SoFi Money is a cash management account that allows you to get some of the benefits of both a checking and a savings account. What’s more, if you open an account, you can get a sign-up bonus, even if you want to just take SoFi Money for a “test drive.”
Beyond the sign-up bonus, though, SoFi has a lot to offer. And while it’s not technically a checking or savings account, your money is still protected and you’ll get a few other big perks, including rewards, a better-than-average interest rate and more when you meet direct deposit requirements.
If you’re considering an account with SoFi Money, here’s everything you need to know.
|SlickTip: SoFi Money currently features three bank bonus offers: a $25 funding bonus, a $75 direct deposit bonus and a $50 exclusive Slickdeals bonus. The good news is that you can stack all three of these SoFi bonuses for a total of $150. However, each have different eligibility requirements. Be sure to read the terms in full below.|
SoFi Money Bonuses: $25 Funding Bonus and $75 Direct Deposit Bonus
It’s pretty common nowadays for banks and brokers to offer a welcome bonus when you sign up and meet certain requirements, and the SoFi Money account is no different.
When you open your account, you’ll receive a sign-up bonus of $100 after you meet two requirements:
- Make a deposit of $250 or more and receive $25
- Set up direct deposit of at least $500 per month and receive $75
$25 Funding Bonus
To qualify for the $25 SoFi Money bonus, you’ll need to both open and fund a SoFi Money account with $250 or more by December 31, 2020 at 5 p.m. ET. SoFi will deposit the bonus into your new account three business days after opening and funding the new account.
$75 Direct Deposit Bonus
For the $75 SoFi Money bonus, you’ll need to open an account by December 31, 2020, and receive your direct deposit of $500 or more by January 31, 2020. The deposit must come from your employer, payroll or benefits provider — such as a paycheck or government-issued benefits check. Transfers from Venmo, PayPal and similar peer-to-peer payment services don’t count, and neither do transfers from other bank accounts that don’t belong to your employer.
Once you meet the direct deposit requirement, you’ll receive your welcome bonus money within two weeks.
Slickdeals SoFi Bonus: $50
On top of the two SoFi bonuses, Slickdeals is offering an additional $50 bonus. To qualify for this bonus, you’ll need to register for a free Slickdeals account before opening and funding a SoFi Money account with $125 or more. Essentially, you’ll take care of the Slickdeals bonus eligibility requirement when you qualify for the $25 SoFi Funding Bonus (by funding your account with $250 or more).
Additionally, there are a few extra steps to qualify for the exclusive Slickdeals bonus, so please read the below instructions carefully to help avoid any processing issues.
To qualify for the additional $50 Slickdeals bonus, please follow these steps:
- Step 1: Make sure you are logged into Slickdeals before you click any of the referral links on this page. If you do not have a free Slickdeals account, please sign up before opening a SoFi Money account. You can sign up here at no cost to you.
- Step 2: One you’re logged into your Slickdeals account, click any of the SoFi referral links on this page to open and fund your new SoFi Money account. You must apply through the referral links on this page in order to receive the $50 bonus.
- Step 3: Do not close the SoFi Money window prior to confirming and funding your new account. Closing the window may make you ineligible for the $50 bonus.
- Step 4: Once you open and fund your new SoFi Money account, please submit this form with your Slickdeals username and your PayPal email address. You should expect to receive your $50 bonus via PayPal within 60 business days after submitting this form.
To make sure Slickdeals can process your offer please ensure the following:
- Make sure you are logged into Slickdeals.
- Whitelist Slickdeals in AdBlock.
- Make sure cookies are enabled in your browser.
- Complete your application in one browsing session.
- Make sure we are your last click to the advertiser.
The $50 bonus offer is provided solely by Slickdeals and is unrelated to any benefits or offers provide by SoFi. SoFi is not responsible for the $50 bonus.
The $50 bonus will be sent to your PayPal account within 60 business days after you open your new account, fund your new account, and submit this form. You must submit the required form within 2 weeks of opening and funding your new account.
For questions related to this bonus offer, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
SoFi Bonus Fine Print
One important thing to keep in mind with this welcome bonus is that it’s considered miscellaneous income for tax purposes. This means you may receive a 1099-MISC form in the mail at the start of tax season, and you’ll need to claim that income on your tax return. However, this is a common occurrence with bank account and broker bonuses, and the value of the bonus far outweighs the tax bill.
SoFi Money Referral Bonus
Once you become a SoFi member, you can send referral links to friends and family members to also open an account. If they use your unique referral link to open an account, fund it with $500 or more within 30 days and keep it there for at least 30 days, both you and the person you referred will receive a referral bonus of $50.
You can earn up to $10,000 per calendar year with these referral links.
The first thing you need to know about SoFi Money is that it’s not a bank account. Rather, it’s a cash management account for SoFi Invest, the financial institution’s brokerage service. This doesn’t mean you need to invest anything in your SoFi Money account or open a SoFi Invest account, but it does mean there are a few differences to keep in mind.
For example, your money is insured by the Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC) instead of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC). The SIPC insures up to $500,000 worth of securities and cash (though there is a $250,000 limit on cash) for each brokerage account you have in a separate capacity.
Also, it’s not possible to deposit cash into your SoFi account. If you receive some cash and don’t want to carry it around with you or leave it lying around your house, you’d need to deposit it with a bank or credit union, then transfer it to SoFi Money.
Finally, there are some banking products that are missing from SoFi Money that you may be able to get from a traditional bank or credit union, such as certificates of deposit and more.
