SoFi, a financial institution best known for its competitive rates on student loans and mortgages, is making a push into personal banking with a new account called SoFi Money.
Find out more about this account and if it’s something right for you – including a $15 bonus just for downloading the SoFi app!
- No fees
- Reimbursed ATM
- Generous benefits
- SoFi Membership
- No cash deposits
- No branches
Get $15 just for downloading the SoFi app!
Bank accounts are something most people normally don’t change unless they have to. I still have my first savings account opened when I was 16 at Santander Bank (formerly Sovereign Bank and Fleet Bank). I mean, they typically have the same basic functions right?
But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t look at other options. You don’t have to close your existing bank accounts either.
I open bank accounts all the time to make thousands of dollars in bank account opening bonuses and stash my cash in ones that earn really high interest rates. I keep my original bank account since all my bills are connected to it.
You should do the same. Keep your existing bank accounts, but flirt with other ones that pay you more 🙂
SoFi is best known for their low-interest rate on student loan refinancing.
Based in San Francisco, they became very popular as word-of-mouth spread on how competitive their student loan rates were compared to other lenders.
They have since expanded to personal loans, home loans, and investing services. Their latest product, SoFi Money, is an hybrid savings/checking account that offers top-of-the-line interest rates with no monthly fees or monthly minimums.
How to Open a SoFi Money Account
It’s easy to open an account by visiting the SoFi web site. It took me less than 5 minutes. To be exact, it took me 1 minute and 25 seconds. I’m not kidding – it’s that easy! This is how applications should be done.
Is there a sign-up bonus?
This is The Money Ninja, of course you’re going to get an account opening bonus. SoFi Money usually doesn’t come with one, but you can use our link to get $15 free simply for downloading the the SoFi Money app.
What Is SoFi Money and What Does It Offer?
SoFi Money is an online cash management account. The best way to describe SoFi Money is an account that has both features of a savings account and a checking account.
Essentially, the SoFi Money account allows you to make deposits, do electronic bill pays, write checks, pay people through peer-to-peer (P2P) transfers, and earn a higher interest rate on your deposits. It’s like an all-in-one bank account that allows you to pretty much do anything you would need.
While not technically a bank account, the important thing to know is that it’s FDIC insured since your money is kept at actual banks SoFi partners with.
SoFi Money is packed with valuable free benefits that other banks would normally charge for you. While the perks are extensive, there’s eight features that stand out to me the most:
1. Pays you a competitive interest rate
It currently offers a very solid interest rate of 1.60% APY on all your cash. I wrote before how your average bank only pays you about 0.06% APY, so this over 22x that!
Ninja Update: As of February 2021, the interest rate has dropped slightly to 0.25%. This is happening across all banks and is dependent on U.S. fiscal policy and not because of a specific bank.
2. Reimburses you for ALL of your ATM fees
Ninja Update: If you joined SoFi Money after June 9, 2020, then ATM fees will be reimbursed only at AllPoint ATMs. Those who opened an account prior to that date are grandfathered into the “no ATM fee anywhere” policy.
This is by far my favorite feature! Banks usually charge you ATM fees for using ATMs other than their own. On top of that, the other bank who owns the ATM is also charging you a fee. You get hit with a double whammy!
If you find yourself traveling to an area where your main bank doesn’t have a presence, those fees can add up quickly. This is especially true for international travelers since U.S. bank machines aren’t really common overseas.
With SoFi Money, you don’t have to worry about a thing. They will reimburse you for ALL of the fees being charged. You heard that right, it doesn’t matter what machine you get cash from – it’s all free!
3. No monthly fees or monthly minimum requirements
No denying it – fees are annoying and people hate them. SoFi understands this and that’s why they created SoFi Money with no transaction fees, no monthly fees, or many other common types of fees other banks typically charge:
- ATM Fee: In-Network: $0
- ATM Fee: Out-of-Network: $0
- Monthly Fee: $0
- Paper Statement Fee: $0
- NSF Fee: $0
- Overdraft Protection Fee (per transfer): $0
- Debit Card Replacement Fee: $0
- Early Account Closure: $0
- Overdraft Item Fee: $0
- Returned Deposit Fee (Domestic): $0
- Bank Teller Fee: N/A
- Check Cashing Fee: N/A
- Online Bill Pay Fee: $0
- Check Image Service: N/A
- Check Copy: N/A
- Foreign Transaction Fee (Debit Card): 0%
- Wire Transfer Fee – Domestic (Outgoing): $0
- Wire Transfer Fee – International (Outgoing): $0
- Wire Transfer Fee – International (Incoming): $0
- Returned Deposit Fee (International): $0
- Wire Transfer Fee – Domestic (Incoming): $0
The only fees I could find whatsoever are debit card replacements and stop payments; both are $20 each. Having said that, SoFi will give your first card replacement for free.
4. Acts as a budgeting tool with its mobile app
You probably know I don’t believe in manual budgeting from my welcome page – it’s boring and doesn’t motivate anyone to do better.
SoFi Money’s phone app automates the budgeting process for you. It provides a week-to-week analysis of your spending to allow you to create a budget based on your spending trends and habits you’re noticing.
5. Allows you to pay others similar to Venmo
Need to pay the babysitter? Split that dinner tab with a friend? Like Venmo, SoFi Money lets you transfer and receive money to anyone you want. They won’t have to be a SoFi customer either, but if they are, the money will be sent and received instantly.
6. Deposit checks from your phone
I know checks aren’t as popular as they used to be, but they’re still used a lot. I hate to go to a branch just to deposit a check though because it’s so much easier to use a bank’s phone app to take a picture.
Seriously, I won’t open a bank account if they don’t have mobile check deposits. Well… unless the bank bonus is juicy enough, then all bets are off the table 🙂
7. Pay bills online
SoFi makes paying bills online incredible easy. No clunky interface. You can pay your credit card bill or mortgage bill through their app or on your computer. If you’re a one bank account type of person and need to move your bill payments over, the process is a breeze.
8. Offers you discounts on other SoFi products
Another great perk of having a SoFi Money account is that is gives you discounts on other SoFi products! If you need to borrow money (personal loans, student loans, home loans, etc.), SoFi will give you a 0.125% member rate discount off of their already competitive rates.
What else do I need to know?
Keep in mind this is an online account that you can access anywhere with your computer or phone, but they don’t have any physical locations if that’s important for you. This also means you can’t deposit cash into your account. If you have cash, I would deposit it into your standard bank account and than transfer it to SoFi Money.
Is SoFi Money right for me?
I think most people will find SoFi Money beneficial for them, especially those who have a traditional bank account (Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Santander, etc.) and want to have an online cash management account to supplement it.
Having an online account frees you from depending on bank branches. You’re also not spending time looking for free-fee ATM machines since SoFi reimburses you back for any that you use.
Overall, this account is great if you’re looking for a free online account that has a competitive interest rate, universal ATM fee reimbursements, and nice spending and budgeting tools.
The Bottom Line
SoFi’s newest product, SoFi Money, is an excellent online cash management account. I’m putting it on my list of best bank accounts to have.
A no monthly fee or monthly minimums is sweet enough, but with all the features and beneifts SoFi Money offers, I’m giving this product 9.3 out of 10 stars!
You can view more information or sign-up for an account on SoFi’s landing page for their SoFi Money product.