Posted by William Charles on February 1, 2019
Checking Accounts

Published on February 1st, 2019 | by William Charles

52

SoFi Money Review – 2.25% APY Hybrid Checking & Savings Account

Online personal finance company SoFi (best known for student loans) recently launched SoFi money, this is a hybrid checking & savings account with an attached debit card.

The Basics

  • Account has no monthly fees
  • Account earns 2.25% APY
  • 0% foreign transaction fees. They do charge a 1% foreign exchange fee though
  • ATM fees are refunded

Interest Rate

All accounts earns 2.25% APY. Initially, there were requirements to get get that rate, but as of February 12th, 2019 the requirements to earn 2.25% APY have been removed and all accounts now earn that rate.

Our Verdict

You need to join a waiting list to apply for this account, now that this account earns 2.25% APY with no requirements it’s actually one of the best high yield checking accounts available.

One thing like how they state there are no foreign transaction fees in bold print and then in the fine print it turns out that a 1% foreign exchange fee is charged. If you want an account with no international fees then I strongly recommend the Charles Schwab account.  SoFi Money also promised people that signed up to the waiting list a long time ago a $200 bonus, they then invite those people and offered no bonus.

That being said overall I think this account is fairly good if you just want a basic high yield checking account with no requirements to get the increased rate.



52
Leave a Reply

avatar
 

  Subscribe  
newest oldest most voted
Notify of
So Fi
So Fi

What would you recommend instead? I need to switch checking accounts and was thinking SoFi. I would clear the DD requirement so it will pay 2.25% with no debit spend requirements. Is there something better?

Mathias
Mathias

Agree, What other Checking Account offers that interest rate without Debit Card transactions? For me the Direct Deposit requirement is easy to achieve and I like that ATM fees are reimbursed. That could become my main checking account (currently using chase sapphire banking).
This looks like a great “set and forget” checking account.

So Fi
So Fi

I am currently on Aspiration (which I am looking to switch away from) and this seems like the same benefits with double the interest rate (and then some).

Andrew
Andrew

you have to do both debit and DD

memory has 1.6% with no requirements
https://www.doctorofcredit.com/powerful-high-yield-checking-savings-account-combo-with-memory-bank/

Stick a few hundred in something ATM reimbursements like Schwab or Alliant

So Fi
So Fi

You only need one or the other for the interest and reimbursements:

Get even more out of SoFi Money when you set up a direct deposit of $3k/month or spend $500/month on your debit card. This gets you:

Unlimited reimbursement on ATM fees

2.25% APY on your account

Steve
Steve

I think you have to do Debit -or- DD if you read it clearly (and it clearly says “either”). If you meet the DD requirement, this seems like a no brainer

Mathias
Mathias

it says: “Get even more out of SoFi Money when you set up a direct deposit of $3k/month or spend $500/month on your debit card. ”
So you don’t need to do debit card transactions.
And for an account that doesn’t need debit card transaction, it looks like a great all-in-one checking account.

Patrick
Patrick

I can confirm that it is one or the other and not both. I only have the direct deposit and earn the 2.25%. I use it for ATM withdrawals and payments to my rewards cards and have been earning quite a bit of interest while my money sits waiting to pay bills. Have not used it as debit at point of sale at all.

Steve
Steve

Curious here too — if I meet the DD requirement, is there a checking account with a better interest rate and free ATMs?

Steve

Since this is a checking account, not savings, the 2.25% rate actually sounds good.
(Checking account meaning no limit of 6 withdrawals per month, and you get paper checks.)

Snorlax
Snorlax

Yeah, the high interest on the checking account without a cap seems like a decent deal to me. My husband loves keeping large buffers in his checking account (we’re talking like $6,000-$8,000) even though that’s earning practically zero interest. He has a savings account and an investment account, but he only moves money to them once in a while. It drives me nuts, but it’s his checking account, so what can I do?

