SoFi Money Review

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SoFi Money

Overall Rating

9

Bottom Line

SoFi Money is technically a cash management account, meaning the organization doesn’t actually hold any of the funds they collect. Rather, funds are distributed to a robust network of partner banks that are FDIC-insured.

Pros

  • No Account Fees
  • Cash Back Rewards
  • Flexible Online Support

Cons

  • No Physical Branches
  • No Cash Deposits
  • Withdrawal Limits

Fees

10.0

ATM Access

8.0

The banking industry has changed significantly in recent years, with more and more online “nonbanks” entering into the market. Financial customers now have more options than ever before for storing money.

One company that’s gaining a ton of momentum in recent months is SoFi Money — a cash management service from SoFi that’s loaded with great features.

So, is SoFi Money a good option for you?

Let’s take a look at the company’s offerings and what it’s all about to give you a better idea about whether it aligns with your personal finance goals.

What is SoFi Money?

SoFi Money is technically a cash management account, meaning the organization doesn’t actually hold any of the funds they collect. Rather, funds are distributed to a robust network of partner banks that are FDIC-insured.

This is great for end-user customers. SoFi Money can offer something that most online banks can’t — flexible ATM activation, and other perks — which can provide more convenience to some customers.

With SoFi Money, you actually get a Visa debit card that you can use free of charge at any Allpoint Network ATM — providing instant access to cash directly from your account. That sure beats having to transfer funds from your online account to a standard account and waiting for the money to clear.

SoFi Money is a division of SoFi, which became famous for disrupting the student loan refinancing industry. The company also offers SoFi Invest, SoFi Loans, and a variety of other financial products.

SoFi Money At a Glance

Account Type Cash Management
Min Deposit $0
Min Balance $0
APY 0.25% APY
Monthly Fees $0
Availability Nationwide

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SoFi Money Account Features

Here are some of the top features that you’ll find in SoFi Money:

Mobile Management

SoFi Money is a banking service that you can manage right from your smartphone or computer. You can use SoFi Money to make check deposits and transfer funds right from a user-friendly mobile app or web browser. There’s also a convenient bill pay feature that helps you pay your bills online.

Spending and Budgeting Tools

One feature that traditional checking accounts tend to fall short on is tracking your spending over time. It’s not always easy or intuitive to find recent transactions, and it can be even harder to spot trends and issues.

SoFi Money is designed in a way that lets you see recent transactions without having to scour the app for them. All the information you need is in one place, just a few taps of the finger away.

SoFi Money also offers a user-friendly spending feature that will allow you to keep track of your spending on a weekly basis. Using this feature, you’ll be able to easily see how many times you’ve ordered out that week, how many Uber trips you’ve taken, and so on.

You can use this feature to build a budget that aligns with your lifestyle and needs — and stick to it.

No ATM Fees

Account-holders can take out cash with a Visa debit card at over 55,000 ATMs across the globe — with no fees attached. If you need to access an out-of-network ATM, however, you will most likely not qualify for ATM fee reimbursement.

No Minimum Account Balance

There’s no minimum balance requirement, or minimum opening deposit required to start an account. All you have to do is sign up, and link your third-party bank account, and you’re good to go.

Cash Back Rewards

One of the top reasons why people sign up for credit cards, other than to build credit and have convenience in spending, is because they want rewards.

Unfortunately, many folks who aren’t good at managing money often fall into debt in the process. It’s a deadly trap.

With a SoFi account, you can actually earn exclusive cash back rewards for daily spending (more on that below).

SoFi Fees

Another great feature of SoFi Money is that there are no monthly fees or maintenance fees. It doesn’t cost anything at all to use the service.

And best of all, the company can offer this while avoiding passing fees along to customers. So customers aren’t rewarded in one way but punished in another — something that’s all too common elsewhere.

SoFi is able to do this largely because they are an online-only bank, meaning they can avoid many of the charges that traditional brick-and-mortar institutions are able to pay like real estate, utilities, and so on.

SoFi makes most of its money from borrower’s interest on their loans and by selling loans after they’re made to investors.

Getting Started

Getting started using SoFi Money is very easy, and only takes a couple of minutes to complete. There is no lengthy approval process or interrogation that you have to sit through.

All you have to do is supply basic account information such as your first and last name, the state where you live, your email address, and a password, and you will be enrolled in the platform. Not bad!

Once you have downloaded the application and signed up, the next step is to fund your account. You can deposit checks via mobile, transfer funds from a third-party bank account, and even set up a direct deposit with your employer. Most accounts can be funded in just a few business days, meaning you can get up and running quickly.

ProTip: If you and your partner want to open an account together, you’re in luck. SoFi Money offers joint accounts, which you can establish when you sign up.

SoFi Promotions

SoFi periodically offers new promotions that are subject to change.

Active Offers

$100 Money Welcome Bonus

To be eligible for this promotion, you must be a NEW SoFi Money member. Existing Money members (and those who previously closed their Money accounts) are not eligible. After funding the account with $250, users will receive the first $25 bonus (offer ends 03/31/2021). The remaining $75 bonus is paid once a qualifying Direct Deposit of at least $500 or more in total qualifying Direct Deposit transactions has been received by 01/31/2021.

Qualifying Direct Deposits must be made from the enrolled member’s employer, payroll, or benefits provider via ACH deposit.

Non-Qualifying Deposits are deposits that are not from an employer (such as check deposits; P2P transfers such as from PayPal or Venmo, etc.; merchant transactions such as from PayPal, Stripe, Square, etc.; and bank ACH transfers not from employers).

See this promotion and others on SoFi Money.

