Behind the new card partnership: Five questions with GM and Marcus by Goldman Sachs
- This partnership represents Marcus' second big retail partnership after issuing the Apple Card in 2019.
- At their first Appreciation Experience with NASCAR driver Austin Dillon, Tearsheet sat with GM and GS executives to get an update on the state of the collaboration.
Marcus by Goldman Sachs announced earlier this year that it’s teaming up with General Motors to launch a new co-branded credit card and rewards program.
For Goldman Sachs, this marks Marcus’ second big retail partnership after issuing the Apple Card in 2019. The investment bank bought GM’s credit card portfolio in 2020 for $2.5 billion from Capital One, winning over rival Barclays. Card partnerships represent a strategic growth opportunity for Marcus.
For GM, one of the first retailers to introduce branded credit cards in the US, the partnership represents an all digital strategy towards its new rewards card and loyalty program.
GM’s new credit card has been designed to be seamlessly used on mobile devices – cardmembers can instantly add the card to their mobile wallet right from the Marcus app and access features such as locking the physical card, updating an address or phone number, and even generating a new digital card number for enhanced security.
The rewards program allows cardmembers to redeem points toward a new GM vehicle, certified pre-owned vehicle, service, parts, accessories and more. As for benefits, these include 7x points for every $1 spent at GM, and 4x points for other purchases. Each point is worth a penny when redeemed.
On February 22, both firms held their first Appreciation Experience with NASCAR driver Austin Dillon at the Chevrolet Daytona Experience Center.
“We were thrilled to be with consumers and exciting to partner with Chevy ambassador Austin Dillon. The passion that NASCAR fans have for the Chevrolet brand is unmatched. It was the perfect place for us to launch a new card that will give Chevrolet and other GM brands enthusiasts new ways engage with the brands they love,” said the firms’ spokespersons.
“We’re excited to bring additional experiences across the rest of the year to consumers and cardmembers.”
Tearsheet spoke with John Lazzati, managing director of consumer cards at Goldman Sachs, and Julie Heisel, director of GM rewards and GM cards, about the launch of the carmaker’s new My GM Rewards Card.
How did the partnership between Goldman Sachs, General Motors and Mastercard come together?
Julie Heisel: GM has a long partnership with both Goldman Sachs and Mastercard. When we were looking for partners for this new card, it was natural to look towards these two great companies.
John Lazzati: It became evident early on that GM, Marcus by Goldman Sachs and Mastercard shared a similar goal to disrupt the market, bring innovative products to consumers and to do it in a way that leverages our flexible technology to ensure a seamless and simple customer experience.
How has it been going so far? What is the reaction to the card?
Julie Heisel: We’re very excited with the early results. Consumers are flocking to the card and are using it right away thanks to the instant access that they get with this product through the Marcus app, so we’re seeing immediate usage in many cases.
John Lazzati: They are also absolutely amazed that they can earn 7 points inside the GM ecosystem and 4 points everywhere else.
How are you approaching the marketing of the card and customer acquisition?
John Lazzati: We have created a breakthrough, market-leading rewards card with the 4X and 7X points to enable our customers to experience more of the GM products and services. We want the card to be present where the customers already are operating, so we’ve integrated it throughout the GM digital ecosystem and throughout 4000 dealerships. Additionally, we are leveraging Marcus by Goldman Sachs marketing expertise to extend into other channels where GM customers are.
Julie Heisel: We are also inviting all GM owners and potential owners to take advantage of this great opportunity—as discussed this isn’t limited by brand, anyone already in the GM family of vehicles or thinking about purchasing or leasing a GM vehicle can capitalize on the rewards offered by this card.
This is the second Goldman Sachs card after Apple Card. How does that product differ from the My GM Rewards Card?
John Lazzati: We leverage our flexible technology to cater to the needs of our partners. While we are able to deeply embed the Apple Card into the Apple experience, we partnered with GM to embed the My GM Rewards Card within their ecosystem and the all-new My GM Rewards Loyalty Program, while simultaneously leveraging the digitally native components of the Marcus technology. With both partnerships, we put customers at the center of everything we do, and we constantly look for ways to bring innovation to our products and services alongside our partners.
Julie Heisel: The all-new My GM Rewards Loyalty program features silver, gold and platinum tiers. There will be three ways for a rewards member to move up in the tiers, and spending on the My GM Rewards Card is one of those ways. This reward program is very unique because we are placing customers in different tiers based on their previous vehicle purchase history, whereas it's more common in the industry for all customers to begin at the same tier. Since we are grounded in rewards and loyalty, we wanted to show a new kind of appreciation to our rewards members.
Beyond the new card, on February 22nd, Goldman Sachs will take over the existing GM portfolio from the previous issuer, what can customers expect as they join Marcus by Goldman Sachs customer base?
John Lazzati: We are excited to welcome all of the existing GM card customers to the Marcus by Goldman Sachs family. In addition to the enhanced value proposition they will receive, we will engage customers with a digital first experience and seamless integration with the My GM Rewards Loyalty platform in ways they have never experienced before. Beyond that, there are more ways to redeem the rewards than with the prior program.