Patrick
Patrick

SoFi Money did offer a $200 bonus as part of their signup/wait list initially and they honored it but they only opened it up to their existing members instead of the general public to avoid it being gamed and to prioritize existing customers during their beta test of the product. I received the $200 sign up bonus and love using SoFi Money as my primary checking account. 2.25% on funds that are going to sit there until I pay bills is great. I also have online savings accounts with 2%+ but the number of monthly transactions is limited on savings accounts. The ATM fee rebate is instant and works great (especially on those $10 Vegas ATM fees). There is no fee to withdraw cash from an ATM internationally as the 1% exchange is just added to POS transactions when converting the currency. While it may not be for everyone, I think you dismiss this too quickly since most other online checking accounts offer very little interest and comparable rates from online savings account aren’t usable as a primary account due to transaction limits.

Ben
Ben

I think the analysis is of meeting the debit usage requirement… at $500 spend, you’re giving up $10 or more in cashback each month, which is substantially more than the interest you can expect. Plus that’s typically enough transactions to qualify for a rewards checking account with >3% interest.

The numbers may come out differently for the DD method (though I doubt it — tying up that much monthly DD limits ability to each bank new account bonuses), but qualifying through monthly debit usage is definitely a loser.

Mathias
Mathias

many people get DD way in excess of 3k and can easily update their banking information online with their employer to split the DD (that’s what I’m doing). So there is no limitation (e.g. to get other account bonuses).
I’m not interested in any account that requires me to do Debit Card transactions and I think this account nails it.
I think this is a great account for those who get larger amounts of Direct Debit and don’t like that the float amount is not earning any interest currently unless they start monthly debit card rituals.

Burton
Burton

Agree – once my direct deposit frees up from some of the other bank bonuses I’m working on this might be a decent option for my main online checking account (DD in, pay all bills that can’t be put on credit card, and earn decent interest without having to be monitoring balance and transferring back and forth between savings).

I had used CapOne for this purpose for over a decade but their checking pays less than .2% and their savings/mm isn’t competitive (2% max currently).

Burton
Burton

Heritage Bank seems like another good option (3.33%, no fees) but does require debit card use.

Andrew K
Andrew K

I signed up for Sofi Money in the beta period and therefore they gave me the 2.25% and all premium benefits for no requirements. I use it as my main checking account, and the 1% foreign exchange fee is only for purchases (of which you should be using a credit card overseas anyway), so its fine for foreign withdrawals (no fee)

T
T

Do you know if there’s unlimited withdrawals? I want to set up autopay with my credit cards (more than 6). I haven’t been able to find a good solution except Memory Bank’s 1.6% APY checking account.

Ryan Goldstein

Yes, SoFi Money has unlimited withdrawals – it acts like a checking account.

Snorlax
Snorlax

A small warning: I went to add SoFi Money to my company’s online payroll portal and the system didn’t recognize the routing number, that’s a new one. We’re using PeopleSoft, which is really big in corporateland. I looked up the terms of what counts as “direct deposit” and it was really vague! Here’s what the fee schedule says about direct deposits:

Target Activity Thresholds:


shall mean, with respect to any Account, either of the following: (a) there have been
at least $3,000 in monthly direct deposit transactions in any calendar month (e.g. payroll direct deposits), or (b) there have been at least $500 in debit card transactions in any calendar month; provided that satisfaction of the foregoing thresholds shall be measured as of the later of: (i) the conclusion of the 3-Month Grace Period and shall be met if either criterion is satisfied in any calendar month during such period (or, if applicable, at the Grace Period Review), and (ii) the most recent Monthly Account Activity Review.

Note: In determining whether the “direct deposit” Target Activity Threshold has been satisfied, transfers received through SoFi Money P2P, “Square Cash”, and other P2P transfer services or electronic wallet services like Venmo,etc., will not be treated as “direct deposits.”

Sounds like an ACH transfer would work, but, honestly, it’s too vague to know.

Snorlax
Snorlax

UPDATE: I contacted Payroll and they added the routing number into the system for me manually.

Steve
Steve

Just got an email from SoFi, the requirements to earn the top interest rate were removed.

2.25% APY for all!

ranova
ranova

I think SoFi is one of the best high interest checking available – especially now without any requirements. No reason to pick a savings account with similar interest

Buffalo Breath
Buffalo Breath

I got an email saying everyone gets the 2.25% interest rate. No large balance or extra transactions required. There’s no longer a waiting list to apply. They’ve been advertising on Facebook inviting anyone to open an account.