Recently Expired Offers

Recently, the company offered 10% cash back on groceries and streaming services. In other words, account holders received 10% back from leading providers like Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, Netflix, Disney Plus, Spotify, and Instacart.

Customers earned up to $50 in total for streaming services and $50 total for groceries.

In addition, spending at eligible restaurants and retailers in your area provided up to 15% cash back. This is great when considering that local establishments currently need all the help they can get due to the pandemic. Plus, 15% back is pretty generous if you ask me.

In order to be eligible for rewards, customers simply had to set up a direct deposit or bring in at least $500 per month. This offer expired September 30, 2020.

SoFi Security

By now, you might be thinking that SoFi Money sounds interesting. But you’re probably wondering whether the service is secure.

As it turns out, SoFi Money is as secure as any other leading nonbank. For example, SoFi offers standard encryption and two-factor authentication — including fingerprint recognition — to keep unauthorized individuals from accessing sensitive data.

SoFi also makes it easy to freeze or unfreeze your account from within the app, for added protection. And if you misplace or lose a card, you can order a new one at any time.

Customer Support

One of the top issues that customers often have when working with online banks is a general lack of support. In fact, some providers don’t even have a number that you can call when service is needed. This can be quite frustrating, to say the least.

Good news: This isn’t the case with SoFi. The company offers telephone support as well as text messaging support for convenient communication.

It’s a small feature, but this can make all the difference in the world when solving account related issues.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • No account fees of any kind — including foreign transaction fees
  • Free ATM access at over 55,000 ATMs across the globe
  • Cash back rewards and promotions
  • Flexible online support
  • Soft credit pull when signing up won’t damage your credit score

Cons

  • No branch locations, meaning there’s nobody that you can talk to in person if you have a question or a concern
  • You can’t deposit cash, you can only make withdrawals from an ATM
  • There are withdrawal limits that you need to be aware of. SoFi money will only let you take $1,000 out of an ATM at a time, and there is a $150 over the counter cash withdrawal
  • SoFi Money also has a point of sale spend limit of $6,000 — meaning you can only use this card for small to medium-sized purchases. There is also a 12 transaction limit per day.

SoFi Money FAQs

Will SoFi Money Work with Android and iOS?

Good news, iPhone and Android users, SoFi Mobile will work with either operating systems. It is a platform-agnostic application that can be accessed on your device of choice.

Is SoFi Money a Popular Service?

Services like SoFi Money are still relatively new, meaning they lack the user base that money markets, credit unions, and large financial institutions like Chase and Wells Fargo have. Right now, SoFi only has about 150,000 banking customers.

What Other Services Does SoFi Offer?

SoFi Money is just one of many services offered by SoFi. The company is most widely known for distributing student loans and refinance, unemployment protection, life insurance, investment opportunities, and personal loans. Visit Sofi.com to learn more.

How Does SoFi Money’s Interest Work?

SoFi Money offers interest rates that are typically much higher than traditional savings banks. For example, their APY is currently 0.25% (as of 8.19.2020).

However, their APY is variable, which means that it can change at any time, without notice. It’s also much lower than the average high yield savings account (HYSA), which typically hovers around 1%.

If you’re looking for a higher-yield investment return, you may want to look into a certificate of deposit (CD). You can’t lose money in a cash account like SoFi, but you may be able to earn more over time if you’re willing to lock your money into a fixed-rate CD for a period of time.

Top Alternatives to SoFi Money

Before you spring for SoFi Money, it’s a good idea to explore the market and know your options. SoFi is just one of many leading cash management accounts that you can choose from.

There are many different services designed to help you achieve your financial goals. Keep in mind that just because you open up an account with SoFi Money doesn’t mean that you can’t also decide to open up another account elsewhere, too.

With that in mind, here are some of the top SoFi Money alternatives on the market today.

Betterment

Betterment is an online investment service offering no-fee, high yield cash management. One of the great parts about Betterment is that you can move money as often as needed, as there are no limits or fees.

You can also earn a pretty high-interest rate (0.40% APY) on cash holdings, which is roughly six times the national average.

Next Steps

Personal Capital

Personal Capital offers a mobile cash account with aggregate FDIC insurance of up to $1.5 million. It’s user-friendly, does not come with fees, and offers live customer support when needed.

You can use Personal Capital’s cash account to deposit funds, make transactions, and invest.

Next Steps

Fidelity

Another bank alternative that you should look into is Fidelity’s cash management service, which leverages a partner network for FDIC coverage of up to $1.25 million.

Fidelity lets customers access their funds at any time, and will even provide ATM reimbursement. In addition, Fidelity does not have any minimum balance requirements or account fees. Investment options are also available.

Next Steps

Wealthfront

Wealthfront’s Cash Account currently has an APY of 0.35%, in addition to features like direct deposit, bill, and friends pay. And just like SoFi, you can use Wealthfront’s debit card option to access money from ATMs.

The only difference is that while SoFi offers no-fee service at over 55,000 ATMs, Wealthfront only has 19,000.

But with no account fees, withdrawal overdraft fees, service fees, excess activity fees, account management fees, or stop payment fees, Wealthfront is still a must-see app.

Next Steps

Is SoFi Money Best For You?

If you’re looking for an alternative to your traditional checking account, you really can’t go wrong with SoFi Money.

You just need to be comfortable with some of the transaction limits that they impose.

At the end of the day, SoFi is affordable, flexible, secure, and convenient. If you’re comfortable with the service, it could prove to be a valuable tool in your financial tool belt.

But only you can make that decision.

Additional Disclosures: Millennial Money has partnered with CardRatings and creditcards.com for our coverage of credit card products. Millennial Money, CardRatings and creditcards.com may receive a commission from card issuers. This site does not include all financial companies or financial offers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities.

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