 1,000 customer complaints, but most are typical banking grievances like trying to resolve fraudulent charges or slow deposit times.

On Reddit, users love the Marcus savings account. Most Redditors use the platform to share referral links to earn that bonus 1.00% APY on their account. Customers praise the high APY and often say there’s no real downside to the Marcus account since it has no monthly fees or deposit requirements.

SoFi’s sentiment on Reddit is usually “I’ve used SoFi for a long time, no complaints.” Most customers are pleased with the high APYs, the easy-to-use app and the early paycheck deposit. Similar to Marcus, Redditors share SoFi referral links to earn bonuses.

Final verdict: Which one’s better?

Comparing savings options, Marcus takes the win. Its no-frills online savings account offers a great APY with no fussy balance requirements or confusing tiers. You can also open as many savings accounts and earn a 1.00% APY rate boost for three months when you refer someone and they open the account. SoFi’s savings only offers its best rate if you can meet its deposit requirements — and if you can’t, your rate drops to 1.20% APY. Marcus’ CDs are also high-yield, and SoFi doesn’t offer any CDs.

In terms of the variety of offerings and cash access, SoFi is better. Unlike Marcus, SoFi has an ATM network, so you can withdraw your cash via 50,000+ Allpoint ATMs nationwide. Marcus doesn’t offer debit or ATM cards or a checking account, so accessing your cash means having to transfer it to another account. SoFi also offers personal loans, tons of refinancing options and an investing platform.

SoFi and Marcus are both digital banks with no physical branches, so if you go with either option, you’ll have to be comfortable managing your accounts online.

SoFi at a glance

Sofi is best if you’re looking for a full-service bank.

Pros
  • No monthly fees on checking or savings
  • Up to $2 million in FDIC insurance
  • Investing and lending
  • Large ATM network
  • Generous bonus programs
Cons
  • $4.95 cash deposit fee
  • No international wires
  • Doesn’t offer CDs
  • Deposit requirements for best savings rate

Marcus at a glance

Marcus is best if you’re only looking for high-yield savings or CD options.

Pros
  • No monthly fees on savings
  • High APYs
  • 1.00% APY referral bonus
  • Variety of high-yielding CDs
  • Investing platform
Cons
  • No checking accounts
  • Doesn’t offer loans
  • No ATM cards or network

Alternatives to SoFi and Marcus

Marcus and SoFi are both online banks. If that’s not your cup of tea, here are some alternatives:

  • Chase Bank. As one of the Big Four banks, Chase has an expansive branch and ATM network. It offers a large suite of personal and banking accounts, credit cards and lending options.
  • PNC Bank. This institution offers a variety of all-in-one checking accounts called Virtual Wallet, similar to SoFi’s hybrid account. With PNC, you can choose from multiple savings accounts and a large branch network nationwide.
  • Bank of America. Another one of the Big Four, Bank of America, has branches and ATMs in most US states. It also offers more checking and savings options than SoFi and Marcus.

See how even more bank accounts stack up:

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