Many financial institutions offer different types of online banking accounts. While there are many options, SoFi Money has several features I love and is a leader of the pack. I’ll show you why I like this account and how it can help you save money while you’re traveling. Throw in the generous $50 welcome offer that takes about 3 minutes to earn and the decision to open an account becomes a no-brainer.
SoFi is a large financial institution that offers several banking products. They are most commonly know for their, personal loans and student loans, they also offer investing accounts and mortgages as well. One of my favorite products though is the SoFi Money cash management account. I personally use the SoFi Money account and I think it’s a great option that can help you earn more and save money as well.
What Is SoFi Money
SoFi Money is a cash management account that is offered by the financial institution SoFi. While there are some nuances to the account, in essence, it combines the functions of both a savings and checking account into one. This account allows you to earn a higher interest rate than you would bet from a savings account. You also have the ability to write checks from this account. In addition, SoFi has eliminated almost all of the fees typically associated with this type of account.
Opening An Account
There are almost no restrictions when it comes to opening a SoFi Money account. To open an account you must be at least 18 years of age and either be United States citizen or a permanent resident.
Welcome Bonus – Right now SoFi is offering a $25 welcome bonus for those who open a new Money account using a referral link. You are eligible for this bonus if you have never had any of SoFi’s products previously. You also need to fund your account with at least $100 within 14 days to earn the bonus. It only takes about 3 minutes to open an account, so it’s a quick way to make $25.
Tip: Once you open your account, you can also refer your significant other using your unique referral code. This will allow them to earn the $25 bonus and you will earn $25 for referring them. That’s a quick $50 that you can earn in just minutes. Plus you’ll get an additional $25 for every additional person you refer as well!
Benefits Of A SoFi Money Account
No Fees – This is where the SoFi Money account really shines. SoFi has waived virtually every fee associate with a typical savings or checking account. There are no minimum balances required for this account, so you don’t have to worry about account maintenance fees. If you need checks, SoFi gives them to you for free. If you make a mistake and overdraw on your account, there are no non-sufficient funds (NSF) or overdraft fees.
ATM Fee Reimbursement – You can use any any ATM worldwide that displays the Visa, Plus or NYCE logos. If you use one of these ATMs, they’ll reimburse any fees charged by other institutions. See below for the one exception to this if you use your card to withdraw cash overseas.
No Foreign Transaction Fees – When I travel, I always use a credit card that doesn’t charge any foreign transaction fees like the Chase Sapphire Preferred card. If you don’t have one, the debit card you get with this account doesn’t charge foreign transaction fees either. The fees for these types of transactions can really add up quickly.
Earn A High Interest Rate – Interest rates for these accounts will vary frequently depending on the financial markets. While the interest rate will vary, you’ll get a rate far higher than you will ever get in a savings account at your local bank. This is an excellent rate for this type of account. And the best part is this interest rate is good no matter how much money you have in your account.
FDIC Insured, Mostly – Deposits made into your SoFi Money account are not immediately FDIC insured. The funds deposited into your account are “swept” each night and sent to a partner bank. Your money becomes FDIC insured once it arrives at the partner’s bank.
What Are The Disadvantages
While none of the following items are a deal breaker, in my opinion, I want you to be aware of a couple of the disadvantages to the SoFi Money account.
International ATM Withdrawals – Funds that are withdrawn from a bank outside of the United States are subject to a 1% foreign exchange fee. These fees are charge by Visa and not SoFi, so they can’t be waived. However, the fee associated with these withdrawals is very reasonable. If you were to get foreign currency before your trip from your local bank, they could easily charge fees around 10%.
Not only is the 1% fee significantly lower, you also don’t have to worry about carry a wad of cash around when you’re traveling. You can simply withdraw the cash as you need it from almost any ATM around the world.
No Cash Deposits – All deposits into your account are made through the mobile app. Because of this, you aren’t able to deposit cash directly into your account. You would have to deposit the cash into a different bank account and transfer it to your SoFi Money account.
No Overdraft Payments – SoFi simply blocks the payment from being processed if you happen to overdraw on your account. Though they typically charge a fee, other banks may honor the payment to help prevent your payment from being late. SoFi doesn’t do this, so keep that in mind if you ever happen to over draw on your account.
May Be Difficult To Save – I like to keep my checking and savings accounts separately. Doing this helps me to not accidentally spend the money I’m saving for something important. With this account being an “all in one” account, I would recommend having another savings account somewhere else.
Support Is Limited – The customer support department is limited if you ever need help. SoFi does not offer chat support so you need to contact them on the phone or by email. Customer support hours extend beyond normal business hours but they’re phone support isn’t available 24/7.
While the SoFi Money account isn’t perfect, I think it is an excellent option for just about anyone. I love that almost anyone can open an account and have access to an affordable banking option. The account has several great benefits and charges virtually no fees so there’s no risk to having this account. When you factor in the $50 welcome bonus, opening a SoFi Money account becomes a “no brainer”.