SoFi Money Rewards
Following the Great Recession, the Federal Reserve capped debit card interchange fees at the behest of Congress, and debit cards with rewards became a dying breed. But recently, they’ve started making a comeback, especially as online banks and brokers have grown with their lower overhead costs.
SoFi Money offers one of those accounts, with the only catch being that you need to have a direct deposit of at least $500 per month on your account.
SoFi Money’s debit card doesn’t offer a flat rewards rate on all of your spending. But when you check your SoFi Money app, you’ll be able to view various offers for 10% back from popular retailers. For example, through Dec. 31, 2020, you’ll receive 10% back on Netflix, Disney Plus and Spotify streaming subscriptions, up to $50 total.
You can also earn up to 15% cash back when you spend money at select local restaurants and retailers — again, you can view the eligible locations in your SoFi account app.
Finally, SoFi has regularly rotating limited-time offers that you can take advantage of. Past offers have included Nike, Warby Parker and more.
Depending on how you spend your money, you may not be able to take advantage of all of these rewards offers. But if your alternative is a checking account with no rewards at all, it’s easy to see that SoFi has an advantage.
SoFi Money isn’t a high-yield savings account, but it offers a much higher annual percentage yield (APY) on your deposits than the vast majority of checking and also many savings accounts on the market. If you have $500 in monthly direct deposits, you’ll earn 0.25% APY on your balance in the account. According to the FDIC, the average rate on an interest-bearing checking account is 0.04%.
If you don’t meet the direct deposit requirements, though, your APY will be a measly 0.01%, which is just as good as zero. But if SoFi is your primary account and you can easily meet the direct deposit requirement, you won’t have any issues.
Other SoFi Benefits
Cash-back reward offers, a relatively high APY and referral bonuses may be enough for a lot of people to pick SoFi over other banking alternatives. But if you want more, the account provides more. Here are some of the other features you can look forward to with this hybrid checking-savings account:
- Vaults: SoFi Money Vaults are extensions of your account, where you can earmark funds for certain goals. You can create up to 20 Vaults, and there are no fees or minimum balance requirements.
- Roundups: While this feature isn’t yet available, it is coming soon, according to SoFi. With the Roundups feature, every purchase you make with your debit card will be rounded up to the nearest whole dollar. Then the difference will be automatically transferred to one of your Vaults, which you can dedicate for that savings. Saving a few cents every time you swipe your card may not sound like a lot, but it can add up over time.
- Money transfers: The app allows you to transfer money to anyone you want, similar to Venmo or Cash App. If they’re a SoFi member, they’ll receive the funds instantly. If not, they’ll receive the cash within two to three business days after they submit their bank account information to get the funds.
- Mobile deposit: While you can’t deposit cash into a SoFi account, you can deposit checks via the mobile app.
- No ATM Fees: Withdrawing cash is fee-free. No ATM fees if you use one of the more than 55,000 ATMs worldwide in the Allpoint network.
- No Monthly Fees: SoFi does not charge members many of your usual banking fees. Therefore, there are no account fees or monthly fees.
Another benefit of having a SoFi Money account is that you don’t have to worry about account fees, which are what banks and credit unions may choose to charge on all accounts to maintain them. This primarily includes a monthly servicing fee. There are also no ATM fees if you use one of the more than 55,000 ATMs worldwide in the Allpoint network.
That doesn’t mean SoFi Money is fee-free, though. If you use an out-of-network ATM, for instance, you’ll be charged a fee by the ATM owner, and SoFi won’t reimburse that fee like some other online banks do. There’s also a foreign currency conversion fee of 0.2%, which you’ll be charged if you use your debit card to make a purchase or ATM withdrawal in a foreign currency.
Other fees include a $15 outgoing wire transfer fee, a $15 returned ACH or insufficient funds fee and a $5 paper statement fee — these are all associated with the SoFi Invest platform.
How to Maximize the SoFi Money Account
SoFi Money offers a lot of features that you can’t get with a traditional checking or savings account. And because it’s a cash management account, it makes it easier to fund a SoFi Invest account, if that’s something you want to do. Read our full SoFi Invest review to learn more.
To maximize the value you can get from SoFi Money, here are some things you can do:
- Read the fine print on the sign-up bonus to make sure you receive the full amount.
- Meet the monthly $500 direct deposit requirement to qualify for the higher APY and cash-back rewards.
- Check your mobile app regularly for the latest limited-time cash-back offers.
- Take advantage of your Vaults to establish and track different savings goals.
- When it’s available, turn on the Roundup feature, so you can save every time you use your debit card.
With the cash-back offers, it’s also important to know when not to take advantage of an offer. In general, if you would’ve spent the money with or without the rewards, activate the offer and get your rewards. But if you’re spending money you wouldn’t normally spend just to earn 10% or 15% back, you’re losing more than you’re gaining.
SoFi Credit Card
SoFi also offers a credit card that pairs well with its Money account. The SoFi credit card offers flat-rate 2% unlimited cash back for everyday spending. The credit card awards 1% cash back on all eligible purchases — and when you redeem rewards to pay down eligible debt, transfer to your SoFi Money or SoFi Invest account, it awards an extra 1%, for a total of 2%.
Furthermore, when you make 12 on-time payments, the APR on any remaining credit card balance is lowered by 1%. This is a lot of value for a credit card with no annual fee.
Opening a SoFi Account
SoFi isn’t right for everyone. If you like in-person service or deal with a lot of cash, using the cash management account may be more trouble than it’s worth. But if you don’t use cash regularly and prefer an online banking setup, it’s one of the better banking options out there.