King
King

Is the interest rates compounded daily? I honestly don’t see any reason not to make this a primary checking account used to pay all bills. If compounded daily, all the money sitting in your account before paying all your bills will get some interest. This might equate to a free meal a month or so without any work.

slut
slut

Only 3 linkable accounts is a serious enough limitation to not consider it. For me anyway

King
King

I use Cap One 360 Savings account to link accounts and move around monies. I think this has a limit of 6 moves a month. But this is more than enough for me.

JDubs
JDubs

From their FAQ:

How often is the interest accrued and compounded?
Interest on your SoFi Money® account balance is accrued daily and compounded monthly.

Danny N
Danny N

I had a question about the credit pull when applying for a Money account with SoFi. Is this a hard or soft pull? I have a credit freeze on Experian and SoFi said they would not open the account until I unfreeze it so they can access it. Am I wrong to assume this means they will use a hard pull? I haven’t had issues with other soft pulls while my files are frozen.

E
E

As far as I know it’s only a soft pull. I just signed up yesterday.

E
E

How long does it typically take to receive the card in the mail?

Zamana
Zamana

Withdrawal Limits
Peer to Peer
Cumulative Amount Per Day $250
Cumulative Amount Per Month $3,000
Amount Per Transaction $250 $10,000

This seems like it doesn’t make it easy to move money. This along with the restriction of 3 external accounts only seems to make it pretty flawed. I think I’ll stick to fidelity and Provident for my checking account needs.

Ryan Goldstein

I believe those restrictions are just for their peer to peer money transfer service, not for bank-to-bank ACH transfers initiated from SoFi Money.

Farley
Farley

How fast is ACH push to an external bank?
Similar banks such as Simple.com is very slow while Schwab is so fast. (at least one day difference).

Chief Loss Leader
Chief Loss Leader

In my experience pushes from SoFi show up the next business day.

Nicole
Nicole

Be careful with Sofi. I tried them with a small deposit of $300 before transferring my entire income to them. As soon as I began using the account, they froze my account for 10 business days for an “investigation”. There was no call to ask if any charges were fraudulent. Customer service can’t say why the account is frozen and also claims that freezing accounts is an “industry standard” and something that they feel they have a right to do.

Dheeraj
Dheeraj

Similar experience. My account’s been frozen for more than 10 days now. Quite upsetting 🙁

Ben
Ben

I have had a SoFi money account with no issues. I helped my mother open a SoFi money account in March. After two $100 deposits, the account was frozen. No reason was provided other than there were “red flags” that needed to be resolved, and we were told it would take 5-10 business days to resolve the issue. It has now been a month, and the account is still frozen. There has been no communication from SoFi. We have called customer service multiple times and have been told that there is nothing that can be done and no one that we can speak to until the security team reaches out to us directly. We were forced to close the account today and move on to a new company because no time frame could be provided for when someone at SoFi would look into the issue. Don’t waste your time with this company. They are clearly experiencing growing pains with the SoFi Money product and they do not have the ability to appropriately and timely handle issues.

Rich
Rich

On April 13, 2019 I opened a SoFI money account. I uploaded the verification documents the same day and waited for the account to be active. Three days later I checked the status and it was now “Froze”. In the app it said that they need to review my information. I sent an email asking the status, and the response was that the account was in the document review process. It should take 5-7 business days they said.

I let it go until April 26 and sent a follow-up email. They again noted they were reviewing my submitted documentation. They said they would “reach out once it’s completed!”.

I called today (5/1/19), they said the same response that my documents were being reviewed. The customer service rep noted that they have been flooded with applications and the review process is taking longer that usual. i asked what the average turn around time is but he didn’t have that information.

I canceled my application. I am currently a SoFi customer I have a loan through them that i opened in January 2017. I uploaded the same personal information when I applied for that loan. I would have expected existing customer review would be easier. Selfishly I expected they would make an existing customer a priority.

I opened another account and hopefully their service will be better.

Back to Top ↑